Here’s a truth bomb for you: God is the only one who knows what the future holds.
Thankfully, Jesus did tell us that when the Holy Spirit came upon us that He would show us what we need to know about our future. Now, this doesn’t always mean that God is going to lay out the five-year-plan for us and He isn’t going to tell us everything — but He tells us enough about what’s to come so that we can take the next right steps.
So, let’s talk about it! (p.s. You can watch this video message on YouTube here, too.) First, we’ll hopscotch through 1 Corinthians 2 — and then I’ll tie it all together in a bow...so stay with me!
We’re starting with chapter 2, verse 9-10: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.”
Verse 9 is definitely talking about our eternal life to come — but not only that...even in our temporary life here on earth, are we unable to fathom the magnitude of God’s goodness towards us! The unlimited capacity of God’s love and mercy and plans for our future is beyond our comprehension, but thankfully He knows it all!
Now it may sound like God is keeping some big secret from us, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! God wants us to have security in our future, which is why He has revealed His plans to us through His Spirit. It’s amazing, I know. Naturally, the question becomes, “But how do we receive revelation of the things to come?” God shows us clearly by His Spirit and His Word.
We see that unfold as Paul preaches to the Church of Corinth...
How Do I Get Wisdom?
Check out what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:1:
“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness--timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”
We can all agree that the wisdom of men often fails us. Compared to God’s wisdom, the Bible says that the wisdom of men is foolishness. That’s why Paul came to the people of Corinth in a spirit of humility — to allow the awesome power of God to shine.
So I ask you, do you want the power of God in your life? Do you want his power to be manifested? Of course you do! Who wouldn’t! We want to receive the plans and the purposes He has prepared for us. Let’s keep reading in 1:6 Corinthians...
“Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God--his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.”
Paul wasn’t trying to compete with the “wisdom” of the rulers...he wasn’t trying to keep up with the wisdom of the political rulers, the celebrity trends, the influencers on social media. Instead, Paul encourages us to seek and speak the wisdom of God. Stay with me…
Here we go in verses 9-11:
“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But God has revealed these things to us by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.”
God has given us his Holy Spirit, so that we can know the things that have been promised to us from God! So now what do we do?
How Do I Get Spiritual Revelation?
Here’s the dealio. Spiritual wisdom, spiritual revelation, spiritual knowledge—these things are not natural, human, strategic, logistical plans and thoughts. The future God has prepared for you is not of human design or comprehension. But how do we walk in these promises? We speak these things. Verses 13-14 in 1 Corinthians give us some hints:
When we speak these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual cannot receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
To receive spiritual revelation, we speak words, not with man’s wisdom, but words that the Holy Spirit teaches. I know, I know. You’re likely thinking, “What words are those?” I got you... Well, Paul’s got you..look at vs. 7 again: “We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.
If we jump ahead a few chapters, 1 Corinthians 14:2 gives us the key to what this all means.
“If you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be a mystery.”
If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you can access a prayer language. Sometimes people refer to your prayer language as “speaking in tongues,” “praying in the spirit” or “praying in a heavenly language.” If this is new to you, we explore how to tap into your prayer language throughout my book, “Getting a Grip on the Basics of Prayer.”
For those of you that do pray in the spirit, this is your call — and your reminder — to speak and pray in the Spirit! Because when we pray in the spirit, we are speaking out a mystery. This is how we the receive spiritual revelation of things to come!
Which leads us to the final question…
How Do I Solve the Mystery?
You and I can pray out our future — the future God has prepared when we pray in the spirit. Yes, our future is a mystery that none of us know. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, heart has not imagined...We have no idea about our future! But God knows — and He promised to reveal it to us by His Spirit. When we are praying in tongues (literally speaking mysteries), we can have confidence that we are praying out our future!
When we pray in the Spirit, we are praying out the track we will run on in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. So, if you find yourself saying, “I don’t know what to do! It’s so uncertain! Life is crazy!” then pray in tongues. That’s what you do. That’s the secret. That’s the solution. That’s the action item. Pray in the Spirit. Get in your car, go for a prayer drive, and pray in tongues.
In fact, let me share a personal, real life experience with you:
I had a time in my life where there were some things in my heart that I knew God wanted, but I didn’t know what they were. It was concerning my future as a whole, but also in marriage and in ministry. I knew that God had things prepared, but I wasn’t walking in them. My eyes couldn’t see it, my ears couldn’t hear it and I couldn’t get my heart wrapped around it. I just knew it existed. That’s it. I had prayed in my English language, using English words many, many times. I had believed God and I had done everything I needed to. But I still sensed on the inside, “God, I want to bring to fruition this purpose of yours. These things you have prepared.”
God led me in that season to pray in the Spirit every time I got in my car. He led me to pray it out, pray out His plans and His purposes, pray out the track that one day I would run on, pray out these mysteries. So I began to pray out the mystery of my future in tongues, in my spiritual prayer language, for two weeks, every time I got in my car. I was desperate for God’s plan for my future. And do you know what? After a few weeks, I felt a sense of release and relief. I still didn’t have every answer, but I had peace and I knew I had prayed out the thing that was heavy on my heart.
Are you desperate for God’s plan for your future? Are you wanting discernment for your future bad enough to pray it out, however long it takes?
Then go for it! Pray whatever is pleasant, for as long as there’s an unction, and then you stop. It doesn’t matter how it sounds. It might sound like gibberish, it might sound foolish to you. And that’s ok! Because the foolishness of men is the wisdom of God.
Today, I simply want to encourage you. The things that God has prepared for you, your future is bright and He’s given us this incredible process to pray it out in the spirit. So let’s do it. Pray in the Spirit and embrace the future God has prepared for you!
For more resources on effective prayer, check out my newest book, “Getting a Grip on the Basics of Prayer.” It’s a practical, comprehensive, easy-to-follow Bible study to help you understand the basics of prayer and “pray by the rules.”