SIX STAGES OF REVELATION
In a confused and misdirected world, God promises revelation knowledge to His followers. This means He will reveal divine plans, wisdom, and knowledge in the circumstances of life:
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)
When God reveals a plan, there are six stages through which you pass in the development of that revelation. These stages are evident in Luke 1:26-47. These Scriptures record the revelation of God given to Mary that she was to become the mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
In this story there are six stages through which Mary passes as God's plan is revealed to her. These stages may be observed in the revelation of any plan of God to man. They are stages through which you will pass as you receive revelation knowledge of His plan for your life.
STAGE ONE: VEXATION
And the angel came in unto her. . .and when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. (Luke 1:28-29)
When the angel first appeared to Mary, she was troubled or vexed in her spirit. Whenever God wants to give new guidance, you often experience vexation. He permits you to be troubled by the circumstances of life in order to gain your attention.
Perhaps you are questioning perplexing circumstances around you. You have been troubled and not understood why certain things were happening to upset your life. God is trying to gain your attention. If you are happy and content in present circumstances you will not seek Him for new direction. This is why He allows you to be troubled in this first stage of revelation.
STAGE TWO: REVELATION
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son and shalt call His name Jesus. (Luke 1:30-31)
When God gains your attention through vexation, He will reveal His plan to you. This is the second stage of revelation:
Call upon me and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3)
A troubled spirit caused Mary to focus her attention on God then He revealed His plan. She was to be the mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
STAGE THREE: HESITATION
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (Luke 1:34)
Mary hesitates to accept this great revelation. She questions, "How shall this be?"
When God reveals new direction for your life you are often overwhelmed. You may feel unqualified. You may feel it is too great a step of faith to take. You will think of rational reasons why the plan cannot work. You will hesitate and question God.
Two things happen in the stage of hesitation:
-You present your questions, reasons, and excuses.
-God answers these with details of His plan.
Some people hesitate longer than others. Some people spend years in the hesitation stage thinking up excuses and reasons why they cannot accept the revelation God has given.
But if you do not eventually move on from hesitation you will never see the fulfillment of God's revelation.
STAGE FOUR: RESIGNATION
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. . . (Luke 1:38)
Mary moves quickly from hesitation to resignation to the plan of God. This means she resigns her will to God's plan. She gives up her own plans and desires and accepts God's new direction for her life.
STAGE FIVE: VERIFICATION
And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. (Luke 1:45)
In the verification stage, God verifies or confirms His plan. Mary becomes pregnant and the revelation is verified in her own body. If you resign your will to the revelation of God's plan, it will not be long until you receive verification of that plan.
STAGE SIX: EXALTATION
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord. (Luke 1:46)
Mary rejoices in the plan of God! Read her complete exaltation of God in Luke 1:46-55.
When you accept the plan of God for your life it will always bring happiness and result in exaltation of God.
Following God's plan does not mean you will be without problems. In the natural world, Mary had a real problem. She was pregnant without being married. But the plan of God is greater than any temporary suffering which it involves. In the end, it always brings joy and exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A FINAL WORD--LISTEN FOR HIS VOICE
As you listen for this voice, remember His promise:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11)
God will continue to guide you until death:
For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death. (Psalms 48:14)
His guidance will continue in the new heaven and earth:
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Revelation 7:17)
God is not silent. If you listen, His voice can be heard above the noise and confusion of all the voices of earth. God speaks and you can know His voice:
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work TO DO HIS WILL, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Study the pattern of the six stages of revelation in the lives of Moses and Gideon:
Moses: Exodus 1-15
Vexation: Experienced in Egypt (killed an Egyptian)
Revelation: Burning bush
Hesitation: Man of slow speech
Resignation: Decides to go
Verification: Miracles before Pharaoh
Exaltation: Joy after crossing Red Sea
Gideon: Judges 6
Vexation: Threshing wheat; pours out vexation in verse 13
Revelation: Angel appeared in verse 12 and 14
Hesitation: "Family poor, I am the least" verse 15
Resignation: Verse 17
Verification: "Shew me a sign" verses 17 through 23
Exaltation: Verse 24. Builds an altar and praises God.
Can you find other examples of this pattern in God's Word?