What To Watch Out For When Dating
Your physical appearance is not as important as what you carry inside. It does not matter who rejects you, or how popular you are. The most important thing is what God sees and how He calls you. When you begin to care more about what others around you say, instead of staying faithful to what God has told you, you’ll be at risk of forfeiting all that God has in store for you.
We see this in the example of Samson’s life. Samson is believed to have been the strongest man that ever lived. Due to compromise, he made a mistake that caused him to receive the world’s most expensive haircut which cost him his eyes, his freedom, his lifespan, and the end of his amazing ministry and call from God.
The woman whom he loved, Delilah, fervently questioned him to reveal the secret of his strength (the anointing placed on him by God), which was his hair. Delilah’s constant nagging to know Samson’s secret makes me believe that Samson’s physical appearance and muscles could not be attributed to his strength. If he was someone who looked really built and buff, why would she be asking where his strength came from; it would be obvious.
But it didn’t seem to be, therefore, Delilah questioned and asked, “if you really love me, you will tell me your secret!”
Then Delilah pouted, “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!” She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.Judges 16:15-16
While learning to navigate relationships in this day and age, don’t compromise your life trying to be popular or liked. Do not sacrifice the calling and the anointing God has placed in your life in order to fit in or to be accepted by others. Popularity does not last, but if you stay faithful to God, you will stay powerful, pure, and you will stay anointed by God.
3 Things to Watch Out For To Avoid A Downfall
Samson was called by God to fight the Philistines, but instead of fighting them, Samson decided to flirt with them. The culture in which you live is unavoidable. Although that may be true, as Christians we are called to not be submerged into that which we are surrounded with.
A good representation of this is a boat. Every Christian represents one. Boats are meant to be used in the water and sail to a specific destination. However, if water gets inside of the boat, the boat sinks to the bottom. In the same way, Christians are called to influence this culture, not to be submerged into this culture. Be careful not to embrace this crazy culture’s lifestyle and language. For instance, ideas about gender identity crises, the idea that you can fall in love with anything and anyone, or the idea that abortion is an acceptable choice. Our culture is not Christian or Christ-like. And like a boat, you can be in the water, but don’t let the water get into your boat. Do not let the culture get into you as a Christian. Don’t get your theology from Tik-Tok, Instagram, television, or newspapers; get your view of God and theology from the Bible.
Get your view of God from the Bible.
This was Samson’s first dangerous mistake—the culture, which he was called to conquer, was what he was influenced by. All of the three women Samson intimately knew in his life were Philistines.
We are not called to be monks or hide from the culture—we still have to go to school, participate in social gatherings like sports, and go to work, but we are called to keep ourselves from being contaminated by it. The Bible teaches us not to love or be a friend of this world and warns us to not be conformed to the world. Romans 12:2).
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.John 17:15-16
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:2
We are like a ship on the sea with the water around us. But how does the water get inside of us? This happens when we begin to reflect the culture instead of reflecting the kingdom of God. This will cause us to fall for popularity and desire the acceptance of others which leads to the compromise of our convictions.
Samson gave up his conviction to prove his love to Delilah. Although he loved Delilah and was attached to her, Delilah did not love him. The culture neither loves nor cares about you. It did not die for you, and it will not be there for you when you are broken, so do not let the culture get inside of your boat. Stay dry in the wet world. Stay pure in the polluted world. Stay holy in a defiled world. Stay strong in a weak world. Stay focused in a distracted world. Be a person that is the light and salt. Don’t become spotted by the culture.
So how can you get away from sin in this culture?
Avoid potentially sinful situations.
You don’t have to run from people or the world around you. But realistically evaluate yourself and the things you are a part of that cause you to sin and diminish your passion for Jesus.
What things do you do that stimulate and trigger youthful passions?
When you identify this, you need to walk away from it. Coming to the altar and asking for Jesus to deliver you, will not save you from the culture. You need to get the water out of the boat immediately when you notice it in your boat, or else you will sink!
The only people who can change the culture are those who are not changed by it.
Even if you were already delivered from a specific temptation, you need to continue to walk in purity by keeping yourself out of potentially tempting situations. If you are not walking in victory or peace, what situations are you entertaining that you should be running from?
Don’t flirt with the Philistines that you are supposed to be fighting. Remember, the only people who can change the culture are those who are not changed by it.
Don’t flirt with the Philistines that you’re supposed to be fighting.
Learn to crucify your cravings.
The Bible talks about the “lust of the flesh,” which is a craving inside of us.
For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.1 John 2:16
Wolves demonstrate this example perfectly. In order to hunt wolves, Eskimos take a knife and cover it with layers of dried blood that they then stick in the forest. The wolves instinctually crave blood, thinking it is meat. The instinct and craving of the animal let it lose logic and common sense because they are ruled by their inner drive. As the wolf slowly licks the knife, it begins to cut its own tongue. It does this until it begins to bleed out, leading to its inevitable death.
Similarly, the devil sets up a temptation (the culture), on the outside because he knows if you are not a genuine believer, you will not be driven by your convictions, but instead by your instincts and your passions. The devil does not need to be involved; it is your own craving that will drive you towards the knife. This is a lie of the enemy. Lust will never satisfy; it only grows when you satisfy it. It does not go away. There is no amount of pornography, sex, parties, alcohol, illicit/illegal things in the world that can satisfy you. Your cravings for sin will never get satisfied. Sin is a bottomless pit that leads to death. The best thing you can do is to crucify these cravings by denying yourself of them.
