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God has been visiting His people this year. And He has been doing it with such overwhelming power and glory that people will never be the same again. Obviously, He will continue to visit His people. The question is, who will He visit? Which believers? Which families? Which churches?

I don't know the answer to all those questions but I do know this: God is no respecter of persons. He gives each one of us whatever we expect according to His Word. He brings us whatever we make room for in our lives. So the best thing we can do is prepare ourselves for this wonderful move of God by digging into His Word, building our hope and our faith, so that when the time comes for our visitation, we'll be ready.

The first thing we must do is find out exactly what visitation means. After all, how can we expect something if we don't know what it is?

According to the Bible, visitation isn't just goose bumps. It isn't simply a manifestation of God's presence. It is a sudden moving of the Spirit that brings dramatic change. It is a powerful intervention, a manifestation of God that bears His own hallmark so that no one else can take the glory or the credit. It is a sovereign manifestation to a person or group of people for the purpose of furthering God's plan of redemption in the earth.

To put it most simply, visitation is when GOD COMES.

In Acts, Chapter 2 we see visitation described as "When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, when suddenly there came a sound from heaven" (vv. 1-2) Heaven came to earth at Pentecost! God so visited the people who were praying and waiting on Him in that upper room that they were never the same again.

Although there are times when God works at a steady, quiet pace without upheaval, the scriptures reveal that God frequently causes His purposes to progress through sudden and powerful movements like the outpouring at Pentecost. Why is that?

It's because the Lord Jesus Christ is the Captain of the Lord's Hosts (Josh. 5:15). He is a military commander. I learned from my husband, who once served in the armed forces, that there is a military principle known as the concentration of force. Commanders use this principle to gather all of their forces and concentrate them at a strategic point for a sudden strike. In so doing, they are able to break through the enemy's defenses and pave the way for a great general advance forward.

Visitation works the same way in the realm of the spirit. It releases the power of God in sudden force and accomplishes what quieter, more general workings of the Spirit do not.

I saw a vivid picture of this principle at work in the natural realm when we were in Switzerland for a pastor's conference. While we were there, we took a day to see the Swiss Alps. One of the things we saw was a great reservoir high in the mountains. It was fed by water from the snow-capped peaks above and it overflowed gently into a quiet stream that continued down the mountain to the village below. For years, no one thought much about that stream. It didn't attract any special attention.

Then one day the reservoir developed cracks in it. The cracks grew larger and larger until finally the reservoir wall collapsed and tons of water cascaded down the mountain. It flooded the valley with such force that trees were uprooted. Huge boulders were tossed about like toys. Houses and bridges were washed away in just a matter of minutes.

Suddenly, what had been taken for granted became a wonder. People from all over the world traveled to that stream to see and stand in awe of what had happened there.

That's the effect visitation has in the world of the spirit. In times of visitation, the work of God becomes an object of awe and wonder. Strongholds of Satan, which have long resisted normal influences of the Holy Ghost, are swept away. Stubborn wiles of the devil that have resisted and withstood the pressure of the Gospel begin to bend and break under the irresistible force of visitation.

If you'll study various visitations throughout the Bible, you'll find they're marked by certain characteristics. One of the most outstanding is that they always bring an overwhelming consciousness of God. In visitation, God reveals His attributes - such as His greatness or His holiness - so powerfully that people are filled with a sense of awe and reverence that causes them to be almost oblivious to everyone and everything else.

No doubt, that's how the disciples felt at Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit came rushing into that room with the sound of a hurricane and flames of fire, they didn't have trouble keeping their minds on the Lord! They were totally caught up in the consciousness of His presence.

Another characteristic of visitation is that it delivers you from self. As Psalm 110:3 says, "God's people offer themselves willingly in the day of His power!"

That's what happened to the prophet Isaiah. God visited him with a vision of His heavenly temple, then while Isaiah was still trembling in awe and God's presence, the Lord asked, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" (Isa. 6:8). Isaiah's answer was simple and direct, "Here am I; send me."

Notice he didn't say, "Oh, gee. I wonder what God is going to make me do now? How come I'm the one who always has to do everything?"

No! Isaiah became very willing in the day of God's power. He didn't even think about himself. He just wanted to obey God. That's what happens in the day of visitation. You get mighty willing, mighty fast!

The third characteristic of visitation is that it hurls men into the plan and purpose of God. You can see that fact demonstrated in the life of Saul of Tarsus. The first time he appears in the Bible, he is overseeing the stoning of Stephen. He is breathing threats against the Christians, dragging them out of their homes, and putting them in prison. Yet, even then, God had a purpose for Saul. He planned to use him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. But clearly, something drastic had to happen before Saul could fulfill that plan.

Sure enough, it did. Saul had a heavenly visitation on the road to Damascus. Saul changed fast, didn't he? He went from persecuting Jesus to calling Him Lord in a moment's time. Within days, he was preaching "Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God."

Saul (later known as the apostle Paul) was hurled into the plan of God instantly through visitation, and that's what I believe is going to happen with the Church. The Bible says we'll be a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle before Jesus comes. It's clearly going to require a visitation for God to move us into that place.

Don't just hope. Get ready for it. Put yourself in position by seeking the Lord in prayer and in the Word. You see, visitation doesn't come to believers by chance. The Bible reveals that in almost every great visitation, there were people who were seeking God for that visitation. People who knew what God's Word promised and who expected God to come and fulfill that promise.

The same is true today. God has people who are expecting Him to visit them in glory and power. He has people throughout the world who are seeking Him with all their heart and who are absolutely determined to be right in the middle of what God is about to do.

I've made up my mind - I'm going to be one of them. How about you?

Copyright © CFAITH All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Lynne Hammond
Web site: Lynne Hammond Ministries
A teacher and an author, Lynne publishes a newsletter called Prayer Notes, has written numerous books, and currently serves as the national prayer director for Daughters for Zion. Her passion for inspiring and leading others into the life of Spirit-led prayer continues to take her around the world to minister to believers whose heart cry, like hers, is “Lord, teach me to pray!”

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