Who are you, Paul?
Grace be to you, Paul. Father wants you to understand the mystery of how He made you. The callings of God are easily understood and the giftings are becoming known, but so little is known in the Body of Christ of the design types. God designed man after Himself. He is triune. We are ourselves triune (made of body, soul, and spirit). Our soul is also triune (made of mind, will, and emotions). Some folks are strong in their mind, others are strong in their will, and still others are strong in their emotions. Even the world to some degree understands that their are three design types - the coaches, the players, the observers. The design is in the heart of a person. Because of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil it was corrupted.
From the tree of life we can see what God had originally designed. The three designs are best illustrated by the Apostle John (the way of knowledge), the Apostle Paul (the way of wisdom), and the Apostle Peter (the way of understanding). The Apostle John shows us the purity of design of living by every word that comes from the mouth of God. The Apostle Paul shows us the purity of design of loving God through suffering. The Apostle Peter shows us the purity of design of worship and service to God alone. Each design has a different eyesight, a different focus, a different vocabulary, a different reprove system.
Paul reproves for righteousness. He instinctively understands law, cause and effect, justice, equity, authority. He desires intimacy, relationships, unity, growth, acceptance, love. He is persecuted, rejected, denied, defrauded, and hated. He endures suffering, and knows and feels pain in people and the atmosphere. He is passionate, intense, and deeply feeling. He is a martyr and enjoys being a sacrifice for God. He is very spiritual and sensitive to anointings and spirits (both angels and demons). He wants to be wise, instinctively wants to be boss and lead - doesn't like to be told what to do. He will learn obedience to survive but must learn submission and yieldedness in his heart. He understands rights and borders and knows when they are violated. He understands hate and can easily recognize religiousity. All this he is but he will not admit it for he wants no one to really know him or see how tender he is. Yet he must open and show his heart for he is to manifest openly all that love is.
Father God gave dominion over all He created to man. This dominion was divided by design. John was given dominion over circumstances - he usually finds himself under them and has to speak to the mountain and move it. Peter was given dominion over flesh. He knows how to manipulate people real well even to selling himself to get his way. In life he knows how to appeal to people to bring corporateness - for the kingdom. Paul was given dominion in the spirit realm. He is sensitive to spirits and as such the air waves. He is like a TV receiver - picking up messages in the air and converting them into a picture. He is charged with electricity and should have a sign on him reading - High voltage - handle with care. This is the intensity of your nature. You receive the energy stimulus constantly and unless you release it, the intensity builds inside of you. Passion is the only correct way to release intensity. Passion can be released through singing, preaching, teaching, counseling, praying, loving, etc. Pondering turns the intensity inward. You can ponder so deep that you cannot be reached. The deeper the ponder the more voltage radiates from you - in other words - pondering concentrates the intensity and sends irritating signals into the atmosphere - provoking those around you. It is easy for you to live in the natural realm using the Spirit to deal with circumstances and people. But to live in the spirit realm is like being an eagle soaring high above the earth - totally foreign to those who walk the earth. Pauls are considered strange, weird, 'too spiritual to be of any earthly good'. They are not understood by 'normal' people. One of the reasons is because they react to things that others do not detect. And without instruction they can't explain what is wrong or why they reacted themselves. After being told repeatedly to calm down or questioned about their intensity, it doesn't take long before they hide their true selves from sight. John hides behind aprons of fig leaves - hides in his soul - never seeing his heart's true nature. Peter hides behind people - blameshifting what he does to others. But Paul hides behind trees. He totally hides who he really is - using a wall of hate so no one will find him out. Peter and John don't understand Paul, but unfortunately Paul does not understand himself either. And therefore cannot explain why he does what he does, why he reacts, and to what, etc. So he ponders to try to balance himself. Sound Familiar?
How does God deal with Paul?
Grace is the Greek word charis. It means graciousness in manner or action, the divine influence upon the heart. This influence is the operation on the heart that removes the last threads of the encasement of the flesh and opens your heart to love deeply.
The word sufficient is the Greek word arkeo which means to ward off, ie. to avail. It is the root word for contentment. So, His influence on the heart wards off for us, but how and what does it ward off - 'For my strength is made perfect in weakness.'
