The Destroyer

When the devil knocks, you don't always hear it. Right? He'd rather sneak in an open door. He's the deceiver who targets your mind with lies, trying to cover up God's love and truth. Other times, he blows situations way out of proportion as the accuser who targets your heart with accusations. Today, let's talk about a word Jesus used when He talked about the devil: destroy. He's the destroyer who targets your will with pride. 


In John 10:10, Jesus utilized one of the simplest forms of human thinking to show the difference between real good and real evil. He put them next to each other. What happens when you look in a dark room? You see the dark. What happens when you look at light? You see the light. What happens when you put the light next to a dark room? You see the light. Light wins. In this one sentence, Jesus showed the whole world the light. 


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


In other words, the devil takes away. Jesus gives. But what do we do with this? How does Satan destroy? He targets your will with pride. Pride happens when you look past God to fulfill your desire to do good, to matter, to get your needs met, and to be loved. Pride is what convinces you to act without God, or worse, to use Him to accomplish your purposes. Pride comes before the fall because pride is trying to walk without God, in the dark. Your destroyer wants you prideful, in the dark.


How do we destroy pride then? With its opposite. Humbly surrender to the other side of John 10:10. Jesus gives life, and life to the full. Humility happens when you realize full life comes only when you receive (there's that word again) what you don't deserve from Jesus. Light, salvation, freedom, grace, power to fight your daily battles. It's all a gift. It can't be earned. Humble submission to Jesus defeats pride.


What do you have that you think you earned? You didn't earn it. Humbly thank God for giving it you. Tell Him He can do whatever He wants with it. Then, obey.


Here's what else. We receive freely, so we give freely. Pride says, "I earned this, so I'll give God and others a little." Humility says, "This was a gift, so have it all." When we respond to God and others with this kind of humility-fueled, open-handed living, the thief can try to steal, but there's always enough. He can try to take life, but it's an unending gift. He can try to destroy, but we're forsaking pride to humbly receive life to the full. Because when you put darkness next to light, you see the light. 


John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.


Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.


1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-comes not from the Father but from the world.


James 4:1-10 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble." Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the LORD, and he will lift you up.



When the Devil Knocks



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