Are we peddling our intellectual understanding, are we arguing our faith, or is the Word of God on our lips infused with eternal life, love, and power? When it comes to the Bible, reading and revelation are quite different. Reading and studying involve me and my intellectual mind. Revelation involves a supernatural receiving of meaning by my heart and mind, that comes from the very essence of God. Revelation involves understanding, but it also involves the presence of God as Holy Spirit.
In the same way that science has discovered that matter and energy are not distinct, or that particles and waves are interchangeable, so is supernatural revelation of meaning, or impartation of understanding, also not distinct from His very Presence. God IS the Word, He is not distinct from His “song”. He spoke and the universe was created, but creation happens from eternity, and is not a completed act. So His revelation is part of the continuing act of creation: His and ours. As we receive revelation we become co-laborers, and thus co-creators.
The process of revelation can vary because God has infinite variety. It also varies because we vary in the ways we are able to receive Him. For me, God often speaks in the shower. This may sound too prosaic a setting for a God encounter, but I think He is perfectly OK in my shower, just as He’s OK in the garbage dump in Tijuana or Maputo. In the shower, my mind is engaged just enough not to wander, but free enough to hear Him. Sometimes revelation comes reading the Word. And this was such a time, as I sat down to read in Matthew one very tired evening after work.
Some times revelations are so simple that when we attempt to share them, we sound ridiculous. I remember as if it were yesterday sitting on the couch, and coming to the understanding of what the Cross really is. Not the doctrinal, catechism definition, but some slice of the infinite version of it’s meaning. In fact infinity itself was part of that understanding, as I actually saw the symbol for infinity, like an 8 on it’s side. At the crossing point in the center of the symbol, was indeed the point and time of the Cross. And the eternal effects of redemption covered both past and future. At that time, I hadn’t discovered that the bible tells us this very fact. So, imagine sharing that the Cross is eternal, extending its gift to past and future…complete yet continuing! Duh! Sounds pretty obvious… yet many of these “credo” facts that we gargle with regularly need to be infused with a spark of life which only the Holy Spirit can provide. That is what the Gospel writers mean when they say that the only teach what they have seen and touched. “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…so that your joy may be made complete.” 1 John 11-3
Paul, in 2 Cor 2, says “For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.”
Are we a living blessing to those that come into contact with us? Do we speak of love and good news while fully connected? “In Christ”. “In the sight of God” If we talk about electricity, our fingers need to be in the socket even as we speak! Or have we memorized the Reader’s Digest version of Christianity and are constantly tired, intimidated, and disappointed with the results when we share it.
[Since my last post, we’ve sold our cabinetry business and moved to Redding to be at Bethel Church. Tonight at midnight I’m leaving for Tepic, Mexico wit a troop of 20 wild revivalists. So here I am mining my copious notes for a few talks to share with students of a seminary there. Just felt compelled to post something. Hope you like it. Please comment your thoughts on revelation. I promise to post sooner this time. Blessings!]