October 10, 2021

6 Things Satan The Thief Seeks to Steal, Kill And Destroy

I added the picture above to the message I share with you below.

written by Judity Folkerts
[source: PropheticCrossroads.com]

Jesus saw the crowds as powerless sheep. Matthew 9:36 explains, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” He didn’t want His followers to be vulnerable and directionless. He wanted to empower them and teach them how to protect themselves, so he gave them some new, important information, recorded in John 10.

This harassed and helpless crowd understood that life was full of threats to their well-being. They sought meaning and insight in Jesus’ teachings. His words validated their experiences but still offered hope. He told them, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) They had opposition, an evil thief that intended them maximum harm.

He also sought to comfort them, despite this evil opposition, explaining that He came to bring them full and rich lives! He continued in John 10:11 revealing, “I am the good shepherd.” Some of them may have never had good spiritual leadership. This promise was appealing to those who were desperately hungry for guidance.

Still, Jesus doesn’t sugarcoat the revelation that we have an enemy that comes only to steal and kill and destroy. We are forewarned so we can be forearmed. This information is to help us, not scare us. All of these years later, the thief still has this same agenda.
The threat is real, but it should not be ignored or intimidated by it.
In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis writes of this thief and his helpers; “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” Jesus intended us to handle this revelation with true wisdom, not to ignore it, and not to be overpowered by it as a result of preoccupation or fear. The threat is real, but we should neither be ignorant of, or intimidated by, it.

John 10:27-29 are words of comfort after revealing our enemy’s plans towards us;
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
Neither should this knowledge overwhelm us. Later on, in John 16:33, Jesus addresses the issue of fear. He says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Yes, this is potentially scary stuff, but we’re on His team. Peace is found in Him. God has us. There is no need to fear.
Wisdom and experience show that ownership of certain possessions are particularly threatening to the thief.
How do we heed Jesus’ revelation that we have an enemy whose only intent is to kill, steal and destroy? We listen carefully for the voice of our Shepherd, and follow His lead. Scripture gives warning to guard many things. Wisdom and experience show that ownership of certain possessions are particularly threatening to the thief. Here are 6 keys things that each of us needs to aggressively protect.

6 Key Possessions That Are A Threat to The Enemy

1. Your faith. I Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” Paul continues Jesus’ critical stance toward passivity. James 1:6 explains, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” Unguarded faith can be subject to changing situations, giving us a rollercoaster ride and rendering our faith ineffective.

The enemy knows that, according to Hebrews 4:6, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Guard your faith and pray, like the apostles in Luke 17:5 prayed by exclaiming, "Increase our faith!” The enemy wants to spiritually incapacitate you by weakening or destroying faith in your life.

2. Your relationships. It’s a ploy of the enemy to isolate us. He wants to destroy community where we mutually love, nurture, encourage and bless one another. 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

The enemy wants us alone. He’ll use offense, anger, disunity and pride to keep us from fellowship. Ecclesiastes 4:10 warns,
“Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Make no mistake that the enemy seeks to kill healthy, spiritually-edifying relationships. He hates marriage, family, friendship and fellowship, and works overtime trying to separate us from one another.

The thief is fine with unhealthy, destructive, controlling and abusive relationships and contributes what he can to their survival. Just as we should be careful not to isolate ourselves, we should be careful where we focus our attentions and affections. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” God can heal broken relationships, but avoiding them when we see them developing in our lives is wise.
The thief is fine with unhealthy, destructive, controlling and abusive relationships and contributes what he can to their survival.
3. Your peace. Peace requires maintenance. I Peter 3:11 says, “(Whoever would love life)…must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.” Keeping the enemies of peace, such as stress, anxiety and fear away takes diligence. Little battles may occur in our minds, for that is where much of the fight exists. Peter takes it a step further here by saying that peace must be pursued.

I Peter 4:6-7 holds a major key to keeping peace. It says,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Pursue peace through prayer, petition and thanksgiving. When we fail to be proactive through spending time with God and involving Him in our problems, we make ourselves vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks.

