In Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan, Christian meets Apollyon (the Devil) on the way to the Celestial City. Apollyon accuses Christian of being unfaithful to Christ: “Thou hast already been unfaithful in thy service to him, and how does thou think to receive wages from him?”
Christian asks, “Wherein, O Apollyon, have I been unfaithful to him?” The Devil reminds,
“Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast almost choked in the Gulf of Despond. Thou didst attempt wrong ways to be rid of thy burden, whereas thou shouldest have stayed till thy Prince had taken it off. Thou didst sinfully sleep, and lose thy choice thing; thou was also almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions; and when thou talkest of thy journey, and of what thou hast heard, and seen, thou art inwardly desirous of vainglory in all that thou sayest or doest.”
What would you say in return to the devil?
What do you say when your sins are thrown up in your face? Where do you go in your head and heart when accusations and reminders of past failures are used against you? How do you move forward when someone reminds you that “you’re no good, you’re no good, you’re no good, baby you’re no good”? When regrets overwhelm and taunt you, mock you, belittle and ridicule you, how do you respond? For John Bunyan, aka, Christian, he says this to the accuser:
“All this is true, and much more, which thou has left out. But the Prince whom I serve and honor is merciful and ready to forgive . . . I have obtained pardon from my Prince.”
In other words, when the devil accuses you of your sin, tell him that he doesn’t know half your sins – tell him that you’re worse than his portrayal of you – tell him that there is much more, yes, many more sins that he has left out of his charge against you. Tell him that not only are the sins pardoned that he accuses you of, but also all the other sins that he doesn’t even know about are also pardoned. Tell him that Jesus not only pardoned the sins of which you are accused, but all the other sins too that could ever be thrown up in your face. Tell him, no . . . sing to him:
“My sin, O, the bliss of this glorious thought, my sin – not in part but the whole,
is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more:
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”
Bunyan then writes: “And with that, Apollyon spread forth his dragon’s wings and sped away, that Christian saw him no more.”
Christian, resist the devil with the gospel and his poisonous accusations will flee from you.