After spiritual warfare, relish the victory with humility
This week we will conclude this short series on spiritual warfare with what to do after a victory. Wars have been lost because a victory was not handled correctly, and this can happen in spiritual warfare as well. The "poison fruit" of victory can stunt our progress.
Japan won a battle at Pearl Harbor but it also had much to do with why they were defeated in WW II. Israel had some very early victories against Rome in the Jewish revolt of 70 AD but those same victories contributed to their ultimate defeat.
When victory is in sight, don’t stop and "smell the roses" or enjoy the spoils before it’s time.
You must keep on till the battle is over.
Pharaoh Necho stopped too soon at Megiddo because his men started pillaging and this gave the enemy time to escape and it took an extra year to finally defeat them.
The Union army at Gettysburg had the perfect opportunity to rout the confederate army after Pickett’s charge, but didn’t and the war dragged on. In defeating the enemy, render him useless or incapable of fighting back. David won a victory and captured many chariot horses (1Chr 18). So, he kept what he needed and hamstrung the horses so that they could not be used against him again.
How do we do this? Don’t get involved with the same people again that have caused us much damage, don’t answer their calls and go into business with them and avoid the situations that led to the "battle" with them to begin with. In the spoils, don’t take more than can be handled.
Keep only the useful things. When fighting a battle and God gives unexpected victories and rewards, don’t refuse them, but accept them gratefully. Israel got control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the 6-day war of 1967, but gave the Temple Mount back to the enemy and that decision has caused and will cause much damage.
When God intervenes, you don’t have to worry about carrying out vengeance. When Assyria attacked Israel in Isa 36 and 37, God intervenes and defeats Sennacarib.
Humiliated at the sudden demise of 185,000 men, Sennacarib goes back home and is eventually murdered. Israel didn’t have to do a thing. It’s the same way spiritually.
When God delivers us from someone, we don’t have to carry out personal vengeance against them, if it needs to be done the Lord will do it.
Another important thing to remember is "don’t keep fighting the battle." When it’s over, it’s over.
Rehashing the battle leads to bitterness, anger and resentment, but, don’t ever think the battle is over in a victory either, expect it to get "hotter."
Why? Because you just improved your weapons and the enemy will counter. Also, God will allow the enemy to hit you because of pride. In 2 Cor 12.1-10 it says that Paul was given many great revelations but the Lord allowed him to be buffeted by his enemies to keep him from exalting himself.
Some think the "thorn in the flesh" was some physical ailment but it wasn’t. Paul had a job to do for the Lord and he needed to physically able to do it.
But, a "thorn in the flesh" is a Hebrew idiom meaning an adversary, to falsely accuse, abuse or slander you.
In Judges 2.3 it says because Israel had made covenants with the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, they (the inhabitants) were now going to be "thorns in your sides, (or flesh)." In Num 33.55 it says that if Israel doesn’t drive out these inhabitants they will be "pricks in your eyes and thorns in your flesh."
In Ezekiel 2.6 the Lord tells Ezekiel not to fear the people or their words though they be as "thorns and thistles" to you .
So, Paul’s thorn in the flesh was the accusations of the people against him who slandered and falsely accused him of things, stirring up crowds against him.
This was to prevent pride in Paul, as he says himself (2 Cor 12.7). If we get "hit" and lose, we need to assess the reasons why and adjust, building our walls and defenses stronger than before.
After a victory, rebuild your walls and develop your weapons (Isa 61.4, 58.12). We must also stay balanced through study of the Scriptures, receiving wisdom, being refined and prayer.
As you can see, there are many aspects of spiritual warfare. We looked at definitions and basic warfare truths. We then looked at the Captain and who He is.
Then, we discussed wise preparations and what psychological warfare was.
Next we looked at what to do when on the attack and what to do when attacked. And lastly, we have just looked at what to do after a victory. What we have gone over the past few weeks is just an introduction to spiritual warfare.
To develop all this out would take over a year but hopefully you have received enough to help you in this all important area of biblical spiritual warfare, security.