What Do You Do When the Accuser Comes at You?

The enemy tried to take me out last week. He slammed me with accusations, blame, and judgment. And it sent me into a tailspin.

When I’m confronted with stuff like that, I have several options. I can absorb all the condemnation and conclude that I am a hopeless loser. Or, I can try to sift through it and try to evaluate what is true and what is not—I know I’m not perfect, after all. A third option is to simply dismiss it all without any consideration whatsoever.

Many spiritual warfare-savvy folks would say that the third option is best—“Consider the source,” they would say. And they’re right—one of Satan’s names is “Accuser.” He’s not about constructive criticism. He is always about destruction. So why should I listen to him?

But it’s not so easy for me to just write off accusations and criticism. I don’t trust myself. I know that I am prone to sin and error. I don’t want to be self-deceived and arrogant. I don’t want to be oblivious to my errors.

So, even though I realize the enemy is not interested in my good, it’s still hard for me to completely write off his accusations. Instead, I often go for the second option: I try to evaluate them. (Mind you, I am not recommending that you try this!) I set up a little court in my head and put his claim on trial. Then I try to see look at the evidence for and against his accusation. (Again, I caution you, do not try this yourselves. It is patently dumb. I’m just making a confession.)

You, being wiser than I, can undoubtedly see the frustration toward which this exercise leads. I set up court in my head. I appoint myself judge, jury, and attorney for the prosecution and the defense. It’s ridiculous. I just go ‘round and round in circles. It never leads anywhere good.

The Apostle Paul said it well: “It is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. … It is the Lord who judges me (1 Corinthians 4:3-4).

So I am happy and very relieved to say that the Lord has given me a grace-filled alternative to my futile habit of self-judgment. He reminded me of the ancient “Jesus Prayer”: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

When He whispered that idea into my swirling mind and confused heart, I knew immediately it was His offer to rescue me. That simple, time-proven prayer, provides everything I need. Here’s what I mean:

The accuser shoots his arrow of condemnation at me. Instead of asking, “Is he right? Is any part of what he is saying true?” I can appeal to my Advocate, Jesus. He is my Lord. He is my Savior. He is the Christ, the Messiah, the one who came to save His people from their sins. Am I a sinner? Yes! Have I sinned in the particular way the enemy proposes? Maybe. Maybe not. But that’s not the point. The point is, I am a sinner, but Jesus has covered all my sins with His own blood. The enemy’s accusations against me cannot stick when the Lord Jesus Christ is standing with me. Jesus offers mercy for all the places where I’ve sinned.

For the next few days the condemnation continued to come at a steady rate. But instead of entertaining it in my inner courtroom, I simply prayed. “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner!” Breathing that simple prayer—often repeatedly—re-focused me. It turned my eyes off of myself and onto Jesus. It reminded me that He is full of mercy and that when I come to Him, I find mercy and grace in my time of need (Hebrews 4:16). It kept me from trying to justify, defend, or excuse myself of wrong doing—I simply admitted to Him that I am a sinner. And I remembered with deep gratitude that He came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).

Until last week, I’d never thought of using the Jesus Prayer as spiritual warfare—but I am finding it to be very effective. I wonder if any of you have tried something like that? Or if you have other ways of deflecting the enemy’s accusations? I’d love to hear from you!




5 thoughts on “What Do You Do When the Accuser Comes at You?

  1. Mary Thompson says:

    Thanks to Stan Gail for the song. I’ve coped it to use it this week.

  2. Mary Thompson says:

    I’m so thankful He lead me back to you all. Lately the term Abba has been meaning so much to me. it is hard for me to say Daddy to God in English. Much easier to day Abba. Yet the emotional word puts it more in my child with my Father part. I think that is what you were saying Cynthia. You brought it to Him. He comforted you. Thank You for sharing with us.

  3. Stan Gale says:

    Great post, Cynthia. An important principle of standing in Christ for the conduct of spiritual warfare. Two songs say it well:

    Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And has shed his own blood for my soul.

    My sin—O the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part, but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more;
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
    (It is Well with my Soul)

    When Satan tempts me to despair,
    And tells me of the guilt within,
    Upward I look and see him there
    Who made an end to all my sin.
    Because the sinless Savior died,
    My sinful soul is counted free;
    For God the just is satisfied
    To look on him and pardon me,
    To look on him and pardon me.
    (Before the Throne of God Above)

  4. Carly Herin says:

    Cynthia, thank you for posting this. I am wrestling with this very same issue this week. I have often given in to satan’s schemes but I feel the Lord led me to read about Peter tonight. When Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, he wanted to step out of the boat with Him. He did and was able to stand on the water. But as soon as he took his focus off Christ, the wind and the waves started to overcome him. What stuck out to me was Peter’s cry when that happened. “Lord, save me!” he said and IMMEDIATELY Jesus reached his hand out to him. Even though the passage I read was not about spiritual warfare, it reminded me to keep my eyes on Christ and any time I feel attacked, I will say, “Lord, save me!”

  5. The enemy must be super busy lately; this is the second post I’ve read and replied to, in less than a half hour. I’ve spoken to Satan that he has no right to oppress me, I am a child of God–BE GONE!! I’ve prayed to Jesus to rid me of this oppression and to show me where I’ve let down my guard so he could get in. But I haven’t prayed that prayer. I pray the principle, but not the exact words.

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