Do Not Take Offense
There are two things that offend the Lord, one is disobedience, and the other is sin. Disobedience is the act of not following God’s will for your life, and this is done by not obeying His Word, or for those that are more mature in their walk, willingly disregarding the leading of the Holy Spirit in all areas of their lives. The latter is more dangerous because everyone is accountable for what they know (Luke 12:45-48). And those that know about the Holy Spirit and how to hear God’s voice, but don’t do it, are in danger of losing their salvation (this is blatant rebellion – Heb. 10:26-31; 1Sam.15:23). For individuals that are beginning their walk in the Lord, they refer to reading the Scriptures often, in order to understand what sin is to God.
Romans 3:19 “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be hushed and all the world may be held accountable to God. “ (See also Rom. 7:7; Gal. 3:19)
Those that are still walking in a life of sin have not fully worked out their salvation in the Lord, as this is the full promise of the Gospel through Christ Jesus (Rom. 6; the full promise of abiding in Christ – 1John 3:6-9; the new creation in Christ fully matured –1 Cor. 15:45-57). As long as the believer is trying to grow in Him and understand how to be fully led by the Spirit, then the individual is utilizing the gift of grace from God properly and God will honor that.
Romans 3:20 “For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, & holy character].”
In other words, recognizing what sin is firsthand, is part of our foundational understanding towards holy character (full mature state in Christ 1Pet. 1:14-16). The final result of our full salvation in Him is to become holy as He is. This begins in repentance of sin (walking away from it), then onto learning to depend on the Holy Spirit’s leading in all areas of our lives (growing in faith & continuing to walk away from sin by His Power of the Spirit), and then ideally coming to the full manifestation of the divine Light of the Gospel (Jesus), the greatness of the power (1Cor. 1:24) portrayed in and through our bodies (earthly human vessels- 2Cor. 4:5-7; Eph. 4:15-24). Coming to this full manifestation is what is described as the ‘solid food,’ (Heb. 5:11-14). Knowing the Scriptures and hearing the Spirit lead you is what’s considered as the first principles of God’s Word. It’s the ability to apply it and walk in it continuously that shows the maturity level in the spirit realm (2Tim. 3:5; James 1:22-27). We should already know what sin is by reading the Scriptures and if we are truly being led by the Spirit of God in our lives daily. The mature state of our walk is being in right standing completely, or skilled in the doctrine of righteousness – as this is what the kingdom of God is built upon (Matt. 6:33; John 16:7-13; Rom. 5:18-21; Rom. 6:13-18; Rom. 14:17; 1Tim. 6:11-12; James 3:17-18). And this finished state can ONLY be accomplished by and through His Spirit bringing us forth in steps through guidance and complete obedience – the same power that brought Jesus through the experience of the cross, and overcoming death (2Cor. 3:16-18). It’s the full yielding to His leading that is required for us to walk through it…full surrender, full allowance of His control over us to accomplish His work for the kingdom purposes and to be true conquerors in Him (laying our will down Prov.16:3, never to pick it up again). We are now walking in His will fully no longer bound by the act of disobeying the voice of the Living God which can result in offending Him in the end, if not dealt with since eventually disobedience will lead to sin (this is also why it’s stated that obedience is more important than sacrifice 1Sam. 15:22). And, as we know, sin is offensive to God the Father.
Why is sin so offensive to the Father? It rejects all that He stands for and who He is. It rejects His goodness (what He initially intended for you before sin crept in – all goodness expressed in your life); it rejects His love (all that He wanted to show & share with you, as a result of being with Him & knowing Him); it rejects His mercy (the second chance He gave us through His Son Jesus as being given to sacrifice His life for our disobedience to Him); it rejects His authority & sovereignty (His honor & glory that is due Him for what He’s done for all creation & what He plans to do – His capability of taking care of us); it rejects His compassion (the ability He has to understand what true just equality is for all people based off His commands); it rejects oneself (the original, uncorrupted unique creation, before sin crept in, which God made in His image that could reflect Himself, and character in a form which is pleasing to Himself and beneficial to all creation).
