Did you know that you can miss visitations intended by God for you? This article explains how to ensure you don’t miss them and how to get the most out of the special time when God draws you to Himself.
Most God visitations start with an initial drawing that you must respond to. It’s almost like God is throwing you a bait to see if you will take it. Your response will determine if you will have the visitation at all and how much you will receive. Read on to learn how to maximize these special times. Essential communication from God and inner transformation result from these times, and you would not want to miss what God has in store for you. If He takes the trouble to specially visit you in a stronger way than other times, then you need to not take it lightly and for granted and respond appropriately.
VISITATIONS THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE
If you look throughout the Bible, you can see that with each man or woman of God there were special times of visitation from the Lord, times that stand out above all other times in their lives. Times when God took the initiative to surprise them, come and visit them and communicate very important messages to them.
I am not necessarily talking about God appearing to you, though that could be part of it. I am talking about stronger than usual manifestations of the presence of God in your life, regardless of what form they take. They can be anything between simply experiencing God’s presence stronger, feeling the anointing more, having a special time of extended worship, intercession, closeness and communication with God and all the way to having visions or visitations from the Lord.
GOD HIMSELF SAYS HE VISITS PEOPLE AT CERTAIN TIMES
“Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, BECAUSE YOU DID NOT KNOW THE TIME OF YOUR VISITATION.” Luke 19:41-44
We can see from the above Scripture that God has special times of visitation. He was always the God of the Jewish people, but He visited them in a special way only for a season. In the same way, He is our God always, but He has special times He alone knows that He has set to visit us in special ways and we want to make sure we don’t miss such important appointments.
In the example of Samuel, we can also see how God broke through in his life in a season where not much was happening spiritually:
“The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. IN THOSE DAYS THE WORD OF THE LORD WAS RARE; THERE WERE NOT MANY VISIONS…THEN THE LORD CALLED TO SAMUEL …” 1 Sam 3:1-3
GOD’S FRUSTRATION WHEN WE DON’T RESPOND
“Why, WHEN I CAME, there was NO MAN?
Why, WHEN I CALLED, there was NONE TO ANSWER?” Is 50:2
As you can see from above, and from Jesus’s cry over Jerusalem, He expects us to show up and to respond to any visitation. He was grieved that the children of Israel did not know the time of their visitation and He was grieved that when He came, they did not stop and respond to Him.
He feels the same way about His children when He intends to especially visit them. He expects them to do three things:
- Recognize that a visitation is about to happen
- Stop whatever they are busy with and be present and available for the experience
- Respond appropriately to the visitation
I will now take the above points and attempt to teach you what I have learned over the many years of interaction with God, when I have experienced many visitations – anywhere between just a stronger presence of God to open eye visions, experiences and even visitations of the Lord Himself.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PREPARATION OF THE HEART
First of all, if you want to increase your chances of experiencing more with the Lord, you need to cultivate spiritual hunger. The Bible teaches that:
“The preparations of the heart belong to man”. Prov 16:1
It cannot be clearer than this. It’s your job to prepare your heart, to prepare the ground of your heart soft through repentance, to expose your heart to God’s Word and His Spirit so it’s transformed and moldable and to draw near so He will draw near to you.
God says: “Blessed are those who HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness, for they shall be filled” Mat 5:6
He has no promises for those who aren’t hungry for spiritual things.
When God says that the hungry shall be filled, the word for ‘filled’ in the Greek is ‘chortazo’ which means to feed, to fill, to fatten, to satisfy and it comes from the root word ‘chortos’ which literally means grass. Therefore God promises to spiritually feed us and satisfy us if we hunger.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THAT A VISITATION IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN
A visitation from God can come at the most unexpected time and in the most common of all days. You could be going about doing your daily chores and you start to sense that your heart is longing more than usual to be with God and you feel pulled as if with an invisible magnet to spend time with God.
God’s call to your heart to invite you into His visitation can manifest in a number of ways:
- You feel the atmosphere around you starting to change, it is more filled with God, more charged and more intense
- You feel a stronger than usual desire to pray, sometimes followed by a burden in your soul that makes you almost feel like doubling over
- You start to feel that you should drop whatever you are doing and go and seek the Lord; anything you are doing right now suddenly feels wrong to continue
- You feel like your heart is suddenly softer and more affected by the Lord’s presence
- You feel the presence of God increases around you and in you
- You feel an awakening and a sharpness of your spiritual senses, as if you were awakened from a slumber
- You sense your spirit man is pulled towards the Spirit of God
- You heart seems to be more in tune with eternity and your destiny
- God seems to tug on your heart and say: Come away with Me!
- You don’t understand why all of a sudden you feel more spiritual and hungry for God
When you experience one or more of the above, it can be a sign that God is calling you to drop whatever you are doing and sit with Him unhurried in order to experience a visitation of some kind and of some degree of spiritual intensity. I am not saying that it all cases it is a visitation, but it is a strong indication and you would want to at least test it and see if it leads anywhere in experiencing God in a stronger way.
STOP AND BE PRESENT WITH GOD
Once you become aware of God’s invitation to a visitation, you have a choice to make. God’s timing might seem inconvenient to you. After all, you have your tight schedule for the day and just want to finish what you are doing, maybe you can tell God to come a bit later when you are more free. If this is your attitude, you will certainly miss it.
