Satan is a thief, robber, burglar and a bandit. It is in John’s gospel we find Jesus sharing the fourth I AM statement declaring I AM the Good Shepherd. It is with this statement that Jesus sharply contrasts Himself against false shepherds who He describes as thieves and robbers. Listen to what Jesus says in
John 10:7-11 7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Satan is the thief whose ultimate purpose and plan is to destroy.
Mark 4:15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. In the fourth chapter of Mark Jesus is again teaching, as only He could, in a parable. A parable is a story that Jesus would often place alongside his teaching to help people understand its meaning. The definition I heard of a parable early in my ministry and have never forgotten is that a parable is an “earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” In this parable Jesus is sharing with His disciples why He was not impressed by the large crowds but only changed lives. The seed, Jesus spoke of, represented God’s Word. The sower is the preacher and the different types of soil represents human hearts. The enemy, who I introduced earlier, seeks to steal, kill and destroy the seed to stop its growth. Therefore, we should never diminish, discount or discredit the destructive power of Satan. He is our enemy, our adversary, our antagonist who seeks to weaken us, wreck us, worry us, and wear us all out if we let him. 1 Peter 5:8-11 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Today, pray that your Pastor will hold on to the Word of God so tight that the enemy cannot snatch the Word out of his hands. Pray that your Pastor will understand that the only weapon we are given to defend ourselves with is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Pray that your Pastor, as God’s under-shepherd, will understand that the enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy God’s sheep and the Word of God has been given to him to defend the sheep. Pray that, as under-shepherd, your Pastor will understand that the Word of God is a sword, but also a rod to correct and a staff to care and comfort.