Enough, is Enough!
How many of you saw on the news, the town where they had put out God Bless America signs and someone thought that they had left them up to long and they sent a letter that said,
either take down the sign, or pay a fine...only when faced with public scrutiny, the town manager later recanted and said he really didn't mean it, it had nothing to do with religious liberties, he was only enforcing the city sign ordinance.
We live in a land where things get stolen all the time, only today's thief is more cunning than in days gone by.
Oh there is still times where peoples houses are broken into and physically robbed, but today's thief has taken it to a new level, yes I'm talking about identity theft.
Where they take, not just your physical assets, but with technology and the advantage of the internet, all of your tangible ones as well.
Its a total violation of you and your identity, maybe you have even heard or known someone this has happened to?
It is becoming a lot more common place in America today,
statistics send a clear message, as well as our own common sense tells us, that we are a nation in trouble!
Can you imagine the time and energy that has been spent and wasted trying to figure out, how to rip not just someone, but everyone off.
If we could only Chanel that energy in a positive directionî
But I don’t want to focus on the natural today
In the spiritual realm, that same devotion has been spent, for thousands of years.
Trying to come up with a new and better way, to take everything you have, including you!
Satan is and has always been in the business of ripping off things that don’t belong to him!
Only, unlike today's thief, who try's to get all they can at one time and I'm not saying he wouldn't, but he's even more crafty than the internet thief.
See, he steals little by little, morsel by morsel, day after day and thing is, most people don't even notice it, until it's to late and everything they value is gone.
You see, he not only attacks physically, but through words, actions, thoughts, dreams, ambitions and whatever else he views as an opportunity, to be taken advantage of!
Jesus said in JOHN 10:10 RSV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
The MSG. Says: I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
While some might be thinking of personnel items and I'm not saying he wouldn't, try to try to get to you that way, after all he took everything Job had.
But the devil doesn't need your car or your house, or your money, he is more interested in stealing all the Spiritual treasures that you have access to,
The important things that have value with God and are of eternal significance.
For example; Our purpose for living.
If one were truly to experience Gods abundant life, a more and better life than they ever dreamed of, wouldn't that be enough to take care of all of our wants, needs and desires, we would ever have?
"It is" and there is no one who knows that better than the devil and that's why he try's to steal away everything about it, and I mean "everything"!
You can have all the riches in the world, but without The Lord, they are just an empty, lonely place of existence!
The devil doesn't want the world to experience one second of "a more and better life than you have ever dreamed of"
Because he knows with God in your life, there is no reason for people to turn to Drugs, alcohol, meaningless relationships, and whatever else!
It's all distraction from the problem anyway... Just Something…anything to try to fill the void, the hole in every bodies life that he knows exists from personal experience and try's to take advantage of
he doesn't have any hope or joy, he forfeited it long ago, that's why he tries to steal everyone else's, that's his plan.
But that's not God plan, Gods plan we read about in the book of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 29:11 RSV
11. For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
he knows of the good things God has in store for you, because he has tasted them and that's why he also knows once you do, he will have lost the battle forever!
That's why he continues the battle, even after a person becomes a Christian, in no way, shape, or form, does he want anyone to know, what their salvation experience in Jesus, really entitles them to....Which is "everything"....
Ephesians 3:8-9 NKJ
8.To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9. and to make all see what is the fellowship[a] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;
The unsearchable riches of Christ, salvation in Jesus qualifies you to partake of everything that God has, no matter what the devil may try to tell you, there are no other hoops to jump through, there are no other qualifications to be sought after! Amen?
Ephesians 3:14-19 MSG
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
God made man to find fulfilment in Him…. Through a relationship, with His own Son, and his awareness has been stolen, because anyone who would read what we just read and not want to experience it and live in it, clearly is not aware of its abundant availability!
Yes you have to experience it, before the devil will ever relent from his attack
And that is why, even for those who are Christians the devil has a strategy for theft, to steal anything he can.
And that strategy is...."The loss of our first love for Jesus"....
Yes we still love the Lord and we still come to church,
But what happened to all the energy and passion, that we used to have?
You know...Everybody ought to know, Everybody ought to know, Everybody ought to know, "Who Jesus Is"?
