The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
So the first sentence, yea that part pretty much sucks. I know, and it is part of our every day battle. Remember when you gave your life over to Christ, and there was the promise of it not being easy but always being worth it? The devil is chasing after us. He wants us, he wants to win us over, back on his side. He will do whatever it takes to bring back believers from the arms of Jesus. An empty soul is worthless to the devil, but a soul full of joy and love for the Lord, that is a prize to him, that is why he fights so hard.
What is being stolen from you today?
What do you feel like is killing you today?
What is destroying you today?
I’ll let you in on what steals, kills, and destroys in my life…
Gossip. None of us are strangers to it. Often times it is hard NOT to participate. It makes us feel included, no matter who it makes excluded or who it could hurt. It wasn’t until I overheard a conversation about a friend that was very hurtful, and through all of the laughter of the gossipers I left in tears. I knew it was God telling me it was time to change. Now don’t let me fool you, I’m still working on it! I’m still guilty! But I know every single time I get immersed in a place of gossip I don’t belong it steals, kills, and destroys my heart.
Negativity. Is it easy to wear a smile 24/7? I’m not really sure, I do sleep 8 hours. But really, talk about something that will STEAL from me. Being around people who are negative can distort a believer’s vision of the world. We are taught to love and be like Jesus. This is very hard to do when the person next to you is satan. Humor me 🙂 Not really satan, but his best effort to derail us. I’m not immune to negative thoughts! Don’t get me wrong on this one either. Often times I find myself having to give the situation over to the Lord to find peace. Giving into someone else’s negativity will drain you, and for me it steals, kills, and destroys my joy.
Pain or illness. Thats a no brainer. I suffer with chronic migraine. Right off the bat, it can be a stealer of hours, days, vision, and quality of life. I’m sure many times “my head is killing me” has come out of mouth. Is it going to shorten my life, likely not. God knows the number on my days, and I’m doubtful it has anything to do with the pain in my head. Or in my dad’s case, I see how his quadriplegia was sent to be a stealer, killer, and destroyer of his life. Although my father is still in some valleys and climbing some mountains, he is still with us, such an inspiration, and changing so many lives along the way. Often times we give pain or illness the power to do those 3 things the devil desires but God is our great healer! Placed in His hands, we can truly heal or even through suffering we can see His glory revealed.
Being in this world but not of this world is going to bring us troubles, struggles, and pressures not everyone is going to understand. We will NEVER be persecuted like Jesus was or His disciples. We likely won’t face a day where we will have to choose death or following Christ and praise Him for that!
I’ve seen a few movies and this scene in those has always drawn me in. I have my own versions that play out in my head when I read over it. I wept when I read over these verses today before I started writing. Something about The Good Shepherd & His Sheep moves my heart. I don’t know about you but I will be refusing to give into “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy”. AND I will stand on the promise of “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life”.