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WHERE LIES YOUR STRENGHT

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During one of my daily transit to my office; I saw different people with different modes of ferrying goods of various sizes to different places and this title came into my heart. I had to reflect and research into what can be done with our strength and the Biblical story of Samson will be a great starting point.
The book of Judges talks the entire story of this young man from his birth. Samson was an uncommon son because he was one of the seven great men in the Bible with a miraculous birth. His parents were barren, his mother had an angelic visitation, she narrated her encounter to her husband and he prayed that he wanted to experience this visitation and the Lord granted his request- Judges 13. However, Samson was a little careless about his life; a heady young man who abandoned the wise counsel of his parents about marriage and that was where his strength was discovered. The warning of his parents can also be substantiated with the words in Pro 31:3 ‘Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.’
The covenant of being a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death was upon him. He started out well carrying out the divine mandate until he ran into Delilah who was the third lady in the third chapter of reading about him. Delilah, a Philistine lady, was approved by the enemies to know the source of his strength, they had seen that his exploits were not earthly but divine, however, they have discovered that his weakness is women and they have found a bait for him.
There are some basic lessons from his life which we can learn as we reflect on where our strength lies:

Be careful about where you invest your strength. There are two sides to this point. You may invest your strength in productive or destructively places. As youths, we should remember that our glory is our strength as described in Pro 20: 29 which reads thus ‘The glory of young men is their strength; and the beauty of old men is the grey head’

Be careful who you share your strength with. Judges 16:5.  Why is this critical, like the Yorubas would say, ‘eni afe la mo, a o mo eni to n soni’. He never knew they were on his trail using his wife as the bail. We need to carefully and prayerfully select our associates in business; spouses in marriage; career and spiritual partners because they will definitely know our strength through what we are passionate about or what we say to them.
How did get into Samson’s life? They set him up; they told his wife to entice him why because a wise woman buildeth her house; but the foolish plucketh it down with her hand. Pro 14:1. The part of building of her home is what we usually read about the virtuous woman in Pro 31. The motive of the enemy is to discover his strength; prevail against him and afflict him.

Discovering your strength has a price tag. The lady was promised money if she can surrender Samson into their hands; she made three frantic attempts before getting him into the hands of the enemies. These attempts were accompanied by fake tears, assumptive humiliation, insincere love and sweet words. Judges 16:15. It was a do or die affair for Delilah!

The strength to keep secrets lie in the heart. Judges 16:17 says ‘that he told her all his heart’; NIV translation says ‘he told her everything.’  He gave in; he caved in and he said it all. We usually give everything in our heart to our own perdition that brings the real humiliation. A humiliation party was organized for Samson in Judges 16:20-21.

The Lord is still merciful. The following happened at the final hour of Samson, he said a prayer of repentance in vs 22. His strength came again and he killed more people than he ever had the strength to kill. However, he died in the process which is the sting of sin for disobeying his parents and the revelation of his strength.

We do not know those trying to pick our words; we have to be careful and observant so as not to divulge our secrets to spies. We need to be spiritually alert and sensitive to track repetitive issues in our lives through certain avenues. Be careful in issues that relates to where your strength lies!
(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria

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