Scripture records of the Lord’s teaching ministry that He taught with authority, and not like the scribes. Scripture tells us in another place to beware of those who hold to the form of religion, but who lack the power of it.
The words we read, every week, are powerful. The lyrics of our psalms and hymns are powerful. The words of our prayers are powerful. The truths contained in the messages are powerful. But they are all powerful in the abstract; they are all powerful on paper.
But when things are functioning as God intended for them to function, there is an unction, an anointing, on the declared words, on the sung hymns, and so forth. This is the sacred fire; this is the power of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Spirit is an experienced power. It is a felt reality.
Not everyone feels or experiences Him in the same way, but when He is active, He is active. When He moves, whether there is a mighty, rushing wind or not, whatever occurs is impossible to ignore. When He moves, it is impossible to categorize what has happened in a way as to put it in a small cardboard box and shelve it in a safe theological closet.
The fact that we want power on paper, but not in our experience, is a testimony to our desire for control. Some might think of it as a lack of courage, being fearful that God might do crazy things. But it is really a lack of submission. We don’t want a God who runs things. Liturgy therefore becomes a set of fences that we build to keep everything contained, according to our liking. But rightly understood, liturgy is the channel for the power to flow through—in accordance with the one who gives authority and power to those who trust in Him.