The Need For Visitation
“Thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:44d)
A divine visitation means an intervention of the Lord into existing circumstances. We need an intervention that will turn our lives right side up. A pure Holy Ghost revival is based on our desire to see and to welcome the Lord into our personal circumstances and lives. Luke 19 gives an account of a man who was so short that he ran ahead of the crowd that followed Jesus and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Him. That’s the kind of gumption that gets results.
Notice that the disciples of Jesus didn’t post any flyers on the trees to announce His arrival. Nor did they build a platform or use a loudspeaker. Facebook wasn’t around yet, or any of the technology that we have today. No, it was His presence that drew the crowds. There were no bells and whistles. Jesus was just passing by, doing what He was there to do. It appears that the excitement of the crowd and the reputation of Jesus alone was the motivation for Zacchaeus to climb a tree – just so he could see.
Zacchaeus would not be stopped by his outward circumstances. He had heard about the Man of Galilee. This was his opportunity. He had to see for himself. Perhaps he was tired of constantly being overlooked due to his stature.
It certainly was his day, because Jesus looked up and saw the little guy straddling a limb. Salvation is wholeness, and is not based on our “stature” – or our station in life. Our education, talents, even our anointing (if we have one) doesn’t cut it. What does count is our desire to know Jesus. Zacchaeus experienced visitation that day.
“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house’” (Luke 19:5).
Zacchaeus was about to experience visitation.
The Lord intervened in the little man’s circumstances that day, and Zacchaeus responded by giving half of his goods to the poor He also repaired any dirty dealings. Jesus stated in verse 9:
“This day is salvation come to this house . . .”
Intervention makes the crooked places straight.
We need the visitation of the Lord into our lives, our schools, our politics, our business dealings, and especially our churches. How badly do we want to see the Lord working in our midst? Are we seeking His presence with desperation?
Will we recognize Him when He does show up?
Many young people in our communities are turning to alcohol and drugs for excitement. They crave thrills, a relief from boredom. It seems that the last place they turn is to the local church. Is it because they see no life?
Lord, intervene we pray.
Unfortunately, there are dead churches because the people in them lack spiritual vitality. We have seen that visitation can be defined as a fresh touch of His Spirit. It has nothing to do with a person’s age or physical circumstances. It’s a heart issue.
To unbelievers, visitation means opening the door of our hearts to Jesus and His salvation. It is the response to His nudging. However, visitation to the believer means a fresh touch of His Spirit in our lives. Believers, we desperately need the intervention of the Lord. In Luke chapter seven, we read that Jesus and his disciples encountered a widow woman who lived in Nain. It was a tragic scene, for the widow’s only son, who was dead, was being carried, most likely to a burial place.
“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not” (verse 13).
Subsequently, the Lord touched the widow and spoke to the corpse: “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise” (verse 14).
The dead man immediately sat up and spoke. Imagine his mother’s exultation, the crowd’s awe, and even the resurrected young man’s astonishment.
The Lord had come in visitation – and a death sentence was reversed. Intervention.
The raising of the dead man took place near the gate of the city. Do we pray over the gates of our churches, our communities, and the lives of those around us? If we do, the report will go out:
“God has visited His people” (verse 16).
Another result of the visitation in this account was that spiritual renewal exploded and spread throughout the region round about (see verse 17). People who are dead in their sins respond to visitation. Backsliders come back to their first love. Religious spirits are exposed. Grouchiness mellows. Tight wads give away their prized possessions. Frowns become smiles. The word becomes flesh in us.
We desperately need intervention in our personal lives. A visitation of the Holy Spirit into our churches would bring cleansing into our communities. The life of a church is not defined by its music or liturgy or lack of it. The Holy Spirit births new life, and He needs to be free to move, as He desires. Too long, the hands of the Lord have been tied in His Church, the body of Christ. This is not to release bedlam in our local assemblies, but a Spirit-controlled freedom in our midst.
Do you long for that? Are you hungry for a move of God, a visitation of His Spirit, His abiding Presence that raises the spiritually dead?
Prayer: Lord, come in visitation, raise our deadened dreams and bring new life to each desiring heart.