6. Accusations from the Enemy
If a believer is unsettled in his/her faith and has given ground to the devil, hostile accusations can jeopardize his/her sense of security.
Consider this episode from the Old Testament. After Israel returned from the exile of Babylon, the remnant in Canaan faced spiritual warfare from the enemy. Zechariah chapter 4 gives a glimpse of a heavenly courtroom where the devil is hurling condemnation at Joshua the high priest. This Joshua was a representative of the people of Israel who had been unfaithful to God’s covenant:
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?'”(Zech. 4:1,2).
Thankfully the “Angel [Messenger] of the LORD was present to serve as an advocate and intercessor for Joshua. This “Angel” seems to be the pre-incarnate Christ, since the text says “…the LORD said to Satan, ‘the LORD rebuke you.'” His redemptive ministry is reaffirmed in 1 John 2:1: “… if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
The New Testament also confirms this evil agenda of Satan–“the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:11). When the struggling child of God has given ground through lack of surrender to God and/or an area of unbelief, the enemy exploits this opportunity by firing arrows of accusation (Eph. 4:27; 6:12,16). We are warned by the apostle Paul not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11).
The dramatic cleansing of Joshua reassures us of the completeness of God’s salvation. First, Joshua was cleansed by the removal of his filthy clothing. This symbolizes the removal of sin:
“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, ‘Take away the filthy garments from him.’ And to him He said, ‘See, I have removed your iniquity from you…'” (v.3,4).
Second, the high priest was clothed with clean garments, representing the granting of righteousness:
“‘…and I will clothe you with rich robes.’ And I said, ‘Let them put a clean turban on his head.’ So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the LORD stood by” (vs. 4b,5).
How wonderful that everyone who repents and places saving faith in the Lord Jesus is totally pardoned (Col. 2:13,14), AND also receives the gift of God’s imputed righteousness! “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
As in Joshua’s case, assurance is best affirmed by faith and spiritual growth (vs. 6-10).
So, how can you ward off insecurity that is stirred up by demonic accusation? James gives us concise directions: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Resist him by taking back surrendered ground (Eph. 4:27) and by submission and confession to God; then hoist the “shield of faith” that will deflect the enemy’s lies and deception (Eph. 6:16). As the Lord Jesus quoted strategic Scripture to overcome the devil, likewise you can claim biblical truth and announce the promises of God. Swing the “sword of the Spirit”!
Notice in Zechariah’s vision that Joshua’s efforts were not even addressed; his pardon and justification were solely based on God’s amazing grace!
Armed with the victory Christ won at Calvary, appropriate His triumph over the devil’s lies. Celebrate your security with the words of the classic hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God:
“And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.”
 This Joshua is not the sucessor of Moses named in the book of Joshua (1400 B.C.). This high priest (Ezra 3:2)–here referred to in the book of Zechariah–ministered about 520 B.C. with governor Zerubbabel.
 “Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk Among these who stand here. “Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH. For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,” Says the LORD of hosts, “And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day,” says the LORD of hosts, “Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree” (Zech. 3:6-10).
 A Mighty Fortress is Our God, by Martin Luther (1529); translated from German to English (1853).
This article concludes the series on “The Roots of Insecurity.” Previous issues are available online at GraceNotebook.com/ Grace Notes.
Copyright 2007 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to copy for non-commercial use. Biblical quotations are from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson.