The first three months of a Discipleship Training School are what we call the lecture phase. It’s 12 weeks of intense teachings with speakers from all around the world on many different topics. It can be a little overwhelming to go into what is essentially a new sermon every day of the week – especially when those sermons are the kind that stir up your heart and release revelations.
I’ve heard lecture phase be described as trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose. It can certainly feel like a massive gush of information. It can feel impossible to keep up, fully process every topic, and get all that you can out of it. But if you don’t walk out the revelations you receive then you can become resistant to the truths that are in them.
If we don’t take a long look at the revelations we’ve received and actually do something about them, then we can become resistant to that teaching. How many of us, for example, have heard the story of the Prodigal Son? How many of us sigh a little inside when our pastor tells us to turn to Luke 15 in our Bibles because by now, we could preach our own sermon on that parable based on how many times we’ve heard it.
But there’s so much more to be found in there. There’s new things that I am continually seeing and realizing the more I go back to stories like that; stories that I’ve heard taught on so often that I could sleep through the service and still have three takeaway points I got from it.
If we do nothing with the revelations that we receive, then the next time we hear that teaching our eyes can roll and our chests heave a sigh as we whisper to ourselves that “we already know everything there is to know from this.”
I recently heard the analogy of vaccines in relation to this hardening of hearts to unused revelation. A vaccine injects a little bit of the disease into your body. Your body attacks this invasion and builds antibodies that now “know” what this disease looks like and how to stop it. If you are around this disease again, your body can remember to send those antibodies out to fight and stop them from infecting you.
Unused revelation is like getting a vaccine to God’s truth. We hear a really great truth in a sermon or read it in the Bible. We tweet it, post it on Facebook, write about it in our journals. But if we don’t embrace it and wholeheartedly invite it into our hearts, if we forget about it by Wednesday morning, then we start building up “antibodies” to that revelation, even if we aren’t aware of it.
We can hear a thousand times that knowing our true identity in God is the key to pursuing a solid relationship with Him. But if we never really start to believe that, or walk in our identity as daughters and sons of God, if we keep living as orphans of the world, then that revelation is lost. Once it is lost, we start to build a resistance to that truth. Our pastor teaches on identity again but we sit there simply nodding and not really listening because after all – haven’t we heard this before?
Over time our resistance can build up to such high levels that we don’t even recognize revelation when it lands in our lap. We’ve spent so long not stepping into truth, or changing our way of thinking, that we have “antibodies” towards everything God is saying to us. That’s a terrifying place to be in.
In order to not lose revelation, or to have to go unused, we need to take time to respond. Responding isn’t just thinking about it occasionally or talking about the revelation as a concept. It means that we have to do something. We have to change something in our life. It isn’t enough to just tell your small group that you found the weekend’s teaching really relevant, you need to walk it out.
Spend time in prayer with God and listen for what He’s saying is your next step. Then, walk it out. Put the revelations to work in your heart, in your relationships, in your job, in your everyday life. Let it change you fully and don’t grow resistant to what He’s saying.
The moment you have a revelation land in your lap is the beginning of the process. Make it a habit to respond to and walk out everything that strikes your heart. When you catch yourself tuning out because you’ve heard it before, tune back in and look for what God is trying to show you. The more you walk out revelations and really get them ingrained in your life, the more God is going to release to you on a daily basis.
Don’t become resistant to His voice.
By Brooke McCown
Port YWAM Kona Communication Staff