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Boy Scouts

For as the body without the spirit is dead ….”  James 2:26

When I was a punk kid on the streets of Jersey, I joined the Boy Scouts with several of the other kids off the streets.  We had a great time playing basketball and fooling around.  Every once in a while, they would send us to camp just to get us off the streets. We had no interest in the Boy Scouts motto or doing good deeds; we just wanted to have fun.

One day they brought an official to visit us who asked us why we had joined the Scouts.  Thinking I was supposed to give some kind of proper response, I spouted off a phony high-sounding answer that I thought was pretty intelligent. 

“Very nice”, the official answered.  “Anyone else?”

One of the guys quipped in response, “Yeah, we just want to go camping and have fun.”

Forty-five years later, I am still struck with the honesty of that kid’s answer.  We weren’t there to become model citizens – we were just there to have fun. 

When someone asks me today why I have chosen to serve the Lord in spite of all the challenges it brings, I think back to that kid’s answer. 

I could give you all sorts of correct answers.  I could quote a long list of Bible proofs; I can enumerate intricacies of prophetic fulfillments; I can list all the consequences of sin and the wonderful rewards for righteousness; and I can fill an evening with high-sounding theology; but none of those are right.

The truth is, I just want to have fun.

I would have never become a Christian if it were simply a matter of right and wrong.  I didn’t want to be good – there didn’t seem to be much point in it – and I didn’t care that somebody had died for me.  Besides, I didn’t believe in God anyway, so why would I even entertain the idea of becoming some sour-pussed “goody-two-shoes”.  Sin didn’t seem so bad to me, and the world offered so many enticing opportunities that serious Christianity shunned.  I honestly could not figure out why anyone would want to be a Christian.

But then I got saved. 

I didn’t know what “saved” was, and had never heard of being “born-again”, but something drew me down to the altar that night to give my life to Christ.   I had no idea there was a Spirit of God, never mind being able to feel it, but when I went through that old-fashioned prayer of repentance and the heavens opened up, I actually felt the Spirit of God come down and save my soul.  I tasted of the glory of God in that moment on my knees, and nothing was ever the same again!

So why do I serve the Lord?  Because it feels so good!  Why do I read and pray so much? So I can walk in His Spirit and feel the Holy Ghost.  Nothing fancy; nothing high-falutin’; nothing sophisticated and proper – I just love that feeling!   There is Life in the presence of the Spirit of God that cannot be duplicated by anything in this world, and I, for one, am hopelessly addicted to it.

When I walk into a church that is not alive with the Spirit of God, there is a deadness in the air. It’s almost as if they are going through the motions, but don’t know why. If there is no Spirit of God, then there is no Life, and if there is no Life, then why bother?  They have a body, but no spirit; it looks like the real thing, but it is dead; they go to church and call themselves Christians, but they just go through the motions and are missing out on the whole reason they got saved in the first place.

 … and I think back to that kid’s answer so many years ago. 

I want to be in a church that is alive with the Spirit of God; not some tomb that has all the right answers, all the proper theologies, and all the correct traditions, but no life. I want to taste the Glory of God. 

Nothing else will do.


[This article is an excerpt from
“Revival in the Wings”, vol. 4 of the Voice in the Wilderness series –

Available on Amazon: 
https://www.amazon.com/Voice-Wilderness-Revival-Wings/dp/1734221348]

All our books can be found on Amazon at:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Dalen+Garris&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

I have another request for money.

I feel like I’m always asking for money, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. The money isn’t going to some pointless cause, neither is it going to cover someone’s mistakes or stupidity, nor is anyone slicing a portion off for themselves.  This is going to keep the revival meetings alive that are winning so many souls.

Pastor Momo Seley (wheelministry@gmail.com) is carrying on the revival meetings that I first started bringing to Liberia a few years ago. Night after night in church after church, they are holding meetings and souls are coming in.  Hundreds of souls have been born again, even well over a thousand in just he past few months. And the meetings are still going on. Souls that have been starved for years are coming to get saved.

Pastor Momo in now reaching out into the rural back country where the Gospel has not been heard in generations and where there no Bibles available.  None. The Bibles we have purchased have been the first glimmer of light that has been seen in this area of witchcraft and darkness. And they are coming to salvation in droves.

The revival that I promised them is coming.

They need Bibles and they need help with ministry expenses to make these meetings continue. From transportation to gas for the generator, from food to be distributed to the spiritual food of Bibles, all the money to keep the meetings going must come from somewhere, and these pastors and volunteers do not have any.

I would like to ask you to do something different. Instead of giving to me to in turn send it to Pastor Momo, would you send it to him directly? Send your donation to Momo Seley by Western Union or Moneygram, and then email the transaction information to him.  Not only is it very easy and saves in the extra transaction fees, but it gives you a chance to be involved directly in your own ministry and to develop an ongoing relationship with a truly effective crusade to win souls and bring revival.

Name: Momo Seley
email: wheelministry@gmail.com
phone: +231 8869 05944,
+231 776655663
Country: Liberia

Can you give $100.00? Or 50.00?  I promise you that it will be the best hundred dollars you ever gave. You can never go broke buying Bibles or supporting soul-winning movements . That is the gift that not only blesses the receiver but continues to bless others through them as it helps them grow in the Lord.

You will never regret it. 

Brother Dale

Sunset Strip

[excerpt from Voice in the Wilderness, vol. 4, Revival in the Wings]

“Jesus Christ is coming back to Earth again. Repent or perish!”

