A FRESH TOUCH FROM GOD
- As I was sitting and thinking about what we have faced in the last while, I became aware of the fact that, after all that we've been through, we need a fresh touch from the Lord.
- In the last two years, we as individuals and as Christians have faced 2 years of pandemic and lockdown, as well as sickness and in some cases death in our families or among our friends. We have also faced the possibility of war which could escalate. We have also heard news of failings in one of the major global churches of our time. The effect of all these, and many other issues (economic, isolation and unemployment, etc.), is that we have entered a survival mode type of existence. People are fearful to re-engage and others now work 'remotely' and there are so many ways in which things have changed or are different, and we can end up feeling insecure. I believe that this is a perfect time to desire, expect and anticipate a fresh touch from God. In a sense we all need it to overcome a form of Post-Traumatic Stress that many people struggle with, even if it is unknowingly.
- A fresh touch from God would shift our perspective and help us to 'come alive' again.
- As I look at the world today, I think a new move of God, or a revival, or a fresh, personal experience with God and His great love and mercy towards us, would change the way we feel and the way we see things.
- I believe that God is always ready and willing to touch His children with a fresh outpouring of His love and anointing if we would humble ourselves and turn to Him and ask Him to do exactly this for us.
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 'If My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.'
1. A BIBLICAL EXAMPLE
- In the New Testament we see how something of this nature took place. It gives us a picture of what could take place if we were to experience a fresh touch from God, or, to say it in more spiritual terms, a fresh visitation from God.
- In Acts Chapter 2 this event is recorded for us. (You are welcome to read this to give you the context.)
- The disciples of Jesus had been through a very difficult time. Jesus had been dramatically crucified, and their world had been rocked. He then rose from the dead and had ascended back to heaven, and here they were 'left behind' to pick up the pieces. They had enjoyed such a wonderful season with the Saviour and had seen many lives changed and many people healed and restored, but they had also seen the dramatic events of the death of Jesus, as well as His resurrection and ascension to heaven. They had been turbulent and confusing times. Confused and fearful they had gathered in a secure location. They did not know what to do next, except wait and see what would happen.
Acts 2:1 'When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.'
- What happened next is that God intersected the situation and history.
Acts 2:2-4 'Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.'
This was one of those critical moments when God intercepted human history.
What we know about this experience is as follows:
1. It happened against a backdrop of dramatic events that had taken place.
2. The disciples were fearful and in a form of self-imposed lockdown.
3. It happened suddenly and was unexpected.
4. What they experienced, they had never experienced or heard about before.
5. They battled to describe it. (They used terms like: 'sounded like' or 'what appeared to be'.)
6. They knew one thing: 'It came from heaven...' (See verse 2)
7. They experienced a touch from God that left them with a sense that they were 'filled'. Not empty, fearful and confused, but filled with the Holy Spirit!
8. They did things they had never done before and things that they were unfamiliar with. Acts 2:4 'They began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.'
9. They were changed! They went from fearful and confused to bold and determined. People were drawn to these disciples and the people could see the change in them.
10. They broke free of the things that were holding them in isolation, fear and separation.
11. They stepped out into the world with a new perspective and determination.
12. Thousands of lives were touched, and the world would never be the same again.
2. A HISTORICAL EXAMPLE - From my experience.
- After the dramatic events of the first and second world wars, the world went into a recovery period. During this time the church played a vital role. The church became established again and helped many people to find that sure foundation again. Worship was primarily hymns accompanied by an organ. But by the end of the sixties things began to change again. In the midst of this there emerged a fresh visitation from the Lord. It came in a way that no one really anticipated and influenced a group of people that we would consider the most unlikely candidates - Hippies. A man, by the name of Lonnie Frisbee emerged, on whom the hand of God obviously rested. A revival broke out (The Jesus Movement) and thousands of people came to know Christ, and many were baptized in the ocean on the west coast of the USA. Much of this revival happened in a church called Calvary Chapel. The influence of these people who had received a fresh touch from God and had been radically saved and changed brought change to the church as it was known. The worship changed and for the first time, bands would be allowed in churches to lead worship. This was the start of something completely new. Many new church groups and movements came into being all around the world and these changes led to the modern style of worship that is enjoyed around the world today. It set the stage for the new generation and opened the doors to what we see happening in churches around the world today.
- A BIT OF MY TESTIMONY:
I grew up in a traditional church with a wonderful biblical foundation. We had been in this church for several generations and my father was a Pastor in this denomination. My father was in ministry at the time when the things recounted above, took place. He was open to the Spirit of God and this saw many changes taking place in our church, much of which I was too young to fully grasp and understand. But in the height of this movement in America, this Pastor, Lonnie Frisbee came to our country and our church. He was a radical and unusual looking man. I attended two meetings, both of which left a profound mark on my life. I saw God working in the lives of people and I saw how they changed and became radical for the Lord. The next meeting that I attended was in a local school hall. Again, Lonnie Frisbee spoke, and his radical and 'sold-out' pursuit of God was evident. He spoke about how the Lord wanted to come and touch us right there in that meeting and that is exactly what happened. I was prayed for and the only way I can explain it is that I experienced a fresh, new, and empowering touch from the Lord, as young as I was. For days after this meeting people would speak to me and tell me a very similar observation. They observed that there was a 'glow' about me. They could see something about me that was visibly different. Although I was not aware of it, I knew that something had shifted within me, and I would never be the same again. Had it not been for that fresh touch from God on that young boy, I doubt if I would even have been in the ministry today.
3. THE TOUCH OF GOD CHANGES US
- In a very real sense, it is not possible to experience a touch from God and then stay the same.
- If you read the New Testament, every life that the Lord touched was changed.
- 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 'But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit.'
- A touch from the Master's hand brings change to our lives.
- God wants to come and change us.
- God wants to step into our lives and the result is change.
- As we look into the face of God and reflect His glory, something happens within us, and change takes place.
- We are changed from glory to glory!
- This change and this glory comes from God and not from ourselves.
- God wants to come and change us and transform us.
- He wants to transform us in our minds, in our hearts, and in our lives.
4. DON'T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN A FRESH TOUCH FROM GOD
- How often we settle for less than God's best for our lives.
- We make peace with fear, anxiety, and stress, as if it is the best that we can do under the circumstances.
- The disciples locked themselves in a room thinking that it was all over, when in fact it was only just about to begin. What they didn't realise was that they were moments away from a touch from God that would in effect give birth to the church and change the world.
- Don't write yourself off and think that nothing can change.
- With one touch from the hand of God on your life, everything can change.
- Just as the Holy Spirit came and invaded the room where the disciples were hiding and everything changed, so as we allow the Lord and His precious Holy Spirit to come and invade our lives, everything can change.
- Be determined that you want to have a fresh touch from the Lord and ask Him to do just that.
- It may not come in the form or the preconceived idea you have as to how it should happen, but if we will just give Him right of way, He will do His perfect work in our lives.
- Psalm 92:10 'I shall be anointed with fresh oil.'
- Just like David, who wrote this Psalm, you can be confident and expectant that God wants to touch you afresh.
- Ask Him to do it and be ready to declare this scripture: 'I shall be anointed with fresh oil.'
- Lord, I pray for each person who is trusting You for a fresh touch. We realise how desperately we need Your touch in our lives and therefore we ask You to come, by Your Holy Spirit, and blow the very wind of heaven over our lives, our souls, our hearts, and our minds. May Your life-giving breath bring life back into our tired and weary souls. May we be FILLED with Your Holy Spirit and may we be changed according to Your plan and purpose for our lives. Amen.
By Andrew W Roebert
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