Offensive About Offense

“I refuse to live in offence!” We have lived out this refrain.   We have learned to live from a posture of being offensive about offence…

“I refuse to live in offense!”

We have lived out this refrain.   We have learned to live from a posture of being offensive about offence, and it has changed our lives! Oh, the freedom and liberty that we live in!

What does that mean?  Does that  mean that my feelings will never get hurt or that people will stopping doing things that irritate and offend me? No, of course not!  Then how am I suppose to live free of offense?  What does that mean?  I want to give you some very practical tools in how to employ this in your life.  You can live this way too!

I CHOOSE to live from a posture of forgiveness.  I forgive, release and let go.   Being relentless about not carrying offense in my heart, not allowing it to create a root of bitterness.  I am relentless about relationships.  Relationships are  important to me.

Colossians 3 talks about being merciful as we try the understand others, being unoffendable in our patience of others, being tolerant of the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them.  Wow!  This is a challenging passage (see full verses below).

A little secret……forgiving someone does not require me telling them how they hurt me, it does not require them to admit they were wrong, it does not require them to ask me for forgiveness, it does not even require them to change!  WHAT? Not change?  How is that right?

What if they never change?  Do I still allow them to interact with me in counter productive behavior?  That is a great question!  Part of healthy relationships is having healthy boundaries.   We must learn to clearly and lovingly set boundaries with people.  We must also recognize that we cannot change people.  Setting of healthy boundaries is for another blog post.

Forgiveness is really not about them at all!  Forgiveness is for me, my health, and my benefit.  Forgiveness is something I do with my Father.  I work it out with Him.  Don’t allow other people’s inability to work out difficulties to prevent you from walking in a life of freedom.   CHOOSE today to live from this position!

Colossians 3:12-15
You are always and dearly loved by God! So put on the garment of the virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark of true maturity. Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of his one body. And always be thankful, overflowing with gratitude for your life-union with Christ.  Passion Translation

The dry season is over.

The dry season is over. He is doing a new thing. It requires us to forget the past, stop looking back there – we are not going in that direction.


“The dry season is over.” The Lord has been speaking to me about the dry season being over for about a week. He prophetically spoke Isaiah 43:18-19 over Solid Rock on Sunday. (I love when God confirms His word.) Here are some thoughts I have had as I have meditated and prayed into this.

These verses are large in me right now, and as I studied the account of Elijah, his servant and the cloud, I saw some interesting things.

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.. Isaiah 43:19 KJV

I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. Isaiah 41:18 Amplified

And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. I Kings 18:41-46

  • Elijah prophesied that it was going to rain.
  • Told Ahab to eat up.
  • He stretched himself out and put his face between his knees.
  • He sent his servant to look towards the sea.
  • There was nothing.
  • He sent his servant seven times.
  • Finally there was a tiny cloud the size of a fist.
  • He told Ahab to get down because the rain was going to come.
  • The rain began.
  • The Lord was upon Elijah and he ran faster than Ahab’s chariot.
  1. The prophetic word was spoken.
  2. Elijah persisted in prayer to bring it to pass.
  3. He sent his servant 7 times for a status report.
  4. He had to persist and persevere.
  5. He was committed to seeing the word of the Lord brought to pass.
  6. The Lord was with Elijah and strengthened him.
  7. Elijah experienced what was spoken.

The dry season is over. He is doing a new thing. It requires us to forget the past, stop looking back there – we are not going in that direction.   We are going to experience it and recognize it. We will see it.   He is doing something new; fresh living waters are flowing. They are filling the dry places. It’s coming in abundance – rain, springs, rivers, fountains, and pools. It may require us to persist in prayer, holding fast to the word that the Lord has spoken, being tenacious and not letting go until we see Him perform it. But as I have heard the words, ‘the dry season is over,’ my heart has been encouraged. The time of fresh rain, springs, and rivers is here!

A Lesson From The Repenting Bench.

I remember when I was growing up, my dad would give us an instruction, and we would not understand the importance of that instruction until everything went awry. 

Have you ever felt dissatisfied and unhappy? Have you ever felt powerless? Are you ready for change and moving forward?  Are you unhappy with the quality of your life and relationships?  This is actually a good place to be, because you are now motivated to do what is necessary to change and you have positioned yourself to be teachable.

