7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9
I’m wanna talk about my THORNS, also known as the terminal disease we were all born with, sin. And I want to BOAST about my sin! Sounds crazy? Well that’s because it is. But I serve a crazy awesome, mysterious God that works in ways that don’t always make sense to our human minds. Let me explain…
Since we last talked, God has been moving and shaking my life, norms, beliefs and making me look more like His Son Jesus! PRAISE GOD! :) But, that hasn’t come without pain, discomfort and resistance from the enemy. This past month I met with a non-Christian friend who reminded me of who I was before being saved by amazing grace and it stirred up something in me…
I was faced with some of my thorns, temptations and struggles that I thought I was done with long ago, honestly: jealously and lust. I was confused and hurt saying, “God, we've already been through this!! I’ve already confessed and repented these sins. Why on EARTH are these temptations and sins rearing their ugly head again?” Well here’s the thing, days early while reading in Judges 7 about when God weaned Gideon’s army of 30,000+ down to 300 so that Israel would not boast in themselves in victory, I prayed and asked God, “God, give me a season of ‘Gideon.’ Wean down all my strongholds, the things in my life I’m tempted to boast in and not give you the glory for.” And let me tell you guys, GOD IS FAITHFUL TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS!
I was boasting in my own spiritual transformation. Taking pride in myself for my past and where I’ve come from. Yes, boasting in the work of God through me, but boasting to much in basically how great I am. In an ANSWER TO PRAYER God revealed to me my "thorns,” sins, “products of the fall" that are still inside me as part of my broken humanity. Again, an answer to prayer. BUT! HOPE! In the low, confusing, sad pit, God provided 2 Cor 12:7-9. This verse to revealed God’s amazing, mysterious and intricate work He loves to do in our lives. I gave PURPOSE to my thorns! Him opening my eyes to my sin nature was him weaning down my army so that I may ONLY boast in Him and His strength make perfect in my weakness! I AM GREATFUL FOR MY THORNS, MY SIN, MY WEAKNESS because it is God’s perfect protection over my life so that He receives the glory and his strength can be made PERFECT in me. And, I am grateful that even when I plea for God to take away my thorns, 3 times even, he leaves them in for my protection. I'm grateful the have thorns in my skin just like my King did.
The BIG question: Will you pray and ask God to graciously give you a season of Gideon?