As the first night of Steubenville Mid America 2015 comes to a close, we get to reflect on the talks we’ve heard today about what it truly means to have Jesus as our shepherd and guardian. But you can’t talk about the one who protects the flock without also mentioning the thief.
Described in John 10:10 as the one who comes “to steal, to slaughter, and destroy,” this thief uses trickery and false promises to lead the sheep away from greener pastures. From his first victory over Adam & Eve in the garden – to the way he actively attacks our culture today with hate, lust, and violence – the thief seeks to deceive all who look for truth.
Paul J. Kim, who described his younger self as a “spiritual youth who went to church for the doughnuts and girls,” shared his own experiences with the thief’s temptations and explained how Satan misleads teens today in the simplest and slyest of ways. According to Kim, the devil hides in the shadows, twisting our deepest desires and feeding off our insecurities. He is a true thief of joy, relentlessly whispering in our ears that we are not enough and that the life and goodness we search for will never make us happy. His greatest lie of all is that God doesn’t care, not as a Father, not even as a Creator. It’s only when we fall to the ground feeling desperate and unloved that Satan offers us his solutions: worldly possessions, casual relationships where others are used, popularity, drugs, and alcohol. The devil binds us with these comfortable chains, hoping we’ll let him drag us down into his pit for all eternity.
But there’s hope. The devil’s presence may be real, but so is God’s. While the devil tells us we are limited, Jesus tells us we are not. With His insurmountable love and mercy, the Son of God gives us the power to not only be free of Satan’s chains, but to pursue Heaven and sainthood. All we have to do is choose to believe in God’s boundless love, to believe that we are limitless.
“Satan is a master chess player. And he’s patient. He knows what you are into, he knows your longings, and he knows how to trap you.”
“We choose sin because we see a perceived good. We think sin will make us happy, our lives easier. There is always this little lie.”
“The devil hides himself in fads, and in certain attitudes.”
“The devil is not a myth to scare people into church. He is a reality. And he hates you. He hates your guts. He wants to destroy every ounce of joy. He wants to destroy everything that is good and true and beautiful in your life. And he wants you to do that to other people too.”