The Lord had me review my whole life this morning to see how He has blessed me and taken care of me. It was like one of those near_death experiences that you hear about in which people see their whole lives in an instant, only I didn’t have to almost die to see mine.
The review started when I was practically still a baby, and it included all the outstanding things the Lord has done especially for me—experiences and accomplishments and promises that He kept. He reminded me of how He has taken care of me and blessed me and helped me be a blessing to others. He had me review my life so I would stop and count my blessings and realize that things aren’t as bad as they sometimes seem.
The Devil doesn’t accuse me for what I’ve accomplished; he accuses me for what I haven’t done or could have done or should have done but didn’t. He picks at all my lacks and shortcomings and weaknesses, all my little failures. He’s the accuser of the saints (Revelation 12:9-10).
He picks at any little thing he can find and tries to find fault, just like the scribes and the Pharisees who followed Jesus around, picking at little things He supposedly did wrong. The Devil certainly must have inspired Jesus’ accusers. Jesus was teaching great truths and performing all kinds of miracles. He healed thousands of people and fed thousands upon thousands. He taught wonderful lessons and told such beautiful, meaningful parables.—And what did the religious leaders do? Did they praise Jesus and thank God for all the good He was doing? When He healed the lame man, when He delivered the man who was demon-possessed, and every other chance they got, what did they do?—They tried to find some fault, some flaw (Matthew 12:10-14, 22-24; Mark 7:1-3; Luke 11:54; 23:2,14; John 8:3-6).
The Devil just nags and nags and picks and picks and tries to worry us about little things, like he did with Job and others, and like he did with me this morning: “What about this? What about that? Why don’t you do this? Why didn’t you do that? Why don’t you get to work? Look at all the things you could be doing instead of just sitting there doing nothing!” Well, this morning I wasn’t doing nothing. I was praying and talking to the Lord when the Devil tried to butt in and interfere and interrupt my prayer time with the Lord.
But the Lord knew exactly what I needed! He helped me count my blessings by taking me through that pictorial review of my life and showing me all the things I should be thankful for instead of letting the Devil get me to doubt and complain. It was a thrilling experience to see how marvelously the Lord has protected me and provided for me and used me. The Lord just slapped the old Devil in the face by showing him and me pictures of what He has done for me and helped me do. The Devil had to tuck his tail between his legs and run away because he couldn’t deny that it was the truth.
All those doubts and fears and accusations of the Devil were either outright lies or so petty by comparison that they didn’t really matter, even if they were true. The Devil was trying to find a chink in my armor—some little hole, some Achilles’ heel or weak spot—and then exaggerate it and blow it up out of all proportion in order to try to get me discouraged about myself. But thank the Lord, He’s the antidote! Jesus always points out the good things.
That’s the secret: When the Devil descends on you with his dark thoughts about yourself or others, let the light in! Rebuke the Devil and think positive thoughts instead. Remind yourself constantly of the good.
When I was young, I would sometimes hear a song on the radio that had a bad message or a bad spirit, and the Devil would try to bring me down by keeping that song running through my head. So what did I do?—I’d either listen to some good music, or I’d come right out and sing an uplifting song myself if I was where I could.
Fight the Devil positively. Attack! Attack! Let the light in, and the darkness will flee. There isn’t room for both. You just have to be positive; you have to make a conscious effort to rebuke the Devil and think positive good thoughts instead. Quote Scriptures or sing songs about the Lord or pray. You can’t do those things and have the Devil’s negative thoughts run through your head at the same time. Jesus wins the victory every time, but you have to do your part by making a conscious effort to resist the Devil.
You have to act and attack. That chases the Devil away every time. Sing or quote Scripture out loud. It chases away the doubts and the fears. Think positively about yourself and others. It chases away those nagging little suggestions from the Devil. Don’t just sit there, do something! Take some positive action.
The Devil can’t resist God’s Word. That’s one of the most powerful weapons you can use against him. If you quote Scripture to the Devil, there’s nothing he can say in return. The Devil tried to twist Scriptures and use them against Jesus, but Jesus shot the Devil’s arguments full of holes with the right applications of other Scriptures (Luke chapter 4).
There will always be something more you could have done or something you wish you hadn’t done. There will always be little things—neglects or oversights or mistakes or faults or bad habits—that the Devil can pick on if he wants to, and he sure wants to! He really tries, but you can overcome his accusations with positive actions. Quote Scriptures that deny the lie! Thank and praise God for all your blessings and all the things that are contradictory to what the Devil’s telling you. Or get busy doing something positive with your hands, your eyes, your ears. Idleness is the Devil’s workshop.
Count your blessings! Fill your mind and heart and mouth with positive things. Chase away the Devil and all his shades of night by letting the light in, God’s positive light of Scripture, the Word, prayer, praise, songs, or anything else you can use to completely occupy your mind with good things. Get busy helping somebody else! It’s kind of a work therapy. It’s a prayer and praise therapy! It’s a Scripture therapy! It’s song therapy!—And it chases the Devil away.
It also helps to call to mind a mental picture of Jesus, and to think about Him and talk to Him. The Bible promises, “You [God] will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). When you think about the Lord and put Him in the focal point of your consciousness, this pushes the Devil and all his doubts and lies and fears to the outer fringes.
The Devil hates Scripture, he hates praise and thanksgiving, he hates songs about the Lord’s goodness, and he especially hates positive work for the Lord. So get your mouth and mind and hands busy for the Lord: Sing, pray, praise the Lord, quote Scripture! Do something positive! Do something good! Count your blessings and put the Devil on the run!