2 Corinthians 12:7-10
By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively. Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me. He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong. (WEB)
In yesterday's blog, I talked about the armor of God and how important it is for us to be 'strong in the Lord' and not strong in our own self-effort. I ended the blog by referring to today's Scripture reading that talks about weakness.
If you read 1 Corinthians 12 in its entirety, Paul starts the chapter by talking about an amazing revelation that he experienced when he was taken up into heaven. Paul goes on to say that he was given a 'thorn in the flesh' to keep him from being puffed up. I am not going to take the time to talk about what this thorn might have been because I want to focus on the end result... Paul's revelation of weakness.
We are talking about a guy who had the best religious training as a child, was considered a pharisee of pharisees and was one of the leaders of Christianity in his day. When I read his letters, I think Paul had a very strong personality. He was very opinionated and he even had the courage to publicly rebuke the Apostle Peter.
Yet even with all of his own strength, he received a revelation of weakness. When Jesus appeared to Paul and told him... “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”, Paul had a revelation... That his own strength was getting in the way. He went on to declare that it was in the times of his greatest weakness, that he was truly strong.
My prayer today is that we would all have a revelation that when we are weak, Christ's strength is perfected in us. May our own strength not get in the way of the power of our Elder Brother that rests on weak vessels. I think that is why Jesus told us that the Kingdom belongs to little children. Because little kids know they are weak and need to their parents to be strong for them.
They were also bringing their babies to him, that he might touch them. But when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. Jesus summoned them, saying, “Allow the little children to come to me, and don’t hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.” (WEB)