And I have also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you.’ ” – Judges 2:3 NIV
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Today’s devotion is the second part of our devotion titled, “Achieve Long Lasting Victory_1”, where emphasis was placed on the need for the Christian to avoid breaching or compromising agreements made with the Lord on the manner of implementing tasks. In order to avoid this situation that may turn joy to sorrow for the Christian, over achievements already made, it may be necessary to examine some of the possible reasons that may make a Christian make such a huge error that will not only impact negatively on his/her life, but possibly affect his/her relationship with the Lord.
Some of those possible reasons are as follows:
- Inappropriate attempt to display an attitude of contentment. This is one major reason why Christians may not complete a task that they started. This is because they suddenly feel a sense of satisfaction with what has been achieved and view subsequent efforts as a sign of discontentment. Christians need to understand that in approving or initiating that battle, the Almighty God would have considered several factors most of which will not be immediately obvious to the individual. It is with this knowledge that he determined the boundaries of the battle. Falling short or over stepping those boundaries due to issues of having or lacking contentment is irrelevant in this situation as the Almighty God cannot be projected as lacking contentment or greedy without negative fallouts – 2Kgs. 13:14-17.
- Fear of the enemy due to sudden development of cold feet is another reason why the Christian backs out of agreements with the Lord. The Christian sees whatever is achieved as being a lucky break as he/she sees only the ability of the enemy and not the ability of the God that is giving the backing. Such then begins to fear losing what is already won since he/she feels really inferior when his/her ability is placed side-by-side that of the supposed enemy – Matt. 14:22-33.
- Battle weariness is another reason why the Christian suddenly stops a battle that was started with the Lord leading the battle lines. He/she suddenly gets tired of the long drawn battle and feels peace is desired. As much as this may be true, the fact remains that there will be no peace if the Prince of Peace is not declaring it. The Christian who is included in the army of the Lord that is involved in a battle should pray for emotional strength as he/she will not be permitted to turn back until the battle is completely over – 1Kgs. 19:9-18.
- Peer discouragement remains a major reason why a Christian will want to unilaterally stop a battle that God is involved in and compromise the conditions of the battle. With most people not seeing or being privy to the conversation between the individual and the Almighty God with respect to the battle, they most times cannot see the reason for the battle or continuing with it. All forms of advises that can only serve as discouragement will be constantly given and the Christian will need to be really resolute to fight this constant emotional and psychological attack – 1Kgs. 13:1-25.
- Lack of ambition will always make anyone stop a battle irrespective of how close he/she is to greater victory. Most people confuse lack of ambition with having contentment. Working within the Will of God for ones life can never be seen as being discontented just as having the ambition to attain higher heights in life under the guidance of the Almighty God cannot be regarded as negative. The Christian life is a progressive one and ambition remains the motivation for it. One without ambition will never be motivated to take progressive steps – Lk. 16:19-31.
- Self centeredness will also be another reason in this case as the Christian believes the only interest to be served with the successful prosecution of the battle and the achievement of all its goals are only those targets that he/she has. The truth is that the desire that leads to wanting to be involved in those battles most times are due to divine reasons and believing that the battle is over once personal goals are achieved will not only be naïve and ignorant but very selfish. God also has goals to achieve in that battle and achieving your own goals cannot substitute for His own goals. If he supported you to achieve your own goals, then you owe him a duty to also ensure that His own goals for being in that battle are achieved – Jonah 4:1-11.
- Devil’s deception can never be under stated in this regard as he is constantly at war with man to ensure that man disappoints the Almighty God. In order to achieve this, strategies that will include some of the above stated points or more will be deployed to discourage the Christian from finishing the battle on the side of the Lord. Just as the scriptures advise, we should never be unaware of the devices of the Devil – Job 1:8-11.
As much as the above list are in no way exhaustive, Christians must always complete all tasks they agree with the Lord to implement, stopping only when all the targeted goals have been achieved. Any thing short of this may attract punishment from the Lord including turning the achievement into a snare for the Christian. That may be the reason why that joy associated with that your achievement turned to sadness and regrets after a while, as the Lord Himself probably positioned Himself to frustrate them as a consequence of breach if the agreements made with Him. May God grant us the Grace to complete all tasks agreed with him in Jesus name. Amen.