Offense: It's a word we have either experienced or seen others go through it. It's a hot-topic word as it seems more and more individuals are going through battles of being offended. Whether it is being offended over politics, religion, freedom, protests or choices, the list is long with so many dealing with being offended on some level. To understand more about how offense works against individuals who have a relationship with Jesus, I began to consider how the mindset of offense works.
And that's when I saw an octopus. Yep, I know it sounds strange, but it was the image that first came to me. I began to see how offense operates like the arms and the legs of an octopus. Offense has the sole purpose to attach itself to you (to entangle you), and I believe that the Lord is detailing how a spirit of offense will come against you in eight different ways.
1. Mind - Romans 8:5-8: "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace, for the carnal mind is hostile toward God, for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can it be, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God." When offense takes root, the first place it's coming after is your mind. If offense can attach itself to your thoughts, it owns your ability to process understanding. The moment offense attaches itself to your mind, the ability to have clarity and peace is diminished, as everything now becomes about feeding every thought that is only directed at the hurt through offense.
2. Sight/Vision - Proverbs 29:18 (KJV): "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." Proverbs 29:18 (MSG): "If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed." The problem now becomes about what you are seeing, verses that aren't actually there. Once offense attaches itself to your vision, you now become bombarded by everything that you see. You begin to see things as though they are something that they are not. Every post, every picture, every action is something that you see as a direct attack against you. What is a general or a normal statement now looks as a direct shot against you. Offense shifts your vision from fulfilling your purpose into an opposition from everyone/everything. You're now unable to recognize what God is doing as you're devoted to see what is being done to you.
3. Heart - Proverbs 6:16-19 (MEV): "These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness who speaks lies, and he who sows discord among brethren." This is a very dangerous place to find yourself. The moment that offense attaches itself to your heart, every single thing you do becomes toxic and dangerous. It's out of the abundance of your heart that everything about your true intentions are revealed. It's the moment that your heart becomes so infected that your actions become destructive to those that are around you.
4. Relationships - Proverbs 17:9: "He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends." This has to be one of the saddest things to witness as offense attaches itself to your relationships. Offense will eventually put a wedge between you and your family or friends. Your relationships will change over time as you search out certain people to tell your side to who will be on your side or who is now your enemy. Offense will divide your most devoted friends to now become an enemy because they didn't see it your way.
5. Hearing - James 1:19-20: "Therefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God." Offense will attack your ear gate. A spirit of offense will attach itself to your hearing in such a way that not only will your natural hearing be affected, but also the ability to hear spiritually will be tainted. Naturally, we will begin to hear what others are saying and process those things to be slanderous towards us. More dangerously is when that affects your ability to hear what the Lord is saying. Your spiritual ear will become more tuned to the lies, manipulation and deception of the enemy.
6. Body/health - Proverbs 16:24 - "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones." Many don't like to talk about it, but the truth is, offense will begin to become a natural issue in your body. The negative thoughts, bitterness, unforgiveness, rage, frustration, unwarranted worries, strife and so forth will eventually take a toll on your physical health.
7. Time - Ephesians 6:2-3 - "'Honor your father and mother,' which is the first commandment with a promise, 'so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.'" If honor produces life, what will offense take from life? Time! When offense attaches itself to you, your time becomes consumed with proving others wrong and you right. You become consumed with payback or restitution to what was done to you. Instead of being about the Father's business, your No. 1 priority is you. Therefore your time is now robbed from your own offense.
8. Finances - Ecclesiastes 2:26 - "For to a man who is pleasing before Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting to give him who is pleasing before God. Also this is vanity and chasing the wind." I know it's a touchy subject these days, but money is still a relevant issue that must be acknowledged in the kingdom. Part of the lack you will experience when it comes to finances can be rooted to a spirit of offense. When offense attaches itself to you, you soon welcome bitterness towards others in ministry, pastors, apostles, prophets, networks, churches, organizations and so on. When that offense digs deep, you will begin to withhold your finances from what you once supported. Offense will convince you to do so as a plan of strategy. Offense will convince you that they will come crawling back to you because they need your money. Truth is, offense attacks your finances and not the finances of those who are pleasing God.
A spirit of offense has but one purpose: to destroy you. Offense is straight from the enemy, and if you allow an open door, it will not be long until you see how it affects one of the eight (or more) ways mentioned above. Guard your heart, guard your mind and keep your spirit devoted to the Father. When offense comes knocking, and it will, please walk out what the Bible declares. Don't be the type of person who calls everyone without going to the one whom the offense first began with.
Matthew 18:15-17: "Now if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, then take with you one or two others, that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every word may be established. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."
Ryan Johnson is mantled in equipping the body of Christ to awaken the nations with a prophetic call of a rising ekklesia. As a revivalist and apostolic minister, Ryan ministers with a prophetic voice of revival and awakening, with the demonstration of God's purposes in regions, individuals and the church.
This article originally appeared at ryanjohnson.us.