By Marni Montanez
John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy
This is the verse that covers it all regarding our enemy’s ultimate intentions toward us. He is uninvited, unwanted and illegally enters our domain.
Who is the thief? The answer is that it is Satan. How does he come? He comes with “only” one purpose. What is his purpose? To kill, steal and destroy. This wraps up all the other verses that speak of Satan. In his plan of destruction toward us there are strategies and plans and small victories, but his goal is to take us out.
The first part of this verse “the thief” needs no explanation. He is our eternal enemy. But we as Christians forget about the “only” in this verse. It is obvious in our reactions when the attacks come. Notice I say “when”? We seem to be surprised when difficult situations arise.
If you were in a physical battle, and could see your opponent you would brace yourself as he strikes at you. But more so, you would be devising a plan to outwit and destroy him. Well, you are in a battle. Every moment of everyday the enemy familiarizes himself with your tactics. he is a warring being who takes no days off and will stop at nothing to destroy our lives and our mission. he looks like every imaginable and unimaginable evil; Anything that causes suffering and greed. Anything that will bring devastation and harm to people and animals, this perpetrator will do. This entity of evil is a created being.
Never forget that. He is not God’s equal. he hates our God without measure and he will do anything, to be ruler of the world and worshipped by all. The purpose of his attacks is to gain ground so that one day in his deceived perception he would be as God is. That will never happen. He will use our insecurities and lack of knowledge to play us against one another and even against ourselves and bombard us with the world’s standard of living and thinking so that we doubt ourselves and our beliefs.
In those times when we have gone down and lay bleeding from our wounds of self-condemnation he goes in for the kill. It could be the killing of our reputation, losing our loved ones, being fired from a job or losing our sanity and a host of other things that would seemingly give him the victory. He kills; he destroys; he roams around like a roaring lion looking for someone whom he may devour. He is the accuser of the brethren, and father of lies. He stirs up strife and pride and he is a ruthless adversary that brings division and causes Christians to isolate.
He is on a mission and he is merciless. These are all bible verses with substance and validity. This is what the enemy has already revealed about himself throughout history. But there is only victory for him if we choose to let go of our hope in God. In all his pomp and circumstance the bible says we will look upon this insignificant being one day and be shocked at how powerless he really is. He does everything opposite of God although he is not the opposite of God because God is God and there is none like Him.
We must know our enemy’s strategies, for he surely knows us and he knows us well. Why wouldn’t he. He is very familiar with human nature and when we act like human beings instead of spirit beings he can strategize and manipulate until he defeats us. But when we act like the power filled, victorious followers of Jesus Christ and praise God in the pain and go forward in the fear, the enemy is defeated already. It is not the attacks he is victorious in, it is our response to those attacks that delivers us into his hands or delivers him into ours.
We cannot afford to be lazy or apathetic. We must fight with all we are because we are the warriors in the Lord's army. I assure you not fighting does not mean you will be free from the attacks; in fact it will be easier for him to destroy you as you become the submitted being he wants you to be.
Yes, the battle is the Lord’s and the victory is His, but under God’s authority as our commander and chief, He, as the ultimate strategist who plans each move and uses us in the process. This is an honor.
My challenge to you is to read scripture, talk with someone knowledgeable about spiritual warfare. Commit to praying and ask God to strengthen your spirit man.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.