“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Paul says I would rather glory in my infirmities or in his weaknesses. Why? So that the power of Christ may rest upon in. Wow! I have always like this particular passage of scriptures. Not to say that I just enjoy going through trials, tribulations, heartache and pain. Rather, it is more so my like of it because it signals to me that I must be a force or vessel to be reckoned with to the enemy. You see, I am of the belief that the enemy does not bother, afflict, or attack anyone or anything that does not carry enough weight to do a significant amount of damage to his kingdom. Why should he? This kind of person has more of a chance of working things in his favor by him simply leaving them be. They don’t resist, they don’t refute, they don’t reprimand, and they don’t rebuke. They just don’t. In all truthfulness, this person or these people probably more or so resemble those of his kingdom. Oh, I know that stung a little bit. Marinate on it though. Why attack what does not pose a threat and seems to blend or fit in? In other words, if you just so happen to be apart of the “status-quo or norm,” I would argue that the enemy does not see you as a threat.
However, when the enemy begins attempting to expose your weaknesses, and you still submit to God with a made up mind that “in spite of…I’m still going to praise you, I’m still going to glorify you, I’m still going to worship you, and I’m still going to serve you,” then watch out! Why watch out! This is a person that no only talks the talk but walks the walk, and I’m just of the belief that anybody who is in possession of both “talk” (and more importantly) “walk” are serious threats to the enemy. Why? This person has proven that there is nothing that can make me turn my back on God, and there is not that can stop me from lifting and making His name great in all the land. Oh I feel like preaching now y’all. This person understands that in this life you shall have tribulations, but they know something else also. What they know Kean? They know that in spite of the tribulations, they can be in good cheer. Why? Because the God we serve sent His only begotten son to not only save those who shall believe in him, but so that he could overcome the world. Thereby, granting us (believers in the Son) access to everlasting victory over the world.
Somebody said, then why does it look like the world is winning? Why are the saints who are supposed to be victorious over the world now succumbing to the things of the world? My God that is a mind-blowing question and I am glad that you asked it. We have lost our focus. We think suffering for Christ’s sake is suffering financially and materially. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when the enemy does come after and attack those things; however, it’s (his attacks) almost always inclusive of mentally, physically, and emotionally. The attacks of the enemy are not focused on him trying to take your material possessions, rather they are more centered around him trying to get you to renounce your profession of God and Jesus Christ, thereby relinquishing your power in Christ! I’m going to say that again for the person who says that was God doc. The attacks of the enemy are not focused on him trying to take your material possessions, rather they are more centered around him trying to get you to renounce your profession of God and Jesus Christ, thereby relinquishing your power in Christ!
My God this is tearing me up right now! I know, somebody said where are the scriptures to back your assertion Kean? Here they come. Let’s starts with the very first sin which will set the foundation for all stories to come. Let’s start with Lucifer himself: the most beautiful angel who tried to establish a throne for himself in Heaven, and establish it higher than God’s. How did He do this? By recruiting others to worship him and view him as being greater than the almighty. So, in other words, he tried to get everyone to renounce their belief in God and submit-praise-worship Him. Next up, we have Adam and Eve. The enemy came in the garden and got them to renounce their belief in God’s words about the tree of life and death, which in turn led to their removal from God’s divine provision and the removal of their having unrestricted access and power with God. I would explain that more deeply, but that’s for another message. Cue Job. The man who the enemy said to God that his soul purpose was to get him to curse God to His face. Sounds like renouncing belief to me, thereby relinquishing power. However, there are two more examples that I want to share with you.
