The gates have been opened upon this nation and the Spirit of the Anti-Christ is wreaking havoc. It is ONLY God’s manifest presence that will change things that we can’t.
Perhaps we’ve finally come to the point where we are saying, “God, we can’t do this!” As Rick Torrison from Intercessors for America recently shared, God has been looking for a person, a church, a city and a nation to come to the point of saying “I can’t”, so He can move in and say, “But, I CAN”. Well, America – we’re there. There is no way we can fix our problems apart from a supernatural invasion of a Holy God.
I’m not talking about his omnipresence which is evident in creation (Romans 1:20). I’m not talking about his indwelling presence which we receive upon salvation (Ephesians 3:16, 17). I’m talking about the manifest presence of God that comes upon us to demonstrate to the world, the glory and goodness of a loving, Heavenly Father (Acts 1:8). It is when the manifest presence of the Lord comes that there are signs and wonders (Acts 4:30), healings, salvations and deliverance. It is in the manifest presence of God that we go beyond believing and start experiencing the goodness and greatness of God. It is when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is HERE!
Moses knew this and told God he wouldn’t go a step further to the Promised Land until God’s presence went before them. David knew this when he brought back the Ark of God’s presence into Jerusalem. Jesus told the disciples to not even TRY to preach the gospel without the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit upon their lives.
This is what the Church MUST be about in these days, for there is no other option. This is the ONLY thing that will save this nation and it must come through us as believers. The question is do we know how to carry in His presence? Have we built a cart that the Lord never told us to build? Just as David discovered in I Chronicles 13 when he tried to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, we don’t need the fancy cart (stage and lights), the strong men (charismatic singers and speakers with powerful gifts) or creative vision (congregational parade or community event). Have we become so engrossed in our programs, gifts and ministries that we have totally ignored the greater thing? Have we become so stage-centered and Hollywood driven that we have forgotten the secret place? There is a place for events and parades, but if they have not been birthed in the secret place, they are man-inspired carts that will fall and kill God’s intended purposes.
God always comes to the ONE before He comes to the many. He seeks that one person with clean hands and a pure heart (Jeremiah 5:1). THIS is what attracts His presence. Has the Church really taken the time to ask God HOW He wants to come? He never intended for the Ark of His presence to be carried in on the ideas and gifts of man. He meant for it to be carried in on the shoulders of true worshipers. He means to carry His presence into this nation through YOU – the ONE. Not some well-known evangelist or worldwide ministry, but YOU – one person who daily seeks His face crying out for a deeper relationship with Him. It is here that He comes to reveal Himself and fill you with heaven’s resources and glory to give away to others.
Pastors and church leaders – do you take time for personal worship and cultivate a lifestyle of waiting upon the Lord and soaking in His presence? Do you get in the pulpit so full of His glory that your congregation is provoked to a godly jealousy? Community leaders – do you wait before the Lord for wisdom and revelation to be a change agent in your city? Moms and Dads – do you nurture an atmosphere in your home where God’s presence is welcomed and holiness is celebrated? Young people – do you have the courage to step away from peer pressure long enough to get on your face rather than on Facebook?
God is looking for a people who will step away from the spotlights and distractions and get on their faces in worship, listening rather than talking. There is a time for petitions and requests but now is the time for shutting our mouths and listening to His voice. It’s not about us anymore. The fact is, it never was.
The glory of God comes upon us for others. It’s time we grow up and get past ourselves, our goals and ministries, our spiritual ambitions and come again to the cross. This world is literally headed to hell unless we, as believers, begin to cultivate a lifestyle that lives out of His presence. We must learn to pray not TO God, but FROM God. There’s a difference. Intercession IS important, but not the kind we’ve done in the past, always asking but rarely listening.
As I have been pursuing this lifestyle these past few years it has changed me from the inside out. I spend a lot more time praying in the spirit and waiting for His voice than I do tearing down strongholds and railing against the enemy. In our own congregation, we practice this every Saturday night as we soak in His presence for an hour before praying together for the Sunday service. Where we thought we would intercede during the soaking, we find we can’t speak – can’t even move. We are undone by His presence and He changes us. The fruit has been evident. Healings, salvations and deliverance have increased. Worship has been inspired and broken yokes. The Word has increased in authority and power. Gifts have been stirred and people have been empowered to be witnesses during the week. Even so, we no longer care how many people come to our church. We are focused on attracting God, not people. Our sole desire is to draw heaven’s attention by the condition of our hearts, not the appearance of our service.
God wants to use YOU to carry in His presence to those around you. It WILL cost you – time, effort, but mostly your flesh. Don’t wait to get desperate. His presence is available now if you but make room. It’s no longer about growing our churches or living the abundant lifestyle. It’s now about life and death – spiritual and even physical. Heaven is waiting for a few hungry hearts to pursue His presence and carry His glory, Just as gates have been opened to the enemy, so we can open new gates that will usher in a spiritual awakening to demonstrate the glory and power of the Only One True God. It’s possible. He just needs someone.
“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.” (Jeremiah 5:1)