“The thief comes to steal, kill & destroy.” (John 10:10)
The word “steal” used here is not just a taking of something. It involves deception and misleading too. This verse is basically saying that the thief (Satan) wants to distract and trick us, so he can steal what’s most valuable to use.
What valuables? Peace. Joy. Hope.
He doesn’t just take them either. He kills and destroys them if we let him. When we’re distracted, that’s exactly what we’re doing, too, letting him steal from us.
Satan uses distraction and trickery to steal certain things from us because we won’t just give them to him. He cannot get close enough to certain valuables unless we’re not paying attention to them because we’re focused on something else.
What distractions? Hurt. Disappointment. Sadness. Shame. Guilt. Embarrassment.
What should we do?
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the devil… praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication…” (Ephesians 6:10-20)
In other words, daily put on truth, righteousness, and peace and pick up faith, salvation, and God’s word. All the while: pray.
This daily routine – more than that, really, a way of living – protects us from the “strategies and tricks” of the devil. It keeps us alert, so we protect what’s most important to us.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)