Gregory Dickow - How To Rip A Lion In Half
Well, I want to welcome you to the Power to Change Today, and I'm really thrilled about today's teaching. I just got done preaching this in church and you're going to love what you hear today. It's all about walking in the supernatural strength of God. Every one of us needs strength. We need strength to get up when we fall. And we need strength to keep going. When we feel like giving up, we need strength to overcome temptation. I want to show you how to walk in the supernatural strength of God. I want to show you how Samson ripped a lion in half and how you can rip in half. Whatever problem is in your way, whatever is troubling you, whatever is coming roaring at you. You might have financial problems roaring at you. You might have emotional problems roaring at you. You might have relationship problems roaring at you like a like a roaring lion. The Bible says that we can rip the roaring lions in half. I'm going to show you how right now watch this and a movie back to pray with you to encourage you. You will never be the same again. Watch.
I want to share a few thoughts with you about Samson. Samson was known as the strongest man in the world. As many people know, he pulled down the pillars of the city in the city of the Philistines and and 3000 enemies were defeated in one day with Samson strength, Samson tied 300 Fox tails together. I mean, the feats that Samson did were amazing, but he didn't do them in his own power. And Samson is to us an example of what the Christian life is supposed to be with God. Now, in the Bible, when you see a man or a woman in the Bible, there's no one perfect except Jesus. Can anybody say amen to that? But what these men show us in the Old Testament is they show us a glimpse when when they're at their best. They show us what life is like in the power of Jesus. They show us what life is like with the strength of the Holy Spirit, in the strength of God and in their weaknesses. They show us what life is like without God.
So we see in Samson's life, when Samson had when Samson was was walking in God's strength and in God's wisdom and in God's word, he had supernatural power to do supernatural things. But when he was walking in his own strength, he was a mere mortal man who was susceptible to all the weaknesses and all the problems and all the temptations that all of us are susceptible to. So what we learned from Samson or from any of the heroes in the Bible is that when we do things God's way, we experience supernatural strength, supernatural power, supernatural wisdom. But when we do things in our own strength, then we experience defeat. When we face temptation and God's strength, we can overcome anything. When we face a trial in God's strength, we can make it through any trial.
But when we face temptation and our own strength, we're going to fall every time. When we face temptation in our own power, when we face trials in our own power, we're going to fail every time. But God hasn't created us to fail. He's created us to succeed. He's created us to win. He's created us to be champions for the Lord Jesus Christ. He's created us to be victorious, to eat the best of the land, to walk in the promises of God. He hasn't created us to die in the wilderness like the children of Israel did. He created us to go into the promised land. He didn't create us to be defeated by the devil. He created us to walk on devils. He didn't create us to be burned by the fires. He created us to walk through fire and not be burned. He didn't create us to be drowned by the waters. He created us to walk through the waters and not drown. He didn't create us to be victims of our circumstances. He created us to rule over our circumstances. God did not create you to be a loser, a failure. He created you to be victorious.
The Bible says you are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ. You and me in Christ Jesus were more than conquerors. We created a winner in every situation to be victorious over trials, temptations, fears, anxieties, worries, pressure, whatever it is you're facing. But you can't do it in your own strength. You can't be victorious in your own power. We need the power of God. How many are ready to walk in that kind of power today? Come on, give the Lord a hand of praise this morning. All right. Yeah, right on. So we come to judges chapter fourteen. And I want to look at Samson's strengths. I'm not focused on his weaknesses today. There's another time, another place for that. We know he had weaknesses like every human being, but let's focus on his strengths so we can walk in in the strength that he walked in, the way he walked in it and find out how he did it.
How did this man accomplish what he accomplished? He wasn't a one hit wonder, actually. Samson was a judge in Israel for over twenty years. He ruled in Israel for over twenty years. He we sometimes think of him at his worst moment, and that's just how the devil is. He always wants us to look at these men in their worst moments because the devil wants to he wants you to look at yourself in your worst moments. But God doesn't look at you like that. He doesn't look at your flaws. He doesn't look at your shortcomings. God's not pointing out every little thing you ever do wrong. God looks at you and he sees Jesus inside of you. God looks at you and he sees the best inside of you. He doesn't see the worse. He doesn't see all your problems. He doesn't see all your all the negative things that you criticize yourself about or others criticize you about. He sees greatness in you. He sees power in you. He sees strength in you.
