Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7–10)
The apostle Paul was not afraid nor excessively concerned with what others thought about his apparent weakness. He had come to the realization that by depending on God, human weakness was not a liability but rather an aid to receiving and discerning the power of Christ. With pleasure, he boasted in his infirmities knowing the result of his weakness was the resting presence of Christ! Paul uses the Greek word episkenoo to describe what he received from the Lord by coming to a place of Christ-dependency. Episkenoo is a compound word formed from “epi” and “skenoo,” and it is found nowhere else in the Scriptures, however, its importance is monumental. Epi means a superimposition of time, to place over or upon, rest or at rest, to rest on or upon, above, touching, or have charge of. Skenoo means, to tent or encamp, to occupy, to reside, live, as God did in the Old Testament Tabernacle as a symbol of protection and communion, fellowship, to dwell. This compound word brings to us an awareness that we would not have had were it not for the apostle’s constant yielding to God! He always relied on Jesus, not himself. We too must learn this important lesson; it is priceless. When we learn to yield completely into the hands of the Lord Jesus, our lives will be immeasurably different, we will be as was Paul, a vessel prepared and ready for the Master’s use. He was a great apostle because he was yielded to the Lord at every turn. It is frightening to give up control, but giving the control of your life into the hands of another, Jesus, is what you must do to know true freedom: the power of Christ. True freedom is not the absence of a master, but having the right Master, Jesus Christ! Do you want the power of Christ to rest upon you, to find a home in you? Then give up control and experience His resting presence!