These are the examples of David and Paul. Both of these men taught me a lesson that I will never forget. I’ll get there in a minute, but watch this. David was a shepherd boy whose father and brothers didn’t think he had anything to offer. Yet, in spite of this he went out in the field and lifted up a shout of praise to God. He was passed over (yet set apart and predestined) to be king, but he still found time to lift a shout of praise to God. How? God stepped in. When he got the anointing to be king, he returned to the field to continue doing what he had been doing, all while lifting up a shout of praise to God. When he was sent on an errand run to go and feed his brothers, he didn’t think too highly of himself, but he served and still lifted up a shout of praise to God. When he got there and had to fight Goliath (despite being ridiculed for his drive to do so), he didn’t do it in his might but he gave God a shout of praise for the victory that has been granted him. What happened next? God stepped in. When King Saul sought to kill him on numerous occasions, David didn’t get mad or even for that matter. He fled the scene and still gave God a shout of Praise. Soon, God stepped in and He was King of Israel. Somebody said, “well we already know David was a praise.” True, but let’s look at our next witness.
Saul was a man that persecuted believers. He had a come to Jesus moment on the road to Damascus and he woke up blind. In spite of, he was still determined to submit and serve God all the more now. However, that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the scene where Paul and Silas had been stripped, beaten, and imprisoned simply for lifting up the name of Jesus and preaching the untainted gospel of Jesus Christ to all who need it. Not only did they suffer this thing, but the guard sent to keep watch over them put them in the inner most part of the prison and shackled their feet. Yet, instead of complaining and crying about how much pain they feel, they basically said “though He say me yet will I trust Him!” They still lifted up a shout of praise to God. The praise was so loud that the other prisoners heard it. What happened next? God stepped in! Why? This is what He gave me to tell you, “Tell them that a perfected praise is a praise that is free from motives and obscurity. This praise has been tried over and over again to attempt to keep the praise down, but because their heart is so genuine in its desire the praise can’t be kept down. Therefore, a perfected praise is one that is pure, genuine, sincere, and without prejudice or working angles.” I know that’s good, and it should make us all think, where does my praise fall?
However, I need to close out of this. Can I close this thing out? I think I can! Earlier I made mention that those two individuals led me to a conclusion. You want to know what it is? Shout Lord Help My Praise! The conclusion I learned was this: Perfected Praise creates an Atmosphere for Divine Presence, which unleashes Perpetual Power! Too much? Let’s try it this way: A genuine praise without any motives creates space for God’s divine presence to come and continually prove and demonstrate His power in your life, for you life, and through your life. In other words, God’s Power is locked up and waiting for your Perfected Praise to connect with it and unleash it. Shout Lord Help My Praise! That’s why we find one constant thing throughout the Bible. What’s the constant? I’m glad you asked. The constant is that the people who God chose to use and reveal himself to and through were not just your regular do anything to come up people. They were people of a perfected praise. People that truly believed that He Is who He Is. people that truly believed that outside of Him, there is no way that I can make it. People that once they committed themselves to Him, they didn’t half do it but fully souled our and perused (Watch This) giving Him all that is due Him. Oh, I feel my help coming.
Shout Lord, Help My Praise! These people weren’t praising Him for a house or car or status. They weren’t praising Him for a better job or even a better position. As a matter of fact, these people took on positions of persecution (even sometimes unto death) just to get closer to Him. Could it be that job that you’ve been trying to run from because of all the enemies you have there is the thing that forces you to chase after Him? Oh, y’all weren’t ready for that one! Never mind, I was just playing them. However, Shout Lord, Help My Praise! If that wasn’t enough, His only son came and took one of the lowest jobs and still managed to praise Him in spite of. Then, He accepted the job of non-stop persecution and still praised in spite of. Then, accepted the public display of ultimate humiliation, yet he never ceased in giving God all the praise that was due Him.
What are you saying to us Kean? Until we can learn how to truly perfect our praise (praise Him simply because it’s what you were created to do and on the merit of who He Is) we will never amount to anything in Him. I Dare You to change the way you praise and your overall outlook and praise! I Dare You to give it to Him simply because it already belongs to Him. I Dare You to give it to Him from a pure and genuine heart. I Dare You! I Dare You to give it to Him whenever your heart deems it’s time. No matter the place! No matter the day! No matter the hour! No matter the situation! I Dare You to open up your mouth and let the praises flow to Him at all times! Do it and watch you life begin to shift! I Dare You!
Until Next Time,
Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged!