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Paul, like many of us, might have been tempted to live independently from God if he were strong, so God said, “Paul, I want you close to me so I’m not going to make you a strong man – I’m going to make you a dependent man. Paul my grace can carry you through the difficult times. In fact Paul, if you will learn to pray when you are weak then my strength can be perfected in you because of your weakness.”
Do you know how Paul responds to that? 2 Corinthians 12:10 “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul found that through being “caught-up” he drew so close to Jesus that no matter what happened to him he would never leave Him. Paul never got over his weakness in this life. God did not even want him to.
What then Happens to Those Who are “Caught-Up?”
Two things happen to those who are “caught-up.” 1. Humility and 2. Revelation. Paul’s own admission of the “thorn” in his life must have been a humbling thing. It’s not easy to tell your fellow man that you need something outside of yourself and that your own strength cannot handle a situation.
Micah 6:8 “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” How can a man walk with God except with a humble spirit? A proud man cannot walk with God because “he Is.” Do you understand? Enoch walked with God because he was not. Only the humble man has the ability to be alive and yet not exist. The proud man cannot accomplish this. The proud man “is” – and then he will even want you to define the meaning of “is.” Walking with God is where revelation comes from. I’ve always said that revelation requires separation. Humility is a separation from the spirit of this world. That separation opens you up to the spirit world – where revelation lives.
Paul said he received surpassingly great revelations from God. Paul lived a life set-apart from those around him. He was a completely sold out man who was “caught-up” with his Lord. Subsequently he was taken to the third heaven and witnessed and heard things that are beyond man’s comprehension. Paul’s revelations and visions were so grand and wonderful that they were beyond description. Paul heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. Can you imagine what that would be like? Can you imagine how that would impact your life? How can a man receive from the Lord without being with the Lord? Vision and revelation are critical to our life. Without vision we perish because we have nothing to live for. END
Medication: A Merry Heart
One day my mother was out and my dad was looking after me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from a bad cold.
Someone had given me a little tea set as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys. Dad was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of “tea,” which was just water.
After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such good tea, my mom came home. Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea. (“It’s just the cutest thing!”)
My mom waited and sure enough, I came down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy. She watched him drink it, then said (as only a mother would)...
“Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is from the toilet?”
God Bless, Have a Great Weekend!
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Mark 16:15
Today’s readings: 1 Samuel 18 – 20 , Psalms 11 & 59
Saturday: 1 Samuel 21 – 24
Sunday: Psalms 7, 27, 31, 34 & 52