By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

Want to receive By Love Transformed by email? Sign up here

Protection From Ourselves

Even 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. —2 Corinthians 12:6

Paul knew of the possibility that he could be an effective preacher, see people converted, and see people grow, and then he himself could be rejected in terms of a reward. He would be saved, yes, but as by fire (1 Cor. 3:15).

A thorn in the flesh protects you from yourself! That is why God does it. I therefore go this far: it is arguably the best thing that ever happened to us.

The thorn in the flesh is to make up for a deficiency. That is what compensation is. A typical deficiency is the Christlikeness that is lacking in us. God says, "I want you to be more like Jesus, and I have blessed you." If we are totally honest, we know God has been good to us. If He did not send a thorn in the flesh to compensate, who knows what we would be like!

I can think of many deficiencies that require the thorn in the flesh in my case. For example, I don't have enough faith. I don't have enough love. I don't have enough empathy, caring for others. These are things that the flesh by itself will never bring about. I need an increase in faith, love, and empathy.

How, though, does this thorn achieve its aim? How does it actually keep us from being conceited? The answer is that it protects us from ourselves. If you are like me, you sometimes think, If God hadn't stopped me, I don't know what I would have said or done. I have lived long enough to say, when I see in any other person a weakness, malady, sin, or wickedness, "That's me—except God has kept me." It is what protects us from ourselves.

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit