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Archive for May, 2018

Humility is not something that can be earned, learned, or absorbed.  You have to be broken to obtain it.

I’ve listened to many who try to wear some ill-fitting garments of humility, but they just don’t seem to fit right on them.  Oh, they sound like they are so humble, but it almost comes across like an excuse rather than something real.  While they deprecate themselves to others, it sounds more like an attachment to cover up something that is trying to stick up through their clothing.   The garment of humility is made from the same cloth as the mantle of authority in God.

Fake humility, on the other hand, has to refuse the mantle of true authority because it is not the same garment that they are trying to fit into.  If one professes to be “oh so humble”, where will he get the holy boldness to stand up to take power and dominion over the works of darkness?  They don’t fit together.

Pride, whether it manifests itself in arrogance or in a fake humility, is a result of measuring oneself up against those around you.  When Saul was little in his own eyes, he hid in “the stuff” because he was afraid to become king.  Two years later, he disdained the commandments of the Lord’s prophet to offer his own sacrifice to God.

Humility, however, does not measure itself against others, but against the Almighty God.  With David, it was never about himself – it was always about God.  That enabled him to slay Goliath in his youth and rule as king in his old age.

When God calls a servant to manifest His power, there is a cycle that he must go through.  When the first miracles begin to flow through a person, it feels like the coolest thing that has ever happened to you.  You are so excited that you can’t wait to tell others of the wonderful works of God.  As you go on, however, a little voice starts to whisper in your ear which suggests that, yes, God did this miracle, but He chose you to do it.  Sure, God could have chosen anyone, but hey, He chose you.  That must mean you’re just a little bit special, doesn’t it?  And then it stops — What happened? — and the soul-searching begins.

When you allow God to sand you back down to bare metal and let you see your own foolish pride, you make it possible for Him to take you to the next level.  And so goes the building process: paint a layer, sand it down, paint a layer, sand it down.  There is no one so holy and great that does not have to go through this process.  You must be broken to go to the next level, because God will not share His glory with anyone.

Only after you have been broken so many times that your ego has been completely burned out of you, and your soul has surrendered and yielded to total subjection, can you ever be allowed to walk in real power.  It is in the luster of that many-layered finish that true humility begins to shine with a light that does not come from you, but is reflected from the glory of God.

It is at this point that warriors are brought forth shouldering the mantle of God’s anointing and His authority – a mantle, not resplendent with glory of shining armor, but with the dull luster of sackcloth and ashes.

Brother Dale
dale@revivalfire.org

 

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“What, me worry?”
(Alfred E. Newman, Mad Magazine)

My mother hated Mad Magazine. She thought their hilarious spoofs would teach me to be irresponsible, unholy, and generally wayward. Alfred E. Newman, the flagship personality of the entire magazine was especially abhorrent to her. He would be the ruin of me if she allowed me to be exposed to his reprobate way of thinking.

So I would stash my copies with my other contraband, like pocket knives and chewing gum.  Poor Mom. She never suspected how corrupt I had become.

Years later, I have discovered that Alfred was not so far off the truth. His philosophy on life is echoed by the Apostle Paul, only in a much different context. Paul’s repeated exhortation was to cast off your carnal worries and allow God to take control of your life.

“Be careful for nothing…” (Philippians 4:6)

“With food and raiment, therewith be content…” (1 Timothy 6:8)

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)

Jesus echoed this same sentiment with, “Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

So what are we worried about?

I spoke to a wealthy young man last night about his concerns that his latest tithing was not bringing back the results he expected. Normally, he gives heavily and there is an immediate response from the Lord in new deals and revenues, which he then, in turn, sows back into the ministries that he supports. This last time, however, he has not seen the usual response from God, and he was getting worried about going broke.  I might mention that he tithes over 50% of his income, and sometimes much higher.

I gave him my best impression of Alfred E. Newman. Don’t worry about it because it doesn’t really matter. If you’re giving just to get, you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. If you’re giving because you really believe in this gospel, then it doesn’t matter if you get anything back.  If you want true prosperity, then you have to let go.

Prosperity is not measured in dollars and cents, but in the lack of financial stress. Your ties with the things of this world have to be cut so that you, as Paul also put it, are crucified unto the world and the world is crucified unto you. You no longer care. There is nothing in that world that you long for or lust for. The connection is severed and your treasure is now in Heaven, not in this world.

It may be that the blessing you are not seeing is the stretching of your faith by allowing you to walk without the tangible crutch of money.  Or food. Or home. Does it not say, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content”?  Food and clothing are the only things mentioned. And maybe God is doing that so your faith will grow as you learn to trust Him completely and thereby enable you to step up into a higher calling and a greater effectiveness than you have ever known … and thereby greater blessings.

When we come to the realization that we are dead to this world and alive only in Christ, and when the world no longer has any pull on us because we are dead to it, we then enter into a crucified walk in God, broken to His will, and yielded to His purpose.

It is then that the cares of this life are sloughed off like a dead layer of skin, and we are truly free.

Brother Dale
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For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  Hebrews 6:4-6

Yikes!  Ever wonder about that scripture?  That’s pretty stiff.  We usually hear about how loving God is and how He will always forgive us, and we have a tendency to build that idea into our personal theology.  But there is a certain line that we can cross over from which there is no coming back.  And this is not the only scripture that alludes to that, either.  But how does one get to such a drastic point?

