The dark world grew darker, wickedness more rampant and shocking, modesty disappeared, differences of opinions fueled anger turning to hatred and intolerance, gouging a wider divisive gap between “sides.” Pride fed impatience and intolerance. People, even leaders, threw so-called opponents under the bus (blaming someone else for selfish gain or atonement). Sound familiar? Sound like our culture today?
In a vision I had of this world, I witnessed a scene of the unseen unfold. Shadows spiraled violently around people, manipulating their actions. The erratic movement of the shadows turned my stomach. Then, amid turbulent chaos-land, a bright light emitted from a rock like a center-stage platform of immovable stone. A group of people, a number of saints, a remnant, stood on that rock. I realized the holy light came from within those who stood on the rock. Others who were not on the rock had influences clinging on them like black creatures that moved like eels. One at a time, and sometimes in a bobbing cluster, they’d slither up to a saint, getting right into their face, and spew vile words at them, then slither back. Slither up again with revolting insults and character defamation, then shrink back. The oral onslaught continued. But what I noticed was that the saints didn’t react at all, only closed their eyes during the verbal bombarding. They each appeared like an upright impenetrable wall, unaffected, while every insult rolled around each of the remnant and disintegrated to nothingness. And when they opened their eyes, with peaceful countenances, they looked at the ones spewing the ugly, and all that was in their eyes was love—volumes of it! And the love undulated; it moved like a current; it was alive. Unconditional, beautiful, pure, holy love. When the vision ended, I heard the Lord speak one word. That word was “Unoffendable”.
I didn’t want the vision to end, as the flowing love I witnessed enraptured me, but the Ruach HaKodesh prompted me to pray.
The Lord is calling us to a higher standard. Set apart, living holy. Not reactive. Allow him to refine our souls to handle the storms, even, and especially, if the storms are people. Difficult in a pressurized, mixed-up, and angry society, but not impossible. We can look at an offense like we would anything else; temptation, for instance. The Holy Spirit gives us power to overcome, but we also have to make the choice to refrain. “Cease from anger and forsake wrath,” Psalm 37:8. Hold the tongue, close our eyes, maybe even walk away if we need to. If someone hurls an insult or offends and you want to rebut in the worst way, try taking a deep breath, and in the space of counting to three, close your eyes, lifting your heart to him, and say: "Lord, I praise you. You’re making me an overcomer. I choose to be unoffendable, in your name." Because what does the offense matter? The Lord loves you; he has a higher purpose for you. He loves you better than anyone else can or will. That’s all that matters. Aren’t we to strive to be the image of Christ on earth? Let the offense go.
It can start small. For instance, when someone crowds you in traffic then cuts you off and flips you the bird; when a certain coworker gets under your skin and you swear they make jabbing comments with intention, or the waiter got your simple food order wrong not once but twice. Instead of getting peeved, maybe we mutter to ourselves, “Well, that was irritating, but… Lord, bless that person anyway, just bless them.” Prayer has a special way of shedding the unwanted stuff. And then we come to a point of meaning it, instead of holding on to the disagreeable until it builds up inside of us and then explodes in a terrible and messy way. I believe the Lord would want us to let go and be free, not affected, and be at peace, calm, and to love… genuinely love our neighbor, near or far. Because it's significant what we do with what we’ve been given. I want to be like the saints on that rock! Tranquil beauty amid ugly, light in the darkness, and love overcoming anger.
Our Divine Calling
“As a prisoner of the Lord, I plead with you to walk holy, in a way that is suitable to your high rank, given to you in your divine calling. With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace, being one body and one spirit, as you were all called into the same glorious hope of divine destiny.”
“But don’t let the passion of your emotions lead you to sin! Don’t let anger control you or be fuel for revenge, not for even a day.”
“And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them. Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.”