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Beware the Deadly Trap of Offences
by Jack Vorster
4/03/2010 / Christian Living
If you are born again, Spirit-filled and meditate in the Word day and night, then you should be immune to being offended by those you meet up with in the world - even family members - purely because it would come (super)naturally to you to face the world with the mind of Christ.
However, we live in a world of offences, a consequence of the very first offence as committed by the first man. Rom.15 verse 17 reads, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one;...." and verse 18 tells us, "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation;...." It is, therefore, by this very first offence that the world of humanity now lies in darkness and awaits judgment - except for those who have been delivered and restored to righteousness, a free gift from God through Jesus Christ.
Now just exactly what is an offence and why is it so important to avoid it?
The Greek word for offence is "Skandalon", meaning, a steel trap that is baited. And to be entrapped by it can cause one to stumble, hence, a stumblingblock on the path forward. But how does this fit in with us and why should it be considered a deadly trap as the title suggests? Let me explain by using the following scenario.
A wild animal approaches a baited trap in the woods. Although wary, the animal is lured by the bait on offer and goes for it. Immediately it is caught in the trap that ends up destroying him. Note, that it is not the bait, but the trap that killed the animal. He could not defend, nor protect himself once he was inside that trap. The emphasis here is on the loss of protection as a result of the offence, that is, the bait.
Likewise, the first man, Adam, was baited by Satan. He could have avoided it, but the bait became an offence to him ("For if by one man's offence..") and the trap he fell into not only destroyed him but also the whole of mankind. Why did this bring about spiritual and eventual physical death for Adam and all of us? As with the wild animal, Adam lost God's protection (anointing) when he became entrapped by the enemy.
About four thousand years later that anointing (protection) was restored through Jesus Christ for all those who believe. However, the enemy is still walking about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and destroy through offences. He is using believers and unbelievers alike as the bait to the trap for those who walk closely to the Lord. How?
Think carefully. Has anyone ever said an untrue thing about you to your face or behind your back and you took offence - to such an extent that it caused you to seethe and to mull over it, even causing you to lose sleep at night? If so, did the thought of revenge grip your heart and did you find that, somehow, you lost the sense of anointing within your spirit? Did you start feeling vulnerable as if you lost all the protection you had before as a child of God? Exactly!
What had taken place is that you took offence (the bait presented to you) and you found yourself engulfed by the trap to which the bait was attached. By your own doing, you were now no longer protected for you had stepped out of God's anointing into the trap set up to destroy you. It became your choice, against the will of God. And God had no choice but to stand back.
This is why so many tragedies have struck Christians and their families. Or, at least, the suffering of loss of material and financial blessings.
As shocking as this may seem, God confirms this situation in His Word. "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" (Mt 18:7). Yes, we may take offence and suffer for it until we come to our senses, but woe indeed to the person who acts as a willing agent for the enemy.
So, tread carefully, the next time the bait of offence is dangled before you, just smile and walk away from it - like Jesus within you would do.
Now retired, Jack Vorster has a background in marketing in the field of newspaper advertising. As a result of a life-changing experience he turned his attention to the study of the human make-up and the realities connected to human behaviour based on the Word of God.
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