The Prophetic Thorn in the Side

In todayโ€™s post, I felt led to speak about one of the โ€œ๐ง๐จ๐ญ-๐ฌ๐จ-๐ž๐ฑ๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ โ€ parts of operating in the ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ก๐ž๐ญ๐ข๐œ. Itโ€™s not often talked about as it relates to this gifting:โฃ ๐“๐‡๐„ ๐“๐‡๐Ž๐‘๐ ๐ˆ๐ ๐“๐‡๐„ ๐’๐ˆ๐ƒ๐„. โฃ

Many of us have heard of Paulโ€™s โ€œ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐žโ€, and how he asked for God (three times) to remove it. Whatever it was, it was a nuisance, it was painful, uncomfortable, and something Paul had faith to believe God could free him from. And yet, God didnโ€™t. He allowed it. And to Paul he said the verse many of us know by heart, โ€œMy ๐ ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ž is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.โ€ You can read through the conversation in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.
We often get caught up on ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ the thorn was. But did you catch ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ the thorn was given? โฃ
Because of the ๐š๐›๐ฎ๐ง๐๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž of ๐ซ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง and ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ก๐ž๐ญ๐ข๐œ ๐ ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  Paul operated in. โฃ
Hardly seems โ€œfairโ€, doesnโ€™t it? But hereโ€™s the truth, that ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž prophetic gifting that Paul was graced with, that changed lives and revealed wondrous things ๐จ๐Ÿ God and ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ God, and that led and helped Paul navigate some of the most dangerous moments of his life, that same gifting ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ carried the potential for pride to sneak in and puff him up. โฃ
๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ก๐ž๐ญ๐ข๐œ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ (๐ก๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ) ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ซ.

The โ€œthornโ€ will be different. It may hit in the same place, it may not. But the promise is that the Lordโ€™s grace is sufficient ๐ˆ๐… the prophetic person will lean in and allow themselves to be shaped more into the likeness of Christ in the process. โฃ

Paul was willing to bear up under that conditioning. He allowed his character to become more and more refined through each challenge he faced. And thatโ€™s one of the reasons his life carried so much power and authority, and yes, so much of the prophetic. โฃ

The struggles, the distresses, even at times infirmities he faced – they were ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ by God to keep him humble. There was a divinely orchestrated system built in to that prophetic gifting to balance out the scales and keep him from becoming ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐จ๐ ๐š๐ง๐ญ.

In my own life, I have learned this to be true as well, at my own level. I have had thorns. I have felt that โ€œbuffetingโ€ in my own way and in my own context. And I can assuredly confess that when I lean into it and respond from the graces being given me, in that moment and for that struggle? I grow. The gifting grows. My relationship with God deepens, and so does my humility.

A prophetic person who is arrogant, or who doesnโ€™t have some visible โ€œthornsโ€ that they are navigating hasnโ€™t given themself to the process. Theyโ€™re most likely trying to hold the gift while sidestepping the way God has ordained and chosen to shape the character of the prophetic person. It wonโ€™t last. And could potentially destroy them.

In that same passage of scripture, Paul went on to say that he would rather boast in his infirmities, and that he actually got to the point where he could take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses. Because when he faced those weaknesses, then he was truly strong.

If you are a prophetic person, or are developing the prophetic gifting in your life, you need to know this. It will literally change how you view trials, tribulations, and yes, the thorns. โฃ

Thanks for reading.

Linda G Riddle