Recently I had the opportunity to share at the womens bible study, which mind you offered great engagement and discussion. Diving right in.
“The theif comes to steal, to kill and to destroy.” Jesus speaks this in John 10, in the same breath He states, “I come so that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (v10) Setting the context, Jesus is addressing of few of the Pharisees, He has just painted the picture of the True Shepherd, how the sheep know His voice and a ‘strange voice’ they will run from. He states He is the Gate for the sheep fold, yet there are those who only desire to steal and rob. “The thief comes to steal, to kill and to destroy.”
Pretty harsh words. I was amazed. Amazed, when you break it down, getting to (somewhat) an understanding, we may have the opportunity to ‘dial in’ on the devils schemes.
First we look at steal (‘klepto’ in the Greek) yes, that is where we get our English word, ‘kleptomanic.’ One who is compelled to take from another. Filch and pilfer also define steal. Not words we commonly use these days, yet they paint a vibrant picture. It means to take surreptitiously in small amounts. This means to do so in secret, doing so withOUT authority, because it would not be approved of. Pilfer, to steal stealthily in small amounts. Todays example would be a high executive, ‘skimming’ moneys from the company. Small amounts here and there, potentially hardly being noticed at all. Over time, the amount grows. When studying something we not only look at what it is, but also what it is not. The antonyms for steal are words defined as to do good, to have mercy. So to steal is doing no good and extending NO mercy. What is it that the devil steals from us? What is he stealing from YOU? Your joy? Your confidence?
Next we have, kill (‘thyo’) Sadly it is rather graffic. It isnt a mere reach out and stab, it is to lays hands on for the purpose, the ONLY purpose of … killing. It conveys ‘bloody-ness.’ The opposite? To cause to flourish, to revive, to cause to live again. The enemy wants to get close enough, close enough to lay his (lil ‘h’) hands on us, he has no desire to reach down and pick us up, to help us be revived or help us to flourish. NO! He wants to KILL us. Kill us in the physical, in the spiritual and emotional. Kill our dreams, our goals, our soulish godly ambitions, and our relationships. In doing so he leaves us … bloody.
Destroy. (‘apollymi’) It is the stronger form of the Greek word ‘apo’ which basically means ‘to separate.’ It does NOT mean, ‘mess it up.’ Imagine if you will, your kid brother comes and wrinkles your nicely colored page in your coloring book, you might yell “He destroyed it!” Said with clinched teeth and tears rolling down your cheeks. No, this conveys the page was COMPLETELY ravaged. It is in the prolonged form, the process continues until NOTHING is left. It begins with ‘marring’, causing damage here & there, defacing, slow rips, until it is all GONE.
We need to IDENTIFY under these 3 categories. How do we see the enemy causing destruction in our life? What is he attempting to steal from us, like that of a pickpocketer? Are we being distracted in such a way, that the thief, reaches around and violates us in someway, unknown to us until much later. Are we allowing him to get close enough to bleed. Was that a ‘rip’ we just felt in the spirit? Is this circumstance we are in causing lil bits of us to be taken away, piece by piece. Not to mention the NEED to guard against, ‘Identity Theft.’ I AM A DAUGHTER OF THE MOST HIGH GOD!
May we be so aware! Paul exhorts, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Eph 6:10-11 He proceeds to explain the armor & weaponry. (Please read Ephesians 6:10-20)
Beloved, as we awake each morning, before we swing our feet to the floor. Pray. Connect with our God, love Him, praise Him. Remember in the same breath when Jesus describes the enemy, He says “I come so that YOU may have life and have it abundantly” (paraphrased) As we slip into His armor, picking up the shield, the sword, ask Him to make us AWARE. Like those traveling to other countries, you place your wallet in a safe place, you make yourself aware of those around you, you may train yourself for the ‘touch’ of others. May we too become so discerning. May we learn to identify the enemies schemes. Stealing, killing and destroying.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)