Being a teacher is a great privilege that I don’t take lightly. I have always approached the preaching and teaching of the Word with the utmost care and reverence. I have set my heart to not just relay information and opinions about the Bible, as I don’t want to preach from what’s possible with man’s effort. I recognize that every time I teach, there must be a supernatural element, a working of the Spirit, or I am wasting my time and the time of those who are hearing. That supernatural element is a spirit of revelation, and it is one of my most treasured aspects of doing ministry. To me, there are few moments more exciting than when you open the Word to speak and a tangible spirit of revelation is present. There’s no better place to release the Word. People begin to see things they swear were not in the Word before. They see the same old passages in black in white no longer but see them now in technicolor. Faith is the natural result, and people become open to believing again. This is my prayer every time I stand in the pulpit to teach. This is also why I never preach something that isn’t preaching to me first. If it’s not revelatory to me, it’s a slim chance it will be revelatory to the people I share it with.
By the Grace of God, I have regularly seen this spirit of revelation open people’s eyes to a fresh understanding of the Word of God. I know when it happens that it is too good to chalk up to my gifting. It is all about opening up to the Holy Spirit and letting him conduct where the moment goes. Because this tends to be the most common fruit of my calling, the inevitable question that I am asked more than any other is, “How do you get revelation in the Word?” The problem is, there is no formula. In fact, the attempt at a formula actually works against the desired goal.
I cannot give you the “how-to”, but I can tell you that the “want-to” is half the battle. I can also share with you a few things I know that promote revelation. I give them to you here in no particular order.
The Pursuit of Wisdom
I can’t say it much simpler than this – if you want the revelation experience, pursue wisdom. Pursue the simple, straightforward wisdom in scripture. Not just in a “head” sense either. Wisdom is about application. Wisdom properly applies the true knowledge of God, actually putting it into practice. Those that have an active pursuit of wisdom can be trusted with revelation because revelation is meant to be applied. Wisdom applies what revelation sees. Without the pursuit of wisdom, revelation will be very hard to come by. It becomes a capacity issue. If I have no attempt to apply what is laid out plainly, how can I handle that which is revealed? There’s a reason why the two concepts are coupled in Ephesians 1:17 (a verse I quote in nearly every prayer I pray):
“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”
They are coupled because there is an interchange between the two. Jesus was the perfect manifestation of both. He is the revelation of the Father and He became to us the Wisdom of God.
Revelation is meant to fit within the context of wisdom. Revelation tends to be a more exciting idea than wisdom, and sometimes what I see is people pursuing and valuing the feeling of revelation with no pursuit of wisdom. I believe that revelation is attracted to wisdom. Instead of pursuing revelation, try pursuing wisdom and see how revelation responds.
Make revelation your pursuit, and you’ll always be chasing it. Make wisdom your pursuit and revelation will chase you.
Expose Yourself 🙂
Yes, Expose yourself. Expose yourself to revelatory teaching, it is contagious.
Expose yourself to the Word as much as possible. You’d be amazed at the amount of people who have this conversation with me that don’t regularly get exposed to the Word, as in they don’t have an ongoing reading relationship.
How can He reveal beyond what’s there if you don’t look at what’s there? How can the Holy Spirit bring to remembrance that which you haven’t been exposed to?
That constant exposure creates a seedbed that always seems to sprout at the right time down the road. I can’t tell you how many times I have read a passage long ago that felt insignificant only to have it pop up in my inner man at the right moment and change everything. In those times, I’m so glad that I read and gave attention to the Word, even if nothing jumped out at me at the time. My favorite example of this happened to me in the car when I was driving home years ago. I had been deep into Ephesians 1 for a few weeks and it was becoming a big chunk of my prayer life. I was praying about this verse – “…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” the Holy and blameless part was sticking in my heart and my prayer was that it would become my reality, that I would manifest and walk in what it really means to be Holy and Blameless. As I kept driving, these words flashed across my face in my mind’s eye (but felt so clear it might as well have been an open vision), “Do all things without grumbling and complaining”. I saw them in big block letters, as clear as day. I knew that this was somewhere in the scriptures, so I pulled over and looked it up.
