Samson had been fighting the Philistines and winning. One day he even took the gates of the city to the top of the hill but the Scriptures says “afterward he loved a woman.” Judges 16:4
No matter how many successes we have there is always an afterward. A leader might take a great meeting or preach an awesome message but afterward there may come temptation or even a secret struggle with anger, porn or insecurity. The greatest test of integrity is not when you having revival every night but when there is nothing going on; when its prayer night and you know the leaders wont be there. The test is not when your marriage is in full bloom and exciting but when you’re too busy at work and you come home to a tired and grumpy wife. The test is not when you’re at home surrounded by loving parents who fill up your emotional tank but when you’re living away from home and your emotional tank still cries out for love.
Your successes don’t define you but it is your “afterward.” It is always in the “afterward” that our integrity is tested and when our true character is revealed.
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Isa 48:10
In these times of testing God “discovers” His finest saints; people who will not bow down to lap at the pool of fleshly need, or give up their birthright for a bowl of soup.
Friend, watch out for the “afterwards.” Samson found out that sin always takes you further that you wanted to go and always costs you more than you wanted to pay.