Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Bait of Offense

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:26-27; 31-32)

Have you ever read God's Word and it was so convicting that it was like you got hit on the side of the head with a 2 x 4 piece of wood? Today's journal is that journey for me. I am keely aware that anger can give a foothold to the enemy in our lives. God's Word tells us that we are to forgive one another as soon as we realize we have taken the bait of offense. John Bevere wrote a book, "The Bait of Satan" and I learned so much from him and how we can get offended but the offense is not from others but it stays in our hearts. I believe that these verses are ones that we are to tuck away in our tool box for those times when we get upset with our spouse, family and/or friends. I like to think of this as the formula for when we get offended or hurt by others. We are given the bait by satan in the form of an offense through words and/or actions by others. Once we feel offended there is always an emotion that comes into our heats: anger, resentment, bitterness etc. It is at this point when we allow ourselves to be offended that we accept that offense and now we have given the enemy a foothold into our minds and lives. Now all we can do is focus on the offense and begin to replay the tape in our minds and the emotion (anger, bitterness, resentment) becomes stronger and we then become more justified in our position of being right and the enemy is increasing his grip in our minds. When we are at this point, it is called an “oppression”. That is the foothold that we allow the enemy into our lives. That is why this verse says to forgive one another and don’t wait, for the longer you keep it in your heart as an offense, then the foothold goes deeper. That is why the verse about not letting the sun go down while you are angry is important – for it is about the amount of time you dwell on the offense. Does that literally mean that as soon as it becomes night we need to forgive? I think there is a greater implication of this. Yes, you should not go to bed angry because it is more time that the enemy to gain that foothold. To me, what this means is that you are not to delay or let ANY amount of time go by when you are offended and have taken the bait. When you sense an oppression, it is to be dealt with as soon as you can and not let it to sit and reproduce more justifications in your mind. The longer the oppression is on you, the more that the lies of the enemy are allowed to sink in (like roots that begin to grow). The longer it stays then the more attached those oppressions become and the more you are now deceived by the enemy with the lies. We are to stand on guard of the gates of our minds, to make sure that we are knowing God’s Word which is truth and that the truth in His Word sets us free. This Ephesians 4 is the freedom chapter about the danger of taking offense and what to do. Paul wrote the manual on how to deal with oppressions and for this, I am grateful. After reading these verses today, I not only have absorbed what the Spirit has been leading me, but now am able to TAKE ACTION when I find myself being offended or hurt by others. I need to know that as soon as I am offended that I own up to my feelings and the justifications. I am to get into His Word, see truth and to ask for forgiveness. Unless I ask for forgiveness in repentance, then I am still holding on and the oppression will not leave. I pray that this is part of my life always and that I can share this, teach this and equip others on what to do when the bait of offense is taken in our lives.
Question: When were you last offended or hurt by others? Have you forgiven them? Are you holding on to the offense to give the enemy a foothold in your life in the form of an oppression? Forgive now and be released!


Anciol said...

i like your blog :) it is very nice and give me a hope :) i am waiting for more

Josh Yawn said...

Thank you so much for this. It's a friday and I've been too busy and stressed to get on, but when I did the Lord brought me to your page and this post has helped me a lot considering what happened with me a few hours ago. God bless and thank you again.

Pam Zunic said...

Josh - I am grateful that my blog as able to bring God's Word into your life and you could focus on the Lord and not the circumstances. May your weekend be filled with His love. pam