“The Israelites had traveled in the wilderness for forty years until all the men who were old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died. For they had disobeyed the Lord, and the Lord vowed he would not let them enter the land he had sworn to give us—a land flowing with milk and honey.” – Joshua 5:6.
If you follow Jesus for any length of time and you seriously pursue a strong relationship, you will eventually have to make a choice: will you follow Him in obedience? There is a cost of following Him, and sometimes that cost can be heavy.
We will all be confronted with the choice to obey, or ignore the opportunity for obedience and take a few steps away from God by compromising or making bad choices. The story of Samson is found in Judges 13-16. Chapter 13 begins with the words, “Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight…” After this, they were oppressed by the Philistines for 40 years. Samson, a natural leader in that day because of his strength, was appointed by God to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. But over time small missteps led to large consequences leading to Samson’s eventual humiliation. At the end, God forgave Samson for his disobedience, and gave Samson his strength back one last time to defeat the Philistines. The lesson Samson learned the hard way is that disobedience will eventually cost you.
Each of us has probably come to God with hat in hand asking for forgiveness for some act of disobedience, realizing we have no plausible defense nor excuse for our actions/decisions. After all, it is easy to compromise at first. It can even be fun. We will deal with the price tag on our act of disobedience at a later date. But here is the truth. Disobedience is serious business. Whether we disobey with the cost hidden or the price tag in full view, the ultimate consequences will be very real and very experienced.
The cost of disobedience is high. And it will eventually cost you. Many times it is not easy to follow and obey the Word of the Lord, but how much better to suffer for the sake of obedience, than to suffer the consequences of disobedience. “But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:31-32.)
If you have disobeyed the Lord in some area of your life, take the steps needed to restore the relationship. God will always forgive and restore us as He did with Samson. Continuing on in disobedience is a serious mistake in the life of the Christian. Samson “paid the fare” of disobedience, and so will we when we step away from God.
- Why do you think Samson failed to be Spirit-led in his life?
- Led by the Spirit: This is essential to being developed into the person God created us to be. How do you think about the importance of the Spirit’s work in your life? How much of your life do you think you can handle on your own?
- The Spirit leads us and shapes us to be more like Jesus so others can see Jesus through us. In what ways does the Spirit lead you?
- What can we do this week to let the Spirit shape our character to be more like Jesus?