“So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.”
Victory and success can be some of the greatest enemies that anyone can experience. Many people have a victory in life only to surrender to defeating actions immediately following the victory. Many have experienced a little success only to find themselves never to taste success again because of the actions that they took after the success. One of the most dangerous times in anyone’s life is immediately after they have experienced a great victory or success.
Joshua and Israel discovered this truth, as many others have, the hard way. Right after the great victory of defeating Jericho and watching God crumble those great walls, Joshua and Israel foolishly went to Ai and found defeat. What Israel found out was that one great victory doesn’t guarantee continued victory. There is no doubt that a great victory can give you the momentum for more great victories, but if this is going to happen, you must avoid the defeating actions that will halt victory’s momentum. Let me point out several defeating actions you must avoid if you want to keep victory’s momentum going.
First, you must guard against overconfidence. Just because you had a victory or a success doesn’t make you someone special. The victory or success happened because of your hard work and reliance on God. Never become overconfident in your abilities. Joshua became overconfident in his abilities, and several men lost their lives because of it. You must guard against overconfidence’s temptation to stop the actions that led to your victory or success.
Second, you must guard against running scared of failure. Joshua and Israel suffered defeat because they ran from failure. You must guard against the mindset that we can’t do it again because of the greatness of the victory or success. If you run scared of failure, you are sure to fail because running from failure is running from faith. Stop worrying about if you are going to fail and keep doing what you are supposed to be doing. You will find continued victory and success if you leave your success and failure up to God and keep living the life of faith.
Third, you must guard against quitting what made you successful. The actions that led to success and victory are the same actions that will lead to continued success and victory. Don’t change the menu of your actions and beliefs in a belief that changing will give you more success. Instead of quitting what made you successful, you ought to do more of what made you successful and you will experience greater success and victory.
Fourth, you must guard against letting up on your labor. Success and victory have never come easy; it has always taken hard work to find success and victory. My friend, I know you will get tired on the way to success and victory, but you must not let up on your labor once you achieved what you were seeking. It takes work to experience success and victory; it takes MORE work and labor for success and victory to continue.
Fifth, guard against letting up on your prayer life. It ultimately takes God for victory and success to continue. Don’t become presumptuous because of past success and go forward without prayer as Joshua did. You are sure to fall flat on your face when you leave the prayer closet.