I have received such wonderful revelations from God. 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. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 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. 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. —I Corinthians 12:7-10
Knowledge can cause pride— “But knowledge puffs up while love builds up” (I Corinthians 8:1). With the great revelations given to Paul the Lord allowed Satan to “torment” him with “a thorn in” his flesh to keep him from becoming proud. Pride… the downfall of many a person— “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (I Corinthians 10:12).
I was talking with an inmate recently and he told me his story of having been in prison for 28 years. Recently he was in transition at a half-way house, working a job. While in prison He spent regular time with the Lord Jesus and had a close relationship. In the half-way house he started to drift. There were many factors that brought him to making bad decisions in that drifting— hanging around the wrong people, expectations, praise from man, anger, selfishness… These led him to even worse choices and now he is back at the state prison. He sought to live life in his own strength and did not depend upon the Lord, trusting in Him and His grace for the situations he found himself in. Now he realizes his stupidity of not sticking close to the Lord, but is glad for the test and seeks to pass the test the next time.
Pride has led to the fall of many believers. Just having knowledge of the Lord is not enough. There needs to be an active relationship with Jesus and all that means—constant communication, speaking with Him and listening to Him— fellowshipping with other believers who love Him— being actively involved in discipleship. Without these basics we may have knowledge of Jesus, but we are living in our own strength and not depending on His Grace. But God’s grace is enough! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpYtYYaTFGQ
Dear Father, I have no strength of my own… none and I acknowledge this. Please help me to yield to Your Holy Spirit and be empowered by Him. May it be so in the authority of Jesus! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbe7OruLk8I