Just as God will meet us where we are, so will the great deceiver.
In a story shared by church father John Climacus, he tells of a monastery he calls “the Prison” where men present a dramatic example of repentance seeking forgiveness. These men stand all night in the courtyard denying themselves sleep and sustenance and physically abuse themselves–all in the name of repentance. And why? According to Climacus, these men are spiritual heroes for their ability to withstand the self-inflicted abuse for the cause of Christ. Their behavior provides purification.
I have a different view. I believe these men acted as they did because they lacked belief that God’s grace is sufficient to blot out the record of their sins. They had faith and great desire for Jesus. But the sacrifice Jesus made, in their eyes, could not cleanse them.
This is an example of the great deceiver meeting us where we are. He is the father of lies and one of the greatest is that we are not good enough for God.
Just ponder, for one moment, that Satan can use our faith and desire for Jesus against us. He can whisper in our ears: “You are not good enough; you will never be good enough, unless…”
What is your unless?
I took from a class recently one very weighty proverb repeated by the professor: Secrets are the language of Hell. But the truth is that we can keep no secrets from God. The demons would just have us believe that we can in order to separate us from God. The fact of the matter is that if you already find yourself on your knees, you are where you need to be before Him.
God will raise you up. Satan would have you sink lower. Stop listening to the lies.