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Many have asked for the secrets to ongoing miracles or a meaningful prophetic culture that builds instead of tears down. The No. 1 most overwhelming key to opening up the supernatural as a lifestyle is becoming a true worshipper, in and out of the corporate gathering. This, combined with a devotion to the study of Scripture, has prepared us for the miracle lifestyle more than any other element of the Christian life.
This equation is really quite practical. His presence comes in increasing measure in our worship. Beyond the songs, and even contemporary worship culture, are rich discoveries awaiting the tenderhearted. Of late, the glory of God has begun to fill the air. At times this happens with unexplainable external manifestations of His presence. Other times it’s just an overwhelming awareness that He is in the room.
For those tempted to remind me that He is always with us, I understand and believe that. There are just times when the increased manifestation of presence upon us is beyond reason. And I will not interrupt that to preach. If that means we go home without a sermon, so be it. If it means we’re together for hours, no problem. Of course this cannot be an excuse to skip the privilege of teaching the Word. We just need things we don’t understand, can’t control and can’t explain. Such is the life of following Jesus.
Sometimes His presence comes with a specific purpose that must be discovered. “And the power of the Lord was present to heal” (Luke 5:17). My responsibility as a leader is to find out why He is present. While it’s challenging, it’s not complicated. Liberty is the overriding evidence of His presence among His people (2 Cor. 3:17). If increasing freedom is not the result of our gatherings, we have reason to question whether we are fully engaging the presence of God.
My personal routine looks like this: I cry out to God in private and take risk in public. When the breakthrough I long for isn’t happening, I go back to God in the secret place. It truly is the ongoing encounter with the presence that enables us to live like Jesus did.
Bill Johnson is senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif. He is the author of numerous books, including When Heaven Invades Earth, Face to Face With God and his newest, Center of the Universe, all of which reflect his conviction that a gospel without spiritual power is not the gospel Jesus preached. This article was excerpted from Face to Face With God.
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