Summary: Satan’s fiercest attacks often come in those moments when we are basking in our spiritual victories; when our strength is exhausted and our defenses are down. Elijah helps us to find ways to overcome those moments of great temptation.
Title: How To Recover From Spiritual Victory
Series: God Uses Broken Vessels
Text: 1 Kings 19
It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and Arnold Palmer had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. He felt he was in pretty good shape. As he approached my ball, he saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. The friend motioned him over, stuck out his hand and said, congratulations. Palmer took his hand and shook it, but as soon as he did, he knew he had lost his focus. On his next two shots, he hit the ball into a sand trap, and then put it over the edge of the green. He missed a putt and lost the Masters.
A mountain top experience is a wonderful thing for the believer. Especially when it comes as a result of a long, extended battle over the forces of the enemy. But while we seize the moment to bask in the glow of victory, Satan and his evil followers are just gearing up for a major offensive against us. With our guard down, be it from fatigue, frustration, contentment, depression, or pride, we are often bombarded with the most vicious attack of our lives. In moments like this, we need to know how to recover from spiritual victory and withstand the attacks of Satan.
I. SATAN’S ATTACKS OFTEN COME AFTER A SPIRITUAL VICTORY (1-4).
Illustration: There are many instances recorded in Scripture where Satan has attacked, and often won, after a great spiritual victory.
· David is anointed king over Israel but later sins in his dealings with Bathsheba.
· John the Baptist lays the foundation for the ministry of Christ, but later questions whether or not Jesus is actually the Messiah.
· Peter walks on water, and then loses his focus.
· Jesus spends 40 days and nights fasting and praying in the wilderness only to be immediately encountered and tempted by Satan.
A. Your Victory Will Not Assure Favorable Reception.
1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
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 to morrow about this time.
Note: Our country has fought many battles for the freedom we enjoy. But people throughout the world hate our freedom. They would enslave us in a society that accepts and worships false gods. They would bring us again into a life of bondage and darkness because they despise the blessing and prosperity our God has given us. They burn our flag, and spit upon the blood of those brave people who heroically gave their lives so that you and I might continue to enjoy freedom. They hold protest marches and rallies and curse the God we worship and serve. And for that, we will worship and serve Him all the more.
B. Your Victory Will Not Abolish Future Disappointment.
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.
Illustration: For Joshua, victory was assured. And as he led the children of Israel around the walls of Jericho, the walls came crashing down, and Israel took the city.
Then, they came to the city of Ai. It was a small town, and should have been easily captured. In fact, Joshua didn’t even send all the troops. Instead of a glorious victory, however, the children of Israel were defeated, and thirty-six men of Israel were killed in the battle. Why? Because one man had sinned.
Israel’s victory over Ai was not guaranteed because they had been victorious at Jericho. Their victory was only assured because of their obedience to God. Only after the sin problem had been dealt with could they go on to victory.
Similarly, our prayer for America must now be that she regains her spiritual roots in order to fight back. We need a revival in our land.
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
II. YOU CANNOT WITHSTAND SATAN’S ATTACKS IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH (5-8).