Session 7

Joy Stolen

1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10
2 Samuel 11, Matthew 4:1-3

His next target had been identified, his plan for thievery had begun. There I was, on the cusp of a breakthrough. I had always struggled to let myself experience success. My life pattern had been one where catastrophe always followed the good times. So, I quit letting myself enjoy progress, instead, I prepared for setbacks and found clever ways to quit before the catastrophe could come. The thief’s plan started with me exhausted but at a high. Accomplishments were building my confidence, the pattern of my life was changing, and perhaps life was turning a corner. Even rest was on the horizon. Then the fist of fear throat punched me leaving me stunned to breathe. Fear of my past pattern, catastrophe looming ahead gripped my heart and suffocated the focus right out of me. Each day I battled the fearful thoughts with the best truth I had, but it soon became my focus and the enemy’s trick to work harder.

I was exhausted from my lifestyle and even more exhausted from fighting the fear. An unexpected and needed change came. But the thief’s plan wasn’t fully executed. He was waiting with one more strike. Devaluing words were spoken over me as a justification for the change. Exhausted from my lifestyle, and battling fear, those words seized my mind, robbing me of the good God had for me. Unexpected grief followed behind. Drowning in fatigue, fear, and grief I began believing what was spoke over me. Though God meant the change for good, the enemies’ strategy had worked. I was thinking more about the devaluing words, fear, and grief than about God’s goodness and truth. In my exhaustion and pain, I had lost my focus. God was giving me rest. But instead, I wrestled. He was giving me an opportunity to reset my lifestyle back to a realistic rhythm, and to make room for new things. But instead, I surrendered to the captivity of exhaustion, sadness, and fearful thoughts.

We know the enemy comes to steal our joy. The Bible warns us clearly of that. I certainly have wrestled with his plan and have been convinced to let go of the joy that belonged to me and to participate in the sabotage.

Have you found yourself caught off guard and distracted from God’s truth?

Where have you surrendered to the enemy’s plan rather than God’s truth?

You are not alone in being targeted by the enemy. Above you read about the enemy’s plan to steal, kill and destroy. You also read about David and Jesus. Both were targets of the enemy at different times in their lives. Both were vulnerable but in different ways. Jesus was vulnerable at the pinnacle of hunger and physical stress. David was vulnerable at the pinnacle of success. Jesus is our perfect example of how to use scripture to fight the enemy’s lies and David is a great example of the power of repentance and asking for forgiveness.

Truth Takeaway part 1: We have an enemy waiting to use our vulnerabilities against us…….to be continued…..

Scripture Memory Challenge:
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