Years ago, my wife Bron was chatting with another woman after a bible study they both attended. She had just asked this rather petite young mother what she did before she had kids.
“I’m an electrical engineer”, she replied.
“Oh!”, said Bron, “So I guess you can like, fix a toaster?”
“Well yes”, she answered,” but actually, I used to design missile tracking systems for NASA.”
Bron’s perception of her immediately changed. Just the answer to one little question suddenly transformed her understanding of this quiet young mother. Revelation has the power to transform both our understanding and appreciation of a person or situation.
I mentioned in last weeks blog: “How to love God”,
“that we express our love (to God) through obedience and God expresses his love through self-revelation.”
Interestingly though, our obedience is also a form of revelation. It reveals something of our inner heart. When we obey God’s commands we are submitting ourselves to him and in so doing, we are acknowledging that he is Lord. It’s a precious thing to God and whilst it’s simply what he deserves, it is nonetheless freely given and neither goes unnoticed nor unrewarded.
And what is God’s reward?
21 “The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:21)
23 “My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23)
You may ask, why the subtle difference here? I think it’s the development of an important point. You see, whilst you can have ‘presence’ without ‘revelation’ (i.e. something is there but hidden), you cannot have ‘revelation’ without ‘presence’.
Revelation (manifest) is the natural expression of love. To love someone will naturally result in you revealing or disclosing something of yourself to them. And God does this in a most personal way, he comes to us and abides in us. His makes himself at home in our heart.
Our ultimate reward here is the promise of his presence. The presence of his Spirit within.
As we reveal our love to God through obedience, he reveals his love to us through his presence!