The Bible tells us that sinful desires wage war against our souls (1 Peter 2:11).  So, do you have a battle plan? 

     In the book of Judges, Samson is presented as an amazing warrior.  He rips apart a lion with his bare hands, breaks new ropes as if they are masking tape and kills a thousand Philistine warriors with the jaw of a donkey!  On the surface, you may hold Samson up as the warrior extraordinaire. 

     But a closer look at the account of Samson (especially Judges 14-15) reveals a flawed battle plan.  Samson was called by the LORD to be his agent who begins Israel’s deliverance from Philistine oppression.  Samson totally disregards God’s call on his life and pursues his own passions.  He fights the Philistines, but for his own selfish reasons (14:3; 15:3, 7, 11b, 14-16, 18). 

     The nation of Israel presents a second flawed way in which to engage the enemy.  They attempt to keep the peace with the Philistines (15:9-12)!  Why?  Because they didn’t want to rock the boat.  They had grown comfortable with the Philistine oppression.

     The final character in this narrative is the LORD.  In 14:4, the narrator tells us that the LORD was the cause behind Samson’s interaction/confrontation with the Philistines.  Why?  Because the LORD was seeking an occassion to confront the Philistines!  The LORD would not let the Israelites remain comfortable with the Philistine oppression.  He used Samson to stir the pot.

    How does this relate to the Christian?  The Christian is in a constant battle with sin which wages war against our souls.  We need to have an approach, a battle plan, for our war with sin. 

     Some of us choose to fight like Samson.  We battle sin, but only for selfish reasons.  For example, we fight against gossip and slander, but only gossip and slander against us.  We refuse to wage war against our gossiping hearts and lips.  Or we are so concerned with ‘other sins’.  So and so’s patience, pride, lust, greed, laziness, etc.

     Others take the way of Israel and try to negotiate peace with sin.  Just leave me alone and I will do the same to you.  Sin doesn’t rest or negotiate peace.  Sin seeks to destroy 24/7!  Don’t make the mistake of trying to be Switzerland.  There is no neutrality in the war against sin!  Ask yourself this question: Am I comfortable with my sin or the sin that surrounds me?

    The godly person wages war against sin by God’s Spirit for His glory.  If the Holy Spirit dwells in you (and he does if you have placed your trust in Christ and his work on the cross) you have gospel power to wage war against sin.  Power that defeated sin on the cross.  Power that defeated death by the resurrection.  Power that has freed us from slavery to sin and made us slaves to righteousness!

    The last line of the movie Braveheart says, ‘They fought like warrior poets, they fought like Scotsmen, and they won their freedom.’ 

    How will you fight?  A crownless community fights for what is right in their own eyes or not at all.  A community changed by Christ fights as Spirit-filled warriors against sin.  They fight behind the Warrior King Jesus who has already won their freedom!

Preached at Manchester Creek 2/14/10

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