"Find Out What the Thief Wants to Steal from You!"
"So Jesus said to them
again, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief
comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.'" (John 10:7-10 NASB)
Many of us are very familiar with this passage of Scripture and have
quoted verse 10 multiple times, yet, we often find ourselves at a loss when the enemy attacks. Have we ever thought about what the enemy is really after? I mean, we know the basis is that he comes to steal, kill and destroy. But, what exactly is he trying
to steal, kill and destroy?
Now, there are a multitude of answers we could easily give that could satisfy us...but what if there is an actual root to the premise? Let's think of it this way: An apple tree produces an abundance of apples,
and yet it began with a seed. The apples differ in sizes and even in ranges of color. There may be 100 plus apples on a single tree, but it first began as a seed. With that in mind, we can acknowledge that there is an abundance of different things that the
enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But what is the seed (an/or root) of the strategy of the enemy?
Master of Deception
Satan often comes in a way that we least expect, simply because we think
he is after something else. We can have the tendency to look at outward appearances, and thus determine that the enemy would naturally go after these things. For example, we might look at a wealthy individual and begin to think that the enemy would try and
steal their wealth, but in reality, the enemy may not go after the monetary value and instead go after their marriage and/or their children. When we see someone who has a strong charisma we may begin to assume that the enemy would go after their voice, but
in reality the enemy has a different "behind the scenes" attack. Satan is a master of deception.
The Philistine's Strategy
Let me ask you this: What was Delilah after concerning Samson? From an outside
perspective, many might say that she was after the secret of his strength. Samson was a huge threat to the Philistines and they needed to know his secret so that they could trap him in weakness in order to defeat him. This might sound like the full explanation,
but truthfully that's not what they were ultimately after. We can find the root to the Philistine's ultimate strategy here in Judges:
"When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the
Philistines, saying, 'Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart.' Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven
locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him. She said, 'The Philistines are upon you, Samson!' And he awoke from his sleep and said; 'I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.' But he did not know that the Lord
had departed from him. Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison. However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off."
It's About Your Vision
The strength of Samson was never the end goal. It was his vision. The enemy of Samson knew that even if they discovered his secret, Samson would regain his
strength. However, if they took away the vision of Samson it would automatically and permanently limit his strength. Satan isn't just after what makes you strong — he is after your vision!
"Where there is no vision, the people are
unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law." (Proverbs 29:18 NASB)
"If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed." (Proverbs 29:18 MSG)
If the enemy is successful in attacking your (spiritual) vision, then you will easily find yourself not being able to see and/or recognize what God is doing. You will make a mess of things trying to overcompensate what you believe must be
done in order to walk in righteousness. If your spiritual vision is removed, you will end up in a similar situation as Samson.
When Samson could not see (although he had his strength), he had to get a young boy to walk him around and position
him against the pillars. This happened after the fact that Samson had already become a spectacle of the enemy as they were entertained by his lack of vision. Let that one sink in for a moment: Samson, the strongest man on the planet, had to physically depend
on a child.
How often do we (when our spiritual vision is gone) link ourselves to those weaker than ourselves? Instead of "being" and "doing" what we are called to, we can find ourselves linking hands with those who may not be matured
in Christ. Granted, they may help us get into position, but as a son of God we are called to mature, to guide and help those less mature (not other way around).
When our vision is out of whack it is easy to embrace offense, hatred, anger,
bitterness, etc. Most of these things can simply be the result of our actions when we lose our vision, if the first thing we do is to run to the immature and link hands. Then the immature become our (spiritual eyes) vision. Once the enemy steals your vision,
he then tries to kill your purpose and destroy your destiny. Yes, Samson killed many that day, but what could he have accomplished had he retained his vision? Better yet, what can you accomplish if you maintain the spiritual vision God has given you?
Ryan Johnson Ministries
Elijah List Publications
528 Ellsworth St. SW
Albany, OR 97321