Samson was the original superhero – an ordinary man who received supernatural strength from the one true God, with the purpose of bringing hope and freedom to God's people who were being crushed underneath an oppressive government.
You've probably been exposed to the story of Samson a number of times, but we're confident that when you see this powerful movie it will come alive like never before.
Samson's story is larger than life, but it contains wisdom for us today.
Embedded in Samson's story are lessons about how we, too, can receive God's strength.
Here are three lessons from Samson about receiving God's strength in our lives today:
1. God created you for a higher purpose
In the biblical book of Judges (chapters 13-16) we meet Manoah and his wife, a couple who were unable to have children until God intervened in their situation. More than that, God placed a special calling on their soon-to-be-born son, Samson, even before he had been knit together in his mother's womb.
Samson was handpicked by God to liberate God's people. Samson grew up knowing God's will for his life. His parents made sure he heard the story of how he had been chosen by God before he was born. His marching orders were made clear by the angel of the LORD who had visited his parents. Moreover, God gave him supernatural strength, so Samson had everything he needed to deliver God's people, Israel, from the oppressive hands of the Philistines (see Judges 13:5).
God chose you, too.
God chose you, and gave you a purpose before you were even born. When God created heaven and earth, he knew that one day you would find yourself right where you are at this moment. You have been created in the image of God, and you were made for a purpose. One of the most important things you can do, then, is to seek God's guidance concerning what your main mission should be, and how you can best fulfill it.
"Be very careful, then, how you live," Paul admonished, "– not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." Ephesians 5:15-17
2. You'll need God's strength to fulfill your calling
Samson's story illustrates how God wants to enable us to fulfill the calling he's given us. Samson could only further his mission as God gave him strength. Without that strength he could do nothing; with it he was completely unstoppable.
The Biblical message to us is that we can confidently say with Paul, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13). Peter also reminds us that "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3).
Our real purpose is not simply to work 9 to 5. God has a plan to use you in unique ways to help build His Kingdom. Have you discovered that purpose yet? If so, have you thrown yourself wholeheartedly into it? How different would our lives, our families, our churches, and our communities be if we walked with a greater sense of mission, along with steadfast trust in God's strength to help us fulfill it?
Where in your life do you need an encounter with God's strength? Maybe it is for how you parent your children, or love your spouse in difficult circumstances. Maybe you need God's strength to walk through hardship. Maybe you need God's strength to step in the direction of a dream He has put on your heart. Wherever you are at, His strength is there for the taking.
But be warned: When you discover the purpose God has for you, and you tap into the strength he wants to give you, there will also be people who attempt to come against you.
3. You will face opposition while fulfilling God's call
You probably know that Samson faced all kinds of resistance as he sought to fulfill God's calling. He was not only opposed by the Philistines, but sometimes by his fellow countrymen, and even by the woman he loved, Delilah. In addition, Samson was often his own worst enemy.
In much the same way, as we seek to honor God and to obey his leadings in our lives, we're going to face opposition. Jesus said in John 15:20, "'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." A chapter later Jesus says, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Jesus' warning is not that we might face opposition as we try to fulfill our divine callings – but that we will face it. Thankfully, he didn't leave us on our own. Keep leaning on me, he conveyed in multiple ways, and I'll carry you through. Or, as he put it in the Great Commission: "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
So seek after God's purpose for your life; count on his strength to help you fulfill it, rely on his wisdom and abiding presence to overcome obstacles, and with his help you can walk in the supernatural strength of the God who helped Samson.
You can win the battles God has called you to win, and leave the God-honoring legacy he wants you to leave.
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Watch the SAMSON trailer here, and be sure to go with friends and watch SAMSON on opening weekend, February 16-18, at your local theater. Bring a group from your church, or buyout a theater.
Mark Mittelberg is a bestselling author, speaker, outreach strategist, and the Executive Director of The Center for American Evangelism, in partnership with Houston Baptist University. He is the bestselling author of multiple books, including Becoming a Contagious Christian with Lee Strobel and Bill Hybels. His published pieces have sold a combined total of nearly three million copies. Mark and his wife Heidi have two grown children, and live near Denver, Colorado. You can connect with him on twitter.
Cassie Littel is a content strategist and event director for Think Eternity. She and her husband Kyle, and their two children live in Indianapolis, IN. You can connect with her on instagram.