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
One of the problems we have in dealing with the devil is PERCEPTION DECEPTION. That is an effective strategy used against us. He seeks to get us to PERCEIVE him as a vicious, roaring lion with great power and to be greatly feared. 1 Peter 5:8 informs us of a great truth, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, AS a roaring line, walketh about, seeking whom he MAY devour.” I hope you caught the two words I emphasized, “as” and “may.” The only true power the devil has is to manifest himself, in your mind in images or created perception. He presents untrue and deceptive images of his grandeur, power, strength, and fierceness. Please understand, I am not telling you to ignore him or turn your back on him or brazenly say, “Take your best shot, devil.” NO! What began as a snake in the Garden of Eden has grown into a dragon in Revelation. Don’t you find that amazing? How did he grow that much? Let me shake up your world – WE DID IT!
How did we enable the devil to morph into such an imposing figure? One of the ways is that in the Church we have spent an enormous amount of time telling him, ourselves, and others how strong he is. In that sense, we have given him his power. Jesus defeated Him and we are in Christ and Christ in us is the Hope of Glory, so why have we elevated the devil to a perch he does not deserve and should not have? In Mark 11:23, Jesus speaks about our SPEAKING to the problem and in that emphasized the power of our words in life. What I’m saying is that in our preaching, teaching, talking, and thinking we have created that perception and he is getting as much mileage out of it as possible.
In a very real sense, we have ignored truths such as Luke 10:19 which informed us that we have been given authority over the devil and Romans 16:20, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” I assert that it is high time that the Body of Christ REALIZE who and whose we are and begin to Defuse, Defang, and Defeat the Defeated devil. We need to stand up and say to the thief – STOP! Devil, you have no authority here and you have been defeated by the one who lives in me, so I have authority over you! The Bible says in James 4:7 that we are to RESIST the devil and he will flee. The converse is also true if we DO NOT RESIST he will not flee.
I sense an urging from the Spirit of God for us to EXPOSE DECEPTION and I want to focus on one of the devil’s major deceptions and hopefully arm you with the truth so you can be free. He is a master manipulator and manipulates Scripture, twisting it for his purposes. He tried with Jesus and he assuredly does so with us. If we have the Eyes of our Understanding Enlightened we will not fall prey to his deceptive tactics.
Let’s consider John 10:10 our text verse, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” What is the Deception that I am referring to? Let me present it this way, “Who is this Scripture referring to?” I am serious, if this is referring to the devil then he does have the power to Steal, Kill, and Destroy and he is a Roaring Lion! I know that will take a bit of explaining but when Christians speak of the devil in that way, he receives power and is able to operate in deception and STEALS. If we believe he has power over us, he is able to exercise power over us illegally. If we believe he has the power to steal, he steals. If we believe he has the power to kill, he kills.
I must press on lest I lose you and you reject any possibility of what I’m saying and if I am right, you can receive something that will liberate you! Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” No, I am not teaching you can say anything and have it regardless of what God says. What I want you to see is that if we read the entire text and context of John 10:10 you realize that this passage is dealing with THE FALSE Teachers, Prophets, and Shepherds who were among the sheep. It was those FALSE Teachers, Prophets, and Shepherds who were Killing, Stealing, and Destroying. I know that is challenging but stay with me. If you look closely you will find that the devil is not described as a thief in this passage but a WOLF. The wolf that the hireling is supposed to be guarding against and warning the sheep. Too often those who should be warning us of the danger and telling us of our power and authority have been of his power. I do not believe that was malicious but misguided and is the result of deception and perception.
We need to consider the Word of God and stop giving the devil power he does not legitimately have and assume the power and authority that God has given us. We need to be liberated from the FEAR of Death and the FEAR of the devil. In Hebrews 1:14-15 we read, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that HAD the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through FEAR OF DEATH were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Emphasis mine). The Power of Death has been taken from the devil and we are supposed to enforce the Victory of the Cross and Resist Him and He MUST flee from us.
The only thing the devil can steal from you in his own power is THE WORD OF GOD and when he does he takes the rest of your belongings with him. If he can steal the Word of God from you he has defeated you. If you live in the Word of God – You Live in Power. If you live in the Word of God – You rule not the devil. If you live in the World – You Live in Defeat rather than Victory. If you live in the World – You Serve and he Rules.
I want to address this just a bit more so we will take it up next time and wrap it up in a package and tie a bow on it and hopefully, all of us will walk forth in Victory in Jesus. God bless you richly as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him.