Major Miscalculations

Major Miscalculations



Sampson destroys Philistines’ Temple 

Samson was the main attraction at the party to end all parties. The Philistines amused themselves as their former enemy became the source of their derision. Once feared because of his cunning and strength, Samson was now a tragic-comic display. They called out what was now a blind hulk of a man and forced him to do tricks in front of the drunken crowd. Samson—how the mighty had fallen.

As the night of festivities went on, Samson did something he had done little of most of his life: He prayed. In that simple prayer, he asked God to let him have the last laugh on his enemies.

What had brought Samson to this terrible, desperate place? He had made a series of huge miscalculations.

As we explore the many miscalculations in this story we see the hand of God. Samson had more potential than anyone in the Old Testament except for Moses, yet he failed miserably. He became the most worthless of the Judges. The excitement of all his adventures does not overshadow the tragedy of his wasted life. A life wasted best describes this powerful and yet tragic person. How many of us today will travel this same path?

Some events preceded the above story. Some are astounding and others are simply pathetic. But, that is the life of Samson. It is filled with both monumental highs and shattering lows. Samson came from a family whose heritage was prayer and in being yielded to the Lord. His family offered him up to the Lord, as was the custom in those days. Samson took the oath of a Nazarite but never lived it. His promise to God seemed to have little value when compared to his personal passions. How many of us do the same? How many start out with pure ideals and promises of doing well but end up distracted by the lures of the world. Weakened by uncontrollable appetites they fail to maintain. We promise God obedience yet live in rebellion.

Samson could serve as the prototype of today’s high profile politicians, entertainers and public personalities that boldly claim to represent family values.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Wiener, John Edwards just to name a few are tragic cases in point. How often the mighty fall for the fragrance of a temptress. Consider the wisdom of Solomon from the Proverbs.

She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, “I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.” With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.

  • Proverbs 7:12-23

What powerful words these are. Too many men have fallen victim to ungodly thoughts and inordinate feelings. I am fascinated by the contemporaneous value of advice given thousands of years ago and even more so by the fact that it is still ignored. The Proverb admonishes us is that it is such ill-advised action that will cost one their life.

Samson also had anger issues and often allowed himself to lose control in outbursts of sheer havoc. The anger did not seem to bother Samson and it often led him into sin. Can we conclude from his life that one cannot afford to break promises to God and live as though there are no consequences? The bible calls people who break their promises to God – Truce Breakers.

On the surface, all of these men had potential. But in order to understand what went wrong, we must look at the inner state of these men. With so much to gain by adhering to the rules why then would they risk so much for so little. I humbly offer the notion that these men have very low self-esteem. Generally you don’t think of the famous personalities and powerful politicians as being insecure or of having low self esteem, but in my experience, the insecure need validation more than others.

Some feed off the applause of the crowd; others need the attention of pretty women. Still there are those who need to be worshiped as heroes and the accompanying adoration. These are issues stemming from their childhood. These unresolved internal conflicts go on to create all kinds of havoc in their adult life. People with addictive personalities are sired from unmet inner needs.

We now understand that there may be issues that drive the negative behavior. Are individuals wise or irresponsible who ignore their compulsive tendencies? Can we indulge our passions and not look over our shoulder with trepidation?

Samson followed his passion and married poorly. His unbridled sexuality did not further the plan of God. Many like Samson have experienced the devastation caused by this addictive behavior. A life of major miscalculations best describes the character of Samson’s existence. Samson miscalculated thinking that he could live life recklessly and that his strength would not leave him. He did not weigh the consequences of walking outside of the path of righteousness. Many make the same mistake and still expect to be effective? The Philistines too miscalculated. They assumed the power and strength of Samson was of human design.

While Samson failed to uphold his end of his Nazarite vow, God never failed. Now blind and seemingly defeated, Samson finally “saw” the true purpose of his life.

In the end he prayed a sincere prayer and God answered. He used Samson to defeat the enemy. How much more of a powerful life he could have enjoyed if only he chose to obey.

What is the morale of this story? We can realize our true potential is we trust God and take Him at his word. He is able to do what He promises through His word. To disobey is a miscalculation with often dire results that could have been avoided.


Developing a Spirit of Excellence

Developing a Spirit of Excellence

In the pursuit of personal growth and success, the influence of upbringing cannot be underestimated. This sentiment echoes strongly in the enlightening discussion presented in the video, “Developing A Spirit of Excellence.” The speaker delves into the profound impact of parental influence on relational skills and life conduct, shedding light on the importance of nurturing an environment conducive to excellence from an early age.

The narrative begins by highlighting the role of parental guidance in shaping one’s approach to relationships. Drawing from personal experiences and observations, the speaker emphasizes how individuals often mirror the relational dynamics witnessed in their formative years. Whether it’s learning effective communication or cultivating empathy, the upbringing lays the foundation for navigating interpersonal connections with grace and wisdom.

Moreover, the discourse extends to the realm of financial stewardship, advocating for a mindset of diligence and responsibility in managing resources. Through biblical teachings and practical wisdom, viewers are encouraged to embrace the principles of saving and providing for their families. This call to action underscores the intrinsic link between financial prudence and the pursuit of excellence in all facets of life.

