As a child of God, there is a question foremost in my mind, most of the time. “Why do I feel like such a failure in service to God?” I attempt to remain faithful to the calling in my life, but I am no Apostle Paul, nor even an “Apostlette Pauline” I allow the flood waters of life to come up around my neck and make me feel as if I’m drowning. Of course I cannot be because I am a child of God and He protects me from that defeat, but the emotion of being peril is very much real. Using the word peril may seem a tad dramatic. But then again so am I. Those flood waters that have come upon me are not killing me but can, if I don’t get a grip on it, kill my effectiveness for the Kingdom.
In 2nd Corinthians Paul is telling a group of believers of his struggles, which in comparison make mine look like someone just took my binky. But in what I feel is frustration on Paul’s part with the Corinthians, and the danger of them being overtaken in false doctrine and religion, he tells them of his foundation in his identity:
2 Corinthias 11
Called out in Christ
22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
Paul is calling out the religious of the day, who think they are above all because of their position in Jewish Religion. They love saying that they are the chosen of God even though at this present time in scripture, they have forsaken Him, killed His only begotten Son and murdered His ministers. A notion we should keep in mind when dealing with religious people. They are not friends of God, because a friend of God put’s himself or herself above no man or woman because they understand that in Christ we are sinners saved by His grace alone.
Confident in His Calling
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
Paul let’s them know that the life of a child of God isn’t tea and roses. It’s filled with struggles, persecution and conflict. But the world would have you to believe otherwise. He had told them earlier in this chapter in verse 3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Paul worried about people of Corinth falling to lies of Satan and those who serve him. And even though a saved person is saved from the wrath of Hell, a loss of confidence can occur when certain things happen in their lives:
- Ungodly influences
- Failure to attend a local church
- Listening to false doctrine
- Failure to pursue your relationship with God
The last item on that list is the easiest for me to fall to and lose my confidence in what I know in Christ. If I do not stay in the word of God, when someone comes to me with a question or I’m witnessing to someone, I am not at all confident in my ability to relay God’s word in a manner they’ll understand. Paul knew that, and he knew that the people of Corinth were listening to people who were leading them astray, deceiving them as Satan deceived Eve in the garden by twisting the word of God. We need to understand that all who preach Christ, do not necessarily preach Him correctly.
So how do we protect ourselves? Read the word yourself! Allow the Spirit to speak to you and He’ll reveal the truth. God is faithful. It’s in those times that you will build your confidence, just as I am this morning as I read and study God’s word.
Concerned for the Churches
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
In all the struggles and perils that Paul had, the real kind of peril, not my kind. Paul never stopped concerning himself for God’s people.
In the first two verses of chapter 11 Paul speaks to the depth of his concern: Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
While I make no profession of being as committed as Paul, I have that concern with the Jesus Chick Ministry that I will fail you in my work for Christ. I love each one of you who take the time to read these posts and pray, “Would to God, we are together in glory.” Amen.