“Thou shalt not steal” (Ex 20:15)
What I want to say now may not surprise many people: Unfortunately, there are many thieves in Nigeria. I speak with a heavy heart for I live here since 1980. My husband is a Nigerian. I love Nigeria! I do ministry here. All foreigners who come to visit Nigeria are warned about the very skillful thieves in this country. There are small thieves and there are big successful thieves. Many Nigerians believe in the saying: ‘You can steal but don’t be caught!” I too have been a victim of stealing. People have stolen not just my money but my peace and my joy. I am not a police officer. I am not a court judge. I am a servant of God and a pastor. The only way I can help is spiritually I pray that the Word of God will touch and change your hearts! In Jesus name, amen!
“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” (Jn 10:10). The devil is a thief. Jesus says that the devil has only one desire: to steal from you, kill you and destroy your destiny! The devil’s children are accomplices of their father. They shall suffer the same punishment as their master. How do you know that somebody is an accomplice to a thief? He keeps quiet when he is supposed to talk! He refuses to openly confess and repent of his sins! He hears the curses upon the thief but he dares not testify against the thief.
If you get angry at these words, it means that you are guilty of stealing! I am sorry, for these are not my words but the words of God. To be a partner with the devil it means that you become your own enemy. You will hate yourself unto death. You will reject God’s plan for you! You will not be able to love God or your neighbor! You will not be able to worship God! Your marriage will fail! Refusing to repent from stealing is spiritual suicide. “The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies; they are put under oath and dare not testify….If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself. You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify…The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing” (PV 29:24)
Please pay attention! What is the definition of stealing? To steal it means to take something that does not belong to you and you are not supposed to have. A thief takes something in a way that is wrong or illegal and without asking for permission from the true owner. He wrongly takes and uses another person ideas or words without giving the true owner the credit. A thief takes God for granted! A thief gains something by deception or skill. He is rebellious and daring, having sufficient courage to boldly confront the true owner and seizes his property by force. Stealing is rebellion against God! Adultery is stealing. Kidnapping is stealing. Stealing is punished by God! No thief has eternal life! No thief can enter heaven! I have seen thieves who repented of stealing kobo (Nigerian coins). But they continued to steal millions. Their so called ‘repentance’ is fake and deceptive.
What can you do? Repent! You need to come to the Cross and see Christ Crucified! Your sin is not a small sin! It is betrayal and murder! You have killed the Son of God who is the Author of life and the Prince of Peace! It is not enough to repent of the consequences of sin! You need to repent of the root of sin, of being an accomplice of the devil who is the enemy of God! You need to have godly sorrow that leads to repentance and salvation. Religion is not enough! Going to church is not enough! ‘Serving God’ is not enough! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you, to break your hard heart! You need to be born again! You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit! This is a most serious matter! Your eternity depends on it! After that, you need to work with your hands! Get a job! Do a business! Stop stealing! Stop being a curse and a liability to others. God will bless the honest work of your hands. You will not beg or steal! You will live a good quiet life! You will become a man of God, a Woman of God! You will become generous with your resources. By God’s grace, old things will pass away and everything becomes new! Oh…how much I wish this for you! May this be your testimony! May revival come to Nigeria! In Jesus name, amen!