This weekend we looked at the fascinating story of how Samson sabotaged himself through pride, lust, and compromise. It was a pretty hard story to read yet one filled with hope as God refused to leave Samson even when he was at his worst. God still used Samson! In fact, it was when Samson got to the point of surrendering to God that God used him the most. Samson’s weakest moment proved to be his moment of greatest strength.
Yesterday I was reading the old devotional book by Oswald Chambers called My Utmost for His Highest. Chambers opens the first day by reflecting on Philippians 1.20-21, “ as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Chambers, reflecting on Paul’s words, says:
“It’s as if Paul were saying, “My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest— my best for His glory.” To reach that level of determination is a matter of the will, not of debate or of reasoning. It is absolute and irrevocable surrender of the will at that point. An undue amount of thought and consideration for ourselves is what keeps us from making that decision, although we cover it up with the pretense that it is others we are considering. When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point— He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only— my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.”
Ever been in that spot where you want to obey God but the ramifications start to pile up in your head? You start to think about the impact this step of obedience would have on your relationship with others close to you and then, in a moment of what you convince yourself is rational thinking, you step back from the proverbial ledge.
While we should always be wise in our walk with the Lord, maybe more of us need this kick in the pants that we are meant to please an audience of One. And our “rational thinking” is actually just fear and pride masquerading as wisdom or maturity. May we, Mercy Church, be 100% committed to living for the glory of God with our lives. And may we be the type of community that encourages such boldness for the glory of God among one another!
By the way, I mentioned a book Sunday a couple of people have asked about called Street God by Dimas Salaberrios. It’s a wild read about Dimas’ life running drugs and guns and then his conversion to Christ. It is another great reminder that no one is too far gone and God still has a purpose for you no matter where you are right now.