It's amazing to me how we who are born-again by the Spirit seems inclined to fall for the working of the flesh as a substitute for what only the Spirit can accomplish. The word of God can only be a work of the Spirit. We are called partakers of the life of God. Did we partake mentally or spiritually? For myself I recieved the life, then by the word, the explaination of what had already transpired. The understanding to this day is not complete, but the life is complete.
As an example I'll take a page out of T.L. Osborns book. T.L. Osborn was an evangelist to the nations of the world through the middle of the 20th century. He preached to mulitudes of primitive people of the interiors of dark nations. The power of God to heal and deliever was always present in his meetings. The meetings were in open fields, with a platform, and wires were strung on poles to speakers. He spoke, and then his interperter would speak. His meetings drew at times over 100 thousand people. He would pray en mass for the people. Hundreds and thousands recieved all manner of manifestations of the power of God. The deaf heard, the blind saw, the broken were healed, and the oppressed were delivered! I would recommend anyone to find his books, and see what God hath wrought.
Here is the story of a lady; when she was born her family took her to the tribual elder. They are in authority to determine the destiny of the people. This person told her family that she was to be a beggar. So they broke her bones and deformed her to make her pitiful. Years later at T.L.'s service the Lord totally healed and straightened her body. She came to the platform and gave her testimony, with other witnesses who knew her. After her praise and thanks she made this remarkable comment. I WILL BE THE BEST BEGGAR JESUS EVER HAD. Think about that, we may smile at such a comment, but she had no bible or other teaching. Consider this, are we much farther ahead? She knew who straightened and healed and saved her. She felt the hand of God move on her behalf. Can we say we know the power of God to the degree as she? Do we really know the ways of the Lord much better? Does the power of God minister in our services?
Doesn't the warning to the Laodicean apply today as well. "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shamefull nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent".
Consider Paul's prayers for the Ephesians. "Asking the Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparable great power for us who believe.
In all of this prayer of the Spirit, there is only one work to do, BELIEVE. The fellowship I have with the Lord is not a dry or intellectual pursuit, it's my heart to His and His heart to mine. There is of course time for study, and for meditation. They are much richer when in the atmosphere of heaven. The Lord in prayer will make things clear, and my knowledge is increased. But I don't talk to the Lord to be smart, I want to know Him.
In the church I had in Florida, there was a season of about 6 months where I never preached a sermon. We started the praising when we came in the door, and all the time was taken up with worship and drawing into the presence of God. What can you say when God shows up. You'll be to occupied with worship to say anything. There is no need, from the least to the greatest knew they were in the presence of the Lord. The needs of the body were all meet, and all were blessed and filled with the wonder of His love. And I never had to say a thing, that's what I call Church. The only speaking was encouragement to draw nearer to the Lord. Some may doubt that this is possible, call on the Lord, and see for yourself. If you look in Acts, it's called "ministring unto the Lord". Why would anyone go to a church were God doesn't show up?
The presence of the Lord is what is needed. Wheather in the heart of the preacher, the body of believers, or in our daily life. The way to His presence is in praise and worship in talking (prayer) one on one to Him. That's why I love the gift of tongues, I can plug into magnifying the Lord at all times, that is one of the ways according to scripture.
Once while driving I got so full of God, that fire started rising up from the souls of my feet, and went all the way through me to the top of my head. It wasn't a burning as in pain, but a fire of energy and warmth and life. I couldn't hold still, my legs were bouncing and I was full of energy. So I stopped and drank a couple cups of coffee until the fire supsided. The Lord also gave me understanding about a situation I had been facing. There are many ways the Lord would move on our behalf, if we will let God be God, and we just believe.
I get upset with people who through ignorance of the spiritual reduce God to logic and reason. Yes God is logical, but He is Spirit, and works by the spirit. The anointing for office, pastor, teacher, prophet, evangelist, and apostle are spiritual gifts. They don't come from an institiution, they only come from God. They are spiritual, not carnal, not a gift of a mind. Not an eloquent speaker, but a fire from God. It makes more sense to take a shower with your clothes on, than to stand clothed in a pulpit naked of an anointing!
There is a weath of gifts and wonders of God yet to be given and revealed to his body. The arm of the Lord is not shortened. If we will seek Him and worship and place Him first of importance in our lives we will see the glory of God in our midst. The more we know of God, the more we will want of Him. The way is prayer and faith that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. The work is the Lord's. He will be faithful to complete the work in us. And we will know Him! Of this much I am sure, the experiences and fellowship I've had with the Lord are worth more than all the wealth of the nations. I want more with Him!