Saturday, 4 April 2015


Even when speaking of the 3rd Heaven experience God had given him, Paul was very quick to make every effort to hide himself, and point all the attention on God:

2 Cor 12v1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say,…

He says, 'I know a man in Christ…' as if to say, 'Although I am forced to reveal what Christ gave me, I am loathe to reveal anything that may make people believe that I am something when really I am nothing.' He goes on to say, 'I know that this man…' and 'I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself.' Paul was greatly concerned that people would begin to focus on him, rather than on Christ, 'But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say,…' Even in sharing what God had given him for both his and others' good, Paul was very reluctant to share what he had been given because he knew men's weakness to glorify men instead of Christ. When we are given something by the Lord, even when it is for others' good, we should make every effort to share it with others in a manner which stresses our frailty and humanity, in order to help and encourage others to focus on Christ alone, and not on ourselves (and also to ensure that no division occurs because of jealousy and competition):

2 Cor 12v...9: Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Jesus gave Paul a thorn for a reason, which was to remind him of his weakness (we must remind ourselves how easily we become corrupted by an overestimation of ourselves when Christ blesses us), and to remind others of Paul's humanity, so that Christ would remain the focal point of attention.

Christ's power will only remain upon us as long as we are humbling ourselves in the sight of others and humbling ourselves under His hand (2 Cor 12v9), otherwise there is the chance that men will be glorified instead of Jesus, and the Father does not want that. We must make every effort to humble ourselves in the sight of others, and especially do so when it comes to sharing things which the Lord has blessed us with and desires to bless others with as well. We should also be as quick or quicker to boast about what God has done to bless and speak to others as much as speak about what He has done in and through us: 'I know a man in Christ' (2 Cor 12v2). God uses others just as much or more than us, and this should be a great joy of ours to share with others, for God uses this mightily to build the whole body of Christ up.

Let us make every effort to point all attention on Christ, every effort to point attention away from ourselves, and also to ensure that our brothers and sisters in Christ are honoured for His sake as well. In this way, whatever we share for His sake, will do the good that He intended for it to do, in the way that He intended for it to do it (for the method is just as important as the message, as He is the way and the truth).