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Archive for March, 2010

  “And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?”  Judges 6:13

As I was standing in front of a small congregation of people, watching them pour up to the altar to get prayed over for healing, I was struck by the look on their faces of not only a hope that was pouring out from the depths of their souls, but the bright expectations of a childlike trust in God that they would be healed and delivered out of the afflictions that had plagued them for who knows how long.  The hope was like a bright light that had suddenly pierced into the darkness of their lives, and their expectations were like a newly found energy that gives birth to a burst of inspiration that God has visited them.  And there I was standing in front of them, clueless, scared to death and wondering, “Oh God, what do I do now?”

The church is in Africa, but my lack of faith was still rooted in America.  I don’t do miracles.  I just preach the Gospel.  I don’t know how to call up the supernatural, or snap my fingers and bring forth miraculous healings.  I don’t have any stupid self-help book to rely on like, “The 5 Points to Supernatural Healings”.  It’s just me – just me, God, and these desperately needy people.  But God healed them anyway – the sick, the lame, the deaf, and the desolate.  All of them … in spite of me.

It happens all the time over there.  But why do we not see this kind of power exhibited over here in America?  Where are the miracles that our forefathers saw a couple of generations ago?  Where did God go?

Well, the truth is that there really are miracles here — we just don’t see them in our modern sophisticated churches.  In my little town alone, I have seen a lady with 4th Stage Cancer healed, a little girl with AIDS healed, a man with Leukemia immediately cured, and many more. I just had breakfast with a man who popped out of a coma just minutes before they were going to pull the plug on him. He was considered medically dead, but God is not constrained by even the threshold of Death.   He is only constrained by the lack of serious prayer.

Where is this miraculous manifestation of the power of God in our churches today? Why don’t we see this anymore?  Something is missing. There is a disconnect between what we read in the Scriptures and what we see in church.

The answer, as usual, came out of the clear, blue sky.  Literally. 

If God were to pour out His mighty power and bring forth a multitude of unfettered healings on our churches in America today, He would be setting His seal of approval on an apostate church, and by doing so, would be holding them back from the place of broken-hearted repentance that is so desperately needed to restore them to revival.  He loves us more than that.

Use whatever reasons you may.  Run on with your myriad of worn-out excuses to dismiss this absence of His power, wax as eloquent as you want with your banal churchy platitudes, but the challenge from Gideon remains unanswered by this generation.

Our prayer meetings for revival are scarce at best — non-existent at worst.  And when we do pray, we pray like little girls as we “think” our prayers in our little anemic “quiet time”.  We hold hands and submit polite requests in low soothing voices, as if we are afraid to wake anyone up.  We are no longer the warriors that called forth the battle that forged our once on-fire churches in the fires of revival.  We have become weaklings and have lost our calling as warriors.  We just aren’t desperate enough to stand up and fight.

Only when we realize how far we have fallen, and take on Gideon’s refusal to submit to “church as usual”, will we ever be able to rise out of our homogenous mediocrity to take up the arms of spiritual war and reclaim the harvest fields that we have allowed the enemy to take from us. 

Prayer moves God, but it takes great prayer to see great moves of God.  Only when we have determined in our hearts to rock the Throne of God for a great and mighty move will we see Him rise off His Throne and answer.

There is a price to pay for anything from God.  When we are finally willing to pay that price, we will have an answer for Gideon.

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Some time ago, a retired pastor emailed me how he wished he could be serving the Lord like me out in the harvest field reaping all the souls. He felt useless, spent, and too sick and old to do anything anymore. The Lord gave me a rather terse answer for him, that I was nothing more than a marionette on a string that was operated by the prayer warriors who were holding me up in prayer. It was the Prayer Warriors who won the battles.  All I did was show up.

It strikes me how much it is like the game of American Football. No matter how good the Quarterback is, he can’t win the game alone. While the Quarterback may control the play, his job is to pass that ball to others for the touchdown. It is a team effort that wins the Game.

In the middle of the front line is the Center. This is the Apostle that anchors the whole line, whose hands are first on the ball to hike it to the Quarterback. The whole team is centered around this guy who is usually the biggest and baddest player on the team. He starts the whole process going.  How he starts the play is critical.  If he does not hike the ball correctly, the whole play is over with a loss of yardage.

