Stolen Right Out From Under You
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev used to tell of a time when there was a wave of petty theft in the Soviet Union. To curtail this the authorities put up guards around the factories. At one timberworks in Leningrad, the guard knew the workers in the factory very well. The first evening, out came Pyotr Petrovich with a wheelbarrow and, on the wheelbarrow, a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside. “All right, Petrovich,” said the guard, “what have you got there?” “Oh, just sawdust and shavings,” Petrovich replied. “Come on,” the guard said, “I wasn’t born yesterday. Tip it out.” And out came nothing but sawdust and shavings. So he was allowed to put it all back again and go home. When the same thing happened every night of the week the guard became frustrated. Finally, his curiosity overcame his frustration. “Petrovich,” he said, “I know you. Tell me what you’re smuggling out of here, and I’ll let you go.” “Wheelbarrows, my friend, ” said Petrovich, “wheelbarrows.”
Very rarely do we go from being centered in God’s will to being far away from God over night. Usually it is little bit by little bit that we start slowly moving away from God. A drink here turns into a drink there and over time it is a drink in the morning, a drink at lunch, a drink on the job, a drink after work, a drink constantly until you end up in a place you never thought possible. It truly is the little foxes that spoil the vine. Satan loves to tempt us in this manner. He places before us what we deem just a little sin – nothing major – no one will ever know. It’s just one look at the computer of a site you shouldn’t be on. It’s just a small amount of money that no one will ever miss. The saddest part of all is right before our very eyes the enemy is stealing our reputation, our honor, our marriage, our family, our finances, our witness right out from under us.
The beautiful truth of the gospel is that no matter what the enemy may have stolen from you he can never steal the fact that your debt was paid on the cross by Jesus Christ and “all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13) and all those who confess their sins can rest in the fact that “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). As God says in Joel 2:25 to God’s people when we turn to Him in repentance He “will restore to you the years the swarming locusts have eaten.”
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy – (John 10:10a)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. – (1 Peter 5:8)