I am not sure if you have experienced this but the moment I declared to follow Christ no matter the cost, I immediately began to meet obstacles in the form of offence. God created us to embody his image of love and forgiveness, but Satan has gotten us mixed in his evil ways. Now we find this spirit of offence in churches, work places, schools and in marriages. I am calling offence a spirit because it is the reason destinies are blocked, believers backslide, families are torn apart, people are constantly sick and relationships are broken. Jesus preached about Agape love (the highest expression of love in its purest form) a lot because this is the foundation of every child of God, and once love exists, offence cannot linger. So, the antidote to offence is the love of the father (Proverbs 10:12), in whom there is no fear, anxiety or frustration.
Jesus says “if your brother sins seven times a day and asks for forgiveness, seven times you must forgive” (Luke 17:3-4). Easier said than done right? I for one have carried this spirit for long and it governed parts of my life. The Lord never stopped dealing with me on this issue even as I write to you because all I was doing was holding people prisoner and guarding the prison. Now when you are a prison guard, you cannot leave that post for anything. Sure my life was moving forward but I was not growing and my potential was hidden. I have found rest and peace today because I am beginning to see a pattern in the enemy’s attack (Psalm 19:165). Forget everything that is happening on the surface, dig deeper and you will see that there is someone or people in your life you still hold prisoner. I am here to tell you it is time to start healing.
I cannot speak about offence without mentioning the other demon that occasionally fuels this spirit. This demon is called slander, and you could call it Satan’s right hand man. Slander causes loss of trust or faith in someone whose reputation or character has been tarnished. The purpose of slander is to intimidate, taunt and berate you into believing you are worthless, unloved, inadequate and unforgivable. In the Garden of Eden, the first transgression was slander because the serpent made sure Eve’s faith and trust in God was broken. When confidence in someone or even in yourself is broken, you begin to have absurd thoughts like; your wicked boss having an accident on his way to work, your nagging wife having some sort of throat infection, ending your life or your abusive husband miraculously getting a spine injury. Satan (accuser) tops this off by making you believe these thoughts were yours, which isn’t true.
Satan does not show himself from the get go, he strategically puts those thoughts in your mind. As an example of his tricks; he asks “Did your boss really call you good for nothing at the meeting? How do you intend to live after such embarrassment? Doesn’t the bible say those who trust in the Lord shall not be shamed? Tomorrow, go to your boss and let him know you are not a pushover and that other companies will be blessed to have you”.
I will connect the dots for you now; Serpent in Hebrew is associated with divination. Divination is a form of witchcraft (derived from Greek word pharmaceia) which manipulates, controls the minds of people and keeps them in an altered state of consciousness. When you continuously listen to slanderous statements or gossips, you are now spell bound/offended and this is the situation in most people’s lives (Romans 16:17). Satan is the master minder, who out of jealousy and need for recognition slandered against God’s throne (Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 13: 1-6) and this led to his fall, taking with him a third of the angels (Ezekiel 28:16-17; Revelation 12:7-9).
Please do not engage in any form of slander, and be sure to verify everything you hear so that you can make an informed decision (Proverbs 17:9; Proverbs 19:11). Satan has no love for humans in this life or in eternity, and he will do anything possible to bring you unrest through offence. Have you ever wondered how a company worth billions crashed? How a couple married for 30 years end in divorce? How two best friends for over 20 years become enemies? How a father suddenly turns around and rejects his own son? How two countries once in good terms wage war against each other? (Proverbs 6: 16-19; Proverbs 16:28; James 3:16). Satan has bound many Christians to the sin of slander and offence and in turn compromising our chances of living victoriously and making heaven.
After so many years of living with offence and unforgiveness, I have come to realize that I was choking God’s abundant blessings for me. The bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:21-22” Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others”. Offence is a major cause of most illnesses that have been called idiopathic (Unknown cause), and most times they attack the frontal lobe of your brain. Your frontal lobe is important for reasoning, thought processes, perception and movement. In the absence of these functions, your growth and progress is stifled (terminates your purpose in life). I was constantly at the doctors because they could not find the source of the recurring migraines. Yes, factors like hormones, sunlight and certain foods trigger migraines but not to the point of not living a full life. The answer was there all along, let go of the offences and forgive.
Forgiveness is a vital part of healing from offences (Mathew 6:12-15; Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:13). I have to make a concerted effort to not be offended because it is exhausting to remain offended at every single wrong done to you. In Acts 24:16 Paul says “I do my very best to keep a clear conscience before God and my neighbors in all I do”.
Sometime last month, I prematurely got into an argument with someone who said “your blog would have made sense if you wrote about our need for African ancestral gods and not some God that he isn’t sure is real”. You know how sometimes you feel the need to defend God? Now I am thinking how dare you? Oh that argument took an hour of my day, after which I was saying “Lord help me”. The Holy Spirit said “isn’t that a bit too late to be asking that? If you had asked me for help before that argument, I would have shown you 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will”.
When I looked deeper, I realized I was not defending God because he doesn’t need me defending him. The simple truth was that the enemy used this person to get me to a place of offence and I just went with it. Unfortunately, this is an arrow the enemy will never stop throwing at us because he is persistent. So my friends, when you are tempted to get offended, it would not hurt to ask the Lord for his help before anything else. I know you have all been hurt in different ways but I urge you to start living in a place of rest by not holding people hostage in your heart, learn to forgive and you will experience healing like never before.