• Steve Derenge

Getting Divine Revenge


And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the Lord had left him. And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison. Judges 16:20‭-‬21 ESV

In the book of Judges, Samson fell into sin and consequently was shamed. Then he got revenge on his enemies for them gouging out his eyes (See the rest of Judges 16). Consequently, if we fall into sin or mess up, we should get revenge on our enemies. Our enemies are not people, but evil spirits who tempt and entice people to sin and suffer. See Ephesians 6:12. One practical way to do so is to share about the good and powerful things that we have seen God do in our lives (or “testimony”) with three people. That's at least a good starting point. Eventually we may even get to the point where it is natural for us to introduce three people to Jesus Christ where they enter into a relationship with Him.

This practical way to be a partaker in God's way of revenge I learned from Robby Dawkins. When he started pastoring in Aurora, IL, one of the most crime-filled cities in America at the time, blood was often flowing in the streets. Based on the word of God, Robby adopted a “Chicago way” strategy that “If they take one of ours, we’re taking three of theirs.” Practically speaking, if a murder occurred in a neighborhood, the church would go to the site of the murder to heal sicknesses and lead three people to Christ. Such acts of life-changing love create carnage to the kingdom of darkness.

One time when Robby was feeling very ill before a speaking-engagement, he contacted his sons. Immediately they knew what to do. They went to the Emergency Room to pray for sick people, see them healed, and introduce people to Christ. Consequently, Robby then recovered and was able to go speak at the meeting, having applied this principle of God's revenge on our spiritual enemies.

If you messed up, there is no need to wallow in the mud of guilt, shame, and condemnation, for Jesus died to remove all that from our lives and to reconcile us to the Father of our spirits, that we may approach Him with freedom and confidence. C.f. Hebrews 12:9; 4:16; Ephesians 3:11f.

If we already have a relationship with Jesus Christ, then here is a sample prayer by which we might express our heart to Him if we mess up.

Father,

I thank You for adopting me as Your child. I confess to You that I messed up. I was proud and foolish and grieved Your Holy Spirit by what I did. Thank You that when I was at my worst, when I was still a sinner, You sent Christ to die for me. Although I don't deserve for You to wipe away my sin and shame, I thank You that by your grace and mercy, Jesus Christ poured out all his blood on the cross so that all Your love could be poured out on me. I believe what You said and promised about what the blood of Jesus does for me.

Thank you for forgiving all my sin and for cleansing me from all guilt, shame, condemnation, defilement, and unrighteousness. Thank You for the promised gift of Your Holy Spirit who came to live in me and to empower me to do Your will by keeping all Your commandments. Thank You for entrusting me with Your precious Holy Spirit, who empowers me to live as Jesus did with that very same character and power. As I am filled with Your Spirit of the fear of the Lord, I thank You for that strong desire to turn from sin, for I don't want to grieve Your Holy Spirit.

In Jesus' name,

Amen. (1)

The spiritual realm is even more real than the natural realm, and the two are very interconnected. Thus, if we don't understand the spiritual realm and how it operates, we'll be confused in the natural realm. We'll wonder “What should I do with my life? What decision should I make in this circumstance that I'm facing? How should I treat my family, my friends, the opposite gender, my boss, my co-workers, and those in positions of authority?…”

But if we have a relationship with God, who created the natural realm and also rules over the spiritual realm, then we don't need to be so confused. That's why God offers us His Holy Spirit to live in us, who is “…the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2b ESV. This Holy Spirit of God filled Jesus Christ. If we are filled with Jesus Christ and the same Holy Spirit, then we likewise will be filled with wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord.

If you haven't yet entered into a relationship with God, then here is a sample prayer that you can likewise say aloud if it expresses the desire of your heart:

Father,

I want to know You personally. I agree with Your word and admit that I have dishonored You and fallen short of the reputation that You want me to have. I have not measured up to Your standards of the abundant life that You desire for me, have disobeyed Your commandments, and have not honored Your words as You deserve. In other words, I confess I’m a sinner. Thank You that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me.

Now as an act of my will, I repent--I turn from my sin. I receive you, Jesus, as my Savior and Lord. That is, I commit myself to follow and obey you, because You have the words of eternal life. I trust in you, Jesus, as the only Way, the Truth, and the Life, through whom I can enter a relationship with God the Father. Jesus, I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead, and I thank you for rescuing me from my sins. Come into my life and make me into the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You for forgiving me of all my sins and for cleansing me from all unrighteousness. Thank you for marking and sealing me with Your Holy Spirit, so that I will receive power to love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen. (2)

  1. See Ephesians 1:5; 4:30; Psalm 51; 103:2; Romans 5:5,8; 8:1; 10:11; 1 John 1:9; Ezekiel 36:25ff; Acts 1:8; 2:38f; Isaiah 11:2; 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

  2. See John 17:3; Romans 3:23; John 10:10; Luke 18:13f; 24:45-49; Romans 5:8; Acts 3:19; 5:31; John 6:66-69; 14:6; Romans 10:9ff; Ephesians 1:13f; Matthew 22:37



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