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Embracing our Trials - The Book of Revelation
Week 41, 2017
This week we come to one of the most exciting and dramatic signs in Revelation:
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10).
The accuser is cast down! One of the most difficult trials Christians deal with is false accusation. This is why the Lord uses the accuser as one of the primary instruments to challenge and thereby strengthen His people to become overcomers. If we know that God approves of us, then it should not matter what anyone else on earth thinks of us. We will be free of one of the strongest yokes of bondage—the shackle of human expectation and seeking to please men.
Knowing how crucial it is to have our faith in God and not men, it should never surprise us when we’re faced with false accusations. We should embrace them as an opportunity to reaffirm our encouragement and faith. In fact, the fear of men, or seeking the respect, honor, or recognition of men is probably the biggest trap—and one of the biggest destroyers of faith in God—that we will face as servants of God. Below are a few Scriptures that confirm this.
“But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests but man's’" (Matthew 16:23).
How would you like to be called “Satan” by the Son of God? That may be the most severe rebuke in the Bible, and it was the result of Peter setting his mind on man’s interests instead of God’s. If we are going to be the servants of the King of kings, then no other interests or sympathies can be allowed to compromise our devotion to His interests. We are called to love all men, even lay down our lives for them, but never side with interests that are not aligned with God’s. These constant attacks of the accuser help us to steel this resolve.
"How can you believe when you seek glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only true God" (John 5:44)?
The Greek word translated “glory” in this verse is also sometimes translated “recognition.” Here we see that one of the major destroyers of faith is seeking the glory or recognition of men rather than from God. The Son of God asks how we can believe if we’re seeking the recognition of man rather than God. To serve the King of kings and be His messengers, we must have a single-minded devotion to seek His approval and recognition alone. Any compromise of this will likely lead to compromise in other areas of our life.
Have you ever wondered why the Lord fled to the mountains when the people came to make Him King? This seemed to be a well-meaning acknowledgement from the people of who He was, but it was actually one of the most presumptuous acts of men. If the people give us our authority, then they can also take it away. If we are constantly seeking the favor of the people, who is going to rule? The people could not make Jesus King because He was born King. He was made King by His Father and, therefore, the only one He had to please was His Father. That is how He lived.
There is probably no greater freedom that we can ever know than to live in the pure and holy fear of the Lord instead of the fear of man. This is not just about our freedom, but also about the King receiving the undivided and total dedication of His servants.
The devil’s constant tactic to distract us into being overly concerned about what people think of us to a large degree by using false accusations. Embrace each one as the opportunity it is to resist the devil’s temptation, and soon he will flee from you. Until he has been cast down, or fled, don’t waste your trials. Embrace false accusations as the great opportunity they are to be even more resolutely focused on doing the will of the King and pleasing Him in all things.
next week 42