Jesus Did It!
By: Norm Rasmussen
One of Satan's top strategies to rob you of your joy and peace is to trap you into becoming offended. If you haven't come to realize this lethal strategy of his yet, I can't encourage you enough to read the remainder of this writing. It could spare you a ton of grief down the road, because it's not a matter of IF Satan will be looking for ways to get you to set off his 'offense trap' ' it's just a matter of WHEN!
No one can offend us quicker than our spouse. Satan knows that better than anyone and it will almost always be your spouse Satan will try to use to get you to become offended. And it will constantly be YOU, dear one, Satan will be looking to use to offend your spouse. It works both ways.
After that, it will be a fellow Christian ' often someone in spiritual authority - usually your Pastor - Satan will be looking to use to trap you into becoming offended.
If you have children, Satan will patiently wait until just the right moment and then will bait your child to become offended by something you say or do, parent. Children often don't share with anyone once they have taken the 'offense bait,' ' but you can be assured the offended child will eventually move into some form of rebellion if they don't deal quickly with their offense. Once rebellion has taken hold in a child, it can be a long road back to emotional wholeness.
What every Christian needs to realize is that they always have a choice in becoming offended or not. You and I do NOT need to taken Satan's 'offense bait.' Truly ' God wants Christians understanding that the sooner they can master the ability to refuse to become offended ' the more difficult it will be for Satan to use that strategy against them.
As love is a choice, so is becoming offended. No one has to become offended by another. God has given His children a weapon to beat Satan at his strategy. We'll address this shortly.
See if you can identify with any of these scenarios:
My lovely spouse is angered at me for some reason or another, and she says something to me that instantly pushes my anger button. My natural response is to instantly shoot back at her in my anger, and wammo ' the trap gets snapped on both her and me if we don't quickly realize we have been sucked by Satan's attack to destroy harmony between each other.
I'm going through a difficult time. Truth be known, I'm miserable living on this rotten planet, and I could use a little sympathy and understanding because of my fragile, frazzled state of being. I go to church, hoping for a little help. Everyone around me seems happy. If I could only be happy like them. I sing a few songs; I listen as best I can to the message; I do my best to smile at others if they smile at me ' all the while trying to stuff my miserable feelings inside. Church is over; people all do their thing ' and NO ONE realizes I'm hurting. NO ONE! God does not have ONE person in the whole bunch who realizes how much pain I'm in. How can THAT be? Well ' that is the last time I'm ever going to THAT church. They have offended me!
Wammo ' you just snapped Satan's offense trap. More people stop going to local church fellowships over this very issue than any other. In one way or another, they have allowed themselves to become offended.
Don't get me wrong. Sometimes there is good reason to become offended by others. That's not the point being made here. The point being made is that no one forces us to become offended. We make that choice all by ourselves. Satan just sets us up inside to take his 'offense bait' without our realizing we made the choice to stick our hand or foot in his trap.
You see, we don't have to stick our hand or foot in Satan's 'offense' trap. We always have a choice in the matter. God freely gives us His wisdom to stay free from this trap, if we are willing to pay the price to walk in His wisdom in the matter.
God wants to bring us to the place where we can quickly spot the trap ' and by the help and power of Christ in us ' simply say to ourselves, 'No thank you Satan. I'm not biting. I'm not springing your trap!'
But that takes a lot of discipline. Most of us spring the trap starting out, because we simply don't know any better. Once we spring the trap, there is only one way to get the trap loose from our hand or foot. We have to use God's tool of forgiveness. By an act of our will, we must forgive that person(s) who has offended us.
Forgiving that person quickly doesn't necessarily require saying a thing out loud either. It's the best strategy I've found to stay free from becoming offended. Someone tries to anger me by saying or doing something that offends me, and I quickly realize it's a setup by Satan to get me to spring his trap, and I simply say to myself, 'I forgive you for the offense you've just tried to launch against me. I refuse to accept it in Jesus' name.'
When angered by another, I've discovered the wisest thing I can do is simply to keep my mouth shut, silently and instantly forgive that person, and depending on the nature of the offense, take the matter to the Lord in prayer and ask Him what I'm to do about it from there. Once I've cooled off, sometimes the Lord will have me say something to the one who offended me. Other times the Lord will say, 'Just let some time pass and say nothing. The Holy Spirit will convict him or her and confession of their wrongdoing against you will come forth.'
