I learn that Oriental people have an ability to give honor that surpasses anything I have ever witnessed anywhere else. We practice hospitality in the West, but we are kind of casual about it: "Oh, hi. Come in. Sit down if you want to."
It is not the way with the Chinese. They are very careful to focus all their attention and energies on their guests. They put their guests' well-being first, and they work tirelessly to put their guests' comfort, peace, and happiness above their own. The way the Chinese carefully prepare in advance for their guests' arrival is an open statement declaring that those guests are highly valued and respected. They even carefully reserve the traditional seat of honor ... the chair furthest from and facing the door.
My Bible says that Jesus wept over Jerusalem and her people when they missed their hour of visitation. I wonder if God weeps over us when we grieve His Spirit by clinging on to our agendas, schedules, and dinner forks instead of lingering, pursuing, and wooing Him with our worship and adoration? (Who will be held responsible for causing our cities to miss their visitation too?).
This sad scenario goes on service after service. We go through the motion of religious duty week after week and year after year thinking we have 'arrived.'
When will the Church realize that God isn't looking for the list ark; He knows where that is. He is looking for 'the lost worshippers' so that He can replace the list glory in the earth.
The first time Jesus came, He carried His glory lightly because He walked in humility. He tiptoed through our world so He would not disturb His creation, much as an adult tiptoes through a child's playroom to avoid breaking the toys. The next time Jesus appears, He will be astride a horse and will come in unrestrained power and authority to repossess the entire house. When His feet touch the top of the Mount of Olives, His kabod, His weighty glory, will be so great that the Mount of Olives will literally split in two. The eastern gate will suddenly open to allow His 'real' triumphant entry. The first was just the rehearsal. Next time He will be in costume! And every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
There is too much of man in the Church, and too little of God. Facing man can only cause us to respond to man's approval. Seek the face of God. Lose the fear of man --- and gain the fear of God.
If you really want an outbreak of the glory of God in your Church and city, you will have to forget about what anybody else except God thinks. Real revival happens only when true worshippers forget about man and turn their full attention and adoration toward God. We must forget about the opinions and approval or disapproval of people. We need to forget what they are saying, and forget what they are thinking. Only One opinion matters.
The reason that the world doesn't really fear God is because most of us in the Church don't really fear Him either. For many years, Christianity, for the most part, has been absent of a visitation of the fear of the Lord. How could they fear Him whose power they have never experienced? We like to talk about it while never really understanding it! But if you ever experience it, you will understand. Just as an encounter with electricity leaves you with a permanently endowed memory, so does a legitimate encounter with the manifest presence of God.
The reason you should desire an open heaven in your Church and city is because the demonic forces whom we battle lose their authority in the manifest presence of God (Mark 5:2-6). When God comes to the scene, there simply isn't a battle! There is no one left standing to even think about challenging Him. Even the demons are too busy running away or bowing their knees to the Almighty One.
The most alarming time is not when God comes to knock at our door. It is when the knocking stops
I want to see Jesus in all His power, vitality, beauty and glory. Show me Your face
I think too many of us are just too concerned about the approval of men to pursue the presence of God. We need to become like starving little children crying for help
Perhaps the greatest problem in the Church preventing the opening of the heavens today is the fear of man. Some leaders admit that the fear of man drives 90% of their decisions. Man-oriented and man-pleasing decisions are driving the Church toward spiritual bankruptcy and are closing the windows of Heaven.
Too many people would squander the anointing on unsanctified, unrepentant flesh to win man's approval. The anointing can only make purified flesh smell better temporarily if the root is a rotten and unrepentant, proud heart. Don't waste God's precious anointing by running after man's approval. Use it to prepare the Bride for the King.
Moses knew the difference between the anointing and the glory. He had the anointing of God. He knew the thrill of working miracles and signs and wonders through the anointing. Moses had a good thing, but he asked God for the best thing. He said, "Please show me Your glory."
The evidence of God's power in the anointing isn't enough anymore. The gifts, blessings, and provisions of His hands are appreciated, but I want more. I want Him. I long to see His glory and dwell in His manifest presence more than I long for the blessings of His hands.
Repentance is an on-going, daily requirements in the life of every disciple of Christ. That is why Jesus said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily (let him die to self through daily repentance), and follow Me.
God uses His anointing to train us, cleanse us, heal us, and prepare us for His manifest presence in ways reminiscent of the way the King's chamberlain prepared Esther for the king of Persia. In the end, the anointing takes us back to the altar of God, and the place of repentance. Repentance, in turn, can usher in the very glory of God.
The difference between the anointing of God and the glory of God is like the difference between the tiny blue spark of static electricity and the raw power of a 440-volt power line overhead or a lightning strike on your head.
We must have the manifest presence of God Himself on display for the world.
It is not the melodious quality voice that makes a difference; it is the melody pouring out from our heart that will make the difference and usher in the presence of God.
What is the priority of heaven? To talk to Him or talk about Him.
We need to stick with the one arena in which no one can compete with us - the art and ability to pull down the manifest presence of God. Technical perfection may win the praise of men, but only the anointing and glory of God can melt their hardened hearts.
At some point we have got to turn man's volume down and turn God's volume up. A Damascus Road encounter will turn a murderer like Saul into a martyr named Paul in less than 30 seconds. Perfected music won't do that, but perfect praise might attract Him, and His presence will!
The coming revival is not about sermons and information; it is going to be about worship and impartation.
Even our best "spiritual warfare" and our loudest screams against demonic forces can't compare with the power released when God turns on the light of His glory.
His manifest presence is going to be supreme. That means it won't really matter who speaks, who sings, who prays, or who does anything in those services - as long as He is there.
When we take on the responsibility of attracting people to the Church through 'program evangelism,' all we get is a crowd. The main purpose of the Church is to attract Him.
When people asked John Wesley how he drew many large crowds and led so many people to Christ, he told them, "I just set myself on fire for God and people come to see me burn. Just remember that you have no right to pray for the fire of God unless you are willing to be the fuel of God.
We busy ourselves teaching people how to be satisfied with somebody's laying hands on them, and we never told them that God's anointing on flesh is at best a cheap substitute for the manifest presence of God Himself coming down among them. Listen, if God shows up, you won't need me or anyone else to lay hands on you, I promise you. Seek the Anointer, not the anointed or even the anointing. There is a vast difference between my hands on your head and His finger writing on the fleshy wills of your heart.