The trap of offense
Psalm 119:165 (KJV) “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
The trap of offense is everywhere. Therefore, you will have to be intentional about guarding your heart against it every day. The most important preventative measure is to love the Word of God. Treasure it. Read it, remain in it, memorize it, believe it, live according to it. And if you do, you will have great peace and it will steer you clear from the traps of offense.
In Luke 11:28 Jesus said, “… blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Offenses come to trick, trap and terminate your destiny. Jesus warns that in the last days many offenses will come. He also admonishes us to take heed that no one deceives or tricks us. The enemy comes only to steal, kill, and destroy and he sets up clever, deceptive snares to trick us and lead us into the trap of offense.
Avoiding the trap of offense, requires an understanding of how our enemy works to deceive us or trick us in order to trap us. In the case of offense, ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance will most likely lead us right into the middle of his deceptive snare.
My dad traps animals so I have seen first-hand how this works. When he sets up a trap, he uses trickery or deception to trap his target. Since he raises turkeys, ducks, geese, chickens, quail and guineas; he must set up traps for predators. He very cleverly and strategically places something appealing inside of the snare to lure his target in. The coyote or other animal, will see the tasty treat and in ignorance, he thinks this is something good, something he deserves and something that he should have for himself. Unwittingly, he charges right in to take the tasty treat, and suddenly he’s trapped! He was tricked. He was deceived. In his ignorance, he took the bait and now he is a captive. If he does not find a way of escape before rancher Ted gets there, he’s doomed. All of his hopes, dreams and goals will be terminated if he does not break free.
And that is precisely what happens to us in a figurative sense but nevertheless, in a very real and similar spiritual sense. The enemy deceives and tricks us into believing that we have a right to be offended. We were wronged. We were hurt. Now somebody (specifically the person who wronged us) must pay. This looks so good, it feels so right and seems justifiably fair that we take up that offense. However, if we do not free ourselves through forgiveness and God’s grace; our destiny will be terminated.
Love, grace and forgiveness are the keys to our freedom. Without them, we remain imprisoned in anger, bitterness, resentment and self-pity. The enemy’s goal is to trick, trap and terminate God’s divine destiny for your life. The trap of offense is one of his best inventions to accomplish this. So “take heed that no one deceives you” and be free from the trap of offense through God’s grace and forgiveness. What the enemy uses to trap and terminate you; God will use to teach you and elevate you.
So today, or any day that you may find yourself licking your wounds, and feeling pulled into the pool of self-pity, bitterness, anger and resentment; look to Jesus and be freed from hell’s trickery. The enemy wants to convince you to remain bitter, unforgiving and filled with resentment so that he can terminate your destiny. He knows that if you choose to give the offense to God and extend forgiveness to those who you feel have wronged you, you will be free from his snare.
Joseph is one of the best examples of how God will take what Satan means to destroy you, and He will use it to elevate you. Whatever has taken place and may have been perpetrated against you, we are reminded again that God will work it all “…together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28.
Joseph endured horrific abuse, mistreatment and betrayal from his own brothers. He could have become bitter, resentful, angry and trapped in offense. Yet, he escaped from Satan’s snare through love, grace and forgiveness. The response we see in Joseph foreshadowed the forgiveness extended to us through Jesus. Joseph refused to be trapped in offense and God was able to elevate him and fulfill his Divine destiny. When Joseph was finally in a situation where he could bring vengeance upon his brothers; he forgave them. We see this in Gen 50:20 when he said, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good…”.
Offense seems so right and so justifiable to us when we are hurt. So today, Holy Spirit is beckoning you to step back, take a deep breath, let it out…and let Him in. Allow His Truth to set you free from the trap of bitter offense. I know that it doesn’t make sense to your natural mind and to your human reasoning. That’s why we are instructed to trust in the Lord with ALL our heart and lean not on our own understanding (Prov 3:5-6). Trust Him, His way is the only way that truly leads to freedom and the fulfillment of His Divine destiny. You hold the key to your freedom from offense. Use it! Forgive, release and turn the offense over to God. If you do, He will take what the enemy wanted to use to trap you and He will use it to elevate you. The choice is yours: termination through offense or elevation through forgiveness. Choose forgiveness!
Pastor Kelly Hudnall
Written by Kelly Hudnall
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