David’s strength was his intense passion. He valiantly defended his sheep, killed the giant Goliath and conquered vast armies. He did whatever it took to win. But that same passion, unbridled, caused him to commit adultery with Bathsheba and kill her husband.
- The Result: The Lord spoke through Nathan the prophet, “Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.' 2 Samuel 12:10-12
- The Lesson: Your gifts (spiritual and natural) are given by God. If they are used for your own personal gain the results can be disastrous, with long-term ill effects on you, your family, your church and your community.
God told Samson that he would retain his supernatural physical strength as long as his hair was not cut. He met Delilah, an attractive secret agent for the enemy Philistines and he began to spend a lot of time with her.
Delilah’s singular focus was on getting Samson to disclose the secret of his amazing strength. She questioned him repeatedly, playing on his emotions until he finally relented and told her where his strength lay.
- The Result: And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison. Judges 16:20-21
- The Lesson: Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:20. The power of your gifting/anointing should be seen in the fruit that you bear. As tempting as it may be, beware of getting into conversations that focus on you or your gift, rather than on the Giver.
Moses had an intimate relationship with God. Exodus 33:11 tells us that the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. The Lord trusted Moses to follow his instructions to the letter, and Moses did so... until one day when the Israelites were thirsty and had no water to drink. This was not the first time it had happened. After all, they were in the desert. The Lord had told Moses in previous times to strike the rock, and when he did water had gushed out freely and abundantly. This time, however, God told Moses to speak to the rock and it would bring forth water. Moses stood before the people, and in his anger he struck the rock with his rod twice.
- The Result: Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” Exodus 33:12
- The Lesson: You are a steward of the strength/gifting that God has given you. Do not fall into the sin of familiarity by taking God or that gift for granted.
Martha was an excellent hostess. I would imagine that she kept a very tidy home, and went out of her way to make sure that her guests were well fed and comfortable. It seems that Martha had the gift of hospitality. One day Jesus came by to visit and Martha got busy making sure that the Lord was served well. She became angry when her sister wouldn’t help, but instead chose to remain at Jesus’ feet listening to His every word.
- The Result: And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
- The Lesson: You may have a full schedule. You may be involved in several ministries at your church. However, if your focus is not on spending quality time in fellowship with the Lord and in studying His Word, your busyness in ministry is fruitless.
In each case the God-given strength became a weakness when the focus was turned inward to satisfy self. Take a moment to assess your own strengths and giftings, both natural and spiritual.
- Are you in full time ministry? Don't aim at being a star in the eyes of men. Man-made "stars" fall eventually. Focus on being a humble servant to Almighty God.
- Are you a good organizer? Detail oriented? Able to multi-task well? Beware of a judgmental and critical attitude.
- Are you a leader? Don't use your position to control or manipulate those whom you have been entrusted to lead.
- Are you multi-gifted or multi-talented? Resist the temptation to pump up your own ego. Those gifts and talents are God's .....on loan to you.
- Have you been in ministry or service for a long time? Beware of a stubborn, unyielding attitude.
- Do you have an intimate relationship with the Lord? Never take your relationship with God for granted.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12