All the words in the Bible are spirit and life because they are all God-breathed. Why, then, do those living words sometimes leave us uninspired and lifeless when we read or listen to them? If we have an ear to listen and an eye that longs to see the Living Word revealed by the written word, why do we so often come away from our devotional session feeling dull and dry?
One possible explanation can be gleaned from a fragment of that wonderful intercourse our Lord Jesus had with His own in the upper room just before He accomplished our redemption. He spoke to them of the great desire in His heart to communicate His love and life to them and the absolute necessity He had to wait patiently on their dormant capacity. He had so much to share, but they were not ready to receive it; they could not carry it; they could not take it in. He saw the sleeping possibilities of a future unveiling of Himself to them, but until they were prepared to receive it, they must be content with revelation in the bud.
If the revelation of the Lord waits patiently for the maturing of our capacities, what can we do to speed up the process? Should we study more diligently? Should we cry out to God to increase our capacity? Should we become more involved in the work of the Lord? What is our part in developing a capacity that would answer to His great desire to fill us with His truth and treasures — yes! — even the revelation of Himself?
Jesus, saying to us, “I have many more things to say to you but you cannot bear them now” is not the same thing, for example, as music or astronomy or art saying to us, “I have many more things to say to you but you cannot bear them now.” The capacity to understand and enjoy music or astronomy depends upon enlarging the mental or aesthetic capacity by diligent study and training. Music Appreciation courses can only begin to bend the ear to catch the cunning subtleties and majestic combinations of tone, harmonies and brilliant themes of a musical composition. The true artist is able to discern the mysteries of shade and light and the hidden glory of the marriage of certain colors and hue, while the nonartistic capacity cannot bear it. The secrets of the galaxies wait for the discovery of the more powerful lens to enable greater observation, and the scientific mind to analyze and interpret what has been magnified. Is that what is needed to increase the spiritual capacity? More study? More academics? A greater accumulation of data?
It is not the dictionary, concordance or the lexicon that will enlarge the Christian’s capacity to behold the glory of the Lord. His revelation does not wait upon our academic capacity. As soon as Jesus said, “I have many more things to say to you but you cannot bear them now,” He continued by saying, “But when He, the spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” He did not promise a guidepost; He promised a Guide. As a Guide, God is doing one of two things in the lives of those who desire to worship Him in spirit and in truth. He is either revealing the Lord Jesus to our hearts, or He is preparing our hearts for the next revelation of the Lord Jesus. Our Guide engineers every circumstance of our lives to bring us into a greater union with the Lord Jesus. We only trust the Lord when we must. We always must! His revelation will ever wait upon our capacity to receive Him. Life is preparing us to behold the one who called Himself “the Truth and the Life.” We know Him by knowing Him — our vision is enlarged by seeing. As we appropriate the revelation of the Lord, we are enabled to appropriate a greater revelation of the Lord. He will only share what we can bear.
I have many things to share with you
But you can’t bear them now;
I have treasures from the darkness to bestow!
I have gospel to declare to you,
And blessings to endow;
Sacred springs, from which the living waters flow!
There is light I long to shine on you,
When you can take it in.
There are heights above the power of your wing.
Mysteries, I will untwine for you,
Concerning where you’ve been;
Songs, you now have no capacity to sing!
I have counsels to confide in you,
And secrets to explore;
There are riches I am anxious to impart;
There are promises applied to you,
When you’re ready, I will open up my heart!
As a mother stares intently in her baby’s hungry eyes,
Pouring out herself to one, so unaware—
So, the Lord beholds His children who are slow to realize—
Welling over with the love He longs to share!