Throughout the Avengers series, Bruce Banner struggled to control the Hulk from taking over. That’s how many believe the Holy Spirit acts in our lives. Samson seems to exemplify that, but with a closer look we see that those with the Spirit of the Lord choose their actions.
I. Judges 14:1-20. It’s clear from the onset of Samson’s story that God knows our terrible choices ahead of time and uses them for His will. The ‘lawless men’ who sent Jesus to the cross were not thwarting God’s plan but falling into it (Acts 2:22-24). It’s also clear throughout all of Samson’s life that despite having the Spirit of the Lord that he acted out of selfish motives and anger, something that could not please God.
II. John 2:13-17. Jesus had God’s Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17), and many might have thought that there was another Samson in their midst when He overturned tables and drove money-changers out of the temple with a whip. But, John explains that the source of Jesus’ anger was different. Jesus who never sinned (Hebrews 4:15) had an anger not rooted in sin (Ephesians 4:26) but rather zeal for His Father’s house. Like Samson, though, Jesus chose His actions.
III. Acts 2:16-39. We too choose our actions. Given the Spirit of the Lord as a gift at baptism, Christians choose to either take the route of Samson and grieve the Spirit by our sinful choices (Ephesians 4:30) or serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). With His Spirit, God has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-21) to bring others to Christ the choice of waging spiritual war differently than the world does (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). But we have to choose these!
If you have obeyed the gospel, you have the Spirit of the Lord. With it dwelling in us, teaching us, and equipping us in various ways, we each need to choose what we will do with this new life we have been given.