2 Cor 3:16-18
16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
A veil is something that obscures, hides, covers, and separates. In the Tabernacle there was a veil which separated the rest of the structure from the Most Holy Place. God’s presence was behind the veil. On the other side of that big piece of fabric was a heavenly reality the people could not experience. When Jesus died, the veil in the Temple was torn top to bottom. Jesus has made a way for us to enter this heavenly reality and experience God’s goodness, nearness, and power first hand.
Each one of us has a veil like that. Even as believers, that heavenly reality can be obscured and hidden. Though the way is open it is possible to content ourselves with information about that heavenly reality without ever experiencing it ourselves. When we turn to the Lord, this veil is removed, taken away, lifted. The word “revelation” means exactly this – the lifting of the veil. When revelation occurs, the veil lifts. Revelation allows us to perceive what we couldn’t perceive before in ways we couldn’t imagine before.
We speak of this ongoing experience of revelation as “hearing” God’s voice. Don’t think of that word simply in terms of the transmittal of information to your ears. Rather, think of the broad spectrum of ways we see God reveal truth to his people within scripture. He speaks through scripture, his still small voice, dreams, visions, audibly and in many other ways. He talks, touches, and shows and through each of these his living Word is working to bring us into new depths of transformational experience.
What is our part in this? We turn to the Lord. The Shepherd speaks and we respond and somehow through this process of hearing and responding our capacity to hear grows. God has not just given us a book, he has poured out his Spirit. By the Spirit we are able to experience Jesus through the Bible and in all the ways modeled to us within the Bible. Bill Johnson says that “All doctrine is an invitation to experience.” What if we were to really enter a new reality where the Bible is more than a repository of doctrine, morals and principles we attempt to apply in our own strength and instead becomes an invitation to hear God and respond as his living Word transforms the reality of our lives from the inside out by the power of the Holy Spirit?