REVELATION BY EXPERIENCE
“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:14
Understanding God’s word by experience is when you have walked in God’s word and in obedience for some significant period of years. This is when you have applied the letter of the word and the revelation of the letter for a long time to gain experience and know how to use the word in their proper sense and context. At this stage, God will take you through many things to practically open your eyes to the scriptures. So you go through an experience and suddenly your mind goes back to a scripture you have read and you say “uhhh! so this is what the bible was talking about when it said this or that.” Meanwhile, you probably had a different interpretation when you first read it. God uses that experience to change your perception about the scripture. This is to help you understand it better in its proper sense and context. You progress from knowing the acts of God to knowing his ways. This stage is where you get to experience a lot of what I call ‘Flashback revelation’ and the ‘Post experience revelation’.
Flashback revelation is when something happens that takes your mind to a scripture you have read before to give you a fresh and deeper interpretation of that scripture in the right context and sense.
Post experience revelation happens when you have lived a life of obedience and faith in the Lord for some time or years. At this period, when you pick up your bible to read over again, you start getting a fresh and a better understanding than the understanding you had when you earlier read it. This is because you can practically relate with what you are reading with a number of experiences you have had as a result of walking with God.
The longer you walk with God, the more your knowledge about him increases. Knowledge is progressive and truth is in levels.
Thus, you receive a lot of flashback revelation and post-experience revelation as you gain experience. Someone may then ask: “Does this mean the Holy Spirit lied by giving that earlier revelation you had?” The answer is No. At that time, that was the level of truth your level of maturity could handle. In 1 Corinthians 3:2, Paul said “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.” It was clear that Paul knew there was solid food yet he chose to give them milk because they had not matured yet to the level where they could consume solid food. So you have to understand that truth are in levels and revelation is progressive.
Furthermore, at this stage, you have the word in you so God teaches you a lot based on what you have in you. He usually does this through your trials and other experiences, whether good or bad. This is to make you become a master swordsman or a gladiator when it comes to the use of sword, which is the word of God. Personally, I believe your experiences in God, especially, at this level should humble and calm you down. Because you have gained understanding and can now see far where the “young men in the spirit” cannot see. I think Pastor Paula White gave the best example I can think of in comparing the young men in spirit and those who are mature and have experience in the word. Let me use a similar example to explain for you to see:
Let’s say Shakespeare and Oedipus are travelling to Texas on foot or in their private cars. Shakespeare has never been to Texas before but he has a map to direct him to Texas. Oedipus, however, does not have any map to Texas but he has been to Texas several times before. When they both set out for Texas at the same time, who do you think will be the first to get to Texas? Certainly, Oedipus will surely get to Texas far ahead of Shakespeare. This is because Oedipus has been there several times and he knows the route, while Shakespeare would have to stop at every point to study the map for direction. And what if a road on the map has been blocked by contractors or a fallen tree and the map did not show any alternate route?
This scenario is to tell us that although the “young men in spirit” may think they have the scriptures (the map), they do not have the road experience to get to their destination quickly without struggle. The experienced Christian has applied and tested the scriptures over and over, so it has become part of him. He has become the map or the scripture. So Paul said, “Ye are a letter from Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:3).