DVO May 13, 2019

Title: How Saved People Should See Themselves

Scripture: Zechariah 3:1-8 – Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel. 4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” 5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the LORD stood by. 6 Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, 7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, and likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand here. 8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign; for behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.

It is critical that believers soon come to an understanding of who they are and who the Lord intends that they become in relationship to Him. This Old Testament passage gives us a glimpse of the spiritual warfare that the believer often will find themselves engaged in that affects how we see ourselves. Satan is so committed to destroying believers by trying to destroy our perception of ourselves without the finished work of the Lord Jesus applied to our lives. Satan and his demonic army are liars without any rules of compassion or decency and have the intent of soiling our spiritual legacy so that we and others will determine that our lives are useless in any worthwhile activity for our Lord. It must also be understood that Satan and demons do not limit themselves to using lies to destroy us, but they will accuse us to others, accuse us directly and accuse us to God with things that are/aren’t true about our sinfulness before our Holy Father. Just as Joshua the Priest stood in filthy garments, so we also can be reminded that we are sinful; and in many cases, it may be true as we stand in relationship to the perfect righteousness of the Lord.

The Angel of the Lord does not rebuke Satan in defending our performance of whether we are imperfect, but He rebukes Satan and at the same time reminds us as he reminds Joshua the Priest that we are to no longer to embrace ourselves in the old garments of sin that we wore, but stand firm in the reality we have been now clothed in a new look of righteousness by order of the Lord Himself.

There are three great truths that should govern our spiritual self-esteem that are also backed up in the New Testament concerning us. First, Satan never determines what the LORD GOD thinks of us. He can point out all the sins, flaws, failures and shortcomings that may even be true, but God who knows all things sees us according to what He has determined to make us through our faith relationship to Him. All of His knowledge about us is at once and the final determination is already a settled matter. Where we may be now in our growth and practice does not, nor will it ever negate our position of righteousness eternally. The scriptures confirm this great truth by telling us that God through the death of Jesus has taken away our sin and given us His own righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Secondly, our perception of ourselves must be governed by the fact that God’s commitment to change us is greater than the reality of our sinfulness. In all likelihood, each one of us can see some aspect or issue of sin in our thought, word, or deed, lives from time to time. Though God has made us positionally righteous, the life we live now is a gradual process of becoming practically and progressively what we are in our righteous position before Him. Hebrews says, “By one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (10:14). What He has already done once and for all is being progressively worked out in the experience of our daily lives. We must never succumb to the pointing finger of Satan, demons or any yielded human to make us look only at our sin but look to what God has done for us and to us through the finished work of Christ. “He who is in us is greater than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4), and that means his accusations are not he final truth to live by.

Lastly, we must embrace in our mindset that the truth of what we are/have done will not be the final determination of what we shall be. Flawed we are and at times falling short of the righteous standard He has set before us, but the Word of God tells us that a better view of ourselves is coming one day. “Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed we shall be just like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:2).

Prayer: Father, we are thankful that You have settled the matter of our worth in Your Son Jesus Christ, and nothing and no one can ever change that truth. Help us to see ourselves and others in this light.

(by Pastor Wayne Cockrell)