Does he steal even our tears?

This was the question circling in my mind as I had the opportunity to pray with people at the altar as they sought God, gave their hearts to Jesus for the first time, and sought a breakthrough. Just today as Pastor Waylon spoke so incredibly on having and encounter with God, people flooded the altars, commanding their flesh to follow the lead of the Spirit. Some who came forward were visibly moved as they cried out to the Lord for restoration and an encounter with Him. Others that came forward for prayer seemed to show no emotion at all.

If we’re not careful we can look at those who do not exhibit the outward signs of brokenness and assume nothing is happening internally. This would be a great mistake.

John 10:10 outlines the subversive motive of our enemy. He desires to steal, kill, and destroy. The enemy doesn’t just desire to steal a little. He doesn’t just take the tires off of the car and leave the engine intact. No, he desires to steal everything that could lead us back into intimacy with God. Tears are often a sign of hopelessness, brokenness, and sorrow. Tears for the repentant heart are a magnet to our God who seeks to bind the brokenhearted. Our tears matter to God. Jesus wept (John 11:35), the psalmist declared that God not only sees our tears but remembers each one, storing them in a figurative bottle (Psalm 56:8), and God saw Hezekiah’s tears and added years to his life (Isaiah 38:5). God gave us ability to produce tears and it makes all the more sense that the enemy would look to steal them.

We can grow despondent and callous at the things of God. We can lose hope after long battles or constant let downs. It’s easy to think a lack of tears is a sign of apathy, but that is simply not true. Sometimes it’s just easier to keep our hopes low and our tears in check.

As we look at the senseless shootings, the racist agenda and the injustice that prevails in our culture it often feels like a hardened heart is our only option for respite. It shouldn’t surprise us but it does. We are far too ignorant of the schemes of the enemy. We should desire righteousness over vindication but the emotion of the moment and the helpless feelings that ensue take us to a dark place.  The moment we allow our tears to be stolen we cease to carry the compassion that Jesus demonstrated on the cross. The moment “payback” seems like the only solution we have begun to drain the inner wells of grace and mercy.

We should not cry out for justice without also being broken over the families who have lost so much. He is a God of justice AND compassion. We cannot substitute our tears for rage. We cannot lose hope and lean on apathy over passion. We must pray until our tears cloud our physical vision but grant us spiritual clarity as to the works of the enemy. The scriptures acknowledge that we do not war against flesh and blood, and in this season where there the enemy has stolen just that, we cannot allow him to also steal our tears.