Taking Back What Was Stolen


God’s purpose is for us to live life to the fullest. Anything that would steal, kill, or destroy something in our lives is not from God. It comes from the enemy.

“The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” John 10:10 TLB

God’s purpose is for us to live life to the fullest. Anything that would steal, kill, or destroy something in our lives is not from God. It comes from the enemy. God’s Word is truth. When we approach trials with the knowledge of truth—using the filter of John 10:10 as a guide—we can determine whether what we are facing is from God or the enemy.

Not every trial is external. Have you ever had thoughts like these?

I’m never going to be good enough to deserve the goodness of God.I sinned again. Why do I keep doing this! If I really loved God, I would stop.I’m saved, but I sure did mess up before I gave it all to God. I’m so disgusting and despicable.God, I know You love me, but I really don’t deserve it.

Sometimes the enemy doesn't even need to attack us; we beat him to the punch! It is true that God’s love is undeserved and we cannot earn His goodness. But this kind of thinking misses the point: God knows we aren't good enough. That’s why He gave us His empowering grace.

Instead of dwelling on your unworthiness, embrace God’s grace. He didn’t save you to condemn you; He saved you to set you free. What He says is forgiven has been forgiven. End of story.

Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us. (Romans 8:33-34 NLT)

How terrible life would be if, after we gave God our lives, all He wanted to do was put us down! But that is outside of His character. God convicts, but He doesn't use condemnation as a method of motivation. If thoughts of guilt, shame, or condemnation ever start to creep into your mind, use the filter of John 10:10. Ask:

Are these words building me up? Are they encouraging me to live life to the fullest, in holiness, power, and joy? Are these thoughts of conviction that lead to repentance before God, or are they thoughts of condemnation that lead to hopelessness over my own limitations? Are these thoughts trying to steal my joy, kill my hope, or destroy my destiny?

If you answered yes to that last question, your mind is harboring a lie. Rebuke those thoughts and the enemy who has attempted to use them against you. Pray:

Father, I stand on the promise of Your Word that You want to give me life in all its fullness. I repent of allowing thoughts that are contrary to Your Word to dwell in my mind and heart. Jesus, I believe Your sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to cover my sins.

Now I boldly speak by the authority of Christ and His Spirit within me. Every lie of the enemy is cast down from my heart and mind, in Jesus’ name. I bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:5). I am covered by the truth of God’s Word and what He declares over me.

Holy Spirit, I welcome Your conviction. I ask You to lead me into all truth. Teach me to walk in holiness and power according to Your grace, not my own strength. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Adapted from Relentless (WaterBrook Press, 2011).

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