PREREQUISITE FOR DIVINE VISITATION
To visit means to habitually go to (someone in distress, sickness etc.) to comfort them. MT 25: 43
To go and meet (a person) as an act of friendliness or sociability.
Of God: to appear to (someone) to comfort, bless, or chastise or punish them.
Even though God has given the rulership of the earth unto mankind, man still needs God all the time. So God visited man under the new covenant to divinely intervene in the affairs of man.
Psa 115:16 KJV The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
However, God does not, independent of man, intervene in his affairs. Before God visits mankind, there must be some things that must happen or take place.
As we read of various accounts of God’s visitations, we see what led to it and we may learn from them.
Luk 1:67-80 KJV 67-75 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
The Greek word they used for “visited” in that verse 68 is “episkeptomai” and it means: Phonetic: ep-ee-skep’-tom-ahee Thayer Definition:
to look upon or after, to inspect, examine with the eyes
in order to see how he is, i.e. to visit, go to see one; the poor and afflicted, the sick
to look upon in order to help or to benefit
to look after, have care for, provide for: of God
The word here rendered “visited” means properly “to look upon;” then to look upon in order “to know the state of anyone;” then to visit for the purpose of “aiding those who need aid,” or alleviating misery. Compare Mat 25:43.
In this sense it is used here. God “looked upon” the world – he saw it miserable – he came to relieve it, and brought salvation.
So many times when God visits people in the Old testament, it is either he comes to bless them or punish them with calamity and evil.
But this particular word that is used here is very important because it did not refer to or mention God visiting people to punish them. It has 11 occurrences in the new testament. Each time it talks about either God visiting His people to check them out and see how He could help them, or talks about Paul visiting the established churches to see how they were doing.
ye visited (2) Mat 25:36; Mat 25:43 (refs2)
he hath visited (1) Luke 1:68
hath visited (2)Luk 1:78; Luk 7:16 (refs2)
look ye out (1)Act 6:3
to visit (2)Act 7:23; Jas 1:27 (refs2)
did visit (1)Act 15:14
and visit (1)Act 15:36
thou visitest (1)Heb 2:6
When we talk about divine visitation, I wanted to know what the Bible says about it, how they got the divine visitation, what they did that brought about divine visitation.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS DIVINE VISITATION?
Healing, deliverance, breakthrough, deliverance, opportunity, salvation and wonders.
The example of Zecharias and Elizabeth
The story of Zechariahs and Elizabeth is well known in the bible.
This is what the bible had to say about them
Luk 1:6 KJV And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
They were old but still serving the Lord. Even though they had this challenge, the Bible says this wonderful thing about them. It is very rare today for this kind of virtue among Christians today. When many face challenges, they either decline from God service or totally abandon their duty post and Christianity entirely.
Just like the woman that was bound by the devil for 18 years, she was in the temple the day Jesus saw her and healed her. If there were to be many Christians today, they would sit at home on service day, they would say I am tired, I am weak, I have body pain, my stomach is disturbing me and so on and so forth. but here is the woman with a back problem. She was still able to be in the synagogue. The day of your visitation, may your seat not be vacant.
The encounter that changed everything for the family of Zechariahs took place while he was busy serving the Lord.
Luk 1:8-11 KJV 8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. 11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
We are informed in the Talmud, that it was the custom of the priests to divide the different functions of the sacerdotal office among themselves by lot: and, in this case, the decision of the lot was, that Zacharias should at that time burn the incense before the Lord, in the holy place.
Four lots were drawn to determine the order of the ministry of the day : the first, before daybreak, to designate the priests who were to cleanse the altar and prepare its fires; the second for the priest who was to offer the sacrifice and cleanse the candlestick and the altar of incense; the third for the priest who should burn incense; and the fourth appointing those who were to lay the sacrifice and meat offering on the altar, and pour out the drink offering. There are said to have been twenty thousand priests in Christ ‘s time, so that no priest would ever offer incense more than once.
The part assigned to each priest in his week of service was decided by lot. Three were employed at the offering of incense—to remove the ashes of the former service; to bring in and place on the golden altar the pan filled with hot burning coals taken from the altar of burnt offering; and to sprinkle the incense on the hot coals; and, while the smoke of it ascended, to make intercession for the people. This was the most distinguished part of the service (Re 8:3), and this was what fell to the lot of Zacharias at this time
It was during his turn for sacrifice that an angel appeared unto him. While he was on duty.He received what we call a divine visitation in the line of duty. I pray for all that are labouring in the house of God day and night, that you will have your own encounter in Jesus name.
The angel brought the good news to him even though he doubted for a while but the word of the angel came to pass.
Luk 1:13 KJV But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
For those labouring day and night in the house of God, keep doing it, even when no one acknowledges you-keep doing it, even when the Pastor has not greeted you-keep doing it. Very soon there will be divine visitation just like that of Zechariahs in Jesus name.
The question is are you busy in the house of the Lord? Is there time it is your turn to do something for the Lord?
1Cor 15:58 KJV Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Col 3:23-24 KJV 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
So as Zechariah was busy serving God, he was also praying that was why the angel said his prayer had been answered.
OTHER INSTANCES OF GOD’S VISITATION
Moses and the children of israel
Exo 3:16-17 KJV 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: 17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
This was the genesis or the beginning of their deliverance. God visited them
I wanted to know what prompted this visitation of God. What were they doing that made God visit them? I saw in chapter two their brief history after the death of Joseph and all the patriarchs.
