I have been reading Habakuk. The opening chapter sounds like it was written last month - evil, law appearing powerless, justice not going forth, wickedness abounding…
Five verses in the Lord is like, look, I am going to do a great work, it will be during your lifetime, unbelievable in scope, etc. This too is concurrent - it has been prophesied (multiple times by multiple people) about a Third Great Awakening, a revival to end all revivals, a billion soul harvest… but it has yet to make its full manifestation in power and purpose.
I was ruminating, meditating and mulling this over - How do we make this happen? How do we bring this about? Into my head popped 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“If my people… humble themselves, pray, seek My face, turn from their wicked ways… I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (Dena paraphrase)
I sputtered. We have been praying, seeking, and turning!
Frustrated and confused I decided to take a walk.
I am a big fan of Liz Wright. She had emailed her latest video interview and I put it on while traipsing around the neighborhood. Patricia King was promoting her new book Live Un-Offendable. She covered the sins imbedded in offense (anger, bitterness, judgement, pride, unforgiveness) and how they block, impede, limit God from hearing our supplications, pleas, and intercession. Offense can be anything from minor irritation to full blown frustration and anger. All of it is sin. All. Of. It.
“If my people… HUMBLE themselves…” Played over again in my mind. I had forgotten the first part of the equation!
As I walked I replayed my morning… offended at the Audi driver going 25 in a 45, offended at my child for AGAIN leaving her pajamas in the middle of her floor, offended at this, at that. It was a trigger reaction. Sigh. #convicted
I do not believe I am alone. Offense surrounds, buffets, on every side and turn. To live unoffendable is commendable - because it is a choice, a decision, a lifestyle running counter-cultural and apart from the mainstream depiction. Offense has turned into a position, a type of lifestyle and narrative. Grumbling and complaining about others, actions and events is the norm.
I feel God told me he is unable to move on our behalf because we have chosen to partner, hold hands, invite into our atmosphere Anger, Bitterness, Judgement, Pride and/or Unforgiveness. Offense is not given, it is taken. It is our CHOICE if we ally, associate, buddy up or collaborate with offense and its minions.
I choose this day to drive a stake in the ground and to CHOOSE to live a life unoffendable. I want to change the norm, the expected, the anticipated. I want to be and show love to those around me. Love and Offense can not co-exist.
Offense needs to die.