John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” NASU
I would ask that you read John 10:1-18 for this discussion, study, and devotional. I believe it will give you a strong foundation for what we are trying to communicate. Of the things in life that trouble me and anger me are the ravages of the devil upon mankind and his seeming ability to intimidate believers causing them to live beneath His Promises and Provisions. I am troubled that frequently we (the Body of Christ) are either unable or unwilling to assume our rightful inheritance and see the fruit and reality of life in the Kingdom experienced in everyday life. It is irritating to witness the enemy stealing from God’s people, myself included and see believers accept that as a normal part of life.
Realizing that I may upset some, I suggest that we have been lied to and ripped off. No, I am not targeting variations of belief and teaching about what God does or not do today but the devil has lied to the church and the church as believed the lie as did Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Not only have we, at times, believed his lies we have helped him to perpetuate those lies. That is incredibly disturbing! It is something that I have and am praying for the LORD to help me overcome and to find a way to communicate liberating truth to believers. I want to live the Abundant Life and help as many others live there as well. We are, according to the Bible, MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH JESUS.
I believe the devil has launched a two-pronged attack and it has been successful. He has DECEIVED multitudes. I am not simply talking about the lost, but the saved as well. He uses DECEPTION as a tool and tactic astutely. He desires to have us believe that we are ‘victims’ of our circumstances, environment, times, the system, etc. He desires to have us direct our focus in the wrong direction and on the wrong things and thereby lose sight of the Real Thief. In Ephesians 6:12 we are told, “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Sadly, too often we fight the wrong enemy with the wrong weapons for the wrong reason and fail to achieve spiritual victory. If I can help God’s people REALIZE that we have suffered theft, RECOGNIZE who the real thief is, RECLAIM the lost possessions and help believers to see and believe we can have FULL RESTORATION I will have served my purpose.
The second pong of the devil’s attack is FEAR. He uses fear to gain an edge and intimidate us. Too often we play into his hands. I would never suggest that the devil has no power but sometimes we seem to present a devil in our preaching that is mighty and an all-powerful roaring line to be feared. He does have power, but it is limited power! He cannot do as he pleases. He uses DECEPTION to work his work and if he can instill a twinge of FEAR he gains the advantage. Sadly, that is an advantage we gave him not one he has legitimately. My prayer is that we, (the Body of Christ), wake up and realize WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST!
THE DEVIL IS DEFEATED according to the Bible and God has provided for us the weapons and tools to ENFORCE the Victory of Calvary. If we are going to enforce the victory of Calvary and defeat the devil in our personal lives we must KNOW God’s Word and ACT upon that word. It cannot simply be something we quote, in rote, but something we believe and act upon. We have Weapons that are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.
There are two principles and truths regarding our weapons and the use of them that I would like to convey to you. First, is found in Ephesians 1:17 is that we must have the Eyes of our Understanding Enlightened. Second, we need to grasp the principle of the Law of Retribution found in Exodus 22:1-9. In that Law, if a theft occurs the thief has to restore and restore more than he took. I urge you to read those verses and if you will meditate on them they will provide a liberating foundation for God to build on in your new attitude toward the things being stolen from you.
I find it absolutely amazing that in human courts it is sometimes unlawful for you to defend your own property. In some states, if a thief is hurt in your home, you have to pay his medical expenses. Likewise, there is seldom recourse for you to recover the damages you suffered but the thief can sue you and bankrupt you. That’s Human Courts but not the Court of Heaven and we must view spiritual things through the lens of God’s Word and have our Understanding Enlightened. We need to learn what God’s Word allows, the Weapons He has provided and our authority and then take the devil to the Court of God and expect restitution and restoration of that which has been stolen. For us to accomplish that we must Know the Law and we must Catch the Thief.
I hope I have whetted your appetite and peaked your interest so that we can continue this thought in the next devotional and by the time we conclude we will be able to not only STOP the thief but take him to court and receive FULL RESTITUTION and RESTORATION of that which has been stolen from us.
Until next time, I say, “God with God and He will God with you.”