From the desk of Steve Shultz:
This is one powerful word...that will penetrate straight to the "heart of the matter" so to speak.
We've all walked through circumstances that could easily take bitter root and cause a spirit of offense in us...and that is exactly what the enemy is wanting to happen!
Let's not give in to the enemy's schemes against us but rise above and forgive...and let God be God in your circumstances.
I know the holiday season can be difficult for many as we deal with family and loved ones where strife may live...but my prayer for us all is that we forgive, let go of any offenses and let God's healing come in...
Read this important word by Ryan Johnson and gain some very important keys on how to let go of offense! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
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"A Vision of the Spirit of Offense"
Ryan Johnson, Fort Payne, Alabama
Offense! It's a word that we have either experienced or seen others walk through. It's a hot topic word as it seems more and more individuals are going through battles of being offended. Whether it is being offended over politics, religion, freedom, protest and choices, etc., the list is long with so many dealing with being offended on some level.
To understand more about how offense works against individuals who have a relationship with Jesus, I began to consider how the mindset of offense works. That's when I saw an octopus. Yep, I know it sounds strange, but it was the image that first came to me. I began to see how offense operates like the arms and the legs of an octopus. Offense has the sole purpose to attach itself to you (to entangle you), and I believe that the Lord is detailing how a spirit of offense will come against you in 8 different ways.
"Guard your heart, your mind, and keep your spirit devoted to The Father."
"For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:5-8)
When offense takes root, the first place it's coming after is your mind. If offense can attach itself to your thoughts, it owns your ability to process understanding. The moment offense attaches itself to your mind, the ability to have clarity and peace is diminished, as everything now becomes about feeding every thought that is only directed at the hurt through offense.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he" (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). "If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed." (Proverbs 29:18 MSG)
The problem now becomes about what you are seeing verses what isn't actually there. Once offense attaches itself to your vision, you now become bombarded by everything that you see. You begin to see things as though they are something that they are not. Every post, every picture, every action is something that you see as a direct attack against you. What is a general or a normal statement now looks as a direct shot against you. Offense shifts your vision from fulfilling your purpose into a place of opposition—from everyone/everything. You're now unable to recognize what God is doing as you're devoted to see what is being done to you. (Photo via Flickr)
"There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers." (Proverbs 6:16-19)
This is a very dangerous place to find yourself. The moment that offense attaches itself to your heart, many things you do becomes toxic and dangerous. It's out of the abundance of your heart that everything about your true intentions are revealed. It's the moment that your heart becomes so infected that your actions become destructive to those that are around you.
"Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends." (Proverbs 17:9)
This has to be one of the saddest things to witness as offense attaches itself to your relationships. Offense will eventually put a wedge between you and your family or friends. Your relationships will change over time as you search out certain people to tell your side to who will be on your side or who is now your enemy. Offense will divide your most devoted friends to now become an enemy because they didn't see it your way.
"This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God." (James 1:19-20)
Offense will attack your ear gate! A spirit of offense will attach itself to your hearing in such a way that not only will your natural hearing be affected, but also the ability to hear spiritually will be tainted. Naturally, we will begin to hear what others are saying and process those things to be slanderous towards us. More dangerously is when that affects your ability to hear what the Lord is saying. Your spiritual ear will become more tuned to the lies, manipulation and deception of the enemy.
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24)
Many don't like to talk about it, but the truth is, offense will begin to become a natural issue in your body. The negative thoughts, bitterness, unforgiveness, rage, frustration, unwarranted worries, strife, etc., eventually take a toll on your physical health.
"Offense shifts your vision from fulfilling your purpose into a place of opposition—from everyone/everything."
"Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:2-3)
If honor produces life, what will offense take from life? Time! When offense attaches itself to you, your time becomes consumed with proving others wrong and you right. You become consumed with payback or restitution to what was done to you. Instead of being about the Father's business, your number one priority is you. Therefore your time is now robbed from your own offense.
"God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please Him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please Him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind." (Ecclesiastes 2:26)
I know that it's a touchy subject these days, but money is still a relevant issue that must be acknowledged in the Kingdom. Part of the lack you will experience when it comes to finances can be rooted to a spirit of offense.
When offense attaches itself to you, you soon welcome bitterness toward others in ministry, pastors, apostles, prophets, networks, churches, organizations, etc. When that offense digs deep, you will begin to withhold your finances from what you once supported. Offense will convince you to do so as a plan of strategy. Offense will convince you that they will come crawling back to you because they need your money. Truth is, offense attacks your finances and not the finances of those who are pleasing God.
Don't Let the Spirit of Offense Destroy You
A spirit of offense has but one purpose: to DESTROY YOU! Offense is straight from the enemy and if you allow an open door, it will not be long until you see how it affects one of the 8 (or more) ways mentioned above. Guard your heart, your mind and keep your spirit devoted to The Father. When offense comes knocking, and it will, please walk out what the Bible declares. Don't be the type of person who calls everyone without going to the one with whom the offense first began. (Photo via Wikipedia)
"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector." (Matthew 18:15-17) (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Ryan Johnson Ministries
Ryan Johnson is mantled in equipping the Body of Christ to awaken the nations with a prophetic call of arising Ekklesia. Ryan ministers with a prophetic voice of revival and awakening with the demonstration of God's purposes in regions, individuals and the Church. Throughout years of ministry, Ryan has been blessed to develop relationships with many great men and women of God who taught him difficult and real-life lessons to their family so that they can continue to work for the glory of God. It's these relationship that Ryan credits to his development of a leader who walks in authenticity, honesty and integrity. Ryan strongly believes and walks in the understanding of accountability. Ryan is a member of New Breed Revival and TRIBE Networks.
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