The way God is offended is based off of a pure heart intention. His motives aren’t for Himself but for us – why He does things the way He does. In the end, by us submitting to His ways for our own good, then He is blessed because His Word is fulfilled in the process. This maintains Him as Truth. He loves us so much, beyond what our own hearts and minds can fathom of anyone’s expression of love that we can try to relate to in this world, that He’s offended by us not wanting to do good for ourselves. God set up His order for good, so that we may be blessed, others may be blessed, and most importantly His name is blessed. This original plan was and is perfect (Rom. 8:28). The Lord is on our ‘side,’ if we allow Him to do His work in and through us. In fact, He’s more on our side than anyone, but the question we need to ask ourselves is, are we willing to let Him into our lives and make things right and good (no matter how He does it –Ps. 119:75; Heb. 12:10-11; Heb. 4:16)?
Recognizing or Discerning – Taking Offense for the Wrong Reasons
Eph. 6:11-12 “Put on God’s whole armor, that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh & blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) spheres.”
2Cor. 10:2-4 “I entreat you when I do come [to you] that I may not [be driven to such] boldness as I intend to show toward those few who suspect us of acting according to the flesh [on the low level of worldly motives & as if invested with only human powers]. For though we walk [live] in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh & using mere weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical but they are mighty before God for the overthrow & destruction of strongholds.”
As part of a mature walk in the Lord, we need to understand the spirit realm in how it works and how to war in the Spirit effectively. This can only be done when the Spirit of the Lord has trained you in this, by imparting you revelation and understanding of it, and when you are led by the Spirit in the ways of handling the war that is occurring (as this is where the true authority comes from, in His timing and His ways of pulling down strongholds –in His will). If we are instead applying our own ways we think are appropriate, without the Spirit’s leading, based off religious man-made doctrines of faith, then the authority will not be there (Acts 19:13-16). Remember, authority ONLY comes through Christ Jesus, led by His Spirit, not through mere reciting of words cultivated by carnal intentions of the heart. Carnal intentions always get in the way of God’s work. This is why it’s important to learn to walk into full obedience led by His Holy Spirit completely, so that there is no way of something that is carnal in nature rising up to go against the work of the Lord ( as this would be going against the will of God –1Cor. 2:10-16; Matt. 16:21-23).
We need to recognize when we are responding in the carnal nature, repent, and return back to the leading of the Spirit. As a reminder, the two things that offend God are disobedience and sin. If we are truly discerning and being led by the Spirit, we will know when what is being presented before us is really of God. Either way, we still need to ask the Lord how to handle the situation. The Lord will not handle all things the same way because He is the One that truly knows what we are dealing with overall. And, He handles it according to what is best for His kingdom purposes (Ps. 115:3; Ps. 135:6; Rom. 9:15-18). The difference between the handling of the Spirit of God and the flesh is this – the Spirit will handle it from the spirit realm perspective – the heavenly (supernatural) way of warring or replying. The flesh will handle it for their own glory, as a personal attack (not Godly in nature –Rom. 12:19-21). The Lord knows His authority and is right in using it the way He intends to, not by mere outwardly appearances perceived from a worldly nature. Those that understand the true doctrine of righteousness will understand these ways of the Lord (Isa. 32:1-8). Individuals that have not examined themselves completely and dealt with what is not right before the Lord will have areas that cause them to stumble, and the Lord will point this out to them (their disbelief –1Pet. 2:6-8; Rom. 9:32-33; Isa. 28:11-16). It is best to get in right standing with the Lord in all areas so that this point of stumbling doesn’t have to occur (Matt. 5:14-29; 1Cor. 13:1-11; Matt. 18:3-9). Those that have come to the fullness of salvation in Him will take their stance in the kingdom of God (on earth as it is heaven), in righteousness and in love, and they shall not be moved (or offended by the whiles of the enemy –Ps. 121:3-8) because they have overcome the sting of sin and the result of sin which is death (1John 4; Rev. 2:7, Rev. 2:11; Rev. 3:12, Rev. 3:21). They have learned to rule and reign in Christ Jesus, the promise of His glory (2Thess. 2:4-17; Col. 3:10-17).