Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2011

Fire in crossfirethe Hole

… and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.”
Mark 3:7,8

I went to a local church on Sunday that has about 3,000 members to see what it was like. Obviously, there must be something there that attracts so many people, and I wanted to see what it was.  I was told that the pastor was a very good preacher, but there was also a pause when I was told  that which hinted at something that was missing. Well, there are always issues no matter where you go, so I decided to see for myself.

While I would admit that the pastor was a very good and impassioned speaker, I cannot say that he delivered an anointed message.  Maybe it was an “off” day.  But after several weeks of coming to his church, I was left with little more than a series of interesting messages, but no demonstration of the Spirit and power that Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians chapter 2. Nice, interesting, some great points … but not anointed.

Do we not understand the difference anymore? Has it been so long since we have had the anointing of the Holy Spirit take control of our pulpits that we no longer recognize what we are missing? Yes, this pastor was very passionate, but that does not constitute the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Yes, it was very interesting, but that does not transform a human soul. Yes, I am sure he meant well, but that and 50 cents won’t buy you a cup of coffee. Whatever happened to the outpouring of the power of God during services when whole congregations were so immersed in the Spirit that they were not only transformed by the message but overwhelmed with the presence of God?  Has it been so long that we have forgotten what that was like?

The thundering echoes of our men of God from the past have been reduced to the distant murmurs of a faded memory. Where have these great men and women of God gone? Where is the manifestation of the miracles of the Holy Spirit, the transforming power of anointed preaching of the Word of God, and the downpour of Holy Ghost conviction that sent a flood of repentant sinners to the altar? Where did God go? Has He left our churches to find fertile ground elsewhere? 

I was told by a woman who attends this church that she loves her pastor because “he doesn’t have a single judgmental bone in his body”.  Maybe that’s what the problem is — we have become “nice”. Certainly you can attract 3,000 people if you tell them what they want to hear, but are we so in tune with being “nice” that we have forsaken the commission God has given us to stand for the Truth? Have we become so focused on being “People That Love” that we no longer fear God?  Make no mistake, when you leave the fear of God, you abandon not only the depths of wisdom and understanding, but the strength and authority in God that goes with them. In our efforts to please people we have lost our place in God.  And with it, our anointing.

What caused so many people in Judea to drop everything they were doing and walk all the way to hear Jesus?  It was because he spoke with authority under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. That is what feeds a hungry soul, not theologically correct sermons and complacent messages that are designed to entertain rather than convict.  It takes Living Waters to quench a thirsty soul.

We are missing this today.  I understand that many pastors and evangelists are trying their hardest to convey the Gospel as best they can,

… But that is the problem, not the solution.

Brother Dale,  dale@revivalfire.org

subscribe

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Lately, I’ve been putting together some video clips from my last trip to Uganda to post on my website. Watching them reminded me how great it felt to be in those services.  That, and what a contrast they were to the services here back in the USA  last Sunday.  What a difference!

When I share these videos of wildly exuberant praise going on at these services, why is it that I don’t get more of a rise from our quietly sophisticated church brethren?  Yeah, there’s some comments of approval, but few cries of desperate hunger.

Over here, it is like sipping on a glass of wine, holding the glass between your index finger and thumb while you pinky hangs gracefully in the air. You get a bit of a nice warm feeling while you discuss the discreet variances of flavor and undertones of the wine. Nice. And quite cultured. Some people really like that kind of thing.

Over in Africa, however, it’s like drinking the whole bottle … in one long upended pull.  Same wine, but wow, what a difference!

Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t you want to be immersed in a deluge of the Holy Spirit, rather than sipping at the edge of the glass? I will always remember the 70’s during the Jesus Movement when the Holy Ghost would fall down on services every night so hard that you would be literally beside yourself, jumping up and down, hands raised to touch the heavens, shouting out praises to God at the top of your lungs.  You couldn’t help yourself.  And that was the tame ones in the crowd!

