Pulling Back the Curtain on Satan (Part 1)

If you’re a follower of Jesus, then you need to know that you have an enemy. His name is Satan and he has other spiritual forces under his control (Eph 6:12) that all have the main purpose of destroying your relationship with God. He and his minions are headed for impending doom in the lake of fire (Rev 20:10) and want to take as many people with them as possible.  While these evil forces can do no more than God permits, they do have specific ways of attacking followers of Jesus.
 
I want to pull back the curtain and give an example of how he has and will attack you. The apostle Paul thought it was of utmost important for us to be aware of Satan’s schemes and not outwitted by them (2 Cor 2:11). There are two main ways Satan will attack you and we will only get to one of them here.
 
In Revelation 12:10, we find out that Satan is the accuser of the people of God. His accusations against us can throw us off track not only in how we see our relationship with God but also how we see ourselves. His accusations sound like this:
  • God is cold to me because I’ve messed up
  • God has given up on me
  • I can’t approach God because of my continued disobedience
  • This particular sin and my inability to stop doing it has disqualified me
  • God is punishing me because I can’t get it right
If we allow ourselves to believe these accusations, it will affect our spiritual lives. Pastor J.R. Vassar says, “Insecurity is the enemy of intimacy in relationships and especially with God.”

Believing these lies will cause us to believe we aren’t worthy and not able to be connected to the creator of the world. This insecurity also leads to isolation from others. Our thinking will take us places where lies like, “I am the only one who deals with this sin”, “if anyone knew about _____, they would reject me”, “I am the worst” become common place. When these accusations go unchallenged, they damage our partnership with God and relationship with him and others.
 
What should we do to fight this tactic?
 
1. Don’t confuse accusation with conviction. Conviction comes from God’s Spirit and is usually about specific sins. In conviction we are always pointed back to Jesus and hope. The fact that God is tapping us on the shoulder should bring us hope that he doesn’t want us to stay in our sin. Accusation is more general and pushes you away from God.
 
2. Hold on to Jesus as your advocate. Satan tries to accuse in front of God but we have all been appointed an advocate in Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1). An advocate is like an attorney who argues on your behalf. Jesus as your advocate does not approach the judge (God) and plead your case based on all of the good things you’ve done. He tells God that he has already paid the price with his blood for all of your sins (Rev 12:11). Satan wants you to think you are being retried for your sins but when Jesus has paid for all of them, there is no double jeopardy.
 
3. Live in your new identity. Jesus not only paid for our sins but has now also given us or imputed to us his righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that Christ took on our sin and gave us his perfection. Every time God looks at us, he see a perfect person. It’s not that God doesn’t know we sin but that our slate is wiped clean and stays clean because of what Jesus has given us. This is why no one or no sin can separate us from the love of God.
 
When Satan tries to accuse you, don’t try to defend yourself – just remember what Christ has done for you and the unbreakable relationship God has promised to you.
 
Next time, we’ll talk about how Satan tries to deceive us.
 
Note: If you want to hear more about Satan’s schemes and how he tries to defeat us, listen to a sermon by J.R. Vassar called, “Facing a Defeated Enemy.”
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