Enjoying the Journey

Some of life’s greatest defeats come after great victories.  Call it lack of vigilance, a false sense of your own strength.  There are many reasons.  Be sure of this: If God is blessing, the devil is fighting!  He always opposes what God ordains.

The story is told of a young man in Napoleon’s army who had given a valiant effort in battle.  Others recommended him immediately for promotion.  The experienced general quietly asked, “What did he do the day after the victory?”

It is after the victory that the real battle begins.  This is the time that is the true test of a man’s integrity.  It was after great victories that King David committed adultery and murder.  It was after a demonstration of God’s Spirit that Samson responded in the flesh.  Yes, after is a dangerous time.

The Lord Jesus experienced one of the greatest days of His ministry in Mark 1.  Some Bible teachers have referred to this day as His “busy day in Capernaum.”  He emerges from the wilderness temptation in victory.  Called His first disciples.  Taught in the synagogue.  Delivered a demon possessed man.  Raised Peter’s mother in law from her sick-bed.  Spent the evening healing sick and demon possessed people lined up outside His door.  What a day!

Time to rest?  Time to bask in the results?  Time to rejoice?  The crowds love Him!  Success has come!  In the words of Peter, “All men seek for thee.”  Who wouldn’t love such victory?

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).

The Lord knew something that we often forget – victory is never the end.  It is the beginning.

Oswald Chambers wrote along these same lines that God’s people must learn to “use victory.”  Not just enjoy it.  No, it is at the moment of victory that greater success or greatest failure lingers!  He wrote, “Where do we place the night of prayer and the dawn of intercession in our soul’s calendar? do we place it after a day of marvelous success in the work for God?  If we do not, our souls are in peril.”

Dr. George Adam Smith told of climbing to the top of a high mountain peak.  His guide moved back to allow him the first view of the breath-taking vista.  Taken with the emotion of the experience, Smith began to jump up and down.  Immediately the wise guide cried out, “Down on your knees!  It isn’t safe standing up there.”  And so it is with life.  The highest experiences are some of the most dangerous.

Listen to your Guide: “Down on your knees!  It isn’t safe standing up there.”  Thank God for the victory, but stay very close to Him.  Victory is not an event.  It is Christ.

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