Revelation Resources by Katie Smylie
You have probably seen the big reveal at the end of a home renovation show. Perhaps you have even gone to a gender reveal party to learn whether a friend's baby will be a boy or a girl. As the surprise is revealed, cute gimmicks and the anticipation of it all turn relatively common events into something quite dramatic. Scripture says that believers in Jesus reveal Him, but this happens naturally as the Holy Spirit transforms their lives. There are no curtains being pulled back or fireworks exploding, rather as Christians go about the routines and relationships in their lives, they display the character of their Savior. By living and breathing, they reveal Christ and the truth about the Son of God who came to save the lost and redeem the world.
As the Spring Training series came to a conclusion, we looked at the spiritual discipline of revelation—believers living like Jesus for the glory of God. As we mature as a follower of Jesus, we cannot help but see the ways our thoughts, words and actions bring the very presence of Christ to a broken world. In 2 Corinthians, Paul describes it this way,
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. (2 Corinthians 2:14—17 ESV).
Just as by sitting in my backyard, I can smell my neighbor's fragrant jasmine vines, by moving about our neighborhoods, cities and workplaces our very lives can give off the aroma of Jesus. God chose human beings to bear His image. And we take Him with us wherever we go. In the grocery store we are revealing Christ, as we use our spiritual gifts, but also as we pick out birthday gifts. As we see in the book of Colossians, Christ is over all things and in Him, all things hold together.
How do we encourage our own pursuit of the discipline of revelation? It's less a list of things we can do and more a sense of who we ought to be. In that regard, one powerful step to revealing Christ accurately might be to become more self-aware. What are my habits, patterns and inclinations that 'smell' more of myself than the fragrance of Christ? Where do I see God at work in the people and places around me? How can I more fully enter into that work? You might think, "So wait, in order to reveal Jesus, I need to think more about mySELF?" And the answer might be, "yes." Yes to asking God to show you places you need to lean into humility. Yes to asking God to show you where you need to apologize. And yes to asking God to show you where you need to grow in grace. Not to be a better person or to show off more of yourself, but to show off the Jesus who gave you life and has good works for you to do.
Looking to expand your pursuit of the revelation of Christ? Try reading The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence or The Gospel Comes with a House Key, by Rosaria Butterfield. If you are a mother of children like me, you might be interested to see how one mom opened up the routines of her life to reveal Christ: Just Open the Door, by Jen Schmidt. Try listening to the book of James on repeat in your car or reading biographies to get ideas on how God might use you in unique ways to bring his truth to the world around you.