As I walked through the sanctuary, I saw someone staring blankly into the distance. At first glance, he looked sort of like a zombie but when I got closer his face was puffed up and bright red like, well, a blowfish.
Immediately, I felt the witchcraft hit my eyes. I continued walking but the image of the blowfish wouldn’t leave me. A blowfish is a class of fish that inflates their bodies when they are alarmed. It’s also called a pufferfish because it puffs up by inhaling air and water. Sort of like a spoiled rotten child holding his breath to prove a point.
What I saw on the zombie-like man with a puffy face was pride manifesting after a what we later found out to be a petty offense. I have never seen this manifestation of pride and it took me back. He literally looked like a pufferfish with squinty eyes. His cheeks were swollen. His eyes were reptilian. His lips were drawn in and pursed. It was shocking. I hardly recognized this man.
All Puffed Up
The Bible says plenty about being puffed up—and it’s none of it is good. 2 Chronicles 25:19 speaks of being puffed up with arrogant boasting. Proverbs 28:25 the one who is puffed up in his soul stirs contention. Ecclesiastes 7:16 warns us not get puffed up and destroy ourselves. Indeed, pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Habakkuk 2:4 warns that a puffed up soul is not right with God. Romans 11:21 specifically admonishes us not to get puffed up with pride. Paul was concerned about sinning Christians in the church who should have repented but instead were puffed up (see 1 Corinthians 5:2). The fleshly mind is easily puffed up (see Colossians 2:18).
From any angle at which you look, being puffed up is a manifestation of pride, which puts one in grave danger. Indeed, pride leads to disgrace (see Proverbs 11:2). Pride brings you low (see Proverbs 29:23). God opposes the proud (see James 4:6). Everyone who is arrogant is an abomination to the Lord (see Proverbs 16:5).
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Pride is Toxic
As you can see, pride is toxic. The definition of toxic is, “containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation,” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. Pride, again, is toxic. Pride is poisonous and capable of causing spiritual death or serious debilitation.
It’s no surprise that pufferfish are toxic. As National Geographic magazine describes it, “A predator that manages to snag a puffer before it inflates won’t feel lucky for long. Almost all pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, a substance that makes them foul tasting and often lethal to fish. To humans, tetrodotoxin is deadly, up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. There is enough toxin in one pufferfish to kill 30 adult humans, and there is no known antidote.”
As I saw this man’s face, I saw a blowfish. Again, he was manifesting a spirit of pride. He had a foul look on his face and was releasing toxic witchcraft, offering the silent treatment, cold shoulder and every other form of subtle manipulation pride and control could muster. Remember, this came at the heels of an imaginary office.
A Prophetic Word About Offense
Remember my warning from 2017, “A spirit of offense is rising and running rampant through the church. Those who are easily offended are candidates for the Great Falling Away. Those who cultivate and maintain an unoffendable heart will escape many of the assignments the enemy will launch in the days to come.
“For My people must band together in this hour and refuse to allow petty arguments and soulish imaginations to separate them. This is the time to press into community and relationship and reject the demonic notions and wisdom the enemy is pouring out.
“The love of many is waxing cold. Brother is turning against brother and sister against sister—in My body. You must come to the unity of the faith in order to accomplish what I’ve called you to do in this hour. The time is upon you. The opportunity is before you. Lay aside the resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness and, as far as it depends upon you, seek peace with all men.
“Humble yourselves even among those who you feel are your enemies and I will work to bring reconciliation that sets the scene for unity from which the anointing flows. You need My anointing to combat the antichrist spirits rising in this hour.
“Many of My people are wrestling in their flesh, engaging in works of the flesh, and otherwise letting the flesh lead in battle—and they are battling flesh instead of the spirits influencing the flesh. This is the result of offense. Forgive, let go, embrace your brothers and sisters despite their flaws and sins. I have.”
Somebody say amen. Pride is easily offended. Love keeps no record of a wrong.