By Danny Claborn
John 10:10 says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” It has been said that John 10:10 is the dividing line of the Bible. If it came to steal, kill or destroy, it did not come from Jesus. We must decide if we are going to let Satan steal, kill and destroy our lives, or if we are going to live a rich and satisfying life that has already been provided for us by Jesus Christ.
1. Does It Steal possessions from us?
Whatever situation comes upon us, if it steals from us, causes us to lack for anything, if it takes away from us, it is of the devil. If it causes us to lose money or something of value, it comes from the devil. Sometimes, we get ourselves into situations where we lose money or get into debt because we have made bad decisions. Before we make major decisions, we should seek Godly counsel in areas that we lack wisdom. In this case, we cannot blame the devil, but we can ask God for forgiveness, wisdom, and help us with a strategy to get out of that situation. We must seek God’s word and His wisdom.
Satan can steal more than just our possessions. He can steal our joy, our peace, our happiness. He puts small thoughts into our mind, telling us that a friend is making fun of us, that no one likes us, no one finds us attractive, our friends think they are better than us. In Deuteronomy 28, God describes blessings and curses that we can live with or without. We have been redeemed from the curses of sickness and disease, lack – being without, scarceness – limited supply, or living with no room for emergencies in our lives, unfulfilled desires – the inability to live beyond the need state. Satan will also rob us of our dreams and our destiny. As a child, we all dream of what we want to be when we grow up. How many of us actually achieve that dream. As we meet our significant other in our lives, we dream together, we tell her about all the luxuries we want her to have, of the grand home we will have, of the automobiles we want her to have. We dream together, as we begin our married lives, we want all of these items, NOW. The only way to achieve most of them now is to go in debt. Ah! A ploy of the Devil! Debt is not bad, if we can pay it back each month, but most of us get in debt over our heads and cannot pay it back, only paying interest each month, thus getting further and further behind. As we wrestle with paying off this debt, we lose track of those dreams and even forget to pursue them. If we could learn to pay cash for everything, maybe only borrow for our home, we would be so much better off without the stress or worry of these debts and all the consequences that come with it.
2. Does It Steal the word from us?
Satan will also also try to steal the word from us. Psalm 12:6 says, “The words and promises of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times over.” We must guard the words of the Lord with our heart. Psalm 119:16 says, “I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” We must study God’s word, instill it into our hearts, so that Satan cannot steal it from us. Matt 13:18 and 19 states, “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.” Many people hear the word in one ear and let it escape out the other. Jewish teachers exhorted students to listen and memorize the teachings, yet many who listened to Jesus would forget the message. Jesus says this neglect is the devils work. Today, people hear the gospel every week in church, but yet, some do not know how to be saved, how to grow to maturity. Just hearing the word does not make us understand it. We must study the word to show ourselves approved. We must put the word to work in our lives, so that when we speak or do something, the word of God is what comes out. We must have the expectations that everything we say or do will give God “glory and honor”.
3. Did it Kill anything in our lives?
Satan also came to kill and destroy. He brings sickness upon us, he brings stress upon us which leads to sickness and disease. Sickness came into the world through Adam’s sin. Sickness is not from God. As a result of Adam’s sin, the curse of sickness came upon the earth. Before Adam’s sin, there was no sickness upon the earth. With the fall of man, curse came upon the earth, bringing sickness, accidents, and storms. I read in the newspaper, everyday, obituaries of people that have passed away at much too young of an age. You see people ages 30 to 80 dying of cancer, heart attacks, kidney problems. We must wake up and realize that God said He would give us the desires of our heart. Psalm 37:3-5 (New International Version), “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.” It is not my desire to die at such a young age. My desire is to live to be 120 years old and to die peacefully in my sleep, unless Jesus comes before. I am not quite to my mid-life yet. Most people blame God when their relatives pass away at a young age. In Deuteronomy 34:7, “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.” By obeying God’s commandments, He will give us the desires of our hearts. God is not a respecter of persons.
