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James 1:19-20 says "Understand this, my beloved brethren, Let every man be quick to hear (a ready listener) slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry, for man's anger does not promote the righteousness God (wishes and requires)."

God is very clear when He says that we must be slow to take offense, as it does not promote the things of God in our life. When we are offended it immediately puts up a wall between us and the presence of God.

That offense can keep us from drawing closer to Jesus. Why? Because offense is sin, and sin does separate us from God. An offense can lead to bitterness, anger, and spiritual death.

It says in Matthew 18:7 that offenses will come. In other words, we will have an OPPORTUNITY to be offended almost every day of our life. Even when we are not among people, the enemy will begin to cloud our mind with lies to bring an offense if we are not on the alert.

The word offense in the Greek (skandalon) means "the trigger in the trap on which bait is placed and which, when touched by the animal springs and causes it to close causing entrapment. It produces behavior which leads to ruin - like cheese in the trap."

It is bait the enemy uses to choke out the life of the believer if at all possible. This offense is a choice we make. We decide whether or not to bite the cheese.

The Scripture is clear in Matthew 6:14-15 that we must forgive as we have been forgiven. God's Word is our protection. God is giving us a safeguard - a shield to ward off the enemy. When we walk a life of forgiveness, holding no one to any debt in our life, we walk a Spirit-filled life of joy, peace and contentment in Christ.

I remember so well the story of a woman to whom I had ministered. She came to the altar angry and unable to draw from the presence of God. The Father revealed to me that she had unforgiveness in her heart.

As I approached her with this word of knowledge, she began to break. She said that her husband had left her and their five children for an adulterous affair nine years previous.

She said, "I have been so hurt." She had not laughed in nine years (according to her closest friends) and was deeply wounded and bitter. As she began to forgive her husband, a breakthrough occurred for her. She sat in the back of the room laughing and crying for more than forty-five minutes.

The offense was producing death in her spiritual life but God intervened and brought freedom.

Possibly you have faced a similar circumstance. Maybe today you are recounting past hurts and know that it has taken its toll on your spiritual life.

Friend, today is the day for freedom. It is not an emotion; it is obedience to God's Word and obedience to His Word brings freedom. It is time for your breakthrough!

Say these words with me, "Dear Jesus, I choose today to forgive (you put in the name or names) and I hold (name) to no debt in my life anymore. (Name) owes me nothing. I release (name) now in Jesus' name. Lord, forgive me for holding on to this offense, and now, I receive your forgiveness. I forgive myself for holding on to this offense for so long."

This is true freedom! Everyday, we must examine our heart and not let the enemy of offense slip in unnoticed.


Copyright ©
Julaine International Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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