Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
~ Luke 17:1-10 ~
We have been talking about how to live a life free of offense. I want you to see that living this way is a faith issue. Remember, Jesus said it is impossible to live in this world without the temptation of offense, but praise God, it is not impossible for you to resist that temptation! I’m going to show you from the Word of God how to move the mountain of offense out of your heart and life today. Glory to God!
The first thing I want you to see in Luke: 17:5-6 is that Jesus said to His disciples if they would release, or plant, their faith by saying faith-filled words and command a tree to be plucked up by the root and be planted in the sea, it should obey them. Friend, the territory of your heart is under your jurisdiction and your command. Notice He said that whatever you speak to should obey you. However, the context of His teaching on this basic principle of how the process of faith works is in response to their asking Him to “Increase our faith.” This is after He had just told them that the opportunity to be offended will certainly come to them (v. 1), and that if their brother trespasses against them seven times in a day, “thou shalt forgive him” (v. 4). He taught them faith in the context of forgiveness! We could also say that He taught them that they would have to use their faith to forgive! We see here three key things:
- Regardless of what anyone does, the choice to become offended with them or not is entirely yours.
- Living an offense-free life is a decision you will have to make by faith.
- Your emotions and any offense that tries to come are under your command, and if you will make the choice to use your faith, it (the mountain of offense) will obey you.
He is saying to us that we use our faith to move the mountain of offense out of our lives!
In these days we are living in, you cannot afford to allow anything to block your harvest, and offense is a major harvest-blocker. You must use your faith to subdue your emotions and get every trace of offense out now.
In Luke 7:10, Jesus continues His teaching on faith and forgiveness with the illustration of the servant and his master. Faith is not the servant in this story; we are. We are the ones who are commanded to forgive. “Thou shalt forgive him”- it is a command. Notice He says that we are not to be thanked or applauded for doing that which we ought, but our attitude toward releasing forgiveness is to be, “We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). How great a debt we owed that we could not pay, and Jesus has freely forgiven us. We need a revelation that on the cross, Jesus paid not only our own debt, but the debt of those who have wronged us. We have no right to hold anything against anyone when He has so lavishly forgiven us.
Holding onto offense is self-serving, but we serve Him. We are commanded to forgive instantly. Don’t let it simmer; that is how we stop serving others and start serving ourselves.
Do you realize that the reason we have most of the New Testament is because Stephen forgave Paul? As he was being stoned, he prayed, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge” (Luke 7:60). Stephen’s forgiveness of Saul opened the door for his Damascus Road experience!
If you are struggling to forgive someone today, if there is a situation that has flushed up in your heart as you are reading this, I want to help you. The way you move that mountain of offense is to first make a faith decision that you are going to! Then pray for that person by name. Release them, and begin to pray in the Holy Ghost for them! Child of God, you have an Advocate! You have an Intercessor Who will pray the perfect will of God for you! He will take hold with you, and as you release your faith-filled words both in English and in tongues, that mountain will obey you, and you will find yourself living in the glorious freedom of an offense-free life! Don’t put it off any longer; move the mountain of offense today!