Pastor Steven Furtick once said, "The Devil's agenda is destruction. His strategy is division. His tactic is offense." Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10) He is not lackadaisical about his mission. He is intentional. He is calculated. He is strategic.
In contrast, the agenda of our Savior is life, and life more abundant. His strategy is unity. His tactic is forgiveness. Our Savior Jesus is determined as well. He is passionate. He is ready. He has shown his determination on the cross.
While Satan is determined in his mission, he lacks the power to see it through on his own. He requires OUR help. Satan is not all powerful. He is not all knowing. He is not all present. But he is very strategic. He is very intentional.
Satan's agenda is to destroy you, your church, or your family. His strategy is to divide you, your church, or your family. His tactic is to pile up small offenses. His tactic is to wedge offenses between you and your spouse. His tactic is to place offenses between your family and your brother's family. Satan's strategic aim and tactic is simply to pile up one small offense after another.
How does he do this? He may orchestrate a situation or circumstance, but he has NO POWER to affect how we react. He has no control over any outcome. He is powerless in that respect. That's where we come in. We decide if we will be offended or not. We decide if those that have done us wrong will have control over us or not. We decide.
Every day of our lives we are confronted with opportunities to respond. We are gifted with the free will to react. No one forces us to react to our circumstances. That is our decision alone. It's been said that offense is an event, but offended is a choice. And we decide through our reactions and responses.
When someone offends us, we have no power over their action. We do, however, have control over how we respond. The response that we give in an event of offense will determine whether we allow Satan's agenda to take hold or not. When we choose to be offended over choosing to be forgiving, we are choosing the tactic of Satan over the tactic of Christ. When we live in the state of being offended, we ultimately begin to fall into Satan's trap of division. Once Satan's strategy of division takes hold, destruction is right around the corner. Destruction of a friendship. Destruction of a family. Destruction of a church. Destruction of a country. Offended leads to division leads to destruction.
So, how do we respond when someone legitimately hurts us? How do we keep Satan from being successful? We rise above it. When someone hurts us, we rise above it. We forgive, and we move on. When someone offends us, we rise above it. When our spouse drops the ball, we rise above it.
The only way to keep from being in a constant state of offense, is to practice a heart of forgiveness. "That while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." That is the attitude of our Savior. That is the attitude we are called to live in, as hard as it may be. The circumstance or offense that comes our way is out of our hands. Our response and attitude is what we control.
How will you react today?
Watch the full sermon on Moving Past Your Past here.