John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Our Text for Today is one of the cornerstones of delineation for recognition of whose hand is at work. If it “steals, kills, and destroys,” it is the hand of the enemy. If it brings “life, and life abundantly,” it is from the Lord. But today, our intent is to learn the pattern by which the enemy of our soul operates, and knowing that pattern, be able to stand against it in a more defensible stance. Let’s examine the steps our enemy engages, understanding that Jesus said Satan comes to “steal, kill, and destroy.”
STEAL – Satan’s first order of business is to steal. When the Word is sown, Satan comes immediately to “steal” the Word. If Satan can steal the Word of God that has been sown in your heart, he can stop your faith. If he can stop your faith, he has stolen from you the victory that is yours to overcome the world. If your victory is stolen, all you have remaining is the defeat with which you must live, and which is likely to shorten, and certainly make more difficult, the life you live.
KILL – If Satan cannot steal the Word from your heart before it sprouts, before the seed becomes the blade, he has to move to the next level of his strategy. Now you have the Word of God sprouting in your life. When that happens, you can count on the fact that “persecutions and afflictions will arise for the Word’s sake. This is Satan’s attempt to choke the life out of the Word of God in your heart, or to “kill” the Word in you. If he can succeed in this venture, he prevents you from being fruitful. If a plant is dead, no fruit will ever come from it.
DESTROY – If the Word in your heart begins to show forth fruit, as yet unripe, but nonetheless, being visible in your life, he rises to destroy that fruit. He uses “the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things” to choke the Word, thereby destroying the fruitfulness that is about to become fully useable from your life.
My friend, this is Satan’s pattern. It is used universally against the kingdom of God. His devices to stop you, to steal your blessings, kill you, and destroy your testimony and the works you’ve done are encap-sulated in this pattern. Don’t forget it. Ah, but here is great news for you in this arena. When you know his devices, and work by faith through love to bring forth fruit pleasing to Father, you can learn to live in a perpetual season of harvest in the different arenas of life. You should plant for harvest in the arenas of spirit, soul, body, domestic, financial, professional, and social. When you know the patterns of the thief, you achieve your harvest and preserve you fruit. Your goal should be to make this perpetual in every arena of life.
Manna for Today – John 10:1-21; Mark 4:1-26