“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” – Luke 17:11-19
While in Argentina, I was struck by Claudio Freidzon’s rendition of, and insight into, this passage. Ten men came to Jesus to be healed of the physical ailment of leprosy. Jesus sent them away and, as they went, they were healed. Of the ten, only one man was moved to return to Jesus and thank Him. Jesus was surprised that only one came back. When Jesus healed the leper, I believe something more than physical healing took place. I believe that man was touched in his deepest being by the Presence of Jesus.
Freidzon says that everyone can receive power, but only a few pursue the Presence. Receiving is by simple faith, but to lay hold of the Presence a man must pursue it with all of his being. Claudio, in his revival encounter of 40 days of fasting, simply hungered for the Presence. It was the Presence of Jesus that rocked Argentina.
As we are reading these revival accounts where God poured out His remarkable power, it is easy to get sidetracked by pursuing God’s power rather than His Presence. Let us not just simply ask and receive power, but let us seek and pursue the Presence of the Lord. Receiving is free, but pursuing is costly. Jesus doesn’t share His manifest Presence with mere religionists. Do we want Him more than food?
In pursuit of God, a man must be a man of one thing. David said, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4). To be a man of one thing takes focus. There are no side issues. Other passions are squeezed out by one consuming passion.
Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.
May all across the globe in this 40-day fast, men and women, not just look for and receive power, but let them pursue the Presence and, in beholding His face, be transformed into that image from glory to glory.