Sometimes the offense will keep rising up to try to get me to bite. That's when we must use God's SECOND weapon to go on the offensive. We must start praying for that person, as God instructs us to do. Praying (blessings not cursings) for our 'enemy' helps keep us free from having to forgive our enemy over and over ' not to mention it helps keeps us free from unnecessary pain.
Furthermore, praying for our enemies may be what God uses to help that person STOP being so offensive to others ' others such as yourself. Praying for our 'enemy' may also result in that person's salvation. We must never underestimate the value of our prayers to God for someone else. Our prayers are something God can use to literally turn our greatest enemy into our closest, most trusted ally and friend!
Personally ' I now instantly
start praying for someone who offends me.
best thing I've found that works to act as a buffer in me moving from peace to
anger when I think of that person in 0 to 100 in less than a blink of an eye!
I've also discovered in doing this that sometimes, what the person said or has done
that offended me was all blown out of portion in MY mind ...
and I actually had no viable reason to get offended by that person whatsoever.
We all get emotionally strained from time to time and some people become
offended much too easily because of it. I must confess that has happened
to me many times over the years. It pays to hold your tongue when you feel
offended ... walk away and let your anger cool down.
I've also discovered in doing this that sometimes, what the person said or has done that offended me was all blown out of portion in MY mind ... and I actually had no viable reason to get offended by that person whatsoever. We all get emotionally strained from time to time and some people become offended much too easily because of it. I must confess that has happened to me many times over the years. It pays to hold your tongue when you feel offended ... walk away and let your anger cool down.
emotional of anger is like an IED
(Improvised Explosive Device) inside your brain waiting to be triggered when you
least suspect it. Satan knows just who or what to use to pull the trigger
device to see just how much destruction it can cause inside your brain. It
won't cause ANY, if you don't let it. God wants to teach
us how to put a barrier around that IED that will contain it's destructive power
when it is triggered. That barrier is called the weapon of
It's a precious fruit (weapon in a sense) of
the Holy Spirit.
The emotional of anger is like an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) inside your brain waiting to be triggered when you least suspect it. Satan knows just who or what to use to pull the trigger device to see just how much destruction it can cause inside your brain. It won't cause ANY, if you don't let it. God wants to teach us how to put a barrier around that IED that will contain it's destructive power when it is triggered. That barrier is called the weapon of SELF-CONTROL. It's a precious fruit (weapon in a sense) of the Holy Spirit.
The key in all this from becoming offended ' snapping the trap - is to ask the Lord FIRST what you should do in each matter so as not to let the offense be anything more than just a slight sting. Otherwise it can become a gaping, painful wound very quickly to do great bodily harm.
Most people in prison end up there because they are victims of Satan's 'offense traps.' Young boys and girls having either no father at all, or perhaps worse yet, having a father who has no clue in how to be a loving father (unloving mothers aren't excluded), offends that son or daughter time after time. In most cases, the child has no healthy environment in which to have peaceful dialogue with their father and/or mother when they've been offended, and so they have little choice but to stuff their offenses. Stuffed offenses do not die out. Satan full well knows they do not die out. Stuffed offenses turns into resentment. Resentment simmers, and bitterness takes hold. Bitterness spreads like an insidious cancer, until the fruit of rebellion begins to manifest. Once rebellion kicks in, that victim becomes a puppet of Satan to do all kinds of different things that will affect that victimized individual the rest of their lives. Thus prisons are full of wounded boys and girls with adult bodies ' having no clue how Satan was setting them up to be locked in state prisons in years to come until they allow the Lord to reveal to them how Satan set them up to fail, starting at a very young age in many cases.
Sure ' each of us make wise and unwise choices along life's way, and sometimes the pain we experience from our unwise choices seems so unjust ' so unfair. Yet so many of the unwise choices we make in life is because we never learned that stuffing our offenses invariably is the very catalyst that assists us in making those unwise choices.
People stuffed with offenses undealt with are very prone to become alcoholics and drug addicts ' victims of abuse ' murders ' suicide victims. Sometimes people stuffed with offenses that have not been properly dealt with become victims of various brain dysfunction(s). Many mentally ill people become that way because of stuffed up offenses from an earlier age. Stuffed offenses will destroy your life, dear reader, and God never created any of us to become nor remain victims of stuffed offenses. He wants us experiencing His life, and enjoying it more abundantly, which is best experienced in a healthy personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Satan wants the very opposite for us, and the sooner you realize that, the more diligent you will become in learning how to stay free from the bomb in the offense trap he wants you to step on.
