God still speaks today. Are you listening?
This blog post is part 8 of the series Eight Steps to Experiencing His Victory
“Ask God for Revelation” is the second step in the Eight Steps to Experiencing His Victory. We have already covered step one, Examine Your Relationship with God, in another series of posts. You can read them here:
- Hungry for More? Read This!
- No Other Gods
- Understanding God as Trinity
- Do You Have Difficulty Explaining the Trinity?
- God is Love: The Interrelationship of the Trinity
- Good New Bad News Good News
- Understanding the love of God
Yes, it’s true. God speaks today. God did not create the world and then leave us on our own to try and figure out how to live. He is here today and He is very present and actively speaking to each and every person.
God is a very present God. We need to hear from Him and receive His wisdom and direction for our daily lives. We need His revelation on a daily basis. We especially need to ask God for revelation as to what is holding us back in our relationship with Him.
Understanding What I Mean by Revelation
God reveals Himself to us in a variety of ways. He has made things so clear to those who are willing to listen. Today we are going to look at three ways that God reveals Himself to us and in the coming weeks areas of our lives we can ask God to reveal anything that is stopping us living life as God intends it to be.
The word “revelation” has two major meanings according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
1 a : an act of revealing or communicating divine truth
b : something that is revealed by God to humans
2 a : an act of revealing to view or making known
b : something that is revealed; especially: an enlightening or astonishing disclosure
When we are using the word revelation, in this and other posts, we are talking about God revealing His divine truth to humans.
General or Universal Revelation
One way that God reveals Himself is in what theologians call General or Universal Revelation. God is clearly seen through what He has created. Romans 1:20 says:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
When God created the universe and all that it contains it revealed something about Him. God is a Spirit and therefore invisible to us. We cannot see God with our human eye, a telescope, or a microscope, but we can definitely see what He has made.
God’s creation makes two of his invisible attributes visible for all to see. First, His eternal power is seen. It takes man months to years to create a large building project. God created everything visible and invisible in six days. He did by speaking it into existence and it came into being.
Second, it shows God Divine nature. The creation of the universe is not a chance event of evolution, but the implemented plan of the God of all creation. There is reason and order in creation that has its source in God. What an incredible God who brought into being all of the variety seen within creation.
Romans 1:20 says that God has made it clear to everyone that there is a creator. He makes it evident to every person. Paul goes on to tell us that many have rejected God’s witness to them and have chosen instead to worship created things. They refused to honor God and to give thanks for what He has done.
Special or Particular Revelation
There is a second kind of revelation that theologians talk about, this is, special or specific revelation. We see this in the text of the Bible. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through the word of God.
It’s in the word of God that we get the specifics of how God created the world. We find out how God created man and placed them in the garden and commissioned them with oversight of the world. We see the fall, God’s promise of a savior through Israel, and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s word reveals how God moves among the nations and His plan of salvation. It shows salvation history from before creation to the end of time as we know it and the eternal life beyond. God has shown Himself to us through the word of God.
Revelation Through His Prophets
God wants man to know who He is and what He wants them to do. He decided to do this by speaking through prophets. A prophet is a messenger sent from God to speak the message He wants the people to hear. He also used others to write the Old Testament Scripture.
Here are a few Scriptures that help us understand this truth:
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. (Psalm 103:7)
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The Scriptures reveal many of the plans of God. The greatest revelation of all is the person of Jesus.
Revelation Through the Person of Jesus Christ
Jesus is the culmination of God’s revelation to mankind. All of the Old Testament looked forward to His coming (see John 5:39) and the New Testament looks at His coming and reveals the effects of His life, death, and resurrection.
There is no higher revelation than the person of Jesus. He is God incarnate. Listen to the what the word of God has to say about Him:
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1-4)
8 Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. (John 14:8-11)
The final Written revelation came through the apostles after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Revelation Through the Apostles
God wanted people to understand the significance of the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesu Christ. He used the apostles, or those in close contact with them, to write a series of letters that we today call the New Testament.
The true message of Jesus was so important that the apostle Paul issued this warning. He said:
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:6-9)
The Apostle John explained it this way:
1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
The apostles wrote the things that they saw and heard from Jesus either while He was here on the earth or through special revelation. The Good News of Jesus Christ is written so that we may know the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. How blessed we are to receive God’s revelation of Himself and His plan of salvation.
Now we are getting to the type of revelation we are talking about in step two of the eight steps to Experiencing His Victory. God still speaks today.
We need direction for our daily lives. The word of God gives us everything we need to know about salvation and life, but it does not have a verse in the Bible that says, “Terry, I am calling you to be a pastor in Grand Forks, North Dakota.” I need the direction of the Holy Spirit to tell me what to do and where to go.
Jesus told us that he would be sending the Holy Spirit to help us. He said:
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (John 14:26)
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me (John 15:26)
13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16:13-14)
We see evidence of the Spirit’s moving and directing in the book of Acts:
1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:1-2)
6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; 7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; 8 and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. (Acts 16:6-9)
It becomes very clear that the Holy Spirit was directing the paths of the apostles and members of the early church. The same Holy Spirit also speaks to us today to help us understand the ways of God. The Holy Spirit is with us to lead us, guide us, and bear witness to Jesus.
So then, how does the Holy Spirit help us as we walk with Jesus? He gives us revelation on the things that need to change in our lives. Nothing is hidden from Him and He is faithful to show us the barriers that are getting in the way of life as God intends it to be.
David in the Old Testament is a perfect example of what I am talking about. In Psalm 139:23-24 he says:
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
You need the Holy Spirit’s help to reveal the things that are hindering or lives. He will speak to you and tell you, if you take the time to ask and wait on Him until He speaks.
Over the next weeks we will look at some of the areas the Holy Spirit will bring up to help us experience freedom. They include:
- Family patterns and tendencies toward sin that seem second nature
- Personal areas of sin that God wants to free you from
- Ungodly beliefs that stand in the way of walking in the truth
- Past hurts that hinder your moving forward in the things of God
- Areas of unforgiveness that have released the tormentor in your life
God speaks today and will give you revelation of the hidden things that are blocking your relationship with Him and hindering you from experiencing life as God intends it to be.
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I love it when God reveals things to me. It always means that I am going to experience more of His freedom. Here is a quick example of one that shocked me to the core.
I grew up in a home filled with anger. I was very angry growing up. I was a time bomb waiting to go off. Every time I blew up I would blame my dad. “It’s his fault that I am the way I am.” I always blamed my dad no matter what.
Once I came to the Lord things changed. One day I blew up and started to blame my dad again for my anger. I clearly heard the voice of the Lord in my head, “You chose to emulate your father.”
You could have knocked me over with a feather. I couldn’t believe it. It was shocking. I realized for the first time in my life I was choosing to be like him. That was the day that I took responsibility for my own sin and my life began to change.
If you blame someone else for the way you are, you will never be able to change. It’s when you take responsibility for your own actions that you can begin to change.
Has God ever revealed a hidden thing to you that totally caught you by surprise? If so, share with me below. I would love to hear how God is moving in your life.
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