Why do we need divine visitation? We need divine visitation to bring the wisdom, power, favour, and blessing of heaven upon our efforts.
Divine visitation brings heaven down and overrules the powers of the enemy at work in our situation, opening the floodgates of heaven to bring down blessings that money cannot buy, nor human influence guarantee. It stamps our work with eternal value that is a fulfilment of that petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
One thing that summarises the exercise of fasting is the desire for a closer encounter with the Divine. We are further encouraged by such scriptural promises as in James 4:8: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” We can indeed go much further back to the prophets, for Jeremiah also writes, Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
That the Lord Jesus Christ also speaks about the conditions for divine visitation clears the air of ambiguities, for we read in John 14:21,23, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him…Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
When it comes to divine visitation, we must be careful about creating boundaries of manifestation, based on our varied temperaments and denominational traditions. The heart condition transcends denominational affiliations and sentiments. No one, and nothing can or should set limits for divine expression, though some have attempted to do that. God can express Himself as He chooses without being subject to any unbiblical scrutiny or narrowminded interpretations.
Some red lights might be flashing in some readers’ minds at this point, as they wonder, in concern and exasperation, ‘How then can we curb the excesses of charlatans?” The Bible answers such genuine concerns with a genuine assurance, in Heb. 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Furthermore, the Lord Jesus teaches us, “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”” (Luke 11:11–13).
As we think of divine visitation, John Newton’s words in this hymn is reassuring:
Approach, my soul, the mercy seat
where Jesus answers prayer;
there humbly fall before his feet,
for none can perish there.
Thy promise is my only plea;
with this I venture nigh:
thou callest burdened souls to thee,
and such, O Lord, am I.
We yearn for divine visitation, not because we are worthy – for we are not. We ask, because that is our only hope, and we ask in the name and on the merits of Christ Jesus alone. The Psalmist puts his yearning in these words which are fitting prayers for us:
Psalm 42:1: “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.”
Psalm 84:1–4: “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah”