PRINCIPLES OF A VISITATION

…by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12 NKJV

Is God arbitrary, or is He mathematical? Is He arbitrary? Does He have ‘good days’ and bad days? Days when He does awesome miracles, and days when He seemingly doesn’t show up to work? I think the prevailing attitude within charismatic Christianity is that God is arbitrary, because that is our experience.

But then I look at creation. I am stunned when I consider a seagull that can fly, flapping its wings, and caw from its mouth continuously, seemingly without effort. Think about that! That is like you sprinting full speed and shouting at the same time loudly, without getting out of breath! I see the moon and stars, and know that you can precisely calculate the sun’s rise ten thousand years from now. The God who is so precise, and so magnificent in His dealings with creation, all of the sudden becomes whimsical and untrustworthy in His dealings with His sons and daughters? I don’t think so….

…because you did not know the time of your visitation. Luke 19:44 NKJV

What exactly is a visitation? Short of the creation, the coming of Messiah and end times events, it is the most powerful thing God does on the earth. It can happen to individuals (Paul), cities (Nineveh), nations (Egypt) or the whole world (the Flood). In contemporary times, I would say the Jesus Movement of the 1970’s and the Toronto outpouring of the mid ‘90’s are examples of multinational or worldwide visitations of God.

Visitations come for two reasons – blessing or judgment. A judgment visitation can turn into a blessing as it did with Jonah and Nineveh. A judgment visitation can be averted as it could have been with Abraham and his intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah. The classic example is Jesus’ ministry…

To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." Acts 3:26 NKJV

Jesus came to bless Israel and the whole world. The ministry of Jesus, from His baptism through the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, embodied all the principles of the visitation of God. Preaching and  teaching with anointing, healing and casting out of demons, taking all of Israel as territory for God, the cleansing of the Temple, raising up righteous leaders, the confrontation of evil, and evil religious leaders, speaking with authority and power - the officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this Man!" John 7:46 NKJV – were all the marks of a visitation of God.

I made a statement last week that I want to repeat and expand upon here.

“Apostles, listen! I believe it is a feature of apostolic ministry to bring a visitation of God – the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:29) - to whatever degree or level that apostle is assigned, wherever you are sent.”

The more I thought about that, the more I realized that it is true of apostles, but it is also true of other ministries as well. Philip the EVANGELIST went down and blew up the city of Samaria with a visitation of God. Jonah the PROPHET went and shook the ground of the city of Nineveh. So, it is not just to apostles! To a certain extent all of us can learn to bring the visitation of God within the scope of our faith and calling. Yes, you can rock the world! Let’s learn what is involved…

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." Isa 6:8 NKJV

Over the years I’ve documented in these articles a number of times when I have brought a visitation of God. Let me tell you of a couple of times when I have fallen flat on my face. I went to Khartoum, Sudan in 2003 about a month after Marilyn Hickey Ministries had been there and blown the doors off of the place spiritually, which is what they expected of me. I came in alone, not really knowing what I was doing, and did not blow any doors period. End of story!

Another time I was invited to speak at a large conference where the leadership did not believe in speaking in tongues. The anointing was there! I preached for an hour, my interpreter and I were high on the Holy Spirit, cruising in the clouds of glory. Fifteen thousand people were ready to speak in tongues – you could feel it like a tangible presence! Yet the bishop wouldn’t allow it. I should have talked to him beforehand because two days later he told me he would have allowed it if I had done so. Oh well!

In anticipating a visitation, lets pick up some of the principles from the Word and I’ll throw in some real life instances of where I did it right, and lets get you ready for a test that brings a testimony!

HUNGER AND THIRST

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matt 5:6 NKJV

There is no greater principle that brings God’s manifest presence than hunger or thirst for righteousness. Hunger and thirst are the twin manifestations of an enthusiastic humility that says ‘I am desperate for God.’ That phrase described me when I was a young man of sixteen years getting filled with the Holy Spirit, and at every juncture of real spiritual growth in my life. As a deer pants for the waters so our souls long to drink from the river of God. Jesus said, in reference to the Holy Spirit, ‘If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink.’

Before you go and minister, pray for the hunger of those you minister to. Pray for holy desperation. Hungry equals healthy. I’ve never met anyone whom I judged to be spiritually healthy – fruit of the spirit, etc. - who wasn’t hungry for more of God. Once you have discerned that people are hungry for God, then how do you prepare to bring the visitation that meets their needs?

PRAY IN TONGUES UNTIL GOD SAYS ‘YOU’RE READY!’

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit…Jude 20 NKJV

According to credible testimonies, back in the nineteenth century, American evangelist Dwight L Moody preached to one hundred million people in his lifetime. That’s about 9500 people a day, six days a week for thirty-five years. His cathedral, which I have visited, seats ten thousand, and has tremendous acoustic qualities. Where did the faith and fire to have that kind of impact come from? One source I have tells me D.L. Moody spoke in tongues…

Kenneth Hagin, who sold over sixty million copies of his books, spoke in tongues furiously for long periods of time. Oral Roberts would pray in tongues for five hours before he preached each night. John G Lake said that tongues ‘made’ his ministry, same with our friend Smith Wigglesworth. Bill Hamon in his great book on speaking in tongues, says that he knew all the great Pentecostal twentieth century evangelists and they all spoke much in tongues especially before they would minister. They knew a secret you and I should know…

One of my favorite tongues stories (some of you probably know it) occurred while I was in Ghana west Africa, which is six hours ahead of the US east coast time zone. It was November 8, 2016, and an evil woman led Mr. Trump in all the polls for the national election. I asked God to give me seven good hours of praying in tongues over the election.

I prayed from 730pm to 230am continuously, while reminding God that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any man. I reminded God that America was a generous and just nation, and that I was serving in part because of the generosity of Americans. I decreed, “Crush the blue wall!” a series of states the evil woman counted on for victory. The night was long and the fight was heavy…

When I went to bed, it looked like the evil woman was winning. But when I awoke, something miraculous had happened. The blue wall was crushed, Mr. Trump had won. I tell Americans I went to bed, from those great lines from our national anthem, with ‘the twilights last gleaming’ and woke up with ‘that star-spangled banner yet waving.’ Hallelujah!

Here’s the question – how much prayer in the spirit with love, speaking in tongues, must you do in any given situation to bring the visitation of God? Only you and Him can work that out!

GET TRAINED AND KEEP TRAINING

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Tim 2:3 NKJV

Experts in any field continually train to perfect and sharpen their skills. Nothing ever stays the same. The second law of thermodynamics explains this principle which we call entropy. This is why ministers who used to walk in miracles don’t do it anymore. They stopped training. They stopped paying the price. Now, that can be reversed, but it is better that it is never lost in the first place. Train, train, train! It’s really fun to train! If you don’t train, don’t wonder why God calls on someone else to do the miracles He would like to do through you.

Can you effectively prophesy to anyone? Can you bring tongues with interpretation? Do you understand how the gifts are integrated to bring the power of God effectively? Learn and train, learn and train, so that you can bring a visitation of God, so that you can say with Isaiah, ‘Here am I, send me!’

Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business…

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