Offense

 I am a sermon addict!  I can tackle almost any project if I have a preacher buzzing in my ear.  Today the kitchen was screaming for a cleaning, so I hooked my phone up to the radio, pulled up some one of my favorite pastors, and I was ready to make the place shine.  But.   . .well, the first sermon didn’t resonate with my current season . . .or so I thought.  The name of the sermon was “Get over it,” and it dealt with offense.  I wasn’t especially psyched about the topic, so I started selecting another one of my favorite speakers, Duane Sheriff.  But when I typed out his name, the first sermon that popped up dealt with offense.  Hmmmm . . .Come to think of it, I was reading Luke 7:23 last night which says “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”   I’m no Sherlock, but, well, there seems to be a theme here.  So I began searching my heart, and, yep, I found some offense lurking there. You see, I have been disappointed in this season of my life as I have hit wall after wall.  I have felt God calling me to step out in some areas, but those steps have been met with rejection and hardship and after a while, it starts to get to you if you let it.   And, apparently, I had.  It wasn’t a huge root of bitterness against God, but one toxic tendril was starting to stretch.  God in His mercy exposed the source through His Word before it could grow. (John 15:3)

The other day, I rode past some land that was being cleared, and my eyes were drawn to one particular tree that had been felled.  It wasn’t the size of the tree that caught my attention, but the size of the roots.  You would never guess that a root ball so immense was tucked into the ground, but it was, and those roots were constantly drawing and spreading.  What we allow to take ***** under the surface of our lives will determine what our life produces.  We can slap on a smile, spout some Christian catch phrases, lift our hands in worship with the best of them; meanwhile, lethal stems can be forging inroads in our hearts and snuffing the life out of us day by day, stealing our faith, hope, dreams, joy.  Many people have walked away from the Lord because they never address hurt, disillusionment and questions that arise from living in a fallen world.

Ultimately, I repented and determined to wage war with disappointment.   Lamentations 3 reminds us that God’s mercies are new every morning, and I need those mercies as I navigate through the emotions of this season.    As long as my heart stays tender enough to the Holy Spirit where He can expose rogue radicles and give me the grace to eradicate them; then my life can bear fruit that remains, and I can walk in freedom from offense and any other barrier to my relationship with my Closest Friend.

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