218 – What’s the deal with Satan accusing and reminding me how bad I’ve been?
Satan, as our adversary, stands as the accuser of the brethren before God, who is the Judge of all. When we approach God on the basis of our own righteousness, the adversary (Satan) will always have legal grounds to “cast [us] into prison,” because our righteousness is “as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6 KJV) (next to God’s righteousness).
If he accuses you of being impure or not loving or praying enough, he is right. The key is not to argue with the devil about your own righteousness because, before God, your righteousness is unacceptable. No matter how much you defend or justify yourself, you know inwardly that often the accusations of the devil have morsels of truth in them.
Our salvation is not based upon what we do but upon who Jesus becomes to us. Christ Himself is our righteousness. We have been justified by faith; our peace with God comes through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). When Satan comes against you, he tries to deceive you by focusing your attention upon your own righteousness. The more we recognize that Jesus alone is our righteousness, the less the adversary can assault us in the arena of our failings.
Thus, when the accuser comes seeking to condemn you for not having enough love, your response should be, “that is true, I do not have enough love. But the Son of God died for all my sins, even the sin of imperfect love.” Step out from the shadow of satanic assault and stand in the brightness of your Father’s love. Submit yourself to God and ask for Christ’s love and forgiveness to replace your weak and imperfect love.
When Satan seeks to condemn you for impatience, again your response should be, “Yes, in my flesh I am very impatient. But since I have been born again, Jesus is my righteousness and through His blood I am forgiven and cleansed.” Turn again to God. Use the accusation as a reminder that you are not standing before an angry God, but rather a throne of grace which enables you to boldly draw near to God for help (Heb. 4:16).
A vital key, therefore, to overcoming the devil is humility. To humble yourself is to refuse to defend your image: you are corrupt and full of sin in your old nature. Yet we have a new nature that has been created in the likeness of Christ (Eph. 4:24), so we can agree with our adversary about the condition of our flesh.
But do not limit this principle of humbling yourself to only when you are involved in spiritual warfare. is precept is applicable in other situations as well. The strength of humility is that it builds a spiritual defense around your soul, prohibiting strife, competition and many of life’s irritations from stealing your peace.
A wonderful place to practice this is in your family relationships. As a husband, your wife may criticize you for being insensitive. A fleshly response could easily escalate the conversation into a conflict. The alternative is to simply humble yourself and agree with your wife. You probably were insensitive. Then pray together and ask God for a more tender love.
As a wife, perhaps your husband accuses you of not understanding the pressures he has at work. More than likely he is right, you do not know the things he must face. Instead of responding with a counter-charge, humble yourself and agree with him. Pray together, asking God to give you an understanding heart. If we remain humble in heart, we will receive abundant grace from God; Satan will be disarmed on many fronts.
Remember, Satan fears virtue. He is terrified of humility; he hates it because humility is the surrender of the soul to the Lord, and the devil is terrified of Jesus Christ.
Let’s pray: Dear Lord, thank You. You have come to give us life in abundance, and certainly at the core of eternal life is Your meekness. Master, create in me a love for lowliness. I confess my pride, my self-righteousness, my desire to receive glory from men. Unite me with the values of Your heart, that in meekness I could truly represent You! Amen.
—from the book The Three Battlegrounds by Francis Frangipane