Friday, July 26, 2013

God uses the most unlikely people

We all make poor choices, and sometimes those choices concern the things that we think are important. Using Samson (read about him in Judges, chapters 13-16) as the primary example, Pastor Craig Groeschel does some teaching on how to pick our battles in such a way as to make an impact for God. In his latest book, Fight: Winning the Battles that Matter Most (Zondervan, 2013), Groeschel makes a strong case for allowing God to use us despite our weaknesses. As he puts it, Samson is the strongest man to ever live, but his story doesn't have a happy, ‘walking-with-God’ ending. Why, because he made some poor choices. (Can you relate?)
Samson was a Nazarite; set aside, dedicated to God, and as such made three vows. 1) No booze; 2) don’t touch anything dead; and 3) hair doesn't get cut.  Of course if you read the Sacred Text, you’ll see that Samson broke all of his promises. Groeschel points out that as Samson got off track, and lost focus, he allowed lust, entitlement and pride to take over. He listens to his emotions instead of God.
Groeschel writes in an engaging style, he’s pastoral, but reading this book was like reading a letter written to me. He’s transparent, but not in the tabloid sensationalism style, and time and again he referred to his own Samson moments. Time and again I was reminded that I have Samson moments too. We’re all faced with Samson moments, but Groeschel shows how he uses (and we can use them too) his faith, an active prayer life, and knowledge of the Word of God to overcome the loss of focus moments in our lives.
The happy ending is that Samson after a life of letting his “I want it” emotions rule his thinking was able to turn back to God. My take away from this book is that I’ll never measure up to the super-heroes of the faith, but that doesn't mean that in my imperfections I can’t be used.
Learn to be a warrior, you’re going to have battles, and you've already got the tools you need to fight those battles (faith, prayer and the Word of God). The choice is yours – what kind of decisions will you make?
I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a favorable review.

4.5 stars.

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