I remember when I was growing up, my dad would give us an instruction, and we would not understand the importance of that instruction until everything went awry.  Then my dad would come alongside, love us and instruct us some more.  What changed?  My dad’s instructions were still the same, his love was the same…. What had changed……ME!  I was finally in a position to hear what he had to say, I was finally in a teachable mode, and I was ready for change.


God uses events, crisis and people in our lives to bring us to points of dissatisfaction; He is waiting for us to come into a teachable mode where change can occur.

So how do we move forward?  How do we change?  How do we go from the known to the unknown? How do we break old patterns and modes of dealing with conflict and stress? I believe that it must start with ME.

As an adult I have appreciated my dad’s parenting, he raised me to be responsible for myself.  He loved on me, comforted me, defended me, but he always made me responsible for my part.  What did I do?  What could I have done differently?  These are hard lessons, but it did not allow a victim mentality to be created in me.  I did not understand that when I was 15, but I sure appreciate it now as an adult!  He gave us the skills to navigate through life, preventing life from navigating us.  He taught us the value of self-analysis and that blame shifting can’t be tolerated if we wanted to move forward.

My children love to tell the story of the ‘repenting bench’!  They launch into tales of this infamous bench with gusto and laughter, each one adding their own viewpoint and story line.  This infamous bench was actually the piano bench in our home.  When the children were fighting with each other, we would make them sit together on the bench and work it out and apologize to each other.   From the other room, we would hear them bicker and argue some more about who did what and who said sorry first last time!  We would let this go on for a bit to see if they could work it out, and then we would step in if they couldn’t.

Now the tendency of our children was to tell on their sibling the things their sibling had done to them.  It usually involved them both talking at once and over each other!  David and I would stop them and say, ‘I only want to hear what you did to your sibling’.  This was a hard task, because invariably they wanted to justify what they did by telling us what their sibling had done to them.

Now the beauty of this bench was, if your sibling wasn’t exactly honest in their version of the truth, the other child quickly made it know.  Eventually we got down to the bottom of the issue, and who did what to whom, apologies were made, hurt feelings mended and relationships restored.  They tell these stories today with laughter and who said what, and who did what first, but they learned a valuable lesson – be responsible for your own attitudes, words and actions.

 So where am I going with these stories?  Well, I hope that it illustrates a couple of points.  One:  for change to occur, I must be in a teachable mode, and I must be ready to listen and make changes.  Two:  I must be brave and look at ME – my own attitudes, actions and words.

Take a fresh look, with objective eyes, to see what needs to change.  The ability to look at ME objectively (without excuses) is a challenge but it is necessary if I ever want to live a different life.

1 +1 will always equal 2.  If I am not happy with my outcome – I must change my part of the equation.  God always remains the same, He is constant, it’s our part of the equation that needs changing up.

Often when we are dissatisfied with our lives we look outward to other people, circumstances and events.  The greatest challenge is to look inward….what do I need to change?  What am I responsible for? What in my life does not line up with God’s Word and Kingdom principles?  These are tough questions, but if we want a different outcome to our equation, we must look at ourselves not others.

We have a saying in our house, ‘Learn the lesson the first time, so you can move on and you don’t have to visit it again!’  This is easier said than done!  Sometimes we get it right the first time, and other times we go around the mountain several times!  But if we can be teachable and take a few moments to be objective about ourselves, the payoff is huge!

Listening for Instructions

I remember taking a test when I was in high school (a long, long time ago!)  The teacher handed out the test and said, ‘Read the whole test first before you start writing.’ 

The Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” Acts 8:29

I remember taking a test when I was in high school (a long, long time ago!)  The teacher handed out the test and said, ‘Read the whole test first before you start writing.’  Invariably there were those who did not obey the instructions and began filling in the blanks as they read the test.  At the end of the test, the very last question, said, ‘Write your name on your test and do not answer any of the questions.’   You could hear the groaning around the room as each of us got to the end of the test!

Instructions are important; they are vital for our success!  We see it in our natural lives every day, instructions from our parents, from our bosses, from teachers; and we know if we follow their instructions we will succeed in what they are asking us to do.  But how tuned are our spiritual ears to hear?  How often do we rush ahead of the Holy Spirit; we don’t wait for Him to instruct us?  Think how successful we could be if we would just learn to wait and listen for His instructions!

