// Craig W. Hagin
JESUS CAME so we could have an abundant life. That's what John 10:10 tells us. But just because He came and just because we accept Him as Savior doesn't mean we're going to have that abundant life. Why? The other part of this verse tells us, "The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (NKJV). The devil is out to destroy us. And in order for us to live abundantly, in order for us to win in every battle he brings our way, there are a few things we have to understand.
There Is a Thief
First of all, we must know who's responsible for what happens in our life. I've heard people blame God when things began to fall apart. But God is not out to steal, kill, and destroy us. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world."
God sent His Son to redeem mankind. And if He "so loved the world" one day, why would He want to blow it apart the next day? We've got to realize that there is a thief—an enemy. His name is Satan. And he doesn't come to do anything else but steal, kill, and destroy. He wants to steal our God-given joy, dreams, and talents. He wants to wipe us out. And he is the one responsible when it seems as if everything is against us.
Attacks Will Come
Second, we need to understand that attacks will come—and not just when we're doing something wrong. The more we're doing for God, the more Satan will try to attack us.
Remember the Apostle Paul? He was stoned, beaten, and even imprisoned—all while He was following God's will. How about Adam and Eve? They were living in the Garden of Eden—in perfection. And the thief was still there, trying to deceive them.
You see, Satan wanted to stop Paul. He wanted to stop Adam and Eve. And he wants to stop us too. He hasn't changed over the years. He knows his time is short, and he doesn't want us to follow God's plan for our lives. But when we understand this—when we know that attacks will come—we won't be thrown off course. We'll be able to keep moving forward with God.
Resist the Devil
Last and most important, we must know what to do when we get attacked. Here in the United States, we've spent countless billions of dollars figuring out what to do if there's a natural disaster or if we get attacked. We have plans for all kinds of scenarios.
Sadly, many Christians don't have even one plan. They're getting eaten up by the devil day after day and doing nothing about it. They're struggling. It's as if they're standing in a boxing ring with their hands down, saying, "Devil, just keep punching me. It's OK." But it's not OK. Look at what First Peter chapter 5 tells us.
1 PETER 5:8–9 (NKJV)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he MAY devour.
9 RESIST HIM, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
If the devil is seeking those he may devour, then there's a class of people whom he may not devour. As believers, we are part of that class. But when things begin to get difficult, we must remember Who's on the inside. The same Spirit Who raised up Christ from the dead lives in us (Rom. 8:11). This is the same Spirit Who was with Jesus when He walked on water, fed the 5,000, and performed all those miracles. And that Spirit is in us!
So when the devil comes against us, we can boldly stand up and say, "You may not devour me, Mr. Devil! You have no right. You have no authority. In the Name of Jesus, you have to leave me alone!"
You see, Jesus has already defeated the devil. And when we stand boldly in Him—when we believe in Him—we have the authority to put the devil on the run. One translation of James 4:7 says he will run from us in terror. Why? Because he's afraid of the Greater One in us.
No matter how many times Satan comes and tries to attack you, don't let him move you. Don't let him destroy your dream. Don't let him steal from you. Stand strong and immovable on the Word. Stand strong and immovable in the authority that Jesus died to give you. When you do, you'll live the abundant life John 10:10 talks about. You'll put that thief on the run, and everything will be OK!
FAITH IN ACTION
Drop Those Problems!
The devil can't devour us—unless we let him. And one way we let him is by getting in fear. Fear gives the devil an opportunity to rule in our lives. It puts pressure on us and causes us to do things we might not normally do.
If you've ever watched a football game, you've seen this a lot. Three or four guys are running at the quarterback, and he throws the ball into a place where he shouldn't be throwing the ball! Why? Because whether he admits it or not, he was afraid. He was focusing on the hit that was about to happen instead of on the ball like he should have been.
In our lives, Jesus is the ball. If we'll stay focused on Him and our Heavenly Father, we will come through victorious—no matter how hard the devil hits us!
So next time you're tempted to worry or fear, just do what the Word says. Cast all of your cares—all of your anxieties, worries, and concerns—over on your Heavenly Father (1 Peter 5:7 Amplified). Just PLAY HOT POTATO WITH YOUR PROBLEMS. Every time the devil comes to try and steal, kill, and destroy you—every time he brings a new problem—give it to God as fast as you can. Even if it looks impossible, He can cool down that potato. All things are possible with Him!