How this could happen to somebody?  How does someone get so far from the simplicity of the Gospel to allow themselves to fall so deeply into the chains of sin?  Especially when they know better. It doesn’t happen overnight.  It’s here a little, there a little.  Ignore a little conviction from the Lord here and there, and it is not long before they allow themselves to lean more and more into what they really want to believe in their heart.

My Bible says that the heart of man is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things.  We’re not supposed to trust in our hearts, but in the Word of God.  The thing is, everybody has a little different take on the Bible. It’s often not a matter of what we read, but a matter of what we want to believe.  Flesh has a tendency to choose its own delusions. Faith, however, comes by hearing the Word of God.  That’s hearing, as in, having your ears open to hear the Truth.

It’s a fierce war out there, kids – a spiritual war.  Over a period of time, if we do not have ears that will hearken to the Word of God, we can fall into that deceptive, smooth doctrine that will tell us all the things that our flesh wants to hear.  In the depths of our souls we may be able to detect the ring of Truth, but, if we are not careful, we can ignore it so we can believe something else that is more palatable to our personal tastes. We end up, as it says in 2 Timothy 4:3, heaping up teachers to ourselves, having itching ears.  Keep sliding in that direction, and there comes a point when you just totally give yourself over to your delusion, and that is when you cross that line.

Now you know why I make such a strong stand for the importance of the real chilling fear of the Lord.  You can also see why the enemy of our souls has done his best to extract that message out of the pulpits for the last couple of generations.  Or at least water it down as much as he can.  He is pretty slick.  Satan knows that when you leave the fear of the Lord, you will forget your reading, prayer, and fasting.  When you forget your reading and praying, you lose your power in God.  It is not by your power or might, but by the Spirit of the Lord that we are able to overcome.

It’s a simple formula.  There’s no magic to it.  You don’t choose to go to hell.  Either you choose your own deceptions, or you choose to crucify that old flesh and submit to the Word of God.

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I am on the way home. It has been three weeks of intense spiritual warfare, and while I may not have won every battle, we have come through in victory. Only eternity will reveal what has happened during this 3-week campaign. I have always believed that, whenever there is a lot of resistance and spiritual fire from Satan, something big is going on. He is not stupid and knows when there is a strong threat to his hold and he will fight like a wildcat to stop it or at least slow it down. So the question is, what had Satan so riled up? What happened that had he go crazy on me like that? What are the indications that we were so effective that he had to pull out all the stops to fight us like that?

A lot of souls came down to the altar and either gave their lives to Christ or repented for sin and made a rededication. Scores of people were healed, some of serious afflictions. At least three blind people received their sight. But, while these things are exciting and seem to indicate that the campaign was a great success, they are not the true signs of our effectiveness.

Just like you can tell the depth of any church or ministry by certain telltale signs (blood, fire, fear, and souls is a message I have written about before), so can you tell the effectiveness of any campaign by some signs that, on the surface, may not seem so obvious.

Counting the number of souls that came down to the altar is not one of those signs.

Evangelism is easily promoted with things that will draw a crowd and even bring them down to the altar. I have watched evangelists call out to the crowd that everyone that comes down will get a free book on how to live for Christ. Guess what everybody did – they went down to get something for free. And the evangelist can now count the books and tell his supporters back home how many thousands of souls have been saved.

Or an internationally known evangelist can hand out $60,000 dollars in cash to the local pastors to bring their people to the meeting and he will report that a million people attended and boast of his great effectiveness to the folks back home. The only problem is that this was in the most corrupt city in the world, which, the day after the famous evangelist left, still remained the most corrupt city in the world. Nothing really changed. It sounded good, but its long term effectiveness was only a ripple.

Oh yes, I know soul winning is the primary goal of the Church. It’s what we do, what we strive for, and that burden for souls is the secret to revival, but just having a large soul count is not an indication of the long term effectiveness of any campaign. What counts is how much the churches that were part of the campaign have changed over time. A month later, have those churches gone back to their same old ways, or have they been revolutionized, turned inside out, and set on fire? Let’s take another count after a month or so and see if the seed has not only been planted in good ground, but has germinated and is beginning to push out of the fallow ground that has been broken up and watered with tears of repentance and prayer for souls.

The sign of the campaign’s effectiveness in not the number that came down to the altar during your campaign, but the number of churches that were planted as a result of those initial meetings

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Prayer is the other sign. Serious, passionate prayer is essential to any move of God, and is the true sign that the campaign for that church has been effective. Some places face difficult persecution and hardships that make any growth slow. Their challenges, like a huge boulder in the path, must be moved slowly with patience and a persevering faith that will not be discouraged because of a lack of fanfare and showmanship. But what you will find in those places, if the seed has been planted well, is a new depth and dimension of prayer.

Nothing moves without prayer. No battles can be won that are not first won in the prayer room. Every move of God must first be birthed in that labor room of prayer. No revival happens without it because prayer moves God. Some campaigns grow faster than others. Some have initial successes that fizzle out, while others continue to grow over time, but in order for a move of God to be established, the foundation of prayer must be established and be foundational to any campaign. When you do not see a church saturated in prayer, no mater how exciting their initial success, it will not prosper.

If you want to see how any church is doing, check their Wednesday night prayer meeting. That is the thermometer to measure the fire in that church. We can all make a lot of noise about all the great things that have happened, but the real fire is only lit by the torch that burns in the prayer room.

So how did we do in Nigeria these past three weeks? I’ll tell you in a month or so when we see if the seed has germinated in good ground, if the repentance was true and heartfelt, and if the door to the altar of prayer has been opened in their lives to light the torch of revival.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5)

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