Greetings! Welcome back to the blog. In today’s article, I want to bring to light another barrier or weapon deployed during the pursuit or fulfillment of purpose. Furtive offenders attempt covert distractions to engage your mind and emotions on anything except purpose. Understand that this barrier or weapon will always fail if, we as believers, are aware of the device and use the biblical tools at our disposal to disarm and defeat the threat.
Overcoming furtive people requires finesse because you want innocent parties to come into knowledge and discern the truth without being manipulated. Furtive offenders -people operating in the dark- are influenced by an evil spirit of jealousy, and manipulation is their lethal weapon of choice. The Bible declares that jealousy is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. Wherever jealousy exists, there will be disorder and every vile practice (James 4:15-16). Manipulative behavior exploits, controls, or influences others to one’s advantage. The four stages of manipulation are flattery, isolation, devaluing/gaslighting, and fear or threat. An example of this is revealed in the way Satan, who is jealous of God, tries to manipulate our beliefs and trust in God’s Word by inaccurately shining a light on God’s words, actions, or inactions in our lives. “You are a good person (flattery). Why serve God if this will happen anyway (isolation)? If God loved you, why did He allow (fill in the blank) to happen (gaslighting)? Your (fill in the blank) will never get better (fear/threat).”
The enemy wants to manipulate you and make you distance yourself from God so that you do not receive the blessings of God and fulfill your purpose. He wants to manipulate God into proving His love by doing the very thing that will hinder your acceptance and understanding of Him. That is how the furtive offender works; behind the scenes, manipulating you and others. On the other hand, God does not try to win you over by responding to the tactics of the enemy; instead, He shows love, which is the opposite of jealousy; He waits patiently; He grants mercy and grace; He shows gentleness, faithfulness, patience, and self-control.
Furtive offenders operate in the dark; flattering the people around you, including close and extended family, friends, and even business partners. They hang around you, gathering intel to use against you. The most dangerous thing is not knowing who these people are. Consider Judas. The Bible does not explicitly state that Judas was jealous of Jesus; however, Judas’ actions clearly show that he devaluated Jesus’ leadership in that Jesus’ plan was not to overthrow the Roman government as Judas thought He would or should. This shows clearly, from Judas’ perspective, that Jesus was not handling this situation the way Judas would; having an I could do it better attitude. And, since Judas was not in the position, he tried to manipulate the situation to his preferred outcome. Judas’ actions were an attempt to put him in the driver’s seat, supplant Jesus’ purpose, and derail God’s plan for salvation. Remember, jealousy leads to disorder and every vile practice; in this case, selling Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. This reminds me of Joseph and how his brothers’ jealousy of him led them to sell Joseph for 30 pieces of silver. In both instances, money was not the issue; it was about a way to gain control of circumstances to support their selfish ambition. They wanted to unseat and replace the favored one. You are the favored one and the enemy cannot stand it.
How do we handle furtive people as they are hidden in the dark while we are in the light? Jesus knew who Judas was and what he was after but, He could not out Judas because doing so would create further chaos and distractions, might derail the outcomes of His purpose, and possibly hurt innocent disciples. I’m quite impressed with the strength and wisdom Jesus showed in that situation. James 4:17 states, “Wisdom from above is pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere. And, a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” Jesus was preparing to fulfill His purpose, and He could not be distracted and allow this situation to cause Him to respond in unrighteousness. For humans, the hardest thing to do in situations like this is to resist defending ourselves. The good news is the more we practice, the easier it becomes.
Overcoming furtive offenders first requires an awareness of who these individuals are in our lives and how they operate. Remember that an evil spirit of jealousy is the root of this behavior and manipulation is the weapon of choice. People have died, been seriously injured, and lost family and friends, wealth, and jobs because they were unaware or did not respond appropriately to the furtive people in their circle. Secondly, to overcome furtive offenders we need to strengthen and exercise our spiritual fruit, including love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. And thirdly, we should minimize furtive offenders’ access in our life.
We exercise love so that we can see individuals involved through the eyes of Jesus and ensure innocents are unharmed. We exercise peace, kindness, and gentleness to sow seeds of righteousness and to minimize the chaos and confusion caused by the furtive offender. Do not add fuel to the fire! We exercise patience while we pray and wait for the revelation of truth. We exercise self-control to resist defending ourselves, taking the situation into our hands, and outing the furtive offender because doing so never fixes the situation. When we try to resolve this ourselves, we only end up making the situation worse. In addition, we need to cast our care on Jesus and exercise the tools of prayer and wisdom.
You may be blind to the furtive offender in your circle or even the extent of their undercover infiltration and damage. By casting your cares on Jesus, you engage the Advocate to defend you, freeing yourself from the worry of the unknown so you can focus on purpose. We must pray for light to shine on the furtive offender, that truth will be revealed to the innocents, and for wisdom to know when and how to respond to people and situations. Truth may not appear during your lifetime; however, since you have engaged the Advocate, you ensure that heaven will come to your protection and defense against darkness, you will fulfill your purpose, and every blessing with your name on it will arrive as planned.
Lastly, we must limit the furtive offender’s access to us to minimize damage. This person will always try to be in your presence, to know all about you and what is going on in your life. They will Google you, conduct reverse lookups, drive by, and pay for your private information online. Consider the Last Supper and how Judas finagled himself in the honored seat at the table. We do not read that Jesus invited him to sit in the seat of honor positioned to the left, but this is how furtive offenders behave. They will work to convince others through words or deeds that they are in your corner and have favored access to you, all the while plotting and scheming your demise in secret. Limiting the furtive offenders’ access is not manipulating the situation because the Bible does not require you to help them in this furtive offense.
Highlights from Today’s Post:
- Furtive offenders attempt to engage the mind and emotions in a level of distraction that derails the fulfillment of purpose
- Furtive offenders operate from an evil spirit of jealousy and engage the weapon of manipulation to isolate you from people in your circle, and God.
- We have the right tools to overcome furtive offenders: love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control
- Casting our cares on Jesus, prayer, and limiting access are effective strategies to overcome furtive offenders.
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