But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11-12)
Paul did not preach the messages he heard someone else preaching. He taught the “revelation of Jesus Christ” that he received from the Holy Spirit during the time he was hidden away in Arabia.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. (Galatians 1:15-18)
There are far too many preachers today who are repeating what they have heard someone else say. Paul said that it was God who revealed Jesus to him. We do not know if this was just in prayer or through meditating in the Word, but we do know the revelation he taught was revealed by God. It seems that most people in today are only speaking what they have heard someone else say. Their heart is in the right place, but they are missing a personal revelation that can only come through spending much time with God. We saw in Romans 12:1 that God desires for us to become living sacrifices. If we have not completely surrendered to Him then why would He reveal His plans and purposes to us when would probably run out to accomplish them in our own abilities and mess things up? He must be able to trust us with His precious things and revealing them to us in an unsubmitted condition would be equal to putting a bite of steak in a baby’s mouth. Jesus told his disciples not to depart until they received the power of the Holy Spirit because He knew that if they went out before then they would like fail. A person who steps out in the plans and purposes of God will have a huge target placed on them by Satan. Satan will do everything in his power to keep us from accomplishing the plan of God for our lives. He does this by stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10:10) any of us that he can. It seems that a lot of Christians can go through life without opposition because they have never submitted themselves to God and are walking in sync with the devil! The devil is not short-handed and when submit to God and present ourselves a living sacrifice, He will mold us into a usable vessel that will get the devil’s attention.
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26)
Satan’s focus is on people who are walking in the plans and purposes of God because they are the ones doing the most damage to his Kingdom. God is not hiding His will from us but He will only reveal what we are able to handle. The reason for this is that He doesn’t want us to discover the whole plan when we are not spiritually ready to embrace it by faith because this will end up with us trying to accomplish the plan in our own efforts. When we are not walking by faith and trying to do things in our own efforts, we will not be able to stand strong when opposition and criticism comes our way. God wants each one of us to succeed and not be destroyed so He will not put us in a position we are not ready to handle. Our flesh will not always want to wait but we need to understand that God loves us and will move in our lives at the levels we are able to receive. God is love (1 John 4:8) and everything we receive from His is a result of His love for us. He is not a hard taskmaster like Satan who will use up and then discard us! We have way too many in the Church today who were in a hurry and have achieved some levels of success by riding on someone else’s coattail or knocking down doors they were not ready to walk through. This is a path that will end up in misery and my prayer is that we will have the patience to walk out His plan as it is revealed to us. This goes against the natural order of things which seeks for instant gratification, but it is the way He leads us. We serve a God who is merciful when we make mistakes and turn to Him for forgiveness, but it is much better to do things in His timing and not need to cry out for mercy! One of the reasons that it takes time for us to discover and step into the plan of God is because we must first allow the Holy Spirit to increase our spiritual capacity to receive. This was we will not be overcome by the enormity of what God has planned for us!
I believe that God’s will for each of us is that we first become living sacrifices. This is the starting point in our journey to discover the will of God for our lives. If we are unable to surrender to Him and die to our self-nature and selfish ambitions, we will be able to fulfill the plan that God has for our lives. People fray for God to open doors and use them when they should be presenting themselves to Him as living sacrifices willing to be consumed by His presence. It is when we place ourselves on His alter that we experience what the old-timers used to call “dying to self”. This is not a popular subject but can any of us imagine a sacrifice that has been placed on the altar changing their mind? The sacrifice is at the mercy of the person who is sacrificing it! In the same way, when we place ourselves on God’s altar as living sacrifices, we are surrendering everything to Him. The flesh fights against this because it does not want to die. Our self-nature is something each of us were born with. Anyone who spends any time observing a new born baby can attest to this. A baby is sweet but also totally focused on his or her needs. They will not think twice about their parents needing sleep when they cry at night. Babies are one-hundred percent self-centered and it is sad that so many people are still focused on their needs even though they should have grown up. This is especially prevalent in the Church today and I believe a large reason is that we have forgotten how to present ourselves as living sacrifices on the altar of God. We are going to have to overcome the flesh by dying to our self-nature if we are going to discover and walk out the plan of God for our lives.
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