Satan uses tailor-made tactics to trip us up. Are you familiar with his schemes?
You’d better be—because he is familiar with you. Yes, the devil and his demons know you. Your weaknesses and strengths. Your family history. Your habits. Your secrets.
The Devil is a deceitful dumpster diver.
A true dumpster diver looks through the garbage with eyes that see potential—what something could be with a little TLC. This is what God does. He can use our mistakes, even what’s meant for evil, and turn it into something useful and good (see my recent post I’m Glad God Recycles).
The devil sees our trash as useful, too. Only he uses it to trip us up and to heap on guilt and shame.
This is why Satan is referred to as the “accuser” seventeen times in scripture.
Satan’s names reveal a lot about his character and schemes. Here are a few: Father of Lies, Tempter, Adversary, Wicked One, Roaring Lion, and Accuser. Today, we are focusing “accuser” and how the devil uses our trash (mistakes, shortcomings) against us.
Don’t think for a moment because you’re a Christian, you’re somehow immune to falling prey to the enemy’s accusations. On the contrary, when a person professes faith in Jesus Christ, they become the enemy’s enemy.
Of course, Satan hates all human beings because God created us all in His image. But Satan has a particular hatred for Christ-followers because they have His Holy Spirit living in them. The Holy Spirit is powerful. According to Ephesians 1:19, Christians have the same power available that rose Jesus from the dead thereby seating Him at the right hand of God!
Satan does not have that kind of power, so he resorts to other methods to wage war against humanity. He knows that Christians have a sin nature living within them along with the Holy Spirit. So, he preys upon our propensity to sin (see Romans 7: 14-25). He goes through our trash like a deceitful dumpster diver, accusing and condemning.
As Christ-followers, we must be able to discern what we are hearing in our minds: conviction from the Holy Spirit or condemnation from an unholy spirit.
Listen, this is super important because many of us waste valuable time wallowing in condemning thoughts that center around self. This is a major tactic of the enemy to keep us focused inward rather than upward.
What is Condemnation?
1: CENSURE, BLAME 2: the act of judicially condemning.
Condemnation comes from Satan. It is an attack designed to accuse and tear you down. Revelation 12:10 refers to Satan as the accuser of the brothers and sisters.
Condemnation continually points out what a failure you are, and how badly you’ve messed up. But the biggy is this:
Condemnation shows you the problem without offering a solution.
What is Conviction?
The Bible refers to conviction as godly sorrow. We will feel grieved in our spirit, but that grief leads us to the Father.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
Conviction says, “Come to me and I will forgive and help you.”
The Holy Spirit will convict us when we sin. And that is a good thing because sin is a problem. Sin separates us from our holy God. Conviction feels a bit like an uncomfortable separation. A godly sense of sorrow. Along with godly sorrow comes the hope of forgiveness and opportunity for teaching and correction.
God says, “Therefore, there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 emphasis mine)
Satan says, “You are a wretched sinner.” He proceeds to impress upon us all our failures.
The Greek word for “no” in Romans 8:1 is oudeis, an even stronger than the normal word for “no.” The word no is actually the first word of the sentence in the Greek manuscript, which means the primary emphasis is placed upon “no.” Translators have moved the word in order to make the sentence read better, but Paul is strongly declaring that there is absolutely no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Katakrima is the Greek word for condemnation that means ‘death sentence, damnation, eternal death.’ But as a Christian, there is NO death sentence for you. In fact, commentaries state Romans 8:1 could read like this:
“Therefore, now, there is not even one bit of condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
When we mess up (and we will) and the negative thoughts begin (and they will, too), we must train ourselves to STOP and ask, Is this teaching me and pointing toward forgiveness? Or, is this accusing and showing me only the problem?
The antidote to condemnation is the truth of God’s word.
Remember, the devil is looking for ways to keep you focused inward rather than upward on God. The more we know the Lord through the power of His Word, the more we will recognize the difference between the voice of the Holy Spirit and the voice of the accuser.
Dear ones, there is NOT EVEN ONE BIT OF CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ. Now, that is a reason to praise!
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