Where is the Love?

His t-shirt read, “Love is for Losers.”  In the few short seconds that it took for me to open the car door and get in, he walked by a cigarette in hand wearing body piercings that demanded attention.  As I drove away I started praying for this young man, wondering what events shaped his life to the point of disfiguring his body?  You see, long before the message was written on his t-shirt, it was written on his heart.  It was obvious to see that this young man had been deeply wounded by, “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

“Looking for Love in all the wrong places” is not just a lyric line from a popular song written by Johnny Lee; it is also a “poison arrow” of destruction shot by a deadly Cupid. My friend the enemy of our soul is constantly looking for ways to lead you and me into places of self-deception and self-destruction as we go, “Looking for Love in all the wrong places!”

Just ask Samson, Judges 16:4-7 (AMP) gives us insight into this tragic one-sided love story;

“After this, he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.”  “And the lords of the Philistines came to her and said to her, “Entice” him and see in what his great strength lies and by what means we may “Overpower” him that we may “Bind” him to “Subdue” him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”  “And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray you, wherein your great strength lies, and with what you might be bound to subdue you.”

The four-prong strategy that the enemy used to take Samson out and ultimately destroy him is revealed within the above scriptures, they were to, “Entice, Overpower, Bind, and Subdue” him.  God wants us, my friend, to not only become aware of this strategy, But He also wants us to be on guard against the enemy using these same “poison arrows” of destruction against us!  To accurately recognize and identify the enemy’s tactics, I have written out for our knowledge the definition for each of these poison arrows of destruction.

Entice = To attract artfully or adroitly or by arousing hope or desire.
implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of
conscience or better judgment.

Overpower = To overcome by superior force.  To affect with overwhelming intensity.

Bind = To make secure by tying.  To confine, restrain, or restrict as if with bonds.
To constrain with legal authority.
To wrap around with something to enclose or cover.

Subdue = To conquer and bring into subjection : Vanquish.
To bring under control especially by an exertion of the will:  Curb.
To bring (land) under cultivation.
To reduce the intensity or degree of Tone Down.

How long do you think it took for these “poison arrows” to pierce the sight of Samson’s eyes, both Spiritually then naturally?

Though we don’t know the exact number of days, we are given a glimpse as we read Judges 16:16 (AMP);

“And when she pressed him day after day with her words and urged him,  he was vexed to death.”  

In this true story of fatal lust, Delilah is a young woman who is being used by the enemy to carry out an evil plan.  Like the constant drip of a leaky faucet, Delilah erodes at Samson’s resolve to guard, “The Source” of his God-given strength.  This strength was the key to Samson’s identity as a Nazirite, a called Deliverer and Judge in The Kingdom of Heaven.

The seduction unfolds in Judges 16:17 (AMP);

“Then he told her all his mind and said to her, A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my birth. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”  (ENTICED).

Who or what may be a Delilah in your life my friend?  What valuable information have you been enticed to give up?

Remember my friend the ultimate goal of the enemy is to stop you and me.  To blind our spiritual sight so that he can subdue our God-given calling.  It is so important that you and I recognize that our God-given calling is also our spiritual Identity in The Kingdom of Heaven, and the key to our assignment here on earth.  We must remember that like Samson we have been called to be “Deliverers” for The Kingdom of God. Modern-day Deliverers of Healing, Hope, Peace, Joy, Wisdom, Strength, and most importantly, Modern Day Deliverers of the Salvation Message of Jesus Christ; as we have been Saved, Delivered and Healed!

Never allow the “Enticements” of this world cause you to uncover, “The Source” of your God-given strength.

With the seduction of Samson’s life and calling now complete, we read about this deeply sad moment of Biblical History in Judges 16:19-20 (AMP);

“And she made Samson sleep upon her knees, and she called a man and caused him to shave off the seven braids of his head.  Then she began to torment [Samson], and his strength went from him.”  “She said, The Philistines are upon you, Samson!  And he awoke out of his sleep and said, I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free.  Samson did not know that the Lord had departed from him.”  (OVERPOWERED).

Don’t fall asleep upon the knees of the enemy and don’t toy with your weakness.  Notice that Samson said, “I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free.”  As the scriptures record throughout Judges chapters 14-16, Samson had repeatedly given in to his desire for ungodly women and did not deny himself.  He was deceived into thinking that there were no repercussions for his insatiable and unholy appetite.  Samson insisted on living a lifestyle of, “Looking for Love in all the wrong places”, and it cost him everything!

