2 Corinthians 12:11…
Here we see into the heart of the evangelist in a way we never have before.
Paul, in a desire for the church at Corinth to know his heart for the Lord and for them, now fully reveals the degree of anguish he has experienced over this wayward church.
It is, I think, the kind of anguish we should all sense over any wayward church, or over any wayward child of God.
It is one thing if you know the members of the church who stray have not been fully informed of the Word of God. That’s terrible and tragic. But when you know the members of the church who stray HAVE BEEN informed of all the Word of God has to say – and further that you were the one investing your whole life and being in informing them of what the Word of God teaches – then the tragedy of the known consequences of those who stray is almost unbearable.
And we can only begin to imagine how God must feel.
Of course, we know much about that since most of the words of the Old Testament prophets were concerned with exactly what Paul deals with here. The children of God, called, chosen, beloved of God, informed of God, and taught by God through His Word, turned away instead to the ancient forms of what we regard today as consumerism.
The packaging that appeals to the carnal nature has an allure the pure content of the Word of God never seeks to accomplish. One builds up the flesh through the visual stimulation of idolatry, while the other humiliates the flesh through the constant urging to personal holiness.
And Paul is grieved of the Spirit for the sake of knowing all he has provided is potentially going for naught, as those in the church at Corinth seemingly remain as vulnerable to being led astray as they were when they did go astray. When will their vulnerability to Satanic influences end?
The answer is only when they choose to put all that to death. To never allow it even an inch of the territory of their spiritual lives.
But Paul recognizes the insidious nature of how patient the enemy of the church is in his evil scheming to destroy what only God could build. Would these Corinthians remain vigilant in their guardianship of the Word of God in their hearts – or would they over time once again wander and stray for the sake of the idolatry of human relationships, worldly concerns, and seeking to prosper in health and wealth?
In one of the most heart-wrenching statements in all of God’s Word, Paul writes, “the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.”