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September 13, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!’ But he was also afraid and said, ‘What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!’”—Genesis 28:16-17 (NLT)
Michael Todd, lead pastor of Transformation Church, succinctly defines revelation as “the revealing of truth.” It’s not the creation of something new, it’s the revealing of what has always been there.
God has always been here.
Do you sense the Lord around you right now? If we’re honest, it’s hard most days. There is so much whirling around us, so much chaos calling our names. It takes effort to be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7). But it can’t be overlooked that God often appears to us when we are still before Him. He furthers this and even reverses the common process of listening when He says, “Hear, O My people, and I will speak . . .” (Psalm 50:7 NKJV). Be still, listen, and then I will speak.
Likewise, it was after Elijah was obedient to go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord—patiently waiting through the hurrying winds, the chaotic quakes, and the refining fire—that he heard the Lord’s still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12).
So, what’s to keep us from hearing His voice?
Revelation usually comes in the still moments.
Similar to The Screwtape Letters, Ray Osborne wrote a story called Here’s Mud in Your Eye. And in it, there’s a story of Satan addressing concerns against the communion between God and man. He tells his demons to “keep [mankind] busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds . . . Over stimulate their minds so they cannot hear that still small voice.”
As I write this devotional in the middle of a COVID-19 quarantine, I can only barely remember a time when we were all “too busy.” Now we’re required to pause from all non-essential activities, forcing an unheard of rest across the country. What has that created or awoken in us? When the distraction retreats, what remains? I see more people out walking, community growing, people helping people, more dinners around the table, more self-reflection. Life-giving things are starting to spring up out of the stillness.
For many of us, this time is one of the stillest, darkest, and most self-reflective seasons. But we can still wait with expectant hope knowing that the Lord is always working, even in the silence. It’s in the wilderness, in the quiet rest of dependence, when the Lord provides manna for our soul (Exodus 16). When you sit still before the Lord, He will meet you there. “Surely the Lord is in this place!”
Revelation leads to transformation.
Matthew Henry says, “The more we see of God the more cause we see for holy trembling and blushing before him.” You cannot encounter the Lord and remain unchanged. Be still before the Lord. Be changed in His presence.
DIG: What is revelation?
DISCOVER: How, and when, has God revealed Himself to you?
DO: Set aside time this week to practice the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude in order to be still before the Lord.