I’m seeing the same thing in Africa that I saw in the U.S. in 1970.  And I am seeing the same reaction from the churches.  Back then, they patronized us long-haired Jesus Freaks as just a passing fad – a little crazy from drugs, but otherwise harmless.    Now, that same Holy Ghost excitement that is happening in Africa and it is being explained away as emotionalism or as something detatched that is happening “over there”.   (“Don’t you know they’re just more emotional over there? After all, white men can’t dance!”) Yeah, well then explain the powerful outpouring of the Jesus Movement that we had over here.  I’m white, and I was dancing.

Which do you want – the glass or the bottle?  You want a nice warm buzz, or do you want to get sloppy drunk out of your mind?  Are you so damned sophisticated that you can’t tell the difference?  Or is it that you are so comfortable where you are that you don’t want to shake things up … or worse, turn them upside down?

I’m going to post the videos of those wild and exuberant services anyway. I want people to see that there is a very real difference between what we have and what we could have.  We had it once.  Why not again? Of course, that begs the question, how bad do we want it?

There is a great move of God coming – a 2nd Pentecost- but it is not coming to the churches, and if you are not careful, you might miss it.

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another,
What meaneth this?  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.”
Acts 2:12,13

“Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.” Joel 1:5

Brother Dale, dale@revivalfire.org

 

Read Full Post »

“ Thus saith the Lord God; woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!” Ezekiel 13:3

About now, I’m sure you’ve had your fill of all the prophesies for this new year. This is going to be the year that God is going to do this and do that, move here and move there. This is the year of your deliverance, of your blessing, of whatever it is that you have been waiting for.  This is the year.  Hang on; here it comes.

Funny. Weren’t those the same things we heard last year?  And the year before? Ah, but this is a new year, so we get to hear them all over again.  (Sigh) If these were about secular things, we’d call these people con artists. But no, this is in the Church, so we call them prophets.

There is a real danger in these kinds of prophesies of peace. I understand that we all want to encourage the Church to be edified and to strengthen our faith, but is this the word from the Lord or is it a ploy to bring us into a false sense of security and to weaken our defenses?

According to Ezekiel, false prophets only serve to keep the people of God from repentance by deceiving them into thinking that all is well between them and God. Their message is always the same – God loves you and is going to shower you with all your hopes and dreams.  Everything is wonderful.  Relax and be raptured.

It would be nice if all we had to do is sit back and watch God do all the work, but that’s not how it reads in His Word.  Just as Israel broke her covenant with God in becoming worldly, so we have fallen far from the great calling in God that we once had.  Do we still have it?  Well, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, to be sure, but that calling also cries out for us to walk deeply in the Spirit of God to receive it.  And that we have lost.  We say we do, but take a look at the on-fire Christians of just a couple of generations ago who prayed and fasted their guts out for lost souls, and you will be sorely embarrassed.  No, all we do is talk.

I get tired of reading emails, essays, and mini-messages about how God is going to send a great move of the Spirit to us and call the Church back to a glorious revival. Sorry, but after a while, it all sounds like just so much white noise. Talk, talk, talk.

Talk is cheap. Even the Bible says so. (Pro 14:23)  When are we actually going to do something besides talk?

No revival comes without repentance.  Not only personal repentance, but corporate repentance for the whole Body of Christ.  And that takes prayer – real hard, contending prayer, the kind of desperate prayer that breaks through the heavens and grabs hold of the Throne of God. That kind of prayer will bring us closer and closer to His holiness, and the closer we get, the more our sinful nature stands out in sharp contrast.

The kind of Holy Ghost conviction that we need to birth a true outpouring is the kind that will break you.  Knees will crack, hearts will break, and tears will flow.  I’m not talking about poetic analogies – I’m talking about a broken-hearted repentance that is so piercing that it will change your life forever.

Lenoard Ravenhill once said that the only prayer God hears is desperate prayer.  He must have gotten that from Elijah, a man who was just like us, but a man who knew what the righteous, fervent effective prayer could do.  Elijah was a rainmaker.  If you want it to rain, you will have to pray like him.

Anything short of that is just talk.

Brother Dale, RevivalFire.org

Read Full Post »