Neither are condemnation or accusation! Sadly, these are common feelings in the life of a disciple striving to live and love like Jesus. But they are not from God.
I disappoint myself constantly, and I project my own feelings of disappointment, distain, and disgust onto God, as if that must be how He feels about me – how He sees me. But this is a projection of my own sinful, finite nature onto Him who is sinless and infinite! This is a horribly unBiblical and distorted view of my loving Heavenly Father that I fall into all the time! Do you?
The Lord corrects me. He rebukes and disciplines me. But it is completely done in good will towards me – with my best interests in mind – in His perfect restorative love for me! He is our PERFECT Father, and His heart for our growth in Him is loving, compassionate, gracious, patient, kind…
I wrongly associate the Lord’s correction with a sense of shame. This is a completely human perversion of God’s love-filled discipline. His rebuke is for our gain – our growth – our development – our discipleship. (Remember that the root word in “disciple” and “discipleship” is “discipline”. It’s a positive, good, healthy, purposeful thing, which is intended for our benefit!)
Any sense of guilt or shame that we feel is NOT from God. It is either from our own misinterpretation of His rebuke based on some negative experience we have had with flawed human discipline in our past – or even worse, it is from “…the accuser of the brethren, who keeps bringing up charges against us before God day and night…” (part of Revelation 12:10, AMP).
We learn from Job 1:6 and Zechariah 3:1 that the name “Satan” actually means “accuser”. Thus, according to the Bible, those feelings of accusation and condemnation are literally Satanic! They come from “the father of lies…who was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). Jesus reminds us that “there is no truth in [Satan]” and that he “comes only to steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). The accuser of our souls achieves his murderous purposes for us when we accept his condemnation of us before God as our own.
But now look at the complete verse of Revelation 12:10, which says,
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down!” -Revelation 12:10 (NIV)
Satan accused Job and Joshua before God (Job 1:6-12 and Zechariah 3:1-5). He accuses you and me before God. The sense of condemnation and shame we feel is from our accuser, not from our Deliverer. But look at which voice God listens to:
…we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God… who understands all our weaknesses… So let us come boldly before the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy and find His grace… We who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold onto this [certain] hope, which is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary, where Jesus has already gone in before us, becoming our eternal High Priest… -Hebrews 4:14-16 and 6:18-20 (NLT)
The Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has rescued these faithful ones, rebukes you!” -Zechariah 3:2 (NLT)
Jesus sits in the place of honor at the right hand of God and defends us before the Almighty! Jesus repels the accusations of Satan, and we are vindicated in Christ before God!
Self-hatred is NOT a fruit of the Spirit! May our thoughts, concentrations, worries, and concerns NOT be on the accuser, his voice and words – but upon the Advocate – our victorious Defender and Redeemer! May our thoughts, concentrations, worries, and concerns be on Jesus, His voice and words. For what He says about us is true, right, authoritative, and eternal.