Summary: You can win the battle, but lose the victory.

This message is an outline of the short essay “After the Victory” , pg 63-66 in Warren W. Wiersbe’s book, The Bumps Are What You Climb On, 1993.


Intro: Andrew Bonar a Presbyterian minister in Scotland who was a close friend to D. L. Moody:

"Let us be as watchful after the victory as before the battle." Pg 63 WWW

Paul: Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

It is possible to win the battle and then lose the victory. Pg 63 WWW

I. Battle Christians Face

A. Satan --> Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand

against the wiles of the devil.

wiles: Deceitful, Crafty

B. The World --> The systems of men that are opposed to God and the godly nature.

C. The Flesh--> Gal 5:17 " For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against

The flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things ye would."

II. Beware

A. The Christian life is not a playground; it is a battleground, and we must be on our

Guard at all times. Pg 63 WWW

I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as

a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

B. Not always as a roaring lion, but often as a slithering serpent.

II Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his

subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

C. Take heed lest ye fall!

I Cor 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

"No Christian is in more danger of erring than that one who has already erred

in thinking he cannot err." RRR pg 163

III. The Most Dangerous Time

The most dangerous time --the time that requires the most vigilance--is when we have

won a victory. For some reason, after a victory, we let down our guard, we get

over-confident, and this gives the enemy a chance to get in and defeat us.

Pgs 63 – 64 WWW

A. Elijah on Mt. Carmel

I Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye

between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow

him. And the people answered him not a word.

Elijah won the battle, but lost the victory. Pg 64 WWW

I Kings 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. 3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

B. Joshua, Israel, and Ai

1. Jericho --> Josh 6 --> Complete control in the battle

2. Ai --> Josh 7 --> Utter disaster

a. Over-confident

Nothing opens the door to defeat like over-confidence after a great victory.

Pg 64 WWW

b. They forgot to ask God's Guidance

c. Sin was in the camp.

IV. Great Testings after Great Victories

A. Moses, Israel, and the Red Sea Exodus14

1. Crossed over on dry ground

2. Enemy drowned Exodus 14:23 -28

3. Moses sings Exodus 15:1

4. Miriam play the timbrel and dances Exodus 15:20-21

5. Three days later!!! Exodus 15:22

a. No water Ex 15:22

b. Bitter water Ex. 15:23

c. People Murmured Ex. 15:24

They had won the battle, but lost the victory.

How many of us have walked out the doors of the church after a glorious service and

confront the enemy within hours or even minutes. Some have quit within hour of being

in God's presence.

B. The Disciples

1. Feed 5000 Mt. 14:15-21

2. Commanded to leave by Jesus --> "straightway" Mt 14:22

3. Ship was tossed Mt. 14:24

4. Disciples are Troubled Mt. 14 :25 -26

Within hours of a great miracle they were struck with fear in the midst of a storm.

On land, they had won the battle; but on sea, they lost the victory. Pg 65 WWW

C. Christ Matthew 4:1-11

1. Baptized in water

2. Holy Ghost descends like a dove

3. Alone, hungry, and tempted by the Devil

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