I meet many people who’ve heard about the abundant life Jesus wants to give His followers, but they bemoan the fact that they’ve already been ripped off by the enemy in some way. “It’s too late, David,” they tell me. “The devil has already stolen from me, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
If you’re having feelings like these, I have great news for you! Even though the thief may have robbed you, God wants to restore everything you’ve lost.
“How can that be?” you may ask. Well, let’s look at some remarkable examples of this in God’s Word.
In Genesis 14, Abraham’s nephew Lot is taken captive by enemy armies, along with his family and his possessions. When Abraham hears the news, he immediately gathers more than 300 men to mount a counterattack.
Look at the fantastic result of Abraham’s raid against the enemy forces: “So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people” (Genesis 14:16).
What a great story! Although the enemy came as a thief, the counterattack recaptured everything that was stolen.
A Turnaround at Ziklag
A similar story is told in 1 Samuel 30:1-9, where David and his men come to Ziklag and find that the Amalekites have invaded and taken their wives and children captive. This was such a horrible situation that the men “lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep” (v. 4).
David became “greatly distressed”—particularly when his men spoke of stoning him! Yet David was a man after God’s heart, and he knew where his strength must come from: “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (v. 6).
If Satan has stolen something that belongs to you, I encourage you to follow David’s example and find new strength in the Presence of the Lord. And then you’ll be ready for David’s next step: “David inquired of the Lord” (v. 8). When you’re facing a spiritual attack, nothing is more important than seeking God’s strategy for a counterattack.
Please notice that David wasn’t passive when he was attacked by the enemy. Nor was he content to wallow in defeat or allow the enemy to keep what was stolen. After David prayed and got his bearings, he immediately went on the offensive and prepared his counterattack.
War in the natural realm is a violent and bloody endeavor, and the same is true of spiritual war. When David discovered the enemy encampment, he wasn’t in the mood for compromise or negotiation: “David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled” (v. 17). This was aggressive warfare, in the same kind of spirit we must have to overcome the powers and principalities of the devil.
But David’s warfare wasn’t only about revenge against the enemy; it also involved recapturing what had been stolen: “So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all” (vs. 18-19).
This should be our vision as well: Recovering all that the enemy has stolen! Instead of accepting defeat, it’s time to go on the offensive!
If Satan has ripped you off in some way, there’s no need to get stuck in a “victim” mentality. God wants to bless you, restore what you’ve lost, and give you even more than you had before!
Restoring the Years
Some people have been victimized by the enemy for so long that their feelings of victimhood have become a “familiar spirit”—deeply ingrained in their hearts and minds. Instead of just losing a spiritual battle or two, they feel as if they have already lost the war.
If you’ve entertained this defeatist mentality, God has a new beginning for you today! He’s able to restore even years of losses from the enemy.
In the days of the prophet Joel, the people of Judah faced several years of devastating attacks on their crops by locusts. Because these attacks were both severe and long-lasting, it was easy for people to lose hope:
What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten;
What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten;
And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.
He has laid waste My vine,
And ruined My fig tree;
He has stripped it bare and thrown it away;
Its branches are made white (Joel 1:4, 1:7).
Perhaps the attacks of the enemy have left you feeling like this today: laid waste…ruined…stripped bare…and thrown away. But God knows about your situation and wants to restore everything you’ve lost:
I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust (Joel 2:25).
And when the Lord says He wants to restore what you’ve lost, this means a life of incredible blessing and abundance:
The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil…
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame (Joel 2:24,26).
What Does This Mean?
If the devil has stolen something from you, it’s easy to assume that it’s gone forever. But remember what God says in His Word:
- Abraham recovered everything the enemy stole from Lot.
- David recovered everything the enemy stole from Ziklag.
- In the book of Joel, God promised to restore to us even years of the enemy’s plunder.
Has the devil stolen something from your life? Your health? Your marriage? Your children? Your job? Your finances? Your vision? Your peace of mind or intimacy with the Lord?
If so, take a moment and recommit your life fully to the Lord. Ask Him to give you His perspective and His strategies for overcoming the enemy’s attacks. Take Him at His Word that He will reverse your losses and bless you with His presence, power, and provision!
God Bless You!
David Cerullo is CEO of Inspiration Ministries, an international ministry he established over 20 years ago to impact people for Christ worldwide through media. He and his wife Barbara have been married for more than 30 years. Ordained for ministry since 1974, he is committed to helping believers strengthen their walk.