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Make Your Mess Into Your Message (3 of 6)
Series: 7 SECRETS OF SPIRITUAL SUCCESS
II Corinthians 12:2-9
1. Paul's statement in verse 7 is probably the most candid, transparent, and vulnerable admission that any servant of Christ has ever made. How many Christian leaders do you know who would admit to a weakness like this? Paul said that I needed a "thorn in the flesh" to keep me humble and useable in God's service.
2. You have a "third heaven experience" and a "thorn" experience in the same chapter. Surely that is illustrative of the Christian life. We must never get to the place where we think heavenly experiences will exempt us from earthly trials. Paul had a heavenly experience but heavenly experiences are often followed by earthly difficulties.
3. This is the pattern of God's people through the ages. Elijah defeats 850 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel but eh next thing you read there is giving him a "thorn in the flesh." Jezebel vows to kill him and he folds like a cheap suit. Elijah runs for 70 miles, crawls under a Juniper bush, and prays for God to take his life.
4. You read of Moses delivering the people from Egypt and encountering Jehovah God on Mt. Sinai but when he comes down from the mountain, he finds them worshipping a golden calf and Moses is thrown into righteous anger and discouragement.
5. You find the same principle in the life of Jesus. After His baptism, after the dove of heaven comes down upon Him and the Father speaks approval from heaven, Jesus is immediately led of the Spirit into the wilderness where He is tempted of the devil.
6. It is always this way. After the dove comes the devil. After the mountain top comes the valley. After every Sunday there is a Monday.
7. But notice, Paul turned his thorn into triumph. Paul turned his trials into a testimony. He says, "I will boast in my weakness that the power of Christ may rest upon me. In other words, Paul said I am going to ta ...
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