September 17, 2012

1 Samuel 12:20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.”

A favorite trick of the devil is, when we have done something wrong, to try to convince us we’ve disqualified ourselves, so it’s no use trying to follow God any more. Probably Matthew 12:31-32 is his favorite passage in the Bible, because it speaks of unforgivable sin. As one anxious person was told years ago, if you’re worried about it, you haven’t committed it! It’s no accident that the name, Satan, means “the accuser.” Accusations are what he lives for, because he’s really the guilty party. However, the Holy Spirit is very different. He will indeed convict of sin, because that’s part of His job description. (John 16:7-11) However, He’s always very specific, and His goal is to bring us to repentance and restoration. Sin breaks our fellowship with God, and since we were created precisely for that fellowship, God wants to deal with the obstacles as promptly as possible. That’s what Samuel is saying here. He didn’t know about the cross of Christ, but he did know that, though we commit sins, it is foolish to allow those sins to drive us away from God.

This is something I tell people frequently, especially in personal counseling sessions. Many, if not most, people have experienced the devil’s lies about being unworthy. The thing is, no one is worthy of fellowship with God on their own merits, but God made a way for us all to be reconciled to Him through the cross of His Son, and that is the truth the devil tries to hide. I am forever telling people, “The Holy Spirit is a gentleman; He doesn’t issue blanket accusations. If that’s what you’re hearing, it isn’t Him.” When we realize we have sinned, it should drive us to God in repentance, deepening our fellowship in consequence, rather than driving us from Him. Sometimes I get discouraged at how little this message gets through, but I must not give up, but rather keep speaking the truth in love. After all, the only way to counter lies is with the truth!

Father, thank You for the privilege of speaking Your truth. May I do so more and more consistently, so that people may receive Your truth and be set free from all the lying traps of the enemy, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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