But sometimes, like we heard earlier, we don't realize the strength that God puts inside of us. We don't realize the power that God puts inside of us. So we don't tap into that power. We don't tap into that strength because we don't even believe it's there. Well, today, before we leave here, you're going to believe it's there. You are more powerful than all the demons in hell. No devil in hell is stronger than you because Jesus defeated the devil. And he seated you with Christ God, seated you with Jesus Christ in heavenly places. And let's look at Samson's life when he was strong. And I want us to to break down a few verses here.
So Samson goes down to Timnah in verse one of judge's chapter 14. And he saw a woman in Timnah, both of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up and he told his father and his mother and said, I have seen a woman in Timnah of the Daughters of the Philistines go get her for me to be my wife. Well, things were done a little differently back then. Imagine just walking down the street one day and seeing that woman is fine and you say to your parents, go get her for me, that as they say in the South, that dog don't hunt here, right? But it says that so in verse three, his father and his mother said, wow, son, isn't there a woman among our relatives or a woman among our people that you could take as a wife instead of this uncircumcised philistine? And Samson said to his father, Get her for me, for she pleases me.
Well, now, again, we read into this and we think, oh, man, Samson was full of lost and Samson was full of pride and Samson had all these problems. But that's not our focus today because it goes on to say in verse four. But his father and his mother did not know that it was of the Lord. They didn't know that this really was of God because he sought for an occasion to defeat the Philistines, for at that time, the Philistines had dominion over Israel. And in our life today, as Christians, we should be victorious over the devil. We should be victorious over fear. We should be victorious over worry. We should be victorious over over sickness and disease and pride and and lust and selfishness. But sometimes those things seem to have victory over us. Well, before we leave here, God's going to turn it around in your life. God's going to turn it around.
And so here the Philistines had dominion over Israel, but Samson did not accept that that was the way it was going to be. The first thing if you're going to walk in the strength of God, if you're going to walk in the power of God, if you're going to experience God's best for your life is you can't settle for the way things are. Everybody say, I'm not settling for the way things are. A lot of times we think, man, my life's OK, everything's all right. It's fine the way it is. You might have gotten used to a sickness that you've had for ten years. You might you might have gotten used to a bad marriage that you've had for twenty years.
You might and you might have gotten used to children that don't listen to you and don't obey you. And we can't get used to that. We can't get used to a life of of defeat. We can't get used to a life of mediocrity. We can't get used to a life of being defeated. We can't get used to a life of sickness. We got to we got to stop getting used to and tolerating the way things are. God doesn't want us or he doesn't want to leave us the way things are. He doesn't want to leave things the way they are. God wants to do a miracle turnaround in your life. But you've got to make up your mind. You're not settling for the way things are. A lot of Christians settle for mediocrity. They settle for being defeated. They settle for being average. But God hasn't made you to be average. God hasn't made you to just barely get by. He's made you more than a conqueror. He's made you to be triumphant in every situation. He's made you to be victorious through trials. He's made you to live a life of celebration.
Do you know that Christianity is not supposed to be a life of suffering? Jesus did the suffering for us on the cross. We're supposed to be celebrating what he did for us on the cross and then serving other people to help them experience the same thing that we're experiencing in Christ Jesus. Amen. So we see here that Samson goes, ta ta ta ta to this woman because he wants to get dominion over the Philistines. And in verse five. And here's our point. Here's what we want to get to. Then when Samson went down, him and his father and his mother to Timnah, they approached the vineyards. They approached the vineyards of Timnah, the vineyards.
I want to talk about the vineyards for a moment because he says as they were going, they were going towards the vineyards. Now, it's important that we realize that everything in the Bible is in there for a reason. The Bible is not full of myths and and and things that man made up or man fabricated. Every verse in the Bible is in there for a reason. So when it says that Samson was on his way to the vineyards, we need to learn a little bit about what a vineyard represents in the Bible. And let's talk about that for a moment, because a vineyard is full of of grapes and grapes, produce wine. And they and wine represents in the Bible. It represents the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus held up his cup and he said, this is the cup of my covenant. This is the cup of my blood. This is my new covenant. And with it, I want to bless you. And with it, I want to save you. And with it, I want to bring you into victory. And with it, I want you to eat the best of the land.
He said, I want to die for you so that I can bring you in to the victorious life, into the abundant life that I have for you. Jesus has an abundant life for you, and the vineyard represents God's abundance. The vineyard represents God's best. God wants you to be living in victory. He wants you to be living in the vineyards. The vineyard represents God's blessing, God's abundance, God's prosperity, God's provision, God's best. The Bible says in John. Chapter ten, verse ten. It says, The Devil who is the thief. He comes to do what? He comes to steal. To kill. And to what, destroy and then Jesus said, but I have come, that she would have life in abundance.
Look at what the amplified Bible says about this. He said, I want you to have life in abundance till the full till it overflows. God wants you to have an abundant life overflowing with joy, overflowing with health, overflowing with peace, overflowing with abundance, overflowing with victory, overflowing with joy, overflowing with strength. That's the that's the abundant life that God has for us. And that's what the vineyards represent. So Samson is heading towards the vineyards. He's going in the right direction. So the first thing we're going to walk in God's strength is we got to make up our mind. We're not settling for life the way that it is.
The second thing, if we want to walk in God's supernatural strength is we have to be going in the right direction. Samson is heading for the vineyards. He's heading for God's best. He's heading for all that God has for him. He's not staying where he's at. He's not settling where he's at. He's not camping out at where he's at. Whatever he's wherever he's gotten to in life up to this point is not enough for him. He knows God has more. Whatever wherever you're at in life, I want you to be encouraged. God has something more for you. God has something better for you. Maybe all you've known is success emotionally. You've been healthy emotionally, but God wants to make you healthy physically, too, or you've been healthy physically.
But God wants to make you healthy financially too, or you've been healthy financially, but you haven't really been moving forward with God. Well, God doesn't want you to just be blessed in one area of your life. He wants you to be blessed in every area of your life. God wants you to be walking in the fullness of what God has for you. And listen, this is so important. So where is he going? He's going to the vineyard. Are you following me so far? If you want to have God's strength, number one, you've got to make up your mind. I'm not settling for the way things are. I'm not living a mediocre, flimsy, flimsy Manzie pansy milk toast, banana back Christian life. I'm going to have some backbone as a Christian. I'm going to have some power as a Christian. I'm going to have some victory as a Christian. I'm going to walk in the blessing of God. I'm going to walk in the wisdom of God.
Man, Samson's made up his mind. I'm not settling where I'm at. I'm going down to the vineyard. Oh, and by the way, notice as he goes down to the vineyard, notice what it says here in verse five, it says So Samson and his father and his mother, they approach the vineyard. So guess what? He's not going alone where God is not called us to do this alone. God has not called us to be to be Christian islands. No man is an island. We're all meant to walk this thing out together with other believers, other Christians that are going in the same direction as we are. He takes his mother. He takes his father with him and he says, we're going to the vineyard. In other words, it's not just that you're going in the right direction. You got to be going in the right direction with the right people as well. You can't do it by yourself. He takes his mother. He takes his father.
This speaks to me of spiritual family. Every one of us need a spiritual family. We can't just be on our own, you know, be like floating kidneys. Just, you know, every one of us is a part of the body of Christ. But we can't every part of my body needs the other parts. Every part of your body needs the other parts your heart needs. It needs your lungs, your lungs need your heart, your eyes need your ears, your ears need your nose. Every part of the body needs the rest of the body. And as believers, as Christians, we're not called by God to live this Christian life on our own. We're not supposed to have church at home with ourselves. We're supposed to come together as the body of Christ and be the church with one another and move forward in the same direction with other believers that are moving forward with God as well. No man is an island, so no one you can't settle. You've got to make up your mind.
I'm not settling for where I'm at in life. No. Two, I'm going to go in the right direction. And number three, I'm going to go in the right direction with the right people. We all know what it's like to have the wrong people in our lives and we need to cut them away and be willing to sometimes let go of relationships that are not healthy for us, toxic relationships, relationships that pull and and constantly make an ideal of the relationship rather than relationships that boost you up to God. That's what we need, iron, sharpening iron. We need relationships that are pushing us forward, relationships that are challenging us to do, to obey God and to honor Jesus Christ, not relationships that compromise us or compromise our character or compromise our integrity or compromise our walk with God. We need relationships that are strong and moving forward. We need the church. We need a spiritual family. We need to be plugged in. The Bible says when you're planted in the house of God, that's when you flourish.
