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Conquering the Spirit of Offense
Pride & offense are forces that can partner together to keep us from relationships that are meant to propel us into greater influence & opportunity. The enemy enjoys stirring up offenses that sever these Divine connections.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs, the wisdom book, that it is to our glory to “overlook” an offense. I agree & believe we are to look beyond our wounded perspective to see what Holy Spirit had in His heart for these relationships.
There are some who cannot agree enough to walk together to advance the Kingdom of God. I understand that, but for the benefit of the Lord’s story & glory, we have to rise above the whimpering, demanding offended soul & live by His Spirit.
There is order in the Kingdom! We can’t have it our way if He rules & He rules through appointed leaders. These leaders through their leadership often provide “tests” that must be passed for promotion, or we will continually be set up for failure. The way up in the Kingdom is down.
Consider Philippians 2:5-11 “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Because Jesus was willing to humble Himself, God exalted Him. This lesson in humility will have to be passed prior to yielding legitimate authority in the Kingdom of God. Misunderstanding stands at the door waiting to barge in at the crucial moment of miscommunication to pave the way for offense to rule. You can win against these intruders of pride & offense by climbing up to a higher perspective & seeing that they are stealing from you & delaying God’s plan for your life.
I Samuel gives us the story of David’s test of serving Saul. When you look at that story, notice that David never dishonored Saul, who failed repeatedly in many areas. Again & again opportunity to dishonor him was provided, but David, who was being groomed to be king, refused to dishonor Saul’s position. Respect & honor were continually demonstrated even when Saul set out to kill David out of jealousy.
When you are being groomed for leadership & influence, these tests must be passed or they will come around again. They can be part of your grooming for leadership.
Many years ago, I was in prayer before the Lord when He asked me a question: “what will you say when I put over you someone you have taught?”
I knew who He was referring to & my soul rose up offended, because I was much more spiritual than her! My lesson in humility was just beginning. Indeed, as time progressed, the Lord allowed her to a position that required my submission to her authority. She promptly stood against an outreach to the community that I was leading. In fact, she cancelled it. I was very angry & began to tell the Lord how “unspiritual” & “immature” she was.
He spoke to my heart: “I want you to go to her house, take a bowl & towel & wash her feet.”
“But Lord, this isn’t right. She’s making a mess of things, even standing against an outreach.” I argued.
Once again, I heard, “go wash her feet.”
Out of obedience to my Lord, I gathered the bowl & the towel, walked to my car, got in & drove to her house, praying all the way that she wouldn’t be home. My soul argued within me demanding it’s right to be offended.
I pulled up in front of her house, gathered the bowl & towel, walked to her door, & knocked. She answered the door. She knew I had been angry at her “unspiritual” decision to cancel my evangelism outreach.
” I’m here to wash your feet,” I said.
We walked to her kitchen. She sat down in a chair. I went to the sink to fill my bowl, came back to her chair, got on my knees in front of her, removed her shoes & began to wash her feet.
Tears swelled up in my eyes & came spilling down my cheeks, as I washed the feet of the one whose decisions had insulted my pride. I continued to weep, allowing the Lord to cleanse my heart of pride. I looked up to see that she, too, was in tears. I arose from the washing, knowing that it was I who was cleansed.
Two weeks later, she resigned & the Lord placed me in her previous leadership position. I realized that the Lord had been testing me, providing an opportunity to demonstrate humility & honor to someone who desperately needed it. But I knew in my heart, the whole situation was provided for my cleansing from arrogance & pride.
Offenses come! Some are very difficult to overcome. Pride & offense are forces that can partner together to keep us from relationships that are meant to propel us into greater influence & opportunity. The enemy enjoys stirring up offenses that sever these Divine connections.
It is to our glory to “overlook” an offense. I believe we are to look beyond our wounded perspective to see what Holy Spirit had in His heart for these relationships.
Once again misunderstanding stands at the door waiting to barge in at the crucial moment of miscommunication to pave the way for offense to rule. You can win against these intruders by climbing up to a higher perspective & seeing that they are stealing from you & delaying God’s plan for your life.
Don’t forget David’s test of serving Saul. When you look at that story, notice that David never dishonored Saul, who failed repeatedly in many areas. There tests are meant to be passed. Maybe they are part of your grooming for leadership.
Offenses can be difficult to overcome, because they often come through those closest to us. Passing the test through humility, forgiveness, & obedience to the Spirit of God instead of listening to our whining, offended soul elevates the spirit man above the soul.
It is to your glory to overlook an offense. I pray you pass your tests, stay in relationship with God & love His ways. They are sometimes beyond our understanding, but I have found in obedience to His voice the wisdom needed to pass His tests & move with Him into greater glory.
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