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Archive for April, 2010

And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them. Ezekiel 33:31-33

That’s the word the Lord gave me yesterday.  Scary, isn’t it?  But that is what I am experiencing here in Cabo Verde.

Wherever I have preached this message on revival, congregations have responded with zeal.  They have been desperate for a move of God and know intrinsically that the things they have been doing is not bringing revival to their church.  They are so easily broken at the altar of repentance that you can literally feel the floodgates open from the Throne of God. What a joy it has been to bust through and see a church ignited with the fire of God!

But not so in Cabo Verde.

My message has centered around what I say are four steps to revival.  The first step is to bring the realization that they do not have a revival right now and that their church is not experiencing the power that accompanies a real Holy Ghost revival.  That is easy to do.  All you have to do is ask them how many souls got saved last week.  They get it.  They’re a barren wife to God.

The second step is about getting an all-consuming desire for revival like Rachel’s cry to Jacob, “Give me souls lest I die!”  It is also easy to make them realize that the price for revival is high, that it will cost them everything.  In Africa, just tell them what they have to do and get out of the way — they are ready to do whatever it takes.

But here in Cabo Verde, they hear the message — and are excited — but although they want revival, they just can’t seem to grasp that they actually have to do something!  Night after night, I am stuck on driving home the message that they need a burden for the lost more than the comfort of their weekly church services.  They stare and blink, but it doesn’t go in.  I have even taken them out into the streets to witness, but it only lasts while I am there with them.

I’ve told them about the Good Samaritan, the Great Commission, and the parable of the Great Banquet where the Lord commands us to go out into the streets and compel the lost to come in.  I have shown them the command in Ezekiel 33 of the watchman on the wall to warn the people of the coming danger and that they would have the blood of those souls on their hands if they did not.  I’ve explained 1 John 3:16 that the love of God is to lay down our lives for others.  I’ve shown them how Jesus in John chapter 5 went to the Pool of Bethesda where the sick were while the “church people” were over at the Temple.  I have brought forth this same message out of I don’t know how many passages until it is scaring me, never mind them!

But there is a wall that I cannot seem to break through.  But isn’t this the same in America?  So why am I surprised?

The core message has always been that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not about us – it is about others.  It is about winning souls while there is still time.  This is the core message of the Cross.  Until we cry out for God to give us that kind of a burden for lost souls and repent for being a barren woman who has not brought forth children for our Bridegroom, God cannot and will not send a revival.

Revival is not about feeling good in exciting services and watching miracles performed – it is about winning souls. Everything else is just what accompanies it. When the altars are bare, so is your church.  It is so simple: if you want revival, go out into the streets and get one! Bring in the lost and God will pour out His Spirit.  If you don’t, neither will He.

But there is hope.  In Philippians 2:13, the promise is that God will work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.  Only God can break open the fallow ground of our hearts to drive that desire into us.  When he does, the wheels of revival will begin to turn.

Like Nehemiah and Daniel, let us call out to God in deep repentance and beg Him to return to His people with forgiveness so that we can be restored to the glory that belongs to His Bride.

Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?

Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.” Psalms 85:5-7

Brother Dale, http://www.Revivalfire.org

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I’m sitting here at a sidewalk café overlooking the ocean enjoying the morning breeze.  Cape Verde – or Cabo Verde as they like to say it here – is just what I thought a tropical resort island would be like.  The air is clean and very clear, the sun is strong, and there is a faint wisp of that tropical feeling.  The houses are lined up in pastels and cream colors as if they were made of different flavors of ice cream.   The cobblestone streets and irregular alleys make you feel like you are in Portugal or some Mediterranean village by the sea.  Everything has a quaint feel about it.

But the people don’t quite fit the picture I had imagined of a tropical paradise where everything is beautiful and life is a song on the beach.  When you scan a crowd, it is difficult to find a smile in it. How odd that is for a place with perfect weather, a bustling economy and picturesque streets!  Smiles have to be forced here; they do not come easily.  Apparently life within the heart is not as good as life appears on the outside.  It has something to do with the ubiquity of sin in this country.

