Illustrating a Truth of Discerning the Enemy
The Accuser would prefer for us to focus on what is wrong, rather than what is gloriously right. Did you know that you have an Accuser, an implacable enemy who loves working you over? One fine Day, he and his legions of darkness will be cast down from their self-proclaimed position as our judges. Their accusing voices will be forever silenced and, oh, how we will sing the praise of the Lord that day.
Until then, you can count on it that when you goof up, this slimy voice will whisper condemning things in your ear--if you're willing to give it a listen. From his demented, merciless point of view we can never measure up, never get anything right, never be anything but "sorry sinners." How wrong he is! If you have already asked Jesus into your life, you have done the one thing right that will ultimately set everything right!
Now that you have Jesus in you, you also have a new nature, a new heart and a new spirit. This ensures that you will indeed get some things right (with His help) as you go along. But it certainly doesn't guarantee that you won't get some things wrong. Even as the Holy Spirit, faith and grace are lifting us into the right ways of the new life, our fallen nature, the habits of our old self, and an unseen enemy can still trip us up!
It is true that we fall and that we should seek to keep from falling. But God doesn't want us to beat ourselves up over the recurring reality of our fallenness. Instead, each time we fall, or even start to stumble, can be an occasion for rediscovering the wonder of His total forgiveness and regaining genuine humility through fresh recognition of our brokenness. Wouldn't it be fun to learn to let our failings springboard us into greater confidence in God's love, rather than sink us into greater self-despair? Which reality is capturing your heart? Cast down the Accuser: Grace rules!
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God." Revelation 12:10 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
Father, since we reap what we sow, help me truly repent of all the accusing thoughts I have cherished towards others and all of the hurtful, accusing words I have spoken. Grant that I would become an intercessor for, not an accuser of others. As I become more of a grace-giver who shows mercy to others, may Your mercy capture my heart even where my own sins and sinfulness are concerned. Teach me how to look up and let even my failings springboard me into greater joy in Your salvation. Help me gain the grace-based confidence that You are loving me--especially in my times of brokenness, weakness and failure. Save me from being stuck on the sight of my failings, rather than being captured by the vision of Your mercy!
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Illustrating the choice to live under guilt and shame or God's 'umbrella' of mercy.
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