John 10:10 is one of my favorite Bible verses.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
In this verse, Jesus contrasts His desire for us (full, overflowing life) with the enemy’s ambition (total destruction and desolation). Here’s how I use this verse on a daily basis. I call it the 10:10 strategy.
We are constantly faced with a barrage of lies and temptations individually crafted by the enemy to attack our unique weaknesses, insecurities, and habits. As I am once again led down the rabbit hole of a familiar sin, I ask three simple questions.
1. What is this temptation going to steal from me?
2. How is this temptation going to take away the life God has given me (kill me)?
3. Who and what will this temptation destroy?
I stared at the computer screen for quite a while before adding an example. It is not comfortable for me, but I think it’s important… Let’s take lust. I am a man, so put lust together with pride and you’ve identified two of the enemy’s most powerful weapons against me.
Imagine there is an image on television that is inappropriate for me. I can choose to take that image into my mind or I can reject it. Let’s ask the three questions and see what we learn.
1. What is this temptation going to steal from me? It is going to steal my complete satisfaction with the representation of my wife as the perfect, most desirable, only woman in the world. Take that away and the thief will creep through the open window and enter your home.
2. How is this temptation going to take away the life God has given me (kill me)? When I married Christine, I entered a new existence. I was joined to my wife. This was a gift from God that radically changed the trajectory of my life. I cannot imagine what my life would have looked like without her. The only word that comes to my mind is barren. Submitting to this temptation threatens to kill that life.
3. Who and what will this temptation destroy? The answer to this one is obvious and alarming: my wife, my children, our families, our friends, me, and all the good that God intends for my life.
I can assure you that if you will pause for the few moments it takes to answer these three questions (steal, kill, destroy) the next time you are faced with that same tired temptation, it will lose its power. You will see clearly through the thief’s lies to the full, overflowing reality that Jesus offers. Once you see the truth, take three immediate actions in response: thank Jesus for His word, turn your back on the enemy, and run toward your loving savior.