There’s a lot going on inside your head.
What shall I have for lunch?
Is my anniversary coming up?
Why’d she look at me like that? Oh, she was looking at the painting on the wall behind me.
Your mind certainly is busy with the mundane stuff of life.
But amid the common activity, there is the profound phenomenon of self-consciousness. I am aware of me. Not only aware, but I’m aware of me in a particular light. I sense that I’m either guilty or innocent, bound or free, insecure or confident. All of this is happening within the realm of what we call “conscience.” And it is right there that the great controversy between good and evil unfolds day by day.
Scripture declares, “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray” (Revelation 12:9). “Satan” means accuser, adversary, or prosecutor. We’re all his targets. His goal is to make our guilt a permanent mindset, so we can’t get free, we see ourselves as guilty, and feel negative toward ourselves.
All of this is happening within the realm of what we call “conscience.” And it is right there that the great controversy between good and evil unfolds day by day.
The Holy Spirit is called “Parakletos,” which means advocate, defender, or helper. (See John 14:16, 26; 15:26.) It’s His work to relieve our conscience of its guilt by revealing God’s pardoning love (Romans 5:1-5).
Satan’s primary work is accusation. The Holy Spirit’s primary work is advocacy. Satan stands against sinners with condemnation. The Holy Spirit stands in their favor with grace.
To the degree that you channel your guilt onto others in the form of accusations against them, you take up Satan’s cause, barricading your mind against God’s grace. Accusing others will bring relief to your guilty conscience, but only temporarily. With each hit of the accusation fix, your conscience will be diminished in its capacity for relief. You’ll experience a gradually escalating sense of inescapable condemnation, until you feel there’s no way out. God’s love will become more and more absent from your mind until it’s completely foreign to you.
But here’s the good news: while Satan is the accuser, the Holy Spirit is a far mightier advocate. As you believe and receive God’s grace, your capacity for loving others will increase. With each repeated act of forgiveness, God’s love will take up more and more emotional space inside you, silencing the accuser’s voice until you only know love.