"I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained... Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:1-10).
Having visions and revelations from the Lord doesn't make one Christian more spiritual, or closer to God than any other Christian. These are given by the Holy Spirit for various reasons: for repentance, direction, teaching, correction, encouragement, assurance, and as tools God uses to call us into ministry.
They are no basis for trying to impress others with spiritual maturity. Paul talked about another man's experience of being caught up into Paradise. He wasn't certain of all the facts, because the experience was so remarkable that it was impossible for the man to put it fully into words.
Paul reminds us that visions and revelations are nothing to boast about, because they are not earned by good works. He boasted only about his weaknesses. He had a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, that harassed him to keep him from becoming conceited. Three times he asked the Lord to take it away. But Jesus told him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9)
Holy Spirit, help me to boast about Jesus, whose power is perfect in my weakness. Amen.
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