A burglar broke into my room a few hours after a new day began. I saw him face to face as I had just gone to bed. By God’s grace and with His protection, I was spared. Hours later I discovered that my handbag was missing.
It’s been a while since this incident took place however the verses that use a thief as an analogy in the Bible rings in my head consistently.
The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. In order to do this, he doesn’t come through the door as an invited guest but rather breaks in through other ways. He doesn’t come with prior notice or appointment but rather comes unannounced to catch us unaware.
Jesus tells us
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” – Matthew 6:19-20
- What is it that you are storing up? What is it that you are ‘saving’ or ‘keeping’? Is it something that thieves can break in and steal?
- Would the motive of the purpose for ‘storing’ make any storing of earthly treasures right or would there be ‘exemptions’ to God’s Word? If so what? What is your thought on all this?
The purpose of the thief is to steal what is precious! Obviously our relationship with God is eternal treasure, the very thing that Jesus tells us store up for ourselves… so should it be of any surprise that the enemy would want to destroy that?
So there he steps in to try to convince us – and that too often through the ones we love – that we aren’t on the right path or that we aren’t called by God or that our work is rubbish, our labour in vain and pointless. When Satan tried to do that through Peter to stop Jesus from the ‘suffering’ ahead of Him, Jesus rebuked Peter saying, “Satan, you do not have the things of God in mind but you have the things of men”.
Stopping the ‘suffering’ is something we all would love – Jesus Himself wanted the cup of suffering taken away from Him but yet He surrendered His will to God. As a result of that terrible suffering, you and I are able to enjoy an intimate relationship with God. Imagine if God had ‘spared’ His Son from that agony?
Paul counted all his sufferings a JOY as his whole heart was SET on Kingdom work. It didn’t matter that at times he had plenty, it didn’t matter that at times he went hungry, it didn’t matter that at times he was even jailed – Paul counted it joy as his heart beat resonated with that of God’s heart beat for the earth!
Satan will try to kill, steal and destroy the things of God. Yet Jesus assures us that His sheep know His voice. Thus we can DISCERN the voice of the enemy that uses ‘God’s name to lure us away from whatever it is that God’s perfect plan is for our lives – including ‘sufferings’.
At the end of the day, as long as our hearts desire God’s perfect plan and as long as our hearts are surrendered to Him, He will never let us stray from His perfect plan.. and when our hearts are right with Him, He doesn’t need to ‘chide’ us but will lovingly nudge us onto the right path. God doesn’t come with condemnation – but He comes with love and grace and guidance.
It is the thief that comes to steal our joy, to kill our purpose that God has shown us, to destroy our peace… Jesus tells us we WILL have trouble but His peace surpasses ALL understanding. Obedience often requires simply waiting and heeding His voice.. to simply be while He maps things out and directs us one step at a time.
May we wait upon Him, not run ahead with our fear, not lag with our earthly wisdom.. but walk hand in hand with Him as He nudges..
We can try to ‘help’ God to bring things to pass and store up for ourselves things that can and will be stolen… The way God works is way beyond the way our earthly wisdom would perceive and do!