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“So, he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.”  I Kings 22:15

Sometimes I feel like I have more questions than answers, and sometimes I am left wondering why the things I see do not line up with the things I feel. I guess that’s where the proverb comes in that it is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter. 

Often, something sounds so good on the surface, but doesn’t feel right in your guts, and you wonder why. 

For instance, I keep hearing about the coming “breakthrough” revival that is just about to hit this area in which I live, specifically through Assemblies of God.  Many Christians are excited about the coming prospects, and you can hear it in their voices as they tell you about all the prophesies that have been spoken over them, and the visitations from other revivalists who just feel like this area is a “magnet”. 

They will tell you that they have even gone on a 40-day fast for this revival. Of course, they didn’t really fast for 40 days; they just had a lot of people go on a lot of tiny fasts for a period of 40 days.  They talk about the all-night prayer meetings they’ve had for revival.  They don’t tell you that they didn’t actually pray all night – they just had a bunch of people take a lot of little time slots throughout the night.

They talk about getting right with God and getting “realigned” or “shifting to correction”, but nothing is mentioned about broken-hearted repentance and weeping before God.  Instead, we hear about the wonderful party they had at the revival meeting.

Gee, it all sounds so good, and who would dare to say anything disparaging about it?  But you know, the more I hear about it, the more that something seems missing. 

So I back up a bit and give the same sarcastic answer as Micaiah did, “Go and prosper.”

“Hope everything is beautiful.”
“You go, girl!” 
“Good luck.”
“Hope you make it!”

In my heart, however, what they are spilling out just doesn’t feel the same as what they try to make it sound like.  What these people are calling for is a party with all the balloons, but I hear nothing about the desperation that the Word of God requires for revival. 

If they are afraid to even speak the severe words that call for deep, broken repentance, then do they really think that their churchy, substitute phrases will pierce through to people’s hearts?

If all they will fast is for a day or so, and all they will pray is an hour or so, then it doesn’t sound to me like they are serious.  You can quote all the so-called “fair-haired boy” prophesies that you want, but I don’t see that kind of “pretty prophesies” in the Bible without a price being paid somewhere by somebody.

Any revival that comes without a crucified price from the people of God is superficial at best and will not come with any substance.  Lest we forget, the altar of God is not a place of singing and dancing, but of blood, sacrifice, and death.

I do not see broken hearts that are desperate for a return to righteousness so they can have an outpouring of the Holy Ghost.  Neither do I see people that are cut to the heart for lost souls that are on their way to an everlasting Hell.

Until I see that, then, like Micaiah, I remain unimpressed.

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[Excerpt from The Sound of an Abundance of Rain, a new book by Dalen Garris scheduled to come out this December]

“Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.” Song of Solomon 1:4

What was the real difference between David and Saul?   What did the disciples have that the Pharisees could never grasp?  Why is it that some churches are alive with the Spirit of God, while others only have religion?  What is the difference between those who claim to believe God and those who are filled with His Spirit?

It has to do with how they define the love of God.

Anyone can say they love God, raise their hands and sway back and forth to the Praise & Worship songs, but that does not constitute the real love of God — that is emotional display.

Proclaiming zeal for God isn’t the principle thing either.  Saul claimed to be zealous for God but was drowned out by the bleating of sheep.  Instead of complete obedience to God’s command to slay all that the enemy possessed, his focus remained centered on himself.  David, on the other hand, worshipped God.

Religious knowledge doesn’t constitute the love of God, either.  The Pharisees had devoted their entire existence to the study of the Torah and built layers of rules to keep themselves from crossing any scriptural lines, but the Bible says that their mistake was in that they tried to establish their own righteousness rather than submitting to the righteousness of God (Rom. 10:3). 

The disciples of Jesus were not so self-possessed, not so sophisticated in their carnal religiousness, and not so intent on the fruit that is desired to make one wise — they just loved Jesus Christ.

