I read a familiar scripture today and it was as though God was speaking directly to me. I saw it in a different light than I’d ever seen it in the past.
The scripture was Ephesians 4:28, which reads: “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” (ESV)
The part my eyes and heart seemed to lock in on was “Let the thief no longer steal…”
Immediately I thought of different tests, trials, and attacks my family and I have endured over the last several years. And although God has been faithful throughout all we’ve gone through, the Lord was reminding me about my responsibity to make sure the thief, that is, the devil, isn’t given free reign over my life.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 ESV)
Jesus said the devil is a thief, killer, and destroyer.
When allowed to initiate and perform his designs for us, we will never taste of the abundant life Jesus promised.
I thought about some different areas where the thief had been allowed to go about his business uncontested.
Here is a list of things the thief typically uses to gain entrance to our affairs; virtually bypassing any security system God has for us.
The thief is “allowed” to operate when:
1. We don’t know his plans (ignorant of his devices)
2. We compromise God’s “security system” (ignore His word)
A. with our actions (or lack of action)
B. our words
C. our attitudes
3. We let diligence be replaced with slothfulness
4. We don’t understand how totally defeated our adversary is
5. We allow pride to keep us from calling 911
6. We’ve turned over our “house keys” to the thief
7. There’s no power in the house (all the lights are off)
8. We are entangled with care and worry
9. We refuse to forgive
10. We make no attempt to stop the thief (unarmed)
Over the next week or so, I’ll address each of the ten items listed. With scriptural and personal examples you’ll get a better idea about how to stop getting ripped off by the thief.