12 August 2011

Simple picture, simple choice

Sometimes the simplest pictures can have the most impact. Such as chubby little baby feet. Is there a simpler picture of vulnerable, sweet new life? Then there's the image of a long green snake writhing and twisting its way through blades of thick green grass. Is there a better picture of age-old enmity, deception, and danger?

In I John 2:1 and Revelation 12:10, God uses two words that create an illustration of what takes place before Him in Heaven. In Revelation, the Bible calls Satan the "accuser of the brethren." John Phillips points out that in this case, Satan doesn't have to do what comes naturally to him: pervert the truth to spew out lies. Unfortunately, he has only to stand before God and tell the truth about us.

However, I John gives us a very crucial detail of what is taking place on the other side of the throne room. Christ, who sits at the right hand of the Father, the Judge of all the universe, presents Himself as our Advocate. He knows the truth about us. He sees our sin. But he has made himself our substitute. He became our Righteousness and is the believer's constant Advocate before God.

Knowing I have an Advocate with the Father, despite my sin and despite my failures, is so very comforting. What a relief to remember that there is One who stands in my stead and defends me against Satan's accusations.

But while this picture brings comfort to me, it also brings conviction. For when I accuse, am critical, or fault-finding with others, I am being like Satan, the Accuser. What a horrid thought! How often have I found myself so quickly seeing someone's faults or assuming I know the motive for their actions?

But there is another way. When I seek to forgive and forget, or choose to overlook a fault ("love covers a multitude of sins"), I am like Christ, my Advocate. In Feminine Faces, Clovis Chappell states "Satan is supreme in his mistrust of men, Jesus is supreme in his faith. Denied, betrayed, crucified, he tumbled the responsibility for his church upon human shoulders and declared that the gates of hell would not prevail against it." How wonderful to know that God extends grace to the humble, using those who are malleable, despite all their deficiencies, flaws, and failures!

The picture of Satan railing for judgment against believers while Christ so graciously advocates for them simply illustrates the choice that I have. Who will I be like? The Accuser or my Advocate? Will I seek judgment or extend grace? It may not be a simple action, but it is a simple choice.

***This post is linked to Inspired to Action's Motivation Monday

1 comment:

  1. "It may not be a simple action, but it is a simple choice." - excellent point!