Amy Carroll » Ministry Development » The After Battle

The After Battle

I woke up last Sunday morning and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. It felt like a truck had run over me and then backed up. Not only was I physically exhausted, but I felt emotionally wrung out. The negative narrative in my head began almost as soon as I opened my eyes. Here’s the weird thing…

Saturday had been an amazing day of ministry.

The event I participated in was filled with friends, and I got to partner with one of my favorite people, Tara Furman. Our keynotes book-ended the conference, and I felt particularly connected to the audience as I delivered a new message I’m passionate about with confidence.

So how could Sunday morning be completely horrible?

My mind wandered back to a talk I heard years ago given by Nancy Leigh DeMoss in which she used one of Abraham’s stories to illustrate this truth:

[Tweet “Many of our greatest spiritual attacks come after our greatest spiritual victories.”]

She used these verses as the foundation to her message:

17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
    who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goodsfor yourself.”

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ (Genesis 14: 17-22)

Do you see what happened?

Abraham defeats Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him. Victory!

Abraham rescued Lot. Victory!

Abraham meets with the King of Salem, the first High Priest recorded in the Bible. Some theologians believe he was the pre-incarnate Christ. Victory!

Abraham is tempted by the King of Sodom. After battle.

As I pondered this lesson, I reminded myself of some practices that I’ve let fall by the wayside.

Ministry requires rest. It’s a great gift to join God in His work, but being “on” is draining. I usually try to plan a slow day before and a day off after an event. Exhaustion is Satan’s playground, where he can lead us more easily into that negative self-talk.

Battle must be waged before AND after an event. I love praying through the armor of God in scripture to make sure I’m completely protected, but we need to remind ourselves that the battle isn’t over when we pack up to head home. Prayer for God’s covering needs to continue after as well.

Have you noticed that it’s easy to fall into the pit after an event? Share something that’s helped you to win the after-battle.

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9 Comments

  1. Bridgit Smith says:

    Such timely words Amy! I know God is and wants to do big things at our Pregnancy Care Center, so right now the enemy is waging war.
    Thank you for sharing your practices!
    God bless you,
    ~b

  2. Great post Amy! I’ve noticed the same thing. I’m going to take to heart your advice and words of experience as I prepare for my next two speaking engagements in April and May. Thanks so much for sharing your hard-won wisdom!

  3. Thanks for this reminder, Amy! I’m on radio once a week here in my hometown and I tell you no lie, it used to feel like war for the preceding 48 hours, and then afterward I’d feel great for a spell and then very tired and negative, like I wanted to quit. It’s not as bad as it was in the beginning, but it still happens every week to varying degrees based on what else is going on and how much time and space I’ve given myself before ministering. I am still learning to set the right boundaries and be consistent about it. I try to practice clearing my entire day before and after the radio show, no lunch dates, no housework, nothing at all, just rest and meditation.
    Your post and the comments so far remind me that this battle is not in my imagination, it’s real! We really have to pray without ceasing. Blessings!

  4. So true!! Some of my worst spiritual attacks have been after an event. Thank you for reminding me to pray AFTER it is over for protection. I am so diligent to have prayer cover before and during an event. I need to find that coverage for afterwards. Great word today!

  5. Excellent word! I have certainly seen it and felt it and watch it happen in other’s lives. When the enemy persists, may our prayers persist even more! We serve the One all powerful God who we get to call Father. Thank you!

  6. “Exhaustion is Satan’s playground…” So profound and TRUE! It reminds me that one of the most important things we can do in the battle is self-care. When we run the race until we are burned out, we set ourselves up for attack. Such a great reminder! Self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary. Well written, friend.

  7. Sooo true 🙂
    Great word – and thank you – as always – for your vulnerability !
    Hugs !

  8. Oh Amy, this is so true!

    There will never be a time we can put our armor in storage. Nothing we do or don’t do will stop Satan from trying to defeat us. What works for me is I take the battle as a confirmation that what I’m doing is being effective and I’m on the lookout for it. 1 Peter 5:8, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy . . .,” definitely applies here because if we are able to recognize what is happening as a work of the devil, it strengthens us in the Lord. Remembering that “he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44) also helps when a barrage of negative thoughts enter my mind. I have to agree that getting enough sleep/rest is necessary because we are so much more vulnerable when we are tired!