To the left and right of the Apostle is the front line. These guys are always huge, muscle-bound monsters who dig their spikes into the ground, and are ready to do battle. You do NOT want to meet these guys in a dark alley. They will not give in, they will not back up, but will defend that line with every ounce of massive strength they possess.  Rarely, if ever, do they get the Most Valuable Player award, and little credit is given to the battles they fight in secret, but without them, there will be no victory. These are the Prayer Warriors who stand in deep travailing prayer to hold back the enemy from charging in.  No victory is ever won which has not first been fought and won in the prayer room by valiant warriors such as these.

Emmitt Smith, one of the greatest running backs of the game, after receiving one of the highest awards one season, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to give an expensive gift to each and every member of the front line.  His statement was telling of what made him great.  Without those men on the line who blocked the way before him, he said, he would have never gained a yard, never mind win such a prestigious award.

Surrounding the Quarterback are the running backs – the Halfbacks and the Fullbacks. Their job is to do whatever needs to be done, offensively and defensively. If their job is to carry the ball, they will take it and charge straight into the line of battle.  If the enemy gets past the Prayer Warriors on the front line and they need to form a defensive ring around the Quarterback to give him time to pass the ball, then they will guard him with their lives. These are the teachers, the deacons and elders, and the workers who labor behind the line of Scrimmage to make sure everything in the Church works.

And then there are the Wide Receivers, the evangelists and missionaries, running around out in the field, trying to dodge the devils that are dogging their heels, all the while yelling, “Throw it to me! Throw it to me!”  The Quarterback has to know exactly when and where to throw that ball. If he doesn’t do it correctly, the pass will be dropped and there will be no gain.  Worse, it could be intercepted by the enemy and ran back for a touchdown.  But oh! When that ball is sent sailing over the line, watch those Receivers dive for it like an acrobat, snatch it out of the air, and run like a race horse for the end zone.

As the game progresses and the Owner of the Team watches from His box high above the playing field, the Coach calls the plays from the sidelines, encouraging and reproving and setting up each and every play.  It is He that inserts each player into his particular role. It is the team that wins the game, not the players, just as it is the whole Body of Christ that wins the victory in this great battle of Eternity.

I may be one cog or screw in a huge machine, but I will fit perfectly in that place that God designed me for. I may want to have a more prominent place, a different job, or an easier task, but the machine will not work unless the correct parts are fitted into the correct place. Lord, I want to be all that I can be, but I don’t want to strive to be something I’m not.

In the end, it is God who gets all the glory.

Brother Dale, revivalfire1412@gmail.com

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To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away,
reserved in heaven for you …
1st Peter 1:4

You’ve just entered into the Great Hall and are being ushered to your place at the table. The tablecloth stretches from one end to the other in a sparkling white linen so pure and white that it is luminous. The place settings are laid out perfectly with rich china plates that seem to glow. The cups and saucers are of a delicate porcelain that seems almost translucent and light to the touch. And oh, the silverware! And the golden jewel-studded goblets that are placed beside each setting stand at attention at each place with a richness that you have never seen.  Bowls full of delicious looking fruits are set all the way down the table, bursting with flavors and scents that call you to reach out and taste them.

As the crowd begins to enter the room and take their places, there is an unspeakable joy of celebration that fills the atmosphere.  The rustle of pure white linen can be heard as each person is led to his or her place where their name is written on their invitation in pure golden foil on a sheer white vellum card. You can hardly believe you are really here as you are brought to your own seat, filled with anticipation of the celebration that is to begin.

This is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and your reservation has been waiting for you.

As we all settle into our seats, there is a hush that sweeps into the room, and we all stand as the Lamb of God, our Savior who has written our invitation in His own blood, enters the room.

This is the moment we have all been waiting for. This is what has made it all worthwhile.  Gone are all the tears, the hardships, and the struggles that brought us here. We have won the victory through the Blood of Jesus and have made our garments white in His Blood and have been found worthy to become His Bride and take part in this final feast of rejoicing.

How handsome is the Bridegroom!  How He looks at each of us with a personal intimacy that floods our souls with His overwhelming love for us. We are His forever. We are His Bride and nothing will ever separate us from Him for Eternity.

This is an event that will actually take place in the not-to-distant future. Those who have overcome the world will really be there and will enjoy the fruits of this great celebration.  Our time on Earth that seems so relevant now, will be but a faded memory in the face of the glory of God and the wonders of Heaven.  It does not seem so right now, but when it finally comes, it will completely eclipse everything we have experienced in this life.

I would not miss this for anything this world has to offer. I will be there no matter what it takes, whatever price that must be paid, whatever battles I must endure.  I will be there.

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

Revelations 2:7

Brother Dale

dale@revivalfire.org

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