Know God

7b So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. 8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:7-10NLT

Paul was a man of God. He was arguably the greatest apostle who ever lived. Yet even though he was great, he still had his own battles to face. He had his own demons to fight. He was human, just like us. The difference, though, between Paul and us is that Paul didn’t allow his weaknesses to keep him down. He didn’t allow his flesh to dictate who he would be or who he would become. Why?

Because he knew his God. He knew the one which he served. And it’s not because he met God on the road to Damascus. It’s not because he saw so many miracles take place or because of the many revelations he had. It was because he sought after God. He wanted to personally know. He had a hunger for more than just what the world could offer him. Paul wanted to know God. Not know of Him. He wanted to personally know God.

Paul had known what it was like to quiver in fear before the presence of Almighty God. He knew what it was like to be before the Throne of Grace guilty. He knew what it was like to be before God uncovered, naked, and shameful. So, he fought for more. He fought for a relationship, so that that day when Jesus takes His seat on His throne and judges the whole earth and everything in it, he would hear the words, ‘well done my good and faithful servant.’ Paul was fighting for his life. His eternal life.

Paul knew God not because he did great miracles, those were direct effects. Paul knew God because he sought him. See, we forget that this world comes with difficulties. This world comes with pain and suffering. It’s inevitable. We can’t avoid it. We can’t skip it. But we can overcome it. Paul, a man of God, prayed three times for the thorn in his side to be removed, but God reminded him that His grace was sufficient for him. God reminded Paul that he wasn’t alone. That this thorn that He has allowed to torment him for this short time here on this earth will not only mean nothing to him in eternity, but while here on this, it would be able to help someone else struggling with the same thing, but lacking the faith and endurance to fight.

We have to understand that God won’t just come down and fix every struggle we have overnight. But that He has given us an abundance of grace, love, mercy, and goodness to overcome any obstacle set before. Overcoming doesn’t always mean that we no longer struggle with something, but that we no longer give in to that something. And if we follow God and fight with everything in us, then we can be confident that if we stumble, God will catch us before we fall because His grace is sufficient for us.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Know God.

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