“Momma, why do people steal?” asks my 8 year old cowgirl.
“Well,” I respond with heaviness in my heart and a prayer of wisdom on my lips, “have you ever wanted something someone else had?”
A resounding “YES!” comes from all 3 kids in the backseat of the van.
“Well then someone who steals chose to simply take what wasn’t theirs instead of working to earn the money to buy what they wanted or the lacked character to ask for it.”
At that moment I realized there’s a little bit of the thief in me. In me resides the inclination to steal, kill and destroy. It’s a force to be reckoned with, not deny. The desire to have something that’s not mine left unchecked by the Spirit could lead to robbery. Paul said it best in Romans 7 (paraphrasing), I don’t do what I want to do and I do the thing I don’t want to do! There’s a battle going on inside my soul everyday! Will I choose to walk in my flesh and gratify my human nature – which FEELS really good and satisfies for the moment, yet leaves me out to dry once the moment’s over? Or will I walk in the Spirit – putting aside my SCREAMING demands and obey the still small voice?
Have you ever had a screaming child in the car? You’re driving home and about 10 minutes away your infant wakes up, STARVING! What can you do besides speed up a few notches and maybe rock the car from side to side? Driving while nursing is definitely NOT recommended! You know the child will survive 10 more minutes, even though he/she does not.
It’s the same way with our walk. My flesh can scream out at me to give in and satisfy my emotion – which is no different than stealing a candy bar from the gas station. That’s why Jesus went to the cross. To embody all the sin of the thief, the murderer, the adulterer, the liar. It all died with Him! Then He walked out of the grave and offers us His hand to join Him. We ‘walk in the Spirit” when we realize the depth of our sinful nature, (our speck) stop pointing out our brothers saying we could never do that, and choose to say “It’s only by YOUR powers Jesus I’m not the thief right now! Lead me, Help me to follow you…because without YOU I am NOTHING!
And it gets better…God says to me His grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in my weakness. He says I am more than a conqueror through Jesus. He says He will lead me in triumphal procession in Christ and spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. He says He will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is steadfast on Him. God tells me the moment I look to Him, I am saved. I have the mind of Christ, the spirit of sonship and can call the LORD of all, Daddy. I am His daughter. He says nothing can separate me from His love. Not my fears, not my thoughts, not the fear of my thoughts…nothing….nothing….nothing. I am His and He is mine.
Yes, I am capable of the worst of sins – I could do it all in a heartbeat. I may feel guilty in the morning, but don’t we all? Paul shares a similar story in Romans 7:14-24 and ends with these words, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our LORD!
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
One thought on “Thief or Conquorer? Both!”
This made me think of another reference to thieves in John 10 as well. Here Jesus identifies Himself as the “gate for the sheep.” (v 7) and whoever comes through Him will be saved (v 9). He goes on to say “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (v 10). Sin, guilt, and fear are robbers; we enter into life through Jesus, our Gate.