Taking Back What the Devil Stole

“I’m taking back everything the Devil stole from me!” Have you ever heard this statement? Have you ever made this statement? Have you ever thought about what this statement means?

Spiritual catchphrases. Theological sound bites. Pulpit ear tickling. Harmful error set to beautiful music. Nonsense. These things are the order of the day. Consequently, many of our lives and churches are preoccupied with superficial things, rather than the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-empowered, life-transforming, and culture-engaging mission and message of the gospel.

For instance, there is a popular “Gospel” song that declares God to be faithful and holy. But the response to these divine perfections is this: “I’m reaching the harvest God promised me. Take back what the devil stole from me.” Well, at least it rhymes. I think. I also think this way of thinking tries to make God our puppet.

The consideration of God’s attributes should cause us to respond with reverent worship, the confession of sin, and a passion to serve him. At least, that’s how Isaiah responded to the sovereign holiness of God (see Isaiah 6). But a true encounter with the majesty and supremacy of God will definitely not result in a militant determination to fight the Devil over the stuff he supposedly stole from you.

The Bible describes our great spiritual enemy in many different ways. It tells us that Satan is a murderer and a liar and a deceiver. The Devil is even pictured in scripture as a serpent and a roaring lion and a dragon. But the Bible does not say much about the Devil being a thief. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” But the “thief” Jesus is referring to is not Satan. He’s talking about false religious leaders! And, if Jesus was talking about Satan, why it is that we are only concerned about what he has stolen? Shouldn’t we be just as concerned about what he kills and destroys?

Beyond what the scripture tells us about Satan, we should also think about what it says about following Christ. We are to fight. Stand firm. Resist. Watch. And pray. But the instructions the New Testament give about spiritual warfare do not teach us that we should try to take anything back from devil. This is not the focus of the Christian life in any way. And talk like this only trivializes the biblical and historic Christian faith.

What stuff we are to take back from the Devil? If you let the high profile religious personalities tell it, we are to take back our families, health, wealth, joy, ministries, etc. Let the church say, “Huh?” This is really bad theology. It suggests that Satan is behind every adverse, difficult, or unpleasant thing that happens in our lives. And it fails to embrace the Lord’s sovereign authority, providential wisdom, and good purposes at work in our lives, including our bad times.

This way of thinking about fails to recognize that some challenges we face in life are the result of sin – both others and ours. Sometimes, we lose things because God will not be mocked. We reap what we sow (Gal. 6:9).

And there’s another important theological word that describes why some bad things happen: life. Life happens to all of us. Following Christ does not guarantee happy marriages, financial success, perfect health, problem-free relationships, or carefree circumstances. However, Christianity gives us resources for facing life challenges that unbelievers do not have. We can pray and trust and obey and wait and rejoice and love and forgive and give and serve in the midst of and in spite of life’s difficulties. But Christianity does not teach believers to attack the devil and reclaim stolen stuff from him. 

In Ephesians 1:3, Paul declares, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” Did you get that? In Christ, we are perfectly, completely, and irrevocably blessed. And we should praise God for it. But to neglect our great spiritual blessings in Christ and focus on things you think the Devil has stolen from you is to dishonor the unfailing promises of God, the redemptive work of Christ, and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. That’s like Bill Gates crying because he lost one hundred dollars. So I recommend that you let the Devil keep whatever he has stolen from you! Friend, if the Lord Jesus is the Forgiver of your sins and the Leader of your life, you have too many blessings to enjoy and bless God for to worry about what the Devil supposedly stole from you.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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23 thoughts on “Taking Back What the Devil Stole

  1. Pastor Charles,
    Thank you for your exposition of the Word. The reason some have an issue with your bold explanation of this text (John 10.10)is due to the fact that they have not read the contextual parameters and placed it in the interpretive accuracy of what Christ is referencing. Was completely blessed by your preaching at the Biblical Exposition Conference in Lysle, Illinois last week!


  2. I do believe the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Anything that is not of God is of satan. I am angry at him because he has stolen precious time from a friend of mine. She is 60 years old. I met her a few years ago but she has been living a life of torment inwardly. She doesn't know God and feels she can't be any better but I am interceding on her behalf and God will save her and deliver her. She will know what it is like to live in peace and wholeness in Jesus name.

  3. Thank you for this comment. After hearing the following news in the last 2 and a half months of our 28 year old praise leader being diagnosed with an aggressive heart tumor, a faithful woman of God having her second surgery for colon cancer, a 34 year old pregnant friend having to start chemo for breast cancer while pregnant, another friend with a rare stomach tumor in her early forties and my own husband having a back tumor. These are people living for the Lord but each of them will tell you this is not their home and if God says that their 'appointed' time has come, they are ready. Thank you so much for the reminder.

