John Wimber once said, “If you’re not aware of the Presence you will never be aware of the Power.” The greatest thing a pastor can do when a congregation gathers is to help the people acknowledge the presence of God in the assembly. Without this acknowledgment and a subsequent invitation, the program and plans for the day will displace the manifestations of the Spirit that were assigned to the gathering to bring healing and freedom. In the end, no matter how many religious bells and whistles we have we will send the people away without an encounter with the Living God. That will produce a lifeless and powerless expression of God’s Kingdom.
One of the greatest needs in the Church today is the acknowledgment of God’s presence. The defining line between churches that have a significant cultural impact or not, is the value they place on the presence of God. This is not the presence of God that all believers carry. It is the manifest presence of God that is released when engaged by our faith, whether individually or corporately. It is a tangible encounter with God that produces miraculous evidence of His presence.
Today, above all else, cultivate an awareness of God’s presence as you go about your day – in your car as you drive to your next appointment, when you shop at your favorite store or when you interact with people in casual conversation. Train yourself in this and the next time you gather with other believers you will be so aware of God’s presence that the lesser imitations of religious activity will not have the power to dominate and displace what God planned to accomplish.