Satan’s ploy in this world is to attempt to keep the saved from growth and evangelism. This is what he desires to do. Our God is greatly glorified through our personal growth and He is glorified through us bringing others to Christ. The enemy works endlessly attempting to keep these two things from happening.
One of the ways by which the enemy sets out to carry out his plan is by accusing the brethren (Revelation 12:10). He brings accusations before our God of us and he brings accusations to us about our God. This is an ongoing event in life until the day that he is finally judged and removed from his place of power in this world.
One of the things that the Christian must learn to do is to be able to discern between the accusation of the enemy and the voice of the Advocate (1 John 2:1). Both will reveal the sin of the Christian to him. Both will point out our failures, faults, struggles, and our needs. One to hold us down and cause despair, the other to lift us up and bring repentance. The Advocate, Jesus Christ, only points out these sins in the Christian’s life to make him better. He desires to have sin confessed and removed never to promote despair. His going is always to be glorified through the forgiving of sin. He does point out our sin, of course, He does. But His revealing, His uncovering of sin in the Christian’s life is meant to bring us to repentance. His work never leaves us feeling hopeless or helpless. We know Him (2 Timothy 1:12) and we know that He only wants us to grow in holiness never to sink in despair. When our wonderful Savior puts His finger on sin in our lives, as an Advocate, He always points us to the cross which is the place for forgiveness, restitution, and hope.
The Accuser also points to our sins, failures, faults, struggles, and needs. He brings them up before us often. He and his demons are readily armed with a catalog of failures that they can cast before the redeemed. However, their work is very different from the work of the Advocate. They bring these things up to defeat you instead of delivering you. They bring these things up so that they can cause feelings of despair instead of victory. They want to disarm the believer instead of equipping him for battle. The Accuser is merely trying to keep us from drawing closer to our Advocate so that we can glorify Him through serving Him.
So how do you tell the difference? The Advocate will quickly reveal to you the answer to your sin. It’s the cross on which He died. He will make evident the sweet forgiveness that is available to you. The Accuser will make it seem as though there is no hope. He will make you feel as if “God can't forgive you, you’re too bad!” He will try to make you think that you have sinned too big, or failed too much, or fallen too far. If the end of the matter is that you are hopeless, just know that it’s the Accuser!
The Advocate always presents hope. Because there is always hope. There is always grace. There is always forgiveness. There is always peace. There is always Christ.
So if you find yourself being made aware of your sins and failures. Know this. There are likely only two sources of these accusations. One to help you the other to harm you. Ask yourself this question, “Which way does the accusation point you?” Is it pointing toward the cross where I met my Savior and I can return time and time again to receive His forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9)? Or is it pointing to me and my inability to be perfect? Reminding me that I am a failure, that I did it again?
One wants to help, the other wants only to hurt. Are you hearing the voice of the Advocate or the Accuser? Know, and then remember, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)