One key to receiving greater revelation from God is found in cultivating a heart of surrender. You’ll begin to hear God speak more clearly through His Word and indwelling Spirit. But the main issue of surrender is not so much about our sins or bad habits (we should surrender those, too); it has more to do with our relationship with Him. To see this, let’s look at Jesus first.
When Jesus went to the Temple and taught, the Jewish leaders marveled, saying, “How did this man acquire such knowledge? He wasn’t trained in our schools—who taught him?” Notice how Jesus responds…
16 “I don’t teach my own ideas, but the truth revealed to me by the One who sent me. 17 If you want to test my teachings and discover where I received them, first be passionate to do God’s will, and then you will be able to discern if my teachings are from the heart of God or from my own opinions.18 Charlatans praise themselves and seek honor from men, but my Father sent me to speak truth on his behalf. And I have no false motive, because I seek only the glory of God. (John 7:16-18 TPT *)
This advice is still applicable today. And it gets to the heart of receiving revelation. Motive. As the New King James translation says, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know….”
This may seem a bit like driving into the fog at first, but when our motive becomes God-centered, with an attitude of surrendering everything that gets in the way, our thinking becomes uncluttered for Him to pour out His wisdom on us.
You see, Jesus didn’t get His understanding from a seminary or under a Rabbi’s tutelage; He got it directly from His Father. Not that education is bad, but it should be secondary to our personal knowledge of God, and that’s only found in an intimate and cooperative relationship with Him.
For instance, we should let the Bible study us instead of us studying it.
Jesus said that His words “are spirit, and they are life”; many people didn’t receive His words back then, and many still don’t today. Why? Because His words must be “spiritually discerned” (John 6:63-64; 1 Cor.2:10-14).
Nevertheless, Jesus said His sheep will hear His voice and will not follow another (John 10:3-5). It’s normal to hear His voice. The point here is, we can’t follow someone we can’t hear. And one of the reasons we have trouble hearing is because of the “self-talk” that clutters our thoughts and brings confusion.
We can declutter our mind by surrendering our contrary thoughts to God. We take them captive (see 2 Cor.10:4-5). Here are just a few thoughts you and I should probably take captive and surrender:
- My past, my self-hatred, self-pity (2 Cor.5:17; Col.3:3)
- My shame, guilt, sin-consciousness (thinking more about what I’m not, rather than who I am in Christ)
- My thinking God is disappointed with me (you won’t get close to someone you think is disappointed with you).
- My hiding from God (behind religious activity)
- My mindset of separation and distance from God (1 Cor.6:19; Eph.2:4-6)
- My fears (what might happen if…, stepping out of my comfort zone, disqualifying myself from the promises of God).
- My expectations (my need to have everything figured out beforehand, control)
- My unforgiveness, conditional love (Matt.6:14-15;18:21-35; John 15:12)
- My judgmentalism, one-sided grace (Matt.7:12)
- My finances (worry and lack – Matt.6:31-34)
- My not letting God dismantle my current doctrines (rigid dogmatism)
- My complacency (no forward momentum, spiritual growth)
- My joylessness (lack of awareness of presence – Psalm 16:11; John 15:9-11).
When we do surrender these things (and anything else you and I can add to the list), then our mind can become uncluttered and our heart will be at rest so we can hear from God.
7 then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. (Phil.4:7 TPT)
An attitude of surrender leads to great faith; and this great faith will cause you to walk in a lifestyle of tremendous revelation.