Revelation and Spiritual Growth

Doe & Fawn 6-2013

Christians in the western world tend to go at their Christianity like they do everything else they want to excel in, by research, study and attending lectures at “church.” The following two paragraphs are the most concise description I have ever read on how God grows us up in the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. I hope you will read it and take it to heart. ~ Michael

To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. (Revelation 2:17)

God always keeps the revelation of Himself in Christ bound up with practical situations. You and I can never get revelation other than in connection with some necessity. We cannot get it simply as a matter of information. That is information, that is not revelation. We cannot get it by studying. When the Lord gave the manna in the wilderness (a type of Christ as the Bread from heaven), He stipulated very strongly that not one fragment more than the day’s need was to be gathered, and that if they went beyond the measure of immediate need, disease and death would break out and overtake them. The principle, the law, of the manna, is that God keeps revelation of Himself in Christ bound up with practical situations of necessity, and we are not going to have revelation as mere teaching, doctrine, interpretation, theory, or anything as a thing, which means that God is going to put you and me into situations where only the revelation of Christ can help us and save us….

Now then, that is why the Lord would keep us in situations which are acute, real. The Lord is against our getting out on theoretical lines with truth, out on technical lines. Oh, let us shun technique as a thing in itself and recognize this, that, although the New Testament has in it a technique, we cannot merely extract the technique and apply it. We have to come into New Testament situations to get a revelation of Christ to meet that situation. So that the Holy Spirit’s way with us is to bring us into living, actual conditions and situations, and needs, in which only some fresh knowledge of the Lord Jesus can be our deliverance, our salvation, our life, and then to give us, not a revelation of truth, but a revelation of the Person, new knowledge of the Person, that we come to see Christ in some way that just meets our need. We are not drawing upon an “it,” but upon a “Him.”

T. Austin-Sparks – The School of Christ – http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/001035.html

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14 comments on “Revelation and Spiritual Growth

  1. bodie says:

    A friend once said that in the world the principal of learning is to have first the lesson to learn the material and then take a test to see what we have learned. But in the Lord it is reversed. We get the test first without the lesson and then up from our spirit comes the lesson….some new knowledge of Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Bodie, so good to hear from you again! I have missed our fellowship. Yes, all of what God teaches us is about driving home in us divine revelation which causes real eternal change, not just tickling our mental faculties with some new teaching. Like Paul said, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me… I conferred not with flesh and blood:” (Galatians 1:15-16 KJ2000).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Brenda says:

    Reblogged this on White Raiment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was lovely. It’s really true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Gabrielle. I have been reading your blog, searching for your story. I was around that hippie culture you grew up in, though I was not one of them. I was part of a street ministry to them in the early 70’s. Thank God many of them came to Christ. But the ones that didn’t… what they did to themselves was one thing, but what they did to their kids as they led a life of hedonism was what made me sad. Thank God He has you, dear sister!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Becky says:

    Michael, I just read in my Streams in the Desert devotional (Scriptures being 2 Cor. 1:8 and 12:9) “God had to compel David, by a long and painful discipline of years, to learn the almighty power and faithfulness of his God.” Also, “Nothing but the extremities in which Paul was placed could ever have taught him, and taught the church through him, the full meaning of the great promise he so learned to claim, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.'”

    It’s true, I believe, though many denounce a experiential faith. That is what I am learning and have been meditating on in recent days. I am not a studious person, I never have been. The new creation I am in Christ has not changed that. So much of what I know to be true of God and my Savior, Jesus Christ has come and is coming through His might and power and faithfulness in and through my experiences. Not that those experiences or circumstances are always positive, some of them have a way of bringing doubt of His might and power and love for me personally. But I keep walking and asking and seeking, imperfectly at best, but am still, by His grace and life.

    Thank you for this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Becky, I believe all TRUE faith is experiential. Anything less is only a system of belief. Sparks said it so well, “So that the Holy Spirit’s way with us is to bring us into living, actual conditions and situations, and needs, in which only some fresh knowledge of the Lord Jesus can be our deliverance, our salvation, our life, and then to give us, not a revelation of truth, but a revelation of the Person, new knowledge of the Person, that we come to see Christ in some way that just meets our need.”

      Paul put it this way,

      “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us.” (Romans 5:1-5 KJ2000)

      You see, dear heart, experience is part of the process in which we find Jesus as our sufficiency in everything we come up against in this life. Overcoming each one of these adversities IN Him gives us hope that He will be there with us for the next one. We learn that greater is HE that is in us than all these things in the world might throw at us. And with all this is the Holy Spirit who abides in and teaches us and fills us with the love of Christ which gives us great grace for all both friend and foe, knowing that God is not through with any of us yet.

      And they answered, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [ give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved…(Acts 16:31 AMP)

      It is ALL experiential or it is NOT true faith.

      Thank you for sharing your life and your comment with us, dear sister.

      Like

  5. kenneth dawson says:

    yes Mike you have written a very valuable post here–I love it when I get in a relationship with someone who I know they do not have Christ living in them–then I do not have to figure out if they are really saved or not because I know they are not–its evident—but when I come into a relationship with someone who says they are Christian but they don’t express the life of Christ I spend all of the time trying to figure out if they really are saved–I have a friend who claims to be Christian and he has a very strong biblical education but I do not see Christ in his life–so I use this example to show him the difference between epistemological Christianity and ontological Christianity—take a young girl of say 18 and give her a book that has all the teachings of how to get pregnant–she reads it and believes every last word it teaches and its teachings are absolute truth but she is a virgin–she can believe all she wants to but she will not get a baby until she gets the seed of a man into her and then new birth inside of her will happen then in time it will become evident and in time fruit will manifest itself and its all by ontological experience—well now he does not talk to me anymore—wow I guess I hit the nerve and I still wonder about him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Well, Kenneth, what a great illustration you used of the young woman who studies how to get pregnant but never sleeps with a man so it can happen. Jesus said this very thing,

      “My sheep hear my voice, and I KNOW them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 KJV)

      This word “know” has great depth in the Greek. W.E. Vine defined it this way:

      In the NT ginosko frequently indicates a relation between the person “knowing” and the object known; in this respect, what is “known” is of value or importance to the one who knows, and hence the establishment of the relationship, e.g., especially of God’s “knowledge,” 1Co_8:3, “if any man love God, the same is known of Him;” …such “knowledge” is obtained, not by mere intellectual activity, but by operation of the Holy Spirit consequent upon acceptance of Christ…
      The verb is also used to convey the thought of connection or union, as between man and woman, Mat_1:25; Luk_1:34.

      With Jesus it is all about intimacy not just head knowledge. He is coming back for a bride, not a data clerk.

      Like

  6. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you for the post, I had just read the T. Austin-Sparks piece on Susanne’s blog. It is good to read it on yours also.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, it’s not about some theory of life, but about the one who IS life. Thank God for that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Ruth, It is He who said, “I came that you might have LIFE and have it more abundantly,” not, “I came that you might have more book learning and rules to follow and that more abundantly” regardless or what Christianity has become. Thanks my Aussie sister!

      Liked by 1 person

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