Imagine that you are holding someone’s hand one moment and the next moment, you find yourself in hell. From a place of safety to a place of complete terror and torture.
It is recorded as happening in Judges 16. Go read it in its entirety. I had to go brush up on it too, because I’d never noticed it before until a couple weeks ago.
Samson. The strongest man in the world. A hero to his people. Mighty. And he was taken down by a woman and his disobedience to God. There’s a lot to this story, but he was captured by the Philistines. He gave his secret away to Delilah and they were able to capture him. They took him to prison, but at a party of thousands of people, they called him out to make fun of him. Head shaven, strength lost. Eyes plucked out and blind. Tied between 2 pillars, Samson held the hand of a young boy. As he felt the pillars, he prayed one last prayer for strength. Strength to avenge them for what they’d done to him. He prayed a prayer that the Lord would destroy all the people inside, even himself. And God granted that request. Samson killed more people in his death than all his life. These were wicked people. They were about to sacrifice Samson to their gods. But you know who else died? The boy that was holding on to Samson’s hand.
I wonder if he opened his eyes in hell? Samson could have warned him about what was fixing to happen. He could have told him to leave and go find an Israelite who could show him the way to Jesus. HE could have told him himself. But he failed to do this. He had his chance.
And I wonder how many people who have “held my hand” will wake up in hell?
My heart is so burdened for where the church is today. God’s people, not the physical building. No one seems to care about anything. And if you do, you are labeled as thinking you are trying to be better than everyone else. What happened to just living for Jesus?
Last night, a few of us were working at the church trying to get it ready for our upcoming Jubilee. It had gotten dark and we were trying to blow the concrete off where we had worked on weeding and mulching. We usually have outside lights, but they are being replaced. And it was so dark! You couldn’t see to do anything, so my husband had his phone flashlight on. It worked for the spot that my brother-in-law was in. But as he moved, the light had to move too or he wouldn’t have been able to see. So we all turned our flashlights on and spread out. He was able to blow the entire concrete off.
God’s word tells us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” And one light in a very dark place sure does light it up. But what happens when that light can’t follow the person it’s trying to show the way to? There are some people I can’t reach. I can shine my light and they can see the way, but if they walk somewhere that I’ve never been, who will be there to shine the light in that direction? God has us on different journeys, at different times because all kinds of people need each of us. The whole body of Christ. What would happen if we all turned our “flashlights” on and lit up the whole path?
What are people seeing in us? I’ve been in church my whole life. I’ve seen church splits, jealousy tare friendships apart, people who are supposed to be Christians fighting with each other over the stupidest things. (Yes, stupid is a no-no in our house, and no, stupidest is not a word. But that is how we act.) And you know who is watching us? The lost. Young Christians who weren’t raised in church. Our children. And why in the world would they want Jesus after seeing that?
When a church can’t see a lost world past their own fears of getting dirty and messy, we have a problem.
When a church doesn’t want to participate and always leaves everything that needs to be done to someone else, we have a problem.
When the church doesn’t have an outreach and doesn’t care about growing and bringing the lost in, we have a problem.
When the church doesn’t even see the need to come to the building every once in a while, much less faithfully, we have a problem.
Jesus can’t be seen.
Have you ever needed to use your flashlight on your phone and your battery is so dead that it won’t let you? That’s how our spiritual lives are. We scroll and use up all our battery on things that don’t matter and when we need to shine our light for someone or something, we are dead. People all around us are searching. They are hurting. And we walk on by, HAVING THE ANSWER FOR THEIR EVERY NEED. And never once tell them.
Who looks up to you? Whose hand are you holding on to? Will they slip from the safety of being led by someone who claims to know the Lord to be plunged into an eternity of death and hell and pain and burning flames? We are called to bring them in. We are called to compel them. We are called to messy and dirty places. Some may run from what I have to say. But maybe they will run into you.
My flashlight is on. Will you join me and turn yours on too?
As a side note. I posted something a while back about being a godly example to my children. Someone I don’t know shared it and someone commented on it: “This song is a heartfelt cry of parents who want to be godly before their children. But beware of a half-truth and temptation to false guilt hidden in the folds: the Spirit of God calls each of us to Himself. Parents can lead and model but every relationship with God is the decision of a child, teen, or adult to submit to Jesus as Lord. A parent may help, or not, but ultimately, we stand before Him alone, not on the shoulders of our parents. God calls us out of broken homes, “religious” homes, Pharisee homes, godly homes; they may be too strict or too liberal or too dysfunctional. But He is the one who calls and we, alone, are responsible to say “yes” to Him. Nothing my parents did or didn’t do could have made and molded the relationship I have with Christ now. He had to teach me, Himself. I am not mimicking the faith of my parents; it is my own. Isn’t that what you really want for your children? The wonder of discovering Him for themselves? Don’t let the guilt of being an imperfect parent sour your love and make you a task-master.”
It was one of those times that I just wanted to fold up and never post anything again. I have known children that came from broken homes who found Jesus later in life. And I have known children that grew up in a loving Christian, GODLY home and have went astray out in sin. But God wouldn’t tell us to shine our lights if they didn’t make a difference. This example shows that YES. Each person must make their own decision. Each person will stand on their own before the Lord and give an answer for what they did with Jesus. But I WILL STAND AND GIVE AN ANSWER TOO. For those I had a chance to witness to. For those I had a chance to share God’s love with. For those I had a chance to make a difference in. And didn’t. I don’t want to leave a testimony of “Jesus couldn’t be seen in her life.”