 The Holy Spirit instructs us.  He listens to what the Father is saying and then He speaks to us, instructing us.  The account of Philip and the Ethiopian is a really great example of how the Holy Spirit gives detailed instructions and then shows the results of what happens when we obey His instructions.   There will always be fruit when we obey the instructions that the Holy Spirit gives us.  God is at work and He is wants you to join Him!

Acts 8:26-29 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying,
“Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from
Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

The Holy Spirit instructed Philip to ‘Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.’  Philip was given a very specific instruction.  He encounters the Ethiopian treasurer, he was a powerful man who had great authority, he worked for the queen of the Ethiopians, Candace.  The Ethiopian is reading the prophet Isaiah out loud while he is sitting in his chariot.

Now we see the Holy Spirit give Philip another very specific instruction. Go over and walk along beside the carriage.  Philip obeys and shares the Good News of Jesus with him and then proceeds to baptize him.

The Holy Spirit gave Philip instructions; he was obviously very familiar with God’s voice.  Then he obeyed.  There was great fruit because of his obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 The Holy Spirit will give you instructions.  He will tell you how to proceed in a particular area, He will instruct you on how to avoid pitfalls.  His instructions are always based upon the Word and they never violate His nature, character or attributes.

In Acts 8, the Holy Spirit was giving an instruction to Philip.  He was telling him what to do.  Why? Because He had a plan in mind and He had an end goal that He wanted accomplished and He used Philip to carry out His assignment and directives.

Can you image if we all would listen for His instructions and then obey them?  The world would change!  People’s lives could be transformed forever.

He has a plan for you, He has an end goal for you, He has something He wants to accomplish through you.  Are you listening and willing to obey?

Learning to Hear His Voice

Do you desire to hear God’s voice more clearly, regularly, and distinctly?  Have you ever said, “I wish I could hear from God like other people do?”

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Rev 2:7

The Holy Spirit is a communicator!  He loves to speak!  He loves to talk with you!  He desires to have continual communication with you, not just during storms or trials.  He wants to talk daily with you.  He is very vocal, we just need to learn to hear Him.

Why do you think the Holy Spirit wants to talk with you?  DO you think that He wants to talk to you?  Maybe this is a new idea and you have never considered that God would actually want to speak to you.

Do you desire to hear God’s voice more clearly, regularly, and distinctly?  Have you ever said, “I wish I could hear from God like other people do?”

Do you ever wonder, is this God or is this me?  Many people ask, ‘How do I recognize when God speaks to me?  How do I know that it is not just me’?   Do you desire to effectively discern when someone tells you, ‘God spoke to me, or God told me’, whether it is from God or not?

Do you want to understand God’s Word more?  Do you want to understand how to apply His Word to your life?

Do you have a desire to be His vessel, someone who hosts His presence, that no matter where you go, who you meet, you are ready to effectively minister His love, grace, and goodness?

We have heard that today God doesn’t speak the same way as He spoke in the Bible.  Have you ever said to someone; ‘God spoke to me and said…’ only to have him or her look at you like you are crazy? Have you ever noticed how on TV, when they depict someone who has heard from God, they depict them as a crazy person, someone who doesn’t have all of their marbles in place?

But in His Word, He says that He does speak AND He actually expects us to listen and obey!  There are many different ways in which God speaks to us.  There is no set formula; God will speak to you in the way He chooses.

Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice,  and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27

The Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, but He will receive of the Father and the Son and speak to us what they say.  It is God’s plan for us to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice.

