Monday, June 8, 2009

A Thief in the Neighborhood

In 1968 “It Takes a Thief" made is TV debut. It featured a cat burglar, pickpocket who stole to support his playboy lifestyle. The show opens with him kissing a woman’s hand while slipping a ring off her finger. He knew how to get past the alarm systems. He was a cunning, smooth operator. Whatever the situation, he blended in. No one had a clue that a thief was in their midst.


What if my neighborhood was one of his targets? Wouldn't I lock the doors and windows; send out the alert; beef up the neighborhood watch; maybe even buy a security system? Wouldn't I be more attentive to what's going on around me?


In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.” But do I really get that?. I mean I know he’s out there, but do I realize he's in my neighborhood?


Jesus finished the verse saying, "I came to give you life more abundant, life to the full." He came to give us a life like His, an extraordinary life. He even said that we would do greater things than He has done? How is life lived out? Are we doing “greater things”?


Life is definitely full, but what is it full of; busyness or extraordinary living? I mean how many of us even have time for authentic relationship? Doesn’t life’s demands take up most of our time? Who’s behind this?


Jesus came to give us the extraordinary life of oneness with the Creator of the universe. His death brought us our inheritance. I don't think many of us get that. We've already received the inheritance. It's not waiting for us in heaven. It's in the here and now. We have been given all the spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. The treasures of the kingdom are in our midst.


Do we even really get a clue how dangerous we are as children of light? The enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy. But Jesus has the last word. The enemy cannot steal from us. It comes down to our choice. Will we squander our life away.


I see how easily distractions come into our home. Those things that breathe life disappear like a thin vapor. The emptiness creeps in revealing that something is out of balance.


Sweet intimate moments between two lovers are quickly replaced by intense jobs or parenting demands. Opportunities for heart connections are replaced by places of escape. Life takes over, things get lost. Emptiness replaces fullness, sadness replaces bliss. Dullness replaces excitement. We move on alone as individuals not having the time for living in our inheritance. Two are stronger than one. How is it we get separated in our own worlds?


What goes on in the day to day living? Are we even paying attention? Where and how our time is spent reveals our reality. There are 168 hours in a week, normally 45- 50 of those are given to a job & commuting. An average night’s sleep takes another 56. That leaves 62 hours left each week. Does that shock you like it does me? Doesn’t it seem like there’s just not enough time? Who’s behind that?


Our senses have been dulled. It’s much easier to escape the monotony of life. Hours spent on the computer or TV take us to another dimension, one where we don't have to think, engage or offer. Time seems to stand still and before you know it, time’s been given away. I know, I go there.


We live busy lives, working hard to make money. We give our hours away to things that will never last. Things that matter for eternity’s purpose get lost... so very, very lost. We turn to places of escape to relax and sedate us.


We’ve lost sight of our inheritance. It's being stolen right from underneath our eyes. We've left our doors and windows unlocked. We’re not even paying attention.


Sound the alert. Head’s up. There’s a thief in the neighborhood. We’re being robbed. We were made for so much more. We were made for an extraordinary life of even greater things.


I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12

©copyright 2009 Julie L. Todd

14 comments:

Karen said... Reply to comment

May we always be on guard...it is so true what you wrote.."The enemy cannot steal from us"...unless we allow him...we have to keep the prayer hedges up and strong!

Thank you for these reminders, Julie!

Paula said... Reply to comment

A great post Julie. The first thing the enemy tries to steal here is my joy. I'm making sure I stay focused on Him to keep the thief at bay and in his rightful place! Thank you for such an apt reminder. :-)

christy rose said... Reply to comment

Julie,
Yes, Jesus came to give us the extraordinary life of oneness with our creator. Wow! We are one with God. I completely agree with you that I don't think people get the Jesus died so that we could have the inheritance of union and communion with God. What a love He has for us!!
The distractions of this world do steal our time to relish in our union with our Lord and allow Who He is to transform us and make us like Him so we can enjoy every aspect of our salvation to the fullest. ABUNDANT LIFE!
This was a wonderful post! I loved it!
Christy

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Great, great post. I never thought of our weeks in terms of total hours. It IS an eye-opener, and does make me want all the more to increase the intentionality of my life.

Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie,

Your words are so true...The enemy CANNOT steal from us. It is our choice.

The Lord is teaching me to live moment by moment...to live in His love, to continually be praying for a pure heart, not allowing bitterness, envy, malice into my heart. It seems that every time I allow a bitter thought to take hold of my heart...this is when the enemy has access into my life.

I'm finding that living in love, worshiping God is the greatest repellent against the enemy and his wimpy legion. The devil is a small, wimpy being that cowers down every time I worship the God of the Universe...never again will I choose to let darkness overrun my life.

"Extraordinary living" is what will draw the world to Jesus Christ!

Great post, Julie!

Love you!
Amy

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

This sounds so familiar, Julie. So close to home...

It is a good reminder filled with specific passages from God's word.

Thank you!

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

Wow, Julie! The 62 hours really is a wake-up call! You are so right. We need to check our "doors and windows."

Blessings!
K

Tea With Tiffany said... Reply to comment

Oh do I feel your heartbeat here. I have a picture I am planning to post soon to share my thoughts about this. We do need to sound the alarm. And start living the Jesus filled life. And that involves others and allowing ourselves to love. Time counts too. I don't want to lose my life to foolish living. Busyness without love. Ugh.

Great strong word of truth.

YEAH!

Love you,

Tiffany

Amy said... Reply to comment

God has called us to a great and wonderful life. This is a good article. We do need to be on guard against the things that would rob our time and effort. Again you have blessed and encouraged me. Thanks.

Shanda said... Reply to comment

I'm guilty for sure. Thanks for this eye opener... Thanks, Julie.

PW said... Reply to comment

Thanks again for reminding us of our inheritance in Jesus here on earth.

btw, browsed through your earlier posts...hugs on the death of your father, my dad died too, last fall. I too dearly miss him. Hugs and many hugs.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hmmm. We experienced a real thief this week. It does not feel good to be robbed; especially of the things of the spirit.

This is very timely for me, Jewlz!

Missing you...

Laura

Angela said... Reply to comment

so beautiful and true Julie...I love how the Lord really gives you the words that touch so many hearts

Marsha said... Reply to comment

Another encouraging, yet convicting post.

Thank you for the reminders.