#ReimaginePRAYER...as a Prayer for God's Habitation, Not a Mere Visitation
With child-like wonder and innocence leave all pre-conceived notions behind & join me as I unpack how "A Habitation Focus Sustains Revival."
"A Habitation Focus Sustains Revival"
Natasha Miller (c)2021
It’s all the buzz. “Revival! Revival! Revival is coming!” People are shouting about Revival from pulpits to social media platforms. Expectation and public awareness of Revival is permeating consciousness. Intercessors are praying with more fervency; Evangelists are positioning themselves to harvest souls; Christian leaders are sharing their opinions of where and how the Revival will come. And who doesn’t just love the fruit of Revival—people returning to God, people being saved, people set on fire for God. Uber goodness!
When does the drum of Revival become idolatry? When does the focus shift from God to the idea of Revival, to the outcomes of Revival? When is God no longer worshiped in “Revival”? The answer to these questions is complex, varied, and vast. Whatever the reason for this idolatrous shift, the result is always the same: a shorten, weakened Revival, namely, one dead on arrival.
How can Revival be sustained, then? How can God’s people maintain a Revival lifestyle? How can Revival be a cultural norm? How do those who are saved, healed, rededicated, and delivered during Revival continue in their refreshed walk? The answer is simple: Revival should not be the focus. God’s Habitation should be the focus.
It’s all about the focus--a focus not merely on God (for there is a plethora of that which begets no resulting continuous Revival) but a focus on God’s Habitation. God’s Habitation—His presence permanently dwelling with us—is a measured establishment of His Kingdom. Wherever there is peace, joy, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit, the Kingdom of God is present (Romans 14:17). Once the Kingdom of God has been established and continuously cultivated, Revival is sustainable. Revival is the fruit of the Kingdom of God, namely God’s Presence. As we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, our needs (even those needs for Revival) shall be met (Matt 6:33). As we abide in Him and He in us, whatever we ask for will be done (the Revival that we seek for ourselves, our families, our Church, our city, our nation will be done) (John 15:1-8). The word “Habitation” succinctly summarizes the notion of us (individually and corporately) abiding in Him and He in us and advances the notion that the Kingdom of God can physically be detectable at specific locations via the recognition of the peace, joy, and righteousness that abounds.
As a result, God’s Habitation, should be the focus, the end goal, what we buzz about: such a deep intimacy with God that He dwells with us. Our hearts need to scream, cry out, yearn for God’s permeating powerful presence: the Presence that heals, the Presence that protects, the Presence that exposes and eliminates darkness, the Presence that reflects all of God’s names (Jer 29:13). When we focus on God’s Habitation, everything will follow with permanence. When we shift focus to one result of God’s Habitating presence like Revival, we get a time-sensitive result.
Let’s unpack this a bit more. Yes, God indwells a person at salvation, but that is not the Habitation referenced within this article. We are talking about a Habitation that is attained when the Spirit of God is unquenched within a believer(s), i.e. the believer(s) is/are intimately repenting, praying, understanding the Word, obeying, maintaining a humble heart before God. Only then can a true partnership with the Kingdom of God be cultivated and maintained. As the believer(s) nurture(s) this Presence of God through prayer and living an obedient repentant lifestyle with a humble heart-position before God, the co-laboring birthed through obedience expands the believer’s authority and draws the Kingdom of God to settle. Consider Jesus as a Son of Man, how He carried the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God could not settle, could not manifest when there was doubt and unbelief but where there was faith, even a mustard seed, the Kingdom of God manifested in healings, deliverances, salvations, etc. Everywhere Jesus went there was Revival, why? He was a Habitationalist. Now, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, and when believers co-labor with God in obedience that authority manifests in the physical realm (Matt 28:18). Consider those dwelling in God’s Presence in the Upper Room at Pentecost and the result was that the Kingdom of God manifested in such a way that 3,000 people were saved—that day. Consider how God’s Presence was so strong upon Peter that when Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit, they dropped dead. When God’s Presence is grounded, unholiness will not abound. Peter was a Habitationalist.
When the focus is on God’s Habitation, true believers will do what is necessary to obtain and sustain the strong relationship which draws His Habitation. So, how specifically do we pursue God’s Habitation for ourselves, our household, our neighborhoods, cities, nation, world? Consider the following three ways:
1. The 2 Chronicles 4:17 Model.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves,
and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then
I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
A contingent statement issued by God—2 Chronicles 4:17 outlines all we need to know concerning how to attract God’s Habitation. Although a contingent statement, this verse releases a promise, a guaranteed result. God will hear our prayers, He will forgive us, and He will heal our land. All His remnant people must do is live a repentant lifestyle (repenting for their own and other’s sins) drenched in prayer and humbly seeking His intimacy. Easy right?
Well, the plan is simple, but we, the Called Ones, the remnant must be relentless and undistracted in our pursuit. Again, the pursuit is not for Revival, but for God’s Habitation.
2. Worship in Spirit and Truth
God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). When God’s people worship Him in spirit and truth and draw neigh to Him, He draws neigh (James 4:8). In order to worship in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24) and ascend the hill of the Lord, one must have clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24:3-4). Thus, the depth of relationship draws God’s Presence and the sustaining of the clean hands and pure heart maintains His Presence. Worship is not merely musical adoration but lifestyle--everything that encapsulates our life, our interactions, our verbal and musical exclamations must be worship. Being carriers of His Presence means that God’s Habitation has been established around us. When that is established, Revival spills forth--people cannot help being saved, healed, delivered, and set on fire in pursuit of God.
3. Individuals Building Themselves Each as a House of Prayer
The Book of Haggai contains an overarching message: God calls individual believers to each become a House of Prayer, and those who respond to the call will thrive. The literal construction work of building oneself as a House of Prayer is done by praying the Word. The literal promise in the Book of Haggai is that after building oneself as a House of Prayer for over 3 months, a believer will thrive. When a believer fully thrives, he/she experiences no lack in any area of his/her life. The adventure looks like an upward moving spiral where progression is a constant. When a believer fully thrives in relationship with God, they become a Habitationalist—one whom cultivates God’s Presence to such a degree that His Kingdom is established within their life and household and overflows into other facets of life. Becoming a House of Prayer is invaluable and arguably, expected. An individual who is building themselves as a House of Prayer, is preparing themselves as a dwelling place for God’s Habitation.
We must be individuals who easily repent, daily build ourselves as Houses of Prayer, take time to understand the Word, and maintain a deep, vibrant, worshipful, and humble relationship with the Almighty. Sustained focus on abiding creates Habitationalists and invariably cultivates and sustains Revival. Let us be aware of satan’s tricks! The Adversary wants us to take our eyes off God and place it elsewhere. Let us not fall for this! Let us focus on abiding and let the fruit of being Habitationalists, like Revival, naturally flow. When the Church takes on a “Habitation” lifestyle, Revival will be normative.
 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 This is part of our identity in Christ.
**A huge "Thank You" to Phil Miglioratti
from #reimagineFORUM for publishing this article on Discipleship.Network.**
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(Photos by Maria Lupan & Ben White)