In the last article, “Revealing Revelation,” we continued the process of unveiling the mystery that surrounds the word “revelation” by showing you in the Word that your born-again spirit already contains all the wisdom and knowledge of God inside of it. This means you aren’t waiting on God for revelation, and that He’s not withholding it from you. That is great news!
What you need to know now, is how to actually get that wisdom and knowledge you have in your spirit into your soul (your mind, will, and emotions), the epicenter where the realization of revelation, “the eye-opening,” actually takes place. Revelation, that moment of acute clarity when God’s wisdom and knowledge moves from head knowledge into spiritual knowledge, is the difference between habitually saying by memory, “By His stripes I’m healed” and not seeing a darn thing happen, and saying by revelation, “By His stripes I’m healed” and actually being healed. I know this is true because I’ve lived it.
As we saw in the last teaching, unlike your spirit that becomes brand new and perfect immediately upon being born again, your soul requires some work to get it in line with God’s Word. Actually, your mind, which retains the old way of thinking even after the born-again experience, is the ultimate fixer-upper. It’s necessary that you renew your mind, according to Romans 12:2, and renovate the thinking space by ripping out the old programming, the old way of thinking, and installing new. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has been given the renovation job and you are not on your own. He will guide into all truth, teach you all things, and instruct you in how to let the perfect wisdom of God that is in your born-again spirit rule over your carnal way of thinking.
You already have revelation inside of you.
You just need to learn how to draw it out.
I’m going to show you how.
There are four practical principles you can begin applying to your life today (are you noticing a right-now theme with receiving from God? It doesn’t have to take a long time… you can receive as quickly as you renew your mind to His truths) that I guarantee will open you up to start receiving revelation about the Word. These principles are tried and true. I have tested them myself and can attest to the fact that it was because of them that I started receiving revelation, and as revelation began to penetrate from my spirit to my soul, the Word became alive and active in my life.
PRINCIPLE #1: REMOVE DISTRACTIONS
In this technological age of cell phones, mobile internet, iPads and Facebook, I believe distractions are the number one hindrances to receiving revelation. I like to refer to them as the devil’s Weapons of Mass Distraction. I mean, truthfully, how many of you can admit that you log into Facebook with the sole purpose of looking at just ONE THING, and then find yourself 20 minutes later – okay, sometimes 45 minutes later – not having found that “one thing” and asking yourself what you were looking for in the first place? It is so easy to get sucked into the vortex of social media.
Distractions avert your attention from what is of greater importance onto something, or some things, of much lesser importance. Case in point, Martha was distracted by playing the role of hostess and missed the opportunity to sit at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:40-42). Additionally, in the parable of the seed and the sower, the seed sown among the thorns was choked out by the cares of the world, a.k.a. distractions (Matthew 13:22). Distractions will keep you from nurturing the Word that is planted in you, which will keep that Word from taking root and bearing fruit. They will hinder revelation.
In his book Dangerous Wonder, Michael Yaconelli said, “We did not want to stop hearing God’s voice. Indeed, God kept on speaking. But our lives became louder. The increasing crescendo of our possessions, the ear-piercing noise of busyness, and the soul-smothering volume of our endless activity drowned out the still, small voice of God.”
If you desire revelation, you have to stop, take a breath, get alone, and spend some time in the presence of God and in the presence of His Word. You might say, “Well, I just don’t have any time!” Hear my heart here. I am not condemning you, but I am asking you to evaluate your priorities. What do you do with your free time? Is it consumed with social media, television or movies? In themselves, those things are not bad (everything in moderation!), but they won’t give you the answers you’re seeking or the results that you’re believing for. I am challenging you to deny whatever it is that is competing for your attention, and instead dedicate that time to Him.
The quantity of time is not necessarily relevant. It doesn’t matter if it’s for ten minutes or three hours. Revelation can come as a result of the quality in that particular quantity of time you have available to spend. It doesn’t matter if you read the Word, pray, or just sit in silence. If you find yourself constantly on the go, always thinking about what’s next on the to-do list, or if you always have some kind of noise plugged into your ears, you will miss that still, small voice of God.
If you want revelation, you have to remove the distractions.
PRINCIPLE #2: ASK FOR REVELATION
Yep, that’s what I meant. Simply ask God for wisdom and revelation. For the longest time, I just didn’t think to do that, but James 1:5 clearly tells you that if you lack wisdom you can ask Him for it. Not only will He give it to you liberally, but He won’t make fun of you for asking. Have you ever asked someone a question and gotten the “Are you stupid?” look in response? That won’t happen with God. He wants you to seek His understanding. He wants the answers you are seeking to be revealed to your soul.
Asking for revelation puts you in an attitude of openness and expectancy. It focuses your mind on the issue at hand. It also gives the Holy Spirit permission to speak truth into your mind and puts your ears on notice to be listening for an answer. You may want to ask a lot of questions, but go ahead – God’s got an inexhaustible supply of wisdom and revelation located right on the inside of you. You can’t wear it out!
Paul prayed for the Ephesians requesting this very thing. I took that prayer from Ephesians 1:17-19 and made it my own. My prayer went something like this:
Father, give to me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You. I pray that the eyes of my understanding are being enlightened, and my heart is being flooded with light so that I can understand the hope to which You have called me, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in me, and what is the exceeding greatness of Your power toward me because I believe.
