Revelation and Response:
Your One-Two Punch For Victory
Did you ever expect to read about the sport of boxing on The Choice Driven Life? I didn’t expect to write about it. But when I researched the meaning of a “one-two punch,” I saw how boxing provides a vivid example of the importance of our response to revelation.
So exactly what is a “one-two” punch? It’s a combination of two blows delivered in rapid succession especially a left lead followed by a right cross. Can you visualize those boxers? Stick with me. I believe you will be blessed. The year is 1927. Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey are competing for the heavyweight championship of the world. Each fighter has prepared for weeks, disciplining mind and body into peak condition. The starting bell dings three times and the match is on. Tunney and Dempsey face one another. The match begins in earnest with each competitor relentlessly throwing his best combinations of punches. Now imagine that Tunney throws a spectacular left punch, sending Dempsey staggering, and then stops.
Tunney is really kind of amazed at how well he placed that punch. In fact, he is so pleased that he returns to his corner, to think about that wonderful left he just threw. Oblivious to the fans booing, he sits back and closes his eyes to analyse what he did to execute that left punch so well. “Wait a minute,” you say, “That makes no sense at all. Tunney would finish what he started. He would follow his left punch with a right cross.” And so it is with revelation and response. Revelation is powerful, but to have the victory, we need to combine revelation with response. But just what is revelation?
What Is Revelation?
Revelation is an “aha” moment sent from God. It’s a missing insight that perfectly fills a gap in our understanding of a thing. Because there are gaps in our understanding, it’s impossible to be aware of what we don’t know. Sometimes God imparts revelation to give us a deeper understanding of Himself through His Word. Have you ever had a scripture that you were very familiar with jump off the page? Although you had read it many times before, that scripture suddenly was in neon lights right before your eyes.
That is revelation and God has given you a deeper awareness so that now you are equipped to respond. Sometimes, what we experience as irritation or frustration is instead a gap in our understanding. Our irritation serves to highlight an area in which we have a need for revelation of how God sees things. For example, your friend’s bragging is so annoying that you find it increasingly difficult to have a relationship with her.
But while in prayer, God gives you an “aha,” a deep understanding of your friend’s insecurity. With the revelation you have been given, you can respond to your friend in love. You are able to see her as God does. In these two examples, revelation came through either God’s Word or during prayer. But sparks of revelation can come through many sources.
Does God Use Only Spiritual Tools to Spark Revelation?
Christian and writer, C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying “All truth is God’s truth.” Your experiences to-date, have prepared you to receive revelation for this hour. God can use secular books, conversations and experiences to his own purposes. God knows all of our days before one of them comes to be; He orders our steps; and He works all things together for our good.
The sum total of our experiences contains the seeds of what God wants to reveal to us. Any experience that awakens our desire for God’s truth can also make us receptive to the revelation he has for us today. Revelation that is from God will always agree with His written word. So we know that revelation is from God and that He can use any source from our lives to spark it. When we have received that initial punch of revelation, next it’s time for the “two” of the “one-two” punch. It’s time to respond to what has been revealed.
Must Revelation Be Followed By Response?
Of course, we need to respond to what God reveals to us. It is only through response that we exercise our faith and come to an ever-deeper knowledge of God and conformance to His purposes for our lives. A friend related this story to me: She had closed down a successful business and was not sure what she would do next. Daily she confessed, “Whatever I set my hand to shall prosper”(Proverbs 16:3).
After about 18 months, nothing had changed. One day God gave her the revelation that although she was in faith about the scripture, she was not “setting her hand” to anything. There was nothing there for God to prosper. She responded to this revelation by joining a business group, and setting up an online business. She could have allowed even more time to pass, and not responded to that revelation, waiting for God to speak. But He had already spoken. What is it that keeps us from responding to revelation?
What Prevents Us From Responding?
Here are a few of the common reasons that we don’t respond to revelation:
1. We don’t recognize revelation as revelation.
2. We receive revelation but choose not to respond.
3. We receive revelation but are not sure how to respond.
4. We receive revelation and then forget what was revealed.
5.We’re on the lookout for the next big revelation and our current insights and responses drop by the wayside.
None of these reasons are worth missing out on the wonderful things God wants to show us. Our response to revelation makes the difference between living a ho-hum existence and living an exciting adventure. What can we do to respond consistently?
How Can We Consistently Deliver The One-Two Punch?
Respond in God’s strength. Everything we do, we do with God’s help. He does not call us to any action for which He does not or will not equip us.
Respond quickly. It is good discipline and builds our faith to respond and then watch God work.
Be accountable. If it’s okay with God to share the revelation, ask a spouse or trusted advisor to hold you accountable for the response you need to take.
Write it down. Some revelations unfold over time and link together. When you write down revelations, you can go back and review them, reminding yourself of what God has revealed. Just as no competitive boxer would try to fight using a single punch over and over or pause to reflect on his first punch, so we need the combination of revelation followed by response in order to secure the victory.
You are fully equipped to be a knockout force against the powers of darkness. You have been anointed to deliver a “one-two” punch. There are people attached to your responses to the revelations God has given you. Think about some of the things God has shown you and ask Him to help you to respond. Then do it!