Strength means miraculous power, force. Christ's strength, power, is made perfect in weakness? Sounds strange, but truth (see Hebrews 11:34). Weakness means feebleness of body or mind - the root word means to be strengthless. Feeble in Latin means lamentable, wretched, in other words, to weep. It is translated inferior, inadequate, weak. Weakness and infirmities are the same Greek word - astheneia. Strength and power are also the same Greek word - dunamis.
And so the Apostle Paul gloried, boasted, in the process of being made feeble that the miraculous power of Christ would tent upon him. He took pleasure, fully agreed with, sanctioned, and thought well of - the things God used to make him weak. In I Corinthians 15:42-58 the Apostle Paul tells us what is made weak - the corruptible flesh - that encasement around the heart.
What things are going to be used by God to weaken your flesh that your spirit will 'come forth' in resurrection?
1. Infirmities - feebleness, strengthlessness in your soul and/or body (scriptural truth) - God's goal is to set your inner man totally free. (Psalm 116:15 - "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.") This death is of course the death of the rule of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - the law of sin and death - in your members. Since Paul values his mind greatly and wants to fly, to go, to do, not to be confined, anything that touches his mind or body causes him grief, causes him to mourn. It is unthinkable to think well of 'being made strengthless in mind and/or body'. But Paul learned to glory and fully approve of feebleness, and so must you.
2. Reproaches - the Greek word means insolence (as over-bearing) ie. insults, injury. It comes from the root word that means 'over', above, beyond, superior. Insults are bad enough but no Paul wants to be 'bossed' (ruled over). Paul must learn obedience to the authority of the Holy Spirit during sanctification and to have a submissive attitude to the authority of Jesus during transformation. (Submission is not possible without obedience for it monitors resistance to rule - how quick is obedience.) But during perfection he must learn to love being ruled. He must learn to love Father so much that he longs for Father's sovereign rule over his life; that he desires greatly to know Father's dominion; that he loves being ruled by love, by passion. Father may let man cause you grief here, but know it is His rule of you that He is after - but you must give it to Him because of love (not obedience as to the Holy Spirit, nor submission as to the Lord Jesus). You must know that you are 'in love' with Him (Father) and for that reason alone you give Him your heart to rule.
3. Necessities - the Greek word means constraint. It comes from two Greek words - one means up, the other means bend (as bending an arm). Constraint means to draw tight, strain at, compel, confine, to hold back by force, restrain, check, to constrict. The English word necessity does not fit with the Greek word - for need (necessity) and constraint are two different things. Constraint is the right word. In order for you to have a lifestyle of 'calling forth' your body is designed to draw in stimulus, energy, intensity. Therefore your muscles tighten up - bending, drawing tightly, up - curling. As they bend the joints, the muscles themselves are tightening as well as bending. And without full release they stay tight. 'Curling' is not like the weight-lifting curl. It is straining, drawing tight, pulling stimulus into the body. This, too, you must embrace for your muscles are going to curl (they can't help it). Father will overload you with stimulus so that you must release passion or have uptight muscles (which will cause physical pain and a drain on your physical energy). It can be embarassing (because Father chooses when) and physically uncomfortable (because the muscles ache) to curl but the sooner you release passion the freer you will become. You can also experience a 'high' similar to the kind athletes get when they exercise, after you curl. You may also experience laughter during curling. You will learn to love curling. It may not sound like fun but after your wall is destroyed it truly will be a pleasurable experience - a big yes! Your masochistic nature will have a blast here (masochistic - broad definition - pleasure derived from being ruled by passion). Another note - energy absorbed must fine release some how, some way, some where. Panic attacks are one way the body will release absorbed stimulus energy. The body systems overload and the excess energy must find escape. Panic attacks caused by demons are easy to cure - just get rid of the demon. But if they are caused by intensity over-load only learning how to effectively release the energy will stop them. Unfortunately, because they are built to absorb energy and because they are ignorant of this (what it means and what to do with it) Paul's tend to have a season of panic attacks - feebleness in mind and body.
