Samson | Session 2 | Strong Men with Weak Wills

The world has yet to see what God can do through one man who is wholly surrendered unto him.

— Spoken by Henry Varley to D. L. Moody

  • Day 1: Judges 14:10-20
  • Day 2: Judges 15:1-20
  • Day 3: Galatians 5:1-26
  • Day 4: Ephesians 4:1-32
  • Day 5: James 1:19-27
  • Day 6: Galatians 6:1-10
  • Day 7: James 4:1-17

Watch the training session video below. Make notes as you follow what Pastor Craig says. The workbook notes below corrospond with the video session.

*Runtime: 20min21sec 

If you want to you can download Session 1 Workbook PDF below the video, Print it, and Write on it.

*Note that all the info below is a exact digtal copy of the Workbook, intented to save paper consumption for a better inviroment. 

Make sure to answer the questions below. If you are unsure refer back to the video. Bring your notes to the Online Chat session at the end of the week. If there are any questions or statements that stand out or the Holy Spirit implanted in your heart, highlight them to share with the group.

Samson was an incredible warrior who ended up ________________ some of the battles that mattered most.

Samson was an incredibly strong man with a dangerously weak ________________.

As a boy, he was set apart by God to deliver his people. He took a Nazarite vow (Numbers 6):

  • ________________ no wine
  • Don’t eat (touch) any ________________ food
  • Don’t cut ________________

But Samson did not live up to his calling — like so many men today. Three attitudes made Samson — and any man — weak:

1.2.1             Lust: I ________________ it.

In Judges 14:1 – 2, he went after a Philistine woman he was forbidden to marry.

1.2.2             Entitlement: I ________________ it.

In verses 8 – 9, he “________________ aside” literally and figuratively to eat honey from a dead lion’s carcass.

1.2.3             Pride: I can ________________ it.

In verse 10, he held a feast (Hebrew mishteh) before his wedding, which literally means a celebration or occasion for drinking.

Samson fell to all three. His selfish and sinful behavior actually caused him to self-destruct.

His actions directly violated two of his Nazarite vows. But in all this, he kept his long hair. He is still making a statement, “Hey, I’m with God,” when in reality he’s not.

Many people today do the same — metaphorically they still have long hair, but they’ve lost their intimacy and fellowship with God.

Our spiritual enemy, Satan, loves to make strong men weak. The good news: our God loves to make weak men ________________.

 

Three attitudes that make weak men strong in the Lord:

  • Instead of an “I want it” attitude, we say, “I want ________________.”
  • Instead of “I deserve it,” we realize “I deserve ________________” because of sin.
  • Instead of “I can handle it,” we say “I can’t handle anything ________________ God — and with him, I can handle anything.”

You don’t have to try to be strong in your own power. You can be honest and say, “Without God I’m in big trouble. I don’t deserve anything. I need grace. I need his strength.”

Conclusion: The good news is, you have the ________________ of a warrior; and with the power of Christ, weak though you may be, he will make you strong.

Take time to discuss what you just watched.

1.3.1 Without naming names, who is a modern-day “Samson” you know (or know of) — a strong man, a spiritually dedicated man, a warrior — but a man who lost his most important battles? What factors led to that man’s downfall?

_____________________________________________________ 

1.3.2 What do you believe are your strongest spiritual character qualities — the things that help you be the man you really want to be?

_____________________________________________________

1.3.3 What helps you build and maintain that strength of character? What erodes it?

_____________________________________________________

1.3.4 The first attitude that weakens strong men is lust — “I want it.” This issue is so universal among men, a popular book addressing it is entitled Every Man’s Battle. Why do you think lust is so common among men?

_____________________________________________________

1.3.5 Notice that in Judges 14:1 – 2, Samson initially only took a walk to a nearby town, which is where he saw the woman he wanted. Technically, just visiting the town of Timnah wasn’t “wrong,” but that’s where the temptation overtook him. Similarly, we can engage in activities that might not be technically wrong, but they put us near the sin that is. For you, what is your “Timnah” — the places you go or the things you do that you’re able to justify but take you into the vicinity of sin?

