Experiencing Revelation and Stewarding Mysteries
Articles - Prophetic
by Lyn Packer
Part 2 – Understanding and stewarding revelations
In these days there is an incredible increase in people receiving revelation, whether visions, dreams, heavenly experiences or spoken revelation, and this will continue to increase in the days ahead. So it's important that we learn how to properly interpret and apply our revelations and that we teach others how to do so as well. If we don't, then the church runs the very real danger of becoming flaky and deceived, all the while thinking it is okay because it is being blessed. In fact it is possible for a person to be right and true in their beliefs in some areas, and wrong and deceived in other areas. We all have blind spots and we all only see partly (1 Cor 13:12). The key here is being open to Holy Spirit to teach us, correct us and lead us into truth. It is an ongoing process of growth, not an event. We do not suddenly know all there is to know about anything. We grow and change as we allow our minds to be transformed, and our thinking to be brought into truth (Rom 12:2).
It makes no difference what type of revelation we are receiving – the revelation must be allowed to transform us. Even a revelation that God gives us for others, can and will do a work in our lives if we will let it. I believe that is part of what God intends when He gives us the revelation. But revelation is not just about us, as nice as it is to have these experiences. We are called to be ambassadors of Heaven - those who release Heaven into Earth. We are blessed and we are to be a blessing, so we must lean how to steward wisely the revelations we receive. Because in so many cases the church has not been taught how to properly steward what it receives from God, many people receive revelation and then either do nothing with it or do the wrong thing with it.
We are told in scripture to test every prophecy (1 Thess 5 20,21; 2 Pet 1:20,21; 1 John 4:1; Acts 17:11) and I believe we should apply this to visions, dreams and anything else that is a prophetic revelation. We test it against scripture as a whole, God's character and nature, and God's heart for mankind. If it is a true revelation from God it will be in line with all these.
How do we steward the revelations God shows us?
The most important part of that stewarding is having a correct understanding of the revelations we receive; everything relating to what we do with the revelation hinges on this.
Revelation has (to my understanding) three components to it.
As I said in article 1 in this series, revelation is an invitation to intimacy, dialogue and co-operation with God. Keep that in mind as we explore the components that make up revelation.
Let's look at those three components.
1. The revelation
This is the actual vision you see, what you hear or the encounter you have. The most common mistake that people make when trying to figure out what the things they see and hear mean is "to take everything they see literally".
There is a difference between literal and symbolic – remember that while both may feel real, there is still a difference between those two things.
Visions and experiences may have some aspects of both in them, eg. In Rev 1:10-20 John sees seven golden lampstands (symbolic of the seven churches). He also sees a person who has hair white as wool, eyes like fire, feet like burnished bronze (literal). That is why we must be able to interpret our experiences and visions rightly. It is so important to ask Holy Spirit to help us interpret what we see.
2. The interpretation
Do not go into your head to try and figure out what it means. Ask Holy Spirit - it's His job to lead you into truth. To find the interpretation you simply ask Holy Spirit questions. I know that doesn't sound very spiritual, does it? We'd much rather have a shaft of divine light with a scroll in it giving us the meaning, and sometimes the Lord will do something like that. But mostly He won't, because that would defeat God's purpose of bringing us into intimacy and dialogue.
Just because an experience feels real, it does not mean that everything in that experience is literal. This is critical to understand! If we don't understand this we can easily begin to slide into subtle yet real deception, which will open us up to the enemy. God often speaks in metaphors, riddles and symbols and even in the middle of what is a very real experience there will often be mysteries waiting to be unfolded.
Can you see how easy it is to go wrong with this? Some may think that it's better to not ask for revelation if there is such a chance of going wrong, but that would be like the servant that buried the talents underground and waited for the master to return (Matt 25:14-30). The key is to grow up into Christ and learn to steward wisely what we receive.
3. The application
What does God want you to do with what you've seen or heard? There may be any number of things that He could want you to do with it.
If He does want you to share it with others then you need to ask - when and how? Again the possibilities are numerous
Are there practical things that the Lord wants you to do? Ask Him for the strategy to begin to implement those things.
What if the Lord tells you to submit what you've seen or heard to leadership and nothing is done with it? If that is what God asked you to do then the responsibility passes out of your hand into theirs. They are now answerable to God, not you, for what they do with it. You've done what God asked you to do. Ask the Lord if you need to continue to pray for that thing but whatever you do, don't pray prayers of manipulation or condemnation against the leader you gave it to. Release it back into the Lord's hands. Remember it's His to establish, not yours.
In the next article we'll begin to look at how we steward things like trances, extended periods of revelation, heavenly experiences and more. We'll talk about protocols for entering the Throne Room and other places in the heavenly realms, and stewarding those things.