We must prepare our families, congregations and communities to become a dwelling place for God’s presence so that His glory and life would be reflected in us, resulting in salvation of the lost and transformation of the community. This necessarily involves spiritual disciplines such as: prayer, worship, fasting, unity, reconciliation, repentance, forgiveness, pursuit of holiness, health, and healing (emotionally, spiritually, and physically).
Consecration before the Lord and with one another. This is a personal AND corporate action. After a time of consecration before the Lord, our appetite for God’s presence will have increased! If we recover our hunger for God, and return to Him in humility and righteousness, He will draw near to us in a tangible way. Then the presence and reality of Jesus will be in our midst, bringing forth life and making us effective in reaching the lost and bringing transformation to the community.
Seeking God’s face is an essential component in renewing covenant with God (2 Chron. 7:14). Our faces represent the essence of who we are. Therefore, seeking God’s face is drawing close to Him personally. Jesus addressed this principle in the Sermon on the Mount when He said “seek and you will find”. Jeremiah 29:13 addresses the same principle: “you will seek Me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Seeking Him with all our heart is an undistracted pursuit, giving Him our full attention.
Consecration prepares us for the presence of God so that He feels welcome in our hearts, lives, families, congregations, businesses, and communities. The first stage of presence-based transformation is focused primarily on prayer and fasting, repentance and seeking God’s face in intimacy.
The New Testament calls all believers to a sanctification process, i.e., to crucify their sinful and soulish self by identifying with Christ at the cross. We are to put aside our “old self” with its self-centered practices and put on a new redeemed self like a garment that “is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col 3:10). In Christ we clothe our new self “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col 3:12). Unlike the self-centered person, our redeemed self should bear with the faults of others, forgive those who sin against us, just as Jesus has forgiven us. Above all else the believer’s highest virtue is love (Col 3:13-14).
Setting ourselves apart and returning to covenant with the Lord, examining ourselves in light of His holiness, and departing from the spirit of the world to pursue life in His Kingdom, are critical first steps in the transformation process of a community.
Because the status quo and spiritual complacency is so pervasive, the prescription must be radical. Therefore, we are asking those who are willing to participate in the “Divine Experiment” to set aside 21 days “to humble themselves, pray and seek God’s face, and turn from their wicked ways” and abandon themselves to the Lord in renewed and radical devotion!