Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” I Peter 1:13-16
My story includes countless moments when I’ve lost sight of God’s purpose in me. I’ve set my mind to things and made choices that have altered the plan God set in motion. Pride is not something that comes to mind when I reflect on those days. But even so, it’s still God’s plan and He is still in control.
I’ve now heard, on two separate occasions — back to back, the story of Sampson. I do not believe in coincidence — knowing full well, God has something for me to learn from this man. It’s funny in that I recall a few months ago, while thinking through a number of old testament characters, that I didn’t know much about Sampson — except of his strength. But now that has changed.
A man of great strength indeed, but more importantly, a man with God’s purpose imprinted on him from birth. Informed by an angel from God, his mother was told of Sampson’s purpose: to follow God in three ways, to one day freeing the people of Israel. Sampson was to consume no alcohol — to stay pure on the inside. Sampson was to never cut his hair — to be recognizably different, set apart. Sampson was to never touch anything dead — to exercise obedience and self-control.
Sampson was given a great responsibility by God, like none other. He was chosen to be the one that would free the Israelites from the Philistines. He had a special purpose. But he often mocked this and wasn’t willing to carry God’s glory. All about himself, he lost sight of his purpose. And with that, he lost his strength — he lost everything, including his own eyes.
But God, because of His unending abundance of grace and mercy, listened to Sampson’s voice in his final hours. And God restored His strength, freeing the Israelites and fulfilling His purpose.
God wants me to carry His glory every day. By guarding my mind and keeping my heart pure on the inside. By becoming noticeably different to others and living a life that is set-apart. By choosing each day whom I will serve through obedience and self-control.
Lord Jesus, I’m gonna be honest and say that carrying your glory seems like a lot to carry. In fact, the devil wants me to think I can’t carry it at all — that it’s too much to measure up to. But I know that your word says your yoke is easy and your burden is light! My purpose is to be holy! It’s a good thing it’s not tied to feeling because I’m not feeling very holy. But your Truth is clear, I am holy because of Christ in me! Continue to guard my mind and heart, protect me from the lies of the things I see as I continue to be who I am! May my actions, responses and behavior reflect that of a child of the King! And may your Helper, the Holy Spirit, nudge my spirit and extend the strength I need to be obedient to you in all things.
Finally, brothers [Glory Carriers], whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9