Many stores you visit have signs warning you that ‘Shoplifting is a crime’. Shoplifting is a form of theft. If caught, the business has the right to contact authorities. Police would then come to search the person and their bags to see what may be in their possession. This is their evidence. And evidence can lead to arrest.
In the Bible, we are warned about a thief- Satan himself. John 10:10 (NLT) tells us that “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” When Satan attacks us, he leaves behind evidence of his deceitful mission.
When our inner being becomes victim of the thief, we have the right to call on God, who is our authority (Romans 13:1). He can help us to sort through all the evidence, which will then lead to the prosecution of the enemy. We can hold onto the promise as John 16:11 declares, “Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.”
So, let us now focus on the evidence of the thief. Becoming aware of his schemes is like upgrading our own surveillance system.
The thief’s purpose is to steal. The latter half of John 10:10 (NKJV) is Jesus telling us, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The thief comes to steal the abundance that God has promised us in scripture.
We are also given this promise, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”– Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT). If you do not feel these fruits being made manifest in your life, then Satan has certainly stolen them from your inner being.
The thief’s purpose is to kill. We are instructed to “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”- Matthew 6:33 (NLT). The thief comes to kill the desire in us to live righteously. When we go against this instruction, we are living in sin.
Sin is evidence that the thief has come to kill God’s purpose for our lives. Colossians 3:5-10 urges us in this; “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.“
The thief’s purpose is to destroy. The thief can destroy us by leaving wounds of anger, doubt, fear, anxiety, and pride.
But God is against these destructive ways of life.
- Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.– Ephesians 4:31 (NLT)
- But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.– James 1:5-6 (ESV)
- Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.– Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)
- Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.– Matthew 6:34 (ESV)
- Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!– Romans 12:16 (NLT)
We never know when the thief will come (Luke 12:39). However, we now know how to examine the evidence that he leaves in our possession. Today, turn the evidence over to God. Ask Him to restore all that’s been stolen, killed, and destroyed in your life.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast”- 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV).