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May 17, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | May 17

To Catch a Thief


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  ––John 10:10


The thief has played us all at one time or another and will continue to play us. He is relentless in exerting his influence in every way he can. In relationships, in morals, in spiritually illuminating moments, and emotional experiences, he’s always involved. His plan is to twist and manipulate even the best events and breakthroughs in our lives. 


This is where the devil gains the most in the basic transactions of our soul. Ignorance of his schemes plays into his thievery—knowledge of his tricks helps us avoid the traps. Knowing that he will exploit both the good and bad things in our lives diminishes the chance that he can play you or manipulate you.


Of course, just knowing this isn’t enough. You must know your enemy—his dark character and the ways it manifests in his conduct. When you see certain dynamics in people and in situations, those dynamics reveal certain clues about their source. The deceiver gives himself away through his repeated patterns. The spiritually aware God’s man discerns the plot and foils the theft. 


Jesus didn’t hesitate to out Satan when His radar picked up the enemy’s tell-tale qualities. He knew: “That’s Satan!” His radar blinked red and squawked for a number of reasons. If we look carefully we can get a picture of the unrepentant character we are dealing with. Watch and learn from the Master, He is the God man who lives within you. 


Here is what Jesus had to say about Satan: He has murderous intent — He lies and deceives to justify evil actions — He practices self-interest and self-gratification at others’ expense — He uses mental diversion and distraction to eliminate spiritual transformation — He uses many words to mask his lack of integrity — He hijacks God’s plans through man’s passions and self-interests — He opposes the advancement of the gospel in one’s life. Translation: Bet on his deceptive involvement; that’s what thieves do.


Father, thank you for my personal educator and protector, the Holy Spirit, who you have placed within me. Don’t let me minimize His power.

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