He is pouring out His Spirit today. God is speaking and He is pouring Himself out upon us today, presently.  Joel 2:28-29, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

  • He speaks to us through words.
    Acts 8:27-29  Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
  • He speaks to us through dreams and visions.
    Joel 2:28-29, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
  • He speaks to us in our spirits – a still small voice.
    I Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.
  • He speaks to us through what we see.
    Through out the book of Jeremiah, He asks Jeremiah, ‘what do you see?’
  • His communication requires a response.  Further instructions or benefits are dependent upon our response.When God met Saul on the road to Damascus,  God spoke to him and He required obedience from him.  God gave Saul an instruction.  Saul’s obedience brought him to Ananias where he received  greater revelation and understanding.  He received healing and he was commissioned.
  • He gives you what to speak.  He will give you the words to say and the exact moment you need them.
    Mark.13:11  “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

You may ask, ‘how do I hear the Holy Spirit’s voice?’  Set aside time every day to spend with the Holy Spirit.  Get into the Word and spend time talking with the Holy Spirit and meditating upon God.  Talk to Him about your day.  Ask Him what He wants you to know today.  You can bring specific questions before Him and seek Him for an answer.   Listen for an answer and be willing to obey.  Then as you go about your day, talk to Him; involve Him in your day and your decision-making processes.  Involve Him in your conversations, speaking to Him and asking Him for direction and the right words to say.   Become more aware of Him as you go about your day.

Get so accustomed to talking with Him that you know immediately when He speaks to you.

A Teachable Posture

My success is directly tied to my ability to be teachable.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.  John 14:26

How I love Holy Spirit, He is so intimate with us and wants the very best for each of us!  He is so committed to our success that He is willing to spend time teaching us and mentoring us!

My success is directly tied to my ability to be teachable.

Have you ever tried to teach someone, only to have them argue with you, deflect personal responsibility, blame shift, give you excuses, be defensive, and then ultimately pick up an offense?  I am sure we have all encountered people like this in our lives, and I am sure that we have all acted like this as well!   These are all signs of being unteachable.

I have found through my walk with the Holy Spirit that a key to success is my ability to stay teachable.  My success is directly tied to my ability to be teachable.  Some say that the school of hard knocks and life are the BEST ways to learn, but I would strongly disagree.  I don’t find that to be a scriptural concept.  All through scripture we see, if people were teachable and obedient, they moved in favour and blessings, but when they chose to ‘do what was right in their own eyes’, then they would encounter the school of hard knocks.

We don’t need to spend our lives recovering from mistakes.  Life is too short!  We can be teachable and allow our great Mentor the Holy Spirit to impart into our lives.   This launches us farther and quicker; it causes us to be focused, more effective and impactful.

This is not to say that we can’t learn or recover from those mistakes, but I would suggest, that we don’t HAVE to learn that way.  There is a more effective way and it is directly tied to our ability to be teachable!

So what does it mean to be teachable, to have a teachable spirit?   We must we open our hearts and minds up to HEAR what being taught.  It usually involves us keeping our mouths quiet and just listening!  It is a humbling experience, but the value of what we are receiving is huge.

The Holy Spirit desires to:

    • Impart instruction. 
    • Instil doctrine in us.
    • Expound His Word – explaining it to us, bringing greater clarity to it.
    • Bring His Word to life, creating a Rhema Word in us.
    • Brings revelation to us!

He loves to speak to us and He wants to teach us! This is powerful!

Let’s continue on through the verse. I love the next part of this verse, He shall teach you ALL THINGS, and bring ALL THINGS to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you.

We have a Teacher who knows all things, sees all things, He knows the beginning from the end, He knows that plans that He has for us.  Think on that for a moment!  He knows what your day holds, what your future holds, and what your assignment is.   He will teach you what you need to be successful, to carry out your assignment, and to live the abundant life that Christ died for.

Wow!  The One who knows ALL is my Teacher!  I can avoid the snares and pitfalls, because He sees them ahead of me and will teach me, enabling me to avoid them!

Jesus then continues on and tells the disciples that the Holy Spirit would bring all things to their remembrance.  The disciples had HEARD Christ and the Holy Spirit was going to bring Christ’s Words to their remembrance.

When we fill our hearts and minds with the Word, the Holy Spirit will bring it to our memory just when we need it.  He works with the Word that has been implanted in our hearts.  He is the active agent in our daily lives.

Position yourself to be teachable and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you today!  Be a receiver!

Be a Life Builder!

Sometimes we forget the impact that our words have.  God has given us some pretty specific instructions regarding our words.  He has cautioned us to watch what we speak, because our words are creative source.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.  Proverbs 18:21

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! James 3:5

Sometimes we forget the impact that our words have.  God has given us some pretty specific instructions regarding our words.  He has cautioned us to watch what we speak, because our words are creative source.  They either create life or death.

