TEXT: GENESIS 21:1 “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken (NKJV)”.
As you read this message the Lord would visit you as He has promised in Jesus name. Everything that the Lord has spoken concerning you through prophesies, dreams and visions He would bring to performance speedily in Jesus name. You would not miss God’s purpose for your creation in Jesus name.
Our text is one of the most promising records of the faithfulness of God and the respect that God has for His own word. In Isaiah 55:11, God made it clear that “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (NLT). What can we learn from this passage? One of the lessons we can learn from this passage is the fact that even if the promise of God has not yet been fulfilled at the moment, it would surely come to past at the appointed time. As the bible enjoined, all you need is to wait for the manifestation. While waiting, continue to praise Him as a sign of faith in His ability to bring His promises to performance in your life. We can see many evidences in the bible and in our generation that show that those that wait on His promises have never been disappointed nor put to shame. You would not be put to shame as you wait on Him in Jesus name.
The bible says in Hab.2:3 that “This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed” (NLT). Habakkuk is very clear about how God works. It may appear that He is delaying but in most cases any delay is for a purpose. A lot of time, such delays would work in your favour as it may prevent you from destruction. The bible provides answer to why God may appear to be delayed or delaying. In 2 Pet. 3:9 God says that “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (NIV). This means that the Lord may delay His visitation to test your level of faith, obedience and love for Him rather than what you can get from Him. Job is a very popular example of a man whose walk with God was not dependent on what He can or cannot get from God. He was emphatic in Job 13:15, where he states that “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (KJV). Can you confidently say the same? When you get to the level where you can declare to the world that you are not moved by what you see, then you have made yourself a candidate for divine visitation.
The Lord would visit you and meet you at the point of your needs in Jesus name. You may want to ask yourself why we have divine visitation. Divine visitation is always for at least a reason. The reason may be positive or negative or multi-purpose. An example of divine visitation is the visitation of the Angels to Abraham and later Lot in Genesis 18 & 19. While for Abraham and Lot it led to a positive outcome, for Sodom and Gomorrah and its inhabitants it was for judgement and destruction. My prayer is that your divine visitation would not be for judgement and destruction in Jesus name.
What do we need to do to attract His divine visitation?
Divine visitation does not come by accident. There is always a reason why God would pay us mortal visits. A look at the various times when God paid visits to men reveals that God always have a reason and a purpose. Let us look at the divine visitation of God to Adam the first man. In Gen.2:8, we were told that “They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” (NASB). From this passage we can deduce that God has the habits of paying Adam and Eve a visit at that time of day for daily and routine fellowship. This would explain why it was not difficult for them to recognise His presence. Also, from their reaction, we can also deduce that whenever God paid visits, Adam and Eve used to abide in His presence. Of course, when God visited them, it was always a time of fellowship with Him as they had nothing to hide. I can imagine that period to be time of physical and spiritual refreshing and nourishing. That once beautiful relationship and communion was lost and they could no longer behold the glory of God. Instead, immediately after their disobedience to God’s commandment, fear got a hold on them and they lost their peace. In addition, Adam and Eve were actually convicted by their own spirit before God had spoken to them.
How does this affect us as children of God? Sincerely, I can inform you that if you are truly a child of God, then each time in His presence would always be a time of physical and spiritual refreshing and nourishment. Satan would have nothing to accuse you of and you would therefore have no inhibition in expressing yourself before God. Also, if you are a truly born-again child of God, when you sin against God, your spirit would be your first judge. That is one of the ways to know whether you still harbour any love for God at all or you have lost any iota of the love of God. The day any man’s heart does not convict them after a sin, then that is a sign that the fellow has actually backslidden and would need the grace of God to be delivered. As revealed in the case of Adam and Eve, when you sin against God fear would become your companion and you would not be bold to behold His presence. I pray that the Lord would keep you from falling in Jesus name.
