Have you ever heard someone pray for God’s visitation? “Visit us, Lord!” Have you ever prayed that prayer? I have prayed the prayer before, and one of my all time, old school worship song is entitled, “Visit Us.” So, I am not trying to scold anyone for praying for God to come near to where they are.
Depending on what one may actually be praying for, I think it important to pray for habitation instead of His visitation. For several reasons, I will explain. But for starters, what does the bible have to say about God’s visitation?
Visitation carries a biblical idea of God coming to deliver us from captivity, bondage, slavery, darkness or sin. Also, the Lord visits us to show us acts of kindness, care, and love. (Exodus 3:16; 4:31; Jeremiah 27:22; 29:10; Luke 1:68, 78, 79; Ruth 1:6; Job 10:12; Luke 19:44). It also carries the biblical idea of an investigation, a probing and consequently a reckoning or judgment for sin or rebellion. (Isaiah 10:3; Jeremiah 8:12; Hosea 9:7).
Visitation is twofold when it comes to God’s acts of salvation. One is a temporal earthly visitation that yields blessings, salvation, redemption. In other words, when you believe and receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, Romans 8:23 says, you receive a deposit – the first fruit of His Spirit. This is a foretaste of glory divine or the first installment of our eternal salvation. The fullness of this salvation will come on that day when Jesus comes back for His church. But, for others, this will be an eschatological visit of judgment on the final day.
I believe, however, when it comes to God’s visitation in revival, renewal, and times of refreshing and manifestations of His Spirit, a visit is always meant to awaken us to His desire for habitation.
God wants His Spirit to remain on us and grow in increasing measures – from glory to glory. John 1:32 says, “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. John also goes on to say, “For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure” (John 3:34).
God’s visitation is an invitation for us to build for Him, a habitation.
- When God comes in His power
- When God comes in His glory
- When God comes with resurrection life
- When God releases His anointing
- When He pours out His rivers of living waters upon me
- When He brings revival and spiritual awakening
I don’t want Him to pack the house and leave. I want His to stay. Not for one week or two weeks – I want Him to stay.
Revival is not just a sudden move of God, but a decisive, broken and constant surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His mighty power.
- I am looking forward to the day when we will not only call people to revival meetings and encounters with God, but also teach and mentor people how to maintain the fire so that it doesn’t go out, keep the glory so that it doesn’t fade.
- I am looking forward to the day when we can actually become hosts, dwelling places for God’s spirit.
- I am looking forward to the day when we can become carriers of His presence everywhere we go, instead of just seeking for it everywhere.
- I acknowledge that there are repeated times in the book of Acts where the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 4:8, 31; 6:3; 7:55; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9, 52). This is not to say that they had let the Spirit’s fire die, that they need him to awaken them again. These Holy Spirit encounters were for special occasions when they had a task ahead of them, a challenge they faced or a holy boldness even when threatened with death.
Revival isn’t seasonal, it’s a lifestyle.
God’s desire is that we receive and welcome His Holy Spirit in our lives and create an atmosphere for Him to feel comfortable in. There is a repeated call to “not grieve the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 4:32). In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 it says, do not “put out the Spirit’s fire.” In short, God intends for His Spirit to dwell within us in increasing measures. Here are three ways to make that happen:
Make yourself a House for His habitation
1 Corinthians 6:19 says, Do you not know that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit within you? We were made to host God’s presence. Whether we realize it or not, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God wants to dwell there. We are called to make our house a home for Him.
Clean your House for His habitation
Ephesians 5:18 says, Therefore, do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. (The present tense of this verse says, “keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit). Our bodies need to now become a suitable place for God to dwell by His Spirit. It is our responsibility to cooperate with Him to keep a clean house.
Behold the glory in the face of Jesus for a daily increase
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17, 18. People who are serious about habitation and sparking revival everywhere they go, want to know how to grow from glory to glory. The answer is simple – behold the glory in the face of Jesus on a daily basis and you will grow from glory to glory.
Pray for habitation rather than visitation
Ephesians 2:22 says, “In him, you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” We should desire more than just a hair standing on my skin or goosebump experience. We should desire an ever-deepening and growing relationship with the presence of God in our lives. We must pray for habitation, not just visitation.