Throughout time, you can see the difference between those who seek to be religious and those who seek for that secret place of the Most High God.  Each claims to love God, but have very different approaches.  With one, it is all about themselves, while with the other, it is all about God.

The true love of God does not lie in carnal adherence to tenets of doctrine or traditions, in pursuit of knowledge or power, in the segregation of denominational thinking, or even in gushing displays of emotional affection.  The essence of the love of God lies in surrender.

To surrender means to give up your ways, your ideas, and your perception of life and religion.  You have to love God so much that you choose to give up — completely give up — and empty all the “you” out of you so it can be completely filled with Him, and render yourself invisible so that the glory of God can shine out of you.  You choose to die for Him, just as He died for you.  You love God that much.

Dive into the Spirit of God, and let God lead you into all righteousness and true wisdom instead of trying to figure it out for yourself.  Let His Spirit overwhelm you and cover you with His feathers.  Surrender.  Your reward is not in what you can be in Him, but what He can be in you.

When you do that, the glory of God will fill your soul and will fill your church.  You will not be seen as a church where people meet, but as a place where the Spirit of God blazes with His Glory.  It will be a place where you can feel the glow on those who have been drawn by Him, and Him alone, and have run after God to be brought into His secret chambers.

Surrender.  That is the place where you fall into the love of God with great abandon.

Brother Dale

See other books available by Dalen Garris at: Revivalfire.org/books

Subscribe to our Newsletter at: Revivalfire.org/subscribe

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Finally!

Finally! Voice in the Wilderness, vol.4: Revival in the Wings is now published and ready to be ordered:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734221348

100 pages of insightful articles based on revival in the Church for today.

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Where is Wisdom Found?

Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. (1st John 4:13)

Sounds simple to me.  You know you’re really saved when you can feel the Spirit of God.

Maybe because I had to learn the hard way that all the complicated stuff serves only to get you all twisted up in knots.  God had to take me to the ol’ woodshed quite a few times to knock the stupid notion out of me that somehow I was smart because I had learned a few things. 

Well, maybe it was more than just a few times.

The reason it took me so long was because I didn’t want to give up the idea that if I just read a few more books, or listened to a few more seminars by other guys that thought they were so smart, that I would become wise.  It seemed like a good plan at the time, but it sure didn’t hold any water with God.

Pride has got to be the most invisible sin there is because you can see it in everybody else but yourself.  It is also the most painful one to get rid of – or shall I say, it is the most painful one to have the Lord rip out of you.  He has to run you through a threshing floor where you are trampled, beaten, knocked around, and crushed under a great stone wheel that runs over you until the chaff in your heart is loosened up so it can be blown away.

I did not go willing to that threshing floor – or so I thought.  I do remember, however, praying for God to give me wisdom and to take the pride out of me, and a few other things.  Had I known what I was really praying for, I might have been a little less zealous.

I can just picture God hearing those prayers, and with a beaming grin saying, “OK.  You asked for it!”, as He commences to roll up His sleeves and start to work on me.  It’s funny now, but it’s not all that funny when you’re going through the fire that you just called down on yourself.

But if you really want to serve the Lord, you have to be willing to go through the fire.

After a while, it seemed like the more I learned, the less I understood.  While that may seem like a contradiction, it is actually the first requirement to getting wisdom.  When you get to the point where you realize that you don’t know anything, then you’re entering into an level that boasts of some world-class heavyweights in God.

But it takes time.  It took Moses 40 years in the backside of the desert.  I can remember an old warrior in God telling me that when you reach 10 years in the Lord how you begin to think that you’ve arrived – and then it takes another 10 or 20 years to realize how stupid you are. And then another 10 years or so until you no longer care … and that is when God can finally use you.

There’s a price to pay for it also.  It cost Paul all his years of theological education, followed by years of persecution to reach the place where he stated that he knew nothing but Christ Jesus, and him crucified. The road to wisdom leads downward first to the valley floor before it ever leads to the mountaintop.