4. Have you been Deceived?
Satan deceives people, by leading them into pleasurable acts such as smoking, drinking, drugs, over eating, cocaine, pot. These acts lead to other sin as well. The consequences of sin is sickness and death. He makes people believe that these acts are good, takes away stress. These events are Satan’s way of taking their lives. These pleasurable acts are dangerous to our bodies, they harm our bodies long before we know it. He also deceives us by telling us it is okay not to read or study the word, today. What is one day going to hurt, then another day, then another. It is so easy to miss reading the word, get so busy doing everyday things with work, worldly day to day events that all of sudden, it has been a week since we last read the word of God. We need to get the word everyday by reading our Bible, listening to a CD, i-pod, and also by reading articles and books from true word teachers. We can hear the word on line now from Genesis to Revelation. We need to get understanding and wisdom out of the word so that we can overcome any obstacle in our lives. Satan uses every evil thing or tool he has against every person. The exact things John 10:10 states… Satan is doing today.
In the world, thieves mostly work at night, when it is dark. The daylight would show them up, uncover their activity. Ephesians 6:12 says, “ For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers of the darkness of this age. If this was physical battles, we would bring real physical weapons, but they are to no avail in these spiritual battles. I Cor 4:5 says, “that the Lord will bring the hidden things of the dark to light.” We must learn who the enemy is, how to fight him and win the battle, and we must realize that the enemy was defeated on the cross.
Jesus came, that we might have and enjoy life to the fullest, till it overflows. God wants us to enjoy life, live, and have abundance. Websters dictionary describes abundance as 1. “An ample quantity,” 2. Profusion which means “lavish expenditure.” The American Heritage dictionary describes abundance as “fullness to overflowing.”
How many Christians are living life with an ample quantity of everything they need? How many are living in lavish expenditures? How many of us are living life to the fullness and overflowing. Most Christians I know are living on “Barely Get Along Street.” We as Christians have to learn to live life as God told us to. We have to get our mindset changed from living a life much lower than God expects us to live.
We live way too low by God’s standards. As born again Christians, we should never feel lower class than anyone else. When we were born again, we became Kings and Priests. We should walk into a room with a swagger – like “Do you know who my Daddy is?” Ephesians 1:6 says, “What pleasure he took in planning this!” He wants us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. We should walk into a room with our heads held high with a confidence of knowing that Satan is defeated, that he is under our feet, that we are the head and not the tail. We should have favor with our friends and strangers because that’s what the word says.
In Genesis 15:18, God made covenant with Abraham. “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.” Abraham did not have to work to earn the land. He inherited it. The same is with us. We do not have to earn our inheritance, we only have to accept Christ as our Savior and believe His promises.
We must trust God, listen to Him, believe, and speak that God is our covenant, our great reward. Psalms 56 states that “David seeks God’s mercy. David tells God that he puts his trust in Him. He will not fear or be afraid.” We must decide if we will trust God, or fear the circumstances that Satan tries to put upon us. In Psalm 56:9 David says, “Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. We must do the same as David, trust God, believe Him, speak His word over our lives, praise Him, not be afraid to stand up to Satan.”
Anyone sharing the good news of the gospel is a threat to Satan. He will try to get you into a situation that is dangerous to you. We must be aware of his tactics, we must stay in the word, keep it dear to our hearts, so that we will know what is a ploy of the devil. We must keep in the forefront who our God really is. We must remember that our God is El Shaddai, my God of more than enough. He is God that loads us daily with benefits. We cannot lower who God is! We must determine that we are going to be the Christian that God intends for us to be. In Deuteronomy 28:1–14, God describes the blessings for our lives. We must determine that we are going to live in those blessings. He tells us that we will be blessed in the city and in the country, that we will be blessed with children, crops, and livestock. All of us may not be farmers, but we do have businesses or work for one. God tells us that He will bless our barns and everything we put our hands to. He will bless our bank accounts. That He will grant you abundant prosperity, that you will lend to many nations and not borrow. That does not sound like lack to me. He will make you the head and not the tail. If we pay attention to His commands, we will always be on top and never on the bottom.
Satan will cause us to scale back our dreams, our expectations for our lives and for our ministries. We must decide to trust God. We must raise our expectation level, we must enlarge our dreams. As David said in Psalms 56, his difficulties were too hard for him, BUT, he decided to make God’s promises the matter of his praises. So Should WE! We should remember God’s promises. Most Christians do not even know what God’s promises are. Learn these promises. Meditate on them, rejoice in them. They are ours. Then, we must direct our praises to God for His promises to us. Decide that with everything within us, we will achieve all that God has for us. Why wait until we get to heaven to see what we could have had on earth!
Decide today that YOU will quit being the tail, start being the head and then dominate your situations. Remind Satan that he is under your feet like God told you to, and start living the good, abundant life, you are meant to live.