The Accuser Of The Brethren

Satan delights in taking your duties to pieces and so disfiguring them that they appear superficial, though they are truly zealous; pharisaical, though they are really sincere.

The devil is at church as often as you are. And he stands outside your closet door and listens to what you say to God in secret, all the while studying how he may accuse you. The rebellious spirit who dared to criticize God's rule of heaven will not hesitate to pass judgment on the way you rule your soul. He is like those who listen to sermons only to find fault so they can call the minister an offender for some misplaced word or other. Satan delights in taking your duties to pieces and so disfiguring them that they appear superficial, though they are truly zealous; pharisaical, though they are really sincere. He will not rest until he can hand in a verdict of "Guilty!" against your soul.

When you have done your best, then this persuasive critic goes to work, "There," he will say, "you played the hypocrite--appearing noble, but really serving self. Here you wandered; there, you were lazy; farther along, puffed up with pride. What reward can you hope for at God's hands, now that you have spoiled His work?" Such constant nitpicking makes many poor souls lead a weary life. Are you one of these--spiritually exhausted? Does he snipe at everything you do until you know not whether to pray or not, to listen or not? And, when you have prayed and listened, whether it is to any purpose or not? Thus your soul hangs in doubt, and your days pass in sorrow, while your enemy stands in a corner and laughs at the trick he has played upon you. It is his master plan that if he cannot rob you of your righteousness, he will deprive you of your joy.

He comes to fetch you away form the green pastures of covenant comfort and drag you into the depths of despair. He does this under the false pretense that you are not humble enough over sin. The apostle knew what sophisticated mind-games the devil plays. He called them his "devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11), meaning his clever arguments. Here Satan relies heavily on his smooth tongue. Everything he says is flagrant lies and double-talk.

-William Gurnall