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!

Power of Rest

bird-under-wingResting in His presence is one thing that helped me through the last couple of years.   I would say to people, ‘the Lord has taught me the power of rest.’ and often the reply back would be, ‘yes, you need to get your rest and let your body heal.’ Now this was good advice, I did need to physically rest and allow my body to heal, and I did on a daily basis.

But what I was referring to was something different than a physical rest. It is a resting IN Him, in His presence. It is a positing yourself in Him. I had studied Psalm 91 and the power of the secret place the year before the cancer diagnosis, and I was supposed to be writing our ladies’ Bible study curriculum that year on it. What the Lord had given to me revelatory through that passage, I lived the following 18 months during treatment.

Dwelling in the secret place and abiding under His shadow is a position. It is to be set and hidden in Him, to stop and stay permanently under His shadow.

It is intentionally entering and placing yourself, tucked away under Him. I think of the picture of the bird that has her offspring tucked securely under her wing.  I know this picture doesn’t really show the magnitude of being hidden under His wing.

Throughout the Psalms we see God’s promise to us.

For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the secret place of His tent; He will lift me up on a rock. Psalm 27:5

……hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 17:8

You hide me in the secret place of Your presence…. Psalm 31:20

He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Turning our focus off of our circumstances and onto Jesus, intentionally positioning myself under His wings; allows God to work miraculously on my behalf. It moves me from a place of worry, anxiety, and stress into a place of rest, peace, God’s got this, and He has a provision for this.

It is truly one of the most joyous places to live from, I am not moved by my circumstances, but His joy dominates my life.

We don’t have to live tossed to and fro with every storm that comes along, but rather we can position ourselves in Him. The storm may rage, but Daddy is taking care of me. He is working on my behalf. I can rest, be at peace, rejoice and see what God is going to do!

Blocked Vision – Seeing Past The Giants

As I was reading, I was struck how the enemy had become so much larger than God to the army of Israel.  How did Israel lose sight of God’s provisions, miracles, signs and wonders, and deliverance? What had blocked Israel’s vision of God?

I was reading in I Samuel this morning the account of David and Goliath. Most of us can recount that story and we have told it to our children with flourish and excitement. It is iconic in our society – David vs. Goliath. As I was reading this morning, I was asking God, ‘why were the children of Israel cowering in fear and David wasn’t?’

  • What are you cowering in fear over?
  • What has you paralyzed and fearful of your future?
  • What area do you need to see the goodness of God fill and rule over?

As I was reading, I was struck how the enemy had become so much larger than God to the army of Israel.  How did Israel lose sight of God’s provisions, miracles, signs and wonders, and deliverance? What had blocked Israel’s vision of God?

They had seen God deliver them, fight their battles, and defeat their enemies.   But when faced with Goliath’s size, armour, skill, his taunting, his words, they couldn’t see their future, they only saw fear and defeat. The whole army of Israel was paralyzed by fear. They were stuck on their side of the valley, huddling in fear, they couldn’t see past what they saw across the battle field, they couldn’t hear past Goliath’s taunts. Their faith was demoralized, they felt hopeless, and no one was taking direction or authority over the battle.  They were fixated on Goliath, their eyes were focused on what they saw. Their eyes were fixed on the enemy.

What is blocking your vision of God?

Then along comes David, he was just a youth; he had no battle experience. He had been tending his father’s sheep when his father sent him to the battlefield to check on his brothers. He comes into Israel’s camp and he hears Goliath. But let’s notice the difference in David’s actions and the army of Israel.

David heard the words, he saw Goliath, but it was like he was assessing the situation clinically. He did not allow it to settle into his spirit; he did not allow it to control him. He saw what was happening but his focus was not on himself but rather it was on God. He had an unshakable confidence in God. If God had helped him kill the lion and the bear, then why would this uncircumcised Philistine be any different? David was not deterred by the taunts of the enemy. He was not swayed by what he saw going on in front of him – Goliath’s size, armour and weapons). He fixed his gaze on God; he recounted what God had done in the past; he then moved forward with confidence in what God was going to do through him. He became fearless!

We all know how this story ends, David defeats Goliath with a small stone, cuts the head off the giant and Israel has victory over the Philistines.

But what does that mean for me today? How can this change my life? Those are great questions to ask! Often we are overwhelmed and swayed by what we see in front of us, we become fearful of that giant in our lives. We begin to fixate on it, dwell on it, we become captivated by it and in the end dominated by it.   Just like Israel, we tremble with fear, and fixate on the enemy. We become paralyzed!

But God wants us to be like David, full of confidence in Him, seeing from the correct perspective. Goliath was a giant to many, but he was nothing to David!  David saw Goliath as a defiant, heathen that was defying the armies of God.

David came forward and he told Goliath what was going to happen. He got vocal with Goliath! He challenged him – ‘you come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin……BUT I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled.’ He told Goliath what was going to happen. Look at the language of his words.

  • ‘The Lord will deliver you into my hand.’ ‘
  • I will strike you and take your head from you.’
  • ‘I will feed the carcasses of your army to the birds and beasts.’
  • ‘All of the earth will know there is a God in Israel.’
  • ‘Everyone will know that you don’t save with a sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord’s.’
  • ‘He will give you into our hands.’

Look at the difference between how the army of Israel dealt with Goliath and how David did! David took what he saw, filtered it through what he knew of his God, and spoke to the giant with authority. David took charge, he took authority; He stated what was going to happen to Goliath.

What giant are you facing today? What giant is causing you to live in fear? What giant is causing you to lose sight of the goodness of God in your life? What is blocking your vision of God? What are you focusing on, what are you seeing? What does the Word say about your giant?

Fix your eyes on Jesus!  Speak the Word to your giant! Take authority over it and tell that giant what is going to happen to it! You are not subject to the giant; the giant is subject to you, by the power of the Living God!

Speak this over your enemy:

  • _________________, you will not have victory. You are defeated by the Power of the Living God. By the blood of Christ, you are defeated and destroyed.
  • _________________, you are utterly destroyed; not one part of you will remain in my life or body.
  • By the authority and power of the Most High, Living God, we cut off your head and we feed you to the birds and beasts. Your authority to rule has been severed and you will not reign any longer.
  • All of the earth will know that my God has delivered me! He will be glorified and the ends of the earth will know His name.
  • This battle is not mine, but it is God’s. You fight for me and it is by Your power and His might that the battle is won. I rest and trust completely in You!
  • Fear has no place in my life; I choose to walk in faith, having complete confidence in the Almighty God.

O God, open my eyes to see Your provisions in my life! Open my ears to hear Your voice; that it would drown out the taunts of the enemy. God, that I would see You for WHO you really are; larger in my life than the enemy that I am facing.

References:  I Samuel 17,  Hebrews 12:2