Have you ever wondered why there are so many professing Christians in America, yet so few cities that have been truly transformed for Christ? Or why, in prayer meetings and conferences, we passionately cry out for nations to be saved in a day; yet our local spheres of influence remain largely unchanged year after year?
The answer can be found by examining the historical seeds of past revivals.
For example, legend has it that Jonathan Edwards, before the birthing of the Great Awakening, made a covenant with God. Standing on a riverbank, he cried out to God for revival in the land.
Drawing a circle in the sand, he pledged that before God could take the city, the region, the nation, He must start here—and he pointed to the circle. Then Edwards stepped into the circle.
For a community, a city or a nation to be gripped with revival, a man or woman must first be fully gripped by God. Personal visitation is always the catalyst for revival.
From Visitation to Transformation
Visitation always precedes transformation. In order to shake the nations for God, we must first let God shake us!
Perhaps you’re thinking: A radical visitation from God is great for people such as Moses, the apostle Paul, Jonathan Edwards or Benny Hinn. But that kind of thing would never happen to little ol’ me.
But what if it wasn’t the greatness of these men that prompted their visitations? What if their personal visitations prompted their greatness, giving them the faith to walk out their incredible destinies?
Throughout history God has always used weak, broken vessels whose very fragility is the perfect conduit for His glory and power to change cities and nations.
The truth is, God doesn’t wait until we have “arrived” at our destiny to encounter us. Rather, He uses personal visitation as a key part of our commissioning.
Think about it. Seventy percent of the Bible is about trances, dreams, visions, signs and wonders, angelic encounters, and other supernatural accounts of God’s visiting men and women.
God is not a respecter of persons. Could it be that He wants to radically meet with you, too?
Fear of the Supernatural
Unfortunately, many Christians in America don’t believe in visitations from God because they don’t believe in the supernatural. The Western church as a whole is barren because of its utter dependence on logic and intellectualism.
We know the Word of God, but we lack the experience of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, church is little more than a routine, a social club—totally devoid of mass salvations, deliverances and other supernatural touches for suffering humanity.
We claim to believe that the Bible is true, yet somehow we ignore the fact that Jesus commissioned us to walk in greater works than He did. Miracles are not an option but rather a trademark of Basic Christianity 101.
Why is there such a resistance to the supernatural? For many of us, the answer is fear.
Does fear haunt your heart? Ask yourself: When you think of someone being “transported,” is your first thought of New Age astral projection?
Or do you remember Philip’s translation after he shared the gospel with the Ethiopian eunuch (see Acts 8:29)? Or perhaps Elijah’s transportation to heaven by the Spirit of God (see 2 Kin. 2:11)?
The truth is, Satan is unable to create anything new, so he counterfeits the authentic. The New Age Movement is a prime example of his counterfeiting.
Because American Christians have not walked in their inheritance—which includes the supernatural—New Age thought has been able to make headway. People are so thirsty for the supernatural that they’re willing to go wherever they can find it.
And like starving souls in the desert, they’re willing to take whatever they can get. Unfortunately, instead of discovering the refreshing, living waters of God’s supernatural realm through the church, they have to settle for drinking the dry sand of New Age ideas.
Meanwhile, Satan keeps feeding Christians the lie that if we dare to move in the supernatural realm, we will slip into deception. What this implies, however, is that God is unable to protect us from being deceived.
But if God had His eyes on us before we even knew Him, how much more is He able and willing, as our Father in heaven, to lead us into all truth—with His Word as the glorious boundary line?
Where is our confidence—in the ability of Satan to deceive us, or God’s ability to protect us?
Are we more fearful of Satan than we are desperate to experience God?
We don’t have to be afraid! Experts say that the best way to discern a counterfeit is to study and memorize the real thing. You and I can know the “real thing” by examining biblical examples of people who’ve had real, authentic, life- and world-changing encounters with God.