WHEN LOVE TURNS INTO LUST

Relationships are not that complicated. At least, it shouldn’t be.

But it CAN get complicated. It gets complicated when self gets in the way.

Tara Parker Pope of the New York Times wrote an article entitled “The Happy Marriage is the “Me” Marriage. 

She says that what used to be about supposed to be a move from ME to WE turns full circle back to ME.
If the marriage doesn’t interest me anymore, then I bail out.

In Judges 16, Samson went to the Valley of Sorek and fell in love with a lady named Delilah.

Now, is there anything wrong with being in Sorek? Actually, none. But what we might not know, Sorek is a valley where the vineyards of the best choiced red grapes are found. Those are the ones used to make wines.

As a Nazirite, Samson had a covenant and commitment not to drink wine. Together with this was the commitment to not let a razor touch his hair and to never touch a carcass of a dead animal.

Being Sorek was not wrong, but it wasn’t wise. The number 1 answer people give when asked the question why there are doing what they’re doing is “why, there’s nothing wrong with what I am doing!” Sometimes, it no longer is about what is wrong or right but what is wise.

It wasn’t wrong for Samson to be in Sorek but it definitely wasn’t wise.

COMPROMISE

Sin never starts full blown. It usually starts with small compromises here and there.

It’s rarely a blowout but usually a slow leak.

Samson disregarded his parents’ advice when told not to marry a Philistine, scooped honey from a lion’s carcass though he knew he was violating his commitment and slept with a prostitute.

You see, the decisions we make today impacts how we live our lives tomorrow.

PASSION

Singles ask me, “How far is too far?” Kiss? Making out? As long as it’s not sex, it should be fine.

But let me submit to you that this is the wrong question. It is not how far is too far but how far away from sin can I go so that I do not hurt and offend God?

It boils down to this… More than a battle of purity, it is actually a battle of passion. If we are so passionate about our relationship with Jesus, we will pursue His will and purposes in our lives, desiring not to offend God.

Remember, Jesus paid the penalty of death for the very thing I am about to do.

Love desires to benefit others at the expense of self, because love desires to give.
Lust desires to benefit self at the expense of others, because lust desires to get. (Ed Cole)

PLAYING WITH FIRE

Proverbs 6:27 says, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?”
Guess what, it is not possible to play with fire and expect not to get hurt.
If you find yourself in a temptation, FLEE DON’T FLIRT!

He couldn’t say no to the temptation because what could not be bound on the outside by ropes was already bound on the inside by sin.

What he didn’t know was that the Lord had already left him. (Judges 16:20)
This is probably one of the saddest verse in the Bible.

Sin will take you farther than you want to go,
keep you longer than you want to stay
and cost you more than you want to pay.

Samson realized this. However, it was a bit too late.

SECOND CHANCE

Thankfully, God is a God of second chances… and third… and fourth… and fifth…
God allowed Samson to redeem himself. After some time, his hair grew back. With it, came his strength.
Samson showed up in a feast, pushed the pillars and killed 3000 Philistines. More than he ever killed in any battle.
Samson died, paid for the consequences of his sin.
But there was One greater than Samson who died not for the consequences of His own sins but your sins and mine.

Relationships don’t need to be complicated. It only does when it becomes about self.

But, when it moves from SELF-CENTEREDNESS to SELF-SACRIFICE, you see the things actually work out.

It’s not THAT complicated.

 

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PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rr_msw/

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?

We all have had our eyes get us in trouble in the past.

Diet – “Just one pizza.” But we end up eating 8.
Exam – “Just one answer.” But we end up getting detention.
Pictures – “Just one internet site.” But we end up getting addicted to p0rn.

Samson had that problem too. He allowed his eyes to dictate the decisions he made.

WOMAN AT TIMNAH.

 1 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. 2 When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” (Judges 14:1-2).

He allowed his eyes to decide. Some may say that it was love at first sight. What it really was – was attraction at first sight.  His father spoke to him about his decision, that he may need to reconsider and choose from within the people of God, but he refused to listen.

Pursuing beauty is not wrong but if it ends there, it will not be enough to sustain a relationship.

They got married but ended up separating in the end.

PROSTITUTE IN GAZA.

One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. (Judges 16:1)

This time, it was no longer beauty he was after, but self-gratification and pleasure.  Sin has a way of doing that.  It graduates and snowballs into something bigger.

I guarantee that they did not spend the night to play Monopoly or Temple Run in his iPad.

DELILAH.

Her name meant, “she who weakens; she who entices.”

This time, Samson’s problem was not merely looking at beauty, nor seeking self-gratification.  Now it’s ego.

“I will never fall for her trap.” Or so he thought.

He gave in and one of the saddest verses in the Bible was written.

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

LESSONS FROM SAMSON’S LIFE.

1. Allowing your eyes to dictate your decisions is unwise.

Samson let his eyes decide for his future and ultimately his destiny.

2 Cor. 5:7 tells us to live by faith and not by sight.

2. Spiritual foundation is the best foundation for any relationship.

Find one who loves God more than s/he loves you. Why? Because if s/he loves God and desires to obey God, then you will be in a good place.

3. God is a God of second chances.

“O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more… “(Judges 16:28)

He asked. God answered. He then ultimately fulfills God’s purpose for his life.

God is still God and God is still good.