Good morning, Lord!
Thank you so much for helping me make a change yesterday — it really made a difference! I felt lighter all day, especially in the evening! I could take breaks and read and do art and do a LOT of cooking, too. That worked out great! Please help me know what to do today, continue to guide me and make be productive in the things YOU want me to accomplish. Thank you for being so near me and taking such good care of me, Lord!
2 Corinthians 2:7-10 KJV
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
I’ve always liked these verses, and have overcome many obstacles using this concept of God covering my weaknesses with His strength. But today I am seeing some new and interesting things here. First, there is a definite connection between the thorn in the flesh and the weak-strong concept. In the first verse, Paul says “lest I become haughty” (translated here as “exalted above measure”). In other words, because Paul is given revelations by God, he is also given something to balance that out so he doesn’t start thinking he is so wonderful, so capable, so special. His thorn in the flesh keeps him humble and needing God.
The other interesting thing I am seeing this morning is that the Greek word translated “weak” and “weakness” in the verses above is basically our word for rendered unconscious or powerless — anesthetized!!! So, Paul is not saying that God is strong when Paul’s weaknesses (like gambling or women or greed) rise up, but rather when Paul himself “anesthetizes” them — lays them down, renders these things powerless or no longer producing feeling — or else when Paul is “sick” or “feeble” due to some type of lack of sensation or control.
So this is NOT saying, “God will make me quit smoking/drinking/cheating/etc (As if He will just do it FOR me, and if it doesn’t work out it is HIS fault) because I am WEAK in this area.” It’s more like saying, “IF I lay down my smoking/drinking/cheating/etc before God, like as if it’s up on an operating table, leaving it there as a powerless part of my life, THEN God’s strength will replace that weakness, that powerless thing.” The point is, we have to first let go of the power of something we control, in order to give that control (power, place of strength) to God. When I am trying to resist drinking, for example, I need to be saying, “Alcohol is powerless in my life. It’s like an unconscious piece of junk laying there on an altar. It cannot give me strength or anything good. It is only GOD who gives me strength and ‘good gifts’ (James 1:17)”! And I need to TREAT that weak thing like the powerless piece of junk it is, rather than return to it for “strength”!! :-O
Thank you, Lord, for showing me these things. I am still digesting this new information, and I really need some practice to let your Word here become firmly rooted in me to produce fruit in my life. Please show me what things in my life I need to render powerless — anesthetizing them — to allow your power and awesome strength to set me free. Thank you, Father! 😀