Satan has all kinds of traps to bait a Christian into stepping into, to developing an unhealthy relationship with Jesus Christ that sooner or later is designed to try to shipwreck their faith. God warns Christians about these 'traps' in the New Testament. The 'deceitfulness of riches' is one. The 'cares of this life' is another (undue worry; stress; fear; uncertainty; etc.) 'Spiritual pride' and 'Lust of the flesh' are two other deadly traps. 'Believing spiritual deception' tops the list. 'Unwisely handling the Word of God' is another. Being uninformed of the need to put on and KEEP on the armor of God works so well for Satan. Allowing one or more roots of bitterness to spring up are so deadly. Uncontrolled anger is a lethal spiritual cancer. Refusing to work diligently with God to increasingly walk in the Spirit [in other words, to be in one accord with the Holy Spirit] rather than walking in the flesh (carnality; making decisions independent of asking or usually caring what the Holy Spirit would counsel a person to say or do in any given matter) is another. These are just many of the most common icebergs Satan has to try to cripple and even sink our spiritual ship. The sooner we can spot these icebergs and learn to take appropriate action, the healthier and safer our relationship with Jesus will become.
I personally believe one of the greatest reasons we are told in Matthew 6:14-15 that if we don't forgive others, God won't forgive us ' is because God is trying to break through our hurt and pain to do everything He can to get us to see that being victims of offense(s) will spiritually kill us one way or another!
I hope you are in tune with the Holy Spirit at this moment, because what I'm about to share is Satan's greatest victory if you let him pull it off. There is nothing Satan delights in more than to get you to bite the lie that God has betrayed you ' that God has failed you ' that God can't be trusted ' that God has let you down. That's the victory of all victories for your adversary the devil. And the sad part? So many have no clue they are victims of Satan's ruthlessness in this arena if they aren't careful.
Let me tell you ' I speak from great personal experience as I speak of this. I have personally experienced the hurt and anger of feeling ' believing ' that God has let me down. Satan will patiently wait to try to get you to the place in life where you step into the 'God betrayed me trap' without you even realizing you are in it! Satan will patiently and methodically study your every vulnerability. He'll spot your weakness or weaknesses. Maybe you've fellowshipped with Christians who are heavy into 'words of knowledge' ' 'words of wisdom' ' 'God told me to tell you'. Someone said something to you that you chose to believe was from God ' only to discover it didn't work out. The trap is set. 'Walk a little closer, sweetheart. Reach for the bait. God let you down, didn't He?'
You have a vision. You have a powerful dream. Has to be from God, right? You set your hope in that direction. You place all your trust it's going to come about. But in the end, it doesn't. Satan says...Take a couple of more steps, sucker. Snap the 'God let you down' trap!
You long to hear God speak personally to you. You're a little envious, if you'll be honest, when others claim to hear God speak to them, but why not YOU? Then it happens. A thought is strongly communicated to you, and you have every reason to believe God has NOW spoken directly to you. WOW! How exciting! Beware my friend. TEST what spirit spoke to you. If Satan wasn't granted the ability to deceive us in this manner, God would never have warned us to be extremely cautious about the voice(s) ' the impression(s) ' we ASSUME must be from God. Satan is insidiously clever at tricking us to believe it couldn't possibly be HIM doing the communicating, so surely it MUST be from God. Not necessarily '
The reason most new Christians don't hear God speak to them in their spirit is because God wants them to learn that God has ALREADY spoken to them in His Word. Until a new Christian learns (strongly desires) to let God communicate to them from and through His Word (Holy Bible), Satan knows they are much more vulnerable to deceive. It pays HUGE DIVIDENDS, dear one, to learn how to let God speak to your spirit through His wisely understood, wisely applied Word. Once you have proven to God your willingness to "study to show yourself approved" - God will begin speaking directly to your spirit more and more, which is simply the process of learning how to wisely "walk by the Spirit" that God tells us in His Word is the goal for EVERY Christian to purpose to excel in.
God speaks to His people and He wants His people to be confident when it happens that it's HIM doing the communicating. Satan is also allowed by God to speak to God's people, and Satan wants us THINKING it surely couldn't have been him deceiving us. Work diligently, dear reader, and let God teach you to discern as quickly as possible who is communicating to you at any given time.
