(2 Corinthians 12: 7-9) Paul says, “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Talk about powerful and enlightening stuff! Some things in the bible reverberate over and over again and for whatever reasons, we still don’t get it. I mean we understand the words and the principles behind them, but we can’t seem to incorporate them into our daily lives.

Paul lets us know in the verses above that there is indeed a reason to acknowledge and to some degree accept our shortcomings.

Given our flaws and faults, with some basic spiritual guidance and understanding, it is at these moments of thorn-in-flesh recognition that God will inevitably show up and then proceed to show out.

God says His power is “made perfect in weakness.” Can you imagine experiencing the perfect power of the Lord?

Apparently, it’s as easy as looking in a mirror and making an honest assessment of who you really are in relation to who you really could be. Stated differently, you are who you are only in relationship to God.

If you know and accept Him and subsequently yourself, then it stands to reason that you know you are a man or woman of God.

The only thing standing in your way is you. Realize you can’t go it alone, nor should you. You and I need help and that help comes from only one source. It’s the perfect source and you must be prepared to accept the consequences of this type of recognition.

The consequences are accepting that there is a divine purpose for your set of weaknesses, faults and flaws. Most of us would rather reject the notion of our sinful existence than to embrace it.

The text says it’s our obligation to understand our weaknesses through the spiritual recognition that allows God to take over and do His thing. Through His grace, you get so much more than you could ever bring to the party to overcome your addictions, your pride, your physical weaknesses, your guilt and your disease.

According to this scripture, you also get Christ’s power working with you. Isn’t that something?

No wonder Paul continues by saying, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

By itself, you have to wonder what Paul is talking about. But when put into the context of the entire passage, isn’t it true that out of your most dire of circumstances, once you give it up to Him who loves you more than you love yourself, God’s perfect power rescues you?

How many testimonies does it take for you and me to give God the praise He deserves for accomplishing things, in spite of our frailties, that which we could not have accomplished for ourselves?

All I’m trying to say is stop fighting yourself. Stop denying your insecurities and your weaknesses, your passions and your addictions.

Accept them and then give them up to the Lord. Then step back and watch God do His thing in your life. But be careful. When God moves in, He has a way of taking over. So, don’t try to hide anything. As the saying goes, let go and let God.

May He bless and keep you always.

(Photo: James A. Washington)

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