Revelation vs. Regurgitation
For the sake of the innocent (everyone else) and the gulty (usually me) All names and places have been changed.
Recently, I was at a home group meeting. I love to go to home group meetings, because you learn a lot about how average people view their journey with Jesus. This particular night, I had the opportunity of hearing a young man share his heart. We will call him Joe. Now Joe had been serving as an intern with a famous minister, lets call him Pastor Mike. I happen to have the utmost respect for Pastor Mike, and have read his books, get his podcast, and even went to hear him speak. So to say I like Ps. Mike is an understatement.
Needless to say, I was excited to hear Joe share about his experience with Ps. Mike. Now Joe began sharing, and I noticed something. While there was nothing wrong with the things he was sharing, it didn’t have the passion I was expecting. I was quickly losing interest in the stories Joe was sharing, even though I knew that the info he was passing on was sound, and quite good.
After a few disinterested minutes, I suddenly realized the reason that I wasn’t seeing the passion I expected. While the information Joe was passing on was great, it was word for word quotes from Ps. Mike. In fact I remembered a few of the quotes, because I had read them in one of Ps. Mike’s books only the day before. What I suddenly realized is that Joe was not sharing with passion because it was not his revelation.
As Joe was sharing, it was simply regurgitating the words Ps. Mike had taught him. This was not a revelation that God had given him, but merely teaching he had gotten from his leadership. My Pastor is a great teacher, and I find much of what he says to be excellent, and I try to put it into practice in my life.
However, the things he has said that I share with others are not simply his teachings, but they are revelations from God for me that came through him. I will gladly share with you my summary and notes of what my pastor has said, but when I am sharing my experience with you, I am sharing with you my revelation.
When you have a revelation from God, you have a unique ability to share it with others with an intense passion. Why? because this is a life changing word from God. Things that change your life are usually things that you become passionate about.
There is nothing wrong with learning all that you can from a man like Ps. Mike, however, it needs to sink deeper than simply teaching. We need to learn to ask God regularly for revelation. When my pastor is preaching, I am asking God to show me the thing that he wants me to grasp, and to expand upon it to me. For instance, I remember one particular sunday, my pastor made a comment about the Taking up of Elijah, and the Death of Elisha. The comment he made was all of 15 seconds, but once he shared it, God took over and the business of Revelation began.
That one comment sparked a three month journey of Digging and studying, and referencing that gave me a whole new paradigm on the importance of discipleship. Another time, it was a sermon on The story of Abraham/Isaac on the mountain. The pastor shared the story from Isaac’s point of view, and this drew the parallels to Jesus so much clearer. 2 years later, and I still think about that sermon because God spoke to me about true faith.
Revelation will stir us more than Knowledge
Now the point in sharing this story is not to bash on Joe, Ps. Mike, or anyone else, but rather to set up up for the revelation that I recieved while Joe was sharing his experience.
Revelation from God will always trump learned knowledge. There are many things I have learned through out the years. However, my passions come from a place of revelation. Passions are things that God has put upon you to see come to pass. For my pastor his two biggest passions are changed lives and transformed cities. Each of these corresponds to a revelation or series of revelations that God has given him over the years.
I love passionate people. Even if they are crazy, I will sit and listen to them speak. Why? because they are so gripped with something that they cannot let it pass by. For the Guys from Invisible Children, its the Rescue of the Kidnapped Children Soldiers in Uganda. For Lou Engle it is the ending of Abortion in America. For my next door neighbor its the legalization of marijuana. Some of these passions are God passions and some are not. But the fact of the matter is that the people who shared them with me were so committed to the cause that it dripped from their very core to tell others.
I have made a new covenant with myself, mind and spirit. Before I read any book, I will ask God to speak directly to me through that book. To release a revelation, no matter how small to me. I do not want to read books to gain knowledge, I want to read books to grow closer to God and find divine strategies to help me grow in my life and ministry…
Ask God for a revelation for yourself. Ask him to show you something timely that speaks right to you in a way a person never could. I guarantee you he will be faithful to do it for you. You do not know where it will come from, it might not even come from a christian mouth, but I promise you it will come, and when the Revelation hits you, you will know it.