Our access to God’s throne has nothing to do with what we’ve done, but everything to do with what Christ has done and is doing. Look again at the courtroom scene in Zechariah 3:1–2. Joshua stands condemned. Satan goes in for the kill and is suddenly stopped in his tracks. Why? God says that Joshua is His, “brand plucked from the fire.”
Our defense against the devil is the interceding Son of God.
“And the Lord said [to Peter]. . . ‘Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you'” (Luke 22:31–32).
“My little children, these things I write to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).
“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:33).
What if I don’t feel worthy of God’s forgiveness?
The truth is, even on your best day you never were worthy of anything God offers to you—and you never will be. Therefore, do not approach God on the basis of what you’ve done, but rather on the basis of what He has done for you.
God “predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:5–7).
The devil does not want you to know this one thing: He was soundly defeated at the cross. Prior to His crucifixion on the cross, Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31).
If Jesus’ death at Calvary was powerful and complete, why is Satan still at work?
Satan is still at work because God has allowed it. This is a temporary situation. Satan knows well his future judgment is imminent.
In addition, Satan can do nothing in the life of the Christian without the permission of God. No one can take you out of God’s hand, and absolutely nothing can separate you from His love for you (see John 10:29; Romans 8:35–39).
Armed and ready for the battle
When Jesus died upon the cross, Satan once and for all lost his grasp on humanity (see Colossians 2:14). Therefore, we are not fighting to obtain victory; we are resting in the victory He has obtained! We don’t fight for victory, but rather from it. This is the Lord’s battle, and not our own personal war. And God has given us the weapons to fight temptation’s pull.
Ephesians 6:11–17 details each piece of the armor of God. Note that it is essential that we implement all of it. We are not told to pick and choose what we think is important. Every article plays a significant part. The armor of God is composed of six pieces. The first three (the belt, the breastplate, and the shoes) were designed for long-range preparation and protection. They were never taken off on the battlefield. The second three (the shield, the helmet, and the sword) were kept in readiness for use when the actual fighting began.
All of these articles largely represent defensive gear, with the exception of one: the sword. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. During His temptation in the wilderness, Jesus modeled exactly how we are to use this weapon. Every time Satan tempted Him, Jesus came back with a scripture to counter Satan’s enticements.
Use the sword of the Spirit.
Here are a few of Satan’s lies and accusations, and key verses to keep in mind as you prepare to battle him.
Go ahead and sin, no one will know.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked” (Galatians 6:7).
“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
God will not forgive you.
“If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
God condemns you!
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
You’re not going to make it. I’ll get you. You’ll fall again!
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Commit Scripture to memory.
“Thy Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).
“The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide” (Psalm 37:31).
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
Remember these three things:
- The enemy tries to drive us away from the cross through accusations, but the Spirit of God always brings us back to the cross.
- The enemy has been soundly defeated, and his days are numbered. He can do nothing in the life of the Christian without God’s permission.
- God has given us His Word to deflect attacks and to strike blows for His kingdom.
Unsheathe your sword, Christian, and stop being beaten down. The next time the devil reminds you of your past, you remind him of his future.