Fresh Hope – 20th June 2018

Pick-pocketing is not an uncommon crime throughout various tourist-heavy cities in Europe. In places like Paris and Rome, travelers are warned to use secure handbags, and have a heightened awareness in iconic locations and on public transport. Pick-pocketers (or thieves), are highly competent and truly professional at stealing. They usually master the art in pairs of two. They operate through the simple technique of DISTRACTION. They will use a child to distract the tourist, while the parent takes the money from the bag, or they’ll stand close to the tourist on a train, while one thief talks to the tourist, distracting them, and the other thief steals from behind. There is no better time to steal, than when a tourist is distracted. When attention is divided, the victim is weak.

John 10:10 says that ‘the thief (the Devil) comes to steal’. And his strategy is also that of distraction.

It is often in life when we are distracted that the enemy will seize the opportunity to steal from us. If He doesn’t bring the distraction, he will use something to hijack our focus. When your life is chaotic, when we are distracted with our problems, or your gaze is taken by something other than God, it is then that the thief will seize the opportunity steal what God has put in you. The Devil is after anything in you from God. Any blessing, any gift, and good thing from heaven – the Devil’s assignment is to take it!

Don’t let this intimidate you, rather become aware. Carefully guard that which God has deposited in you – things like hope, love, dreams, gifts, peace and joy – good things from God – don’t let the enemy steal these things in moments of distraction. If petty issues have your attention right now – stay focused, don’t let the Devil rob you of your joy. If genuine, big problems have your attention right now – stay focused, don’t let the Devil take your hope and dreams.

Sometimes we can blame the Devil for our problems, when in fact, he isn’t interested in creating problems, he is interested in taking our peace. We may be ill and believe, ‘the enemy is attacking my health right now’, or we can be struggling in our relationships and say, ‘the devil is attacking my friendships right now’. But perhaps those aren’t the things the Devil is after. Maybe he is in fact using those things to divide your focus, to take your gaze from God to the problem, to weaken you, in order to steal your joy and peace – these are the things that he wants to take. He is the peace-thief. So focus less on the issues of your life and more on not getting distracted.

1 Peter 5:8-9 says, ‘Be will balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith’.

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.