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Archive for August, 2009

We’re heading home tonight.  I’m sitting here at my hotel in Nairobi, looking out the window and wondering if I will ever be back again.

I go through this almost every time.  It’s a bittersweet feeling leaving this place.  I am worn out and spent after dozens of services in a score of little churches throughout Kenya, but exhilarated from watching the power of God work in the hearts of these people.  I can’t wait to get home, but I can’t wait to get back.

The challenges that face my returning to Africa are more than financial.  The hardest challenges have to do with slogging through spiritual battles, the blanket of spiritual resistance that Satan throws at me, and the weariness of this old flesh that has to be continually shoved aside.  But oh, the excitement to see the power of God at work through this little ministry, and to hear and see the transformation that takes place in these little churches where I have been!  This is more than just having some good church services – these are bursts of spiritual breakthroughs and transformations for these churches.  Several places would cry out at the end of the service that they would never be the same again.  When is the last time you heard that?

These people in Africa are torn wide open to the real Gospel, not the one of blessings, prosperity, and sweet love—they’ve had enough of that – but the Gospel of righteousness, power, and true revival.  Services here are electrifying, not only during the singing that raises the rooftops with praises and shouting, but the poignant soul-searching at the Altar Call.  This is a land whose fallow ground has been broken up and is ready for the seed to be planted deep in its soil.

They are desperate for revival – not just for the blessings of Spirit-filled services and an outpouring that fills the room, not just for the miracles and supernatural healings that happen, but for the close presence and holiness of the Lord.  They are hungry for His presence.

How can I not be desperate to return?  Africa is like vivid Technicolor in comparison to the spiritual shades of grey in America.  There is a sound in the air of the abundance of rain.  I can hear the thunder coming and see the clouds forming on the horizon.  It is about to rain – no, pour! – in this dry and thirsty land.

And yet, I fear God and dare not go beyond the leading of His Spirit.  I know that it is not I that will spread the fires revival here – I am just striking matches – but those whose torches that I have lit. God will raise up His ministers, stones that He has raised, to spread that fire and carry revival to the rest of the world while I will be sitting on my porch in Texas hearing about the wonderful works of God that have sprung out of this ground.

Fire and rain.  Two seemingly opposite images that God uses for revival.  I am striking matches and planting seeds, but the rain will come and bring forth the harvest, and the fire will fall and spread throughout the world.  Then the vision will be complete.

As for me, my heart longs for home and family, a comfortable bed and a Big Mac … and a REAL cup of coffee!  Tomorrow the call may come again to finish the planting and prepare the ground.  Whether it be in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, or wherever the Spirit of the Lord leads only God knows.

All I ask is send me, oh God, send me.

Brother Dale
www.revivalfire.org

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It’s been three years since it has rained in Namanga, and it is so dry that the air is full of dust.  We are in the south of Kenya with the Masaai, a tribe of strange dress and stranger customs.  They are known for the way they mutilate their ear lobes and for their fearlessness in fighting lions.  They are also very clannish, and rarely get saved.

But here we are ministering in a Masaai church, to which they have walked for hours to come to.  Some of the Masaai that are here walked almost 30 miles from Tanzania just to hear the Gospel delivered in the power of the Holy Spirit. These are serious people with a serious desire for Truth.

The Maasai are one of the most despised people in Africa.  Because of their uncivilized customs, other tribes look upon them as slightly sub-human, little better than animals.  Their lives are buried in darkness.  Generation upon generation of curses have been heaped upon this people to the extent that they cannot deliver themselves from them.  They cut their bodies, wear bizarre decorations, inflict intense personal pain and mutilations in their initiation rites, and give themselves over to a demonic blood lust and satanic worship.  These are not cute tourist attractions – these are the curses of God.  The demonic hold upon these people is so strong that few Maasai ever become Christians.

Last year, however, the Lord gave me a word of hope for the Maasai people.  Coming out of Isaiah chapter 40 was a promise of hope that their curses had been broken as they sought God through His Word.  The Lord was very specific – they must seek Him through His Word.  Well, guess what?  If you try and find some Bibles in the Maasai language, even in Kenya, they cannot be found.  Backordered for months.  Nice trick.  Reminds me of Balaam.  If the devil can cut them off from Bibles, he can cut off the deliverance.  But God always makes a way, even in the storm, and we have seen the beginning flickerings of a move of God amongst the Maasai.

This year, the Lord gave me a word concerning the drought.  It hasn’t rained in their area for 3 years, and you can imagine how dry it is.  The morning I was about to leave, the Lord revealed to me that the physical conditions of the drought only reflected their spiritual drought.  They are so dry that they are languishing spiritually and slowly dying, hoping for something from God to deliver them.

Three years is the same amount of time that Elijah had called for a drought upon Israel.  Now was time to build the altar, stack the wood, and place the sacrifice upon the altar.  But before the fire of God was ever going to fall from Heaven, the sacrifice had to be drenched with water.

