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When I think of Kenya, I think of bright colors, laughter, bare feet, and red dust. Kenya is all those things, but there is also something more that I sense. There is a sense of destiny sewn into the fabric of their soul. They don’t just want revival; they expect it.

In 2004, when the Lord showed me the vision of the field of harvest that stretched across Africa, I saw myself striking a match and dropping it into the brittle, dry grass. As the fields of harvest burst into flame, He spoke to me and said, “That’s my people in Kenya.”  I have thought about that for 15 years. Why did He specify Kenya? Could it be that is where the Great African Revival will start?

Everywhere I travel across sub-Saharan Africa, believers are anxiously expectant of the next great move of God to come to their country. Everyone thinks their country is where it will all start, but I honestly think Kenya is the starting place.  I do believe this coming revival will be fast like a flash of lightning across Africa, and that all of a sudden the fire of God will be burning everywhere across the continent, but I have a feeling it will begin in Kenya.

This last mission to Kenya lasted a month. I started in Mombasa along the coast of the Indian Ocean, at a small but vibrant church. They braved the rain each day and trudged through the mud to come hear the muzumgu preach a strong message of revival.  They were small in number, but boy, could they belt out praise and worship! There is no doubt Heaven heard them. I sure did.

During the three days I was there, we handed out the Four Steps to Revival and purchased a case of Bibles for them. They were so excited about the message that they asked to have a third service on Saturday and a healing line on Sunday.  Besides several smaller infirmities, one lady was completely healed of her diabetes. She came back the next day with her doctor’s confirmation. I took that as a sign that this trip was going to be good.

We saw similar things for the rest of the month. The next church was much larger and the excitement level increased with the size. We had three healing lines, one each night. They sent me a list of all the healings that happened, but there were three that really stood out.

One lady came up and as soon as I laid hands on her, it was like sticking my fingers in a light socket. Both her and I were vibrating like we were switched on. I don’t remember what her ailment was, but I’m sure it got fried with the Holy Ghost.   A few people later, as I laid hands on a woman, the Spirit flowed down so heavily that not only the hairs on my arms stood straight up, but it was the same for the people assisting me. Again, I have no idea what she came up for, but I am positive she didn’t go back with it.

And then there was this little girl.  I had to get down on my knees to hear her, but she was okay. It was her grandma who was sick, so sick that she was not able to come to services, so the little girl asked if I could pray and heal her grandma. Oh Lord, did my heart melt!  So we prayed.  I can usually feel the Holy Spirit flow through me when I pray, so I knew He had heard this little girl’s prayer. A couple days later, they handed me a long list of healing testimonies. Grandma was on the list.

I don’t measure the effectiveness of my ministry like most other evangelists.  For me, it’s not about how many people got healed, although the number of people who received supernatural healings on this trip totaled over one hundred. Neither do I count the number of souls saved. There were quite a few, as there is on every trip I take, but I don’t count them because that’s the job of an evangelist. I am not an evangelist; I am a revivalist. I measure the effectiveness of my ministry by the number of churches that have been set on fire and that are actively heading out into the streets to spread the message.

We visited eight churches on this trip and all of them, I dare say, were at the very least challenged. Most turned immediately to witness to their communities and some doubled the size of their church before I left the country.

As the testimonies pile up, it is the future that I am most interested in. What will happen 6 months from now, or even next year? Will they follow the formula that I showed them in the Bible to keep the fire burning?  Or will they allow the cares of this world to erode their new found zeal?

I told them that the secret to revival is winning the lost – that is what revival is all about. The secret to winning the lost, however, is building a fire in the church. The fire that is needed for your church is the fire that comes off the Altar of God.  To climb up into the heavenlies to get that fire, it takes fervent, effective, desperate prayer.  That takes power, real power, and the power to pray like that comes only from the Word of God.  Jesus, who is theWord of God, said that without Him, we can do nothing.

There is it is in its simplicity. God makes everything simple for us so that it is never a matter of being able to overcome any obstacles, but rather a choice we make to avail ourselves of what He has given us.

My prayer for Kenya is that in their zeal to initiate a great move of God, they don’t overlook the simplicity of resting from their own works and allow the Word of God to lead them into victory.

That way God gets all the glory.

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Hot and Muggy

IMG_2413Hot and muggy. That’s what Mombasa is like when it’s not raining. Since this is the end of the rainy season, we are getting a lot of both rain and that muggy heat.