Salvation is not predicated on religious status, knowledge, or position.  Neither is wisdom determined by how much you have obtained or learned.  Rather they are determined by how much of your ego that you have allowed to be stripped away until you have nothing to rely upon but God. 

We know we are saved because we can feel His Spirit dwelling in us.  It is not what we have made of ourselves, but what He has taken out of us so that He can refashion us in the image of His Son.  It is not how we view ourselves, but how we see Him.

“But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? … Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”  Job 28:12, 28

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I prayed through my 9-year-old daughter yesterday.

Talk about a thrill!  There is nothing like seeing a little girl’s heart open up wide with tears because she wants to be close to Jesus and walk hand-in-hand with Him. 

I just have to tell you how it happened.  As we always do on Sunday morning, we were reading Bible – this time we were going through Psalm 147 a verse at a time.  As she started asking questions, one right after the other, I could sense the Lord tugging on her little heart in a particular direction, so I just let it flow along, watching to see which direction the questions would take. 

Her heart was emptying out on the table with things that must have been lying in there for a while.  It is always amazing to me how the Lord deals with little children.  You may think that they aren’t aware of a lot of deep spiritual issues, but never underestimate how much God loves these precious little souls.  Some of her questions had me up against the ropes, but I answered them as honestly as I could, just as I would have explained them to an adult.  (I just figured that if the Lord put the question in her heart, then He must have put the ability to understand the answer in there also.)  She understood each one.

Little kids really love Jesus, not like you would love someone on earth, but with something very different and very special.  She not only wanted to go to Heaven, she wanted that special relationship with God that can only be realized through Salvation.

She also understood the concept of Hell.  Don’t let anyone tell you that they are too young to understand the severity of Judgment.  They can understand it as well as anyone, probably better than most because they haven’t complicated it with psycho-theories and the intelligent complacencies we listen to.

What about Grandpa and Nana?  Will they go to Heaven too?  Understanding how the promises of God work was simple once it was explained.  I was amazed at her ability to grasp that, if we gave ourselves to serving the Lord, how He would work for us toward our family.  It was simple stuff to a 9-year-old!

When she was ready, we prayed.  At the end of the prayer, when I was praising and thanking the Lord, she went silent.  Immediately, I started wondering if it had really worked. 

Stupid me.

Her hands went up, almost to touch the sky, and you could feel the Spirit of the Lord floating down like fresh falling snow.  I didn’t dare disturb her, even though I was dying to ask her, “Did you feel it?  Did you feel the Spirit of God wash you clean?  Did you touch the Throne of God?”

I just waited as the tears flowed, her hands went higher, and her little face lit up with the glory of God.

“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14)

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If you had a chance to meet Jesus and He offered you three wishes, what would you ask for? I suppose our choices would tell a lot about us.

Here’ my three:
Three Wishes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=8Ao6Qiklgws

Brother Dale

www.Revivalfire.org

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The Silent Bell

There are times when I see myself standing in an empty church courtyard, looking up at a tall, silent bell tower.  High up inside the white stone spire that points up to God, hangs a huge, silent bronze bell.  It’s been silent for years now. The silence is heavy, and the solitude hangs around me like a thick wool blanket.

Where is everyone, I wonder? 

The courtyard used to be full of activity and noise, the doors to the church were opened wide, and people with bright faces came in and out.  And the bell that rang out its call from God could be heard for miles.

But now, I only see an abandoned structure; a shell of what once was.

There was a time when you could hear the thundering echoes of the saints of God, filling the air with the excitement of the power of the Holy Ghost.  Souls stirred in response, and multitudes responded to the call.  But now, I stand in the silence and peer into the shadows of a ghostly cathedral.

I realized something the other day.  All those old giants in the faith that once stood in the incredible power and authority of God are now dead, and they have taken their vibrancy with them.

