"When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which receiveth the seed by the way side." (Matthew 13:19, emphasis mine)
As catch can
This is one of those maxims, those rubrics for which I have no revisionist, corner-cutting reinterpretations. How else can I say it? "But thou shalt meditate therein day and night." (Joshua 1:9)
It's interesting how the word "steal" means both "take unlawfully" and also "put in place surreptitiously":
"And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage." (Galatians 2:4)
And neither definition bodes well for the believer, assuming they want to continue on in the things of Christ and not just stop at salvation. Jesus (as a Person, not a concept) begs to be known. Not just by the head but the heart. Knowing Him through His word--the ways and words in which He's been revealed to the world--is the key to remaining free. Satan would like nothing more than to steal the very foundation of your standing in Christ. I'm not talking about your (as some would say) primitive belief the world was created in six days. I'm talking about sensing a vague and ambiguous notion that goes up against the definition of your now-recreated spirit. Once we were dead. Once we were on our way to hell having done something on which we could never put our finger. Once there was a void. Now there's life, light, peace and hope and joy. The emotions and presence of Christ. Don't let the devil take that from you. This is the "liberty which we have in Christ Jesus" as Paul reminds the Galatians in the above verse. This is what Christ died to appropriate for us--to open a channel through which we would be able to receive what He's always wanted to give. The devil doesn't have it and therefore cannot give it.
"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Ephesians 4:28)
While Paul talks here about "labouring", it applies to the fruit that is grown out of whatever word God has spoken to your heart. Guard it. Apply it. Care for it and tend it. Meditate on God's word day and night. And, if need be, excuse yourself if you're among those who would "steal" it.
"And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone." (Matthew 14:23)