Quick story, maybe you heard me tell the story about the pastor who went and visited a member of his church that hadn't been to church in a long time and the pastor on a cold winter night, he went to this man's house. The man lets him into the house and the pastor sits down. The man has a fire going in his house and the man and the pastor sits down in the living room with this man and doesn't say a word. Five minutes go by and the pastor doesn't say a word. Ten minutes go by and the pastor doesn't say a word. Now, the man knew this was his pastor invites him into his house and he knows he hasn't been to church in a long time. The pastor doesn't say a word. He stands up, he walks over to the fireplace, he takes the tongs and he picks out one of the one of the hot, fiery embers in the fire and moves it out from the middle of the fire over into the corner and sits back down. And what happens, the hot ember grows cold, the fiery ember grows dark by itself alone, it has no fire, it has no heat, it has no warmth. It has no one else around it.
The man who invites the pastor in stands up, puts out his hand and says, thank you, Pastor, for this message. I'll see you at church on Sunday. Because without without one another and without other fiery believers in our lives. We're going to grow cold. A heart is going to get dark. By ourselves. We have no fire. Without getting around other believers that have the fear of God being plugged in and planted in the house of God being plugged in and planted with other believers, so Samson's going in the right direction, but he's also going in the right direction with other godly people. You with me so far. All right, let's tie this together. Now watch this verse at the end of verse five. So he's so they're heading down to the vineyard and he leaves his you know, his parents stop for a second for some rest, and it says, and a young lion roars against him.
So here we have this young lion that rises up and roars against Samson. And what is this young lion represent? The Bible says in First Peter, chapter five, verse eight, that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he made of our. And what we need to understand here is, is listen, gang is so important that we see this is that when you're moving forward with God, when you're about to step into the promised land, when you're about to get your breakthrough, when you're about to enjoy the fruit of the land, when you're about to eat the best of the land, when you're about to see your healing come together, when you're about to see your prosperity and provision come together, when you're about to see victory in your life, when you're about to see a breakthrough in your marriage, or when you're about to see one of your kids have a turn around for God, when you're about to see your health, turn around your money, turn around your emotions, turn around your family situation, turn around.
The devil is not going to like the fact that you're about to have a turn around. The devil doesn't like the fact that you're about to have a breakthrough. The devil doesn't like the fact that you're moving forward with God and you're moving forward with other believers. So what does he do? As you're approaching the vineyard, the devil comes like a roaring lion to scare you away. And he wants to see how committed is this person really to getting in this vineyard? I'm not going to let him in the vineyard unless they defeat me. I'm not going to let them in the vineyard unless they do something about it. I'm going to scare them away. And most Christians, as soon as things get tough, they tuck tail and run. Most Christians, as soon as things get hard, they want to quit, they want to give up.
Hey, everybody can praise God when things are going good. Everybody can praise God when things are going great. But not everybody can praise God when things are tough. Anybody can give when you have a lot of money. But when things are tough, you still give anybody can pray when things are going good, but will you pray when times are tough? Will you praise God? And rejoice even when life isn't so easy. Will you follow Jesus even when lions get in the way? Or will you run? Samson is tested here, Lion comes, he can run away, he can camp out, he can go backwards. Oh, man, it was fine the way we were, it was fine back there. You know what? You can go backwards if you want, but I guarantee you, that's not where the vineyard is. That's not where the new wine is. That's not where the blessing is. That's not where God's provision is. That's not where God's abundance is. That's not where God's best is for your life.
Yeah. You can go backward when the lion comes. Yeah. When pressure comes, when tests come, you start tithing and all of a sudden hell breaks loose against your finances and you pull back or you start loving your wife like Christ loves the church. And all of a sudden things go bad in your marriage and you decide, oh, give I'll give up. But if you would have just hung in there, if you would have just stayed in there for another week, stayed in there for another month, stayed in there when you didn't feel any loving feelings, you're right on the verge of your breakthrough. Head to that vineyard. And when the lion comes, don't you quit. Don't you back down. Don't you give up. You keep moving forward. You keep pressing through.