God wants to prosper you financially, you believe. Being content with what you have doesn't sound all that great any longer. You sowed generously to the work of the Lord. You're faithful in ministry and relationships. You've positioned yourself in every possible way any Christian could to be a showered recipient of God's financial favor. Then bingo. The carpet gets pulled out from underneath you. Financial disaster strikes. How could God allow such a thing to happen? 'He let you down, didn't He? See ' He doesn't REALLY care about your happiness. He can't be trusted, can He? Take the bait, darling. Step gingerly and expeditiously into my 'God offended me trap.''
Of course Satan's 'God wants to heal me but it's not working' trap is an effective trap as well. You know, you or someone close to you is believing God for healing. Yet it's not happening. 'God doesn't CARE that you are sick, does He? See ' He's let you down. He doesn't love you ' just admit it.' SNAP! ' if you believe that lie. Whether God heals a person or doesn't heal a person has absolutely nothing to do with His love for that person, nor should it give any person reason to believe the lie that 'God has let them down.' There is nothing wrong with hoping and expecting God to do something for us ' but the person who becomes offended if God doesn't grant them the desire of their heart is setting themselves up for stepping into Satan's 'God betrayed you, didn't He?' lie trap. BEWARE dear reader ' that trap can cost you your salvation! Bitterness is an enemy that can blind us like nothing else can!
Satan's greatest deceptive power is in the lie. It's his most lethal trap. It's his most potent IUD. He constantly strategizes in trying to get you and I to believe a lie we either tell ourselves ' without realizing we're telling it to ourselves ' or that it's EVEN a lie! He wants us believing a lie wherever it comes from, but his ultimate victory is to get us to believe a lie we tell ourselves. His 'Believe my lie' trap gets triggered day in and day out by unsuspecting victims. Wounded Christians abound because they stepped into this trap. The sooner you begin to realize how careful you must become in BELIEVING things ' the better your relationship with God will become. The Holy Spirit has been given to Christians to help them KNOW what they are to believe or disbelieve, and if they do not purpose to excel in learning the wisdom of believing NOTHING spiritually until they are convinced the Holy Spirit has counseled them in what to believe spiritually ' they'll be more vulnerable of stepping into Satan's 'deception trap.'
The same goes for believing things regarding the end times. Satan is using 'Christians' to communicate things that can greatly affect how we conduct our lives moving forward. Satan is trying everything he can to use Christians to put fear on other Christians about the end times. Satan is using every trick in his book to con Christians into minimizing the importance of personal evangelism. Satan has conned so many Christians to move from being proactive to become more and more apathetic 'I don't care anymore' Christians. 'I don't care if the world goes to hell in a hand basket, because I'm just waiting for the rapture to happen any minute now anyway.' Corporate, united prayerlessness to slow down evil in our community's, states and our nation from increasing is pandemic. (Though God has ways to change that very quickly, if the Body of Christ forces His hand. Does the word "persecution" come to mind?) So many are blinded to its importance. Fasting went out the window a long time ago for many Christians. Willingness to battle lawmakers and keep fighting for righteousness is diminishing in leaps and bounds. I'm as human as you are, so I'm not casting stones. I experience these same temptations to just surrender inside in one area or another and let Satan have his way on this planet, 'because it's going to happen someday anyway, right?' Satan is deceitfully shouting very loud to us Christians. How many of us have heard him so loud and so persistently often we don't even realize it's him doing our thinking for us anymore, without our even realizing? But by the restraining power of God ' this planet is progressively coming under the influence of Satan faster than you can observe a kitten or a puppy grow into adulthood, and the people Satan can use to effect his will for mankind doesn't have a clue they are being used by him. Sobering ' yet God has given us ample warning in the New Testament Bible so we won't get caught off guard as the future unfolds prior to His return back to earth in bodily form to set up His control to do away with evil.
How serious of an issue is being offended really? Jesus warns us in Matthew 24 about things to be on the lookout for as we move further into the end times:
"And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. (Matthew 24:10 NKJV)
Observe the progression. If offenses are not dealt with quickly, then vindictive retaliation sets in and takes the form of betrayal. The end result of betrayal? Hating one another. A common by-product of hate is rage ... anger out of control. When a person enters into rage, they are an open vessel for demons to motivate them to do whatever Satan desires.
So much more can be said about this topic of spotting Satan's traps and taking appropriate measures to not let them get sprung on us, but I'll end this out by saying that there is a video I would highly encourage readers to listen to if you want to learn more about this tactic Satan uses to ensnare and victimize Christians with: https://vimeo.com/64846155
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BECOMING OFFENDED '
BEWARE OF SATAN'S TRAP!