Are You Comfortable With Second-Hand Revelation?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Are You Comfortable With Second-Hand Revelation?When I was a boy, my grandmother would take the long Greyhound bus trip from the San Francisco Bay area to the little mountain town of Quincy up in the Sierra Nevada mountains to visit us. She was a pistol of a lady, was smart, deeply loved God and wasn't afraid to tell it like she saw it. I remember listening to her talk about the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early 1900's. She was a first-hand witness of a great revival that birthed the greatest missionary movement in our history. She told of encounters with the Holy Spirit that they had never experienced before. She witnessed miraculous healing and saw whole families come to know Christ. She told me to never settle for what she experienced back then, to not be satisfied until I had my own first-hand experience of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Read chapter 3 of 1 Samuel. There is something profound, yet tragic in the story of the young boy Samuel and Eli, the High Priest. For a little background on this story, read my blog post on "Positioning Yourself to Hear God's Voice." The next morning, after God spoke to Samuel, Eli summons him to tell him everything that God said. What is tragic is that the night before, when he realized that the Lord was speaking to Samuel, Eli stayed right where he was and let the boy do the listening for him. Eli goes back to sleep and waits until morning to get a second-hand account of what God said. In verse 1 we are told that the word of the Lord was rare and that there were not many visions in those days. I think it if it were me, I might have knocked Samuel over trying to be the first one back to the temple to hear God's voice. But he didn't. Eli was comfortable with second-hand revelation. Samuel was different. That wasn't good enough for him. He only settled for first-hand, personal revelation.

Are You Comfortable With Second-Hand Revelation?
After hearing my grandmother's stories about the great outpouring of the early 1900's I found myself growing up with a burning desire to experience that for myself. It wasn't good enough to live off her experience. Sadly, many today are comfortable just reading about other people's encounter with God and never experience it for themselves. We have become a hand-me-down generation of Christians. Jesus told the disciples not to settle for what they experienced while he was with them. He told them they would do even greater things. They hadn't seen anything yet. The best was yet to come.

Let's be a generation of believers that has a burning desire to see even greater things happen than did with previous generations. My prayer is that we would never settle for second-hand revelation, but would only be comfortable with our own first-hand encounter with God.


Cheryl Smith said...

Wow David, I've read the story of Samuel and Eli dozens of times but have never considered the implications of second hand revelation.

Poignant phrase, "hand-me-down generation of Christians."

David Good said...

Thank you, Cheryl. This is something the Lord has been showing me recently. I too, had never looked at this story that way.

Don Parish said...

There is a great disconnect for, well I don't know most Christians, so let's just say the ones that I have met. The disconnect is that they idealize and even iconize the "revelations" (revival, outpouring, whatever) of the past and want to identify with them to the point that they truly are not interested in a fresh revelation.

Of course, a fresh revelation will COST them something, so perhaps they are just being honest.

Things that make you go, "hmmmm."

Phil Duncalfe said...

Thanks for this post David. I think part of the lack of revelation on our part is our trouble with sitting still and praying and waiting on God. Seeking God is a hard thing to do, especially when we are so used to getting what we want straight away. The whole concept of waiting on God and listening for His revelation is so foreign.

Great insights into Samuel. I've never made that connection between Eli and Samuel before.

David Good said...

You are so right Don. We tend to get fascinated with the ark instead of the presence of God who inhabited the ark. Israel hadn't even noticed that God's presence had departed.

Phil - it is always a challenge to hear God's still voice. God never stops speaking, we just stop positioning ourselves to be in a place where we are listening. Thanks for your comments.

inspiredword said...

Great post. I think the problem we have today is that people are not preapred to pay the price for first hand revelation. God bless

inspiredword said...

Hi David, seen you have been studying about Eli l thought this post on another blog of mine might be of interest to you.

David Good said...

Thanks for sharing your link inspiredword. Good post and thoughts.

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