Joseph while still in Egypt had prophesied that God will visit them to bring them to the land God had promised.
Gen 50:24 KJV And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Did it come to pass?
Exo 2:23-25 KJV 23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
They were groaning and cried unto God and God heard their groaning. Are there people groaning today, God has answered you. because God heard them, He sent them a deliverer. After this encounter your own Moses shall show up in Jesus’ name.
The Bible says God remembered the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob promising to give the Canaan land to their descendants.
Gen 15:13-14 KJV 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
What triggered that remembrance was the cry or prayers of the Israelites.
The Bible says God remembered. Does God forget? No he doesn’t.
Isa 43:26 KJV Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.
This is human language to give human emotions to God. It is called anthropomorphism. That is the attribution of human characteristics and behavior to something not human. or the attribution of human characteristics to divine beings.
The hebrew word used for remembered there is”zakar”
It means: to remember, recall, call to mind, to be brought to remembrance, be remembered, be thought of, be brought to mind
Therefore, when the Bible says God remembers, it means it is time for attention to be focused on that thing or person.
The children of Israel were calling to mind or reminding God of His promise to their forefathers in their prayers and God heard them and visited them. This week may heaven remember you in Jesus name.
Divine visitation is connected to the cry of help
ANOTHER CASE STUDY: GIDEON
The children of Israel sinned against God and because their covenant is based on performance, God delivered them into the hands of the Midianites
Jdg 6:3-6 KJV 3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; 4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. 5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. 6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.
The Bible says they cried unto God. And what did God do?
The Lord sent them a prophet
Jdg 6:7-8 KJV 7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, 8 That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;
But that didn’t bring the needed help, so He visited them:
Jdg 6:11-12 KJV 11 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
There are many today that are labouring for others to reap it or labouring in vain, after this encounter those midianites wasting your efforts shall perish by fire in Jesus name.
ANOTHER CASE STUDY: SARAH
Gen 21:1-2 KJV 1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
Before any divine visitation, there are requirements:
- Divine promises that were now remembered or attended to. In the case of the children of Israel it was because of the promise made to Abraham.
In this case of Sarah, there had been promises especially in
Gen 17:19 KJV And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
Gen 18:10 KJV And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
The promise was on the part of God but there has to be our own part which is:
- faith in the promise: The children of Israel knew the promise given to their forefathers and had faith in them. That was what prompted their crying. In the case of Sarah and Abraham, there was faith in the promises especially on the part of Sarah. This is what the writer of Hebrew has to say:
Heb 11:11 KJV Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
She judged God to be faithful to what He had promised. What of Abraham? this is what the Bible says:
Rom 4:18-21 KJV 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
You see the two of them having the same attributes that God was able to fulfill what He had promised. Evidence that Abrahm was in faith was that he gave glory to God before Isaac was even conceived. Paul says we are to abound with thanksgiving if we abound in faith. Evidence that you are in faith is that you will abound in thanksgiving.
CASE STUDY OF JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES
Mar 6:47-50 KJV 47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. 48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
He was coming purposely to help them but because God will not solely and independent of us intervene in human affairs, He behaved as if He would pass them by. Then they cried out.
The Greek word for “cry out” there is “anakrazo”
Phonetic: an-ak-rad’-zo It means: to raise a cry from the depth of the throat, to scream and cry out
The Bible says call upon Him in the day of trouble and he will answer you. They that call upon the LOrd shall be saved.
Before there will be a divine visitation, there has to be:
- A promise that is remembered
- a yearning for a change
- A cry for the actualization and
- faith in the promise.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO MISS GOD’S VISITATION?
There were two major times in the Bible that Jesus wept. one was at the tomb of Lazarus Jn 11: 35 and the other was here in:
Luk 19:41-44 KJV 41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
The time of their visitation was the time they had been expecting Messiah to come as it had been long prophesied. but now Messiah was walking within their midst and they did not recognize or acknowledge Him rather they killed HIM. They missed it.
- When a man is not in the place where he ought to be at the time of visitation
Gen 3:9 KJV And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
The testimony of a woman visited by an angel in the church but was absent at the service..
This is another lesson in what provokes divine visitation is not giving up, it is to be steadfast, it is not abandoning hope and always expectant. In fact it always comes with expectation.
HOW DO WE PRAY FOR DIVINE VISITATION?
Let’s go back to our text in Luke chapter one.
Luk 1:68 KJV Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
The verb used for “visited” for aorist in Greek and it is like our own past tense. it means an action that was done in the time past but will not be repeated.
As at the time Zecharias made the prophecy which was not about John his son but about Jesus, Jesus had not been born. So why was he using the term visited which is past tense? Jesus had not been born yet.
The reason is because as far as God is concerned it was a done deal. The Bible says Jesus was the lamb of God slain from the foundation of the earth.
Rev 13:8 KJV And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
How do we apply that to our prayer? We take our visitation as a done deal. so we declared that we have been visited and redeemed. We are not trying to be visited or praying for God’s visitation rather it is already a done deal. So we declare what has been done. Zecharias was praying looking forward to what will be done but we looked back at what has been accomplished. This is faith and what brings early manifestations. Never plead or beg God for what is already done but receive it.
Father, I thank you for visiting me. I receive the divine visitation over my life, destiny, jobs and ministry.. I walk in the divine visitation. I am visited.
I receive the divine visitation over my life and destiny.
I receive the divine visitation over my marriage, my business, my body, in Jesus name.
Anointing for divine visitation is upon my life now.