Judges 16:21 (AMP) records the painful repercussion of Samson’s sin against God;

“But the Philistines laid hold of him, bored out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with [two] bronze fetters; and he ground at the mill in prison.”  (BOUND) and (SUBDUED).

Where have you been looking for love my friend?  Has a “Delilah” laid hold of you, deprived you of your “Spiritual Sight” and subdued your life?  Can you still “see and seize” your God-given assignment?

Samson went from a Supernaturally Promised Child, God Appointed Judge and Deliverer of Israel, to a depleted sightless prisoner.  His life is an example of a powerful man of God who became reckless with his Anointing.

Judges 16:28 (AMP) reveals the state of Samson’s heart at the time of his death;

“Then Samson called to the Lord and said, O Lord God, [earnestly] remember me, I pray You, and strengthen me.  I pray You, only this once, O God, and let me have one vengeance upon the Philistines for both my eyes.”

Judges 16:30 (AMP) gives us the dramatic account of Samson’s final feat of supernatural God-given strength;

“And Samson cried, Let me die with the Philistines!  And he bowed himself mightily, and the house fell upon the princes and upon all the people that were in it.  So the dead whom he slew at his death were more than they whom he slew in his life.”

You and I don’t have to “die with the Philistines”, (our enemies) my friend!  We can choose to resist the Delilah’s that tempt us, repent for our sins and receive restoration for our losses.

James 4:7-8 (TPT) provides the “Way of Escape” for us;

“So then, surrender to God.  Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you.”  “Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you.”  “But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.”  “Feel the pain of your sin, be sorrowful and weep”!  “Let your joking around be turned into mourning and your joy into deep humiliation.”  “Be willing to be made low before the Lord and He will exalt you!”

You can escape Mighty Deliverer friend!  Seize your Strength in God, as you choose to, Be Strong and Live Free……Boldly For Him!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo by Aziz Acharki

Watchtower of Faith

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you didn’t know how to pray?  I have, somewhere in life, we may find ourselves praying the way King Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah did in,

II Chronicles 20:12 (AMP);

“O our God, will You not exercise judgment upon them?  For we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

As King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah stood before The Lord, with their “eyes on” The Lord, the answer that the King and Judah needed was given to them.  We read about it in,

II Chronicles 20:14-15 (AMP),

“Then the Spirit of The Lord came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.”  “He said, Hearken all Judah you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you King Jehoshaphat.  The Lord says this to you;  Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude;  for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Though King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah, “did not know what to do”, they knew Who did and chose to keep their, “eyes” on The Lord.  In other words, they were observing their situation from a “Watchtower of Faith,” and they received their answer!  What is a “Watchtower of Faith”?  Here is the answer the Lord revealed to me in prayer;

Watchtower of Faith = Is the platform of expectation that is built upon the intercession of the Saint, a Born Again Believer in Jesus Christ.

This is where “Expectation becomes our Intercession.”  An exciting hope-filled truth that The Lord recently shared with my husband Mark during a recent time of our Intercessory Prayers together.  Though King Jehoshaphat reigned during Old Testament times, the principle of, “our eyes are upon You,” is the same principle of, “Expectation becoming our Intercession;” this is our, “Watchtower of Faith”!  Do you know where that, “Watchtower of Faith” is located?  The Apostle Paul writes to us about it,

Ephesians 2:6 (AMP);

“And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (The Messiah, The Anointed One).”

You see my friend when you and I accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we are literally co-seated with Him! This means that we share a place of Intimacy with Him where we can literally through His Word and prayer, “keep our eyes on Him””!  It is from this seated Heavenly position, this seat of intimacy that we are ensconced in, “The Watchtower of Faith.”  We not only observe, we reinforce our God-given victories from this safe place of active rest as we allow “Expectation to become our Intercession.”

Now for “the rest of the story” regarding King Jehoshaphat’s and Judah’s astounding victory in II Chronicles 20:22-24 (AMP);

“And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered”;  “For [suspecting betrayal] the men of Ammon and Moab rose against those of Mount Seir, utterly destroying them.  And when they had made an end of the men of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.”  “And when Judah came to the Watchtower of the Wilderness they looked at the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none had escaped”!

From this Watchtower of the Wilderness which had become their “Watchtower of Faith” because they had chosen to, “keep their eyes on The Lord”, King Jehoshaphat and Judah were able to witness first hand the deliverance of The Lord on their behalf.  So significant was their deliverance that it took them three days to carry away the spoil!  We read about it in II Chronicles 20:25-27 (AMP);

“When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil, they found among them much cattle, goods, garments and precious things which they took for themselves more than they could carry away, so much they were three days in gathering the spoil.”  “On the fourth day, they assembled in the Valley of Beracah.  There they blessed The Lord. So the name of the place is still called the Valley of Beracah [blessing].”  “Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat leading them, to Jerusalem with joy., for The Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies.”

