Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spiritual Warfare: Dealing with Doubts and Accusations

Our authority is found in Jesus Christ. He is authoring or writing our life to fulfill His purposes here on earth. But while we remain on earth awaiting our future glory we are often faced with doubts about where is God when trouble afflicts us or whether or not we are saved from the eternal judgment. Sometimes these doubts come though the imaginations of our mind and other times through other people who accuse us of a sin or character flaw. And why is this?

Gustave Dore's Depiction of Satan Being Cast out of Heaven in MIlton's "Paradise Lost"
At the Cross a battle was won. Jesus rose in victory over the strongholds of Satan. The very name of Satan means ‘accuser’. He accuses Job before God regarding the motivation of Job’s righteousness. (Job 1:9-11) He accuses the high priest, Joshua, before the angel of the Lord. ( Zech. 3) Satan uses our own thoughts against us when we do not see ourselves as God see us. And he can use the criticism of others and gossip of our neighbors to heap false judgments upon ourselves. All because Jesus won for us eternal life on Calvary. John in Patmos reminds us, 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. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Rev. 12:10-12)

Satan’s time is short as he will be thrown into the lake of fire at the final battle. (Rev. 20:10) Until then he is confined to earth trying to bring the saints down with him. And he will if we don’t put on Jesus for our salvation. When we believe that Jesus did die for our personal sins paying our debt to the Law, our names will forever be written in the Book of Life. (Rev. 21:5-8)

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits  of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:8-15)

Remember, when Satan brings up your past, remind him of his future!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The strife is o'er, the battle done,
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions hath dispersed:
let shout of holy joy outburst.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The three sad days are quickly sped,
he rises glorious from the dead:
all glory to our risen Head!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
He closed the yawning gates of hell,
the bars from heaven's high portals fell;
let hymns of praise his triumphs tell!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Lord! by the stripes which wounded thee,
from death's dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live and sing to thee.

Words: Symphonia Sirenum Selectarum, 1695;
trans. Francis Pott (1832-1909)