The dominant god in Cabo Verde is pleasure.  It beckons to you from every corner.  You can see it in the carefree attitudes tinted in lust that cover this town.  Fun and Pleasure, the twin sisters of Sin, own these streets, and they bring with them the burden of sin and the sorrow of heart that accompanies it.

I have not seen many churches yet, but the pastors whom I have met are hungry for revival.  Just as I have found in other places, they want the real thing.  They’ve had enough of the American gospel of Prosperity and Blessings. They want a real revival of power even though there is a price that must be paid to achieve it.  They don’t care; just tell them what to do.

What I do not understand is why they see the message as something new.  It is the same old Gospel that they have all heard before.  It comes straight out of the same Bible that they have all read before.  The same principles that have always been in place are still in place.  So why does this seem like something new? I’m not sure, but regardless, they grasp for it and hold it tight.  They really want revival to come to this country and are willing to carry the torch to light the fire.

I don’t know how God will do what He will do; I only know He will do it.  I don’t know when or where revival will come; I only know that it will come.  The promise of one last great revival is written in His Word.  More than that, it is the only answer that is possible to the prayers of these men of God who have put their trust in Him to rescue them, their churches and their country from being swallowed by the sea of Sin that surrounds their islands.

It took the Children of Israel 400 years to finally cry out to God for deliverance, but when they finally did, God heard their groaning and remembered His covenant with Abraham and delivered them.  When we come to that same point of pain where we are ready to cry out to God with a desperation that sends our cries all the way up to the Throne of God, He will answer us also.  I believe these men are at that point.

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I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
Jeremiah 23:21

I still remember the name of the gang – the Royal Falcons.  We were just kids, young punks on the streets of Jersey, but we thought we were cool – tough guys like the Mafia. Don’t mess with us ‘cause we’re the Royal Falcons!

There were gangs in some of the other neighborhoods that we had to deal with, however, and they thought they were just a bad as we thought we were.  Depending on which side of town you were in, you had Blacks, the Puerto Ricans, the Italians, and the Jewish kids.  If you walked into any of those other neighborhoods, it was war; if they walked into yours, they were fair game.  Except for the Jewish kids.  They were an easy target, so everyone picked on them.  But it was always Us against Them (with Us being the good guys, of course).

I am finding the same thing in our religious landscape today. I am bombarded with prophetic words from the latest Elijah about how God is going to send down judgment on America because we are the Great Whore or Babylon or just plain bad.  Especially the churches.  Let’s face it, they are the biggest and easiest target, so everybody picks on them.

Are you folks getting the same stuff in your Inbox that I’m getting? Honestly, I am beginning to think everybody just wants to spout off so they can feel like they are a prophet with a word from God to point the way.  It must feel good because there sure are a lot of them rising up to save the rest of us.

I notice, however, that those who are bringing forth the pronouncements are always the good guys. It’s everybody else who are the bad guys.

I don’t see it that way.  We are “everybody else”.  It’s not someone else’s fault – it’s ours.  It’s not a matter of we’re the good guys because we can see clearly what the problem with America is. No, we’re the bad guys because we can see clearly what the problem with America is — and instead of leading the way to fix it, we just point at everybody else.

The only way to revival and restoration with God is through repentance.

Okay, so who’s gonna start?  Is it going to be the crazy Pentecostals? The emotionless Baptists? The plastic Evangelicals? The idolatrous Catholics? The obsolete Methodists? Or the vitiated Episcopals? Who?  Who is going to start the ball rolling?

How about me?  Why not start with me?  After all, judgment will begin at the house of God, won’t it?  Maybe it’s not somebody else, but it is me that needs to come to a place of repentance before God and ask Him to please forgive me.  Maybe it’s my fault, not somebody else’s. Maybe instead of pointing at someone else’s need to repent, I should lead the way.

After all, that’s what Nehemiah and Daniel did.

Brother Dale

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