But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
— 1 Corinthians 2:10
For years I searched for a way to reach the very large elderly population in Moscow, Russia, where we live. They are a very specific generation, and I had never understood the key to touching them in large numbers. I knew there was a way to do it, but I didn’t know that way. To be honest, I had nearly bent my brain trying to think of how “I” could reach them! I didn’t realize it at that time, but I had worked so hard thinking on my own that I hadn’t involved the Holy Spirit very much in obtaining the answer!
I’ll never forget the day I looked out the living room window of our apartment in downtown Moscow — and there on the street that ran parallel to the Kremlin was a massive demonstration of pensioners, widows, and elderly, looking like they were having the greatest party of their lives! Some of them were carrying signs with Communist slogans like they did in the old Soviet Union. Some even carried huge photos of Lenin and Stalin, waving them over the heads of the crowd.
As I leaned out our window to get a better glimpse, I heard music from the Soviet era being played, and I saw that many of these pensioners were actually dancing in the streets to the music. Although most people in the West remember Communism as an evil entity, these elderly people grew up in the USSR and remembered it as the time of their youth. They were reveling in the memories of earlier times when they were younger and life seemed easier than it had become in their old age.
I told Denise, “I want to go downstairs, get out on the street, and experience those elderly people!” Within minutes, I had my winter coat on; I pressed the button on our elevator to take me down to the street; and I nearly flew out of the door of our building to quickly join that big demonstration. My eagerness to join the pensioners on the streets wasn’t because I agreed with Communist dogma; I just wanted to share the experience with these thousands of lively elderly people!
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When I stepped into the huge throng of senior citizens, I suddenly found myself engulfed by elderly people who were behaving like teenagers. All around me was a mass of white-haired senior citizens who had seized the moment to step into earlier memories of life in the USSR. For several hours, they really “whooped it up” on the central street of downtown Moscow! It was so invigorating to see them enraptured in their memories that I lingered among them until several hours had passed and the crowd finally began to dwindle down. As I walked home toward our apartment, the streets were covered with confetti and large banners with Soviet slogans that lay scattered on the ground.
As I stood there pondering the whole experience, I cried out, “Holy Spirit, please show me how to reach this generation!” Before I got back to our apartment, God had marvelously opened my heart and mind to a new idea of how to reach this older generation, and before I stepped back into our elevator, God had given me a plan to reach them. He imparted to me a revelation that when later acted on, enabled us to build what is now one of the largest senior adult ministries in the world.
It all began with an idea from the Holy Spirit that was birthed in my heart when I was not expecting it. It had started out as just an ordinary day that then developed into an unusual set of circumstances that I shared with thousands of elderly people. And in the midst of that unexpected situation, suddenly the Spirit of God showed me something to do that I had never thought of before. It was like a supernatural beam penetrated my mind, and I could see what to do. Since that moment, years of fruit born from the implementation of that idea have proven that it truly was a revelation from the Lord.
I had always prayed for a way to reach the senior population in Moscow because they represented such a large part of the city. But I would have never been smart enough to dream up the idea that the Holy Spirit dropped into my heart that afternoon on the streets of Moscow. And not only did the Holy Spirit give me an inspired idea, but He also injected me with the courage I needed to obey it. In one split second, I had both the idea and the courage to do what the Holy Spirit had shown me. Insight for the plan and the faith to move forward on it came simultaneously, and the outcome in the years since that moment has been truly profound. Through this outreach that was birthed in my heart in that moment years ago, many thousands of senior citizens have gotten saved and experienced the love of God. The path to reaching them was so simple and so powerful, yet I had never seen it before that moment.
Very often we think so long and hard about how to do certain things that need to be done — when all along, the Holy Spirit knows exactly how to do it. The Holy Spirit sees and knows everything. He knows the key to every heart. He knows the secret to every success, whether in ministry, education, family, or anything else. If we will listen to Him, the Holy Spirit will reveal exactly what we need to know for every situation we face in life. The question is — are we listening?
In First Corinthians 2:9, Paul wrote of the restrictions normally placed on our minds, but in First Corinthians 2:10, He told us that part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to remove those restrictions so we can see what we normally could not see on our own. He says, “But God hath revealed them [hidden things] unto us by His Spirit.…”
The word “revealed” is the Greek word apokalupsis. The root word is kalupsis, which describes something that is veiled or hidden to the human eye and mind. It is there, but it isn’t seeable or knowable. It’s like an entire lawn that is beautiful, green, and landscaped, but because the curtains inside the house are closed, you are unaware of the beauty that is right outside for you to see.
But in First Corinthians 2:10, the word apo is added to the front of the word kalupsis, and that little addition of apo means the curtain that once hid our view has been removed. Suddenly what was unseen becomes visible, and what was hidden becomes revealed. This is the reason apokalupsis is translated as something revealed or as a revelation. And Paul stated that this was a strategic part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry — to take hidden things that we cannot know on our own and reveal them to us.
On that day when the Holy Spirit spoke to me on the streets of Moscow, it was as if He held the strings on an invisible curtain that had blocked my ability to see how to reach that older population. When I cried out to Him for answers, He lifted that curtain, and I instantly saw what I had never seen. In a split second, I had an answer to a question I had been asking for years. It wasn’t something I sat around and concocted on my own; it was something revealed to me as the Spirit removed the invisible veil that had separated me from the answer I had been seeking.
God has blessed our ministry enormously over the years, and I am the first to tell you it isn’t because we are so smart. If Denise and I have done anything right, we have listened. We discovered that if we’ll remember to ask the Holy Spirit for help, He will always be there to show us that which we’re not smart enough to figure out on our own.
I don’t know what answer you’ve been seeking, but I know who has the answer! The Holy Spirit sees everything and knows everything — including those things that your mind would never see or know on its own. Perhaps you’ve been seeking answers about your marriage, your business, your children, an important relationship — the list could go on and on. You may have been seeking answers for years, but you just couldn’t see what to do.
In my own case, all those years the Holy Spirit had the answer I had been seeking, but I was so busy trying to brainstorm ideas by myself that I hadn’t allowed the Holy Spirit to operate in His revealing ministry on my behalf.
Today I want to encourage you to open your heart to the Holy Spirit in a new way. He is present with you right now, holding the strings to the curtain that has blocked your view. This may be the very moment that He pulls those strings and you see what you’ve been searching for so long. Instead of brainstorming and trying to think it through on your own, look to Him — and get a revelation of what the Holy Spirit wants to happen next!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I thank You for revealing the hidden things to me by Your Spirit. I repent because I recognize that too many times, I have tried to think through what to do instead of relying on You for wisdom and divine insight. Holy Spirit, You see and know everything, and You know the key to every heart. You know the secret to every success, whether in ministry, education, family, or anything else. From this day forward, I make a decision to listen to You. I know You will reveal exactly what I need to know for every situation I face in life. And now, as never before, I am listening!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that the Holy Spirit not only gives me inspired ideas, but He also injects me with the courage I need to obey Him and to act on those ideas. I receive insight for the plan of God for my life, and I release my faith to move forward on that plan by the strength of the Holy Spirit within me.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- What answer are you desperately seeking that you’ve never been able to discover on your own?
- Have you been brainstorming so hard that you’ve forgotten to involve the Holy Spirit in your pursuit? Is it possible that He’s been speaking to you, but you haven’t been listening? Do you realize that today the Holy Spirit has the strings to that invisible curtain in His hands, and He’s just waiting for the opportunity to show you what you’ve been seeking?
- Can you think of a moment when an idea supernaturally dropped into your mind — something you could have never thought of by yourself, but it was exactly the answer you were seeking?