Few days ago while I was spending some time thinking on things God was putting on my heart, suddenly I felt the urge to read Zechariah 3. What I have read in there really touched me. I have shared this message with students this morning but I want you to know this, too :) Here is the passage, Zechariah 3, verses 1-4:
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”Joshua stood before the Angel of the Lord. Satan stood at his right side, accusing him of his sins to prove God that Joshua was a bad man. “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” The Lord himself has rebuked Satan even tho He saw that Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes. Those clothes symbolize sin. Imagine that every time you sin you put dirt on your clothes. Now imagine wearing the same clothes through out your life without ever taking them off or washing yourself. Think how horrible Joshua must have looked! But... God saved him. He looked beyond dirt. He looked into Joshua's heart. 'take off his filthy clothes', said the angel, and the Lord said: “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Yes, the Lord saw the sin but also, He saw that Joshua has turned his heart toward Him. He repented from his sins. He wanted to change and when God saw this, He gave him a new set of clothes- ultimately a new life.
This specific passage is about Joshua but really, it is about every one of us. We are sinners. We want good, but we still make mistakes and do stupid things. We put dirt on our garments. Here is where grace comes in. When we repent, God forgives us all our sins, as I mentioned in my previous note.
What I want to focus on is the Accuser, Satan. You see, Satan doesn't like you. He is 'okay' with you when you live under his temptation (to live worldly lifestyle and have no relationship with God). But Satan wants you to burn in hell. He will tell you any lie possible just to turn you away from Jesus. And that's where the problem is. Whether he stands next to God or not, his job is to accuse you. He wants you to think that you are a bad person and the Lord would never or has never forgiven you for the bad things you have done in your life. Satan will make sure to remind you of all your mistakes just so you wouldn't be able to move on and start over.
Let's be honest here. This is Satan's job and while he can talk all he wants, God is still above him.
God has rebuked Satan when HE WAS REMINDING HIM OF JOSHUA'S SINS THAT THE LORD HAS ALREADY FORGIVEN HIM.
Do you think we can't do same thing?
If you are a born again Christian who struggles with their past, tell me why? Because you still remember things? Because memories constantly come back to you or people from your old life suddenly contact you?
Does it ring the bell yet?
We are being lied to every day, with every possible occasion.
Satan wants us back. He wants to make sure we loose the sight of God's grace and we turn to him instead, to go to hell.
This is his focus.
God's desire is to get us back.
He loves us and He wants us to live in truth.
He wants us to come to Him, open our hearts and let Him change us.
He wants us to repent and ask for forgiveness for all our sins.
Do you know that His love is great enough to forgive you your past, give you a new life and never remind you of the old you?
You won't get a better deal anywhere else.
Next time you feel like guilt from past is coming back to you imagine Satan standing next to God accusing you of something that you have already been forgiven for.
Don't believe Satan, focus on Grace.