yes, I can do short

March 2, 2016

growth marks


Many people are being led astray by deliverance teachings that promise instantaneous victory over one’s problems by a timely rebuke of the Devil. This teaching misleads people from the biblical path of exercising endurance or patience in meeting their trials. As a result, many believers are not developing the kind of proven character that they need to handle trials.

This character-building approach is illustrated by Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7–10). The thorn is described as “a messenger of Satan to buffet me—to keep me from exalting myself” (v. 7). It is possible that this messenger was a demon. The Greek word for “messenger” is angelos, the word for “angel.”


Deliverance teachers today view this kind of situation as something that is out of keeping with the will of God, and they would seek to rebuke this “messenger of Satan” and run him out of town by giving him two black eyes in the process. But this was not Paul’s response. Instead, he “entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me” (v. 8). Yet, God did not grant Paul’s request. But do we not have power in the name of Jesus? Yes, we do, but it is to be exercised within the will of God.


The Lord was more interested in building Christlike character in Paul as a true display of His power (v. 9) than in putting on the kind of fireworks display that many people today are calling “power encounters”.


Beware of any teacher, preacher, book, etc. that says there is an easy fix to your problems. It’s just like prayer, there are usually three answers God can give you; “stop, go or wait.” Often in our suffering it’s “wait,” usually there is a lesson to learn, usually one that involves us learning to do the one thing we are not good at, waiting, not complaining, not blaming others and acceptance. None of which are popular answers in today’s society.

I read about a farmer who had a big brush pile of debris he was going to burn. He noticed a little bird had built a nest in that brush pile, so he destroyed the nest. When he came back days later, he found the bird rebuilding the nest. The farmer destroyed the nest again. But the bird built again, and again the farmer destroyed it. Finally, the little bird gave up. I can just imagine that little bird going home and saying to his family, “I just don’t know why all our good plans of building a home are not working.” Well, there was an unseen hand doing something the bird may have thought was bad, but was really good.

God bless from


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