Luke 17.1 It is impossible that no offenses should come.
Satan, you are the enemy of my soul, and I refuse to allow you to ensnare me in your hidden and baited trap of offense against my brothers and sisters in Christ. ( declaration, pg. 3 of The Bait of Satan by John Bevere)
But what happens when it does happen?
You get offended -- by someone you are trying to help, by someone you are trying to love, by someone who knows exactly HOW to hit the right buttons within your heart and head.
David stated in Psalm 55: 12-14 -- "for it is not an enemy who reproaches me: then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me: then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man of my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng."
Offended -- by the one we are trying to help.
Offended -- by the one we sing along side of.
Offended -- by the one we spend holidays with.
Offended -- by the one we grew up with.
Offended -- by the one we sleep next too.
One way the enemy keeps a person in an offended state is to keep the offense hidden, cloaked with pride. Pride will keep you from admitting your true condition.
Pride will keep you from dealing with the truth.
Pride distorts your vision. The enemy will use your pride to destroy you.
Pride won't let you change what you think - and you will never change because you think everything is fine.
Pride hardens your heart and dims the eyes of your understanding.
Pride causes you to view yourself as a victim. Your attitude becomes "I was mistreated and misjudges, therefore, I am justified in my behavior."
Pride will kill you -- maybe not literally, but a prideful heart won't see the eternal life with Jesus -- there is scripture to support that.
There is plenty of scripture that reminds us to forgive and not hold onto bitterness and unforgiveness.
Today was another example of how our world is not 'ours'. On every news channel, there was commentary and comments about Matt Lauer and what transpired today. He was fired. Sexual misconduct.
Sin is always revealed. I see it so often and I think I see it because I was THERE for almost twenty years -- trying to cover up...trying to justify....trying to explain to God why I was "ok" and others were not.
What God allowed in my life -- to OPEN the prideful eyes I had ..... hurt and it was a very hard lesson to learn.
When I think of that period -- of those ugly years -- when, realizing pride was my god ---I get very remorseful, because I never want to go back there and I become grateful, that it is in my past.
Praise God. He showed me mercy -- so I must extend that to others, especially those lost around me.
However, when something comes AT you like an attack - my flesh wants to FIGHT it back.
I FIGHT in words and then prayer. God is teaching me to FIGHT first in prayer and speak WHEN HE says -- 'go -- share'. I am not perfect, but...... I do believe I am getting quicker to PRAY first!
Mercy and grace needs to be extended to those that hurt us. Prayers need to be said to the one that was the victim, but that one must eventually forgive and move forward as well.
People need to place their trust in the one man WHO will not lie or disappoint -- Jesus. People will fail us. Period.
Today, along with the news of Matt Laurer, I had a mammogram. It is never really "fun" to be squished into a machine and be told to hold your breath as it hurts so she can get that perfect image. But -- I do it once a year -- to prevent other stuff.
That simple procedure -- to help prevent cancer.
Why are husbands not doing the simple procedure of covering their family and their wives with the blood of Jesus in their prayers?
Why are wives allowing the enemy to control and rule their thoughts instead of the simple procedure of leaning on the Word of God to confirm and support their worth?
Why are parents allowing the world and social media to raise their children instead of setting a standard and a basis of belief so their child can stand up for what is godly and right? What ever happened to the simple procedure of having some family time devotions?
Why, when a believer has come through the fire and has seen God's hand in a miracle...why does she allow the enemy to come right back in and take back or steal her peace again ... steal her home... steal her authority?
Because we are weak people....
We can't do this on our own -- The Savior came to save and He sent the Holy Spirit to help us
...but we must do the simple procedure.
Not just once a year.
We must put ON that full armor of God.
We must dig INTO God's love letter to us and get instruction.
We must TEACH it to our children and hold them accountable.
We must tell the enemy to go to hell and claim victory.
Today, I was told about another couple that is divorcing. She just decided it was time and she didn't want to be married. He did not fight it - he felt he couldn't. I wanted to SCREAM! In the John and LIsa Bevere Series - "The story of Marriage", they speak about couples and how they don't FIGHT to stay married or fight for the marriage. Marriage is meant to test us -- it is the one of the ways we learn to be self-less. It is hard, but some of these husbands and wives are allowing the enemy to win -- way too quickly. Way too fast.... there is no FIGHT! And yet, sometimes these very same people will be up at the crack of dawn to FIGHT the crowds and get the BEST deal at Target -- but they won't fight for what is hurting their family. Sad. Frustrating.
So -- with that -- I will end with a prayer. I was deeply offended by some situations recently. It wasn't just one circumstance but frankly several -- seems like when it rains, it pours. I had to LAUGH really big as I was watching "This is Us" last night and at one point, Randall said the same thing -- "when it rains, it pours". After a week of some thinking and praying, I awoke today with a new attitude for those lost ones who offended me and God gave me an insight and a reminder of HOW to act and react. And then, He confirms it while I watched the first 10 minutes of Hoda and Kathie Lee on the Today show --
To Quote Kathie Lee, "Only God can heal this - ONLY He can!".
She is right. The bottom line, the one doing the offending needs Jesus --and the one who is getting the brunt end of the offense -- needs Jesus too! As only understanding the blood of Jesus and what He did on that Cross -- can make it right and heal the whatever. God will win. Period.
Lord -- I refuse to be trapped when the enemy's bait of offense tries to ensnare me in its grip by filling my heart with bitterness, jealousy, or envy -- but especially anger. Your Word says in Luke 17 that -- the enemy will try - but, we, I can stand against it!
Holy Spirit, destroy every shred of pride in my life, and do not allow it to keep me from being healed, set free, and filled with Your Power. I am committed to helping unbelievers who have been blinded by the enemy to behold Jesus through my Christlike love for them.... namely -- her!
Father, I want to continue to always grow into a more intimate relationship with You -- expose the areas of my life that hinder me from being Christlike and cause my life to reflect the character of my precious Savior and Lord.
And Lord, You know who did what this past month -- so help me to move from the anger to a place of unconditional love - period. Lord, help me to avoid division by again, giving me that supernatural Christlike love for another .
Holy Spirit, anoint my eyes with eye salve that I may see my true heart condition, and be kept from deception through unforgiveness, anger, envy and resentment -- but also -- help me see this in others and USE me to help share Your love. As I know -- You love them as much as You love me and want them in Your eternal Kingdom as well...IN Jesus's Holy and Strong Name -- AMEN!