What Is the Difference Between Revelation and Understanding?

by | Jun 28, 2022 | Purpose & Identity, Spirit-Led Living

“I got a word from the Lord, but I don’t understand it.” “I’m feeling called in this direction, but I’m waiting for full understanding before I act on it.”

These and statements like them are common during that all-too-familiar waiting time between a word being given and its fulfillment. We hold on to words and wait for the pieces we don’t see—the gaps in our understanding—to become visible.

While this comes from a great place (and we certainly don’t want to act rashly and without prayerful consideration), sometimes in our wait for understanding we miss understanding. We treat understanding and revelation like they are one and the same, but there’s a distinct difference between the two: experience.

Revelations are wonderful gifts from the Lord. They are those instantaneous “Aha!” moments in which God downloads into our hearts and minds an understanding or vision that we could not have possibly arrived at on our own. While these revelations happened in the Bible, they weren’t the only way God chose to communicate. In fact, far more often we see God use life experiences. He had prophets live their prophetic words. Jesus taught in parables. God used dreams with symbols that related to things they understood in the natural. God hasn’t changed.

What if I told you that sometimes God needs us to move with Him in order to gain understanding instead of waiting on understanding in order to move? As a parent, I find myself parroting the phrase I heard from my parents growing up, “When you’re a parent, you’ll understand.” While this was the last thing my teenage self wanted to hear, I recognize from the other side that it was truth. There are certain elements of wisdom and understanding that only experience can impart. So what wisdom are we missing by remaining stuck? What understanding is there to gain from recognizing what God is teaching us right now through our experiences?

The only way to know God’s answers to those questions is to ask Him. Think of the understanding that you’re waiting to receive from the Lord. Ask Him, “What are You teaching me through what I am experiencing?”

Also ask, “In what areas do You need me to move forward in faith in order for me to gain understanding?” After all, faith is the substance of what’s hoped for and not yet seen. If understanding comes by experience, then something not yet seen is also not yet experienced. Let us be willing to be led by the Lord by faith, even when our understanding is not yet complete.

Sara Whitten is the author of Uncommon Vessels as well as a speaker, equipper and the founder of Arrows of Zion Ministry. She and her husband are pastors for the youth of Impact Christian Fellowship in Kerrville, Texas. Sara is a prophetic writer who is featured on the Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, Charisma and more. She hosts Hear God Every Day on the Charisma Podcast Network, a podcast with tools to help amplify the voice of God amidst the noise of everyday life. Visit her website at arrowsofzion.com.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA APP.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Young, old, rich or poor—nobody is immune to the feeling of brokenness. Jesus' life, death and resurrection on earth is a constant reminder that death no longer has a sting. Fear and hopelessness lurk throughout the earth trying to find an opportune moment to consume...

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Actor Kevin Sorbo is known today for his roles in faith-based movies, like "God's Not Dead" and "Left Behind," but the iconic "Hercules" star's Christian roots took form at an early age. Sorbo recently told CBN's "Faith vs. Culture" he first read the prophetic book of...

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

In this article, cessationism refers to the doctrine, practice or belief that the ascension ministry gifts and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit ceased with the early church and do not function in the present church age (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12: 4-11). The...

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

We all have the same amount of time—four hours a day, seven days a week. And the longer I live, the more I discover that time is too valuable for us to waste any of it. That’s why it is so important that we learn to live on purpose, for a purpose. The truth is if you...

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

This article was first released by Curt Landry Ministries. Note: This is the first of a two-part series of articles. When you enter heaven's courtroom to do spiritual warfare, you are asking that the will of God, what is written in His books, be released from heaven...

The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

Monday night, Jan. 2, 2023, God drew our nation to prayer as Bills player Damar Hamlin experienced cardiac arrest on live tv. Could this have been the largest spontaneous prayer meeting in the history of our nation—beginning with players on the field, spreading to...

RECENT ARTICLES

Mario Murillo: ‘What I Have Said About Kat Kerr and Robin Bullock Stands’

Perhaps you read my previous blog entitled "Mario, where have you been?" I went through a fiery ordeal before I obeyed God and wrote it. I thought, "Why should I wade into such controversy and incur...
Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Read Time: 4 Minutes 43 Seconds Of the many artificial sweeteners out there, such as aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sugar Twin and Sweet’N Low) and neotame (NutraSweet), aspartame is one of the most common. How common? Aspartame is an ingredient in more...

Messianic Rabbi: The Problem with Paul

Messianic Rabbi: The Problem with Paul

Read Time: 3 Minutes 36 Seconds I cannot tell you the number of conversations that I have participated in, or the number of sermons or Bible studies I have heard, where someone made the statement, “The problem with Paul is…” and then the person made a definitive...

Charisma Media archives

Pin It on Pinterest