Leon Fontaine - The Bait Of Satan
One thing I've noticed as a pastor is offended people are proud and at the same time they're victims. Somebody else made me this way. Somebody else did this to me. Offenses can never be given. Jesus said that offenses will come. Everybody here has been hurt by others. If you can speak the English language and understand it, you've been offended. You've been hurt by people. But your response is whether or not you begin to judge them and be offended and bitter or whether you let it go. Let it go. Forgiveness is not about them. It's about you cut that umbilical cord and having the pain that you feel right now. You see, you cannot make me offended.
Now, don't take this personal. I'm just gonna say it, so that you can say it this way. You cannot make me offended. Now, you can hurt me but you can't make me suffer because to suffer with offense and all the junk here. I would have to literally judge you, get offended by you, and then live in this horrible trap of the enemies. Where the Bible says he gets me to do what he wants at his will because I'm living in offense. And I can't get the, in offense you won't get miracles to work. You can't get relationships to work. You can't get your kids to love you. You don't even know what love is. You can't get love. You can't accept love. There's just a host of stuff that people who live in offense.
And so you need to look at offense as literally horrid. It's the bait of the trap and the trap is to stop all miraculous flow, all love. Anything the enemy would want to do begins to happen in your life and you can cry all you want. In fact, if you grab the bait. Watch this. Let's say, you grab the bait. And let's say this is boiling water in this cup. Maybe you just touch the boiling water and you say, "Jesus, help me for go. Jesus please take the pain away". Let go of the cup. "Help me. Help me. Help me. Oh, the pain is bad". Let go! "God, where are You? What's the matter with You. I'm praying".
Let go. That's what the whole world is like. Hold on to the offense because they deserve your scorn. Hold on to what's going on because bless God, while you hold on to that your entire life dissolves into one hell of a mess if you don't learn dealing with offense. Because most Christians don't, so many churches I coach churches all over the world. That they just live in this constant offense. One person gets offended, there's nothing worse than offended Christian. They'll quote verses in their offense. But brilliant, the Bible says, and we talk about how to become mature in this. That if a Christian gets offended, it's an immediate sign they are an immature person. I don't care how much they can spout. I don't care how many verses they can quote.
When someone gets offended, that is an immature Christian because the Bible teaches us that we must develop the skill of learning God's Word, getting into God's Word, and know the tricks of the enemy. And when people begin to come against you, hurt you, or you think they are. Do not take the bait. Do not get offended and start... When you judge somebody, it's when you say, "Why did you do that"? And then you think you know their motives. You think you know their intentions but you're not. All right. I'm gonna give you some. I'm gonna just give you nine things. I'm gonna just go to them fast.
Here we go number one, to allow God's Word to confront you and to change you rather than be offended is why you're here. It's why you should be at church. Jesus said blessed is he, who's not offended in me. Oh, who's gonna get offended by a little Jesus, not little bit. A Jesus walking around healing people, being nice, being good. Who's gonna get offended? Everybody who had a religious mindset was offended by the things that He said. Everywhere. It was so bad they want to kill Him. Why would they get offended? Because He was saying things that was going against their religious beliefs. When you come to church and as the Word is being taught. It should, all truth is confrontational. It should confront something in your life. It should give you a truth that you will, I need to go there.
Now, Matthew 15:12 says, "Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying"? Who were the Pharisees? The people who knew the Word the best, were the Pharisees. You know, one of the reasons this is something about. The one of the reasons Jesus came to the planet was because Israel did not understand properly or live properly what the Old Testament covenant was. And so they thought God was this, this, this, and this. And Jesus had to come to show who God was. The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New is all in Jesus and what He acted like in three years and how we were treated. That's God.
You know, we sing this verse. Emmanuel, Emmanuel. His name shall be called Emmanuel. God with us. Jesus was a physical look at God and what He would do in every situation. Whenever the Bible doesn't line up. A verse you read doesn't line up with who you see in Jesus. Then you need to keep researching because you've got the wrong truth. Jesus walking this planet, all right. So they were offended. The people who knew the Old Testament the best were offended the most. So those of you who've been raised in religion or raised. Be careful, stop protecting what you think you know and just say, "Jesus, I'm gonna be a repentant attitude all the time. I wanna change. I wanna learn. I wanna grow. Help me to embrace truth".
All right. The second thing, going through hard times is when many get offended. Where is my help? In Mark 4:17 it says, when affliction or persecution arise for the word's sake, immediately they are what? Offended. When you get offended in God's Word rather than let God's Word bring truth. God's Word will not only bring truth. It will bring life and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. God's Word comes, and You hear His Word. If you do not accept His Word and mix faith with His Word, then you get offended by the Word. I'm not coming back this church. That pastor thinks he's got it all figured out and I tell you, I've been studying the Bible for years now. I know that's just not true. Anything that bothers you, you probably the sitting soak a little bit. They absorb a Proverb.
