“And they took offense at Him [they were repelled and hindered from acknowledging His authority, and caused to stumble].” (Matthew 13: 57)
When you look at your walk with the Lord, what do you see? Do you find that your love that was fervent and passionate in the beginning has become cold and indifferent?
It is possible even for believers who loved the Lord and were faithful to Him for years to become distant from Him. It happens when something triggers a feeling of offense towards the Lord. The believer may not even be aware of it. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says that we should “lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ.” For this reason, it is important that we examine and check our hearts for any offense from time to time.
What is offense?
What does the Bible say about “offense”? What are the repercussions of having an offense against the Lord?
When Jesus, who did great miracles, healed the sick and raised the dead to life came to His own hometown, He wanted to do miracles for people there too. But the people of this town were offended with Him, they refused to accept Him. They could not believe in Him because of their offense. Their offense restricted Him from using His power for their benefit.
The Amplified Bible says they were “repelled and hindered from acknowledging His authority, and caused to stumble,” from having faith in Him. What was the result of their taking offense? Matthew 13:58 says, “He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in the divine mission of Jesus).”
Have you wondered why miracles break out only in some places or wondered why only some people seem to be able to receive miracles from the Lord?
Believer, have you wondered why some people seem to have testimony after testimony but some others don’t?
A time for soul searching
Perhaps it is time to check your faith and search your heart to find whether you are offended with God over something that happened in the distant or recent past. Check if offense or unbelief has kept you from seeing your prayers answered and prevented you from seeing miracles and amazing testimonies unfolding in your life. If it is so, it is time to renew your faith in the Lord.
Peter says in Acts 10:34-35, “God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons. But in every nation He who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed [by Him].”
God is not unfair! If you open your heart to Him and revere Him, He will do great miracles for you!
Just like the father of the boy who was tormented by an evil spirit (see Mark 9:24) who acknowledged his lack of faith saying, “Lord, help me overcome my unbelief!” we too can cry out to the Lord for help. The Bible says that Jesus responded to the father’s cry and the boy was set free.
Reach out to God!
What is it you need from the Lord today? Pray in faith, believing that He is able and He will answer your prayer and He will do it for you. Matthew 7:7-8 encourages us to, “Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.”
When we don’t receive an answer – we are to persist in praying and not give up! Luke 18: 1-7 encourages us to keep on praying and seeking until we receive an answer. Just like the widow who kept on knocking on the door of the unjust judge till she got justice, we too should keep praying and seeking God’s intervention and solution for our problems. Let us be open to receive God’s answer and expect that He will do what is best for us.
If you find that you have lost your closeness with God, the first thing you need to do is go back to Him and tell Him you are sorry. Repent for getting offended with Him and ask Him to cleanse your heart of every thought, feeling and attitude that goes against Him. Ask Him to enable you to see things in His light.
The most important relationship
Our relationship with God is the most important and longest relationship we will ever have. Psalm 139:13 says, “For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.” God knew us before we were conceived. After we finish our time on earth we will have to go and stand before Him. Our relationship with Him is not just on earth but eternal. If we use our free will to go against Him our deeds could cause eternal separation from Him.
Let us always guard our hearts against any kind of offense against God. Let us remember to take every problem to God and ask Him to help us overcome it so the enemy cannot cause a rift between us and God through it. Let us be mindful of how we spend our lives because how we spend our time on earth will finally define how we spend eternity.
God’s never ending love
In Jeremiah 31:3 the Lord says, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.”
He knows our frame, He knows how much we suffer, out of love He calls out to us saying, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” Matthew 11:28
Won’t you turn to Him and give Him a chance to lavish His love on you? He is the perfect gentleman He will not force His love on you, He waits for you just like the father of the prodigal son waited for his son longingly. His arms are open wide.