Free from the Stronghold of Offense

Why are we offended? Did someone cut in front of us on the freeway? Were we left out when the invitations were sent? Or were we the offenders?

Offense and Jealously going hand in hand

Why is this still a stronghold in our highly sophisticated, politically correct, tolerant, information-age lives?

Every day in our society we have an opportunity to take or give offense. Every day of our lives we either hear about or experience, cultural differences. We never know how we will act or react until we face a roadblock/hot-button/challenge.

  • By the way, “the definition of tolerance for some people means ‘we have to not only accept a difference, but we have to conform to it’.  That’s not tolerance. And it is cause for offense. Especially to God. Forcing ‘conforming tolerance’ against Biblical teaching, is psychological control, intolerant, and manipulative.” –Pola Muzyka

Children should be able to trust a parent.

What is politically correct today could be offensive tomorrow to those who don’t know Christ. So hold on. There is a way to break free.

Remember the disciple, Peter, had no idea how he was going to react when someone accused him of being a follower of Christ.

Biblical tips to overcome offense:

1. Ask forgiveness and give it freely.

Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us [who has offended us or done us wrong]. And bring us not into temptation but rescue us from evil.

2. Try to understand the other point of view. If it is irrational, try to explain humbly, with patience, prayer, and clarity.

Proverbs 18:19 An offended brother is more resistant than a strong city, and disputes are like the locked gate of a castle tower.

3. Be loyal to Christ. God does not answer the prayers of double-minded people.

Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, You will all be offended and stumble and fall away because of Me this night [distrusting and deserting Me], for it is written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.

4. Love at all times.  Love your brother, sister, neighbor, enemy, and so forth. That doesn’t free you from the offense. But it does free you from the stronghold of offense.

Proverbs 17:17 17A friend always loves, and a brother is born to share trouble.

John 15:15b  But I’ve called you friends because I’ve made known to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father.

John 15:17 17Love each other. This is what I’m commanding you to do.

Matthew 5:44 But I tell you this: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 19:19 Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

5. Believe what you know and know what you believe. The more you read the Word of God, the stronger your faith becomes, and the easier it is for you to follow the teachings of Christ.

Mark 4:17
And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3MldSqmNLk&w=420&h=315]

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Guilt as a Stronghold

Judgementalism stalks with other religious spirits to confuse us when we attempt to rest on the promises God gave us through the salvation of Jesus Christ. The stronghold of guilt can steal our peace, joy, trust, and even our faith.

GraveGuilt is a weapon Satan uses to try to separate us from God and cause us to live a life of torment even after we’ve been set free by thinking that we still have a death sentence. It’s a weapon the enemy uses to turn us from Christ.

What don’t we understand about freedom in Christ? God sacrificed his own son [filled with all the fullness of the Godhead] for us. In order for us to be free to love him, he first loved us.

Our time on earth is a fraction of eternity. Our earthly bodies are dust.  The glorified body, given to those who receive Christ, will be our eternal, non-corruptible, heavenly body, able to be present with God.

Why did God make us so imperfect that we would have to suffer a life of guilt? He didn’t. Sin entered in. God gave us free will. We were free from the beginning to choose right or wrong, good or evil.

There’s no mistaking the difference between good and evil. Evil steals, destroys, and kills; it leads to spiritual death. Good builds up, judges rightly with long term perspectives, and is not selfish as it considers God’s will; it leads to eternal life.

In our free will, we gave/give ourselves over to sin. But the stronghold of guilt no longer has a place in our lives when [if] we accept Christ because sin has been defeated. We strive instead to eliminate sin from our lives and honor God.

wipe-away-tears5 Biblical tips to overcome guilt:

1. Know who you are in Christ. The enemy [Satan] cannot take that away from you.

1 Corinthians 6:11  11And such [sinners] some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.

2. Keep away from self-righteous hypocrites.

Colossians 2:8-9 See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).

Matthew 22:18 But Jesus, aware of their malicious plot, asked, “Why do you put Me to the test and try to entrap Me, you pretenders (hypocrites)?”

Luke 6:42 How can you say to another believer, ‘Friend, let me take the piece of sawdust out of your eye,’ when you don’t see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First, remove the beam from your own eye. Then you will see clearly to remove the piece of sawdust from another believer’s eye.

3. Read the word daily. Trust what God says.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke.

Revelation 3:10 “Because you kept my Word in passionate patience, I’ll keep you safe in the time of testing that will be here soon, and all over the earth, every man, woman, and child put to the test.

4. Forgive others–forgive yourself. If guilt still plagues you after you are sure of your salvation, it’s possible that you didn’t forgive you. Remember salvation is for all those who receive it by faith. No condemnation to those who are in Christ. Romans 8:1

Luke 6:37 “Stop judging, and you will never be judged. Stop condemning, and you will never be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Luke 1:37 But nothing is impossible for God.”

Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

Proverbs 16:3 Entrust your efforts to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.

5. Turn to God. Ask him for his grace and help to live with yesterday’s events so that guilt will no longer have a stronghold in your life, so that you will be able to live free from sin asking the Lord for forgiveness whenever a sinful thought or past action surfaces, and the sting of sin will no longer hurt.

Colossians 2:9 For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature].

Have you received your free copy of Biblical Solutions for Cultural and Social Issues in the World Today study guide? Ask for your free copy today. [written by Pola Muzyka]

Free from the Stronghold of Acrimony

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As with almost every stronghold, acrimony begins in our thoughts. When we allow thoughts of hatred, anger, vengeance, or offense to well up inside us we may invite a bitterness which we cannot control, and that bitterness will spew out at every opportunity. … Continue reading

Stronghold of Stinginess

Stinginess like pettiness depletes the host of whatever it is withholding. A stingy person is unwilling or shows an unwillingness to share with others. A stronghold of stinginess sets in when the fear of poverty increases–unfortunately this same stronghold perpetuates poverty and the resultant fear.

TightFistedIf a stronghold of poverty or fear didn’t come before stinginess became an issue, it invites the stronghold of poverty and of course many other strongholds along with it, depending on the measure of stinginess–think, Ebenezer Scrooge. In the story of Scrooge, Ebenezer Scrooge became shut off to the world, fearful, and petty in all he did.

Proverbs 11:24 There is that scatters, and yet increases; and there is that withhold more than is meet, but it tends to poverty. Continue reading

Free from the Stronghold of Facetiousness

Facetiousness, like many other strongholds begins as a thought which may become a habit. A facetious stronghold is one of the most hidden strongholds because it is sanctioned by the world and worldly thinking. We may enjoy a laugh or two at the expense of another without even being aware that this spirit has taken up residence.

Castell Harlech - geograph.org.uk - 1215326When discovered, this stronghold could rise up and invite other strongholds to protect itself. Before it gives up its domain, facetiousness may invite strongholds of denial, defense, arrogance, spite, criticism, and many others.

In the guise of resembling humor, facetiousness in a host may gain credibility and continue on for years without the host or anyone else seeing the true destroyer behind the host’s words. These words treat serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor. Continue reading