Let this mind be in you….

Over the last few weeks I have been looking in the scriptures. Some things have been standing out to me…

First I read the story of Samson. He did some crazy things! One version of the Bible describes the Holy Spirit “rushing” upon Samson before He killed lions and hundreds of men single handedly. As I read that story I found myself wishing that I could do some crazily powerful things like Samson did. But then as His story progresses I started to see a man who was stripped of his strength. His hair was cut. His eyes were gouged out. He ends up as a prisoner.

Sometimes it is hard to understand the things that God allows His people to go through. It’s all great to read about the great victories. What about the lows though? What about when our choices lead to our humiliation? What about when God allows circumstances into our lives to break us and humble us?

I was there with Samson when He was ripping lions apart with his bare hands. Was I there with him when God was allowing Him to be broken……?At the end of Samson’s story in Judges 16 something stood out to me. It says that Samson killed more Philistines through his death than he did through his life (Judges 16:30)

This great powerful man was so humbled by the circumstances that God allowed into his life. Yet Samson’s greatest victory and achievement came through his death. He achieved something significant through laying his life down.

I began to think about my own life and realized that I had (again!) got things completely upside down. In my search for significance and desire to achieve something I was not following the way of death.

I was reminded of this description of our Lord in Philippians 2:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very natureGod, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very natureof a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man,  he humbled himself  by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

Throughout scripture we see men and women who found life through death and who found significance through servanthood. Ultimately we see Jesus Christ who brought life to many through His own death.

In all our efforts may we remember that everything must die! Everything that we are doing – and even our very self – must fall to the ground and die. Jesus himself said that if a seed falls to the ground and dies then it will produce many more seeds. (John 12:24)

The other day I was in a Cathedral and sat in one of the chapels. I was sat in a chapel dedicated to the men of Somerset who had literally given their lives to the cause during the World Wars. I was overcome with a desire to pray for the men of Somerset! That God would call men in the region where we live to consider the call of Jesus Christ, to follow His example and to literally give their lives for the sake of His Kingdom and for the good of others. You see I think what we are talking about is so much more than a model of Church or a way of doing things. What God desires is an attitude of heart which leads men and women to give themselves for His cause. I hope to be among that band of men in the South West of England who God ‘raises up’ – or rather – who God breaks and humbles!

As you read this may you be encouraged and strengthened to follow the example of Jesus who laid himself down for his friends and gave His life for others…