Our desire and get up and go, didn't get up and leave, the devil stole it from us,
Our zeal and our intensity don’t evaporate. Satan steals the hot embers, a little bit at a time one by one, until the fire eventually all but dies out!
he has stolen them all and 911 never even got called for the police to be despatched to the crime scene.
Some might say well when I got saved I was an energetic teenager, oh really,
are you still breathing?
Because my bible says, "Let Everything That Has Breathe, Praise The Lord!"
TBS. In 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 MSG
16-18 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
Wasn't that what our first love was all about, when Jesus entered our hearts and for the first time we realized, that God was a living presence, the new life began and we were free,
That was only the beginning, our faces shining with the brightness of his face, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
There was a song I can remember learning and it still is relevant today,
It only takes a spark
To get a fire going
And soon all those around
Can warm up in the glowing
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you’ve experienced it
You’ll spread His love
You’ll want to pass it on
What happened to the fire, it didn't just go out, the devil started trying to steal it and stamp it out, the very moment it started!
It's time we got back to the basics and rekindled that first love we once had!
There is no end to the power he wants to exhibit in our lives.
Pastor Schaffer, he always said you don't retire, you just refire
The bible has no retirement plan here on earth, the word says, "occupy until I come"
And that is something the devil never wants you to do, but is something that we seriously need to be doing!
It's time we took back the fire and not only took it back, but fanned the flame as well! Amen!
Here's another way, many of Gods people have been ripped off from the devil, from their calling?
Calling? Yes calling, the moment you became a believer, I believe God put a desire in your heart and you said, someday I'd like to be or do this for The Lord.
For me, it was a missionary pilot, flying missionaries all over the world, so they could tell people about Jesus!
Maybe yours was the gift to serve others,
To be a missionary
To just do something
Once there was a stirring inside of you, but then you got discouraged, somebody let you down, something went wrong and your feelings got hurt,
Maybe somebody said you could never do that....and to soon the dream was gone and you thought the calling wasn’t real!
You got ripped off!
God has never one time forgot about your dreams and desires, to do something for the Kingdom
Another place that the devil steals from us, is in our home and everything that is associated with it.
From A to Z and everything in between, from divorce, to our kids, our finances, he doesn't think anything is off limits!
While people may lie and tell you everything is okay and on the surface it may seem that way.
The family is and has been under attack
Why do Christian couples and families have so much trouble?
Because satan fully intends to destroy every marriage, every relationship and every family,
It's not a matter of if, only when it will happen!
Why is satan so intent on breaking up families and church’s because they reflect the nature of God!
And the devil even with all his tricks and schemes is no match for God
Take for example the story in 1 Sam of David and ZIKLAG
Davids family is gone and everything is lost and as if that's not enough, His men turn on him in natural anger and blame him!
Then comes a wonderful phrase! 1 Samuel 30:6 NKJ
6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
Where did David find strength?, "In The Lord!" Where will you find strength?, "In The Lord!"
1st Chronicles 16:27 NKJ
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and gladness are in His place.
1 Samuel 30
8. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?”
And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”
17. Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled.
18. So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives.
19. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.
Why am I telling you this story?
Because if you are ever going to recover, what has been stolen from you, with the Lords help, you are going to have to fight to recover it!
The devil will put up a battle, but he can be overcome and defeated, he is no match for the presence of God you have available in your life, that has been available from the very first moment you believed!
The devil has tried and been somewhat successful at wrecking humanity, more so in recent days than he ever has been,
What don't believe me, then you must not be watching the news!
Doom and gloom are running rampant, people are doing everything they can to escape reality,
I never thought in my lifetime, I would witness people doing drugs that would age you 20 yrs overnight and make your teeth fall out of your head, that God designed to last a lifetime, overnight...just to escape reality for a few fleeting moments,
Today we need to say wait a minute, wait just a minute, enough is enough!
Im not giving up on my calling, or
My potential of an abundant life, that none other
than the Great God Almighty has Promised to me!
Today, I'm laying claim not only to what has been stolen in the past,
But from here on out, to anything he tries to steal from me
In the future! Amen?
You can recover all that satan stole from you!
Do you believe it?
Then receive it whole heartedly and start giving the devil,
the black eye he deserves, Amen?
Remember, TBS all things are possible, to him that believes
Ah Lord God -- Behold thou hast made heaven and earth By thy great power and outstretched arms there is nothing too hard for thee,
Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing is to difficult for thee!
Thanks to Ian Johnson