photo credit: Melissa Burgess
Do you not care that I can hear? I heard this phrase one rainy afternoon, as I sat meditating on the Lord. My response was, “Yes, Lord, I want my words to be pleasing to your ears”. Then nothing but silence as I waited. I immediately continued the conversation and began to repent for any words I may have spoken, hindering my prayers. Then like the rain slowly falling down outside the Spirit began to drop truth all around.
While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. 2 They said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the Lord heard them. Numbers 12:1-2
Miriam and Aaron were miraculously delivered from Egypt. Provision down-poured from heaven before their eyes. Miriam and Aaron’s relationship with Moses was rooted in supernatural experience. God aligned this family with heaven as He intimately partnered with Moses on earth. Both worked closely with their brother. But now at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron picked up offense and began to criticize.
“But the Lord heard them” is a profound statement in Numbers 12. Miriam and Aaron were focused on their offense and forgot that God could hear their every word. Pondering this phrase struck my spirit with force and renewed awareness of His presence. How many times do we in the body of Christ, walk in offense and forget God hears our every word?
Feeling offended is not sin. Emotions whisper lies constantly as we journey through life but we do not have to follow. Standing alert we, apply God’s word, crucify the flesh, rebuke the devil and are led by the Spirit.
"Feelings, if we allow, fool us into forgetting whose side we are on. The moment we feel this emotion, we must take authority, repent and align with God not offense."
People are not the enemy and the flesh is not our guide even though culture nurtures this lie. Preference is not more powerful than God's word. Miriam and Aaron looked at Moses and did not like his choice of a wife. From this thought to their actions of backbiting and slander, they swung the door of offense open wide. You see offense leads to destruction. Miriam and Aaron walked in the spirit of offense and birthed sin. Aligning with each other, instead of God, they soothed their sin and justified their actions.
"When offense is embraced, we step over the line of temptation and dive into sin."
God heard and he was angry. Distanced from His presence they lost the awareness of the power of their words. Miriam and Aaron listened to their flesh.
Why have we as a body of believers lowered the standard that guides our words? Are we so far removed from the presence that we forget God hears every word? Scripture is clear, there is life and death in the power of the tongue. Bitter and sweet should not pour out of the same spout and every word we speak is rooted somewhere in the heart.
And the Lord said to them………..So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” Numbers 12: 6a, 8a
What has happened to the fear of the Lord which leads us into all truth and wisdom? “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7). When we backbite or slander a brother or sister in Christ we are attacking their identity and aligning with the enemy. Worst of all, like Miriam and Aaron, walking in the spirit of offense, we are separated from the voice of God.
Nothing released on earth is hidden from God. “Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!” (Luke 12:3).
"Words spoken in private must align with words spoken in public because they reveal what is treasured in the heart."
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45
Miriam and Aaron felt offended. The thought, led to a feeling, which led to an action. A tiny spark of emotion, ignites into a forest fire when we throw logs of offense into the fire.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. (James 3:5-6)
Children of God cannot advance the kingdom and walk in the spirit of offense. Our ears are tuned to the Father's voice or aligned with the ways of the world.
For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. James 3:15b-16
Remember feeling offended is not sin. It is how we respond to that leads us closer to the cross or immerses us in compromise.
Are you walking in the spirit of offense? If so, repent and turn back to God. Find a friend who will hold you accountable and cover you in prayer. Even after Moses realized what happened, he stood in the gap for his friends. Forgive and walk away from offense.
In the end, the question remains, are we aware of His presence enough to know and care that He hears? Words matter to God! They usher in heaven or align with hell. We choose.