What is the confession coming out of your mouth today?  What negative things are you reinforcing by your words?  Stop and listen to what you are saying.  Is your conversation and words life building or do your words put you and others into a box – a sick box, a religious box, an identity box, a relational box?  Let’s line our words up with God’s Word!

Proverbs say to guard your thinking because your thoughts run your life, and Luke says that your mouth speaks what your heart is full of.

We need to recognize and connect the correlation between our words and our lives, and see the impact that our words are having on ourselves as well as those around us.  If you don’t like an area of your life right now, take a few moments and analyze what you have been communicating about this area in your life.  Then make a conscience effort to adjust your speech to line up with life building strategies.

We may not think our words are important, but they frame our lives, they set the course for our success or failures. Set yourself up for success – speak life!

Proverbs 4:23 Be careful what you think,
 because your thoughts run your life.

Luke 6:45 For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

 

Holy Spirit Helps Me

Have you ever felt strength less, weak, sick, or frail?  Do you ever feel like you are trying to do things on your own?  Do you ever feel overwhelmed, wondering how you are going to make it through?

Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. Romans 8:26

Have you ever felt strength less, weak, sick, or frail?  Do you ever feel like you are trying to do things on your own?  Do you ever feel overwhelmed, wondering how you are going to make it through?

Jesus saw all of that and He knew that we were going to need someone to walk with us and help us.   How wonderful is it that He made those provisions for us?  He said, ‘I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever’ (John 14:16).

He knew that we were going to need help.  He recognized, that the assignment that He has given, could not be completed without the help of the Holy Spirit.  He knew what frailties and weaknesses we were going to experience, and He made a provision for us!

Romans 28:6 Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

The Holy Spirit was sent to help us.  The word help means to lay hold along with, to strive to obtain with others, help in obtaining, to take hold with another, embrace to help, to be a partaker of.  We see the idea here of, the Holy Spirit joining together with us to help us succeed and overcome.  He is at work with us.  We are not left alone; we can rely and call upon Him to help us.

I love how Robertson describes this!  ‘Here beautifully Paul pictures the Holy Spirit taking hold at our side at the very time of our weakness and before too late.’   The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, takes hold, and before it is too late He helps us in our weakness!

It is interesting to note key descriptive words, ‘helps, together, lay hold along with, help in obtaining’.  The Holy Spirit works ‘with’ us.  He is not doing the work ‘for’ us, but He is coming along side us to help.  We still have to take responsibility and do our part, but He has promised that He will meet us in our weakness and lay hold along with us so that we can overcome and have victory.

When a parent helps a child walk up a stairway, that child has all the strength and resources of the parent, but the child still must take the steps and walk up the stairway himself.   This illustration still doesn’t describe the full impact of when the Holy Spirit lays hold and comes along side with us, but it gives us a framework and a mind picture to relate to.

When He is active in our lives and helping us,  we are connected with the full provisions of the Godhead – wisdom, peace, strength, wealth, understanding, healing, provisions, discernment, and the list goes on!  He helps us as we grow and walk.  Just like we want to see our children grow and mature, God’s desire for us to grow and mature governs His help for us.  He wants US to do it, He wants US to succeed.  He wants US to overcome.

Oh how amazing!  How wonderful is that?  We don’t have to do life alone!  We have been given a Helper!

*Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament.

Oh How Marvellous!

As I sit and reflect this coming weekend, I am overwhelmed by the LOVE of my Saviour, the complete work of His death, burial and resurrection.  Oh how marvellous and oh how glorious is HE! 

As I sit and reflect this coming weekend, I am overwhelmed by the LOVE of my Saviour, the complete work of His death, burial and resurrection.  Oh how marvellous and oh how glorious is HE!  As we celebrate Easter this weekend,  think about how His willingness to do the Father’s will has provided for us complete abundant life!

I’m in awe of His resurrection power; which overcame death and that power resides in me!  I am challenged to live a life that reflects this.  It is a life that has complete victory in every area of my life – healing, peace, finances, salvation, health, good relationships, rest, joy, patience.

Oh that my life would reflect the complete work that Christ completed!  When others encounter me, they encounter Him!