There is a more modern church down the street now.  It’s a beautiful building, and hundreds of cars are parked outside.  I hear songs and laughter and see pleasant faces with complacent smiles on everyone there.  Everything seems so nice, but somehow, it’s just not the same.

The sharp edges have been smoothed over, and in their place is a sheen of appeasement.  The bell no longer rings out the alarm of war, but in its place, I hear the mindless, repetitive 8 bar phrases of Maranatha music.  No more blood-washed songs of that raw, old-time Gospel music that called us to repentance.  No sirree!  We are in a new age now, and everything oozes of peace and love. 

There are no more warriors anymore.  We don’t need them.  Everyone here is so nice and pleasant.  Even our modern-day prophets are bringing forth a new kind of message that promises us of blessings and love, peace and prosperity.  There’s no more war, and we are at peace with everyone.

Maybe it’s just me.  As I turn into the late afternoon sun, I feel like an old veteran who has lived long past the time of the old glory days and is somehow out of place in this new pastoral setting. 

I turn to walk out of the parking lot, and as I look up, I see a darkness setting in just over the horizon.  It will soon be night, but not the night of a warm, summer evening.  It is the darkness of an impending storm on its way that I see.

I turn my collar up against the chill breeze that comes gusting through, and I wonder if anyone can see the storm that is coming.  It will be a big one.  The worst we’ve ever seen. 

And there is no bell to sound the alarm.

[Excerpt from our book, A Voice in the Wilderness, vol. 3 – available on Amazon in August]

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Every real Christian goes through desert walks from time to time.  It’s all part of growing in the Lord.  Some times are worse than others, some are longer than others, but you always come out of them eventually.

Occasionally, however, you will go through one that takes you past the edge of your endurance.  It’s times like that when your faith really gets stretched to its limit.

Tell me if this sounds familiar –

You’ve been trudging along in the desert for quite a while now, but it sure seems like you should’ve come out of this by now.  You’re dried out, thirsty, and tired and there doesn’t look like there’s any relief in sight.  You don’t even see any mirages, much less an oasis.

It wouldn’t be so bad if you knew where you were going, but when you look up at the horizon, all you see is a flat landscape of more and more sand, and you begin to wonder if somehow you lost your direction and are now going around in circles.  If you could just see a sign pointing to your destination somewhere, but all you see is sand.  No gas stations; no rest areas; not even any 7/11 stores.  Just sand.

Did you do something wrong?  Did you lose your way? Were you not reading and praying enough? Was it something you said?  Where did God go?

To make matters worse, every once in a while, some young kid zooms by you in a Dune Buggy with a grin on his face as he waves in passing.  His ministry is running along at 60 mph while you’re stuck trudging along one slow step at a time.

Your feet are getting heavy, your get-up-and-go is gone, and you would so love to just toss in the towel.  But you can’t.  You’re stuck out here in nowhere land, and if you stop, you’ll end up like those bleached bones over there.

It’s small consolation that this is supposed to make you grow into your calling in God.  About now, you’d just as soon let God give it to somebody else, but He didn’t ask you for your opinion, and He didn’t give you any choices.

Then again, maybe this isn’t really some fire that you’re going through or some test.  Maybe you’re just finished.  It’s over and this is all there is. 

Is it ever going to rain again?  Will you ever feel the outpouring of the Holy Ghost once more?  You can remember soaking up that Living Water when you prayed, but now it’s just a dry well.

Noah spent 100 years building a boat in this desert.  Moses tended sheep out here for 40 years.  Abraham left everything and came through here not knowing where he was going, either.  Paul was out here for 13 years before he ever came into his ministry. Joseph spent his entire teen-aged youth here.  But none of that means anything to you because all you see is sand, and you don’t know if you’re even heading anywhere at all.

But then the answer comes down from the Lord — if you’re ever going to be able to tell someone to trust in God, you will first have to learn to trust Him yourself.

