And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. —Luke 4:32, KJV
In a sense, most of us want spiritual power—to experience signs and wonders. However, we often lack spiritual power because the Word is woefully lacking within our lives. What then is the basis of God's giving spiritual power to His followers?
1. Personal reading of the Scriptures
We have to ask ourselves a question: "Have I read my Bible completely through?" A poll was taken suggesting that the average clergyman spends an average of four minutes a day alone with the Lord. Then we wonder why the church is powerless. Personal reading of the Scriptures is the first step to power.
2. Personal revelation of the Scriptures
When is the last time the Scriptures got hold of you and shook revelation knowledge into your life? Spurgeon said, "If a text gets hold of you, chances are you've got hold of it."
3. Personal rethinking of the Scriptures
Many of us have accepted uncritically a hand-me-down point of view, secondhand Bible revelation, and secondhand doctrine. There is no personal rethinking by which we acquire the real meaning of the verse.
4. Personal release of the Spirit
Release of the Spirit comes from the Spirit Himself. If you want power, then it's going to have to come from the Spirit. The Bible is just about His finest accomplishment. It's His product. He likes it when you like His Word.
The scope for power will be found to the degree that we value His own Word. Power that flows from His name will be in proportion to our love for His Word. When that love is expressed, don't be surprised to see healings and miracles. There may be no need for people to line up to be prayed for. It will happen right where they are.
Excerpted from The Word and the Spirit (Charisma House, 1998).