_____________________________________________________

1.3.6 The second attitude that weakens us is entitlement — “I deserve it.” This is an easy fault to see in others but often difficult to see (or admit) in ourselves. Being as truthful as you can, what entitlement are you susceptible to?

_____________________________________________________

1.3.7 If your group members know each other well enough, consider this “graduate-level” follow-up question: Would you be willing to give any man in this group permission to point out an entitlement attitude they see in you — and do that right now?

_____________________________________________________

1.3.8 The final attitude that weakens men is pride — “I can handle it.” For Samson in Judges 14:10, it was a drinking party. What is your “I can handle it” situation?

_____________________________________________________

1.3.9 While Samson was so physically strong he could kill a lion, being morally strong was exactly what he wasn’t when it came to women, drinking, and anger (among other issues). Like so many of us, what he is best at is related to what he is vulnerable to. Considering how you answered question 2, where might pride show up in the parts of your character that are strongest? Where else might you be liable to fall if you don’t stay vigilant?

_____________________________________________________

What has God blessed you with that you can identify in your life right now? Before we start looking at how our weaknesses cause us to risk so many of the good things in our lives, it’s important to remember what those good things are. You have gifts to use for God’s glory. You are chosen and set apart. You have battles to fight. And you have the right weapons to fight with.

1.3.10 Samson was given very clear signs early in life about the special plans God had for him and what he was to do for the nation once he grew up. Read Judges 13 and note what you find there about the circumstances of his birth and calling:

The condition of Samson’s parents before his conception (vv. 2 – 3)

_____________________________________________________

The angel’s instructions to his mother about his upbringing (v. 5)

_____________________________________________________

What the angel said Samson would do for God once he grew up (v. 5)

_____________________________________________________

What Samson’s father did in response to his wife’s recounting the message from the angel (vv. 8 – 12)

_____________________________________________________

His parents’ overall spiritual sensitivity and devotion (vv. 19 – 23)

_____________________________________________________

How God began to manifest his presence in Samson’s life even while he was a boy (vv. 24 – 25)

_____________________________________________________

1.3.11. It’s likely that God sowed some of the seeds of your calling early in your life, as he did for Samson. Though we cannot claim the miraculous circumstances for our birth comparable to Samson’s, nonetheless God often gives pointers about what he intends for us through our family of origin. He also often manifests abilities and interests in our youth that mature later in life, and which he uses to do his work through us as adults. Take some time to reflect on the following questions, and jot down what comes to mind.

What do I know about each of my parents’ families even before they met that is an undeniable part of my heritage? (Note that both good and bad in our family history can be a factor in how God uses us — carrying on a worthy legacy, if good; and breaking a harmful generational pattern, if bad.)

_____________________________________________________

What are the best qualities of my parents — personality traits, skills, character, values, etc. — that have shaped my life even to this day? _____________________________________________________

What did those who knew me well (parents, relatives, teachers) affirm in me in my younger years?

_____________________________________________________

What did I really enjoy doing as a child, and still enjoy in one form or another to this day?

_____________________________________________________

Which activities or accomplishments really mattered to me — and what was I proud of — when I was a boy?

_____________________________________________________

What was my early sense of “what I wanted to be when I grew up”?

_____________________________________________________

1.3.12  As you review your answers to the above questions, in what ways does your life now align with God’s early shaping of you?

_____________________________________________________

What step(s) might you take to further live according to his early implanted design for your life?

_____________________________________________________

 

Men don’t plan to destroy themselves. The problem is that we have an enemy who does. His mission statement is to “steal, kill, and destroy” everything that matters to God. Warriors, if you don’t have a battle plan, you’re going to fall victim to your enemy’s battle plan.

