I was raised in, what many call, the “name it and claim it, blab it and grab it” theology. Even if someone is not a part of this theology, it’s become an every popular understanding that God does not do anything “bad” or allow anything “bad” to happen to us. God, Christ, only comes to bring life and bring it more abundant. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. This theology comes from John 10:10. Let’s look at the passage within it’s context.

John 10:1-10 (NKJV) “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Shepherds and sheep and thieves - oh my.

The story here has the shepherd, who is Christ (vs 2, 7). The only way anyone, or anything, could get to one of the sheep is for the shepherd to allow it - thus the shepherd is the door. The sheep is us, the Christian. He continues to talk about how the sheep know the voice of the shepherd and they follow. This is the key to not being taken by a thief or a robber - know the Shepherds voice AND follow.

The thief comes to steal. Steal what? Does he come to steal a car, or burn a house, or steal health? No, he comes to steal the sheep from the Shepherd.

The best way to understand this parable is to connect it to the story of Job. Remember that the thief, satan, came to steal. Many look at how satan took Jobs stuff and his family but is that what satan wanted? Did satan have any concern for Job’s houses, his cattle, his children? No, satan wanted Job 1:11.

Notice now that God opened the door for Job’s stuff to be plundered. Here’s where we’ve got to gain the meaning of “life, and more abundant”.

There is a danger to worldly possessions (Matt 6:24). Life does not revolve around the stuff we have, or the health we have. Notice how Scripture uses the terms. If we are living for God we are living. If we are living for the world we are dying. When breath stops entering into our lungs we are sleeping. If we go to hell we are dead and if we go to Heaven we are alive. If Christ is our everything, then we don’t see the things as abundant life; we see Christ as abundant life. The more we realize that the things in this world do not provide joy, they do not provide life, the more we want to let these go. The more of the stuff we let go, the more we cling to Christ. The more of the stuff we loose, the more we cling to God. This is the reason God allowed Job’s stuff to be plundered by the enemy. Satan meant to steal the “sheep” from God but God’s purpose was to draw Job closer to Him (Job 42:5).

We need to remember that God has not change. He allowed suffering in the Old Testament and He allows suffering in the New. He sent judgment upon people in the Old Testament and He sends judgment upon people in the New (See also Seven Churches - mainly Thyatira). He chastens the ones He loves (Heb 12:6) and He works to draw all closer to Him. This “Christian” thing is not about abundant life here on earth, we are just passing through, it’s about abundant life with the Father. If we don’t have a strong relationship with Him here, we will not have a chance to have a strong relationship with him there (Refer to Seven Churches - mainly Ephesus). We need to remember that when things go bad, we often give satan more credit than he is due. Understand the sovereignty of God and see if there is more to be learned from your “loss” so that you can have gain with God.