Applying The Finished Work: Gleanings from Zechariah
I recently read the book of Zechariah and was held in chapter three, where the enemy accuses Joshua, the high priest, before the Lord. I thought, wow, that's pretty brazen for the enemy to charge the man of God. I then wondered how this word is applicable in our lives today. God's word is truth; as we read it, Jesus speaks His truth into us. His word is the seed which produces faith in Him. The Holy Spirit then works out His truth in us and enables us to apply it practically in our lives.
When Zechariah penned these words, Jesus had not come, yet the fragrance of the finished work of Jesus is right here, in the Old Testament. The people lived in hope of Jesus coming. Oh, the greatness of our God, delivering Holy Spirit inspired words through the prophet, which would bring clarity to future generations on applying the finished work of Jesus in our lives, especially when accusations come from the enemy.
If you can, grab your Bible and let's dig into the scriptures.
First, a word concerning the enemy, his name is Satan: הַשָּׂטָ֗ן (haś·śā·ṭā) from Strong's Hebrew 7854: 1) adversary, one who withstands 1a) adversary (in general-personal or national) 2) superhuman adversary. He is known as the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12v10, 1 Timothy 4v13). Our focus is never on the enemy; however, if we have difficulty discerning what God is doing, my pastor reminded me to look at what the enemy is attacking. Is it your finances, your relationship, your mind? Most certainly, this is the area where God has dispensed more of His grace. The enemy sees God's favor on us and tries to weary the saints to abort their purpose. The devil cannot thwart God's plan, but he can persuade us to drop the baton in our race of faith. I am here to encourage you; please don't. What God has for you and placed in you is necessary for the benefit of the kingdom.
In this passage in Zechariah, we see the enemy accusing the high priest Joshua before the Lord. But look at the Lord's reply and the action which follows:
“The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! May the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn’t this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” Zechariah 3v2.
“Now Joshua was dressed with filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. So the angel of the Lord spoke to those standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes!” Then he said to him, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with festive robes.”Zechariah 3v3-4.
“Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So a clean turban was placed on his head, and they clothed him in garments while the angel of the Lord was standing nearby.” Zechariah 3:v5.
There are so many things to glean, but first beloved, we have reason to celebrate. What I would like you to consider, if this is the reply to the enemy and Jesus had not yet come, how much more now that the blood of Jesus has been shed? The Scripture is prophetic of what Jesus would do for us and how we handle situations as the people of God. We take comfort because Jesus has come, and It Is Finished! Sin and death have been defeated in the body of our Lord Jesus, and when He rose from the dead, beloved, we rose in Him.
The enemy cannot accuse us before God because of the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9v11-28). The enemy can no longer go before our Abba Father and raise any accusations. Jesus did a perfect work, and I am reminded when God looks at us, He sees us in Christ, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3v3. Isn't that good? We no longer are adorned with filthy rags but have put on Christ and are covered with His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5v21). As the Apostle Paul mentions, “Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.” (Romans 8v33).
Therefore, we have newfound confidence, Christ-confidence based on what He has done. Here's the thing, since the enemy cannot accuse us before God, he settles with shooting fiery darts of accusation in our minds through thoughts and suggestions. He is known as the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2v2). Friends, the enemy has no power; he has been disarmed.
I often need to remind myself of the truth in God's word:
“And you — being dead in the trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh — He made alive together with him, having forgiven you all the trespasses, having blotted out the handwriting in the ordinances that is against us, that was contrary to us, and he hath taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross; having stripped the principalities and the authorities, he made a shew of them openly — having triumphed over them in it.” (Colossians 2v13-15).
We live post-cross. Our sins are forgiven, and apply the finished work of Jesus practically in our lives. When the enemy tosses a suggestion, we don't have to accept it. The thoughts come to not (aborted) unless we accept them as our own. Remember, beloved, Salvation has effectively put away condemnation, for good. “There is, then, now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit;” (Romans 8v1).
When the enemy comes nagging, we can send him away wagging based on what Jesus has accomplished. We don't need to entertain his suggestions. In the wilderness, Jesus demonstrated with every testing, how we are to respond. Notice, Jesus responded and did not react to the enemy. Jesus gave the word, which, if we think about it, is quite remarkable. Jesus applied the word of God, which is Himself (John 1v14) to the situation (Matthew 4v4, 4v7, 4v10). Can you see it? It's profound. I get excited every time I think about it.
Beloved, if you can't think of a verse, don't worry, simply say His name ~ Jesus. He is the mighty standard, which stands against the enemy. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10v3-6 (YLT98) “for walking in the flesh, not according to the flesh do we war, for the weapons of our warfare [are] not fleshly, but powerful to God for bringing down of strongholds, reasonings bringing down, and every high thing lifted up against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of the Christ, and being in readiness to avenge every disobedience, whenever your obedience may be fulfilled.”
There are different translations, but I want you to see here in Young's Literal Translation 3v7. It's not our obedience but the "obedience of the Christ." I mention this verse because, again, we are instructed to apply the finished work. It's His obedience, not looking to ourselves trying or our obedience. As we move through each day, He desires us to live conscious of what He has done, applying it to every aspect of our lives.
It is His obedience on the cross that brings salvation.
It is His obedience on that stops the enemy.
It is His resurrection that justified us and placing His righteousness in our account.
Ephesians 1v3 says we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. We are not trying to get it; we have it! But it's up to us to appropriate it. Beloved, the righteous shall live by faith. Not faith in what but faith in Who ~ Jesus. Let's focus our thoughts on the finished work of Jesus, and as we do this, we walk in His victory. When the enemy accuses, remember we are standing on a righteous foundation purchased by the blood of Jesus. We no longer have on filthy rags but are adorned in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5v21).
As we move forward, see the finished work! Let's encourage one another in His truth, remembering as Abba looks at us, He sees us in Christ, and as His kids, we hold the keys to the kingdom for we know every blessing of heaven accessed by faith in what Christ has accomplished.
I hope you will comment below. I would love to hear how His truth is increasing your faith and transforming your life.
May God's grace and peace be with you!