Lust will never satisfy; it only grows when you satisy it.
When your flesh says “I want that,” but God says “no,” you also need to say no. It’s like a rash that itches; the more you scratch it, the more it needs to be itched.
The same lies with animal instincts. When the animal sees and smells blood, it has no resistance in itself to say no. Animals are bodies with no spirits, so they are controlled by their cravings. In contrast, although you have a body, you also have a spirit, which causes the inner tug of war of your cravings saying, “I want it,” but your spirit saying, “You don’t need it.”
So how do you overcome the craving?
You don’t fight the craving, you feed your spirit. There is no medicine, prayer, or deliverance to curb your cravings. You need to redirect your attention by feeding and filling your spirit: read the Bible, join a small group, go to church. Whatever you feed becomes stronger. Whoever becomes stronger dominates your life. If you find that your cravings are too strong, it is actually because your spirit is too weak.
You don’t fight the craving, you feed your spirit
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.Galatians 5:16-26
The cravings are from your flesh. The only way to curb your cravings is to starve them by intentionally feeding them something else.
For example, take 5 minutes a day to pray, read the Word, and even listen to a Christian podcast. This will not take away the craving, but your spirit will become stronger than them. So when the moments of temptation come, Holy Spirit will help you to walk away from those situations.
Samson’s cravings were not under subjection. Samson only prayed when he was in trouble—when he needed water and to kill someone. He did not have a relationship with God at all. Even though he was anointed, he was not strong in the areas that he needed to be. Even if you are the smartest person, you can still be under the subjection of the enemy if you don’t build your spirit-man. The only way to get your passions under control is to build your spirit.
Community is the company that we keep. The strongest person in the world is weak under the power of ungodly relationships and wrong friends.
The barber’s chair is a good representation of ungodly relationships that entice us to sin. The devil’s “barber” refers to the wrong friendships. The barber does not kill you; he simply cuts you. The devil is not after you to kill you at first, he just tries to cut you—your purity, your joy, and your sense of purpose. He does it on the “chair” called friends. In the Bible, we never see that Samson slept with Delilah, but he loved her and therefore was attached to her. Friends are those who you love and compromise your convictions for in order to be in their circles. Those who will charge you a price of conforming to their lifestyle as a part of their admission fee, like Delilah. We should all have non-saved friends, but friends who entice us to sin are those we should flee from.
Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”1 Corinthians 15:33
Your friends are the photograph of your future. If your closest friends drink, curse, drop out of high school, sleep around, then chances are you will do the same.
Your friends are the photograph of your future.
Fake friends are those who are nice to you and then talk about you behind your back. You will find these people at school, in your family, or even at church. Even Jesus had Judas in his company! He kissed him on the cheek and then backstabbed Him.
However, the worst friends are those who actually don’t hurt you, but rather distract you from the Lord. Judas hurt Jesus, but Judas did not cause Jesus to sin. It is the ones who do not hurt you, but rather pull you away from the Lord that we need to be aware of.
Many who were hurt in the church often gravitate towards friends in the world because of their past hurt. While the friends in the world may not backstab you at first, they are indeed secretly working for the devil. They slowly begin to trim away your hair (your convictions and covenant with God) by slowly pulling you away from Jesus. Wrong friends are the devil’s strongest tool in the life of a teenager to get you off track and drag you away from Christ and the church. Worldly friends can drag you to hell with them by giving you the false security of “fitting in” as you embrace their sinful behaviors and language. If you don’t break up with them, they will break you down. You will become like those who went to influence others but rather became influenced by them instead.
Don’t destroy your convictions in an attempt to prove your love for someone or to show loyalty to your friends. Don’t be so desperate for the love you have not yet received from your family, parents, or your church friends that you run to the barber chair and allow Delilah to give you a haircut. You will be falsely comforted at first and end up paying for their sins.
God forgave Samson and his hair grew back, but his eyes were never healed, and he stayed in prison.
For those who have not yet accepted Christ into their hearts yet, please know that for every sin that you commit, Jesus already died for you on the cross. The punishment was already paid, and Jesus paid it for you, regardless of how young or old you are. There is a hole in every human heart that only God can fill; your parents, friends, and relationships will never be able to fill it. The only perfect friend is Jesus.
If you are a believer, please understand that Jesus has already paid for your sin and your sin was judged on the cross, but your sin will still judge you on this earth. On the cross, He was judged for my sin, but in my life, I get judged by my sin. Although God forgives us, there may still be consequences to our actions. For instance, if you choose to get high in school, you will get kicked out of school. If you drink and drive, you’ll get a DUI. If you choose to get someone pregnant out of wedlock, the ungodly soul tie and pregnancy remain. Jesus will forgive you if you ask and repent, but the consequences still stand. Just because you are experimenting and may not make a lot of mistakes, we need to learn from Samson’s mistakes. God will redeem and restore us of every mistake we make, but our actions can cause us to be scarred deeply. These scars can remain in use for a long time. Therefore, we should walk towards freedom, godliness, and stay fully committed to God.
Walk away from the world while living in this world and put your craving under the cross as you’re feeding your spirit. If you identify any friends or relationships that are bringing you down, you need to make the decision to cut yourself off if they refuse to pursue Christ with you and choose to continue on the path of sin and worldliness.
Your salvation and eternity could depend on it.
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