Water is a picture of the cleansing power of the Word, not only in Ephesians 5:26, but in several other places.  The most notable one is the Laver of Brass in the Tabernacle.  Before going in to minister, the priests had to wash in that laver of brass or they would die on the way in.  The brass for the laver was made from the lookinglasses of the women (Exodus 38:8).  In other words, you would look into the Word of God and see a reflection of your heart and wash with the water of the Word before going into minister unto God.  God is holy, and without holiness, no man shall see the Lord, and it is the Word that cleanses you.

The barrels of water that Elijah poured upon the sacrifice on top of Mt. Carmel were also a picture of the Word of God.  No revival will come without the people drenched in the Word of God.  Prayer, deep prevailing prayer, will not come without it.  Repentance and broken hearts will not come without it.  Desire for holiness and a love of God will not come without it.  A burden for lost souls, the driving engine for revival, will not come without it.  The fire of God will not fall unless the sacrifice is drenched with the Word of God.

This lines up with the word that I had gotten the year before that the curses would be broken as they sought Him “…through His Word.”

If that applies to the Maasai, does it not also apply to us?  And yet we snack on a few verses here and there, follow some lame excuse to read the Bible in a year, lean upon the pastor to tell us what the Word says, and spend all our time and money on stupid Christian self-help books.  And we expect God to pour out a revival upon us?  You have got to be kidding!

When we begin to cry out to God like Rachael, “Give me souls lest I die!”, when we break upon that cornerstone and seek Him with all our strength and yield to the brokenness of the Cross, when we are so desperate for revival that we are willing to die, then perhaps God will hear.

Until then, we are just a tinkling cymbal.

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Revival is coming to Kenya.  It isn’t just something that’s in the air; it’s in their hearts.

I listened to a lady from the U.S. as she told me how great the praise and worship services were in Kenya.  It’s not the praise and worship that gets me excited — it’s the altar calls.

In church after church, I have presented a message of revival that begins with an acknowledgement that they don’t have a revival right now.  It’s not about how exciting your singing is, how loving your church is, or what a great preacher your pastor is.  It’s about how many souls are getting saved.

When the church is not winning souls, she bears the shame of a barren woman.  Rachael cried, “Give me children lest I die!”  So should we grab hold of our husband, Jesus, and shake Heaven with, “Give me souls lest I die!”  We have to want it bad enough to die for it, to give our lives for souls.  This is the very definition of Charity … and without Charity, we are nothing but tinkling bells.

Paul wrote that “she shall be saved in childbearing”.  He was not saying that women who have no children are going to Hell.  He was talking about the Church.  If it is through bearing forth souls that the Church is saved, then we are in serious trouble.

Everyone thinks that revival is when the Holy Ghost is pouring out so hard that everyone is swimming in the Spirit and overwhelmed with the power of God.  No, the heartbeat of revival is winning souls, and when we forget that because we are so enamored with how good the outpouring feels, God turns off the faucet.  Slowly the electricity begins to fade away until all we are left with is church — and church can never save us.

The difference between the U.S. and Africa is, when I bring this message in America, I get dismissed.  When I bring it in Africa, they repent.

Maybe that’s why the Spirit of God flows so heavily here.  In service after service, when they com e up for prayer, God takes over and heals every one of them, delivers them from demonic powers, and releases their faith and revitalizes their vision.  There are times when you can actually feel the oil flowing through your fingers as you lay hands on these people.

But in America, they are hardly able to believe this is really happening, never mind drop to their knees for forgiveness so that God can move here as well.

Jonah said it well:  “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.”

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“I will therefore that men pray every where…”  1 Timothy 2:8

It has been said that preaching moves men, but prayer moves God.  If that is the case, then it seems to me that we should do a lot more praying than preaching and a lot more time on our knees listening to God than sitting on our butts reading books.  Why is it that prayer seems to be the most neglected of all Christian duties?

The secret art of prayer intercession has become rare because it taxes the depths of your soul to contend before the Throne of God for hours in an all-out struggle to wage war. Few Christians care that much to pray that much. It is much easier to fellowship with other Christians than to lock oneself in that solitary closet for hours in travail with God.  That secret place of the Most High is not for the light and easy Christian who is content with Sunday services and professes a relatively clean life, but shrinks from crossing over to a crucified, broken walk of sacrifice.  They nibble at the Word of God and sip at the fountain of prayer, so they never receive the strength to break through to a deeper level in God.  They “have a little talk with Jesus” but never grapple with contending prayer.  Is it a small wonder that we have more faith in our carnal efforts than in a supernatural answer to prayer?

The prayer room is the battleground of Eternity.  It is there that all battles are fought and won … or lost through the weakness of flesh. This is where we serve the Lord. Before anything can be accomplished on the streets, in the pulpit, or in any human endeavor, the victory must first be established in prayer.  Anything short of that would be stealing the glory from God, because if we accomplish it, then we can take the credit, but prayer – deep prevailing prayer – hands the victory over to God.  Attempting to serve God without being saturated with prayer until we have the victory in hand leads to spiritual pride and a holiness of the flesh.  We think we are doing great things by serving the Lord in the flesh, but all we are accomplishing is bolstering our own self-righteousness.

