2 Corinthians 1:12
For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.
What do we boast in?
The Lord has been working on this topic in my heart for a few weeks now. I know He is doing that when he brings things together to support the area He is teaching me in.
This week I had a dream which was one of those ones that was so real and afterwards you can remember the details. I normally get visions but recently a couple of dreams. Young men get visions and old men get dreams. I don’t like that correlation!!
I found myself in a dream and I was immediately an All Black (a national rugby player for those who don’t know. A little “g” god in this country). I could feel and play like one and I was the hero in the game scoring tries making the moves and getting the acknowledgement of the crowd. It was such a good feeling. As we neared the end of the first half I could feel I had a problem with my left calf and knee which was quite serious. I came back on the second half and immediately scored this amazing try which I had seen a real All Black score about ten years ago but this time it was me scoring.
I then knew that I had to go off the field because my knee was bad.
I woke up then and then waited on the Lord for an interpretation. I felt he told me that this was a picture of my life. The first half of the game was like the first half of my life and many times I felt like I had done some great things and got the applause. But as I got to the end of the first half of my life I knew I had a problem and that was because the Lord had come into my life and this was what was nagging at me in this area. Something wasn’t right. I then entered the second half of my life and immediately did something for the applause. He then pulled me out of the game.
However a few hours later as I was in my prayer time I saw he had bandaged me, healed me and put me back in the game as a new player. Transformed.
Now this dream all related to boasting which He had been highlighting in scripture for me.
Boasting is part of pride and He does not like pride.
What do we boast in?
2 Corinthians 1:13
For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end
14 (as also you have understood us in part), that we are your boast as you also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.
We boast in Him. It is not about us. Let this be our heart our boast.
I often get a vision of being in a Waka (Maori Canoe) being a paddler to make that Waka move forward. The leader of the Waka is the Lord. The interesting thing is the leader is normally moving in the middle of the Waka like the Lord moves in us and in a group, He often gives me this vision to remind me that we are all one person moving the Waka forward. Each as important as the other. Let our boast be about helping others move forward.
Let’s boast for others that is the right heart.
2 Corinthians 3:1
Do we again commend ourselves? …
Do we do it or do we let the Lord do it. Do we trust Him?
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,
Does our own insecurity mean we have to commend ourselves, we have to push ourselves forward we have to be the one who is in the action, the one up the front, the leader? Someone has to be in these roles but to be in Gods Kingdom their boast has to be about Him not ourselves. How many are being held back as our heart isn’t right here, our boast isn’t right?
Let us glorify Him and His glory will shine through us.
We boast in humility.
2 Corinthians 11:17
What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.
19 For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise!
Paul is asking what you boast in. I boast in the Lord.
He goes on to boast in what He has suffered for the Lord
Stripes, stoning, shipwrecks and the list goes on.
2 Corinthians 11:30
If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.
In this boast he is acknowledging it is not him but it is the Lord.
2 Corinthians 12:5
Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities.
6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me
So Paul was boasting in a Godly manner. Not for Him but for God. He uses the term fool a few times through these scriptures. Don’t let me be the fool.
2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth; Render punishment to the proud
3 LORD, how long will the wicked, How long will the wicked triumph?
4 They utter speech, and speak insolent things; All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
A strong message here. We don’t want to be boasting.
I am amazed how many different places the Lord has taken me in the last two weeks to show the term boasting being used. He doesn’t like the wrong type of boasting. It doesn’t reflect the character of Christ which we are being transformed into.
7 Yet they say, “The LORD does not see, Nor does the God of Jacob understand.”
God sees all. Who are we boasting in?
I remember an incident from when I was about twelve. I had just started high school and had been put in a streamed class for smart kids. I had a friend Iain who lived around the corner from me and we would spend the weekends and holidays together as closest of friends. We would bike to school every day which was a decent hike. One day he stopped me on the way to school and he asked me “if I would stop boasting about being in a streamed class”. He wasn’t placed in one. This was one of the most profound experiences in my life as I realised that is exactly what I had been doing and it was hurting him. When I think of the courage this must have taken for him to say this to me I admire it. I know his mum was a very full on Christian and I am sure her prayers added to me being saved today.
How easy is it for us to boast.
The point is God doesn’t want boasting from us. It hurts us and it hurts others. What are we really about in our walk? Us!!
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
A new position in Him. Christ in us and the oneness with Him.
But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.”
24 And they glorified God in me
This is where it is now. We are about Him and not us and those around us should see it in us. His glory.
My little children, for whom I labour in birth again until Christ is formed in you,
The character of Christ in us. We are about bringing Christ into others and ourselves. The character of Christ. Boasting in anything of ourselves will hold us back from this achievement.
2 Corinthians 12:12
Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds
This can only occur and the power of the Kingdom of God is present only when there was no boasting.
2 Corinthians 10:12
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you.
So we can boast in humility (and not the feel sorry for me and look at all I have done type of humility), and within the sphere. But it must ne for the glory of God. None of us. He knows our heart in this.
Don’t boast in others achievements
2 Corinthians 11:15
not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labours, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,
16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.
17 But “he who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
18 For not he who commends he is approved, but whom the Lord commends
Let the Lord be in control of your life, let us have the character of Christ. We can be ourselves as we are all unique but let His character shine from us. If we do this then we can’t boast as it is not our nature but His that is shining.
The ultimate boast
2 Corinthians 11:12
But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
No wonder the Lord warns us against boasting!
2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
When we are about Him then we will be blessed in His strength. If you boast and think you are it then you are weak.
There is no blessing in that.
Lord let my character be of Christ and let me glorify you in all my actions.