[b]Are You A Co-worker With Satan Or With The Lord Jesus?[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
We read in Revelation 12:10 that Satan is the `Accuser of the brothers', and that he accuses them before God day and night. This is a full time ministry that Satan is engaged in. And in this ministry he has many co-workers - both among his evil spirits as well as among men. The sad fact is that there are many believers too who are co- workers with Satan in this ministry of accusation. Satan transmitted his nature to Adam as soon as Adam sinned in the garden of Eden. We see proof of this in the fact that when God came to Adam and asked him whether he had eaten the forbidden fruit, the very first thing that Adam did was point his finger at Eve and say, "She was the one who gave me the fruit to eat" (Gen. 3:12). That pose of Adam's - with his forefinger pointed at a fellow human- being - is a familiar one, found among all his children as well. From early childhood, we have all developed the habit of blaming and accusing others. As we have grown older, this blaming, accusing spirit has become cleverer, more subtle and more evil in its manifestations. The sad thing is that it has not been eliminated from most believers, even many years after they are born again! We see the attitude of the Pharisees clearly in the incident where they accused a poor woman who was caught in adultery. They had no interest in saving her from a life of sin. All they desired was to show off their own "righteousness". There they stood, pointing their forefingers (like their forefather Adam) at that hapless woman. By that action, they revealed whose children they really were. Jesus however, had come to save such women from their sins. And He told those Pharisees that their father was not just Adam, but the Accuser, Satan himself (See John 8:1-11 and 44).
The ministry of accusation and condemnation is the ministry of Satan and we should have no part in this. Our Lord, on the other hand has a full-time ministry of intercession and salvation. This is the ministry that we should have. God has given us to Jesus as His Bride and His `helpmeet' for this ministry. So we are to be co- workers with our Lord in this ministry of intercession. As the Father sent Jesus into the world - not to condemn (judge, accuse) the world, but to save it - even so, He has sent us too, into the world, not to condemn, judge, or accuse others, but to save them. (Jn.20:21). Therefore, we can be effective instruments in God's hands in His work in the world today, only if we get rid of "the spirit of accusation" (the spirit of Satan) totally from our lives and replace it with "the spirit of intercession" (the Spirit of Christ). In Zechariah 3:1-5, we have a beautiful illustration of these two ministries. There we see Joshua (symbolising a believer) standing before the Lord's throne. He was clothed with filthy garments - which indicates that there will always be sin (conscious or unconscious or both) even in the best of us until the end of our earthly lives - for remember that Joshua was the high-priest, the leader of the Jews (1 Jn.1:8). We then see Satan standing next to Joshua to accuse him. On the other side, we see the Lord taking the side of Joshua and rebuking the Accuser. The Lord took away Joshua's filthy clothes and replaced them with glorious clothes. Zechariah, who was watching all this, was so thrilled to see the Lord "justifying" Joshua, that he too joined the Lord in "making his brother glorious" and said, "Let them also put a clean turban on his head." The Lord answered Zechariah's prayer and gave Joshua a clean turban too. This is what it means to be a co-worker with God. We must be radical in getting rid of the spirit of accusation entirely from our lives - just like the "radical surgery" a surgeon does on a person having incurable cancer. The question however is whether we have seen that "the spirit of accusation" is far worse than any cancer.
All of us have had this evil habit of blaming others from birth. We have spent our lives pointing our fingers at others and accusing them of one thing or the other and backbiting against them. Like the Pharisees, we have forgotten about our own sins and not realised that our own sins disqualify us from being fit to throw stones at others!! We need to mourn that this evil spirit of accusation has found so much place in our lives in past years. Unknowingly, we have been co-workers with Satan in his ministry of accusation, instead of being co-workers with our Lord in His redemptive ministry of intercession. We need to repent of this at least now. Casting out the evil spirit of accusation from our lives is only the first step to a full salvation. If we don't fill that empty space in our hearts with the spirit of intercession, the spirit of accusation will come back into our hearts with seven worse spirits and torment and corrupt us all over again - as Jesus warned (Lk. 11:24-26). It is essential therefore that we are filled with the Holy Spirit - who is called "the Spirit of intercession" (See Zech.12:10 and Rom.8:26,27). The only way to drive out the spirit of accusation permanently from our lives is by being filled with the spirit of intercession. It is impossible to speak evil of, or to accuse a person whom you are regularly praying for. Check it out and see if it is not true: You never pray for those whom you accuse. Right?? That is why this "cancerous spirit of accusation" never seems to leave you, but on the other hand gets worse and worse every year - just like any other cancer! God grant that, as much as the spirit of accusation and complaining and backbiting against others has found its place in our thoughts and in our hearts in the past, we will now be equally filled - and even more - with the spirit of thanksgiving and intercession for one another. Thus the enemy will no longer find a place in our lives. The Accuser and his spirits will be overcome and driven out by the the spirit of intercession. Will you be radical now and forsake this habit of accusing others - once and for all - and replace it with the spirit of intercession? May the Lord help us all to do so.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon