Excerpt form From A.W. Tozer:
"The greatest event in history was the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to live and to die for mankind. The next greatest event was the going forth of the Church to embody the life of Christ and to spread the knowledge of His salvation throughout the earth. That the Church did not perish was due entirely to the miraculous element within her for her task. The Church began in power and moved in power and moved just as long as she had power. When she no longer had power she dug in for safety and sought to conserve her gains. But her blessings were like the manna: when they tried to keep it overnight it bred worms and stank. So we have had monasticism, scholasticism, institutionalism; and they have all been indicative of the same thing: absence of spiritual power. If we are to advance, the Church must have power; she must become formidable, a moral force to be reckoned with, if she would regain her lost position of spiritual ascendance and make her message the revolutionizing, conquering thing it once was:
1. We need spiritual energy of sufficient voltage to produce great saints once again.
2. We need a spiritual unction that will give a heavenly unction to our worship, that will make our meeting places sweet with the divine Presence.
3. We need that divine afflatus (a divine or creative impulse or inspiration) which moves the heart and persuades the hearer to repent and believe in Christ. It is not eloquence; it is not logic; it is not argument. It is more penetrating than thought, more disconcerting than conscience, more convincing than reason. It is the subtle wonder that follows anointed preaching, a mysterious operation of spirit on spirit. AW Tozer in Paths to Power".
From Marilyn: This past weekend, John and I were afforded the opportunity to visit Holland Michigan with some dear friends. It was a true sabbatical for the heart as there was a mixture of good company, a brisk walk through the woods and snow, a short walk to the water with white caps included, the "ocean-esque" sounds of a turbulent sea, but no smell of salt water or fish! Lake Michigan is amazing! It was a two-fold visit for the heart; on one side, it was just nice to "get away" for the weekend and on the other side, we were able to see some family that I hadn't seen for years. The above devotional talks about the greatest event in history...the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to die for mankind and the next greatest event, the forging of the Church. We all benefit from that knowledge. We all (maybe not completely yet) understand this to be true, that Jesus came and died for you and me. HOW we came to hear that presentation is different for each of us and HOW we present it to our family, friends and others is up to our unique talents and gifts, bestowed by the Holy Spirit.
I had the blessed opportunity this past weekend to review how the Lord came to be so precious to me by looking into the big, dark eyes of my 90 year old Aunt Dot, sitting in a lovely nursing facility in Grand Rapids Michigan. Because of our trip North and how very close we'd be to seeing my cousins and my aunt, we took a detour on our way home to visit Cornerstone Church where my cousin, Pastor Brad Kalejainen started a work, similar to ours, 25 years ago. They have 35 acres and a wonderful facility. After our church visit, we stopped to reunite with my dad's sister (Brad's mom) who turns 90 in a couple weeks. Though that side of the family was quite a bit older than myself and my younger brother, most of us were gathered together 13 years ago when the first of their 6 siblings passed away...my precious dad. Brad's older brother whom we visited with in my Aunt Dot's room, I hadn't seen since about 14 years of age...but when I walked into the room, I knew he and his wife, they knew me...my aunt Dot's face lit up as she said, "Hi Mar, Hi John!"
I felt that I was looking into the face of my dad! They look alike and their "ending" era of life is alike as they both had conquered the "healthy body" but the mind is slipping into darkness...but Jesus was there with Aunt Dot! They raised 3 boys all walking with the Lord, preachers...their children are walking with the Lord and the myriad of grandchildren, now great grandchildren are living lives who have been the recipients of the power of prayer over them since birth. My aunt has shrunk in stature, but not in her love for the Lord for even as she is entering into that long dark goodbye, she leaves a fruitful life of gospel presentations, spiritual energy to produce saints, unction and divine afflatus...you could see it, you could feel it, you could sense the prayers that have forged the life paths of many! I too am a recipient of that Holy Spirit life of prayer cover...my marriage and my children and grandchildren are reaping those benefits as well.
The weekend put a renewed drive in my heart not only as a participant of the larger body of Christ, to be a "gatherer" of the church, but "to advance, the Church...have power and become formidable, a moral force to be reckoned with!" Though I have such a heritage and am so very grateful, we can this day take the time to pray for our children, our grandchildren (born or not yet) our immediate family and the family of Christ to move in the power of the Holy Spirit...for if that is a heartfelt cry of each; if we are praying earnestly for others to have a heart softened to the tug of the Holy Spirit...we will see the Church (the bride of Christ) move in power, the voltage will produce saints and the inspiration will be undeniable. Prayers for each of you that the love of Jesus Christ will infiltrate every fiber of your being.