Philippians 2:14-15 “Do everything without grumbling or complaining, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
The Lord spoke to me as soon as I finished reading the blameless and pure part and said…”This might be a good start”. I was floored watching Him connect the Word so clearly like that for me without me even consciously looking for it.
When the Word is in you, and you’ve made a habit of continually sowing that seed, He has something to pull from at just the right moment.
We tend to go on a roller coaster of not reading the Word, and then coming up with a fresh resolve to make it a priority. Then, when we get no goosebumps or it seems like nothing happens, we slowly become less and less likely to read the next day. We stop short of the treasure. I’ve had times where maybe 3 days in a row I have read and felt like there was nothing remarkable about my time reading at all. Nothing happened as far as I can tell. Then day 4 comes around and I’m bawling like a baby because God just opens up something profound in the Word. Just like film, there has to be exposure for a clear picture to developed. No presentation, no revelation.
One of the running jokes during my church planting years when people would inquire about what I was going to teach on any given Sunday, was that someone always piped up and said, “GRACE”. In a way, they were always right. The revelation of Grace bled into everything I taught week after week. I have spent years of my life hammering the same nail. Why? Because I believe it is THE revelation. It is the revelation that other revelation builds upon. In fact, if your revelation doesn’t have grace at its core, I don’t trust your revelation. Grace is not a slice or subject of theology, it is a person – Jesus. All of history, the prophets, the types and shadows, were pointing to the revelation of Grace through the person of Jesus. The New Covenant is a covenant of Grace.
If you don’t understand the Bible through the lens of Grace and righteousness, you will inevitably turn it into just another moral code to try to perform.
I believe if you want more revelation from the scriptures, start with the revelation of Grace. When that is established, the whole bible opens up to you and your heart is illuminated. Over the years, I have watched as people heard the grace of God week in and week out and developed a hunger for the Word they never had before. That once they heard grace, it’s like everything started to make sense. That’s the way it is supposed to be! Once grace is in place, continual revelation follows, because revelation has a tendency to build. Grace provides the perfect foundation.
I have literally watched the revelation of Grace “click” with people as I share with them as if a light bulb went on in their head. I live for that moment. If I can see that light bulb go on, I know that person’s entire life is about to change. The gospel is meant to be a revelation that illuminates the heart. Head knowledge about the gospel will not produce gospel fruit. At some point, it has to come alive. Paul said of the gospel, “For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” – Galatians 1:12
When Jesus stood before the people and read the “daily reading”, they were struck by how different it was. They were captivated by the “Gracious words” or “words of grace” coming from His lips. They read the same passages year after year and knew that when He shared them, something was strikingly different. It was grace. In the same way, I’ve seen people that have been a Christian their entire life, heard the bible day in and day out, and yet they remained at a base-level understanding of the gospel. Yet others, who caught the revelation of Grace, grow leaps and bounds and have a full, mature understanding of the gospel quickly.
When Jesus read the scroll, His words were soaked in the revelation of Grace (the foundation He operated from) and the people knew they were different – even though it’s the same scriptures they’ve read before. I have preached things that had, at surface value, little correlation to grace theologically and had people come up to me afterward and talk about the revelation of grace they’ve had. It doesn’t even have to be “about” grace – when grace is the foundation of your revelation, it is different. And people can tell. If you really want to accelerate your “revelation” life, get before God and ask Him to give you a revelation of Grace. I have tons of resources and a passion to help people see this revelation, so if you feel led, reach out to me as well. I have given my life to this.
It’s hard for me to stop here, since grace could be a billion books by itself. Maybe one day I’ll actually encapsulate what God has shown me in a book. But for now, let’s move on.
Humility is one of the cornerstones of revelation because revelation is the lifting of the veil off of something you couldn’t see, but it takes coming to God and admitting you don’t see or know everything.
