Hey! Thanks for stopping by at my blog. I was supposed to publish an article last week but I couldn’t but I’m glad I waited. I’m sharing some random thoughts that was just impressed on my heart during the course of the week and I just had to write about it. Trust me, it’s something you’ve heard about one way or the other, but I just hope it rekindles a fresh or a renewed commitment in the core of your being. The thoughts may seem unrelated but I hope they register in your hearts. I pray that beyond the words, the truth will be expounded upon in your heart by the Holy Spirit. (Amen)
I had heard of you [only] by the hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eyes see you. Job 42:5 AMP
During the course of the week, I skimmed a paper written by Thomas Gitovich on “Second hand Information and Social Judgement” and I thought the research output had some interesting points worthy of note. The authors found out that second hand impressions are often more extreme because second hand accounts of another person’s actions frequently fail to convey adequately the role of mitigating circumstances and situational constraints in producing that person’s behaviour. The findings also demonstrated that people’s impressions of someone they have often heard about from a friend (but never met) are more extreme than their friend’s more informed opinions. The rationale for the conclusion is that many of our impressions of other people are based entirely on second hand information. Before you start asking, ”Who experimental social psychology don epp?”, Let me quickly state that, second hand impressions are pervasive in our generation.
Maybe just like Job, we had made impressions, formed perspectives solely on hearsays. It has been communicated down to us by the experience of man, or our perspectives have been rooted in the tradition delivered from our forefathers, more like “ancient landmarks”. Maybe life for us has been built on “Who do men say He is?” and not “Who do you say I am?”. I like to think, in most cases, our knowledge is often times grounded chiefly upon the instructions of men. But allow me say this, No man’s experience is perfect and flawless, only the word of God has that attribute (Isaiah 40:8, 1Pet.1:25, Psalm 19:7). I believe God intends for our life to be run on revealed knowledge – when the mind is enlightened by the spirit of God which has its own evidence with it; that causes our understanding to be enlightened by the Spirit of Grace.
There is a clear apprehension of divine things which can only be furnished by revelation. There are views from the tower of revelation knowledge which is not dark or obscure – it is earmarked with clarity, unflinching persuasion and confidence. I think sometimes, we are always preoccupied with “He said…They said…She said etc”, I think more than ever before, the fuel for running now is “what did He reveal to you? What did He say to you? What are you laying hold on?”. Mary told the attendants at the wedding at Cana in Galilee, “He may not be the master of ceremony neither is He the Governor General of the Province or the distinguished chairman of the occasion but WHATEVER HE SAYS TO YOU, DO IT (John 2:5 – paraphrase in my words)”. I believe these times call for a “powered by revelation” mantra, not as a cliché but a reality. I think this is the time we should say “I knew ONLY what others had told me but NOW I have seen you with my eyes…I have heard about you, but now I have encountered you”. I think sometimes, it just gets comfortable living off history.
Jesus asks in Mathew 16:13, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”. The disciples gave answers on what they had heard from others. They replied – John the Baptist, some say, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. From their responses, Jesus got what they had discovered through communicated knowledge. He then questioned them, “But who do you say I am?”- a question that can only be solved by revelation (revealed knowledge) Mathew 16:12. The first question was “What Are People Saying? What have you been hearing?”, the second question was “And what about YOU?”. Revelation knowledge is the truth that God imparts directly and all believers are to be built and rooted in it. Remember the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden right? The command about the tree of knowledge of good and evil was communicated to Eve by Adam, possibly. On the other hand, for Adam, the command was revealed as God spoke to him directly. But, something interesting happened when the serpent deceived the woman, which I think is pivotal. God told Adam…not to EAT of the TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL (Gen.2:17). Eve told the serpent that God said…not to EAT nor TOUCH the fruit of the TREE WHICH IS IN THE MIDST OF THE GARDEN. (Gen.3:3). Eve misrepresented the instruction and added “nor TOUCH”. Eve also didn’t call the tree by the same name Adam called it, she simply said, THE TREE IN THE MIDST OF THE GARDEN. The instruction was given to Adam by God prior to Eve’s creation (1Tim.2:13). The Bible even recorded in 1Tim.2:14 that…” And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived…”. I think the reason for Adam not being deceived by the Serpent is not far-fetched. There is something about revelation knowledge that makes indisputable, irreplaceable and irresistible. Seek revealed knowledge like the Berean Christians, (Acts.17:11) not just mental assent. Listen to Sermons, inspired teachings but also search the scriptures to soak it in so it becomes a revelation to you and not just mentally alluding to the communicated truth.
A breakthrough in revelation enables us to see from God’s perspective – we see what God sees. Our commitment to matters of the kingdom is fuelled by our revelation of God. As Mark Hankins aptly puts it, “Every advance in the call and the blessing of God comes from an advance in revelation. Every breakthrough in faith comes from a breakthrough in revelation knowledge, not necessarily new information”. The best resolution you can make is to grow in the understanding of the word by giving ourselves to study (2Tim.2:15). The charge wasn’t even to five-fold ministers. There is a way we sometimes abdicate “studying” to the five-folds. But then, I believe rightly dividing the word of truth is for all sphere of calling – whether pulpit or market place. I remember how the Apostles needed men full of Faith to serve tables (more like Deacons), so they could focus more on the ministry of prayer and word (Acts.6:3). Let me roll out the CV of Stephen (one of those selected to serve tables), it was, “…full of the Holy Spirit, full of faith Acts 7:55, Acts 6:3-5. None of them could stand against the wisdom and spirit by which Stephen spoke Acts 6:10. In Acts 7, Stephen addressed the council in a way in which quite a number of theologians have called an apt description of the Old Testament”. Jesus (the Messiah) in Luke 4:1 (full of the Holy Spirit), Barnabas (he and Paul undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against Judaizers) in Acts 11:24 (full of the Holy Spirit), Peter (Apostle to the Jews) in Acts 4:8 (full of the Holy Spirit), Paul (Apostle to the Gentiles) in Acts 13:8 (full of the Holy Spirit). I think the points from the explanations are clear.
I think a lot of times, we just get ‘worked’ up by the depth of revelation that someone else is getting, and we sometimes begin to make ‘competition’ out of it or conclude those things are for selected few while undermining your learning of Christ. No! It shouldn’t be so! It’s a process. Keep at it! Keep growing. Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists that ever walked the earth, did his PhD on “A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions Avogadro Constant”. In his PhD thesis: N = 2.1*10^23. He made the first correction later and postulated that N = 4.15*10^23. Later, the second correction N = 6.56*10^23, while the actual value: N = 6.022*10^23. There’s value in what you are learning of Christ. Value the process. Grow in Grace. Grow in revelation. As we make conscious effort to add value to ourselves in form certifications, higher degrees, trainings etc., we should also make effort and commitment to increase/upgrade our revelation “bank”. Enjoy the journey.
I think just like a PhD student, where you attend conferences and workshops to hear people speak about the research they are actively involved in and present their research outputs. Sometimes, you get to read journals and review papers. While all these things are very important and vital to your training, it will never take away the fact that a time would come when you’d just watch and listen, you have to be a key player – present your personal work as an independent and autonomous researcher. There’s progress to be made. I think this is a clarion call to growth. Being committed to what really matters: “knowing and enjoying Christ Jesus” (Phil.3:8) – sharing and doing life together with Jesus.
 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom[a] and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.  I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.[b]
 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power  that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. (Eph.1:17-20 NLT).
Whatever these unrelated thoughts mean to you, I hope it starts a fire or rekindles one.
Have a beautiful week ahead!
Oluwafemi Olukoya (@simokool)