I am consumed by the desire to see a supernatural outpouring of the presence of God in America. I want to see people across our great nation experience the power and presence of a personal revival that shakes the gates of hell. I want to see millions of people be saved and set free, washed clean by the blood of Jesus, and filled with power of the Holy Spirit. And I believe that in order to see this happen, our country must have strong leaders being led and leading by the presence of God.
There are no substitutes for the presence of God. We need traditions, methods and organization. We need roots, modern methods, unity and continuity. But without the presence of God, even the strongest of organizations can fall.
The people of Israel are the perfect example of the impact of the presence of God. The Israelites grew from a mostly unorganized group fleeing slavery and religious persecution to an organized nation with a king, a land, and land divisions. Their miraculous exodus, survival in the wilderness, and then rise as a nation can only be attributed to the presence and power of God among them.
We see all throughout the Old Testament how the presence of God helped the nation of Israel and its leaders prosper. Though characteristically a false prophet and deceiver, Balaam is on record as making an observation about Israel that was definitively Holy Spirit–inspired and is, in my opinion, one of the greatest declarations of the Old Testament:
"He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen perverseness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them" (Num. 23:21).
Notice the two prophetic declarations from Balaam here about the people of God:
- "The Lord his God is with him..."
- "The shout of a king is among them."
What established Israel as a mighty nation and army? Their legalism? No! Their numbers? No! Their genius? No! The leadership of Moses and Joshua? Absolutely not!
Instead, the presence and the power of God unlocked freedom and deliverance for the people of God. The list is staggering of that which God unleashed to bring them to a place of safety, provision and prosperity, and the miracles are overwhelming:
- God sent the 12 plagues upon Egypt to warn them of the consequence of Pharaoh's refusal to let His people go.
- The final plague, the death angel, brought about the loss of the firstborn children all throughout Egypt.
- God saved the Israelites from that final plague by providing atonement in the form of blood painted on the doorposts of all Israelite homes.
- At the time of the exodus, the Israelites left the land of their captivity with the riches of Egypt in their hands.
- God allowed the people to cross the Red Sea on dry land.
- The Egyptian army drowned in the waters of the Red Sea after God's people had reached the other side.
- God led His people through the wilderness with clouds by day and fire by night.
- He provided water in the desert, causing it to run out of the rock.
- He provided food in the form of fresh manna.
- For 40 years, the Israelites' clothes did not wear out, and their shoes did not wax old.
- Though the River Jordan was swollen and impossible to cross, the high priests took hold of the ark and placed it upon their shoulders, and as their feet touched the waters of the river, the presence of God divided the water.
- The walls of Jericho fell.
- In 5 years the Israelites subdued and conquered 31 kings.
The presence of God characterized the leadership, might, power, and genius in the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. It did the same among New Testament believers. It is the same thing that has made the church what it is today.
The purpose of the church is to reveal the presence of God. Israel revealed the presence of God, and the church today is to reveal the presence of God. It makes us an invincible army. It is not our apostolic titles, nor our constitution and by-laws, nor our organization or denomination, nor our orthodox beliefs that make the world tremble. For sure it's not our lack of worldliness. It is the presence of God.
The question is simple: Does God attend your church? Is the presence of God there?
There is a story about one young girl who had never attended church. One Sunday morning she walked into church and asked, "Does God attend church here?" When asked why, she answered, "The doctor said my mom is going to die unless God intervenes. Is this a church where God attends?"
We must ask ourselves, How does the world see us? Are we different? When people attend church, do they know the presence of God is there?
After all, what purpose do we have as individuals or as a body of believers unless His presence is revealed? His presence delivers us from fatalism, physical harm, lies, dilution, and nervous conditions.
Next week will be Part 2. In the meantime, we would love to know your thoughts about revival. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you!
Have an awesome week!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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