Central to the message is the concept of embodying a spirit of excellence in personal conduct. Regardless of external circumstances or the actions of others, individuals are urged to uphold principles of kindness, love, and integrity. This steadfast commitment to moral excellence serves as a guiding light in navigating life’s challenges and opportunities, fostering a culture of respect and honor in all interactions.

Furthermore, the discourse delves into the spiritual dimension of excellence, highlighting the transformative power of aligning with divine principles. By embracing biblical teachings and living according to God’s precepts, individuals unlock the pathway to blessings and success. This profound connection between spirituality and excellence serves as a cornerstone for personal growth and fulfillment.

As the conversation unfolds, viewers are invited to embark on a journey of self-discovery and transformation through consistent engagement with scripture. The speaker underscores the importance of internalizing biblical truths and allowing them to shape one’s attitudes, beliefs, and actions. This process of spiritual renewal empowers individuals to rise above mediocrity and embrace a life characterized by excellence in all endeavors.

In conclusion, “Developing A Spirit of Excellence” offers invaluable insights into the fundamental principles of personal growth and success. From the influence of upbringing to the importance of financial stewardship and the transformative power of spirituality, the discourse presents a holistic framework for cultivating excellence in every aspect of life. By embracing these timeless principles and committing to a journey of continuous growth, individuals can unlock their full potential and thrive in a world hungry for excellence.

This Ancient Practice Can Revolutionize Your Prayer Life – Millennials Are Loving It!

This Ancient Practice Can Revolutionize Your Prayer Life – Millennials Are Loving It!

In a world where the latest tech release garners more excitement than timeless traditions, it’s refreshing to see a surge of interest in an ancient practice that’s making a major comeback. Yes, we’re talking about lectio divina – a practice that’s as old as the hills but as fresh as your morning latte. And guess what? It’s not your grandma’s prayer method; it’s the spiritual life hack millennials are raving about.

What is Lectio Divina?

Lectio divina, or “divine reading,” is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation, and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s word. It doesn’t require a theology degree or a secret handshake – just a willingness to sit, read, and listen.

The Four R’s of Lectio Divina

This practice is broken down into four simple steps, often called the four R’s: Read, Reflect, Respond, and Rest. Let’s dive in.

1. Read (Lectio)
Start with a passage of scripture. Read it slowly, savoring each word like a fine wine. This isn’t about quantity; it’s about quality. You’re not skimming a blog post; you’re mining for diamonds.

2. Reflect (Meditatio)
Now, take a moment to think about what you’ve read. What word or phrase stands out to you? What’s the Holy Spirit highlighting in your heart? This is where the ancient text starts to get personal.

3. Respond (Oratio)
After reflection comes a response. This is your heart-to-heart with God. Tell Him what you’re thinking, how you’re feeling, and what questions you have. It’s a conversation, not a monologue.

4. Rest (Contemplatio)
Finally, rest in God’s presence. This isn’t about your words; it’s about His peace. Sit quietly and let the Creator of the universe minister to you.

Why Millennials Are Hooked

So, why are young people flocking to lectio divina? It’s simple. In an age of constant connectivity, endless notifications, and relentless hustle, lectio divina offers a rare gift: stillness. It’s a counter-cultural declaration that being is more important than doing, and that’s resonating with a generation desperate for authenticity and depth.

The Impact on Your Prayer Life

Imagine starting your day not with a frantic check of your emails but with a peaceful meditation on God’s word. Picture a prayer life that’s not about rattling off requests but about building a relationship. That’s the power of lectio divina. It’s not just a practice; it’s a transformation.

But Does It Really Work?

Skeptical? You’re not alone. But the proof is in the proverbial pudding. Those who commit to lectio divina report deeper peace, heightened awareness of God’s voice, and a more profound understanding of scripture. It’s not magic; it’s about making space for grace.

Getting Started

Ready to give it a try? Here’s how to start:

  • Choose a quiet spot: Find a place where you can be alone and undisturbed.
  • Select a passage: Start with the Gospels or a Psalm. Keep it short.
  • Set a timer: Begin with 10 minutes and grow from there.
  • Embrace grace: This isn’t about performance; it’s about presence.

The Challenge

Now, here’s the call to action. I challenge you to try lectio divina for one week. Just seven days. Then, come back here and leave a comment. Share your experience, your struggles, and your victories. Let’s start a conversation about how God is speaking to us through His word.

In Conclusion

Lectio divina isn’t just a fad; it’s a lifeline to the divine. It’s a practice that predates hashtags and high-speed internet, yet it’s as relevant as ever. So, whether you’re a boomer, a Gen Xer, a millennial, or a Zoomer, there’s something in this for you. It’s time to rediscover the art of listening to God through scripture. It’s time to let the ancient words speak into the chaos of our modern lives.

So, will you accept the challenge? Will you let lectio divina revolutionize your prayer life? Drop a comment below and join the movement back to the heart of God. Let’s do this – together.