*All scripture references taken from the New Living Translation.
“At that same hour Jesus was filled with joy of the Holy Spirit, and He said; Oh Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank You for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes Father, it pleased You to do it this way” (Luke 10:21).
This passage is not necessarily speaking of children, but of such that have childlike minds. In this particular hour in the context of Luke’s story, Jesus was rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, that the childlike should receive such revelation, and not the prudent or the wise. This seemed to be a special and satisfying moment for Jesus, as He revealed the Father’s heart on this issue.
This raises a question: How do we know in ourselves if we qualify to receive these heavenly revelations? How childlike are we?
Throughout Amish-Mennonite circles, there is generally a strong emphasis on being logical, and in having ready answers on theological or doctrinal matters. Granted, we should be ready to give an answer. But look at Luke 10:21 again; He often hides the deeper things even from the wise; moreover He rejoiced in this fact. Why? I am not sure I can fully answer this, but I do have some thoughts I wish for you to ponder. Consider Luke 10:22, which reads:
“My Father has entrusted everything to Me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and to those whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”
Intellectually, we generally have great capacity to search the Bible, to expound truths, to correctly preach of its tenets, and to impart such to others. For this, I am truly and deeply thankful, but this is not what Jesus is talking about. Understanding truth intellectually, and experiencing truth, are two entirely different mediums. To preach a truth we intellectually understand, will seldom penetrate the hearts of listeners. Preaching the same truth through an experiential revelation will always make an impact in their hearts.
I am thankful for all the work some are investing in seminars, conferences, or even bible colleges and seminaries; such efforts will never be in vain. However, what Jesus is speaking about here, narrows it down to a very personal matter, directly between He and you. Many seek this promise and His revelations, based on what they have learned intellectually, which happens to be in total opposition to the conditions He sets forth here. For contrary to man’s learning abilities, we yet need to unlearn, to qualify for the blessing of revelation herein. Some of the Lords most severe training on our lives includes taking from us what we trust in, or rely on that is not of His perfect will, this invariably includes our most treasured “Isaac”.
From my youth, I was heavily indoctrinated to believe that we cannot have knowledge of our salvation on this side of the grave. For many years this produced for me great fear and anxiety. With much trepidation I nevertheless kept seeking after God, Who I did not know, nor had any clue what it would mean should I encounter Him in any measure. When He, after many years, did reveal Himself to me, it was an experience far beyond what my theological framework would allow for. I simply could not explain in rational or intellectual terms, what had taken place in my heart as the result. The only thing I knew, is that I had seen God through the Holy Spirit, and that I was thoroughly washed of my sins (see John 9:25). Being alone, I was clueless as to how to describe what took place, I was unlearned in matters of formal theology, such as the New Birth, or of the Baptism of The Spirit–both of which I came to understand later, whereby I received both simultaneously.
Thereafter I found myself at odds with the “learned,” for I had experienced something deeply personal, resulting in deeply personal and profound revelation. As I therefore sought to interact with those relaying solely upon an intellectually-seated doctrine, there was little authentic fellowship. It had become clear that divine revelation was frowned upon. And it also became clear that the “learned” maintained an ongoing propensity for relying upon their own intellectual conclusions, versus that of divine revelation. It was during this time that I found myself vulnerable to the “doctrines of men” (II Tim. 4:3).
It is this very dynamic that set John the Baptist apart from His peers within the Levitical priesthood. He, unlike his peers, did not attend the schooling they were required to receive to qualify for the priesthood. Instead, he received his schooling in the wilderness. In like manner, if we are to experience the impartation and revelation modeled in Luke 10:21-22, there will be a wilderness prepared for us. That is, God will set us apart for a strategic purpose in His Kingdom—through a wilderness experience void of the influence of men and the doctrines of men. Tragically, many do not pass their time of testing in the wilderness, which in turn disqualifies them from their greater purposes foreordained of God for their lives. In His grace, He will often place us back into a wilderness experience, to again give us the opportunity to be refined by the fires of testing. It is when we then continually refuse to allow His refinement to take root, that we can forfeit His best intention for us, with respect to the calling upon our lives.
Within the Word, there are countless hidden nuggets of gold carefully veiled from us that no seminars or formal training can reveal to us, for these are reserved for those who persevere in the wilderness. As we wait with endurance, upon God, character is developed. Within this framework of solitude the mysteries of God’s Word begin taking root within us, and they take on new dimensions. These will be revealed in proportion to our willingness to cooperate with Him. God is very select in how and to whom He releases such revelations and mysteries. Every nugget that comes to light within you, ultimately becomes part of you, it is no longer just knowledge, which does little else but puff us up. This is how truly divine character is developed, and it is this process, this schooling, that constitutes what I refer to figuratively as The School of the Prophets (see Romans 5:1-5, Heb.10:35-36).
Every saint in Christ has both the option and the opportunity to rise to a level even beyond the holy ones that have gone before us (John 14:12). We rise to new levels in the Kingdom by personal choice, not by chance; these new levels are never randomly given, but rather the direct result of a heart that continually cries-out, “More Lord!” This heart-posture, without fail, will take us by the way of the Cross, a lonely and solitary path, the path that Jesus Himself trod, leading us into the way of life everlasting.
Edited by David Davenport.You may view more Anabaptist Connections articals at; www.anabaptistconnections.org