Living Unoffended Unto God: Sermon By Deaconess Sheila Mengich
Offence: an annoyance and resentment brought about on by action or perceived insult.
It stems from a violation of one’s standards and principles held in high regard.
Value systems emanate from our identity.
There is a higher likely hood of getting offended by someone you are close to than someone you do not know intimately.
A brother offended is harder to be won over than a strong city, and [their] contentions separate them like the bars of a castle.Proverbs 18:19 (AMP)
Offence causes people to create walls.
God is very intentional about relationship and that’s why He looks to address offence. God can never offend anyone. He never offends anyone. It is our limited perceptions that makes us think that God has and can offend us.
Offence justifies you withholding your love, creating anxiety and fear in your heart. You close up.
You partake from the relationship you esteem. Offer love and honour unto God.
Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper]. Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony]. And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].Colossians 3:12-15 (AMP)
Absence of love is fear and doubt.
Offence draws us away from the presence of God and everything outside the presence of God is subject to distortion.
When you have a perceived offence with God, you will withdraw from Him. When you are outside of the presence of God, you are prone to fall prey to deception.
Everything outside of the presence of God is distorted. One literally falls from grace.
Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin].Romans 1:21-24 (AMP)
Offence makes you remove yourself from the authority and kingship of God. You do as you please.
In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.Judges 21:25 (AMP)
For I was envious of the foolish and arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.Psalm 73:3 (AMP)
For my heart was grieved, embittered, and in a state of ferment, and I was pricked in my heart [as with the sharp fang of an adder].Psalm 73:21 (AMP)
In the face of offence, we need to stay in the presence of God. Someone who has a relationship with God takes that offence and brings it before God, and seeks understanding from God concerning that offence(s).
Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood [for I considered] their end.Psalm 73:17 (AMP)
It is okay to express your anger to God.
So foolish, stupid, and brutish was I, and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.Psalm 73:22 (AMP)
Offence makes one ask questions unto God with recommendations and requirements.
Zechariah asked questions that undermined God supremacy not seeking direction and clarification from God.
There are places in your offence that cause you to not allow God to speak or it distorts what He is saying.
The level of offence and pain we have cuts us off from the supply of God.
Moses was sent by God to deliver people from 400 years slavery. Later, they did not listen to Moses because of their broken heart and crushed spirit.
Moses told this to the Israelites, but they refused to listen to Moses because of their impatience and anguish of spirit and because of their cruel bondage.Exodus 6:9 (AMP)
This is what often dulls the hearing of God in our situations.
Offence cuts us from the supply of God’s comfort. Rachael cannot be comforted because her children have been killed.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God.2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (AMP)
God is an iconoclast [a person who criticizes or opposes beliefs and practices that are widely accepted]. He breaks down the distorted beliefs and perceptions we cherish of Him that are contrary to His nature. This is love. This is how He melts down offence. God cannot fit into a box that you create of Him. He is infinitely majestic and greater.
Why We Get Offended:
1. The infinite nature of God’s wisdom isn’t compatible with our finite understanding.
His ways are not our ways. We need to submit to his eternal principles. He cannot be limited by man. At one point he wanted to get rid of all the Israelites and start a new generation.
Human beings are comfortable with the things that have been defined. We go for the known and the comfortable. The safe. And then because God is infinite, this confounds our finite and limited understanding. The journey of faith is just that – a journey of faith that figuring things out is not mental. When we try to grasp God with our minds it is unfruitful.
God wants us to experience the richness of Who He is. He wants us to venture into Who He is.
Life without wonder and mystery is deep poverty. It is the reason why God hides things for us, not from us. Offence is distorted perception.
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]— to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).Ephesians 3:20-21 (AMP)
2. We relate with God the way we do with man.
We relate with God in the same manner as the people who have hurt us.
We need to deal with soul ties that install mindsets that are against the knowledge of God and bring them down to obedience of God. The reason man fails you is that he is not morally upright.
God is morally upright and perfect. When things appear too late, He is looking out for your good from an eternal perspective.
3. We look at God’s works devoid of Who He is.
Seek out who God is through every experience.
Job’s friends were out to blame Job for sinning against God for his suffering and missed out on the sovereignty of God.
The works of God change – but His character is unchanging. He will provide manna, feed you through the ravens and a widow. Do not get fixated on the experience and miss out on the person of God.
Moses saw the works of God but he sought to seek the person of God to know His ways.
Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding more strongly and clearly] and that I may find favor in Your sight. And [Lord, do] consider that this nation is Your people. And the Lord said, My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.Exodus 33:13-14 (AMP)
Moses yearned to enter the promised land but God did not let him. This could have easily caused Moses to be offended.
Then I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying: ‘O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds? I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon.’ But the Lord was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So the Lord said to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift your eyes toward the west, the north, the south, and the east; behold it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. But command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see.’Deuteronomy 3:23-28 (NKJV)
When we surrender our sense of judgment to God being fully persuaded that all He does is for His glory and for our good, it will snuff out offence from our hearts.
Guarding your heart is not creating walls in your heart but opening it up and not losing your integrity.
4. We don’t understand how God does what He does.
The Pharisees got offended at Jesus healing on the Sabbath.
There is a gentleness of process by the Potter after the clay has been crushed and mixed with water.
Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’
“And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’
“Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
“And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”Luke 19:11-27 (NKJV)
In the Parable of Minas, a mina was 50 shekels and the one that was faithful was put to rule cities. May we be faithful in the resources that God has given us.
God often answers us in seed form. Faithfulness is what grants us access to the next level.
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves. So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”2 Kings 4:1-7 (NKJV)
The widow served God as the wife of a prophet. God delivered her in a very unprecedented manner. She was in debt but was told to borrow vessels. It all boils down to faith and trust in God.
You can never legislate your relationship with God. He allows us to explore.
5. We don’t go back to clarify from God what He spoke.
God speaks something not to finish it but to stir it up within you.
We need to go deeper to get secondary illumination.
God calls you into His inner chamber. He woos you to seek Him.
6. We get offended when God finally shows up because we are time bound and we also get offended by how He shows up.
We are in a hurry for God to fulfill what He wants to fulfill.
We are finite, He is not.
Waiting can be hard, but God makes all things beautiful in His time.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.Ecclesiastes 3:11 (AMP)
7. We get offended at the why of God. The why of a matter.
Mary and Martha were offended because their brother Lazarus died and Jesus came late. Yet God had intended to show himself as the resurrection. (Reference: John 11:1-40)
Everything God does is for His glory. We were created for God’s glory. The end game of every season of our lives is God being glorified.
Even in the face of offence, God knows how to comfort us.
When Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she dropped down at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who came with her [also] sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. [He chafed in spirit and sighed and was disturbed.] And He said, Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. The Jews said, See how [tenderly] He loved him!John 11:33-36 (AMP)
Offence reveals a place in our lives where we are lacking in the knowledge of God.
God never wants us to be offended but to trust Him in the face of offence.
God does things for us to draw closer to Him.