Monday, April 12, 2010

I Can't Get Rid of It

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (New International Version)
8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Oftentimes when we think of people who are successful in life or in ministry we think of people who are anointed and they never experience any kind of setbacks. Quite the contrary; those whom God uses sometimes go through more than those who are not. There is a lot that comes along with being used by God.

Sometimes it can be frustrating being a believer when you do what you think is right only to be rewarded with hard times. When we experience persecution, heartache, and heartbreak it isn’t that God doesn’t love us but its God’s way of keeping us close to him so that we will not get puffed up.

Paul was talking about how God had revealed so much to him but then in 12:7 he says, ‘to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh…I asked God to remove it three times.’

Can you think of something that is nagging you right now that constantly irritates you in the midst of all of the good that is going on in your life? You prayed about it but it’s still there. It’s there to keep you close to God and you might have to deal with it for life. Now this flies in the face of deliverance where you come to the altar pray something away and it’s gone. That can happen but there are some “thorns” that will be with you for life. You can be saved, used by God, but still have a thorn.

I was watching the BET Gospel awards, highlights from the last ten years and one of my favorite singers from the year 2004, Tonex, was singing ‘Make me Over.’ He cried out passionately, “I don’t want It, I’m trying to sing IT out of me, Lord I don’t want IT, Lord make me over.” That was a great year for Tonex; he was married, put out the best album of his Life, “Out the Box.” I even remember him coming to New Direction for his Album Release with his wife, he sang so powerfully and told me, “Man, I got to come back here because the oil is on this house.” But not long after 2004 it seems like “IT” overwhelmed Tonex.

We all have an “It” that we ask God to take away but we wrestle with “It” constantly and God’s response is, “My Grace is sufficient, when you are weak I am strong.” There is strength in my weakness. My “IT “has me crying out to God to remind; me that I have this gift in a jar of clay. God’s power is seen better in me when I am wrestling with my “It.” If “IT” were gone I might start taking more credit for my achievement than I should.

How do I deal with my It?

1. Keep praying about IT. Prayer keeps a firm grip on your IT and God keeps a firm grip on you. Even Jesus had to pray about his IT . He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father I would that this cup would pass from me, I don’t want IT but nevertheless not my will but thine will be done.”

2. Don’t give into IT. When Cain was wrestling with his IT God warned him that Sin is crouching at your door like a lion and IT wants to devour you but if you do what is right IT won't get you. Cain gave into IT and killed his brother. Do what’s right and don’t give into IT.

3. Keep working through IT. Salvation is a process . You didn’t get this overnight and you can’t get rid of IT over night.

4. Talk about IT with your counselor. When you expose IT to the light it can’t continue to breed in the darkness.

5. Don’t worry about IT. When you are more focused on ministry and less about IT the significance of IT fades.

6. Put the word on IT. David said, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not do IT.”

7. Celebrate IT! Had IT not been for the Lord who was on my side I never would have gotten through IT!

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I am content with my weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak then I am strong.

Dear God, give me strength over my “IT” Don’t let me lose sight of you over my “IT” Hold on to me when “IT” tries to hinder me. Fill me with more of you so IT remains a thorn and not a limb. Use me as you see fit but don’t let “IT” defeat me. You get all the Glory for when I’m weak you are strong.

In Jesus Name,

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