The churches we’ve been to are like that also. There’s plenty of heat. You should hear their Praise and Worship times! Talk about hot!  Once they get going, they can sing and dance for hours. The excitement and joy is infectious.

But when we step into the Word, things can get a little muggy. In the first church we ministered in, only a few had Bibles, and fewer still read them. And so the lessons that I brought out of the Bible were revelatory to them. Like drawing back some heavy drapes and letting sunshine flood the room, they opened up a whole new way to see their faith. They were so excited that we bought them a case of Bibles to give them the sustenance and substance to bolster their faith and carry it forward.

As it usually goes, the next place we visited was very different. Still hot and muggy, but a different kind of mugginess. The pastor told me that they preached prosperity here. No, they weren’t prospering, but they were hoping that they would.  Unrequited hopes and prayers can leave you a little muggy, however. You’re hot, but it’s a muggy heat, and does not have that sharp and distinct heat that you get from direct sunshine.

Well, I figured that the worst that could happen is that after I preached my first message, which was going to be a polar opposite to the prosperity fodder they had been getting, all they could do is ask me not to come back.  Silly me. What was I worried about? God had already gone before me to prepare their hearts and they were ready and open-hearted to receive everything I had to give.  On the ride to the hotel, the pastor kept telling me how this message had changed his whole perspective.

We had three services, each one more exciting than the other. And three healing lines.  Once Africans feel the Holy Ghost flowing, they almost always want to dive into the river. So many of them have needs, and like little children, they look to their Heavenly Father for answers, healing and deliverance. And He hears them. It is a unique experience to stand in between a Heavenly Father and His precious children and feel the oil flow through you as you pray over them.

I have one more church here in Mombasa before we head north into Kenya. It is a small church with no more than a dozen people. I like those kinds of places because it allows me to get deep, close, and personal. The whole tenor of the message changes and you never know what will happen. I have seen all kinds of miracles happen in small meetings like that, from healing the blind to seeing the crippled and paralyzed walk.

Great moves of God are often birthed in small places. Acts chapter 10 tells of one such small meeting when God sent His number one servant to meet a Roman soldier who probably had very few friends. As a Roman, not many Jews would associate with him, and as a friend of Jews, not many Romans would hang out with him. So Peter came to this little tiny meeting. But this meeting opened the dispensation to the Gentiles.

No small meeting at all.

Ukunda

We are ministering to a small church on the coast of the Indian Ocean near Mombasa. The air here is fresh and clean and has that distinct tropical smell to it just like Miami. I like the feeling in the air and I can see why so many tourists come here from Europe. But we are not here for the tourists; we are here to light a spark in these churches to ignite the spirit of revival in their church.

Ukunda

I used to wonder if I was squandering my time and money in dealing with so many small churches. After all, just what can these little congregations do?  But doesn’t that sound just like Sanballat?

But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?”  (Nehemiah 4:2)

Less than a dozen people braved the rain and the mud (they have to walk in the rain to get here), but this is a dozen people who are here to receive. Everyone else can stay home as far as I care. These are the ones I have come for and these are the ones who will carry the message.  God always uses the little things, the despised, the weak and foolish things of the world to show His glory.  And He is here tonight.

On the next day, we had double the crowd. They came to hear the American who is not bringing the usual message of peace, love, and grace, but one of righteousness, power, and victory. Revivals are not born on the soft side of the Gospel but on the side of righteousness, repentance, and desperate hunger for a true outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They want the real thing, not the candy-coated version.

So after the second service, they asked if I could do a third one. (Groan) Yes, they know you’re exhausted, but could you please tell them some more? Ten hours after we began, we finally crawled back to the hotel, but yeah, it felt good!

The third day was Sunday and the place was packed out. We sang and danced for hours. Kenyans love music. By the time the second service was finished, it had been another eight hours of church, but we were feeling good.

Some people got healed, some people got saved, but the important thing was that we had started a fire in this church that would not be easily extinguished. Some of these people will never be the same, most especially the pastor. God will take this little seed that has been planted, this little spark that was lit, and He will let it germinate in the soil until He is ready to bring it forth as a full and abundant harvest. This is how he does it. And when the harvest comes forth, it will be God who gets the glory.

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”  (1 Corinthians 1:27)

 

Hope

Oh God, where are you? Can you see me? Are you watching? Or are you busy paying attention to 7 billion other people who need you just as much, or actually much more, than I do?

Have you chosen to set yourself apart from us, just far enough back so that we can almost touch you, but not so close that it would dissolve faith? Sometimes there are miracles; sometimes all the crying in the world cannot get you to move. Sometimes I can feel the Spirit so strong I feel like dancing; sometimes it feels like the heavens are brass and the door to your presence is slammed shut.  Sometimes you feel so close that I feel enveloped in you; sometimes you are so far away that I wonder if you are really there or not.

Belief in God has never been natural for me. The whole concept of God watching over us seemed so foreign to me that it was much easier to believe in the postulates of science than in the hopes of Heaven. Why would God do things this way? How come He doesn’t show Himself in the sky so we can all settle this debate once and for all?  He does, after all, want everybody to go to Heaven, right?  So where exactly is He?

And really, where is Heaven? Is it some far out place way out in the cosmos or buried in some other dimension?  How come it is way out there and we are down here?

We are immersed in the reality of this tangible world and it therefore captures our attention.  Sometimes it’s a lot easier to not believe than to believe, especially when you’re praying your guts out and it seems like God is deaf.   Heaven can only be hoped for, not seen.

But then there are those times when God reaches down and touches you.  Or heals some blind person. Or answers some prayer of yours that was just impossible.  Or reaches out and touches you in a place way down in your heart that even you didn’t know was there.

Sometimes He just acts like God, and it is unmistakably Him.  And then you know.

Humility is not something that can be earned, learned, or absorbed.  You have to be broken to obtain it.

I’ve listened to many who try to wear some ill-fitting garments of humility, but they just don’t seem to fit right on them.  Oh, they sound like they are so humble, but it almost comes across like an excuse rather than something real.  While they deprecate themselves to others, it sounds more like an attachment to cover up something that is trying to stick up through their clothing.   The garment of humility is made from the same cloth as the mantle of authority in God.

Fake humility, on the other hand, has to refuse the mantle of true authority because it is not the same garment that they are trying to fit into.  If one professes to be “oh so humble”, where will he get the holy boldness to stand up to take power and dominion over the works of darkness?  They don’t fit together.

Pride, whether it manifests itself in arrogance or in a fake humility, is a result of measuring oneself up against those around you.  When Saul was little in his own eyes, he hid in “the stuff” because he was afraid to become king.  Two years later, he disdained the commandments of the Lord’s prophet to offer his own sacrifice to God.

Humility, however, does not measure itself against others, but against the Almighty God.  With David, it was never about himself – it was always about God.  That enabled him to slay Goliath in his youth and rule as king in his old age.

When God calls a servant to manifest His power, there is a cycle that he must go through.  When the first miracles begin to flow through a person, it feels like the coolest thing that has ever happened to you.  You are so excited that you can’t wait to tell others of the wonderful works of God.  As you go on, however, a little voice starts to whisper in your ear which suggests that, yes, God did this miracle, but He chose you to do it.  Sure, God could have chosen anyone, but hey, He chose you.  That must mean you’re just a little bit special, doesn’t it?  And then it stops — What happened? — and the soul-searching begins.

When you allow God to sand you back down to bare metal and let you see your own foolish pride, you make it possible for Him to take you to the next level.  And so goes the building process: paint a layer, sand it down, paint a layer, sand it down.  There is no one so holy and great that does not have to go through this process.  You must be broken to go to the next level, because God will not share His glory with anyone.

Only after you have been broken so many times that your ego has been completely burned out of you, and your soul has surrendered and yielded to total subjection, can you ever be allowed to walk in real power.  It is in the luster of that many-layered finish that true humility begins to shine with a light that does not come from you, but is reflected from the glory of God.

It is at this point that warriors are brought forth shouldering the mantle of God’s anointing and His authority – a mantle, not resplendent with glory of shining armor, but with the dull luster of sackcloth and ashes.

Brother Dale
dale@revivalfire.org

 

Alfred E. Newman

“What, me worry?”
(Alfred E. Newman, Mad Magazine)

My mother hated Mad Magazine. She thought their hilarious spoofs would teach me to be irresponsible, unholy, and generally wayward. Alfred E. Newman, the flagship personality of the entire magazine was especially abhorrent to her. He would be the ruin of me if she allowed me to be exposed to his reprobate way of thinking.

So I would stash my copies with my other contraband, like pocket knives and chewing gum.  Poor Mom. She never suspected how corrupt I had become.

