The Thief Comes to Steal, Kill, and Destroy

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10).

I cannot count the times that I have shared this verse with people.  It may have come in a Bible study, sermon, or just casual conversation.  I like to focus on the last part of this verse as it shows that Jesus has come so that we may experience life to the full.  Sadly, events in our world force us to examine the first part as well.

Last week, I had the wonderful privilege of joining 3 other pastors from our area to do some pastor training in the Dominican Republic.  We teamed up with Hispaniola Mountain Ministries for this trip, and it was great.  We had a great time engaging with pastors and others from the Barahona area.  I believe that we (our team) were as encouraged as much as the locals were.  

Any time that you attempt to do the Lord's work though, you can expect to be met with resistance from the enemy (the kingdom of darkness).  While we worked through the language and even culture barriers that were present, one moment sought to tear down all that we were doing.  

Wednesday afternoon, I realized that my iPhone was missing.  We looked everywhere we could think of for it, but it was nowhere to be found.  After going back through everything, we came to the conclusion that someone had walked away with my iPhone.  We believe that we know who the culprit was, but could get no answers from them.  

The usual feelings that come with having something stolen from you began to arise within me.  I got a little anxious and began wondering what kind of damage could be done from this act.  It was at this point that the Holy Spirit began to minister to my heart and fill me with a peace that I could not explain (Philippians 4:7).  I knew that I had not kept any important information on my iPhone in case something like this happened.  I also knew that there were steps that I could take to shut down and wipe the phone clean remotely.  Things were going to be okay.

I began reflecting on all that had happened and was reminded of a couple of important things:
  • Be alert.  It is important that one stays alert in this life.  When you let your guard down is when the work of those against you becomes easier.  
  • Do not love the things of this world.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I love my techie stuff.  My iPhone, iPad, and laptop are some of my most prized earthly possessions.  This event reminded me that these are just "things."  They really hold no weight in the eternal scope of things.  If material things have too great a hold on our lives, we will not be effective in the things that matter most (our relationship with God and others).  
  • God is truly sovereign.  The peace that flooded my mind and heart after realizing that my iPhone was jacked was a reminder that God is in complete control.  There was nothing that I could do about what had happened, but He had already take care of it and what was to come.
Do not allow the thief to come in and steal, kill, and destroy your life.  Place your faith in the One that has come to show you how to live abundantly.