City of Sin or City of Grace?

fort wayne

Every day of life on Earth is a day of spiritual warfare. Life is too short not to realize that we are daily in battle with a real enemy.  Our enemy Satan has one main objective: our destruction. We would be foolish to enter each day unaware of Satan’s schemes directed against us. Someday, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, but until then, every day is a fight.  The first thing we must do is understand the nature of our adversary. Satan means “adversary or enemy,” and devil means “accuser or slanderer.” I like to use the acronym MAL to describe Satan’s basic character: He is a murderer, an accuser, and a liar. We know the prefix mal from many words, among them malnutrition and malpractice; it simply means bad. Satan is a bad character in every sense of the word—he is evil.  In John 8:44, Jesus says that Satan was a “murderer from the beginning” and calls him the “father of lies.” The Apostle Paul says that Satan is such a good liar that he “masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). In Revelation 12:10, Satan is also called the “accuser of our brothers.”

One of the ways Satan accuses is to remind us of sins we have committed, even after we have confessed them to God and others.  He never tires of bringing them back up.  I have written recently about the difficulty we have forgiving those who have hurt us, but sometimes the most difficult person to forgive is our own self when we have sinned. Because Satan loves to constantly remind us of our sin, we must become good at reminding Satan of God’s grace in our life. A Christian man whom I know succumbed to temptation and visited a strip club in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when he was traveling by himself. He confessed his sin to the Lord and to others, but he was never able to forgive himself for what he had done. Satan continued to remind him of his sin, accusing him of it every time he read or heard the name Fort Wayne.  Just the city’s name would immediately bring overwhelming feelings of shame and guilt. But one day everything changed while driving through Fort Wayne again.  On this day he experienced a time of profound healing. When Satan’s accusations came and the familiar feelings of shame began to surface again, the man began to pray in exhausted desperation to the Lord—begging him to take the shame away. Deep in his heart, the man heard the Lord saying to him: “From now on, when you hear the name Fort Wayne, you will no longer think of it as the city of your sin—rather, you will think of it as the city of my grace in your life!”

Reflections:  Is there a specific location (city, street, house, etc.) that continues to remind you of a serious sin that you committed there?  If so, ask the Lord to change this place from a reminder of your sin to a reminder of God’s grace.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:23-24


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