So, what is the role of revelation in our lives? In asking the question I want to be clear that I am not suggesting there are new revelations we can receive that will establish new doctrines. The scriptures always need to be our rule for faith and practice. What we need in terms of revelation is an understanding of how to apply the truths of scripture to our lives. This requires dependence on the Holy Spirit. In the gospels, the early apostles and others hearers at times didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about and Jesus pinpointed the problem by taking us back to what He told Isaiah to declare.
14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ 16 “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Matthew 13:14-17 (NKJV)
9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ 10 “Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed.” Isaiah 6:9-10 (NKJV)
This word from Isaiah is again quoted in John and Acts. Clearly it is something the Holy Spirit wants to emphasize.
40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” John 12:40 (NKJV)
26 saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; 27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” ’ Acts 28:26-27 (NKJV)
Why do we have blind eyes and stopped up ears? There are a couple of reasons. The first is that we have rejected Him and His ways. I have often heard the first phrase of Hosea 4:6 quoted but never the rest of the verse.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)
We are blind and deaf because we have chosen not to see or hear. At the same time Paul identified the second reason, another player in this pattern.
3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NKJV)
Satan is complicit in blinding minds and hearts. Paul saw that and saw his apostolic calling in the ‘light’ of this problem. He said Jesus sent him,
18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18 (NKJV)
To have our eyes and ears opened for conversion requires responding in repentance to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Having them remain open or be reopened after conversion requires an ongoing seeking of revelation regarding His heart and mind.
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, Ephesians 1:17 (NKJV)
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJV)
9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; Colossians 1:9-11 (NKJV)
Jesus is always calling us closer to His heart to receive His strategic direction and purpose. We are called to live under a revelatory anointing to impact our culture with the gospel. We need His anointing on the proclamation of His word through His people that darkness would be pushed back and the light of the glory of Jesus would shine through.
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NKJV)
Our culture needs this light shining brightly through us piercing the darkness.