Is it the Holy Spirit or the Flesh?

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 (Judges 16:20 ESV)

Many of us understand the importance of discernment, distinguishing between the Spirit of God and evil spirits. However, there is another vital aspect often overlooked: distinguishing the Holy Spirit from empty human actions, or the flesh.

Let us consider the case of Samson to illustrate this principle. Unaware that the Spirit had departed, Samson believed his strength still resided within him. When he heard that his enemies, the Philistines, were attacking him, he confidently declared, “I will go out and shake myself free, just as I have done before.” Sadly, when he went out and shook himself, there was no power. He was captured and humiliated.

Why did Samson shake himself? He had grown up learning that the Spirit’s power caused him to shake. Today, we often recognize the anointing. It can manifest physically through bodily sensations or various physical manifestations in Christian gatherings. Personally, I experience these sensations when God’s anointing is present for a specific task. However, manifestations are not limited to physical sensations alone; they can also be experienced through emotions, thoughts, desires, words, or actions.

In Samson’s case, he continued to shake—physical manifestations—even after the Spirit had departed. His shaking was merely an empty human action.

Results in Christianity are achieved solely when the Spirit moves within us. It is vital to understand that the Spirit is not present in everything we encounter in our lives or Christian communities. Do not be swayed by “shakings” devoid of the Spirit in any form. Instead, deepen your fellowship with the Spirit, discern His movements, and yield to Him.


Consider once again: Why did Samson continue to shake even after the Spirit had left him?

Apply the Word

Distinguishing the flesh from the Spirit begins in your life and extends to others. Do not be influenced by fleshly feelings, words, or actions, as they will not produce divine results. Instead, yearn for the Holy Spirit’s movement.


Ask the Father to help you discern between the Spirit and the flesh.

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