“…even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.” 2 Corinthians 12:7
Dear People Who Keep Company with God,
The Apostle Paul received incredible revelations and heard things so overwhelming that he could not express them in words. The astounding insights he heard while in the third heaven were too sacred for him to express (2 Corinthians 12:1-4). Along with these beautiful blessings came a thorn in the flesh, a messenger God allowed Satan to deploy to keep Paul from becoming proud. Paul was one of the most brilliant and influential of the Lord’s Apostles. He walked in profound spiritual authority, with the power to do unusual miracles (Acts 19:11) and raise the dead (Acts 20:10). Yet, Paul’s prayer for deliverance from the thorn went unanswered. He is not alone. All heroes of the faith in the Bible and church history had their own personal struggles. Every powerfully anointed person I have known wrestled with some type of weakness or challenges.
We do not know what Paul’s thorn was, but apparently it caused him much distress and many temptations. Paul prayed for its removal, but as he learned that it was for his protection against pride, he not only accepted it but gave glory to God. If arrogance caused an archangel that stood before the throne of God to become the devil, imagine what it can do to mere men. Pride is deceptive, addictive, and impairs good judgment. It wrecks relationships, businesses, churches, and even nations. Proverbs 16:18 warns that “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” But as understood and despised as pride is, many still fall prey to its seductive nature and end up in loss and sorrow.
The Father anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power (Acts 10:38). Jesus has already made available to every believer some of His anointing (Acts 2:33). In these perilous times, the Father is inviting us to partner more with Jesus, which means an increase of His might upon us. But be cautioned, the Holy Spirit does not promote to make us more noticeable or give us any special privileges. God’s blessings always serve His purposes. John the Baptist wore a unique type of clothing, ministered primarily in the wilderness, and he only ate specific food. That attributes provided distinctiveness to his character and revealed that he was a prophet. Jesus needed none of these things. He didn’t stand out physically. His clothing was like everyone else’s, and He ate regular meals. Yet His presence powerfully impacted people everywhere He went.
Don’t think every challenge or weakness you go through should be tolerated or accepted. We are never to bow to sin or sickness, but we always should repent from sinning and seek healing for illness and disease. When there is something in your life that is troubling you, do as Paul and pray for deliverance. If God doesn’t free you, then embrace the Lord and humble yourself, and you will discover His grace is enough for you. When you are consciously weak is when you are best able to experience His ability and power working within you.
Many Blessings, BW