The Stuff of Legends William Wallace. Maximus Decimus Meridius. King Leonidas. Movie legends.
Muhammad Ali. Babe Ruth. Bill Russell. Sports legends.
Michael Jackson. The Beatles. Bob Marley. Music legends.
What do all of these legends have in common? Their accomplishments seem larger than life. At times in their stories, each one of them seemed invincible. And their stories were so inspiring that men just kept retelling them over and over, eventually turning the details into folklore, stories that continue to live long after their time is past.
Samson had a moment like that, too, which we’ll read about today. A moment he shared with 1,000 other men.
How does Samson do it? There’s no question that it was God’s strength: “The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him.” All credit, all glory, belongs to God and God alone. Jesus once said that with God, nothing is impossible. God gets done the things that he wants done.
Unfortunately, another thing you’ll see today (in Judges 15:16) is that Samson takes credit for God’s power. He was arrogant. Arrogance is always born out of our insecurities. When we don’t know who we are in Christ, most of us look to pride to try to fill that void—just like Samson did.
Many of us try to define ourselves by our accomplishments, to find our worth in what we’ve done, instead of in the One we belong to. We want to rely on our achievements, our victories, our trophies, our wins to define us, instead of acknowledging God as the source of all good things in our lives. And like Samson, we want to get the credit. We want to be known as “a winner,” “a beast,” “a leader,” “a man’s man,” “somebody.”
Pride can be intoxicating. But the hangover is hell. We’re human; we do have (many) limitations, and we need to rely on God. If you lose sight of your identity and try to convince yourself that you’re a legend, you’ll miss the true legend in your life: that the God who made the universe calls you his son.
What’s defining you? Remember, you only get this one life. Whose name are you trying to make great?
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