That’s what I said in my sleep last night, according to my sleepover buddies. I’m not sure exactly what I was referring to, but apparently it was fabulous.
I got a surprise girls’ weekend yesterday and today when a friend got Candi, Katie, Marilyn, and I free tickets to the Women of Faith conference. We had a great time being together and enjoying the teaching, music, and stories, all from a nice suite.
The best part of the conference for all of us was the three-part teaching Beth Moore did yesterday. She taught from 2 Cor. 12:2-10 and had three main points. She went in-depth into the Greek meanings of the words (which I love) and interpreted scripture with scripture really well. I even thought of you, dear reader, and thought that I would have to share the amazing truths I learned and was reminded of. So here goes:
Point #1: We, too, have the capacity to receive great revelations.
Paul says several times that the “man” was human. The Greek word emphasizes the humanity. It is thought that the “man” referred to here was Paul himself. Other scriptures to back this up include Matthew 13:11-17 (in which perceiving means “to recognize and experience” and understanding means “to put together the pieces of a puzzle”) and Ephesians 1:16-17.
Her take-away point was that when we enter into an active and sufficiency-oriented daily relationship with God, He will put together the puzzle pieces of our lives.
Point #2: We can be entrusted with a thorn in the flesh.
From verses 7-9, she noted that a thorn in the flesh is a persistent and painful reminder of our own weakness, and that it is a gift of humility. In the context of this chapter, God had shown Paul something, but then made him a man who could deal with the cool stuff God had shown him by allowing him to stay humble.
She suggested that God intentionally did not inspire Paul to write what the thorn was because it would have been harder to identify with as a reader if it were something specific. It is something that is a persistent enough issue in your life that dependency on Jesus is the only way to deal it, but ideas about what Paul’s could have been have varied throughout time, usually reflecting the major issues of the day.
She also referenced Numbers 33:55, which says that we have responsibility to get rid of anything and everything God says to. The consequences of not doing so are bad!!
Ezekiel 28:17 says that Satan was cast down from heaven because of his pride, and Beth said that we are most like Satan when we are proud. God allows Satan to bother us via a thorn in the flesh, whether it is physical problems, particular temptation, or something else, to keep us from becoming like Satan and prideful. I am still chewing on that.
Point #3 (and congratulations if you are still reading this!): We have supernatural power in weakness.
The thorn is meant to be an invitation to the power of God. The verb tense use in “My grace is sufficient” indicates a present and continuing action. God’s grace is continually being sufficient, and His power is continually being made perfect in our weakness.
The phrase “rest on me” means to tabernacle, which refers back to Exodus 40 and the Old Testament covenant. It is the same phrase used in John 1:14 to refer to Jesus’ dwelling or tabernacling with us and in 1 Corinthians 6:19 to refer to our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
The final point Beth made was that in the end (Revelation 7:9-12), we will become the revelation (or uncovering) of why Jesus came. The Gospel is a mystery to angels now (1 Peter 1:12) but God will use us, His people, to show His glory before His throne. What we wrestle with now will be for His glory (Romans 8:18-19).
Whew! That was 3+ hours condensed. I wish you could have been there. I was convicted, challenged, and encouraged. I still think that I’m a little more human than most, but at least God is willing to use that! Maybe that’s what is fabulous.