“And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in Mahaneh-dan, the camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.”
Judges 13: 25
“A Heartbeat For God”
“Consecration is not wrapping one’s self in a holy web in the sanctuary and then coming forth after prayer and twilight mediation and saying, ‘There I am consecrated.’ Consecration is going out into the world where God Almighty is and using every power for His glory. It is taking all advantages as trust funds – as confidential debts owed to God. It is simply dedicating one’s life, in its whole flow, to God’s service.”
Henry Ward Beecher
Do I have a “heartbeat” for God?
Have I heard His call, asking me to consecrate my life and service to Him?
“It does not take great (women) to do great things; it only takes consecrated (women).”
“The mark of a saint is not perfection, but consecration. A saint is not a (woman) without faults, but a (woman) who has given (herself) without reserve to God.”
W. T. Richardson
Just imagine for a moment you had lived in the camp of the Danites, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Life would not have been pleasant, for on all sides you would be surrounded by the Philistines who were intent on your physical destruction as well as the spiritual obliteration of your God.
One day, an older couple informed all the tribe members they would be having a child – a very special child who would be the promised deliverer who would unloose the chains of bondage that had held you enslaved for forty years. How would you feel? And how would you treat the child of promise?
I’m certain that as time passed, some of Samson’s tribe members began to encourage him to make his move. We humans react this way. We see someone with certain talents and try to encourage them in a certain direction. I know this happened to me as a young girl. Nearly everyone in my family was involved in the medical field and for years I was pushed and prodded and cajoled --- “Dorothy should be a doctor,” everyone said. This was everyone else’s decision, except mine. I wanted to write but every door slammed in my face. However, one day, at a moment when I least expected it, the opportunity came for me to write commercial copy. I jumped at the chance. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I thought my course was set. However, not long after, a friend said to me, “One of these days, Dorothy, you are going to stop ignoring God’s call and you will write for Him.” Well, my ignoring behavior went on for nearly another twenty years and then one day, I could no longer disregard the plan God had for my life.
Our text today, from Judges 13: 25, has a lot to say to you and me about God’s calling on our lives. The way He “taps” us for His service and there are several lessons we need to become aware of as we begin to study the choices that defined the life of Samson and his call from God.
Lesson #1: The first lesson we find in Judges 13: 25 is that God’s call came to Samson in the regular, everyday place where he worked. He was in the camp where he lived with family and friends. Sometimes, we get the mistaken idea God can’t use us until we go off to some elite school or exotic country. We believe we have to have a list a mile long with degrees behind our names or be celebrated as “stars” before we can fulfill God’s purpose in our lives. Obviously, that wasn’t the case with Samson and his mother and father. They were regular people, living regular lives in the midst of turmoil. There is nothing they did or had that elevated their status. In the middle of a hum-drum life, God stepped in and said, “I need you.” Let’s learn from this experience that God calls us where we are – not because of where we’ve been. He asks for our service not because of who we are – but because we know Him. I love the words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” Remember, God’s call to you and me comes to us in those regular moments when we may least expect Him to arrive.
Lesson #2: Our second lesson is that it is God who “moves” us, not necessarily humans. Sometimes we humans have a very strange way of choosing whom we think should be “in charge.” We follow people for some of the most foolish reasons. We are dazzled by externals like beauty, poise and charm. Consequently, we may find that our choices, based on physical attributes or popularity polls end up leading us down the wrong path. God doesn’t choose us in a superficial way. Instead, as we learned yesterday, all of us have been “assuredly begotten” by our heavenly Father, conceived and cared for before we were born. As God’s plan for our lives begins to unfold, He comes to each of us, wherever we are and whatever we are doing and as the Hebrew so distinctly describes, “Taps” us and our hearts begin to “beat regularly” in harmony with what He has for us to do. This is what the Bible means when it says the Spirit of God began to “move” upon Samson right in the camp where he lived. His heart beat in time with God’s and when the two were in unison in will and purpose, Samson felt the “tap” of God on his shoulder and followed God.
What important lessons for us to remember. God can call you and me anywhere, anytime and any place. And if you happen to think you’ve messed up your life too much for God to call you, let me remind you about Manasseh, the evil son of King Hezekiah, who the Bible says in II Chronicles 33:9, “So Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the heathen whom the Lord had destroyed.” Manasseh was a mean, vicious, killer. Yet while in an Assyrian prison, bound in hooks and fetters, this wicked man prayed, and the Bible says he knew that the Lord was God. God tapped him and Manasseh followed. The New Testament also contains the record of an anti-Christian zealot who was on his way to Damascus to kill off those crazy Jesus – followers, but Saul, too, got a heavenly tap on the road where he was traveling and was never, ever the same again.
Who knows, today, at this very moment, God may be moving upon your life, right where you are in the common, regular activities of your day. And when He “taps” you for service for Him, thankfully, He’ll give you all the help you need to be all He wants you to be. In the words of William Carruth, “And millions who, humble and nameless, the straight, hard pathway trod – some call it consecration, and others call it God.” As Jesus so beautifully said, “My sheep hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10: 27).
“The consecrated one-talent man or woman has promise of a larger influence then any intellectual genius who has not met the Master.”
Samuel M. Zwemer
“Consecration is handing God a blank sheet to fill in with your name signed at the bottom.”
M. H. Miller
“Take my life and let it be
Consecrated Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my will and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own!
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be,
Ever, only, all for Thee.”
Frances Ridley Havergal
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeets jesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit: www.direct2church.com or email direct2church@Bakerpublishinggroup.com.
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