The Playground

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

If you have been offended, or somebody has offended you, listen.  You have the authority not just to set them free but to set other people free.
Will Ford


Hello, everybody!  This is Will Ford with 818 The Sign, this is God Today.  Listen, I want to share something with you that happened on the playground.  But, I want to share with you a powerful scripture that led me to understanding what God was teaching me on this playground.  In 2 Timothy 2:25-27, it says this, and I am paraphrasing, “But the Lord’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but must be gentle.  Patient when wronged, able to instruct so that those in opposition must repent and come to their senses and escape the snare of Satan who has taken them captive to do his will.”


How do I get to this playground and what does scripture have to do with it? Actually, with how we are conducting ourselves. Not just in our nation but with all the division that is happening in the nations of the Earth right now.  How we conduct ourselves with each other as believers, how we conduct ourselves with our neighbors, especially with all the offenses being released on the Earth right now.  Jesus said, “There will be many offenses, but woe to those who offended.”


The word “offense” is a powerful word.  It literally means “skandalon” in the Greek.  But, literally, a skandalon was a trap.  But not just any trap, it was a trap inside of a pit.  So, they would dig a huge pit and take a trap and put the meat inside of it and throw it inside of the pit.  Now, a fox, if there was no pit, he could just bite his leg off, bite his fur off, or whatever to get out of the trap.  He would be wounded for a little bit, but he could get away and still come back to the farmers, a place to go after his chickens or whatever.  What they would do is they would dig a huge pit and put the bait in a trap and put the whole thing off in the ground. 


That whole process was called a skandalon.  A skandalon, you hear the word scandal and some people think the word scandal comes from there, but not necessarily.  But an offense can lead to a scandal, we have seen that lots of different times.  In other words, what happens is we get offended sometimes and we take the bait from Satan.  We get trapped and we get in over our heads.  We get so wounded, we can’t get out of the situation.  That is what an offense is.  That is what Jesus was talking about and that is why He used the word offense many times in the Bible.  “Woe to those who bring offenses.”


 I was living in this one community in one period of time, where I had a neighbor who had some issues with race.  I had an altercation with the wife that didn’t go very well.  Thankfully, somebody from his family came to me and apologized on his behalf. And later, he came back to me and was very apologetic.  Have you ever been around somebody who apologizes without actually apologizing and saying the words?  Their actions change, they are overly complimentary, they feel embarrassed about whatever they said or did.  So, over time I took that to be his “sorry”.  


But, he had another family member, his daughter.  Whenever she saw me she would treat me as though she didn’t see me.  I would say, “Hi” to her or whatever and she would just throw up her hand and act like I wasn’t there. I thought, “Okay, I can play the I don’t see you either kind of game.”  I did that for a while.  But here is where the playground comes in.  One day, that man was on the playground with his two grandchildren who are playing with my two boys.  Normally, the four of them will play together no problem,  But, the oldest one of his grandchildren says – when I come to the playground – “I am ready to leave and I am ready to leave right now.”  She begins to get very upset and I look at the grandfather and he looks at me.  He says, “Is it too hot out here?” It wasn’t hot.  Nothing else was going on, she was just ready to leave this playground and get away from us, we were the only ones there.


All of a sudden, the young girl runs to her grandfather, but she turns around and looks at me.  Her eyes roll in the back of her head, she falls on the ground and she begins to contort and to twist on the ground.  The first thing that popped into my mind is this, “This is the spirit of division that is in this family generationally. Respond with the authority that I have given you over it because the anointing I have given you to break the power of the stronghold.  That was the first thought that came to my mind.  The second thought that came to my mind, which was my rational mind, was this: I wonder if this is a sunstroke or something?  Maybe she has a problem with epileptic fits.


I went to ask the grandfather that, but instead of that coming out of my mouth, the first thing I said was, “In the name of Jesus, stop.”  All of a sudden, everything stopped. I cast the demon out and this young lady goes limp.  The grandfather tried to pick her up, but for whatever reason, he couldn’t pick her up.  So I pick her up, throw her over my shoulder and when I get to her home, her mother opens the door, the one who had been resisting me all that time period.  She said, “What have you done to my daughter?”  I said, “Your father is right here, nothing has happened. But something did happen to her at the playground today.”


When I laid her down, she came to and nothing was wrong with her.  They did other tests on her and the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her.  There was nothing wrong other than what was connected to a spiritual condition in that family.  I walked away from that situation in tears.  Here is what I heard the Lord say to me as I said, “God, why am I crying?  What is going on?”  The Lord said to me, “William, every time you walked away from that mother and you didn’t try and overcome evil with good by just saying ‘Hi’ and being kind, you were empowering the very demon that is controlling that family.”  He said this, “You are not the democrats’ bondservant, you are not the republicans’ bondservant.  You are not the conservatives’ bondservant, you are not the liberals’ bondservant.  You are my bondservant.” I knew what He was talking about.


The Lord’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but must be gentle, patient when wrong.”  In other words, we have to be patient. “Able to instruct.”  In other words, we better know our stuff.  “So that those who are in opposition may repent, change their minds, come to their senses, and escape the snare of Satan who has taken them captive to do His will.”  In other words, our job right now is not to win arguments, our job is to win hearts, our job is to bear fruit, speak the truth in love, but at the same time, we are not to operate the way the Kingdom operates.  Our first affiliation is to the Kingdom of Heaven.  If you have been offended, or somebody has offended you, listen.  You have the authority not just to set them free but to set other people free.  We are called, as believers, to walk a different way than the world’s system does when it comes to dealing with these kinds of issues.


Father, I pray right now for my brother and my sister who are listening to this right now.  We refuse, Lord, to play on the devil’s playground of offense.  We refuse to play by his rules.  We refuse to play by his ways.  Lord, we choose to speak the truth in love in this season.  We choose to walk in your will, in your way.  We choose forgiveness over hate.  We choose your love over bitterness. Not just our family can be free, but other people can be free.  In the name of Jesus.  We are your bondservants first before anybody else’s.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  This is Will Ford and this is God Today.