1.3.13 The teaching point out three key areas that were at the core of Samson’s downfall: lust, entitlement, and pride. They trouble most men today as well. In fact, without a battle plan, they will do more than trouble you — they will take you out. In light of that sobering reality, let’s put together a simple battle plan in each of these areas: 

LUST (“I want it”)

Circumstances in which I am most vulnerable:

1.3.13.1 Note: As you consider your own vulnerabilities, it may help to use the acronym “H.A.L.T.”, which stands for “hungry, angry, lonely, tired”; addiction counselors point out that those conditions most easily lead to acting out.

_____________________________________________________

1.3.13.2 Ways I rationalize allowing myself to go near — or even into — settings where I can fall (i.e., common things I do that aren’t the sin, but lead to it):

_____________________________________________________

1.3.13.3 The price I would pay — or have paid — for giving in to lust:

_____________________________________________________

Bible passages (and themes) I can read, remind myself of, or memorize that strengthen my commitment to purity:

For example, check out Job 31:1; Proverbs 5:3 – 23; 6:20 – 7:27; Matthew 5:27 – 30; 1 Corinthians 6:13 – 20; 10:12 – 13; Galatians 6:8 – 9; Ephesians 5:3 – 14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3 – 8; 2 Timothy 2:22; Titus 2:11 – 12; Hebrews 4:15 – 16; 1 Peter 1:13 – 16.

1.3.13.4 Do I have men I can call any time, day or night, when I need support, can I name them:

_____________________________________________________

ENTITLEMENT (“I deserve it”)

1.3.13.5 Entitlement attitudes I see in others, which tick me off:

_____________________________________________________ 

1.3.13.6 Ways those things I just wrote down are actually true of me sometimes:

_____________________________________________________

1.3.13.7 Rules, laws, or procedures that I think I shouldn’t have to follow and that I sometimes disregard or “bend” for my benefit:

For example: Obeying speed limits, punctuality, tax requirements, having to keep all of my agreements, what I do (or don’t do) if people are watching but do the opposite if they aren’t, things I keep from my wife or close friends because “they wouldn’t understand,” etc. _____________________________________________________

1.3.13.8 Regrets I now have over actions I took because I thought to myself, “I deserve it”:

_____________________________________________________

1.3.13.9 Ways I would be a better man if I gave up my presumed entitlement prerogatives:

_____________________________________________________

PRIDE (“I can handle it”)

Ask 100 people to rate themselves in any category (a specific skill, attractiveness, maturity, intelligence, productivity, etc.) with the scale “better than average, average, or below average” and the results are always the same: more people rate themselves “better than average” than is possible (you can’t have 75 percent of people “better than average” by definition!). This is called the “self-serving bias” — the way in which we falsely attribute positive outcomes to our own actions or abilities and resist owning the extent to which we contribute to our failures. Another word for this is pride, and the Bible warns us of its pitfalls.

1.3.13.10 Situations in which my pride overrode good judgment:

_____________________________________________________

1.3.13.11 Prideful attitudes in me that others have pointed out:

_____________________________________________________ 

Some lessons about pride from Scripture:

Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 29:23; Isaiah 13:11; 1 John 2:16

1.3.13.12 Without God, I … (complete this sentence several times with different personal examples to remind you of what happens when you push God aside and let pride rule your life):

_____________________________________________________ 

God, thank you for putting so many good things into my life: good influences, good gifts, good training. Specifically, I thank you for … _________________________________________________

I acknowledge my many weaknesses. Like Samson, I’ve sometimes allowed lust, entitlement, and pride to get the best of me. I want to confess right now … __________________________________________________

Thank you for giving me a battle plan to stay connected to you. Strengthen me to follow the lessons I’ve learned in this study. Remind me of the cost of failing, and the blessings that are mine when I win these battles. With your help, I will turn “I want it” to “I want you”; “I deserve it” to “I deserve death”; and “I can handle it” to “I can’t handle anything without you……..” Amen.

***Recommended resources are not compulsary for this course, they are engaging material to enligten your expereince with the Holy Spirit.

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You can buy the Book here.