Don't you just love going to Spirit-filled conventions and conferences? I remember some of those I have attended so clearly. The worship was so amazing, I felt like I was touching heaven in every service.
Prophetic words flowed with encouragement and hope. Sometimes I was one of the chosen ones who were called out for a personal word from the Lord that spoke right to the issues I was facing. The teaching was so inspirational; I was amazed at the fascinating and profound truths the speakers brought out of the Scriptures. Passages I had read so many times—maybe even memorized—but suddenly I was seeing revelations I had never seen before.
Right there, I would commit to really getting into the Word myself with more consistent daily quiet times. The Spirit called me during the altar time, and I soaked in the presence of the Lord and felt loved, accepted, healed and energized. All around me, people would be falling under the power of the Spirit, and even though I was never slain in the Spirit, I was amazed and happy for those who were. What awesome experiences those conferences were!
The high continued as I traveled home with friends and family who were with me, each of us bubbling over with stories of miracles we saw and ways the Lord spoke to us. We sang the anointed songs of worship we learned and were once again overwhelmed by our love for the Lord and His love for us. I just knew that I would never be the same again.
Daily Routine Sets In
When I got home, I naturally fell into the normal rhythms of my life. Work and the needs of my family didn't change while I was away. I would find myself humming the new worship songs in my car and trying to remember the verses that were so inspirational in the service. I would really try to attain that new level of holiness I committed myself to, and sometimes I did stand strong in the face of temptation. I read the words of my personal prophecy so many times that I committed them to memory, but somehow, they don't have the power to move me like they did at first. I had friends who were facing health crises, and I wanted to offer them God's power, but I just was not sure how to do it.
Sunday morning would finally arrive, and I eagerly anticipated returning to that spiritual high I experienced at the conference. Some churches I attended had incredibly skilled worship teams and others seemed to think increased volume meant increased anointing. All the worship teams were devoted and passionate and did their best. Occasionally I would sense the Lord's presence; sometimes I would feel as though I had touched heaven. But all too often, I just either had a good time singing great songs or I was frustrated because I didn't feel anything.
Maybe a few prophetic words are given, though hardly ever any more. Not like it was back in the '70s and '80s. Sometimes they were great and touched my heart; sometimes they were apparently for someone else because they didn't do a thing for me.
I have sat under some pastors who were excellent Bible teachers and brought revelation and correction and knowledge when I needed it. But they are shepherds over people in all stages of spiritual growth and biblical knowledge. I was raised in Sunday school and church. I studied the Bible and New Testament Greek in college. Frequently Sunday sermons reminded me of things I already learned and encouraged me in my faith (which is a really good thing) but the biblical truths presented were things I already knew.
I Wish I Knew How to Re-create the Revelation and Power of the Spirit-filled Conference
All too often, I would leave Sunday service feeling a bit empty and wondering if I had to wait until next year's conference to experience the thrill of touching God and hearing His personal word for me.
Well, that wasn't good enough for me. I wanted those experiences every day. I wanted to worship in the throne room every time I sang to the Lord. I wanted to get deep revelations from the Spirit every time I opened my Bible. I wanted to hear God speaking to me—personally—every day.
No. I needed to hear Him speaking to me every day. How can I live and walk by the Spirit if I cannot even sense that He is with me, recognize His voice, see His vision? How can I live the Bible if I cannot walk and live by the Spirit? How can I resist temptation and live a holy life? How can I pray for the sick and see the Lord heal? How can I operate the gifts of the Holy Spirit to meet the needs of those around me?
I wasn't satisfied to wait until someone else gives me a word from the Lord or opens the Scriptures to me. I wanted that direct relationship with God where I could have that "conference experience" by myself, alone in my home.
A 'How-To' Guy Passionately Searches for Answers
So I began to search the Scriptures. I read books by spiritual leaders. I prayed and fasted and sought the Lord. And He began teaching me. I learned how to hear His voice speaking to me. I learned how to see visions that He had for me. I learned how to recognize the leading of the Spirit within me so I could walk and live in the Spirit. I learned how to enter into throne room worship whenever I want to. I learned how to meditate on the Scriptures in such a way that every time I read my Bible, the Spirit speaks revelation into my heart. I began to pray for the sick and see miraculous healings. I even learned what I needed to change inside myself in order to enjoy being slain in the Spirit. The "conference experience" became my normal Christian life.
The Discovery: Step-by-Step Instructions for Living by the Spirit
Now, I had to believe that I was not the only one who had those yearnings inside. And, since I am a teacher, I made it my mission to help everyone who longs to live and walk by the Spirit have the tools that the Lord revealed to help me. I am very practical. I like lists, charts and step-by-step instructions. So that is the way I teach.
I know that I cannot force God to do anything—speak to me, give me a vision, heal the sick, give me revelation—nothing. However, I am convinced that I don't need to try to force Him, because He is already doing it. Those are the things He has shown us in the Scriptures that He wants to do for us, that are available to us in the New Covenant. All I need to do is put myself in the right position to receive all He has for me. I don't need to turn on the faucet —the Living Water is already pouring out at full capacity. I just need to get myself under the stream. And the Lord has given me steps I can take to get there.
Let Us Be the Bridge
If you have been looking for that missing link between the incredible experiences of Spirit-anointed conferences and your daily Christian walk, you have found it. That's why we are here: to guide you into receiving everything you have been given in Christ.
The living water is flowing; let me show you how to step in.
Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries and Christian Leadership University (cluonline.com), where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages, and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.
This article originally appeared at cwgministries.org.
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