Have you ever watched a basketball game in which a momentarily confused player forgets which team’s hoop they are next to and makes a great shot scoring for the opponent’s team? I think that is how I live my life sometimes. I don’t get confused about whose team I am on. I know the answer to that, but sometimes I just get confused about what it means to score. I find myself scoring points for the wrong team. Instead of building up, I tear down and destroy. That is not how my team wins the game. It’s not what we do. Unfortunately sometimes it is what I do.
A few weeks ago, I was listening to a YouTube playlist of teachings by Beth Moore. Speaking of accusation, randomly in this playlist there are videos about how she is a false teacher, practically the devil himself. I am really confused by the person who put this playlist together. After 195 videos of a woman of God fearlessly teaching His Word, why did they throw in five or so just ripping her to pieces? Did they do it to remind us of how much disunity there is in the Church? Was it to keep her humble in case she listened to the playlist herself? It really confuses me. Not that I have actually listened to more than a few seconds of any of the attacking videos before skipping it. I just don’t understand the strategy going on here!
To return to my story, I was listening to a video of Beth teaching something about something. In it, she mentions that in the original language, the word translated satan means accuser. In fact, it can be used as both a verb and a noun. She went on to talk about how when we accuse other children of God, we are doing what the devil does. Confrontation, which we are called to do, is much different than accusation. Now that got my attention because I can often play the role of the accuser!
For me there are several ways this can happen. The accusing thoughts usually sound something like, “I can’t believe they did…” or “This is so unfair” or “When are they ever going to get … together?” or “I wish they knew how much they hurt me” or “I shouldn’t have to accept responsibility for my part if they don’t have to for theirs” or “They really need to go look in the mirror” or “I think they need a twelve step program too” or “They can’t possibly be even trying to follow God right now because otherwise they would never do that.” In general, my accusing thoughts are selfish, conceited, arrogant and have nothing whatsoever to do with reality, grace or unity.
At some point last week, I added another sign to my wall. I put two instructions for how to live my life on it. The second one read, “Don’t do satan’s work for him”.
It’s not that I ever thought my bitterness and anger was good. I just didn’t realize quite how bad it was. I didn’t realize I was shooting hoops for the wrong team. I must have known it in different words, but those other words didn’t wake me up as much as these words. See, I hate the devil. Ain’t no way I want to make his life easier!
In considering this, I remembered a verse in Romans, a whole section of verses actually, about how no one can bring any accusation against God’s children – at least not successfully. Why not? Because Jesus is at the right hand of God, interceding for them and figuratively pointing to the Cross.
I realized my team doesn’t accuse. My team intercedes.
After I realized this, I still sometimes get up in my head about stuff – busy accusing fellow children of God before the throne. Then I remember what I am doing, and it is like a splash of cold water on my face, waking me up to my stupidity. I don’t want to play on the wrong team. I want to intercede for His children with my Savior who is interceding for me. I want to be busy pointing at the Cross and reminding God that Jesus paid for that sin of theirs too.
I wish I could say this realization has entirely won the battle I face, but I am still fighting. The last couple of days I have had a cold and am physically tired enough to just want to go to sleep instead of trying to win the daily battle.
This realization may not have instantly won the battle for me, but what it has done is help me realize the stakes of my decisions. It’s not just fun and games. There is a battle to be won. I want to do GOOD in this world. I don’t want to be shooting hoops for the devil as I relish how much easier it is to simply let my flesh do whatever it wants. I want to do GOOD.
In what areas of your life do you find yourself shooting baskets for the wrong team? Aren’t you glad that Jesus is at the right hand of God, reminding Him that the Cross covers the sin of all who believe in Jesus?