Sermon Title: Check Your Appetite(Click Here to Watch Sermon)
Scripture Reading: Judges 16:15-21
Pastor Richard Brown
Pastor Brown is giving us principles of appetite. It is a powerful thing. It will either plunge us into destiny or it will propel us into disaster. It may not affect the quantity of our life but it always affects the quality of our life and no matter how strong we may be, we will always be limited and sabotaged by our weaknesses. Appetites that are left unchecked will damage, disrupt, and incapacitate us from reaching and achieving our destiny. An unchecked appetite will interfere with everything God has blessed you to do. No matter how called, how strong, gifted, talented or anointed you are in one area of your life, you will never rise above the weakness in other areas of your life. God can gift you with great strength. He can gift you tremendous opportunities and tools that are necessary for you to be successful in your life. But, no matter how great your strength, you’ll be limited by the weakness of the unchecked appetite.
Samson is the strongest weak man in the scriptures and he is our greatest example of how great strength can be hijacked by great weakness because of an unchecked appetite. Chapters 13-16 in the book of Judges tell us about Samson. He is from the tribe of Dan. His father is Manoah. His mother, an unnamed woman, was barren and she cries out to the Lord and He has mercy on her and the angel says she shall produce a child, and the angel places restrictions on her diet because the child will be a Nazirite. The word Nazirite comes from the Hebrew Nazir it means consecrated. Set apart, designed for a specific purpose or use. It meant whoever came and entered into the vow of a Nazirite was set aside and put into a specific purpose or use. Any man God deemed to be a Nazirite had three restrictions on their life.
- They couldn’t touch dead things – animals, bodies
- They had to refrain from alcoholic beverages – couldn’t drink small wine
- They were to never cut their hair
Samson’s assignment as a Nazirite is for him to dedicate his life and talent, leading his people into victory against the Philistines. His mother obeys the instructions of the angel and a child is born and they name him Samson – distinguished or strong man. God blessed him and favoured Samson. Whatever God calls for He provides for so Samson is blessed with unprecedented strength. He took the jaw of a donkey and killed a lion. Samson killed animals and lions with his bare hands; he was the strongest man we saw in the scriptures. But he never lived out the potential of his destiny because Samson had an unchecked appetite. He had a desire for illicit sexual relations with strange women. Going back to verse 1 of chapter 16, we see his unchecked appetites. He went down to Gaza, he went down to the wrong address, this was a land known for idolatry. Samson is in Gaza, the wrong address. He has the wrong attractions and there he sees a woman, he sees Delilah. To add to that, he makes the wrong alliances. He went in unto her. He has the wrong attraction. He makes the wrong alliances all because of his appetite.
At this time in history, the Philistines are at war with the Israelites, they are frustrated by Samson, they can’t defeat his strength and so they can’t defeat the nation. The Philistines cannot overcome the Israelites. They enjoy victory over their enemies. However, Samson has an unchecked appetite. When he is focused on his assignment, he is unstoppable and he is a blessing to everyone around him. It opens blessings in his life and for those around him. So it is with us. The Philistines know that if they will be victorious over the Israelites they will have to target Samson’s feelings and not his faith. The enemy doesn’t target your anointing but your appetite. When God blesses you, it cannot be reversed. He cannot touch the anointing of God in your life. That’s why you can be in church and be all anointed on your assignment. You can declare the word of God and lead worship but right as you get out of church, the enemy will target your appetite.
Many who have fallen, it is not because of their assignment or call, but because of their appetite. They have lost their credibility. Check your appetite. The Philistines know that they can get to Samson due to his unchecked desire for sexual relationships. They know about him so they send Delilah to entrap him. The name Delilah means weak with desire. So they select Delilah because they know that Samson has an appetite for strange women. The lords of the Philistines tell Delilah to entrap him to see where his strength lies so they can bind him and afflict him, when your appetite is unchecked, you have foolish conversations and you start to say stuff that you shouldn’t be saying, you play around with your life. As you read the word you see that Samson tricks Delilah. He says if you bind me with a certain rope I’ll lose my strength. But he breaks loose from those ropes. Then Deliah tries braiding his hair per his instruction and she then says “the Philistines are upon you.” But he breaks free again. He is flirting with his appetite and he is ignorant to the power of his attraction. Don’t play with that appetite. Keep that appetite in check.
Whatever appetite you have, you have to check your appetite. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. The Bible says that Delilah says to him, “Samson you don’t love me.” Samson was attracted to her and she knew how to press his buttons. When you play in the devil’s playground he knows how to press your buttons. Have to be careful of those feelings you have. He tells her his whole heart. From a child, he tells her, his hair has never been cut. For he is a Nazirite and so if you shave his head then he will lose his strength. Samson lays down in her lap and she puts him to sleep. The wrong appetite will make you drowsy around the wrong people. Be careful where you take a nap. Don’t nap anywhere around your unchecked appetite. Samson discloses the secret of his strength.
