I will remember that God gives life to the full, the abundant life, but the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
John 10:10 (ESV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
God, we are so grateful that your Word provides us with Truth we can build our lives upon. You don’t give us false hope. You don’t promise a life without pain or heartache, without trials or challenges.
In fact, you tell us to be prepared and careful, to be on guard and discerning, for there is a thief that comes only to steal and kill and destroy us.
God, there is no one who has not experienced Satan’s handiwork. We know his persecution. We know his attacks. We know his deceiving and cunning work. But we also have the privilege of knowing You and your mighty, fierce, merciful, and loving hand.
God, we experience your remarkable power and provisions through faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior, who secures for us a full and abundant life. Thank you for this gift.
In the Strong Name of Jesus, Amen.
Can you pinpoint where the enemy had a field day messing with you and those you love? Did he go after your identity or security? Did he attack your family, marriage, or children? Was he busy stealing joy and instilling fear in the everyday mundane moments? What antics did he display in your workplace or church community?
Satan is busy, always. He’s about the business of tormenting God’s children.
So it should be no surprise that his handiwork is woven through your life story. So maybe, the more pressing question isn’t “What did Satan do to you, but how did you respond?”
Did you fight back with your sword in hand, using the Word of God as the weapon to defeat the enemy? Did you circle your brothers and sisters in Christ around you to pray for healing, victory, freedom? Or were you crushed and defeated, feeling abandoned by God?
We will be prepared to fight against the enemy’s attempts to steal, kill, and destroy us, if we cling to God, His Word, and the fellowship of believers.
But that’s a lesson most of us seem to have to learn the hard way. At least, that’s what it was like for me. There was one particular experience that proved to me the need to be on guard with the Word in hand, trusting God in my heart, and relying on the support of my sisters in Christ.
As I was preparing to travel across the country to give a weekend retreat on the topic of holiness, my husband came down with a bizarre virus and ended up on a mega-dose of antibiotics. He seemed healed enough for me to leave, and I expected to come home to a normal life. But while I was gone, disaster ensued. Our beloved boarding school community ended up in a three-hour long staff meeting that ultimately divided and destroyed relationships. Meanwhile, I was gallivanting around San Francisco post-retreat and lost my cell phone. I borrowed my host’s phone in an attempt to reach my husband, checking with him before buying a new phone, but couldn’t reach him until after the stores closed because he was in the middle of that horrible meeting.
The next day, I flew home and ended up stranded in the airport, unable to reach the car service or my husband for hours, because I had no phone. I ended up borrowing phones from strangers, but no one answered. Bizarre, I know. But by the grace of God, I found another car service to take me home got home at midnight, instead of 6 pm and collapsed into my husband’s arms exhausted. The next day, my husband woke up with a fever again and was hospitalized for the next five days fighting for his life.
The next three months were simply a blur of survival . . . spiritual survival.
Instead of clinging to God, I withdrew.
I couldn’t understand why so much “awful” had to happen at the same time God was opening the door to ministry opportunities I longed prayed for. The trial was so great I told God I didn’t want to travel or speak anymore.
At the moment, I quit the dream and the calling, because the cost was too high. Have you done the same?
It took years to recognize what the enemy was up to — stealing the dream, killing my testimony, destroying the opportunity to spread the Good News. That’s because I wasn’t wise to his antics. I was caught in a worldly mindset that if I do everything right, all should go well for me. And if it is hard, I should quit, because I don’t do hard. Can you relate?
Satan played me well. Until I realized what he was up and what it cost. I didn’t want to throw away all that God had done in my life, and the opportunity to share His Good News, just because it was hard. I wanted to testify for the glory of God, in spite of the suffering. But in order to do so, I had to come to terms with the fact that the abundant life God offers us doesn’t have anything to do with experiencing a carefree, easy, and happy-go-lucky life.
The abundantly full life God promises is what we experience in the depths of our soul when His presence dwells fully within us.
His abundance comes through His love infusing every nook and cranny of our lives.
His abundance comes through His hope overflowing in every situation, even the most difficult and dire ones.
His abundance comes through His grace and mercy touching every part of us in need of healing.
The abundant life we crave is a life filled with His abundance.
It’s not a life without trials, but rather the fullness of God sustaining us through them.
How has God been with you, upholding you, during the times you’ve felt the enemy has been busy attacking you?
To continue this journey of living brave and inviting the next generation to join you in the journey, get a copy of Brave Together: A Conversation Starter for Cultivating Biblical Mentoring Relationships.
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