And then, over the next hilltop comes the scent of rain.

…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

[Excerpt from Voice in the Wilderness, vol. 3, coming out in August.]

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Hey friends,Potsand pans

I just posted another video broadcast on YouTube – Potscrubber for the Lord

You can view this video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSaez0X3b1o

On our youTube channel for Revivalfire Ministries, we have several videos there, including the series on Four Steps to Revival, several of the music videos from Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanazania and much more. You can visit the Revivalfire channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ3_yzMLlWxTMkZhzTYrR1g

If you like what you see, please Subscribe.

 

Praise the Lord,

Brother Dale

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Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.

Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.

Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.

(Haggai 1:7-11)

I am an old-fashioned revivalist, so several years ago, when I was invited to a Revival Prayer Meeting, I was pretty excited. The pastor who was hosting this meeting in his home was a friend of mine, and I knew what a Prayer Warrior he was. Plus, there were several pastors, professors, and other important church personalities that would be there, so I expected that this would be a powerful prayer meeting.

How wrong I was!

We started praying for the pastors, then the church, on to the people, and so forth.  But when we got to praying for the parking lot, I had to stop them. Now remember, I was just a nobody in a room full of big shots, so I didn’t know what their reaction would be, but I challenged them anyway. “This is supposed to be a prayer meeting for revival, but instead of praying for lost souls, you are praying for everything else but!”

And right at that point, the Lord gave me a vision.

I saw a wide pier jutting out into the ocean. It was much wider than a normal dock, and it was crowded with people. It was a very bright day. The sun was shining and the air was clear and warm.  The people were all wearing very bright colors – reds, yellows, greens, etc. – and they were all smiling, laughing, and having a great time. I could see them prophesying over each other and pronouncing some “word from God” that they had for each other.  It looked just like Church.

And then the vision expanded out into the ocean, but it was in dark muted colors of greys and dark blues. The waters were rough with waves breaking all over. Around the dock as far as I could see were hundreds of people drowning in the ocean, waving their arms and crying for help.

I called to the church people on the dock to throw some life preservers out there, or better yet, jump in and save these people, but everyone just kept smiling and ministering to each other, laughing, and having a wonderful time. They totally ignored the calls for help from those around them that were drowning.

I couldn’t believe it! How could they be so heartless?  Didn’t they care? These were supposed to be Christians!

And then I realized the problem. It wasn’t that they didn’t care – oh, they cared alright – they just couldn’t hear them. Their ears were so plugged up with church and religion and they were so fully absorbed with their own ministries that they could not hear the cries of the lost.

I see this same thing in the ministries of this generation. We seem to be absorbed with edifying the church and ministering to each other, but how few of us turn around and set our focus and attention to those who are lost and dying in sin? And yet, that was the one thing that the Lord commissioned us to do. As He was ascending to Heaven, He had one last request, but we have done everything except what He asked us to do.

Like the Israelites that Haggai was calling to, when we get so absorbed with our own lives that we forget the original call to win souls, we stand the risk of entering into a spiritual famine.  The imagery of the drought and the dearth of harvest are pictures of spiritual famine. The wheat represents the depths of God’s Word (Bread of Life), the new wine is the spirit of prayer, and the oil is the anointing of the Holy Spirit . We see this same imagery in Joel chapter 1 where the prophet is describing the apostasy of the church in the last days and the subsequent spiritual famine that God would bring because of it.

Joel 1:11 gives us the reason why:

“Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.”

In other words, the world is going to Hell, and God blames us. We have been so absorbed with ourselves, our friends, and ministering to ourselves that we have ignored those who are perishing and have allowed the harvest of lost souls to perish in Hell.

God will not bless us until we repent.   If we will not do what He wants us to do, then He will not do what we want Him to do.  He will not restore the grain, the wine, and the oil until we finally repent and do what He has asked.

And if we will not, He will find someone else who will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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