Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Accuser

I once had someone say to me "you're not much of a pastor's wife" because he felt that I hadn't done all I could to help someone. He didn't know of the things I had done for this person and he didn't stop to consider that the person in question already had a pastor and pastor's wife other than me, but nonetheless he felt like I had failed as a pastor's wife. The accusation hurt. I was falsely accused. I felt as if I didn't deserve it and it wasn't fair. There was no way to defend myself. Oh, sure I could have spouted off all the things I had done and how I had dropped everything to run to that person's aid many times but, at that moment, I felt it would be best if I clammed up and let him have his opinion of me. I knew the truth and more importantly God did too and that's all that mattered. 

Have you ever been falsely accused? Have you ever been confronted with someone's poor opinion of you? Accusations are nothing new. Way back in the Garden of Eden, after God confronted Adam with his sin, Adam blamed Eve for giving the forbidden fruit to him. Up until then Adam and Eve had lived in harmony. What had changed? Satan came on the scene. Satan is called the 'accuser of the brethren' in Revelation 12. The Word tells us that Satan accuses us before God's throne, day and night. Can you imagine? Satan is standing before God complaining about and accusing you of all sorts of things day and night! All the time!

And he doesn't stop there. Satan will use other people to accuse you for him, just like he did me. Satan knew what button to push. He knows how I try very hard to be the best pastor's wife there ever was. I want to live up to my calling and make my Heavenly Father proud, so I work hard to put others first before myself and to be there when they need me. Satan knows all this so what better way to attack me than to accuse me of not being what I try so hard to be? Yes, he's evil and he's crafty. He's had a long time to live up to his name 'accuser of the brethren'. 

And he's subtle. He'll look for people he can use. He searches for those who aren't following God, who don't read God's Word, who don't pray or praise. He's searching for lukewarm Christians because they are the most easily led to do his bidding. He'll point out possible offenses to them. He'll play the comparison game with them and he'll give them opportunity to let their tongues loose and say the things he wants them to say to accuse and tear down the brethren--the body of Believers--Christians. Have you ever been told 'I thought you were a Christian...' or have you ever heard 'if that's what being a Christian is I don't want it' or 'and that's a Christian? I'm better than they are...'. All of these statements are accusatory and they originate from the father of lies, Satan. 

If Satan can't get at you through other people he will use your own mind to condemn you. He'll tell you that you didn't witness enough or pray enough or read the Word enough. He'll tell you that you aren't really saved. And he will say these things to you, through your own thoughts so often, that you will actually begin to believe them and live in a condemned state. He'll tempt you to sin by telling you that you can get away with it or it's just a little sin and everyone else is doing it and then once you do commit the sin he'll be relentless in putting you down saying you'll never be able to sing in church again or minister. You've sinned and you can't be used. He plays these mind games because he is the accuser. He attacks our heart and our conscience so that we will never minister again. John 3:17 tells us that "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." Remember God doesn't condemn us, Satan does. 

God does not intend for us to live in guilt. The Word tells us that" if we confess our sins He is faithful and  just and able to forgive us of our sins  and purify us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:9. When we take our sins to God and ask for forgiveness, He holds those sins against us no more. He removes them from us. He will remember them no more. It's as if we never committed them in the first place. It is only Satan who reminds us of what we've done and brings guilt. He wants to keep us feeling guilty about our past so that we feel that we can't work for the Lord. When you're asked to sing or teach a Sunday School class or minister in some other way that you know you are capable of doing, do you hesitate because Satan immediately starts in with the accusations? "Why would you think you can teach Sunday School? Don't you remember that sin you committed all those years ago?". He will do and say anything he can to discourage you and paralyze you so that you can't carry out the mission God has set before you.

Satan will accuse us. The Word says that he does  day and night. That's a fact. But God never leaves us without instructions. He tells us that we can overcome our enemy by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. When someone comes at you with an accusation, sometimes it is better to just clam up. Sometimes defending ourselves can make it look as if we have something to hide and that the accusation has some merit. God will defend us. He will watch over us and protect us. We need to keep our testimony pure. We aren't perfect but as much as is humanly possible we must do everything we can to live an upright and holy life which honors God. Job did and although Satan accused even him to God, his testimony remained pure. He didn't curse God and die like his wife told him to. He didn't listen to the false accusations his friends made that his troubles were caused by sin in his life. Job knew the truth and more importantly God did too. 

So the next time you are falsely accused don't think that the person who is saying the words is your accuser. They are only the mouthpiece for the accuser. They are only his instrument. They are the unwitting but willing accomplice. The true accuser is Satan. It is he who is attacking you and your character. When we hear an accusation we need to immediately recognize that we are being attacked by Satan, our arch enemy. At those times we need to carry the Sword of the Spirit, God's Word, in our hearts so we can win the victory over his attacks. God bless!

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