As I prayed that prayer, as I renewed my mind to His Word and spoke it into my life, a confidence sprang up that revelation was coming. As that Scripture took root in my heart, I noticed that the words I was praying began to change. Instead of praying, Father, give to me a Spirit of wisdom and revelation, I was saying, Father, thank you for giving me a Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Instead of, I pray that the eyes of my understanding are being enlightened and my heart is being flooded with light, I was praying, Thank you that the eyes of my understanding are enlightened and that my heart is flooded with Your light!
I started expecting those things in my spirit man to be revealed to my mind. Expectation. As I prayed this prayer, the power of positive expectation started working in my favor. I was expecting revelation. I was expecting understanding. I was expecting to hear. I was expecting to know! I prayed that prayer from Ephesians at the beginning of every alone-time I had with God, and believed that if I asked, I would receive (Matthew 7:7).
PRINCIPLE #3: PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT
Praying in the Spirit (also known as praying in your prayer language, praying in tongues or speaking in tongues) is a critical key to receiving revelation knowledge from God. First Corinthians 14:2 says, For he that speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. This means that when we pray in the Spirit, our natural mind doesn’t understand what we’re saying (1 Corinthians 14:14) – nor does anyone else for that matter – but God does. Praying in the Spirit is our direct line of communication with Him, and when we pray, we are speaking mysteries.
So, you might ask, if my mind doesn’t understand and I’m speaking mysteries, how does that lead to revelation? Good question. Paul, who is credited with writing 13 books of the New Testament, seemed to have the answer. Paul says a few times in Scripture that he was teaching the mysteries of God, and he clearly states that he received revelation of those mysteries from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10).
I believe one answer to the “how” question is this: 1 Corinthians 14:13 says, Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. Paul instructed those he taught to ask God for an interpretation of their prayer language so that their natural minds would become fruitful; in other words, that they would have an understanding of what they prayed. I think it’s fair to assume he was practicing what he preached in that area, and that resulted in the revelation knowledge of the mysteries of God that he preached.
What this looks like in your everyday life is this: You are in a situation and you need to choose between Option A and Option B. Both are good options, but you want what’s best, so you ask God to give you wisdom in making the decision and then you spend time praying in the Spirit with those options in mind.
When you’re finished praying in the spirit, you may ask something like this: “God, I know my spirit knows which way to go and what to do, so I’m asking you and believing for an interpretation of what I prayed in the Spirit.” By faith, it will become clear to you which answer is the right choice. You will have more peace with one than you will the other. You may not get the answer right away, but if you don’t give up, you will get an answer.
I do this all the time. Whether it’s a problem I’m facing or a spiritual principle I’m wrestling with in the Word, I’ll ask for wisdom, pray in the Spirit, and then when I’m done, I’ll ask God to tell me in my mind what I just prayed in my spirit. Nine times out of ten, I will just know what the solution to that problem is. The time when it doesn’t happen right away, I have confidence that it will come. There have been times it’s taken me weeks to get a spiritual understanding of something, but it does come.
As you pray in tongues, the wisdom you’ve been asking for according to James 1:5 comes. That “thing” that you’re seeking a breakthrough for, will actually break through.
PRINCIPLE #4: KEEP GOD’S WORD IN THE FOREFRONT
I believe this fourth principle is the most vital component of them all in the process of receiving revelation: You have to keep God’s Word in the forefront of your mind.
The more attention you give to God’s Word, the less time your mind has to focus on anything else. You must make a decision to look to His Word and His promises to you, then actually believe His Word, before you allow the voice of another to speak into your life. You also can’t expect the Word to become alive in you if you shout out a quick 30-second prayer in the morning and then spend the rest of your day taking inventory of and worrying about what is still wrong in your body or meditating on your poor circumstances.
For instance, if you received a bad report from the doctor, your very next response or thought should be, “What does the Word of God say about that?” And every time that negative report wants to come back into your mind or that symptom shows up in your body, shout it down with what the Word says about it (and the Word has a lot to say about bad reports – whether they be physical, financial, emotional, mental, etc.). Even if you have to counter that negative thought with His Word a hundred times a day, do it. That is how you keep his word in the forefront of your mind.
Now you know four practical principles to receiving revelation, but there are also two additional elements that need to be added in order for them to produce the results you want: application and consistency. Consistency is the key to seeing results as you apply these four principles to your life on a daily basis. Consistently applying them is how your mind will be renewed and align/agree with your spirit man (Romans 12:2). I know this is true because it’s what the Word says.
The Word instructs us on the need for consistency in order to receive understanding. Second Timothy 2:7 (NKJV) says, Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. That word “consider” implies much more than a casual glance at His Word. It means to think about or ponder. It means to meditate on. When I say “meditate,” I don’t mean sitting cross-legged on the floor, palms up and chanting an incantation. Meditation means flooding and saturating your mind with His Word (keeping it in the forefront). This takes time, effort, and study, but the promise is clear: If you consider what He says, you will receive understanding.
I love the Strong’s Concordance definition of the word “understanding” in this verse. It means a “running together” or a “flowing together with”; in other words, a connecting of the dots. Praise God! As you consider the words He speaks, the dots will be connected between your mind and your spirit and revelation will come.
You may be saying to yourself that you already do all those things and it’s still not working for you. If that’s you, I challenge you to really take a look at yourself and be honest. If you had asked me before I’d received my revelation of healing if I was doing those things, I would have emphatically said yes. But, when I look back and I’m honest about it, I wasn’t applying those principles with any consistency to be able to see any results.
I can tell you from experience that if you will consistently apply these four principles – removing distractions, asking for wisdom and revelation, praying in the Spirit, and keeping the Word in the forefront of your mind – you will get your own revelation, and that revelation will change your life.