2 Corinthians 12:1-3 English Standard Version

I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.

There will be an overwhelming desire to share what we see by revelation when we are “caught up” in the spirit. This experience is not one of being physically caught up as spoken about in 1 Thessalonians. It is a spiritual experience where the Holy Spirit shows us things with purpose.

Many of us have experienced revelations that are compelling and if we understand that there is purpose behind why the Holy Spirit has given us this experience, we need to seek the purpose. The purpose behind an experience that we are not to share are meant to change us in ways we cannot attain by ourselves.

Paul tells us after these verses about a thorn given to him to keep pride at bay. This sounds like a warning to the reader to seek wisdom in revelations to avoid our own personal thorns. We can avoid the chastening of the Lord if we seek to understand the purpose behind these revelations. God does all things with purpose and if we look to His Word we will discover one enduring theme, growth in Christ.

Isaiah 55:11English Standard Version (ESV) so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

His Word has the power to change us. It also holds the answers to understand His purpose.

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