In the beginning; God spoke.
It all began – and will end – with God’s word.
It all began – and will end – in the garden.
God’s word does so much!
Literally everything that exists does so because God spoke!
God knows everything; He is all-knowing.
Therefore, God’s word brings forth revelation from His knowledge.
Consider just some of the simple discoveries that have radically transformed the world as we know it.
The flowing of electrons from one atom to the next; electricity.
Splitting uranium atoms produces large amounts of energy and can be done in a controlled fashion.
Just last month, this nuclear fusion process was proven to be able to produce truly limitless energy.
Splitting the nucleus of an enriched uranium or plutonium atom produces tremendous amounts of energy used in nuclear weapons such as the atomic bomb.
Revelation can result in radical transformation. It can instantly change the trajectory of our life, of our community, of our nation, of the world. Think about the communities around us that were built and thrived for so long just because of the revelation that there was coal in the ground beneath our feet and how to mine it.
Revelation is more than just knowledge; it is more experiential.
There is a vast difference between knowing that God loves me and having the love of God revealed to me.
There is a vast difference between knowing that the same Spirit that rose Jesus from the grave lives in me and having that same Spirit revealed to me.
There is a vast difference between knowing that I am a child of God and my Heavenly Father revealing Himself to me.
In fact, one of the definitions of the Greek word for revelation, apokalypsis (ap-ok-al’-oop-sis), is manifestation or appearing. It’s literally an uncovering or an unveiling. It’s goes beyond just knowledge to experience.
It’s like the difference between knowing that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and standing at the Smithsonian in front of the real, actual command module that took them to the moon and then being Neil Armstrong back in 1969 and walking on the moon.
There are different degrees, or depths, of revelation of the same knowledge. There are secret, hidden things even in the things that were previously revealed to us.
Prayerfully, all of us here have had revealed to us the fact that Jesus died for our sins and that through our simple faith, we can be saved. However, we could spend a lifetime exploring that same salvation and all that it offers us and still only scratch the surface!
We know so much from God’s word about God and His kingdom and our role within it at a surfacy, head-knowledge level. I believe that this year is going to be a year of revelation.
Be ready to write down those dreams and visions; those gut feelings and words of knowledge and wisdom and prophesies and things that just keep catching your attention and any other limitless ways that God can speak to us!
We can be told something and then forget it. Knowledge is fleeting and useless if not transformed into wisdom and applied in life. It’s like the difference between learning trigonometric theorems and learning what to do at a stop sign. One was learned and forgotten, the other was learned and lived.
Once something is revealed to us, it is ours forever! We can forget the things that we have taught, but the things that are revealed to us change us and become a part of us. Things that are revealed to us become a legacy that we impart to others.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever…
We can know that the joy of the Lord is our strength. However, we’ve all been around grouchy people who can quote it from knowledge and readily see the difference between them and someone who has had this truth revealed to them who are actually joyful in all life circumstances.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever…
God’s Kingdom is full of secret things hidden in plain sight just waiting to be revealed!
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.
Matthew 13:11 TPT
He explained, “You’ve been given the intimate experience of insight into the hidden mysteries of the realm of heaven’s kingdom, but they have not.
12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
It’s time for us to have eyes that truly see and perceive and ears that truly hear and understand and hearts that are soft and teachable. In this way, God can us beyond knowledge and begin revealing things to us.
Then, we can heal from not only sicknesses and disease, but healed from all of our hurts so that we might be whole. Then, we can begin to effectively seek and save the lost and reach people with the hope that Jesus freely offers. Then, we can stop being broke all of the time in poverty and be a generous people.
Then, we can start being the people who God created us to be and start living out what He taught us to pray; here on earth even as it is in Heaven!
A year of revelation! What can that look like? It can look a bit like this:
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
These disciples learned all kinds of teachings from Jesus in the same way that we sit in church or read books or watch videos and learn all kinds of things. That’s not where the fun and joy are, though!
The fun and the joy are when we get up from our seats learning it and go out into the world and apply it and have the reality of those teachings revealed to us!
We can have revealed to us things that not only the prophets of old, but even angels who dwell in Heaven and have seen God face-to-face long to have revealed to them!
1 Peter 1:8–15
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you as Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
Minds alert and fully sober with hope in the grace of God alone as Jesus Christ is revealed to us. This is how we ought to live. Not as we used to in our ignorance, but by the grace of God desiring a deeper and fuller revelation of who Jesus Christ is.
A deeper and fuller revelation of who Jesus Christ is and who we are because of Him.
A deeper and fuller revelation of who Jesus Christ is and what we have because of what He did.
A deeper and fuller revelation of who Jesus Christ is and how we can live because of what He gives.
Just a simple revelation from God can radically change and transform our lives!
And the best part of this all? God wants to freely give us these types of revelation! God’s word is full of revelation about who He is, what His Kingdom is like, how He speaks, how He acts, what He plans to do, what His purpose is for us. It’s just like those 80’s and 90’s infomercials, though. “But wait, there’s more!” There is always more to be revealed! There’s always greater things awaiting us! There’s always a reason for us to be seeking after God for more!
Let’s end with this quick example of a man whose life is about to end even though he did nothing wrong. How does he respond to such injustice and wrongdoing? He seeks God! Let’s go way back to August of 607 BC.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him during the second year of his reign so much so that he could not sleep. He just had to know what it meant. However, he decided that the one to interpret the dream must also tell him what the dream actually was. He also added that, “If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. 6 But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”
When his astrologers told him that it was impossible, he decreed that all wise men in his kingdom would be put to death, which included a handful of men from Israel. When they came to put a man named Daniel to death, he convinced the king to give him some time to seek out the interpretation.
19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said:
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king.”
Then, Daniel went back to the king:
27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:
29 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
We may not be much of anything or anyone, but there is a God in Heaven who reveals mysteries! Through Him all things are possible! There is nothing too hard for our great God! And… His desire is to work signs, wonders, and miracles through you and I, His people!
This is going to be a year of revelation! This is going to be a year where we experience the leading and the empowering of God like never before! All that we have to do is seek and obey!