I’d love to look into a word I am sure you often hear: ‘Revelation’. Your Pastors, leaders or friends may speak about receiving a revelation from God. What is a revelation? Is it a sudden idea, a made up story or a secret message?
People have revelations every day. Things like: “It was a revelation to me to learn that my headaches could be cured by drinking more water.” But this is not the sort of revelation I want to explore. I want to look at the question ‘How do I hear from God?’ and look at the revelations that are important parts of our faith journey. The revelations that help us understand more about God and life.
Without revelation, we are like the crowds who followed Jesus aimlessly, applauding the miracles and healing as mere spectators. However, with a revelation, we are like Peter, who knew exactly who Jesus was, and followed Him for that reason, and not just for what He did. Often as Christians, if we are not careful, we can find ourselves chasing the preacher, miming all the right Christian actions and looking for uplifting reactions from those around us rather than chasing God.
We can be easily consumed with public performance yet neglect private devotion when needing a revelation from God.
I remember as a Bible College student being consumed with public performance. I was studying full time, while also completing a full time unpaid internship. To survive financially I worked after hours as a freelance graphic designer. I was young and naive, yet up for adventure. It was about being given an opportunity to speak on stage and the praise received after performing well. I recount a day where I was rostered to emcee at a youth service, and at the last minute I was swapped with someone else. I hadn’t slept in days, I had hardly eaten and I was spiritually weary. Something in that decision to take me off the roster really shook me. I remember sitting in a back room, crying out to God asking Him why. In this moment of weakness I realized I had been living out my faith in my own strength and that my identity was in my own ability. It took a small identity crisis to send me to rock bottom, yet it was in that moment that God revealed to me that He is the rock at the bottom. When my identity is found in Him then my strength can also come from Him. That moment of revelation really changed the way I began to live out my faith.
The original meaning of the word ‘revelation’ comes from the late Latin word ‘Revelare’, a word used to describe that which was ‘stripped down and laid bare.’ If you look deeper into the word revelation you will notice it is made up of two parts. ‘Reveal’ and ‘Ation’. The definition for the verb ‘reveal’ is to unveil and expose. It sounds similar to what we understand a revelation to be (an unveiling or exposure to a part of God), but why use the word ‘revelation’ and not just use the word ‘reveal’? It is the suffix (-ation) at the end of the word that makes the difference. The dictionary defines ‘-ation’ as the result or product of action. So to receive a revelation, it actually requires action on our behalf.
Revelation requests that we, in private devotion, strip down our identity issues, let go of our insecurities and dispose of grudges and past hurts and lay bare before Christ.
Like He was, stripped down and laid bare before humanity, the greatest revelation. It is when we are situated like this that we position ourselves in a place to receive revelation — the supernatural communication of truth.
It took a small roster change to leave me in stripped down position before God. Yet in that moment, I was able to hear from God. These days, the times I hear from God are not circumstantial, they are intentional. They are sacred moments that I cherish because out of my private devotion I have chosen to bow before God and listen.
The narrative of grace in the bible is that it is not about what we do for God, but more so what God has done for us. I am not saying that we only receive revelation through our action, it is always through the action of God, but more so that we can position ourselves in the best possible place to receive. Here is a blog with several other ways you could best position yourself to hear from God.
If it has been a while since you have heard from God, why not begin to position yourself in the best possible place to receive.