The enemy is really tricky. When I was walking the other day I saw something so clearly. When I am involved in being offended, I cannot be engaged in loving my Lord. Now, I am not talking about when the Lord lays on our hearts an issue that makes us angry. Often God will express righteous anger through us and this is usually for intercession or prayer. But what I am speaking about is the frustrations I wrote about in my recent posts. I know this should be quite obvious but I realized these situations were set in place not so I could deal with them but that they would separate me from loving my God. Again, sneaky devil.
We are rather singular in our ability to express emotion. We don’t love the Lord while hating man. Hatred takes us right out of love and is purposed to do so. And while I was walking, it was like a light shone on it. The enemy looks to entangle us so we fail to love Jesus.
For instance, there is a man in my art class who regularly infuriates me. He purposely does it to evoke my reaction. I don’t know his motivation but he will bring up subjects just to tempt my angry response or he’ll just outright insult me. The other day he was verbally punching on me and I just wanted to dropkick him. If I’d had a pair of noise canceling earbuds with me I would have drowned him out with them. But I didn’t, so his needling droned on and on.
The following day I was walking and there he was in my face. Not literally, but I couldn’t stop fuming about him. Sure, I could have prayed for him, and maybe his attacks are a cry for help. But what was more important for me to see in this moment was while I am embroiled in offense, I am unable to love my God. And I think this was precisely the enemy’s intent. As long as I was focused on this dude and his attacks, I wasn’t focused on God.
Offenses come and go but maybe it is time to see the reason they are currently so prevalent. Could all the offenses be themselves a secondary motivation? Is the primary goal of the onslaught of offense to pull our focus off of loving our beautiful Savior? No matter what motivates this man to aggravate me, there is a more sinister aim afoot. It’s to sideline me from the only True Source of Life and living.
Offenses and Loving the Lord
Now, I do take my offenses to God and listen to Him about them. And life isn’t a one sided path of loving. In our training to rule and reign with the Lord Jesus, we will face hardship and persecution. And going through these is no less loving than my direct worship and adoration. But what I realized was behind the veneer of offense the assaults are more direct and purposed. The plan is to engage me to the exclusion of my relationship with Christ and this I am not willing to do.
I think the power of simply seeing what the objective is, has had incredible power. As long as I am focused on the superficial symptoms which arise from being offended, I fail to address the true assault. The godless will always be used of Satan because, those who are not FOR the Lord are against Him (Matthew 12:30). This is a fact. But ultimately we wrestle not with flesh and blood, there are principalities and powers swarming about to sideline us by whatever means they can.