A Nugget from New Life Network
(by Dr. Larry Olliosn)
Scripture for the Day – November 14, 2019
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men. (Acts 24:16)
One of the most destructive, yet prevalent, issues that plagues the Christian community today is the vast number of people who are hurt and offended. As Christians, we must realize that offense is a very serious business. Make no mistake about it, the devil wants you to become hurt and offended in order to make you ineffective as a Christian-whether the offense you hold is against your spouse, your children, your neighbor, your family, or even against God.
Have you ever wondered why the devil is so determined to destroy God’s people? Ezekiel 28:14 tells us that Lucifer (the devil) was at one time the anointed cherub-one who stood before God, leading heaven’s hosts in worship. But after he tried to exercise his will over the Most High God, he was banished from heaven and was stripped of the anointing that he once possessed (Isaiah 14:12). Satan knows firsthand just how powerful the anointing is. And the fact that he no longer has access to the most powerful force in the universe-the burden-removing, yoke-destroying power of God-has made him hate God’s people (Isaiah 10:27).
If that isn’t enough, the anointing that Lucifer once possessed now dwells in the body of Christ. First John 2:27 says, “The anointing which you have received from Him [Jesus] abides in you.” As a result of the anointing dwelling within Christians, the devil’s mission to steal, kill, and destroy is focused against every born-again believer-including you and me! (John 10:10).
Not only does the anointing abide in us, but we also have the Holy Spirit available to move in and through us. When Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit, it means the Spirit of God sets up residence in our spirit, giving us the ability to walk in the anointing of the Spirit. Because we are God’s creation (His handiwork), the devil will do anything possible to cause us to be ineffective in our Christian lives.
Remember, Satan has no new strategies-he uses the same old tactics to prevent Christians from producing fruit. And because offense prevents God from moving freely in our lives, it has become one of Satan’s most effective strategies. Whether you realize it or not, hurt and offenses are designed specifically to prevent the Holy Spirit from bringing God’s blessing to your life.
Jesus expressed the benefit of remaining unaffected by offense to His cousin, John the Baptist. While John was in prison, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the “Coming One” or if they should look for another (Matthew 11:3). Jesus clarified the matter with the response He sent to John the Baptist. “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (Matthew 11:4-6).
Some theologians actually believe by the way this passage is worded in the Greek that John the Baptist was offended at Jesus. Notice the serious admonition that Jesus sent to John and his followers: “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Jesus stressed that if John and his disciples would not become offended, the blessings of God would continue to flow to them. On the other hand, if they did become offended, then the blessings would be hindered.
You can be certain that the devil will send the opportunity to become offended your way, using any person or circumstance available. The critical question is: How will you react when offensive situations come? While one reaction will bring the anointing, the blessing, and the goodness of God, the other will bring a curse. Although Galatians 3:13 says that Christ has redeemed us from the curse, you can make choices that will leave you vulnerable and defenseless to it. Through disobedience to God’s Word, you can open a door to the devil that will allow him to take advantage of you.
For example, when you allow offense to consume your heart, it will begin to fester like a cancerous disease that will soon destroy you. Remember, even though the Word of God says offense will come, you can respond in the same manner in which Jesus did toward Peter and refuse to take hold of it! (Matthew 16:22-23).