I promised my Facebook friends that I would share excerpts from CS Lewis's Screwtape Letters - a letter from a senior devil to a junior devil.
"Our third aim is, by these constructions, to destroy the devotional life. For the real presence of the Enemy (they refer to God as the enemy), otherwise experienced by men in prayer and sacrament, we substitute a merely probable, remote shadowy, and uncouth figure, one who spoke a strange language and died a long time ago. Such an object cannot in fact be worshipped. Instead of the Creator adored by its creature, you soon have merely a leader acclaimed by a partisan, and finally a distinguished character approved by a judicious historian." Page 125
It's interesting that this book was written in 1941, as the devil still uses the same strategy. Gradually worship & prayer where a man can actually come "face to face" with God & encounter His glory are gently being eroded and replaced by "other agenda", less and less room or priority is given to these important foundational truths. We have become too sophisticated, "skilled" and we must demonstrate those, I suppose?
The Pentecostal church came out of the old Anglican, Methodist - etc churches however it is interesting to note how the "Pentecostal" church is also starting to become muscle bound by over organisation (to quote Leonard Ravenhill quoting Dr J.B. Phillips), administration & so called "order" - some of the things we ran away from. Order was created for man not man for order, to help man not rule man. We must not be so structured that we stifle the moves of The Spirit. We must not be so administrative that we have little room for spiritual things.
I will sound the alarm even if I may not be popular for it.
Satan doesn't always come up with new tricks - he simply reinvents the old.
Why did Jacob wrestle with God all night, why not for a few seconds or minutes?
Why did Jesus ask His disciples the question: could you not tarry with me for an hour?
Why was it the manner of the early church to gather together to pray and worship God? Acts 12:5,12; Acts 13:2, Acts 1:14, Acts 16:6
Why was Moses's face changed when he spent 40 days in the raw and living presence of God? Could it be that there are some issues in our lives, some characteristics or lack thereof - which can only be formed when a man comes to stand face to face with God's Shekinah, when he comes to do business with God and God alone?
Where can we do this type of business with God other than in prayer & worship?
Why did Jesus remind us with a whip that His house must be called a house of prayer?
Why is prayer so unattractive to most churches & Christians? Why???
Habakkuk said "I will set me upon my watch and see what He says to me"... How do we watch???
Watching is spending time with Him - when we worship Him, when we pray and when we do these things, He will speak.
Why must God speaking to His church in the rhema be a rare or uncommon phenomenon reserved for a select few? Is it because these few are willing to pay the price on a regular & consistent basis and the rest of us are not?
If I were a guy looking to marry a girl whom I had been courting for quite some time, but this girl was predisposed to only spending any significant amount of time with me seasonally, where she would go for long periods of time without spending any significant amount of time with me and just when I was getting ready to really love on her and express My feelings for her or share my points of view with her she was consistently cutting Me off because of her "schedule" - how loved would I feel? Considering that I was an all or nothing kinda Guy?
"If you want anything from God, you will have to pray into heaven. That is where it all is. If you live in the earth realm and expect to receive from God, you will never get anything. The Church has been negligent in one thing... she has not prayed the power of God out of heaven. The Lord's model prayer provides the clearest instruction on how we bring the reality of His world into this one. The generals of revival speak to us from ages past saying, If you pray, He will come! Biblical prayer is always accompanied by radical obedience. God's response to prayer with obedience always releases the nature of heaven into our impaired circumstances. Jesus's model reveals the only two real priorities of prayer: First, intimacy with God that is expressed in worship-holy is Your name. And second to bring His Kingdom to earth, establishing His dominion over the needs of mankind-Your Kingdom come." Bill Johnson - When Heaven invades Earth