Recently, the Lord showed me how I had been offended at many things in my life. It’s true that I’ve been hurt by people and circumstances that I really had no control over. I’ve especially been deeply hurt by people and leaders of the Church. I knew what the Lord was saying was true because I’ve heard the rhetoric in my heart and mind before, but never really applied it to my life or connected the dots within myself. Why hadn’t I seen this about myself before now? Perhaps I wasn’t ready. No doubt, this shelter-in-place order has brought about a lot of self-realization. We’ve slowed down—listening to our hearts and our thoughts has been easier during this time. (God uses all things for our good.)
Realizing the truth that I was carrying offense at things, people and situations, I consequently ended up doing a spiritual social-distancing without even noticing it. I became more of an observer in life, and without realizing it, I found myself staying 6 feet away from people because I didn’t want to be hurt or disappointed again. Fear of people, fear of failing and fear of rejection was at the core of my decisions to distance myself.
We do a spiritual social-distancing because we don’t want to catch the opinions of others, thus being infected with something bad to have to deal with. Being offended literally builds a fence around us personally. We smile on the outside like it doesn’t really effect us, but on the inside we are retreating into ourselves because of some sort of internal pain or a lack of knowing how to process what we are feeling. We close the door to people, things, teachings, opinions, and situations because our trust level has been compromised. We don’t want to get in close contact with what people carry because we have no immune system. We then take on a victim mentality that says, “if they wouldn’t have said that or done that to me—if this didn’t happen to me, I wouldn’t be in the place I’m in right now.” It becomes their fault—we have given up all responsibility to steward our own lives. Again, some of us have no spiritual immune system.
On the other hand, I’m not saying we need to subject ourselves to everyone and everything. Even Jesus did not entrust Himself to people because He knew and understood the fickleness of human nature and He knew what was in man—in their hearts. (John 2:23-25) Discernment of the Spirit is desperately needed in our lives. That’s why it’s a gift of the Holy Spirit. God gave us these gifts because He knew how vital they would be to maneuver through our spiritual lives. Also, even though our discernment is most likely correct, it’s what we do with it and how we process the discernment that makes all the difference. We need God’s perspective of the discernment we are sensing. Are we responding to Holy Spirit or are we simply reacting to what we see or feel out of our own carnal minds? The best way to process discernment is by asking the Lord if what we are discerning is from Him and how does He want us to proceed with it. When our perspective of something is in-line with God’s perspective—God just might surprise us with the answers of how we are to respond.
Revival is for the Body of Christ—the Believers, and it starts within our own hearts as individuals before it can become a corporate revival. Revival is like many little fires coming together to make one big fire. It sparks something in our own heart. It quickly jumps to another person as the Spirit is able to ignite that spark into a flame. We need one another to sustain a revival. True revival is spread to others and is meant to be done in a group or a community of people. When you have logs burning in a campfire and you remove one of the burning logs to the outside, it will soon grow cold and go out. We need to get close enough to the flame (to one another) to catch fire and keep burning. This is an intentional act on our part. (i.e. putting yourself out there to catch what is being carried.) However if we go around offended at what we observe, we can completely miss what God has for us.
On the outside, revival may look like something you really wouldn’t choose to be a part of or associated with. We need to allow ourselves to get close enough to catch what other people carry. What do other people carry that we personally need? Oh sure, we can play it safe and stay at a distance but that won’t get us to a true sustaining revival. True revival is caught like a virus and we need to get close enough to be infected with what God is doing. We cannot be offended or else we won’t allow ourselves to come close. Revival looks messy. We need to jump in with our whole heart and let God sift things out for us personally without being offended or caring what other people think of us.
God wants to birth something in us. When a woman is in childbirth, she could care less what other people think of her in the process of giving birth. She doesn’t care what her hair or her make-up looks like. She doesn’t care if her house is clean or her laundry is done. She cares only about giving birth to her baby. She is focused on that ONE THING and no one better get in her way!
We need to catch this kind of ‘virus’! The One Thing—The Main Thing that matters is to give birth to a personal revival in our own lives by being around a corporate revival (other believers) that infects us with what God wants us to catch and burn with. This is a lifelong make-it-personal revival because we need to intentionally put ourselves back into the fire to burn hot and not go out. We won’t get there if we are worried about what other people think of us or if we are offended by anyone or anything else. We need to get God’s perspective and repent of our own. Selah.