John 10:10 “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
How would you define abundant life? Would your definition include an abundance of time, an abundance of friends, or an abundance of family? Would your abundance be an overflowing wallet, an over-sized house, or an overflowing collection of the latest, greatest techno-gizmos? There are so many amazing things in this world; sometimes I can live in abundance just basking in God’s creation.
Abundance may be defined in many ways, and most of those ways relate to our physical sense of abundance. When we examine Job’s experience, the thief (Satan) certainly came to steal his wealth by taking or destroying his herds. The thief killed Job’s children. And in a very physical way, the thief destroyed Job’s prosperous life. But Job had a vast reserve of abundance in the spiritual realm that seemed to sustain him through this devastation. How else can we explain his ability to bless and praise God in his circumstances? Job 1:20-21 says, “Then Job stood up, tore his robe and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying: ‘Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord.’”
It is difficult to relate to Job’s experience from our human perspective. In order to understand Job’s response to his situation, we must open our spiritual eyes. Satan was not trying to physically destroy Job; he was trying to destroy his faith. He was trying to bring down the spiritual giant that Job had become in his family and in his community.
When the thief comes after you, it will be for the same purpose. Listen to what Paul tells us in Galatians 5:16-18, 22-23, “I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don't do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Look at that list of spiritual fruit one more time: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Here is abundant life: abundant joy, abundant peace, abundant patience, abundant kindness, abundant goodness, abundant faith, abundant gentleness, and abundant self-control. If you have these, what good thing could you possibly lack? These are the physical rewards of a spirit-filled life, and this is what Satan will destroy in you…if you let him.
May God’s grace, mercy, and peace fall on you today.