I say, pray and decree over your life my friend that because you like King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah have chosen to, “keep your eyes on Him” that you are safely ensconced in a “Watchtower of Faith” where “your expectation has become your intercession” and has generated the Power of The Living God to move Mightily on your behalf!  That no enemy, no obstacle and no human or spiritual delay will keep you from safely arriving at your Valley of Beracah your personal Valley of Blessing In The Matchless All Powerful Name of Jesus!

Establish the foundation of your personal “Watchtower of Faith” with this confession. Say this with me…..

My Expectation is my Intercession, and I choose to,                                                                                                  “Be Strong and Live Free…..”Boldly For Him”!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

 

Pillars of Salt

One last look that’s all she wanted, after all, she had some fond memories of this place.   Secretly deep down inside she really didn’t believe that this city or any of the other cities in the region deserved to be destroyed.  “After all didn’t her husband Lot choose to settle their family in the city of Sodom because of all the vast resources before them?  Yes, there were some bad things that happened here, but didn’t bad things happen everywhere?”  With these thoughts racing through her mind, her steps slowed down to a resistant pace.  “Lot was Abraham’s nephew, surely God would take all of this into consideration and change His Mind…Wouldn’t He?”  Now weighed down with these heavy thoughts, …..she glanced up squinting, barely able to see Lot and her daughters, they were so far ahead of her.

The Angel had strictly warned them all not to stop or look back, however, the reasoning that started in her mind had now become an act of the heart.  With one assumptive act of fatal rebellion, Lot’s wife turned, looked back and became a “Pillar of Salt!”  A standing memorial of unbelief, rebellion, and death to this day.  One that our Lord Jesus Christ asked us to remember with these direct words in Luke 17:32 (TPT);

“Don’t forget the example of Lot’s wife and what happened to her when she turned back.”

Genesis 19:26 (AMP) records this sad lesson for us,

“But [Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Why did Jesus ask us to “remember what happened to Lot’s wife?”….because “She died in the day of her deliverance!”  You see my friend the enemy will try to get you and me to turn back to the things that God is trying to deliver us from, so that we like Lot’s wife, “Die in the day of our deliverance, and become like a “Pillar of Salt.”

Now is a good time to take a few moments of reflection and ask ourselves these questions:

1. What is God trying to deliver me from?
2. Is there something tempting me to turn back to my past?

The truth is, God never intended for anyone to become a “Pillar of Salt.”  You and I have been created to be “Free Flowing Agents of The Holy Spirit.”  Agents of Freedom and Deliverance for others, as we ourselves walk in freedom and deliverance.

Matthew 5:13-16 (AMP) gives us some encouraging insight from the Heart of God regarding this truth;

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, it’s quality), how can its saltness be restored?  It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.”  “You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”  “Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.”  “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven.”

There is an interesting footnote in the Passion Translation regarding this scripture, it states that,

“Rabbinical literature equates salt with wisdom.  After speaking of salt, Jesus speaks of lighting a lamp.  It was a common practice in the time of Jesus to put salt on the wick of a lamp to increase its brightness.  The “salt” of wisdom will make our lights shine even brighter.”

The Passion Translation pg. 17 footnotes for Matthew 5:13 a.

So how do we not lose our “saltiness”?  That’s a great question!  Here’s a couple of steps that will help us,

1. We do exactly what The Lord Jesus asked us to do in Luke 17:32 (AMP) we,
“Remember Lot’s wife!”
2. We do exactly the opposite of what Lot’s wife did when it came time for her to participate with her deliverance.  We obey without delay!

In essence, because Lot’s wife had a heart fixed on the darkness that was behind her, she could not recognize the “wisdom” or see the “light’ of deliverance that was before her. My friends, we have the mandate to be the “salt and light” of this world, “A city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.”

No matter how tight or dark our situation may seem right now my friend, we must resist the temptation to turn back and become galvanized like, “Pillars of Salt.”  We must remember that our obedience to God’s Wisdom for our deliverance, illuminates the path of deliverance for someone else as well.  This is how our, “Moral excellence and our praiseworthy, noble and good deeds are recognized while, “ALL of the Honor, Praise and Glory are given to our Father God Who is in Heaven!”

Dear Friends, this is our day to “Be Strong and Live Free”……..Boldly For Him!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”