Four ways to obtain spiritual revelation
Spiritual success and fruitfulness are directly related to spiritual revelation through meditation in God’s Word. Spiritual revelation is not a product of merely reading the Bible and understanding the content of each biblical text but a multi-elemental process that involves faith, obedience and perseverance. By observing the Word of God, we can say that there are at least four essential factors in obtaining revelation.
1. Knowledge of God’s Word
By definition, revelation is the application of a hidden truth by bringing it into clear view so that everyone can see it. What does that mean? It means that I will not have any revelation if I do not know the Word of God. We must know God’s Word before we can receive revelation. The mere mental knowledge of the Bible has no spiritual value. If all that you have is just mental knowledge, then you have nothing at all. Religious people read the Bible but they remain in their sin. On the other hand, there is a spiritual principle taught in 1 Corinthians:
However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. (1 Corinthians 15:46)
Before we can receive spiritual knowledge, we must have natural knowledge. If we have no knowledge of a certain subject in our minds, there is no way we can know it in the spirit. Before we can receive revelation, we must fill our mind with the Word of God. Take time reading, studying, meditating, listening to, speaking of and practicing his Word. To the extent that this becomes a habit, the more your spirit will be exercised and the more revelation you will receive.
2. Eyes to see
Let us use a treasure chest as an example. If we wish to see what is inside the chest, the first thing we will do is open it and take out what we want to see. That is what we mean when we speak of opening the Word of God. However, if after we open the chest we discover that we cannot see, we must resolve the problem of our blindness. In this case, we cannot see what God has revealed. The same is true in our spiritual lives. It is not enough merely to open the Bible. We also need eyes to see. That is what the Bible says:
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
If you have not yet been born again, you will not be able to receive revelation. Those who have not been born again are blind to God; they cannot see the things of the Spirit.
Once we have opened the chest and are able to see, something fundamental will still be missing: light. We will not be able to see without it. Having your sight restored speaks of the new birth, but having light points to the experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Christian that has not yet received the baptism in the Spirit is a child of God, but lives like a natural man – he cannot discern the things of the Spirit. He can praise God, but cannot worship; he can know the Bible, but has no revelation. The third condition then, is to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
4. Open eyes
In the same way that we cannot see something that is hidden, we also cannot see it if there is no light. However, even if we have all of this, we will not be able to see anything with our eyes closed. In the Bible, our heart represents our spiritual eyes. To close our eyes is to shut the door of our heart. Many people shut the door of their hearts and are not open to learn from others, so God withholds His revelation from them. All of God’s blessings come through the heart therefore we should take good care of it.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)
Jesus told the Christians of Laodicea that He was knocking at their door. God spoke these words to Christians, not to unbelievers. The Lord wants to come in but their hearts are closed. Similarly today, God has knocked on our hearts’ door hoping that we will open it for Him, and that we would thirst for Him, hunger for His Word and long for His presence. There is no point in having all of these ingredients if our eyes and our hearts are not opened wide to the Lord.
Man is a triune being: he is spirit, has a soul and lives in a body. In order to go forward, this same man will have to learn about the things of God through his spirit and not only through his mind. Many people get confused when they talk about knowing something in the spirit. Revelation seems to have taken on another meaning to some of them. The Word of God is clear concerning the things that we need in order to have revelation. Some brothers want to have a revelation of insignificant things, and they even teach that revelation is finding something that no one has ever seen or perceived. We must understand this: the Word of God has a central point. Every one of God’s purposes in the history of mankind has a central point: Jesus Christ in us. That is the revelation we must have. So many brothers in the church waste their time trying to learn so many things but misunderstand God’s central point, which is Christ. Many others know these truths and still see no change in their lives. The difference is what we call “spiritual revelation”.