podcast

#622 – The Power of God’s Presence (Judges 16:20)

Pray The Word
Judges
16
20
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“And she said, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!’ And he awoke from his sleep and said, ‘I will go out as other times and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had left him.”
(Judges 16:20)

The Lord had left him. Samson thought, “Well, I have the power to shake myself free from any circumstance, to conquer any enemy,” but he had no idea that his power did not come from himself. His power came from God’s presence with him. He was totally dependent on God being with him, and once the Lord had left him, he had nothing.

If you are in Christ, you are not alone. God will never leave you nor forsake you.

The reality is, the same exact thing is true for you and me. In and of ourselves, we do not have the power, the ability to live out the life God has called us to live, a life of holiness before God, compassion for others, wisdom in this world, in our lives and work and family, as witnesses to the world, witnesses to the Good News of God’s grace in Jesus. We can’t do any of those things apart from God’s power in us, at work through us, yet the beauty of what the Bible teaches is that for all who trust in Jesus, the Spirit of God dwells in us. The Spirit of God dwells in you. If you have repented of your sin, placed your faith in Jesus as Savior, Lord of your life, you have the Spirit of God in you, which means you have power in you to do all that God has called you to.

So believe this, believe this. Don’t trust in your own power, your own ability, your own competency. No, trust in God’s power and God’s strength, God’s competency in you, as you walk through the day-to-day of life, and then especially as you face difficult times, as you go through challenging trials, as you think, “I can’t do this.” Some of you are there right now, you’re in circumstances where you’re thinking, “I just can’t do it, I can’t go on, I can’t persevere in this way, I can’t …” Know this: You’re right, on your own, you can’t. But the beauty of what the Bible teaches is that you’re not on your own. You are not alone. God is with you.

For all who are in Christ, you can know God has not left you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you, and He will enable you to do all that He’s called you to. Especially, then we think about, okay, being witnesses in the world, this is where we want to encourage one another continually. Like, who can you share the gospel with today? And as soon as we ask that, we think, “Ah, I can’t do that like a … I get nervous, I get quiet, I go silent. I’m concerned about what they’ll think, how they’ll respond. It’ll be kind of awkward.” All these things start coming in our minds, and this is where we just need to remember what Jesus said in the Great Commission. He said, “Go make disciples of the nations, and I will be with you.” Like, you have more than Samson-like power. You have the Spirit of God dwelling in you for the spread of the gospel so that, Acts 1:8, you might be a witness to those around you.

So pray today that you would realize who the Spirit of God is in you, as you have the opportunity to share the gospel. And then think, this is what Jesus said, “Go to the nations.” Go to the nations. I think about today the Southern Nasu people in China. So, smaller people group down in a remote region near the Vietnamese/Laotian border there with China, and just a handful of followers of Jesus among hundreds of thousands of people. Let’s pray for that handful of followers of Jesus, and pray for the spread of the gospel to others through them, through God’s power at work among them.

So, God, we pray. We pray in our lives, we pray that you would help us to know that you are with us. God, I just pray that over people listening to this now, who are in Christ. I pray that they would know, feel, realize your presence with them, your Spirit in them. They would not trust in, that we would not trust in ourselves, but in your Spirit, your Spirit’s power at work in us. And God, we pray that by your Spirit, you would enable us to glorify you in whatever comes our way today. Amidst trials and struggles, God, we pray for your power to enable brothers and sisters to endure, and to trust in you every step of the way. God, amidst challenges people are facing, may they trust in your power, your wisdom to face that challenge with confident faith and wise courage that comes from your presence in them.

And then, God, we pray, we pray that you would use us today as witnesses, by the power of your Spirit at work in us. Use us to proclaim the gospel, use us to lead somebody to Jesus today, God, we pray. And we pray the same for our few brothers and sisters among the Southern Nasu in China. God, we pray that you would bless those few brothers and sisters. Help them to know your power, your presence at work in them, and use them, we pray, for the spread of the gospel to the rest of this people group that has yet to be reached with this Good News. We pray that you would send out more laborers to that people group and others who have your power in them, like supernatural power filling men and women, spreading around the world for the glory of your name.

Oh God, may it be so among unreached people groups around the world, and among people right where we live. Use us as your people by your power, your presence with us, to lead others to know and enjoy you, to know and experience your presence with them. Oh God, we pray all this with gratitude in our hearts that you have given us your Spirit today, that you have not left us, and you will never leave us or forsake us. All glory be to your name for that promise. We live in it today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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