4. Your destiny. Ephesians 4:10 tells us that God designed each of us with purpose. It says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Sometimes we forget that the enemy doesn’t want us to do what God has made us to do! Entire seasons may pass without us giving much thought to God’s agenda above our own.

An indicator that we’re doing important stuff for God may be the enemy coming against us with force when we are becoming a threat to his works. The good news is that God is behind us when we are walking in His ways. Psalm 34:19 says, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.”
An indicator that we’re doing important stuff for God may be the enemy coming against us with force when we are becoming a threat to his works.
Listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His lead. You work out your destiny one step at a time. Philippians 4:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Be intentional about how you spend your time and the decisions that you make. God will guide you as you heed his direction, and your destiny will be fulfilled, not stolen. Don’t attribute trouble to your failings, because it could actually indicate that you are succeeding in God’s work.

5. Your joy. James 1:2-3 links joy and trials. It says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Deciding to respond to trials with joy develops perseverance in our characters. We are able to be joyful by considering it and then choosing it.

Joy is not a shallow, silly clapping and bouncing with a pasted on smile. The original Greek word for joy is cara (pronounced khar-ah’) which can mean the opposite of demonstrative exuberance. It can, indeed, mean cheerfulness, but it can also mean calm delight. It’s an understanding that all will end well, and the happiness that accompanies this belief can manifest in non-demonstrative joy. Another way to say it would be “chilled out,” not irritated, annoyed or frazzled.
The enemy wants to derail us with our trials and watch us embrace misery.
Joy and hope are tied together, because joy is born of trust and expectation, and of the strong belief in God’s goodness. Joy is possible when we are secure about the future and hopeful in God’s promises. We need to protect both hope and joy because the enemy wants to snatch them away. He wants to derail us with our trials and watch us embrace misery. He tempts us to grumble, criticize and complain. When we consider, we need to reject these negative reactions which would steal our joy.

6. Your health. 3 John 1:2 is a blessing. It says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” It seems that it would go without saying that God wants to bless us with health, but we sometimes forget that there is spiritual battle against our health. The enemy doesn’t want us to be healthy. Illness and injury can diminish all that we do.

Luke 12:6-7 says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” God cares intensely about our bodies and our physical well-being. Proverbs 4:20-22 says,
“My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.”
Obedience to God’s way brings maximal good health. God wants us to protect our health by taking care of our bodies. I Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” We are to take care of ourselves.

When we understand that the enemy literally seeks to physically kill us, if not through accidents, then through illness, then we understand that we should, and must, guard our health. When we do have health problems, we need to take initiative to address these issues physically, but also spiritually. James 5:14 says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”

Prayer for any illness or injury should be standard for God’s people. Psalm 107:19-20 says, “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” A person is not being “self-involved” when he or she seeks prayer for health reasons! This should be our first line of defense against the enemies ploys to do us physical harm, and thus render us useless to God’s work.

Minor and slight discomforts, like a mildly sore hip or an aching wrist can grow to become larger health concerns. Sometimes people are critical of less-dramatic physical prayer concerns. Prayer for smaller discomforts should be taken seriously. This is part of the defense that we should use against our enemy. Prayer for one another should be more common that aspirin. We should pray for each others' ailments, big or small.
Too often, God’s people watch these things slip away or fall into ruin, not understanding that a war has been on.
James 5:16 talks about the link between our spiritual condition and our health. It says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” We need to aggressively battle illness and injury in the spiritual realm, keeping our hearts clean before one another.

Guard and protect your faith, your relationships, your peace, your destiny, your joy and your health. These are all gifts from God that should be pursued, cherished and defended. Too often, God’s people watch these things slip away or fall into ruin, not understanding that a war has been on. God is a God of restoration, but loss prevention is recommended. This is why Jesus revealed the enemy's ways.

Psalm 121:7 is a promise. It says, “The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life.” Sometimes He asks us to work with Him to ward off that harm. The thief is real. Passivity regarding his schemes can be dangerous. God bless you as you live in vigilance, trusting always in His goodness and faithfulness!

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