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Archive for May, 2017

Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, 2And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. 3For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

4Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

(Jonah 2:1-4)

He could hear the waves crashing behind him, sweeping the water up the sand, never quite coming close to his feet. The whale lay there half in and half out of the water, its life running out of it with every last wheezing breath. Jonah was alone on the beach. He was alive, but more than that, God had heard him down in the whale’s belly and had brought him forth into the daylight that he had almost despaired of seeing again.

But here he was, standing alone on the beach on dry land, next to this great dying body of a fish that had committed suicide to bring him here. God had delivered him so completely that he hadn’t even gotten his feet wet. And now it was time for the mission that he had run away from not even a week ago.

Jonah is not a classic example of gratitude. Jonah cared more about himself than the salvation of 120,000 people. He went ahead and prophesied to the Ninevites as he was commanded to do, but his heart wasn’t in it. He was actually more grateful for a tree that gave him shade than the great deliverance God had done for him.

Why is that? As a young Christian, I was taught that if you had a thankful heart, you would never backslide, and I have seen the truth of that over the years, but how does one develop a thankful heart?

I don’t believe gratitude comes from circumstances or things that have happened to you as much as it does from a thankful heart that has already been planted within you. Gratitude is more the blossoming of an attitude you already have rather than the genesis of a new one.  And I believe it is tied to charity.

One of the six principles of revival that I preach about is that the gospel is not about you; it is about others. This is the central message of the Cross; it is the essence of who and what Christ was. Charity is the essential element, not only to entering into a vibrant and deep walk in God, but to seeing the power of God work in your life. Charity is Jesus Christ working in you.

You would think that gratitude would be about what happens to us rather than to others, but the seeds of gratitude cannot find a place to grow in the stony rock of a cold heart. They can only find purchase in the cultivated soil of a heart that is not only thankful, but is softened with that thing about charity that turns our focus to others, dismisses our own situation, and rejoices in what God has done for all.

Gratitude is tied to the Cross.

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8Charity never faileth …” (1 Cor. 13: 4-8)

 

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I have a few questions that I can’t seem to get answers for.

When we have a healing line, sometimes I can feel the Holy Spirit flow into them as they get healed, and sometimes I can’t. Why is that?

We just had another healing line today. This time in the church in Ozoro, and this was one of those times I couldn’t feel anything.

There were probably around thirty people in line, and every one of them said the pain was gone, or their back was fixed, or whatever was wrong was now right. One lady had bad vision and now she could see. I stopped a couple times to admonish them not to say they were healed if they were not. Sure enough, a few of them would tell me that one problem got healed, but that I would have to pray over another problem. Then they would twist around or shake their hands and jump up and shout, “Praise the Lord, the pain is gone”. I’m pretty sure they weren’t faking it.

There was one lady that had “something in her stomach”. Immediately I thought of a lady in Uganda who had what felt like a huge snake rolling around inside her as soon as I laid hands on her. Sure enough, as soon as I laid hands on this lady, she started rolling around screaming. And then we went to tussling. Took a few minutes, but I think I got it. You can never tell with those things. Demons know how to hide so you think they are cast out, but usually you can feel a whoosh when they are gone.

There were a couple like her in the lineup, but mostly just aches and pains which were real enough to them to come up to get healed.

But I didn’t feel anything when they got healed.  Well, I take that back. There times I did feel it, but only faintly. There have been times in the past that it would feel like electricity or like a river of oil, so why not now?  Shouldn’t I feel something?

And another thing – if the Spirit of the Lord is flowing through me to heal all these people, what about me? Shouldn’t I be getting healed too? Or is this like a “pass-through” thing where It totally ignores you while it’s passing through? Not even a “Hi, how are you?” while it’s rushing through you?

The nearest I can figure is that the anointing is like a laser. It only affects the spot that it is focused on. But not always. Maybe. I think. Sort of.

I’ve listened to several so-called experts who have analyzed all this stuff and have lots of answers about how the healing power of God works. The problem is that most of them have never actually healed anybody. Why is it that those who know the least act like they know the most?

The older I get, the more I realize that the more I learn, the less I understand. Creation is that big and eternal things are that mysterious.

I know He’s looking down at me while I’m asking these questions. Maybe He thinks it’s funny. Maybe He could use a good laugh, so he lets me go on in my quandary. In the end, He is going to do it His way anyway.  Maybe we’re not supposed to know.

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.”
(Proverbs 25:2)

Brother Dale

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I’ve been delivering a lot of new messages lately. All variations of my standard set, but with new twists added and from completely different perspectives. It’s been great, with lots of new stuff that I had never thought of before. I’ve been just as excited as the folks who were listening to me.

I should tell you that, after close to 1,000 revival services across Africa, I have developed a series of messages about revival. The basic structure of the overall message is always the same: four steps and six principles. Mix ‘em up, put ‘em together, and spit ‘em out. Sounds dumb, doesn’t it, like I have no imagination or any fresh word to say, but just before every service, the Lord gives me the direction He wants me to go in, and I pick a message and go. Most of the time, I have no idea where it will lead, but after about five minutes into the message, I can feel Him take over and away we go.

I was taught not to prepare my messages. Open your mouth and let God fill it, is what the Bible says. Whenever you prepare the message, then that is your message. Let God take over and deliver the message because only He knows what they need to hear. You have to get wet with the Holy Ghost if you want to swim with God. He can’t speak through your mouth if you’re still talking. Works for me.

During one service in Nigeria, I was so sick I didn’t know where I was or what I had already told these people. I could barely stand up, never mind deliver a message. I had no idea what I was going to say, but just before I was called to stand up, the Lord spoke to me plainly, “Do you trust Me?” I thought, yeah, I trust you. It’s me I don’t trust. Nevertheless, something inside me prompted me to answer, “I trust you Lord. You lead, and I’ll follow.”

There it is. The secret to being led by the Spirit.  Let go of the steering wheel and let Him drive. You may not know where you’re going or when you will get there, but you will arrive on time at the right place.  Sounds like when God called Abraham to go into Canaan. I can imagine his brother being incredulous at what he was hearing.

“What? You’re leaving? We just got here! Everything is finally going well, and you’re taking off? Oh, and God told you to go. Right. And where did He tell you’re going? Oh, He didn’t tell you? But you’re going anyway?”

Hmmmm. Seems that’s always the way. It must have something to do with trust. If you want to do great things in God, you have to let Him do it. He can only work with a soul that has surrendered. A broken spirit and a contrite heart; isn’t that what Scriptures says that He loves?

Frank Bartleman, the man who chronicled the Azusa St. Revival, wrote that God once told him what great things He could do with someone who was small in their own sight. And I might add to that, someone who no longer cares about recognition and is broken to their own glory. With someone like that, God can move in supernatural ways and not have to worry about that person being destroyed by pride. It is, after all, God’s glory that will draw men, not ours.

Can we trust God to use us if we let Him? Are we able to let go of the things we so desperately hang on to, that we are afraid to let go? If we are truly broken to His will, it no longer matters, and when we release ourselves into His hands, then He can use us to do great and mighty things that we know not.

But first we have to trust Him.

As I have said, if you never step off the edge of the cliff, you will never learn how to fly.

Brother Dale
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