No time to listen to the accuser
I had gotten used to agreeing with his discouraging lies, until God showed me what needed to change in my life.
“You’re a selfish mom. You’re not a loving wife. You have been fighting the same things for years. You should have made much more progress by now. You’ve always been like this and you always will be.”
It was often the same types of situations that triggered these inner conversations. I wanted to do the good and follow Jesus, but I would still get angry with my kids, say harsh things to my husband, or care too much about what other people thought of me. As soon as these things happened, I immediately felt these accusations inside. I was plagued by feelings of guilt and discouragement that there would never be a real change in me. In fact, although I dreaded it, I had become used to listening to and agreeing with these thoughts. I felt paralyzed and weak, and it seemed like God was far away.
I was aware that these accusations were not from God, because they did not bring peace or thoughts of a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) I knew that in truth these thoughts were coming from Satan, who the Bible describes as an “accuser.” (Revelation 12:10.) And I also knew that Satan’s intention was to steal my peace and joy, because he is a thief and a destroyer, who wants to destroy my faith. But I still felt powerless to do anything about it because I felt it was all true. “I know,” I thought. “That’s all true. I can’t. I just can’t be good.”
I knew that there was power in God’s word and in prayer, but when the accuser whispered in my ear, I was bound, and it seemed like it didn’t help to pray. In the busyness of life, I hadn’t prioritized reading God’s word or praying very much at all. Then, when Satan came with his accusations, I had nothing to fight with. I’d let myself wallow in my thoughts and feelings until I felt so down and discouraged that I wanted to crawl under a rock and never come out.
Things become clear
At one point during one of these low times, I decided to search for all the verses I could find about having God near and getting strength and help from Him. The more I read, the clearer it became to me that there are conditions and requirements for receiving power from God and having Him near. For example, 2 Chronicles 16:9: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him …” And James 4:7-8: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you …”
I had to ask myself, is my heart loyal to God when I choose to listen to the accuser? Have I submitted to God and drawn near to Him with a purified heart when I wallow in depressing thoughts about how it’s gone in the past? Not even close. The conditions for receiving His strength and help were made crystal clear to me. My heart was not loyal to God. I had been trusting my own feelings and reasoning instead of fully believing in Him and His promises. Instead of spending my time and thoughts seeking His will and finding out what is well pleasing to Him, I had spent it having conversations with the accuser. I needed to fight to keep my thoughts and heart pure for God in order to receive His power so the accuser would lose his hold on me.
I had to be active
Up until then I had made excuses about not having enough time, but I made a decision then to spend whatever spare moments I had in the hecticness of every-day life to read God’s word and to pray. I’ve found that when I’m actively seeking His will for me in whatever I say and do, communicating with Jesus as my Friend and Mediator and praying for others, it becomes a different type of. When I have God’s word in my thoughts and am filled with the Spirit, then I am more awake to the temptations, and I am able to fight against things like impatience, honor-seeking, etc., before they come out of my body. God’s word is the weapon that overcomes these temptations. And if I don’t have God’s word, then of course I can’t overcome.
I’m no longer on the defense, feeling paralyzed and helpless when I see my sin. I’ve noticed that I don’t have any more time or room in my thoughts for Satan’s accusations and he actually rarely comes with them. He has been exposed as a liar. Yes, I have a flesh in which nothing good dwells, as we read in Romans. And I am tempted and I may even have fallen, but God’s thoughts for me are of a future and a hope. I don’t have to become discouraged and hopeless, because I can repent and get right back up, and pray and believe that it will succeed the next time. If I have prepared myself by drawing near to God and filling myself with His word so that I have something to fight with, then I am guaranteed to overcome the next time!
I know that I’m desperately dependent on remaining on the offensive. I need to spend my time right, especially in my thoughts, seeking God’s will, watching and praying and actively fighting. When situations come my way and the Spirit shows me more of “me, myself and I,” I can draw nearer to Him by obeying His word, keeping my heart pure and wholly for Him. By doing this, I am always fulfilling the requirement for receiving strength and help from God to overcome the accuser.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.