Years later, I have discovered that Alfred was not so far off the truth. His philosophy on life is echoed by the Apostle Paul, only in a much different context. Paul’s repeated exhortation was to cast off your carnal worries and allow God to take control of your life.

“Be careful for nothing…” (Philippians 4:6)

“With food and raiment, therewith be content…” (1 Timothy 6:8)

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)

Jesus echoed this same sentiment with, “Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

So what are we worried about?

I spoke to a wealthy young man last night about his concerns that his latest tithing was not bringing back the results he expected. Normally, he gives heavily and there is an immediate response from the Lord in new deals and revenues, which he then, in turn, sows back into the ministries that he supports. This last time, however, he has not seen the usual response from God, and he was getting worried about going broke.  I might mention that he tithes over 50% of his income, and sometimes much higher.

I gave him my best impression of Alfred E. Newman. Don’t worry about it because it doesn’t really matter. If you’re giving just to get, you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. If you’re giving because you really believe in this gospel, then it doesn’t matter if you get anything back.  If you want true prosperity, then you have to let go.

Prosperity is not measured in dollars and cents, but in the lack of financial stress. Your ties with the things of this world have to be cut so that you, as Paul also put it, are crucified unto the world and the world is crucified unto you. You no longer care. There is nothing in that world that you long for or lust for. The connection is severed and your treasure is now in Heaven, not in this world.

It may be that the blessing you are not seeing is the stretching of your faith by allowing you to walk without the tangible crutch of money.  Or food. Or home. Does it not say, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content”?  Food and clothing are the only things mentioned. And maybe God is doing that so your faith will grow as you learn to trust Him completely and thereby enable you to step up into a higher calling and a greater effectiveness than you have ever known … and thereby greater blessings.

When we come to the realization that we are dead to this world and alive only in Christ, and when the world no longer has any pull on us because we are dead to it, we then enter into a crucified walk in God, broken to His will, and yielded to His purpose.

It is then that the cares of this life are sloughed off like a dead layer of skin, and we are truly free.

Brother Dale
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Delusions

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  Hebrews 6:4-6

Yikes!  Ever wonder about that scripture?  That’s pretty stiff.  We usually hear about how loving God is and how He will always forgive us, and we have a tendency to build that idea into our personal theology.  But there is a certain line that we can cross over from which there is no coming back.  And this is not the only scripture that alludes to that, either.  But how does one get to such a drastic point?

How this could happen to somebody?  How does someone get so far from the simplicity of the Gospel to allow themselves to fall so deeply into the chains of sin?  Especially when they know better. It doesn’t happen overnight.  It’s here a little, there a little.  Ignore a little conviction from the Lord here and there, and it is not long before they allow themselves to lean more and more into what they really want to believe in their heart.

My Bible says that the heart of man is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things.  We’re not supposed to trust in our hearts, but in the Word of God.  The thing is, everybody has a little different take on the Bible. It’s often not a matter of what we read, but a matter of what we want to believe.  Flesh has a tendency to choose its own delusions. Faith, however, comes by hearing the Word of God.  That’s hearing, as in, having your ears open to hear the Truth.

It’s a fierce war out there, kids – a spiritual war.  Over a period of time, if we do not have ears that will hearken to the Word of God, we can fall into that deceptive, smooth doctrine that will tell us all the things that our flesh wants to hear.  In the depths of our souls we may be able to detect the ring of Truth, but, if we are not careful, we can ignore it so we can believe something else that is more palatable to our personal tastes. We end up, as it says in 2 Timothy 4:3, heaping up teachers to ourselves, having itching ears.  Keep sliding in that direction, and there comes a point when you just totally give yourself over to your delusion, and that is when you cross that line.

Now you know why I make such a strong stand for the importance of the real chilling fear of the Lord.  You can also see why the enemy of our souls has done his best to extract that message out of the pulpits for the last couple of generations.  Or at least water it down as much as he can.  He is pretty slick.  Satan knows that when you leave the fear of the Lord, you will forget your reading, prayer, and fasting.  When you forget your reading and praying, you lose your power in God.  It is not by your power or might, but by the Spirit of the Lord that we are able to overcome.

It’s a simple formula.  There’s no magic to it.  You don’t choose to go to hell.  Either you choose your own deceptions, or you choose to crucify that old flesh and submit to the Word of God.