Judges 15: The Power of the Spirit

This entry is part 142 of 150 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

God’s deliverance will not be predictable. But what is predictable is that God’s character will never change and that He is faithful to deliver His people.

In the Old Testament, God delivered His people from the oppression of their enemies through the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon the judges. Now, He delivers us when we encounter spiritual warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil through the indwelling of the same Spirit.

The External Empowering of the Spirit

In spite of Samson’s folly—his rage, his sexual sins, his violation of the Nazirite law in multiple ways—God had a purpose for this man, and He used him. When the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, Samson was able to do things that seem to us unthinkable—tying foxes’ tails together to burn fields, breaking free of new ropes, killing a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey. God had His hand on Samson’s life, using Samson to deliver the Israelites from the oppression of the Philistines.

In some respects, God uses us in spite of ourselves and not because of ourselves. He invites us to participate in His purposes, but His purposes never depend on us. However, although God can work in spite of us, it is far better to work in line with His will, obeying His Word.

The Indwelling of the Spirit

Although the Spirit came upon Samson externally, we have access to the Spirit of the Lord in a different way. We have the Spirit of Christ in us, enabling us to live in a way honoring God despite spiritual warfare.

Spiritual warfare is never optional. We will face warfare against the flesh, the world, and the devil. The flesh is the internal battle. Our souls are more imperiled by the inward pull of the flesh than by the outward trials of the world.

We await the fullness of our salvation when Christ returns. Until then, the battle rages. Our old habits, our old appetites, seek to ensnare us. But this is not an equal battle—we have the weapon of the Holy Spirit. Our truest selves are hidden with Christ, and as we submit to the Spirit, He fights for us. We are no longer slaves to sin but are slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:19), and we ought to live accordingly (Romans 8:12–13). We do so by standing on the truth and recognizing our new identity in Christ, surrendering ourselves to God.

Need a resource on the battles we face against the world, the flesh, and the devil? Read Ken Boa’s “Warfare Spirituality” in Conformed to His Image.

This teaching is based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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