When you throw a rock at a pack of dogs, the hit dog barks. When you come to church and a certain truth hits you. It causes pain, or it causes the reaction, or it makes you. Don't just reject. Just stay. You know, everything I say is not gonna be true because I don't have all truth. So you should judge everything that I say with the Bible. But when you begin to feel something, you need to recognize. Maybe I need to look at this because truth confronts but truth sets free. Truth will take you places you've never been able to go. The next season, the next level, the next place you desire to go but can't get there is only a truth away and Holy Spirit knows which one. Which one that will set relationships free, finances free. That will set your mind free. That will bring you to peace. That will bring you to joy. And He's trying to bring that principle into your life.
All right. A third thought, growing and staying in God's Word is huge for Christians to stay clear of the offense trap, okay? You gotta stay clear. In Matthew 13, Yet hath he no root in himself. Now, the roots on the plant take time. Which is why you don't see the plant above the ground because the plant below the ground is driving roots further down and that's getting this thing rooted. So, "Yet hath he no root in himself, but dureth for a while, for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended". In each of these cases the plant dies.
All right. So when you learn truths from God's Word, if you do not mix faith with what you hear. If you do not die to pride and stay open to say, "I wanna have repentant attitude. I wanna learn and grow". If you do not keep that, if you get into offense the Word is finished and that it is finished. And this offense will destroy you, family, home. And the reason that people struggle when they're going through hard times is because in this earth stuff can go up and down, okay? Now, God's Word does not promise that everybody around you is gonna treat you good. In fact, it promises you the treat other than that. Offenses are gonna come. People are gonna hurt you. People are gonna lie about you, cheat you, steal from you.
Now, yes, the Bible says God will lead you and guide you. But He is not going to take over somebody else's will for your promise, not that person becomes a weapon, because the promises says no weapon form against me will prosper. I get that. I'm just saying that in the world you live in, the neighborhood you live in, the career path you've taken. It will be filled with people who are offended, who will try to get you offended. And the enemy will try to use this because the second he can get you into offense, miracles are so hard to get to happen. And you cannot function until you get out of this offense. Deal with it so that you can be free to get up and walk in the favor and the blessing of God.
Number four simply says being offended stops miracles in your life. Don't get offended. Don't get offended and do not pick up another person's offense. If I was to go around every person here today, almost no one will say, "Oh, yeah. I am offended about something". Because we've been trained not to. Yet, if I'm struggling with this every day. What do you mean pastor? You're struggle? Absolutely, I'm struggling with this every day. This is something I must train myself in because the lies, people, saying, doing, what they're going. I have to be on guard all the time. That's why I do not take offense because when I take offense it's gonna cause me what I'm believing God for.
So I cannot let you offend me and I won't. You can't offend me. You can make me hurt. You can make me suffer. A little bit I'll have pain is a better way to say it. You can say stuff about me, do stuff about me. But I'll never, never allow, and I'll have to work at this. You to cause me to be offended. When someone says you offended me. That's a lie. Offense is something you do with the event that just took place. But when you're offended, welcome to hell before you get there. All right, so it stops.
Number five, many are offended when someone they know intimidates them through success. Isn't that interesting? In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus comes to His hometown who is now, this Jesus is like the hero of the villages and the cities. And here's what His hometown friends who grew up with Him said, "Is this not the carpenter's son? Is this not this His mother called Mary? And His brothers and James and Joses and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him". All right. "Jesus then says unto them, 'A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.' And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief".
I read this as a young man as my kids were growing up and it really touched me because I realized that for my kids to do their best they would need to leave me. They would need to leave me because you can't in your own house is where you don't have honor. And I made this, I say, "God, I don't want my kids to have to go". Then become their number one cheerleader. Cheer them on. Make sure that you believe in them and when they're, when they see Gods saying this, cheer them on. Be the platform they stand on, not the thing they stumble on. And then, that's when I realized, okay, I've gotta always do that because in your own house amongst who you grew up with, when people succeed around you is where people get offended.
And so recognize that, that there's someone getting better than you all of a sudden, don't get offended. You know, in little way it's kind of funny watching girls. If someone who's in really good shape, a woman walks into a crowded room of ladies and she's in really good shape. And she knows how to do make up. She knows how to do nails and she knows how to put clothes together. This girl has been at the places. That's the dress I want. Those are Jimmy Choo shoes. And it's like everybody just, I mean, it's like the cat claws come out. She thinks she's something. You begin to judge her. Same thing happens to guys. A guy walks in. I mean, put together. He's got a six-pack. I mean, this guy has got muscles on muscles. But he's good looking. He's got the style, his glasses, the hair mousse just right. I mean, the clothes are picked. Everything just, I mean, every eyes on this guy.
