Simply put, the theological term progressive revelation basically means that God has revealed himself and his redemptive plan for mankind in various stages throughout the course of human history. God has been meticulously ordering every circumstance, from the tree in the Garden of Eden, to the tree of Calvary, to the tree of life in Heaven, and everything in between. God has not shown us the entire story all at once, but one chapter at a time. Let me venture to say that this is not only his approach to the overarching narrative of human history, but it is also his approach to each one of us individually. What this means for each one of us is that God knows our story from start to finish though he only shows us one scene at a time. What scene is unfolding in the story of your life right now?
It has been 15 years since I walked into Trinity College of Florida and enrolled as a student in the Quest program. At that time I was working full-time as a firefighter/paramedic. While I loved working in EMS I could never shake the feeling that something was out of place. This wasn’t the story that God had written for my life; or at least not all of it. I knew that God was calling me to study his word at a deeper level and so I answered that call by enrolling at TCF. As soon as my classes began I knew I was where I was supposed to be and thought to myself, “Now I’ve come into my calling and purpose for life.” I had reached the chapter in my story that God had always been calling me to! Little did I know, this was only the beginning. There was much more to God’s story of my life.
I would eventually graduate from Trinity College, go on to earn two master’s degrees and a PhD, and beyond any expectation I’d ever had when I started at Trinity, I was invited back to teach in the same Quest program that had catapulted me into a lifetime of study. Several times throughout my life’s journey I thought I had settled into the chapter that would carry me through to the end; I have been wrong each time I’ve had this thought. Most recently, in addition to my teaching responsibilities at TCF, God called me to begin serving as the lead pastor at a local church here in the Trinity area.
My point in bringing up all of this is simply that God is never done writing the story of your life. You have not reached the end. It is not time to settle in and coast to the finish line. Our lives, much like the story of Redemption, are not stories that God can show us all at once. In his goodness and faithfulness, he brings us from one level of understanding and experience to the next. I wonder, what chapter is your life in right now? Could God be calling you to something more? What untold scenes lie in front of you that you couldn’t even imagine? Would you be bold enough, right now, to ask God to give you any instruction and commit to a “yes” no matter what he says? The best scenes of your story are yet to be revealed!
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God” 2 Corinthians 1:20.
Christopher Gates, PhD
Adjunct Professor, TCF
Trinity Quest (2013)
Lead Pastor: Mosaic Church, NPR