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We are Living in the Generation of Offense

We are Living in the Generation of Offense

Names in the Bible are really important. Names carry a lot of meaning, whether it is the name given to a child at birth or a new name given to someone by the Lord, like when Jacob became Israel or Saul became Paul. Names often give us insight into a person’s character, purpose, or calling.

When Elijah was born, his parents made a bold declaration of faith in the name they chose for their son. Elijah means my God is Jehovah or Jehovah is God. In a time when Baal worship was so prevalent, Elijah’s parents weren’t afraid to stand against the status quo. They weren’t afraid to be bold believers in a society that had turned away from belief in the Lord. In the face of a culture that had fallen away from the Lord, they were saying that they had no tolerance for wickedness and idolatry. Elijah’s name was a rebuke of Baal worshippers.

Elijah’s name set him apart. His name was a call to holiness, a call to walk in the will of God, a call to pursue righteousness and seek the face of the Lord even when the culture around him was going crazy. It declared the truth—that the Lord is God—and also declared that Elijah was going to live according to that truth, because his God was the Lord.

Elijah was a Tishbite. While the meaning of the word Tishbite is uncertain, it is thought to be associated with the Hebrew verb shub. Shub mean to turn around, to return, to turn back, or to restore. While it can refer to a physical return, it is often used in reference to a spiritual return or restoration.

Part of the role of the prophet Elijah was to call the people to repentance. And to repent means to turn from sin, to turn back from doing evil, and to be restored to a right relationship with the Lord. The Elijah anointing turns hearts back to God, and that part of the anointing was illustrated in part of his name.

The primary purpose of the Elijah anointing is turn hearts back to the Lord. It boldly asks a vital question: How long will you falter between two opinions? Because of the boldness of the Elijah anointing in asking such a critical question, this anointing will cause offense.

Jesus warned us that people would be offended because of Him. John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was really the Messiah, and Jesus said, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (Matt. 11:4-6). Even in the face of indisputable miracles, people were offended by Jesus, and it is the same today. In fact, I think we are living in a generation of offense, when so many people are offended by anything and everything. We live in a culture that is so over-the-top worried about offending people that people often don’t speak the truth, even in love, but the truth needs to be spoken. But the Lord will offend the mind to reveal the heart. He will offend the flesh to reveal the best of a person’s spirit.

We live in a generation when people come to church pre-offended. They already have a spirit of offense before they even walk in the door. They are moved by their thoughts and feelings rather than the truth and the heart of God’s message. So many people want God without Jesus, but it doesn’t work that way. God is Jesus, and Jesus is God. They cannot be separated.

Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He didn’t say He was a way, a truth, and a life. But this generation wants to come up with their own way, their own truth. How many times have you heard people refer to “my truth”? But that is relative truth, and we don’t need relative truth. We need absolute truth. We need the truth, and the truth is Jesus. And since Jesus is the living Word of God, we know that the Word of God is the truth too.

If we want to stay right in the middle of the will of God in our lives, we need to know the truth—we need to know Jesus, and we need to know His Word. We need to spend time with the Lord—in prayer, in worship, in fellowship. We need to spend time in His Word—we need to read it, memorize it, dig deep into it, meditate on it, write it on our hearts, and speak it to ourselves, to others, and back to the Lord in prayer. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to us, to empower us to do His will on the earth, and to open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to His plans and purposes. And we need to do these things every day. As with any relationship, the key to developing a close, intimate relationship with the Lord is spending time with Him. There is no substitute for it.

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