Satan Exaggerates The Saint's Sins

Satan is a clever investigator. He closely observes the relationship between you and God.

His aim is to discredit not the sins but the saints. Here his chief tactic is to deliver his accusations as if they are an act of the Holy Spirit. He knows a charge from God's cannon wounds deeply; therefore, when he accuses a conscientious Christian, he forges God's name on the missile before he fires it. Suppose a child were conscious of gravely displeasing his father, and some spiteful person, to harass him, wrote and sent him a counterfeit letter full of harsh and threatening accusations, copying the father's name at the bottom. The poor child, already painfully aware of his sins and not knowing the scheme, would be overcome with grief. Here is real heartache stemming from a false premise--just the kind of thing Satan relishes.

Satan is a clever investigator. He closely observes the relationship between you and God. Sooner or later he will catch you tardy in some duty or faulty in a service. He knows you are conscious of your shortcomings and that the Spirit of God will also show distaste for them. So he draws up a lengthy indictment, raking up all the aggravations he can think of, then serves his warrants on you as though sent from God. This is how Job's friends reacted to his trouble. They gathered up all the evidence of his infirmities to use against him, implying they had been sent by God to declare him a hypocrite and denounce him for it.

While Satan is a master inquisitor, we know that not all our rebukes come from him. God's Word clearly states that "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth" (Hebrews 12:6). How, then, can we discern the spiteful accusations of Satan from the loving reprimands of God and His Spirit?

Try this test: If such rebukes contradict any prior work of the Spirit in your soul, they are Satan's and not the Spirit's. Satan's purpose in emphasizing your sin is to try to unsaint you and persuade you that you are only a hypocrite.

-William Gurnall