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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Watch Out For the Trap of Offence

Hebrews 2 : 9 - 11, But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren. NKJV

At times it might seem as if God has forsaken you, especially during a trial or temptation, but you are not alone. Generally, when people are hit with very hard situations or alluring temptations, they will tend to withdraw from other people. The favorite phrase is, "You just won't understand." Perhaps you've used that one before. There is One who knows and understands exactly what you're dealing with in your heart. He is called the High Priest of our confession... Jesus.

The last thing Satan wants you to do is give honor to the Lord. In fact, he will set you up for an offense through disappointment, betrayal, or a missed opportunity for an expected blessing. Beware of hurts... that you don't allow them to fester in your heart and cause you to become cynical. Here's what you must be looking for from the deceiver. When life offers you an offensive situation, you can be sure that the enemy of your soul is going to be close behind ready to sow seeds of unbelief... that God not there for you. If you don't recognize these thoughts as being Satan's seeds, and you allow your heart to think on the possibility that God caused this hurt or disappointment, cynicism will seep into your heart. It will be so subtle that you won't even recognize it, but it still doesn't negate the fact that now your heart has become callous against God in this trial.

This isn't the end of the story. Once Satan gets you to agree with his deception about God, a wall will be erected between you and the voice of the Lord. As that wall remains unchallenged by truth, it grows with each new hurt and furthers the separation in your heart from the presence of God. Now the love of God that once flowed freely has diminished to a trickle. It isn't over yet, because Satan has not been confronted at this point. If you have allowed cynicism to build a wall of hurt that pulls you back in your love walk, you are falling into the trap of isolation.

The walls that keep others from hurting you can become prison walls that hold you in isolation... so that you feel alone and vulnerable in times of trouble. The Lord calls us the sheep of His pasture. Sheep and wolves don't get along at all. The wolf waits in silence as a sheep becomes separated from the rest of the flock. At that point, they are weaker and become vulnerable to its attacks. One on one the sheep is no match for the wolf. As the enemy traps you through offenses in his web of deceit, it isolates you.  With a wall of offense built in your heart between you and the Lord's presence, it creates a sense of spiritual weakness...so that when you would want to step out in faith, the strangle hold that the enemy has on you can pull you back into remaining neutral.

Finally, the good part... the passage that we used today says that Jesus was made perfect through suffering. Jesus was already perfect and suffering added nothing to His character. However, as our High Priest, He had to experience what sin has done to us and to be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, yet without sin. As the Spotless Lamb, He was perfect... so that He might offer Himself as an offering on our behalf, but as the High Priest, He had to suffer...so that He might be our Kinsmen Redeemer. He can relate to our pain, suffering, disappointments, rejections, etc.

So the next time you get attacked through the spirit of offense, be sure and remind Satan, when he tries to be your "buddy," that you already have a Friend that sticks with you closer than a brother. Remind Satan of all that Christ did for you on the cross so that you wouldn't have to suffer for your own sins. This will silence those lies and keep your heart pure before the Lord. With no bitterness or cynicism, the Word will have the power to impact your heart and bring transformation in your life. It will give you the victory through your faith to overcome every trial and temptation that Satan sends your way.

Hebrews 2:18,
For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. NKJV

Keeping the Faith,
Pastor Asa

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