  4. The stealing, killing, and destroying that is being spoken of is not a literal thief, murderer, and “destroyer.” They are being referred to our souls. The devil wishes to STEAL our souls from being with God. He wants to KILL our souls… that is the spiritual death, which is the separation of our souls from God. And satan wishes to destroy whatever hope our souls may have in the love and salvation the Lord has provided to us through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to LIFE again.
    So indirectly devil is indeed a thief. Take it back what the devil stole from you through the power of Jesus Christ. Devil is my enemy and I sure lable him as a thief also. I don’t like him. There is nothing nothing nothing good in him.


  5. Pastor Charles,

    I am just reading this for the first time, and think it is an awesome post. You are right many people forfeit their blessings. They don’t want to face the fact that what they’ve lost may be a direct consequence for poor stewardship over the blessings God has given.

  6. Why change what the word of Yahweh says “For he has come but to steal, kill and destroy.” That is his job. I don’t know about you but I also recall the Word of God saying not to take anything from nor add anything to his word. If you have been through anything Trusting the word of the Most High Yahweh is all you have and all you want. So yes I want my health back and I have the right to apply the Word of my Father to use a that weapon to shield, and protect, and fight the ememy with all my might.

  7. You know what? You’re correct. The Bible never fully calls the Devil “a thief”. Most of the time, those things that we lose: our dignity, our family, our time; it’s because at one point we’ve handed it to him. The Devil doesn’t demand things from us. If anything, our own desires and temptations cause us to willfully give those things to him. I’ve been through all of that and it was necessary for me because when I did come out and followed Christ, it made for a better testimony.

  8. Thanks for the comment anonymous.

    But I have a question.

    On what basis do you believe that the Lord allows the devil to steal things from us that may hinder our relationship to the Lord? Where does scripture teach this?

    I know that the Lord allowed Satan to “steal” some things from Job. But there is no evidence that Job knew Satan was involved. Job said, “The Lord has given; and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21).

    I would love to hear how you would explain to someone from scripture how, when, and why the Lord allows Satan to “steal” things from us.

    Still enjoying the conversation…


  9. Pastor Charles’
    Thank you for the education on this phraseology. I believe the Lord “allows” the devil to steal some stuff from our lives because it may hinder our relationship with our Lord and Saviour. The Lord remains on watch for our soul.
    May the Lord continue to bless and Strenghen you.

  10. K Henry,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I agree that Christians should not live “defeated” lives. My issue is how we as Christians should walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:3-4).

    I do not believe that it is biblical, wise, or helpful to teach people to live in victory by “taking back” things from the devil.

    This is not what scripture teaches. In fact, talking and thinking this way seems to disregard (if not outright contradict) the very real spiritual victory that is already ours in Christ Jesus.

    I would be curious to know how you would explain your thoughts about this in biblical terms.

    Enjoying the discussion,


  11. Minister Charles

    I appreciate your comments- as a Christian I feel many of us live our lives with a defeated attitude,a life filled with unsaved children, depression, sickness and poverty. If believing that through Christ Jesus, your life can be restored,and restoration begins with not allowing Satan to have what God has prepared for you, an abundant life, then what is wrong with that? Let’s encourage and not discourage God’s people to live the life that Christ died to give them,” Take back what the devil stole from you”! Don’t live defeated!


  12. WOW!!!!!!! DID YOU JUST PREACH OR WHAT. AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!!!!!!. That was no blog that was another awesome meassage. I need that on CD to play in the car. (smile)

    Auntie BB

  13. All I knew was I did not want anything the devil had stoled form me. I guess I am saying you took the words right out of my mouth.I wish I knew how to say it like you! Preach pastor preach!!! SW

  14. Pastor Charles,

    When you and the Holy Spirit hook up, yall (im from texas) performlike Scottie and Mike. Keep passing it to Mike and he will keep on delivering. Excellent Post. Cant wait for the praise dance post and the politics (really polTRICKS)in church post

  15. You are amazing man. What a wonderful post. Thanks for addressing those issues that are pertinent and important. I’m waiting for your view on “praise dancing”. I look forward to the post.

  16. My, my, my. Excellent post and example of how the faithful should lovingly respond to some of the nonsense we hear from some pulpits, choir stands, and radio stations.

  17. HB,

    Awesome post man. I can’t wait to read more posts like this, that speaks to changing of the allowances of certain “catchphrases” to be prevalent in our churches. The Gospel in its true form, shall always be what we should stand on. Bless You