Are you familiar with the story in Zechariah 3 of Joshua the high priest standing before God? I can’t get the story out of my head these days. While many remember the time Satan accused Job before God, this similar story is not as familiar. Since I read it a few weeks ago, God has been using it to constantly remind me that He is my defense, my advocate, and my source of truth.
In this fascinating passage, Joshua the high priest is standing before the Lord dressed in filthy garments of sin. Satan is also standing there, ready to accuse him before God. But before Satan can get a word in, God turns to him and says, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” (v. 2) After putting Satan in his place, the Lord removes Joshua’s dirty clothing, and He clothes him in pure white garments, saying, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away.” (v. 4)
I just love that. When Satan wants to point out my sin and failures, God steps in before Satan can even raise his pointer finger, and says, “Oh no, you don’t! This one is mine! I removed her from the fire!”
Now I realize that according to Revelation 12, since Christ’s victory on the cross, Satan can no longer come into the presence of God to accuse Christians (HALLELUJAH!) However, he still loves to come and speak lies to my heart. Satan slyly whispers to me that my outward actions determine God’s approval and disapproval. He tries to get me to believe that I AM MY FAILURES…. that I have no right to even approach God – that even if I did try to pray, God wouldn’t want to hear me… He is too angry that I keep messing up…. ready to just be done with me.
Whoa! Hold on! What is that I hear? It is God shouting at Satan, “I rebuke you!!! Is not this one that I rescued from the fire? Look at her righteous garments! Keep your filthy pointing fingers off of her. She’s mine!”
And as I read and meditate on passages like Zechariah 3 and Romans 8, I hear the strong voice of my God speaking over Satan’s slimy whispers, telling me that His approval of me is constant, based on the work of Jesus Christ, not anything I do or don’t do. He tells me that my failures don’t define me – they are stepping stones on this journey to bring me closer to Him. He makes all things beautiful in His time! When I sin, He is ever ready to hear from me and to give me strength, forgiveness, and love. He patiently reminds me (because I often forget) that I don’t need to be perfect to access the throne of grace; He has already covered me in His own perfect righteousness!
Hope these humble thoughts encourage you today, my friends. God is good. He loves us. If He is for us, who can be against us?!! (Romans 8:31)