Sacrifice is one of the best ways to attract divine visitation into your situation. When you are in right standing before God, then you need to add to your faith and obedience sacrifices. One way of attracting divine visitation that has never failed is the act of sacrifices. Let me tell you that sacrifices can be material and can be spiritual. Material sacrifices have to do with giving quality offering to God cheerfully. Two commonly recognised acts of cheerful and quality sacrifices in the bible are that of Abraham and Solomon. In the case of Abraham, he offered the most precious thing that he had waited for many years to obtain back to God. As you know, he did not just offer a child out of many but he offered the only child of promise. You then wonder why God was so close to Abraham to the point that God would not do anything without telling Abraham. In Gen .18: 17, then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? So, when you sing Abraham’s blessings are mine, I hope you are also prepared to give a quality sacrifice that would cost you something.
When you also look at the life of Solomon, you would see another example of unparalleled quality sacrifice. The bible records that “Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it” (II Chron. 1:6)-NIV. You may want to explain this act as been due to Solomon’s riches. That is far from the truth. Experience has shown that you can be rich and yet not offer extra-ordinary sacrifices. It has been found out that sometimes those that give the highest proportion of their income are actually not the rich. That we can see in the illustration of our Lord Jesus Christ about the offering of the rich and that of the poor widow in LK. 21: 1-4.
Obedience is another important way to attract the attention of heaven for a divine visitation. The song writer sang, trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey. God through Prophet Samuel told Saul, in I Sam. 15: 22 that "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams”- NIV. This tells you that as important as sacrifices are to God, obedience is even much more important. It tells us that God would not accept the sacrifices of a disobedient servant of His. Anointing minus obedience would lead to rejection. I pray that the Lord would not reject you in Jesus name.
Faith is one of the most important way by which you can attract divine visitation. The bible says that “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” – Heb.11:6, NIV). This means that there cannot be a divine visitation without pleasing God. How can we please God? It is simple. You have to believe Him, trust Him and accept the fact that whatever He says concerning you He is able to bring to pass. If he says at the cycle of life that he would visit you, then you must know that he would surely visit. Faith is so central to all other identified ways by which you can attract divine visitation. For instance, you can only offer a true worship to God, pray without ceasing, show love and compassion, praise God wholeheartedly, have absolute obedience to God’s commands if your faith in God is unconditional.
We were told in Heb. 11: 17-19 that ‘By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death’ (NIV). If you look at men and women whose faith were recognised in Hebrew 11 (Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Enoch, and Rahab, to mention a few) you would observe that they displayed various acts that were counted for faith.
Brethren, how strong are your faith in God? Do you believe that in whatever state you are God is in control? Do you love God to the point that you can lift your hand in praise and say like the Psalmist states in Psa. 31: 15a that ‘My times are in your hands’? - NIV. Similarly, Jeremiah, one of the great old testaments prophets was so God-dependent as to say in Jer. 26:14 that ‘as for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right’ (NIV). When you get to the level that you can say that God, I give myself completely to you, I do not want to control my life anymore but I want you to lead me and I would follow. If you can say Lord, hitherto I have been leading myself, but from now you are in charge of my life and whatever you say I would do; wherever you lead I would go, then you are on the way to a divine visitation. When you get to the level that you can say to God that it does not matter whether it makes sense or not; it does not matter whether the majority feel otherwise I am prepared to let you have your way, then you are prepared for a divine visitation.
One of my favourite hymns is that by Fanny Crosby (1875) where she says I am thine O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told thy love to me... I pray that the Lord would impress into your heart a desire and a passion for Him that would cause you to attract His visitation in Jesus name. I hope one of the readers of this bulletin would go to God and say “Father, increase my faith”. As many as would sincerely say this prayer, the Lord would hear you and do unto you according to your heart desire in Jesus name. You would be divinely visited.
My dear reader, I challenge you to go and put these keys to practice and see if you would not receive a divine visitation. You would be divinely visited in Jesus name.
Dr. Yinka Okude
Pastor – in – Charge
RCCG, Jesus Sanctuary, Northampton.