“But he did not know
that the Lord had departed from him.”
I had an interesting conversation with some friends a few days ago. We are all Bible-readers ~ Bible-studiers, really. And yet we all acknowledged how hard it is to read the Bible as much as we’d like to. Kids, jobs, laundry, dinner, working out, housekeeping… and those are just the regular days. Then there are sick days, getting-together-with-friends days, working-overtime days, and too-hot-to-think days.
But after a few busy days, where you don’t “have time” to read the Bible, things start to change in us. It’s imperceptible, but it’s happening. We start to operate under our own power, which means we’re getting weaker. It’s like drinking: after just one drink, you can start to have impaired judgement, slurred speech, confusion and memory problems, trouble concentrating… You don’t know it, of course, because you’re the one impaired. Ironic, right?
Same with spiritual weakness. One of the ladies in this discussion talked about cutting branches off of the trees in her yard, and throwing them in the trashcan. For a couple of days, she could open the lid to that trashcan and still see green branches. It’s hard to tell, right away, that they’re dying. Only after some time does their appearance reflect their true condition.
Chapter 16 of Judges illustrates this for us, in the powerful Samson. Repeatedly he toyed with revealing to Delilah the secret of his strength, and then when he did, she took advantage of it. She shaved his head “and his strength left him” (v19). But he didn’t know it.
Even worse, in verse 20, he woke from his sleep convinced that he could battle the Philistines just as he always had. He did not realize how weak he truly was. He thought he still had his power, but it was gone ~ the Lord had departed from him.
“Abide in Me, and I in you,” Jesus said. “Without Me, you can do nothing.” Clear enough? You think you’re still spiritually strong when you’re no longer abiding in Him, but you’re getting weaker.
Every day, take the time: Abide in His Word.
~ “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you, unless
you abide in Me.” ~