Tag: stop the thief

It’s time to stop the thief! (part two)

As I mentioned in the last blog, while reading Ephesians 4:28, something really stood out to me.

“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 words my eyes and heart seemed to lock in on were “Let the thief no longer steal…”

“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 is speaking of the devil, and while Jesus has gone to the cross and paid for our freedom from the devil, he, the thief is still finding plenty of people to rip off; even those who are born again.

How is this so? The first way is when someone doesn’t know the thief’s plans (is ignorant of his devices), and isn’t ready for the attack. He may not even be aware he’s been robbed!

Paul said we’re to be aware of what our enemy is up to.

“…so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:11 ESV)

So did Peter.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. ” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)

Designs, devices, plans, ideas, thoughts, plots… all speak of something the evil one does on purpose, for a specific outcome.

Our responsibility, if we’re to stop the thief, is to first know the character and nature of our adversary, and through the word and leading of the Spirit of God, recognize the ploys of our enemy.

Jesus said, “But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into.” (Luke 12:39 ESV) 

Sure, He was referring to the coming of the Lord. But what He said also applies to every area of our life; i.e. don’t allow the thief any room to work in your life.

So how can we keep him at bay?

1. Learn to hear the Master’s (Jesus) voice. He speaks in accordance with His word, so become a student of the Word (especially the New Testament).

2. Be quick to respond to a prompting of the Spirit, even if it doesn’t make sense. What if you’re not sure it’s God? Then talk to a friend who has a history of hearing and obeying God. They may be able to help you sort things out.

3. Don’t accept everything that comes into your life as God’s will. It just isn’t so. If everything was God’s will, there’d be no reason to be vigilant about watching for the devil’s maneuvers.

Right?

That’s why it’s of utmost importance to know the difference between God’s will and the thief’s shenanigans.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15 – 5:17 ESV)

Do we have time to waste? Then we have time to get to know our Father and His ways better. For the better we know the Father’s voice, the better we’ll be at fending off the thief.

God’s will brings peace and wholeness, while the thief’s intent is to steal, kill, and destroy.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17 ESV)

The next post will cover the second reason why the thief is getting fat off the lives of God’s people (and how to stop him).

We compromise God’s “security system” (ignore His word):

A. with our actions (or lack of action)

B. our words

C. our attitudes

Later…

It’s time to stop the thief! (part one)

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.

Later…

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