Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they who love thy law and nothing shall offend them”. I covet that place where I refuse to entertain offense and lose God’s peace. It is so easy to take offense. How do I do it? I hear what others say, see what others do, object to circumstances and situations and take on offense by unrighteous judgement of any of the afore mentioned. Unrighteous judgement is the expression of my pride. I lose sight of the fact that my first fall-out is with God because He has permitted in His wisdom, what He could have prevented by His power. I take offense and God’s peace “flies out the window”.
Jesus said: “Blessed is he who is not offended with me”, Matthew 11:6.
Wherever I take on offense, I need to ask the Holy Spirit to search my heart and show me where I am wrong. My responsibility is to be the gatekeeper of God’s peace in my heart. When I lose His peace, the first step in repentance and getting back on track is an acknowledgement of truth: “I’m wrong, Lord, for surrendering the sense of Your presence to a situation”. The Holy Spirit has an affinity for humility and cannot resist it, for it is the very nature of Christ. He then shows me where I surrendered God’s peace in unrighteous judgement of people, circumstances or God, and shows me where I need to humble myself and repent. Humility is always key and the way back.
God’s peace in my heart is not just a nice feeling, it has divine purpose. The purpose of God’s peace is to keep my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. When my peace is disturbed, it is time to quickly get before the Lord and ask why, before the ripple becomes a storm. An unruly heart, (my trouble spot, not the circumstance), treads roughshod over Holy Ground and elects self-rule. Pride has risen in my heart from unrighteous judgement, and I justify myself in thought and action. I lose God’s peace because God resists me. 1 Peter 5:5-6 “……..God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time”. God has given the instruction here to deal with our pride: repent and humble – take the blame! Get back with God’s programme of purpose. I can take my negatives and use them positively as learning curves and stepping stones. I may view my failures as dung, but dung is a great fertiliser. Let them fertilise and strengthen my resolve to press on to “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”, to run life’s race.
Proverbs 16:5 confirms: “Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord”. Until I learn to recognise, and deal with, this abominable thing that God hates, (pride), my spiritual walk is impeded. I limp along life’s highway, confused and blind to my failure, blaming others and going nowhere fast. Pride is blind to it’s own failures. Thankfully, God’s word instructs us how to get back on track, (1 Peter 5:5). My identity is never in my past, or present, failures. Jesus is the Door to recovery. He is the Way, the Truth and the Light. The Shepherd of my soul tenderly calls and shepherds me back safely into His fold. Repentance brings such freedom in Christ and I am reminded that He, the living Christ, is my identity. That is who I am, in Christ. My past is forgiven and I can declare to the devil: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”.
When I am sure of my standing and identity in Christ, I find I have nothing to prove anymore.
“Great peace have they who love thy law and NOTHING shall offend them”.
Offence is the devil’s ground!