7 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Judges 16
Acts 20
Jeremiah 29
Mark 15

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Judges 16:20 (CSB): “Then she cried, ‘Samson, the Philistines are here!’ When he awoke from his sleep, he said, ‘I will escape as I did before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the LORD had left him.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

The verse I have chosen for today is sobering. If we read it reflectively, it will jolt us to attention.

And it may even cause us to immediately do a gut check.

Judges 16:20 (CSB): “Then she cried, ‘Samson, the Philistines are here!’ When he awoke from his sleep, he said, ‘I will escape as I did before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the LORD had left him.”

Delilah woke Samson up from a deep sleep. He was mentally prepared to respond with brute strength as he had done before.

“But he did not know that the LORD had left him.”

He would find that out in a few short moments.

Friend, if you are a Jesus-follower, the Lord is not only with you – He is in you! The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our physical bodies.

Let me share six Bible passages to make it clear that Jesus’ Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of every believer.

John 14:15-17 (CSB): “If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.”

Romans 8:9 (CSB): “You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CSB): “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.”

2 Corinthians 13:5 (CSB): “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test.”

Galatians 4:6 (CSB): “And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’”

1 John 4:4 (CSB): “You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

The Bible is clear. The Holy Spirit dwells inside every single believer.

But, did you know that you can stop the work of the Holy Spirit in your life? Did you know that you can “stifle the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) by failing to confess and repent of personal sin? Did you know that you can “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30) by living a self-centered life and failing to submit to His leadership?

This is one of the many paradoxes of the Christian life: Almighty God, who “works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11), respects our ability to make our choices and He responds accordingly.

So, how does this play out in real life? What does it look like when we, who are Jesus-followers, have the Holy Spirit within us but we are living in such a way that we are stifling and grieving Him?

Let me give a few symptoms that come to mind:

  • A growing apathy in our pursuit of holiness.
  • A coldness in our relationship with Jesus.
  • A lack of joy when spending time in God’s Word.
  • Absence of vitality in our prayers.
  • Conviction (guilt feelings) when we sin is not as intense as it once was.
  • Seeing minimal, eternal results in what we are doing for the Lord.

Friend, it’s quite possible that you could have all of the resources of Heaven at your disposal and yet you are running on empty. It’s quite possible that the frustration you feel in your spiritual walk is because you do not realize that the Lord’s power and blessing on your life have left you.

Sure, the Holy Spirit will never leave you if you are truly saved. But you can live your life in such a way that you box Him into a corner and He will respect your choice to do that.

One more thing, though. While the Holy Spirit respects our choices and responds accordingly, He loves us too much to remain silent.

John 16:7-8 (CSB): “Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:” 

Hebrews 12:5-8 (CSB): “And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: ‘My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or lose heart when you are reproved by him, for the Lord disciplines the one he loves and punishes every son he receives.’ Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline—which all receive—then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”

Friend, we have the very Person of God the Holy Spirit within us if we are saved. Why in the world would we do anything to stop Him from empowering us to live the life God has called us to live?

So don’t be like Samson. Be like Jesus.

Samson: “… But he did not know that the LORD had left him.” (Judges 16:20)

Jesus: “Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,” (Luke 4:14).

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I know all too well that I cannot consistently live the life of obedience that You have called me to live. I desperately need the power of Your Holy Spirit to empower me to do it. Help me to comply with biblical principles that will allow me to experience, moment-by-moment, the filling and empowerment of your Spirit. Amen.

Photo by ferdinand feng on Unsplash