Thursday, June 23, 2011

Winning the Battle to Gain the Victory

After reading 1 Kings 20-21 I turned to my favorite Warren Wiersbe Commentary. There are many things we could glean from these chapters but Mr. Wiersbe's comments on 1 Kings 20:31-33 made me pause.

"When God sent King Saul to fight the Amalekites, He made it clear that He wanted the Israelites to completely destroy them (1 Sam.15). Saul disobeyed the Lord and as a result lost his kingdom. The Lord must have given a similar command to King Ahab (v.42), but he, too, disobeyed. Ahab won the battle but lost the victory. What the enemy couldn't accomplish with their weapons, they accomplished with their deception. If Satan can't succeed as the lion that devours (1 Peter 5:8), he will come as a serpent who deceives (2 Cor. 11:3). Even Joshua fell into a similar trap (Josh. 9).

Ben-hadad's officers were clever men who knew it was worth the risk to appeal to Ahab's pride. God had given the victory, but Ahab would take credit and claim the spoils. In their dress and their attitude, the officers pretended to show humble submission to Ahab as he waited in his chariot (v 33). Ahab certainly enjoyed the "honor" he was receiving after the great victory, but not once did he give the glory to the Lord."

Some things never change! Have you and I ever been commanded to completely destroy a besetting sin? Sure, some days we seem to win the battle but others ...we fall back and seem to never gain the victory. Perhaps we, too, think that just holding on to a little bit is okay. That is our prideful unwillingness to obey. Have you ever thought "Sure, God gives others victory but not me"? Maybe we really prefer to cling to our sin, not believing that God has a victory for us too?

Over the last week I have also been reading a book called "Never Quit" by Edwin Cole. Just last night I read that we can not rest after the victory. Before the victory we are focused, determined, strong and rested. But the day after the victory we become lazy, tired and an easy prey for the enemy. Could it be that we have had a number of victories and we have gotten comfortable and prideful?

We also may need to consider if we are thankful to the Lord. It is easy to say "I did ..." and take the credit that is rightfully reserved for God because it was ALL Him and NOTHING of ourselves!

Today let's pause and consider:
Am I in disobedient in an area that God has asked me to destroy?
Have I gotten lazy, prideful and self-reliant?
Am I truly giving credit to the Lord knowing that the battles and the victories are HIS?


Kathy's on staff at America's KESWICK in the Development Department. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 25 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local church and has previously served as a Teaching Director for Community Bible Study. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God's Word.

James 3:7-9
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,
8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

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