John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly”.
A thief is one that takes that which does not belong to them. They will often try to acquire that which does not belong to them without being noticed; however, they will destroy things in order to get what they want and will even kill you to get that which doesn’t belong to them.
Now let me give the identity of the thief. 1st Peter 5:8 says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. WATCH THIS;- your adversary is not the person that made you upset, it is not the person that cut in front of you on your way to church. It’s not your spouse that got on your last nerve. It’s not the praise team that didn’t sing your favorite song. It’s not the pastor that preached the message that ended up whipping you up one side and down the other. Your adversary is the devil.
THE THIEF WANTS TO KILL YOUR PURPOSE.
What is purpose? Your purpose is not to be famous, your purpose is not to be a millionaire, your purpose is not to be a super star, if by the Grace of God you attain those things then that is great; however, that is not the purpose for which you were created. Your purpose is the very reason you were put on this earth. It is the plan that God has designed for you that will bring glory to Him. The adversary, the devil is out to kill your purpose. He’s going to try everything in his power to get you to neglect and turn away from your purpose. He wants to deprive you of love and of life. He wants to destroy and do away with the very reason you were created, he wants to muffle and neutralize your glory unto God the Father. God deserves the glory, but the devil wants to steal the glory for himself.
He wants to get you to neglect your purpose by allowing things and situations in your life to become distractions. You have heard me say before I don’t do distraction, because distractions are only designed to cause you to lose focus on something, in this case your purpose. He will send a distraction in your life that will cause you to lose your focus on the reason why you even come to church and that is to worship God.
Not only that but that distraction that he has caused you to focus on will cause you to say I can’t be comfortable in this place so the next thing he causes you to do is to turn away from your purpose. He will speak lies and say you have no purpose here, things aren’t what you thought they would be, see look at how everyone is looking at you and no-body has even looked in your direction, he says and makes you feel that you would be better off if you just left, he will begin to make you feel as if your life is useless that everything you do is ineffective.
So, how do we combat this attack? We must keep our eyes on Jesus at all times. David said in Psalm 121:1 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help”. His focus is heavenward. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thought I have toward you thought of good and not of evil to bring you to an expected end. We must focus on the good things God has for us, for whose report are you going to believe I’m going trust the report of the Lord. We must learn how to silence the lies of the enemy. Understand that a lie is weapon andIsaiah 54:17 says “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD”. So what we need to do is study and learn the Word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15 says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. Study in the Greek means to be diligent and labor for.
To STEAL, according to dictionary on line, means: to take without permission, to gain or seize, or to appropriate without right or acknowledgment.
The devil would like nothing more than to steal your worship, which would bring glory to him. He wants you to be so distracted, depressed, and selfish that you can’t worship God. Worshipping God is what we are created to do. Everything we do and are should bring glory to God. The enemy is so jealous, that he does everything in his power to steal your worship. This is what he tried to do with Jesus.
Matthew 4:8-9 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me”. The devil understands that worship equals acquisition and he said he would give Jesus all this stuff if he would worship him. Worship glories God here the devil was trying to steal Jesus’ worship.
That’s what he wants to steal from you and I our worship because our worship glorifies God when it is done in spirit and in truth and he can’t stand that. So if he can cause us not to worship then we are not glorifying God.
So, how can we combat him? We have to maintain a lifestyle of worship. It’s a mindset that we have to constantly keep up. When you constantly have your mind focused on God, it’s very hard for the enemy to distract you. It’s also important to live a life of repentance, since sin is what separates us from God.
Isaiah 50:7: Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame
Matthew 4:10: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
To DESTROY, according to dictionary.com, means: to reduce, to put an end to , to kill, to render ineffective or useless, or to defeat completely.
THE ENEMY WANTS TO DESTROY YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
This is what he did in the Garden of Eden and caused the relationship between God and Humankind to be destroyed. There is a story my father would use sometimes and it went like this “The devil had a yard sale and sold all of his tools except one and that was a wedge. Everyone wanted to buy the wedge but the devil said this wedge is priceless and is not for sale. Someone asked the devil why did he consider the wedge so valuable and wouldn’t part with it. The devil said that’s all the tool I need to be able to get in between any two things. All I have to do is just be able to get the tip of the wedge between it then I can work it until I have finally separated the two things; therefore I refuse to sell this tool for it is priceless to me.”
The enemy wants to put a wedge between you and God, between you and the church, between you and your worship of God. He tries all he can to destroy this relationship. It doesn’t matter if it is through, physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, or just simple little life stuff. Any of these things he uses to create distractions, pain, hurt, and resentment.
LET ME PARK HERE FOR A WHILE:- If you don’t understand your relationship, your place in God, you’ll find yourself trying to do what only God can do and falling for every little distraction that the devil sends your way. Many people in church today are confused, messed-up, discouraged, depressed, unable to praise God the way they are supposed to because they are spending all of their energy trying to be their own god. They are trying to bless themselves, heal themselves, promote themselves, climb the latter of success themselves, trying to solve their own problems, answer their own prayers, trying to cover up for God, because they feel as if he’s not doing it fast enough, trying to make God look good through their own human efforts and it cannot be done. They are distracted by the enemy and not understanding the relationship they are supposed to have with God.
In John 15:5 Jesus said “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” That is relationship and as long as you don’t get distracted and stay connected. All you have to do is trust me to give you what you need. I will supply all your needs not according to your circumstances, not according to your time line, but according to my riches in glory. The important thing is we have a godly connection with God and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Many people are so connected with church, not the organism but the organization, the flow, the position, that they are not connected with God. They are like Saul more worried about the position, about who did what or who was doing what, who was going to shine or be promoted, when we need to be more like David who was more concerned with Worship because he knew that this was how you enter into the presence of God.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches…” He was explaining the relationship.
The devil understands that communication is foundational in building a strong relationship.
Communication is the most vital element in any relationship. The loss of it will cause the collapse of that relationship. Understand in the natural, no matter how good that person may look and how nice they may seem, if there is no communication between the two of you there is no relationship. Man’s relationship with God failed, in the Garden of Eden, and has been on a downward spiral ever since because the element of communication had been lost. When Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he lost that communication he once had with God, thus causing the relationship to suffer and collapse. WATCH THIS:- Worship is how we communicate with God. When God communicates with us, he reveals to us in our spirit His thoughts, plan and purpose that He has for us to bring us to an expected end. We will reach that expected end through WORSHIP and a proper RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
This relationship with God requires a lifestyle of purity. Purity means being pure in our heart, head, eyes, mouth, and hands.; It’s pure in our love, in what we think, what we see, what we say, and what we touch or do. Psalm 51:10-17: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. .Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. .Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise. For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit ; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise”.
It is important that we recognize the plans of the enemy and take action against him. However, do not let that distract you from Worshipping God.
We must make sure we keep focused on Him and fall more in love with Him.
Study to show thyself approved.
Learn the Word of God and hide it in your heart for it is the “Sword of the Spirit” and “sharper than any two edged sword. It will protect you from the enemy’s distraction.
Never give up and always allow the Holy Ghost to lead and guide you. And remember God is a holy God who deserves nothing less than WORSHIP from His people.