Arise, O Lord


Numbers 10:35: And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.”

Those words of Moses are instructive, as they were proclaimed at special times in the wilderness journey of the children of Israel  as the cloud of glory and the children of Israel move from place to place. Moses’ statement shows that such times of transition are dangerous times, delicate times, full of opposition to the will of God. That is why Moses found it necessary to invoke a special presence of God against the enemy at such time, when the ark of God moves. Moses wants the power of God to move ahead of them so that they will have a peaceful journey.

Ezra, when he was leading a group of people from the land of captivity back to Jerusalem, and was taking with him various items together with some group of people, prayed that God would go before them and search out the best path for them. He knows he needs help for the journey. It was a precarious route, with the possibility of being waylaid by brigands (Ezra 8:21-23).

Periods of transition are sensitive times. When Jacob was making a transition into a new phase of his life, moving from his father’s house to the house of Laban (where he would spend the next 20 years of his life), he had an encounter with God that marked the rest of his life (Genesis 28:11-22).

It was at interface in the life of Jacob that God got his attention. He renewed the covenant He already made with Abraham and Isaac his forebears with him and made promises to him. He experienced a deeper connection with God at that place of encounter. He gained a better meaning for his life.

He saw the heavens opened and the angels of God descending and ascending on a ladder. On waking up, he said, God is here and I did not know it. As his transition period he got a renewed of vision of God and His purpose for his life.

Also when he was coming back to the land of his birth, after he got away freed from Laban’s servitude, he encountered God, but this time around, it was different.

While before he was changed in his vision, now he became changed in his identity. God wrestled with him all night and at the end of it God changed his name from Jacob to Israel (Genesis 32:24-32). God said that this was because as a prince he had wrestled with God and with man and prevailed. In the first encounter he was changed in what he knows, in the second, he became changed in who he is. Those two things need to happen to you for you to move to the next level of the plan of God for you.

Renewed vision

You need to be different in what you know, what you understand, and what you perceive. You need a sharper sense of spiritual perception; God needs to sharpen your perception. God will have to arise in you in renewed vision.

Habakkuk said that he would stand upon his watch to see what God will say to him (Habakkuk 2:1-4), and God said that he should write the vision that He will show him so that the one who reads it may run. You can’t “run” in the next level without a new vision, without a new dimension of the power and glory of God revealed to you.

Renewed identity

God will have to arise in you, giving you a new identity. You can’t act beyond what you perceive yourself to be. When God changed the identity of Jacob to Israel, a stamp of a prince of God was put on him; he threw away the toga of a struggler, of a cheater, to assume that of a prince. We have not arrived until we see ourselves the way God sees us.

When Jesus was transitioning from being a carpenter to being an itinerant minister; he had an encounter with God. He experienced the heaven opened and the Spirit of God descending upon him like a dove. That launched him to a new phase of his life (Matthew 3:13-17). God was not going to let his son go into the next phase without necessary equipment; He equipped him by his Spirit. He also renewed his identity, declaring from heaven: this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Changed by the Holy Spirit

God arising in you is to make you into what He wants you to be by his Spirit. That is the stirring of the Holy Spirit in you, to pray, to read the bible, to do a work of service. Jesus said that he does nothing except what he sees his father doing (John 5:19, 8:28-29). He acts based on God’s motions within Him. The bible says that as many as are led by the Holy Spirit are sons of God (Romans 8:14).

Not only does the Holy Spirit help you to do the right thing, he also impresses your identity on you; because action flows from identity. It is the Holy Spirit who witness with our spirits that we are the sons of God.

It is the same Holy Spirit who prompts us on in our work for God. When he arises in us, it outflows in spiritual activities.

In the experience of Paul, he once wanted to embark on a spiritual venture but was stopped by the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:5-13). (He was leaving a phase of ministry for another.) The Holy Spirit was not going in that direction and Paul was not supposed to go too. He was not permitted to run just on zeal, he needed to run on the instruction of God, on the word of God, as it is written: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

The fact the Holy Spirit was holding Paul back from some ministry intention was a test for him. God was testing him, whether he will obey or not. If not, it means he is just about making a name for himself, even as an apostle and not about doing the will of God.

When the people of God arise in the work of God, the devil and his hordes of hell are pushed aside. Wrestling with the enemy is not just about prayer of warfare, it is also about doing the work of God. Where we stand in the service of God, we push back the devil, because we are standing in a space that he wants to occupy.

In a parable, Jesus talked about the master (an allusion to himself) of a house going to a distant land and giving his servants responsibilities, telling them: occupy till I come. Anyone who does what he is told is occupying till He comes (Luke 19:12-27), focuses on multiplying the sphere of influence he has been given.

When God by the Holy Spirit arises in you, giving us renewed vision and renewed identity; we should arise and occupy our place of spiritual service till he comes back or till he gives us a renewed vision and renewed identity and moves us to another level of service.


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