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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Quit Being Ripped Off By the Devil

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you ever had anything stolen from you? I have—a few times over the course of my life. I've never liked it and I'm sure you haven't either! One time it really made me mad. Someone had broken into our car and stolen Renee’s purse. If you had something valuable stolen like your car for example, you would most likely call the police. Why would you call the police? For two reasons: one being, to hopefully get your car back, and the second, hoping they would catch the thief.

Did you know that Jesus called Satan the thief? In John 10:10 (NLT) Jesus said, “The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”

Satan works to steal much more than tangible things from us. He works to steal any and every good thing from God that blesses our life—including our relationships, family, church, job, and so much more. It's important to know that the devil is a thief! And it's important to know because you will never defend against what you don’t know is being stolen or who stole it.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) gives us insight saying "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." What is this verse saying? It's saying that demonic forces work behind the scenes of every person committing an evil that steals, kills, and destroys. They are the real problem in our life—not people. Remember, before you gave your life to Jesus,? You were also used in ways to hurt people. But God's love somehow penetrated your heart and opened your eyes to the truth of Jesus, and you left that all behind. All people need to be saved but until they are, they will at times, be used of the devil. It's the devil we need to focus on and stand against.

We do have natural recourse when things are stolen such as the police or authorities and insurance. But the most important thing you could ever do is understand spiritually who your enemy is and then understand the covenant promise God has given you. God promises us through Deuteronomy 28:7 (NKJV) “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways." Like all promises of God, you must believe and stand in faith for them. You are for your salvation so why wouldn't you for the rest of God's benefits?

I remember a time when I was putting a quarter in a vending machine. I dropped it and it rolled under the pop machine. I was just going to leave it when the Lord suddenly spoke to my heart and said, I've called you to be my steward. Don't ever let the enemy steal what I have given you!  It was so clear and profound I was startled. I got down on my hands and knees and saw the quarter with easy reach and grabbed it. That experience was life-changing for me. I never again thought of things within my possession as mine. I was God's steward and He does not like the enemy ripping us off whether large or small and in any area of our life—possessions or relationships or whatever!

Proverbs 6:30-31 (NLT2) says, "Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving. But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole, even if he has to sell everything in his house." I guarantee you Satan isn't stealing because he's starving. He's hate and destructive driven. When we have identified Satan's attack and thievery in our lives, it is imperative to note it, and declare it against him, not the person who stole. Say with authority In the name of Jesus, Satan, this is your work. You have tried to steal what God has given to me. You are caught! You are a thief and I rebuke and bind you from stealing God's blessings from my life. Father, I thank you for enforcing the seven-fold return of what the enemy has tried to steal from me, and I thank you for it in in Jesus Name. Do this in sincere faith, and as you look back over the years in hindsight, you'll see God restoring to you what He restored to Job.

We may not always be able to see every attack coming or stop every negative thing that Satan tries to bring our way, but, when those attacks come, it’s time to stand in faith and use the weapons of our warfare that God has given us. They are powerful and effective and will produce results.

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (NKJV) says "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds." This means we do not fight demonic attacks with guns, or knives or material weapons. We fight them through our words and prayers of faith, and the authority of the name of Jesus!

Our spiritual maturity and growth in God will develop over time as we stay close to the Lord. As we learn to catch and resist the thief, we actually begin to slow down and shut out many demonic attacks and influences from our life. The devil will be on the run, you will become spiritually more discerning and strong, your life will experience much greater peace, and you will begin to take back what the devil has stolen from you!

Deuteronomy 28:7 NKJV, “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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