I used to think he would come and steal away my possessions. That he would kill my children or those close to me or destroy my home in fire from a burner that had been left on overnight, and though I pray and believe that will never be the case, I am increasingly aware of what it is he comes for. He comes disguised in the natural, camouflaged in my everyday life, in ordinary things. My relationships. My money. My possessions. Things I can put in my hands, people I can embrace.
I think that’s all just a farce. An invitation to look beneath the surface and go deeper.
John 10:10 says “The thief comes only that he might steal and might kill and might destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Now interesting enough, the word MIGHT and MAY are used several times which tell me, either side is not a definite WILL or WON’T. Insert our will which is free and ta-dah…we have a choice. And if we have a choice if we are stolen from or killed or destroyed, then we also have a choice to live the life that Jesus has given us, and not just any life, but an abundant one.
So what exactly does the thief come for?
And truth be told, it is not even O-U-R-S. It is Holy Spirits. When we partner with Him, it naturally produced IN us as a byproduct.
Galatians 5:22- says “But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; against such things there is no law.”
Our circumstances are going to be what they are. Life is going to continue to say, “because I told you so” and our circumstances will be like happenstance’s that seem to just flutter in from the air and land in our lap, forcing us to engage. Some circumstances, and I would say MOST, are going to be the result of a decision we made along the way…and not making a decision is STILL making a decision. Either way, it is the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT that thief ultimately wants.
He wants us to hurt and become offended so we wall up our love and box it up tight.
He wants us to dwell on our circumstances and get trapped by our feelings so we can lose our joy, our peace and our patience.
He wants us to see others, even God, as evil and unkind. That they are against us, that He is not FOR us so our kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness can slip quietly between our fingers like sand till it’s all together gone.
He wants us to react so we don’t activate our self-control.
He wants a lot of things, but we can CHOOSE to say, “No way. Not today.”
O.K. Sounds great, but HOW?
- Take authority: Authority doesn’t beg, it doesn’t ask, it doesn’t just hope the thief eventually bores and goes away…it commands.
Mark 13:34: “For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commands the porter to watch.”
Matthew 8:9: “For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
2. Exercise your authority through the spoken word. Seriously, eat well, speak life.
Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
3. Thoughts come and thoughts go, but be careful what you dwell on. And yes, every means just that…e-v-e-r-y.
2 Corinthians 10:5: “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Proverbs 23:7: “For a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”
4. In John 16, Jesus said it was for our good if He went away…he wasn’t lying. Holy Spirit no longer is in our midst, somewhere out there floating around randomly coming upon people and maybe occasionally talking to us. He lives IN us which means EVERY need we have, EVERY answer we seek…is IN us through HIM. We just need to listen and trust His voice and believe His truth.
John 16:13: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
In theory, ALL of this sounds so good. Even if you don’t follow Jesus, seriously…these are good and grounded principles that work, IF applied.
At some point in this life we live, our “in theory” needs to become our “in reality.” How we make that work is up to us; it is up to me, it is up to you. I just know for myself how I lose hours of my day, days of my week, weeks of my month when I ALLOW the thief to come and steal the fruit right off my table, right from underneath my nose and I for one am tired and worn thin having an intruder in my house that is more like a friend than a foe.
Guard your heart and protect your fruit…the fruit is where abundant life flows from and the world around you is waiting, just waiting, to eat from your table.