God does not visit us on our terms, we respond to His visitation on His terms. We need to bow our schedule before the Lord and make space for the unexpected visit if we are to experience God’s visitation. Worshiping our diaries is a certain way to make sure you will not be visited by God. Planning is good, but God overrides our planning as He sees fit and we must bow it to Him whenever He calls for it.
If He is Lord of our life, our time is His and He can use it as He pleases. He has the right to interrupt us anytime and we show Him respect if we respond to that interruption. After all, if the prime minister of the country walked through your door unexpectedly, you would certainly put everything you were doing on hold and go and spend time with him. Yet we are talking here about the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords coming to visit you. How much more respect are we to show but the way we drop everything and give Him our full and undivided attention.
If you don’t stop and hope the Lord will come later when you have more time, you will find that He won’t come and you will feel His Spirit grieved. He is not at our beck and call, we are to be at His. You will miss the visitation if you harden your heart, resist the Spirit and continue with your tasks.
By your actions you are giving God a message that really your tasks and keeping with your schedule are far more important and valued in your eyes than interaction with your God. God takes His cue from you and leaves grieved. If you do this again and again, you might find the gap between times when God is initiating a special time with you grows longer and longer.
RESPOND APPROPRIATELY TO THE VISITATION
Once you have dropped everything, do what you feel God’s Spirit is leading you to do. This is His time. He initiated it and He must have full control to direct it, it’s His visitation and you must simply go with His program. You just need to flow with what You feel He wants you to do.
This is like an exercise of walking in someone’s footsteps at the beach or following a smell to the kitchen or floating on the water and letting the water carry you where it wishes. You are like tree branches moved by an invisible wind, the branches go where the winds go.
John 3:8 says: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
If you feel like singing, sing. Don’t try to pray if you feel like singing. Don’t even go with what you would like to do because it gives you pleasure, even if it is a spiritual thing, only go with what you sense increases the presence of God as you do it. Sometimes our natural man wants to take over and let’s say wants to sing along a song you put on when God wants you to sing in the Spirit. If you follow the Spirit verses your own desire for spiritual things, you will enter into that visitation step by step.
You might feel like walking and expressing yourself freely to God or you might feel like quietly sitting before God and waiting on Him or telling Him prayers that burst from your heart. Whatever it is, make sure you are following the Spirit, and not your own desire, even if it is ‘spiritual’.
This is also a good time to ask God what is the reason for this special visitation and wait for His reply. Many times this isn’t even necessary as the Lord takes over and communicates with you first about this.
Grab a notebook if He starts speaking and record what He says, to show Him you take His words seriously and want to have a record so you can visit them again and make sure you are being obedient to what He said or in faith about what He promised to you.
While the presence of God is still on you in a special way, beware of interruptions. Don’t pay attention to your phone, don’t go to grab a bite to eat, don’t interact with others (you can lovingly tell them what is happening with you and that you need them to leave you alone at this time so you can give priority to the Lord’s special visit on you). I have found that if I did allow myself to run for anything or talk with others while this was happening, I would lose that presence and most of the time it would not come back.
At times, be prepared for persecution because you have obeyed God in this. Someone near you or other people in your life will not like that they cannot have you at this time for themselves. Explain lovingly and let them be if they get upset, you must please God above pleasing men. Pastor David Yonnchi Cho would cancel any pastoral appointment and even refuse phone calls from the president of the country when God called him aside to pray, this is how strong His commitment was to put God first when God decided to visit with Him. No wonder God lifted him up to lead the biggest church in the world.
If it is a special visit from God, it requires your special focus. God does not waste His time in making special visits with people. He must have something important to share or do in you or He would not bother. Therefore your response should also be to treat this time with utmost respect for God and for His message to you in it.
You must be prepared to stay before the Lord and just minister to Him this way as long as God’s presence is on you and around you in that special way. Once it lifted, that is God’s signal that you are free to go about your normal business.
Sometimes it might seem like there is no message from God and all is happening is that you are feeling a stronger presence of God. I have learned that sometimes God even tests our faithfulness and asks us to come aside to see if we will do it. Other times He calls us specially aside simply because He wants to be with us. This means that we will experience and increased intimacy. At times He will come to just soften our heart and renew our spirit. Or to reveal a bit more of Himself, to explain to us something from His Word or some aspect of His personality. And at times He will come to give us specific instructions or new vision or direction for our lives. You can’t say His presence was there and there was no message from God. There is a message in every action of God upon your heart. Observe what He is doing and you will certainly learn something – that is your message.
The benefits of an encounter with God are boundless. At times, the visitation came just before I hit a very hard time in life. The experience of Jesus in it is what kept me going through the hard time, like a lifeline. Other times, the visitations soften your heart and renews your passion for God and His purposes for your life And in special occasions, the visitations give you new insight and revelation into the heart, character, values and even the very being of God.
Jesus Himself said that “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3 – knowing Him is the most important thing in our Christian life, it’s our aim, and visitations of God do just that in our lives.
The Bible also says that: “the people who know their God, shall be strong and do exploits” Dan 11:32 – knowing God through visitations makes you spiritual strong and become a fuel that leads to great exploits in His Name.
God promises that we will not be disappointed if we make time for His interruptions:
“For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.” Is 49:23
In other words, when God visits with you, if you wait on Him, you will not leave empty-handed. He will certainly bless you and make it worth your while. People around the world seek audiences with their country’s king and fight for a piece of his time, even if they have to wait for months. How much more should we value when the King of Kings comes to interact with us and draw us into a special time with Him!