As I was leaving the McDonalds restaurant I talked to an employee who had brought her lunch outside to enjoy the beauty of the day. She placed her lunch on one of the tables and walked away briefly. As soon as she left I saw a grackle quickly fly to the table and stick his beak into her French fry bag and steal himself a fry. Just as he was about to return to the scene of the crime I shooed him away from the employee’s meal. I stayed at my post and stood guard until the McDonalds worker came back.
I marveled how slick that bird had become in developing the skill to steal fries from outdoor diners. Have you ever wondered how slick the devil has developed the ability to steal our joy from us? Our Lord promised to give us His joy. He said in John 15:11: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”. Our joy comes from our connection to and our abiding in Christ. We have a full supply of His joy as we continue to walk with our Lord. However the joy thief, the devil can steal away our joy. He does it by causing us to walk away and focus our attention elsewhere. We take our eyes off of our Lord and become overwhelmed with outward circumstances, difficult people, painful trials, and busy distractions. When our head is turned we find our joy is missing. We need to keep our eyes wide open and focused on our Lord. Hebrews 12:2 challenges us: “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
I noticed that the McDonalds I visited posted signs at their outside dining tables that read: “don’t feed the birds”. Jesus has given His followers a full supply of His joy. Don’t let the devil steal it away.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation