I have had this on my heart for almost a year now and God recently spoke to me again in the last week or so and I feel that He wants me to share it now. This is a very important message that I believe everybody needs to hear because I have seen so much heartache and destruction that could have been prevented. I pray that we will all examine our hearts as we read this so that we can walk in love and victory in our lives.
It would be impossible to live in this world without getting hurt or offended by people! I can guarantee that everyone who is old enough to read this has been hurt and offended. The Bible tells us that “offenses will come” but it is how we handle them that is what matters. In the past, I blogged about “Killers” (things that can kill us spiritually). There were five that I named. They are unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, anger and hatred. If we hold unto those things, they will destroy us! When we are offended, if we don’t turn it over to God and forgive, we can open the door to a spirit of offense. I have seen the spirit of offense get in and destroy individual lives, friendships, families and even churches if it is not dealt with quickly. Proverbs 19:11 says: A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. If we hang on to an offense, it can open the door to a spirit of offense. Once the spirit of offense has a place in your life, you will find that you are offended VERY often! Satan is a liar and deceiver and he comes to kill, steal and destroy. He has NO mercy and will plant things in your mind where there really were no offenses but you perceived those things as though they were REAL offenses and have shut people out of your life because of it. Many times the people who you shut out are left scratching their heads and wondering why you have walked away. I have someone that I love deeply that has walked away from her whole family and me as well. I have racked my brain trying to figure out why and prayed about this, asking God what I could have possibly done to offend her. She will not answer my voicemails or letters and I hate that we no longer have a relationship. However, there is no opportunity to talk to her because she has isolated herself because of perceived offenses. She has gone through years of not being in touch with her family and it is so sad. Her family loves her and does not understand.
I am not saying that there are not real offenses BUT if we don’t deal with them correctly and quickly, the spirit of offense has an open door to come marching in and settle in until we are isolated, families are split and even churches are destroyed. Turn any offenses over to the Lord, forgive and don’t open the door to that spirit!
I posted the following on Facebook one year ago:
I have been a Christian for over 47 years now and I thank God for His love, mercy and grace throughout the years. For anyone who does not know this, being a Christian does not mean that we have arrived and are walking in perfection. Some people who are not Christians are quick to point that out as a reason to not have anything to do with Christianity. However, for anyone who has done that, don’t judge a perfect God by His imperfect people! If you are a Christian and judge other Christians because they sin in other ways than you do, stop that! ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God! We should be praying for each other.
I will be quick to admit that I am far from perfect and have made some bad choices in my life which took me wondering down a wrong path for awhile. The great news is that once we realize we are on the wrong path, if we genuinely repent, God not only forgives us but He FORGETS our sins! God is AMAZING! HE is perfect so He is the ONLY one who would have a right to judge us but He forgives and forgets!
In my case, I have always been my harshest judge! Even after I repent for bad decisions that resulted in sin (anything that pulls our attention from God and what He wants for us) , I have continued to lament those decisions and condemn myself. Satan wants to keep us down by reminding us of our imperfections even after we repent. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and he wants to keep us from what God has for us. The Christian singer Carmen says that whenever the devil reminds him of his past, he reminds the devil of his (the devils’) future! In my case though, I have been a harsher judge of myself than satan has. The funny thing about this is one of my main spiritual giftings from God is mercy! I have no problem extending mercy to others but it is different when I need to show myself some! Our judgment of ourselves can hold us down and back from what God has for us. This morning I was thinking about times I have missed God and He spoke to me to “Get over it!” With God’s help, I will extend the same mercy to myself that I extend to others and learn from it!
What I have learned is that ALL failure is a prayer and relationship failure! When we become distracted and our one on one time with the Lord diminishes, we are opening ourselves up to deception and sin. Satan does not come to us and tell us to commit a sin because we would recognize that was wrong and not do it. What he does is try to distract us with things that will steal our time with the Lord and hinder our relationship with God slowly. This can even be done by seemingly good things like ministry. We can get so busy with ministering to others that we lack in our time ministering to the Lord and letting God minister to us! We need to watch out for anything that starts taking our focus off of the Lord and make sure that God truly comes FIRST in our lives!