Its name is Klepto and it is a maniac. This thief does nothing but steal. Steal, steal, steal. Thus paving the way for its friends (fiends) to first kill, then destroy.
Before the enemy attacks, the thief spies out unguarded places inside the heart and mind. During those times when you are most vulnerable it blows a heavy fog horn of confusion at you, in an attempt to banish good thoughts and memories from your mind and replace them with feelings of frustration. That's how many dreams, trains of thought, mental maps and priorities are lost.
With older people, such memory loss is called 'Alzheimer's.' With younger people, it's called attention deficit disorder, or "hormones." How many mental disabilities, disorders, syndromes and "isms" are caused by the thief? Just a bit of food for thought.
Here's another tidbit along those lines: You always lose your memory before you "lose it" emotionally. Nebuchadnezzar lost a dream and went so crazy that he nearly killed all the wisemen in Babylon. (See Daniel chapter 2)
As far as emotions go:
The thief steals warmth from relationships by causing couples to forget the good times and think only on the bad. This is how many relationships are destroyed.
Other signs of the thief at work:
1. Missing out on the Promised Land. This is what happened to the Israelites. While in the wilderness, they failed to guard their minds and hearts, and thus forgot the miracles God did for them. Interesting how well they remembered the leeks, onions, meat and cucumbers but not the slavery. How quickly they lost sight of God's blessings and pressured Aaron to wow them with a form of visible prosperity (i.e. the golden calf)! (see the books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy for more on this)
2. Denying Christ. Think about it. By the time Peter was warming himself by the fire (Mark 14:54; Luke 22:55,56), the thief had already blanketed him with a spirit of slumber (while he was in the garden). Thus causing him to forget the memories that could have warmed his heart, such as the awe of seeing Jesus on the mount of transfiguration.
Peter forgot. And he fell. But what an easy thing to do!
3. Loss of Eternal Life. Judas was the thief's willing tool. By habitually stealing from the money bag, he lost his integrity and eventually his life. He turned from Christ and met a wretched end. Very, very sad.
A good way (if not the best way) to stop this thief is to pray not to enter into temptation, as Jesus admonished his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. We can pray this prayer in faith, knowing that "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (I Corinthians 10:13)
To regain lost ground and recover everything that the thief has stolen, it helps to recall the goodness of God in the land of the living. This can be done by giving thanks, calling to remembrance the manifold blessings of God. There is always much to be thankful for.