There are two things this generation seems to have lost.  One is the ability to pray something all the way through until we receive an answer from God — not a wisp of our imagination, but a real supernatural breakthrough.  Instead, we have convinced ourselves that we can make do with a time limit for our requests.  As a result, we resort to wishful thinking instead of faith to guide our Christian lives.

The other thing we seem to have forgotten is the ability to pray like a warrior.  I hear people proudly mention their “quiet time” with God each morning. I believe them.  Nobody’s talking, and nobody’s answering. Is this how Elijah stopped the rain? Could it be that this is the reason our generation has no miracles, not outpouring in our services, no supernatural moves of God, and no souls at the altar getting saved?

Maybe God isn’t answering us because He can’t hear us.

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Services in Mwala

It’s Day One of my 7th trip to Kenya.

Just as each person you meet has a different personality, so does each trip I make here.  Unlike other trips to Africa, I have not had a lot of excitement or drive this time.  I actually wondered if I was going flat like a Coke that has been left out too long – still tastes like Coke, but have I lost my fizz?  Would I be an effective witness to the churches that I would visit?  Would the Lord be with me as in times past when the power of the Holy Ghost would crash down from Heaven?  Was anything going to happen that was truly supernatural, or would this just be a nice little trip to go talk about Jesus?

These are vital questions.  If you are not ministering under the anointing of the Spirit of God, then what is the point?  Your good works and fine efforts are great, but they won’t spark a true revival – at least not one that will have any real substance.  If God is not going before you to prepare the way, if He is not pouring out His anointing on the people to prepare their hearts to receive His Word, if He is not speaking through your mouth, then all your fine intentions will be fruitless.  Either God is doing the work, or you are – pick one.

Personally, I want to be at a place of faith that waits upon God to move, a place of brokenness that can yield to His slightest leading, and a point of death that does not care about anything else.  What’s that scripture, if the lord does not build the house, they labor in vain that build it?  I want my ministry built through the Spirit of God, not my own efforts.

My first services were yesterday at a church far out in the country.  It was as dry as could be – both spiritually and physically.  It had not rained there for so long that no crops were being harvested, all the rivers had dried up, and the dust on the road was like talcum powder.  It was dry.

The church was just as dry.  They were all believers, and they really wanted something special from God, but they just didn’t have any life in them to reach up and get it.  The witchcraft in the area, on the other hand, was alive and doing well, and the spiritual darkness was draining the vibrancy from the church.  They really needed a breakthrough from God.

As I was about to get up to deliver the 2nd message of the day, I could sense that cloud of darkness over the land.  It was like a cloudy, grey day with none of the bright sunshine that makes a clear and joyous day in the Lord.  When I started to read from the Scriptures, I noticed no one had any Bibles … and then I knew why they were so dry and helpless to combat the darkness.  They needed the Bread of Life to strengthen them, but all they had was the preacher’s words and a blind faith in God.

You need more than a great need to see a move of God.  It’s not need that God responds to – it’s faith.  If it was need that God responded to, there would be no widows, no poor, no sick, and no need.  God responds to faith, and without the Word of God to feed your faith, you will find little traction to get to the Throne of God.  These people needed Bibles badly.

If the Word of God is our sword, then they had no weapon to fight the enemy with.  If the Word of God is the Bread of Life, they were weak from starvation.  If the Word of God is the Light, they were stumbling around in a spiritual twilight.  If the Bible is the way of Life, they were wandering around searching for the path.  The sad thing is that they had no idea how bad their condition is, because the farther away from the Light you get, the less you are able to see.  They probably could have found some money somewhere to buy a Bible if they really wanted to – they just didn’t understand how badly they needed it.

In contrast, the service we had at the church I went to the next day was exciting.  The Spirit of the Lord was flowing so much during the 1st service that everyone couldn’t wait to start the 2nd service.  We’re talking on-your-feet-, hands-in-the-air, shouting-and-praising-God, life-changing, church-altering, Holy Ghost and Fire!  At the close of the last service, the pastor stood up and said that this church would never be the same ever again.

Yeah, it was that good.

What was the difference?  I have to believe that it had to do with how much they read the Word of God.  As we read the Bible, we not only feed ourselves the Bread of Life and strengthen our spiritual health, but we also rip off layer after layer of carnality, and we begin to see more clearly in the spiritual.  We can see how thin the veil of flesh is, how close to Eternity we are, and how dead the things of this world are.  Light and glory and power shine from the other side of that veil, and we can see it more and more clearly as we look through the lens of the Word of God.

As we dive deeper into His Word, the gap between these two realities becomes wider and wider, and the stark difference between them becomes more clear.  We begin to see the outlines of a place called Beulah Land, and our hearts yearn for that home beyond the sky.  We feel more and more like pilgrims going through a land in which we are a stranger, waiting for that day when our Savior finally calls us home.

But when we forsake our reading and prayer, we lose our power in God.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalms 37:4

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