Humility is irresistible to revelation. We have a problem as believers when we approach truth with a mindset like, “I’ve heard that teaching before” or “I’ve read that verse before”. We consume everything once or twice and then check it off our mental list. It is actually the continuous exposure to the same things that make revelation mean so much more. When I’ve read a verse 30 times in my life, thinking I have it down, and then it “pops” on the 31st – it’s as if I’ve never read it before in my life. This is one of my favorite aspects of revelation. It takes a lot of consistency to truly appreciate a suddenly.
Maybe that’s part of what Jesus meant when He told us to approach the Kingdom as a child. Children approach most things with an open mind, a sense of “newness”, and they don’t assume they know everything. They have the luxury of not having enough “experience” to become an expert.
I have a hard time watching the same movie twice, and yet my kids can watch the same movie 100x and still pay attention like it’s the first time. I wish I was that way with the scriptures sometimes. What if I read the story of the prodigal son for the hundredth time with the same freshness and openness that I read it with on the first attempt? When we approach the scripture as an expert, we cut off the experience of revelation. This concept reminds me of an experience a good friend of mine had on a ministry trip. She was revisiting a church she had been to previously been to speak on her life’s message, which is joy. Upon arriving, they asked her what her newest revelations were and what she would be speaking about during her time there. She told them that she would be speaking on Joy. They appeared to be disappointed, and said “We got that list time, what’s the NEW stuff?” She simply replied, “I have gone after this topic for years and I don’t ‘have it’ yet, but you guys got it all in one trip?” They had a blockage to receiving because they “heard that one before”.
It is funny to me that I can ever approach the manifold, multidimensional wisdom of God as if I have it “down”. There is always more. Truth is, I could preach the same message 4 weeks in a row and you’d get something different each time if you approached it with humility. There is always room to reshape, unlearn, and view from a different perspective. Remember, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Come to the Word with a humble heart, a clean slate, and let Him show you fresh insight into His ways daily.
The state of the way we take in information in our current reality wars against revelation. We are so used to consuming so much information so fast, that we are conditioned to want our revelation to be the same. But meditation on the scriptures is anything but a rapid process. My bite-sized devotional a day will not promote revelation that changes my life. Revelation takes at least SOME time investment – and I’m not saying that out of a works mentality. Revelation is a gift. You can’t study hard enough to get revelation. By all means study, but realizing you’re studying to give Him room to reveal. One revelation from the Holy Spirit is worth more than years of study.
We can’t just blow through a couple chapters, close the book and call it a day. I would almost always suggest, if you had 30 minutes, to stew on 2-3 verses for that entire time, rather than just read as much as you can. It is that slow, meditation-like reading of the scripture that gives room for it to pop. The picture of meditation is that of a cow chewing its cud. Breaking down and processing intake little by little. Slow. Steady.
I personally won’t jump into a commentary/concordance/dictionary for at least 30 minutes because I want the Word itself to speak first. All the other stuff is vitamins. The Word is the meal. Sit down and take your time. Capture what jumps out to you in a notebook. Years later the potency will remain. When you slow down and seek to capture what comes alive to you, you become a place of value for what He is speaking. When He does speak, or a passage jumps out, stop and honor it. Give it time.
Rush will never precede revelation.
We could probably add 100 more aspects to this list, but that is enough for now. Maybe there will be a part 2 in the future. For now, get in the word and let Him speak to you. When the only revelations you hear are other people’s revelations, you will be weak in faith. When He shows you from His word Himself, no one can take that away. Happy Hunting!
I am a Pastor, Author, and Teacher based out of Kansas City, MO. I am passionate about the message of the Kingdom, Grace, Healing and the renewing of the mind. I have been following God since age 18 when I was radically transformed and inserted into revival. I have learned some hard lessons and seen some wonderful fruit in the Kingdom, and my goal is to impart wisdom and grace to you to walk in fullness. I have a walking miracle for a wife and three amazing boys.