Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Thorn in the flesh.

An annoying, compelling problem that just won’t go away.

The Bible tells us that Paul had such a problem.

And He asked God three separate times to remove it from his life.

But God didn’t – He had a reason for it.

Now most of us have probably heard that the reason for it to remain was to shape Paul’s character. To teach him to rely completely on God. After all, God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.

The Lord Himself said, "My grace is all you need."

And there can be no other reason that is more necessary, more powerful than this. That we are to learn humility, total dependence on God. That we are unable, in our own strength, to live a righteous life. We have to rely on Spirit-filled power.

But sometimes I wonder…

Is there maybe another reason?

In the book of Job, we have a unique glimpse behind the curtain of this life. We see a dialogue between the enemy and God.

Satan basically says, "Oh sure, Job worships You because You have blessed him with health, wealth, and happiness. Well, with all those gifts, who wouldn’t worship you?"

And then, the challenge begins.

Of course, in the end, Job learned a mighty lesson. He learned that the answer to "Why?" is really a person – a Someone – the Almighty I AM of the universe.

He learned humility, and dependence, and obedience. He learned what it means to trust God, even when – especially when – He doesn’t make sense.

Yes, a mighty lesson indeed.

But, I think there’s something else going on. Because I think someone else learned a lesson.

The devil.

God does not need to be defended. He does not need to be proven right. His victory is not in question.

But Scripture makes it clear that there is a war raging in the unseen realms. And we play an integral part.

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)

We must engage in the struggle until Jesus returns, for the enemy is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord’s side.

And so, I think powerful victories are won when God’s children stand when they stand in the middle of suffering, and tribulation, and persecution, and hardships.

I have a picture in my mind – a huge battlefield.

And the devil’s army is pushing strong into our ranks – some of our troops might be in retreat.

But when we stand up, when we stand strong in the Lord’s power, something happens.

Can you see the surge reverse?!

Thorns in the flesh.

Who knows what happens when we fight on in spite of them?

I think the devil does – and he doesn’t like it one bit.

"Lord, Your grace is sufficient. Therefore, I claim my weaknesses for Your sake. I trust that fighting on in spite of them, in Your Spirit’s power, is accomplishing mighty victories. I will wear my thorns like medals of honor."

I hear enemy soldiers falling…

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. "Can you see the surge reverse?!"

    Amen! What a sight to behold!

    This was a wonderful post to read this morning, Sharon...

  2. Once again, well said, Sharon, lots of insight in this post and lots of truth, I believe.

    God Bless - Nita.

  3. Yes and Amen...then we also have our eyes open to see the mighty hand of God through us. God allows us to see the mighty army that is standing behind us when we stand...which is greater than anything the enemy has to offer, but we first must stand and then He reveals our support army with us.

  4. Yes, there is a discipline and obedience in STANDING that He means for us to learn. And then... He reveals more of Himself and takes us further. Sometimes I want the further without the standing... never works! His order is perfect!


  5. Hi Sharon -

    Yippee! You are in war mode today, lady warrior!
    I adore such holy determined company. Rallied the troops, General Sharon - Oh yes you did.

    You declared, "I trust that fighting on in spite of them, in Your Spirit’s power, is accomplishing mighty victories. I will wear my thorns like medals of honor.

    "I hear enemy soldiers falling…"

    Charge! Sharon, I hear trumpets from glory.

    "Fear not" is our Lord's Word to us.

    Subdue - vanquish - besiege...the powers of darkness - Oh yeah!

    Exodus 32:26 - KJV
    Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord's side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

    Thank you, Father, for signing us up. Our names are on the dotted lines...we are in it to WIN IT WITH YOU, LORD!!!

  6. I hear the enemy soldiers falling as well, Sharon.
    With our God we can stay in the war mode, able
    to leap any wall, demolish any stronghold. With
    the power of heaven behind us and the blood of
    Christ prevailing for us we can not lose!

  7. Very interesting take on this, Sharon. It reminds me of that scripture that says "having done all, to stand..."

    Sometimes standing on God's promises is our only weapon...

  8. G'day Sharon,

    Yep - I've got my armour on and I see the enemy retreating... And fast!

    They haven't got a chance as we all stand together, determined and united fighting this daily battle in the Lord's strength.

    We are to be the Job's of this time.

    God bless! With love and care from Kerrie.xOx

  9. wow Sharon, awesome!! I hadn't quite thought of it this way; thank you for presenting it, gives quite a bit to think about especially when dealing with adversity ahd other struggles of life!


  10. Oh, I believe there is a battle going on. Our study by Beth Moore talked quite about it...amazing. We have no idea what heaven is doing on our behalf as we live out our days in this fallen world. ""Can you see the surge reverse?!" YES, I CAN!

  11. I totally agree (again) - I think it is there to keep us humble!


  12. Stand up and cheer! I love this so much. Why had I NEVER thought of it this way before? You are so right that Satan took a hit with Job, took a hit with Paul, and takes a hit every single time I plug on in spite of my my thorn. (bramble bush? cactus plant?)

    This really does inspire me to stand taller in the face of the thorns.

  13. Preach it sister! =)
    I'd never looked at it that way, but you are so right! God isn't looking to prove us to Him, or Himself to us in these trials that we face! He's giving us one more chance to knock the enemy down =)

    I'm so stirred up right now it's like the ground is shaking

  14. My dear, dear friends.

    How I appreciate each of you, and how I needed your words of encouragement! I could never stand alone without all of you by my side. I am strong because you help me.

    We are in this battle together, and the Lord's banner flies before us! The enemy is surging, but in the Lord's power, we will not retreat. Thank you for joining arms with me -

    I hear enemy soldiers falling...

    (A quick P.S. - my brother-in-law had a motorcycle accident yesterday. He's OK, but he did break his pelvis in 5 places. Would appreciate your prayers for my sister's family.)



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)