Having God in our midst, walking amongst us, is not something to experience only now and then. It should be normal. Every time we come together to meet with the Lord, we should expect God to meet with us and speak to our hearts, that His word might become life to us, and that we may move in faith together. Our desire as a gathering should be to apprehend that which we have been apprehended for (Phil. 3:12). There must be no sin in our midst, and our hearts must be wholly set aside unto the Lord. Our lives are not our own, but we now have been brought into the family of God. We belong to Him. We are here to do one thing: the will of the Father. We come with simplicity to know the Lord--to sit at His feet, to learn of Him, and to partake of His word.
To the "overcomers," there were many promises. God says, "I will give thee to eat of the tree of life...give thee a crown of life...not to be hurt of the second death..." and so on. (You can read them all in Revelation 2-4.) These are God's words of comfort, His rewards--what He will do for us in eternity. As we ponder them in our hearts, we want God to be in our midst, speaking these words of comfort to us. We need to be comforted. That is why Jesus said a number of times before He went back to His Father (John 14-16), "I will send you the Comforter. When He comes, He will lead you into all truth. He will not speak of Himself, but Me. He will glorify Me..."
This is a glorious working! It will climax in completeness when we are one with Christ, but what God is doing now, step by step, is causing us to be disciplined and ordered in Him. We do not move separate from Him, but actively abide in Him by faith. If we are living in the Spirit, we need to walk in the Spirit and gather in the Spirit. Day by day, the Holy Spirit must direct us in the steps we take and lead us in our times of prayer, so that we may pray in the will of the Father and allow these manifestations to be in our lives. We are not given a "gift" to use independent from Him. The Spirit works them "severally as He will." As we are in union with God, ready and set aside for His purpose, God can speak through different vessels to the body.
There is nothing that can substitute for God's presence in our midst in power. The manifestations of the Spirit in our midst are necessary to direct us, to instruct us, to bring judgment when our hearts are wrong, and to comfort us when we need encouragement. Only God can do this by the Spirit. He has given His gifts or manifestations to the church so that all may profit by them.
May we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying unto the churches. May we have hearts that desire to meet with God on a regular basis, not just once in a while. It may mean a whole renewing of our minds and change in the direction we are going. We must "think in God," having minds that are spiritual, set on those things which are eternal. We must take steps of obedience unto the Lord, which will cleanse and set us aside for His purpose. Then God will be in our midst, meeting with us in power, demonstrating His testimony to the world for His glory and praise.