“And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me above measure, there is given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord three times that it might be taken from me.And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9a (JUB)
Have you ever wondered about Paul’s thorn in the flesh? I’ve heard preachers and scholars say it was bad eye sight, and various other aliments. However; the scriptures clearly tell us Paul struggled with pride due to his great revelations on the Word of God. Then a messenger of the devil attacked him.
Proverbs says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, pride is undue confidence in and attention to one's own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position. Some synonyms for pride include arrogance, presumption, conceit, self-satisfaction, boasting, and high-mindedness. It is the opposite of humility,
This sin of pride opened the door for an evil spirit to buffet or wear him down.
God’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
In Ephesians 2:8-9 (AMP) Paul tells us that God’s grace is. “... [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].”
God’s grace is His Salvation offered to us and can only be received through faith in the finished work of the cross. It is so much more than favor. It is all that God offers us through Christ’s completed work on the cross received by faith. It includes deliverance, salvation, rescue, welfare, safety, prosperity, eternal salvation and victory over everything that comes against us, whatever our thorn in the flesh might be.
God’s grace (salvation) has been made available to everyone, but not everyone will choose to receive Him (Jesus).
So, how does a believer get rid of sin? “If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].” (1 John 1:9 AMP)
When we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive our sins and then Jesus leads us back into a right relationship with our heavenly Father. Our attitude/heart comes into alignment with God’s heart. This is righteousness. By our confessing our sins we come into submission to our heavenly Father, commanded in James 4:7 (KJV), “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
It is at this time we have the authority, given to us by Jesus, to cast out the evil spirit that is coming against us because the evil spirit no longer has a hold over us. He must flea in the name of Jesus.
This is not just about pride. It is about any sin that binds us: wrong attitudes, hate, anger, unforgiveness, trauma, fear, or any other soul wound caused by sin brought on by ourselves or someone else.
I have been working with many issues in my life through this process. The more I submit myself to God in each area of my life the more the healing comes.
My prayer is “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
As I repent, I find His grace (Salvation-Jesus) is truly sufficient for overcoming any thorn the evil one uses to buffet me. I recognize this through my emotions: when something makes me cry, or angry, come into fear, etc.
As you spend time with the Lord today I would like to encourage you to submit yourself, every part of your being, to God, to His Word. Then thank Him and praise Him for His marvelous grace, His Salvation that is sufficient for all your thorns. Amen!
Blessings on your day!