Here is the product of an unchecked appetite:
Samson violates his relationship with God and discloses the intimacy of his connection. Samson is so focused on his appetite that he doesn’t realize he has forfeited his faith and his future. Ask brother Esau. Esau had an appetite for porridge. He had a birthright he gave away because of a manic moment. Don’t lose the moment God wants to bring you to because of the moment you are in now. Check your appetite. Samson is so focused on what he wants that he doesn’t realize that he is forfeiting his future. So he awoke from his sleep and said that he would go out and shake himself free. But he knew not that the Lord had left him. We know God is a God of mercy and grace but we can’t keep flirting with our integrity and think God will follow us in our folly. Samson played one time too many, and he did not know that the Spirit of God had left him. What a tragic state to be in to not know that the Spirit of God has left and there is no power. The enemy will offer us anything to sabotage our future and assignment. Be careful of what attracts you, what is your bait? What pulls you in? As we are in this season of development as you move boldly in the direction of your goals and destiny you are unstoppable but what will hinder and disrupt that call is your appetite. Check your appetite. That thing you are enthusiastic about can overturn and wreck your destiny. The fisherman baits the hook with worms because that’s what grants the attention of the fish. What grabs your attention? Who has your attention right now? Is it your feelings or your future? Is it your feelings or your faith? None of the fish planned to die that day. The reason why they died was because they consumed what they were attracted to. Getting what they want. Getting what they had a feel for. Getting what they had an itch for. Be careful of your unchecked appetite. The sad reality of Samson’s life is that Samson has strength but no sense. He has power but he has no purity. All because of an unchecked appetite.
Samson’s appetite had gotten the better of him because he was flirting with it. Stop it, check yourself. Every appetite that is left unchecked will produce an addiction. If you don’t check that appetite for food, alcohol, and talking too much, you’ll go too far, become an alcoholic, become a gossip. Take it as a warning. People are so addicted to so many things. It all begins with an unchecked appetite. These are thoughts, behaviours that control an appetite. That’s what an addiction is. It controls our appetites and ultimately controls our decisions. Samson was an addict to this appetite. This was not the first lady to entrap Samson. The Bible says Samson had a wife. She was a woman from Timnah and she was wicked. He also had a side chick who was a prostitute from Gad. Samson just could not get that desire for sex out of his system. And the issue was not that the desire was there nor the temptation was there, the sin was that he flirted with it. He didn’t check it. You’re not condemned because you’re tempted or because desires come, what condemns you is because you don’t check it. Don’t abuse the anointing on your life or the assignment because of the unchecked appetite. You are anointed, called, the plan for you isn’t just for you. He will use you for the lives of those around you and your world. We can’t be all caught up with the fact that we are called and think we are untouchable. The enemy won’t touch your anointing but he will stir up your appetite.
In closing, it is a frightening reality that you can be so consumed with your appetite that you can wake up one morning not even realize that you abandoned the principle and the reality of God. You can be dressing like a Christian, walking like a Christian but without the reality of God. Check your appetite right now. Search me oh God and know my thoughts, try me, see if there be some wicked way, some unchecked appetite, turn on the spotlight, and check my heart. Refiner’s fire, burn within. Check my heart, check my motives. Samson lost his power because of his appetite, not his authority. He was authorized from heaven. He never lost his authorization. He never lost his calling. But he lost the power of that call. He refused to get his desires in order. There is somewhere God wants you to be, things He wants you to do, He has equipped, called and commissioned you to have everything you need to be successful in the assignment but you have to check your unruly desires. Your appetite will override your authority everytime. It pays no attention to how well you preach or sing or how well you know the Word. The weapons of our warfare, Paul says, are not carnal but they are mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds. That’s what an addiction is, a stronghold. But God has given us the weapons to pull down that stronghold. Pastor Brown prophecies over us that we pull down all strongholds and get it in order. Unchecked appetite. Adam in the garden had an unchecked appetite and plunged the entire creation into a curse. That Adam who was created in the image of God, who was given dominion. Adam had control and authority over everything in the garden. God says one thing “don’t touch that”. The unchecked appetite caused him to forfeit his dominion. So instead of reigning in life, life is now reigning over him. This is the word of the Lord for us today. Check your appetite. Check your heart. Check your motives. Check those desires. Not just immoral things, nor sin. But check your appetite for social media, food, spending, check those desires and if they are greater than your desire for God then they are threatening your destiny. Where are you today? Pastor Brown is so glad this is not the end of Samson’s story.
The product of his unchecked appetite is that he is left bald, blind, and beaten. That’s what the enemy wants to do to us. But because of the grace of God, Samson called on God and repented and God renewed his strength and Samson killed more men in his death then he did in his life. A good ending but he went through unnecessary pain. We don’t need to go through certain things. From Psalm 51, “Create within me God a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and whatever you do God, don’t take your Spirit from me,” David knew that you can go so far with an unchecked appetite that you lose the essence of who God is and what He can do in your life. Whatever you do, God don’t take your Spirit from me. Uphold me with thy willing spirit. That’s our prayer today.