DISMISS THEM FROM THEIR ASSIGNMENT
To assign means: To designate or set apart something for some purpose e.g.to assign a day for trial.To appoint or select someone for some office. e.g.to assign counsel for a prisoner. To allot or give something as a task.
2Cor 12:7-10 KJV 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
There are many things that happen to we Christians and we have allowed them to persist because many people think nothing can happen to them except the Lord allows or permits it. They said it must be the will of God for me. They support their acceptance of that problem by misunderstanding the book of Job. Most times you hear Christian quoting out of context the scripture in Rom 8: 28 to justify why they are suffering from the devil. They say all things are working together for them. But on a closer look you will discover that all things are not working together for god for them.
Rom 8:28 KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The scripture in Roms 8 says all things are working together for good for those people that meet the qualification stated immediately in the text; Those that love God, called of God according to His purpose. And what is the purpose of Jesus? According to the scripture 1Jn 3:8 to destroy the work of the devil. So if you fit into that scripture then all things will work together for you because you will be able to resist the devil vehemently and God will now take whatever the devil meant for bad and turn it around for your good.
The inability to resist the devil (Jam 4:7) has made many Christians to be passive and defenceless in the face of attack and harassment of the enemy. God is a good God and He is not the author of our problems and difficulties in life.
In the text we read, Paul talked about a thorn that was given to him. Many scholars have said so many things about the thorns, what they think it was and they also said Paul was never delivered from it. In this article I will be rebuffing some of those assertions and present the truth based on the understanding of the scriptures.
Paul said in order for him not to be exalted above measure, a thorn was given unto him. What was Paul saying about been exalted? Some fellows says Paul had a problem of pride because of revelations that he got which other Apostles didn’t have. But that was not the case. Paul didn’t have a problem of pride but being exalted above measure means having been given the opportunity to share the Gospel message given to him by the Lord Jesus everywhere and made it known. So in order not to allow Paul to do this, a thorn was given unto him.
Let’s talk about the thorn itself. Many Bible scholars says that the thorn was some debilitating sickness, pain or eye problem that Paul had and God did not heal him. They even say Paul left somebody sick in his journey because he couldn’t heal all the sick 2Tim 4:20. They said when he wrote the letter to the Galatians, he had to write big letters and that’s why he said see how big a letter I write to you Gal 6:11. From the study of the Bible, he was just talking about the volume of the letter and not the fonts or characters used. In fact a study says the book of Galatians and Hebrew were written at the same time and sent out together. Whichever, the writing was not due to eye problem.
Paul’s thorn was not sickness. A close examination of some scriptures in the Old Testament where the word thorn was used will give us some clues as to what has been referred to in the New Testament.
Num 33:55 KJV But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
Jos 23:13 KJV Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
Jdg 2:3 KJV Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
In these three passages, the Bible was talking about the children of Israel’s disobedient to drive out the inhabitants of the land they were to possess. They were warned by Moses and when they got into the promised land and they did not drive them out Joshua told them the consequence. The consequence which all of them were referring to was that the people of the land which they have refused to drive out will be thorns to them. So the thorns are people.
If we bring this into the passage we are considering, Paul said a messenger of Satan was given unto him.The word “messenger” there in Greek is “angellos” which means an angel or devil. In order word Paul said a devil was assigned unto him to buffet him. The word “buffet” is “kolaphizō” in Greek and it means: to strike with the fist, give one a blow with the fist, to maltreat, treat with violence and contumely .
This means a devil was assigned against Paul who stirred people up to harass Paul everywhere he went. Take for instance what happened at these places where Paul attempted to preach the revelation of the Gospel of the grace of God.
Act 13:45 KJV But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
Act 13:50 KJV But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
Act 14:1-2 KJV 1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
Act 17:13 KJV But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.
Act 21:27 KJV And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
You can see from those various scriptures that the messenger of the devil really did everything possible to hinder Paul from sharing the gospel.
What was Paul going to do about his problem? He said he besought the Lord three times. He prayed three times that it might depart from him but he got the same answer each time he prayed. God told him my grace is sufficient for thee. What is the Bible talking about? Some people say well, God told him to live with it. That is his cross which he needs to bear. Nothing can be farther from the truth. What God said that His grace was sufficient for Paul has a totally different meaning when we begin to look at what grace means in that context.
We have all defined grace as unmerrited favour, but grace is not only unmerited favour it is also the willingness of God to use His power and ability on our behalf even though we don’t deserve it. Wao that will change anybody’s life if you really get that. God is more than ever willing to use His power, and ability on our behalf. But the problem is the things of God does not automatically come to pass in a man’s life. God will not independently use His power and ability for us without our cooperation and consent.
God was telling Paul that all you need to overcome this problem is available if only you will take your authority and power of the Holy Ghost that is in you to resist the devil. If you resist him he will flee from you. God is not going to do it for you. You have to do it by yourself. Ephes 1 says that the power that raised Jesus from the grave is already given to us and it is towards us. It is to our advantage and usage. It is not our power, it is God’s power but it is towards us.
Eph 1:19 KJV And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Did Paul get the message? Yes because he said he will rather glorify in his infirmity that the power of God might rest on him.
The Greek word used for “infirmities” there is “astheneia” and it is defined by Thayer as:want of strength, weakness, infirmity, of the body, its native weakness and frailty, feebleness of health or sickness, of the soul, want of strength and capacity requisite to understand a thing, to do things great and glorious, to restrain corrupt desires, to bear trials and troubles.
The infirmity in this context is not sickness but weakness. Inability to do things on your own. So Paul says since I can’t do anything about this problem on my own strength (which is the infirmity), then I will rely on the power of God to rest on me. This is what Paul did and to the glory of God he had respite, each time the devil tried to stir up opposition against him, he used his authority. I will cite two instances. In Act 27 when they were taken as prisoners and were on their way to Rome, they had a shipwreck, they landed in a place where there was so much cold. Paul was trying to light fire but a Viper came out.
Act 28:3-5 KJV 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
He felt no harm, the people there changed their mind and said this man must be a god. When they left that place and eventually got to Rome, Paul got a house where he was preaching and nobody disturbed him for a whole two years. Very unusual. Read it for yourself.
Act 28:30-31 KJV 30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
HOW IT AFFECT US
Ladies and gentlemen, there are messengers of the devil assigned to many people that cause persistent problems to happen in their lives. It may be against your fiance, children, career, opportunity. The devil constantly harasses and embarrasses you always. And you have prayed severally over it and yet no answer. You have your answer and it is the same thing that God told Paul. My grace is sufficient for you.
God is willing to use His ability and power on your behalf if only you will arise and take your position as an authority. Church is not a native doctor’s place where somebody will do something for you and you come to collect a bottle of oil or holy water to sprinkle or rub on your head or tie a handkerchief on your door. But we are to use the name of Jesus. In NLT the apostles say the demon obey us when we use your name.
Luk 10:17 KJV And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
Luke 10:17 NLT When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”
We have to terminate the assignment, dismiss that devil from carrying out further the assignment against you, put a stop to his lies and deception against you.Use your authority.
I pray for you that every assignment of the devil over you is terminated in Jesus name. Every devil assigned over your city, village, over your household and family be incapacitated now in Jesus name. I dismiss them from that assignment. The assignment is stopped henceforth. The activity ceases right now in Jesus name. Whatever is being used to monitor you and your destiny catches fire now in Jesus name.