Samson gained his strength from God and so can we! But like Samson, if we sin, we can also become powerless. I have always loved the story of Samson. How he was born with his own amazing strength, but when he used God’s power on top of his physical strength, Samson could do amazing things. He also used his power foolishly and it was quickly taken away from him. One fun activity I like to do to help kids understand how God can give us spiritual power, like Samson, is the potato battery experiment. (I found this activity, along with all of the supplies, in the “Potato Chip Science Kit.”)
Here’s how the experiment works: A potato contains compounds that conduct electricity. When you connect the zinc and copper electrode wires to two different potatoes, it creates a circuit that allows electrons to flow creating electricity. Countless kids over the years have used this to power clocks.
The cool thing about this experiment is that it can teach us that we all have some power; power to be kind, power to teach others, etc. But, it can also teach us that we need help from God to have great power and to do great things. Potatoes are similar. They don’t contain electricity, but they are full of electrolytes that can be turned into electricity! Without the electrodes –the zinc and copper wires, the potatoes are useless as a power source. We have God’s power inside of us, like Samson, but we have to ask the Holy Spirit to help us to use that power. Without God’s help, we won’t be nearly as powerful. Knowing God gives us power!
Another fun way to help demonstrate the effects of sin and how it can make us powerless (like Samson) is using a lamp and an electrical socket. The lamp must be plugged into the outlet to work. In the same way, we have to be plugged into God to have power. You can have a lamp that is sitting on your bedside table, but if your lamp isn’t plugged in, it won’t shed any light, which is its purpose. God is our power source and He enables us to fulfill our purpose.
We have to be plugged into God to have power. The lamp might look nice, with its lampshade and a pretty base, but without being plugged in, it isn’t being used to its full potential. Like the lamp, if we don’t stay plugged into God, we won’t be using all of the power of the Holy Spirit that is available to us.
God gave Samson special power. He used that to win battles and show great feats of strength while honoring God. However, when he showed off his strength with foolish pride and Delilah cut off his hair, he lost God’s power. We also can lose God’s power if we don’t stay plugged into Him.
So, how do we stay plugged in to God? We do this by keeping a relationship with Him. This can be done by praying, reading the Bible, and going to church. Just like the potatoes need the electrodes and the lamp needs electricity, we need the Holy Spirit in us to have great power!
Preteen Ministry Coordinator,
Blue Grass United Methodist Church,
Modranski, Lynne, and Allen Kurzweil. The Bible Meets Potato Chip Science: 29 Bible Lessons for Kids Ages 5-12. Print.
Kurzweil, Allen, and Rob Walker. Potato Chip Science. New York: Workman Pub., 2009. Print.