Answering the accuser

Zechariah 3:1-4 “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.  The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! . . . Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”  Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin.”

Have you ever heard the following from people as an excuse for them not becoming a Christian: “I’m not good enough,” or “I need to take care of some things first,” or “I’m not ready yet?”  Sometimes these words are the result of accusing thoughts about one’s past or present sins.  Christians can be plagued with such thoughts as well, causing them to doubt if they were ever Christians at all.  Thoughts about how evil they are, or how many evil things they’ve done in the past can plague people.  Regrets about the past can send people into tailspins and into depression.   They can find themselves comparing themselves to other people who are seemingly much better than they are.  And while we don’t need much help at self-accusation (we’re often pretty good at this on our own), the Bible tells us that we have help in this from Satan, the enemy of our souls.  The name Satan means “opponent” or “accuser.”  In Revelation 12:10 he is called “the accuser of our brothers.”  The problem with all of this is that Satan is right – to a point.  He is an expert at half-truths.  The truth is that we are all sinners and worthy of condemnation.   But what Satan will never do is lead anyone to think that he or she has any hope despite this.  He is an expert at hopelessness, fear, and despair.  If those things plague your life, there’s a good chance that he’s a major culprit at inciting and encouraging such thoughts. However, “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say, is that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  The Bible, God’s weapon against Satan’s lies, also says ” There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).   We have a choice as to who we listen to. Either we listen to “the accuser,” the enemy of our souls, or we listen to the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  Seems like an easy choice, doesn’t it?

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