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Going without knowing: Rebounding from victory (Part 1)

Updated: May 11, 2023

After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High,Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered. The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.” Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”-Genesis 14:17-24

Abraham has just come off of a great victory. He had tracked down and defeated Kedorlaomer and liberated his nephew Lot and the people of Sodom who had been taken captive. Abraham and his men are rebounding from a great victory. When we think of rebounding, our minds typically gravitate to recovering after a missed shot or rebuilding after a fall, however, we could find ourselves having to rebound from a victory if we don’t take some serious precautions. It is easy to let our guard down when we are still recovering from the high of winning a strategic fight or overcoming impossible odds. Pastor & Author Ray Stedman discussing this passage wrote: "In our spiritual life, the enemy loves best to strike when we are relaxed and off guard after some spiritual victory or period of great usefulness. His approach then is never open or frontal, but subtle and insidious, taking full advantage of our relaxed defenses.”

Stedman pointed to three of these subtleties in a commentary he wrote called the Peril of Victory: 1. Coming off this great victory, Abraham’s army would be rejuvenated and yet exhausted at the same time. They would be glad to be returning from the battle rather than having to manage the emotions of preparing to enter the fight or having to muster the courage it takes to stay in the fray. It is often in these quiet moments after the battle that Satan subtly distracts us.

2. It is also in those moments following a great victory, that we can easily start to believe our own press. Bolstered by new found popularity or confidence, we can fail to maintain the humility that we depended on going into the battle. 3. We can also begin to develop expectations of entitlement. Believing that we deserve to be rewarded for our hard work and investment. Even though, outside of God’s grace, it likely would not have happened.

We are most susceptible to temptation when we are hungry, angry, lonely and tired.

Pastor Scott Burr Dayspring Community Church

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