And all the guys pulling a little bit, chest goes out. You know, we have a hard time just encouraging. The Bible says weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice. The church has always weep with those who weep. Do you know the church has a hard time? That someone walked in, that everything's going good for them. Successful, driving something you wish you had, wearing stuff you wish you had, with everybody's favor known. And everyone's automatically hmnn. But I thought you were supposed to rejoice? When people succeed around you is an opportunity to get offended as well. Watch it. You get offended, it will slam your life into a plateau. What number did I give you last?
Number six, once offended, you will betray friends. You'll betray your own spouse in your thought life and what you do. And I've seen it all over the years. When you get offended, you think you begin to betray. You think betrayal thoughts and then hatred begins to rise up in your heart. Matthew 24:10, "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another". I've had to counsel with families and marriages and businesses and business guys. I stop counseling with business guys or girls because there'll be an offense between two business people on our church. And while the Bible says read it in context and so I tried to get involved not realizing there's an offense between this two.
And me getting involved, and the Bible says that a brother that is offended winning him over is like taking a walled city. And I get involved and when this thing all ended, they all began from the church. Guess who's being blamed now? Because there's an offense involved. So once offended, you'll betray friends, hatred will be an issue for you. You'll struggle with anger. You'll struggle with, you think you've got an incredible ability to judge people because you're good at it. Oh, I see this, this in you. Oh, man. Everywhere I look, I see problems. Yeah, you do because this is what you're wired for right now. You're in offense and you don't need to because who care. Let Jesus deal with them. You just begin to see all the good things in people.
Number eight. Seven? Most do not believe they could be offended with a friend and they don't believe it when they are. Until you learn about offense, you're sure this is okay. You don't even realize you're in offense. And you don't even know why nothing works for you. Matthew 26:33, "Peter answered and said unto him, though all men shall be offended because of you, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, before the nights over the cocks gonna crow, you gonna deny me three times. Peter said unto Him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples".
Peter recognize that every person that was involved in the Old Testament and supposed to know it. He, Jesus offended everybody. I was gonna say something but I gotta be careful. If you're in the church, you're gotta guard your heart all the time because of the teaching, you might be in the right church. If you're in a church, you go, "You're wonderful. You're amazing. You're awesome. Go out there and live an amazing life". And they don't teach the Word to you, I'd run because truth confronts. Truth sets captives free. Truth takes you to the next season of your life. Somebody needs to speak truth to you. You can defile every relationship around you especially the ones you love the most when you live on offense. Because if you're offended, it says in Hebrews 12:15, "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springs up and troubles you, and thereby many become defiled".
You are in such sin when you get into offense. Let's just be really honest. What? I'm offended because he hurt me. Oh, you go ahead and deal with it. There's a completely Biblical way to confront the person. You don't judge them. You tell them what they've done and then how you feel and then your job is done. They can either say I'm sorry and go, you know, forget you, and either way then you move on. But you do not get offense, hurts you, hurts your spouse, hurts your kids, hurts your business, hurts people around you and your kids are training and learning to be like you because you've got and offended.
And so number nine, you will need God's grace to stay out of offense. People can take you on and say things that hurt so bad. People can do things to you that only God helps you to go, "I'll let that thing go. I can't afford that". You know, as a pastor who's responsible for thousands and thousands of people, organizations and I've gotta raise millions of dollars to keep this gospel going. I cannot afford offense. I cannot afford it. So people who tend to always tempt me in that area, I get away from them and I stay in the Word. I say God only for your grace. Paul said, when I am weak, then He is strong. When Jesus talked about some of these things, the disciples said increase our faith.
I encourage you to get to know Jesus, only you knowing Jesus. This message will not get rid of your offense. This message will not break you free. But you coming to Jesus and saying, "I'm sorry. I release this to You". And only He can connect at your heart level and then walk you out into the beautiful joy, love, blessing that He's prepared for you. Let's get wise to the lies of the enemy, the schemes of the enemy. And let's make sure that we are growing in the skills. The Bible is filled with skills that must be learned and practiced. And those skills will build relationships. Those skills will build countries.
I shared and taught a little bit about how an entire people group can live in offense. Many politicians will rise up and they'll try to get people offended about something that's been done to them. And I think they get a whole nation offended, a whole people group offended. Then they got all these votes. Politics is a dangerous place because the way they rally people quickly is to do what works and what works is to get them mad and offended. Then rally them around not realizing that people who are learning to be offended will soon be looking at you as the new leader and they'll be offended there, too.
And so as I travel and even work in different countries, nations, people groups, I've seen how the offenses. Yes, hurt and harm was done but they got offended in one generation and passed it on to the next and literally raised it up thinking this offense was good but it's destroying families and homes in whatever this nation or this people group is. It's not helping. It's destroying. So I'm not saying we don't do something about it. I'm just saying that in your heart you can't be offended. Do it with wisdom. God will guide you. But let's make sure that in the area of offense, when you read the Word, make sure that you're connecting to Jesus. That you have a relationship with Jesus. And all the things you have to make decisions on, He'll give you just kind of a gut feeling. Don't do that. Don't say that. Back off. Stay away. And you can trust the presence of God on the inside.