4. Persecution - the Greek word does mean persecution. It comes from a root word that means to flee, to pursue, to persecute. A major 'instrument' in the 'breaking in' of a Paul. If God loves us so much, why would He allow us to suffer? That isn't loving? That is hate? No! God loves us so much He allows, even sets up His servants to be persecuted. How many times did He order His prophets to do something that God knew would get them killed? Before your doctrines set in, hear me out. Persecution has a purpose - it batters down that stockade wall of the trees of hate. Persecution has several degrees to it - on the milder side is being pursued, nagged, hassled. Paul likes being left alone - 'don't bother me' syndrome - so, to be pursued at all is bothersome. Learn to love being hassled by people. When the wall is gone their touch will only release anointing from you and you will feed on it as it leaves you. People have rights to you and they instinctively know it. John wants to eat you (alive). Peter wants to drink from you - give your blood. And they are suppose to do it. You are designed to be eaten from and drank from - you are public property. It is true. We who know rights and borders, must lovingly yield all rights of ourselves (our sovereignty) to God the Father, who then uses us by giving us to people. You must be 'very hungry for Him' in order to do this one.
5. Distresses - the Greek word means narrowness of room. It
comes from two words - one means standing, the other means a chasm or
vacancy. It means being confined and remaining there. It means
A. Confinement - what an ugly word. Being a prisoner for Christ's sake, that's what confinement is. Father can so confine you that you literally are His prisoner - not able to move an inch in any direction. For some one who likes to go, to do, to see, to experience, being confined can be humbling and that is the point - it pulls on that wall. Here you will learn that truly you are His prisoner - His total slave. Slavery has negative connotations, however, the Apostle Paul many times declared his slavery. It is an awesome experience to stand before the Almighty totally naked and know that He owns you! This will happen the moment the wall comes down - so you will know when it happens.
B. Restraint - Paul instinctively knows he is to be yoked, harnessed, restrained. In the flesh he accepts false restraint, yielding to others when he should not - suppression - pulling it in and denying his intensity, his reactions, his feelings, his thoughts, himself. He can easily afflict his soul (Isaiah 58:3,5). He can easily be a flaggellant person and take pleasure in being a martyr. Everyone tells him to calm down and he tries but the more he tries, the more uptight, intense, he gets. He is made to 'cry aloud, spare not' (Isaiah 58:1) not to hold it in. One of the things Paul will use to flaggellate himself with is his pondering. Like 'curling' Paul must ponder, it is the intent behind it that counts. Under the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, pondering can be used to hide with - used to punish himself with - used to turn off with - especially a deep ponder. Ponder is Paul's radar honing device. It is supposed to be used to scan with (you are suppose to scan). It is used to 'search and find', with discerning of spirits, it is used to scan the spirit world for angelic, flesh, and demonic activity. It is used to receive 'radio' signals - messages over the spiritual air waves, here it is either the angels or demons who are the 'telegraph wires' - but the ponder decodes the spiritual signals. It is used to search for truth inside himself and as he hears others. You must keep your radar on here, no matter how much work it is (and it is a lot of trouble sometimes). It is the only way to protect your heart. Words go right into your heart - with or without you consciously knowing it - especially words of loved ones, family and friends. And they can do you great harm. What ever you hear, you will build with, you will hold fast to, it sticks like glue to you. Once an untruth registers in the heart, it requires surgery to remove it. (*Untruth may be a true fact but it lacks grace or mercy when stated.*) Save yourself some pain - keep the radar on and answer untruth immediately - before it hits your heart whether true or not. Untruth (especially if it is about you) can fracture your peace, causing visible pain in your eyes. Once your peace is broken, it will take time for your 'search and find' ponder to locate the problem and it may never find it. You are suppose to reprove (judge) for righteousness. Righteousness is being in right relationship with God - peace is the work of righteousness.
If something is said of you and you don't scan it and your peace is fractured, then you have accepted judgment against your relationship with Him. And you have declared yourself unrighteous. But the truth is you are in Him and therefore righteous. No one can take that from you except you, yourself. Phase three of the perfection process will absolutely seal your peace. Until then, turn your radar on and keep it on. Please, Paul, hear me, do this for your sake.
All these things Father will use during your growth in Him. They are meant for your good, not evil. Embrace His dealings and let the wall come down - for Father truly does love and accept you. This love is buried in that heart of yours - hiding from you and your world.