A Hunger for His Presence
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1). Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen (James 5:7- NLT) Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone (Zechariah 10:1).
I want to bear my heart to you today. I have been baptized with the Holy Spirit now for thirty two years and eight months. When I was first Spirit-filled, there was a great outpouring of the Spirit on the denominational world. A genuine hunger for God was evident. The Charismatic movement was in full manifestation.
In the church I attended after being Spirit-baptized, the Holy Spirit would manifest time and time again in the services. Those oppressed by demons would cry out in the service due to the manifest presence of God! Many, many were born again and Spirit-filled. It’s the closest thing to revival that I’ve ever personally been a part of. I long for that again! As Kenneth Hagin said many years ago, Once you get a taste of the Spirit of God, nothing else can satisfy.
Now, thirty plus years later, it seems as though we’ve become sated and satisfied. The intense hunger is not what it once was (I’m speaking in generalities here). We’re saturated with teaching, with vibrant Christian music in every genre imaginable. Charismatic churches have sprung up everywhere! Christian programming is abundant on TV and radio, and now the internet is filled with religious content, if you want it! This is wonderful.
But, my heart craves the Presence! It craves the deep moving of the Holy Spirit that creates a Holy hush and a deep, penetrating conviction of heart. In the first Bible School I attended, scheduled between some of our classes we would have a devotional time of worship with someone then sharing a scripture. Many times, the Holy Spirit would settle upon us while we were worshipping, and, before you know it, the whole class was prostrate on the floor while the deep, penetrating Presence of a Holy God swept over us. The Holy hush of the moment deeply affect all us former hippies and drug addicts! God was working on us inside and talking to each of us personally in these moments about motives, attitudes, and habits of the flesh and mind. He was moving us towards Himself and creating change deep within.
The Father wants these corporate moments with us now where His Presence supersedes everything! Are we willing to change to foster this? The challenge I have is that I preach three services every single weekend because we’ve outgrown our facility. I have to be careful of the children’s workers who are in the back, and of time in general, especially on Sunday mornings. All the while, the Father wants to woo us into deep, heartfelt times of intimacy.
Let me suggest some things. If you attend Victory Fellowship, or really, regardless of where you attend church, begin now to cry out for more of God! Ask Him to create in you a hunger for Himself that eclipses everything else in life. Ask Him to breed in you dissatisfaction with everything in your life that has become a spiritual weight. Then, ask the Father to manifest His heavy, weighty, Holy Presence among us in our church services. The truth is, when He shows up in this way, nothing else matters.
If you’re attending a church that is not open to the moving of the Spirit, find one that is! If you attend Victory, cry out with me for an all encompassing move of God among us that cuts through the surface things and reaches the heart! As the beginning scripture says, Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. This is asking the Lord for a fresh moving of His Spirit!
Then, before you attend a church service, prepare your heart. Get up early enough, or get away enough before a service that you can wait in God’s Presence alone before you come to the church meeting. Ask Him to manifest. Tell Him that you personally long for Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to each person. Then, wait quietly a while. Then, as you come into the service, expect Him to manifest Himself. I believe He will meet us all in our hunger! Let’s expect Him to do it!