by Dr Barry Chant, Author and teacher, Tabor Publications
In our lives, churches and nation we need a divine Visitation and Awakening.
“Then Elisha got up again and walked once back and forth in the house, and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.” (2 Kings 4:35).
This month we are praying for an awakening in the nation. Many people have already been pleading earnestly for revival. Others have been praying for a visitation. What is the difference? Is there a difference?
The Old Testament story of Elisha and the Shunammite’s son provides us a useful analogy. The boy had been born as a result of a promise from God spoken by Elisha. It was a miracle. But then, when he was old enough to help his father in the field, he collapsed, apparently overcome by sunstroke.
His mother, naturally distressed, went to see the prophet. She said in effect, ‘You promised me a son and now I have lost him. What kind of promise was that?’
So Elisha sent his servant Gehazi to lay his staff on the boy’s face and restore him to life. Gehazi did as directed but nothing happened. He did not try again. The mother, meanwhile, refused to return home without Elisha. She wanted more than tokenism. And in spite of her child’s death she continually declared, ‘All is well.’ Even in her grief and disappointment, she was unswerving in her faith in Elisha.
When he arrived, Elisha went to the room alone and prayed. Then he stretched himself out on the boy’s body—eye to eye, mouth to mouth, hand to hand.
Divine visitation is like this. It delivers us from times of spiritual lethargy and morbidity.
The greatest such Visitation was seen two millennia ago through Jesus Christ. ‘Because of the tender mercy of our God,’ prophesied Zechariah, ‘the sunrise shall visit us from on high’ (Luke 1:78).
The Psalmist cried, ‘Visit me with your salvation’, a line made universally known through Charles Wesley’s great hymn, ‘Love divine all loves excelling’. And through Jeremiah, God said, ‘I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise’ (Jeremiah 29:10). Sadly, many people did not know the day of their visitation (Luke 19:44).
This was also an awakening. A foundation of faith and prayer was laid.
Years later, the prophet Isaiah cried, ‘Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem’ (Isaiah 52:1). And the apostle wrote, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you’ (Ephesians 5:14).
The boy had nothing to do with it. Neither the visitation nor the awakening were a reward for his efforts. Both were sovereign acts by another person. In our case, a spiritual Awakening is also a sovereign act this time of God. But we, like the Shunammite mother, can position ourselves to receive it.
In our lives, in our churches and in our nation we need both a divine Visitation and a divine Awakening.
Then comes New Life—which is the meaning of the word ‘Re-vival’. Unlike the others, which tend to be short-lived, Revival is an ongoing experience: a continuous, day-by-day new life in Christ. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). We walk—that is, keep going—in newness of life (Romans 6:4). We are renewed daily (2 Cor 4:16). Once dead in sin, we are now made alive in Christ (Eph 2:5). We are crucified with Christ yet we live by faith in him (Galatians 2:20).
This is what we need. Our people need it. Our churches need it. Our country needs it.
Visitation. Awakening. And then Revival!
Heavenly Father, like the Shunammite’s son, in our incapacity may we experience a Visitation from on high, a nation-wide Awakening and an ongoing, life-changing, heart-cleansing, hope-building, joy-filled, Christ-centred Revival that will sustain us and enliven us until the great Day of the Lord!
Watch Pinnacle Pocket Revival Testimony www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXuZEGwTq2g
Canberra Declaration Daily Prayer Points for October
- AWAKENING to Christ: Renewal in the Church and Revival in the Nation – with millions coming to Christ. John 3:16
- AWAKENING for Marriage: Renewal of marriages and restoration of marriage. Ephesians 5: 25 -32
- AWAKENING for Family: Renewal and healing for families. Isaiah 61:1
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