I still remember standing there on Sunset Strip hearing these hippies telling me to repent.  Long hair, raggedy old T-shirts, and patched jeans — straight out of the drug culture of the 60’s.

I gotta tell you, I was a little put off.

I thought Christians had to have a wife and kids, a two-car garage, a 9-to-5 job, and carry a briefcase.  What was this?  This wasn’t what I thought a Christian was supposed to be.  Even their Bibles were worn and tattered.  Weren’t they supposed to all nice and pretty?

And what was all this stuff about repentance and a burning Hell? Who did they think they were telling me I had to repent?  After all, I knew about God and had plenty of theories of my own. I didn’t need anybody to tell me about God.

But there was this fire in their eyes and intensity about them that riveted me.  I had never heard a message preached like this before.  Everything I had heard was about how much God loved me, so I figured that if there was a Heaven, everybody was going there … unless, of course, you were really, really bad.

But that’s not what they told me.  They spoke about being “born again” and feeling the Spirit of God save my soul.  Huh?  Where’d that come from?  I never heard that in the churches I went to when I was a little kid.

And then there was always that line about keeping the commandments of God.  It seems that the only way that I would be able to do that is if I got saved first.

Well, I had news for them – I didn’t want to keep the commandments of God. I was having too much fun, and I did not want to become a Christian.  Besides, if God loved me, then what was the big deal?

But it was a big deal.  And these people would not quit. 

I don’t know how many of these Jesus Freaks I blew off with my philosophies about God, but no matter how smart I thought I was, there was no denying that they had some kind of fire burning inside them that I couldn’t figure out, and I just had to know what it was.

Now, at this time, there were all kinds of freaks running around with new “spiritual” ideas, and you really had to sort through some crazy stuff.  Some of them were so whacked-out that they would run around chanting and playing tambourines in orange robes with their heads shaved (except for a pony tail that God was supposed to grab to pull them up to Heaven).  If that’s what you had to do to get to Heaven, then I was ready to take my chances with Hell.

Others floated around like they were in some dream (or on some drug – I never could figure out which), and everything was “beautiful”.  Yeah, in your dreams.

Another group was started by a well-known science fiction writer.  Oh boy, that really made sense, didn’t it!  Apply all these science fiction principles to your life and call it a fancy name.  Thanks, but if your foundation was built on science fiction, then so were your ideas about God.

Then there was the “Children of God” who preached that God’s Love meant you could do anything you wanted – have free sex, take drugs, whatever.  Well, then what was the point?  I was already doing that, so why did I need God to tell me it was okay.

But these other guys were serious about the Gospel, and that’s what made them stand out in the crowd.  There was something different about them, and if they were right, then I wanted to know.  I figured that if they were just on another trip, then I would know when I went to their services.  (Besides, they served a free meal after services, and I was hungry.)

It did not take but a few minutes after walking in the door before I knew that they were for real.  I didn’t hear some new trip about God – I heard an old-fashioned Gospel and found myself at the altar asking a God that I wasn’t sure about to save my soul.

Now, if that had been all there was to it, I’d have walked out after services and kept on going my own way, but it wasn’t.  Imagine my surprise when I felt the Spirit of God come down and wash away all the sins that I didn’t even know I had committed.  Something incredibly supernatural happened to me right then and there, and I knew I was a new creature in God. I didn’t understand what happened, but I knew I was saved!

That was over 50 years ago, and that Gospel is just as strong today as it was back then.  That’s why I don’t preach a Gospel of ideas or theology, but a Gospel of power.

If you don’t have that, then maybe — just maybe — you’re missing out on the most important thing in life.  If the fire of God is not burning in your heart, then maybe you need to find out why.  Maybe you need that same supernatural experience of Salvation.

There are a lot of paths to take in Life, and many of them sound good, but only one leads to the Cross. There may be 50,000 philosophies about God in this world, but only one of them is the Truth and has the definite power of God to change your life.

That’s the one I have chosen … and it has made all the difference in the world.


[Excerpt from “Revival in the Wings”, vol. 4 of A Voice in the Wilderness]
Available at:  http://www.revivalfire.org/books

To Conceal a Thing

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

Everybody has those times when you just don’t know what to do. It’s easy for someone to just tell you to simply seek the Lord for your answers, but oftentimes that means entering into a very nebulous arena where there are few clear-cut signposts to show you the way. 

You want an answer?  Oh, well praise the Lord, just pray!  Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  But you and I both know it isn’t always that simple. Sometimes the right answers are elusive and are found hiding behind shadowy rocks and vague shapes in a misty landscape. 

The Lord does want me to do the right thing, doesn’t He?  Why doesn’t He make things more obvious?  Can’t He just tell me what I’m supposed to do and leave it at that?  Wouldn’t that make things so much simpler?

Well, yes and no.  

Sometimes, He just wants to see how much you really want that answer and how many obstacles you are willing to overcome to get it.  Remember, He didn’t say it is to those who try, but to those who overcome that will eat of the Tree of Life. (Rev. 2:7) It really strikes at the heart of our willingness to carry the Cross. 

Sometimes it is just a matter of getting us to realize how much we need Him.  If everything were easy, there would be no reason to seek His face.  After a while, the price that was paid on the Cross would not seem as big of a deal anymore.  We could just snap our fingers and God would spring into action!  God loves us, doesn’t He?

Everyone would like a Gospel without a Cross — that is why there are so many Prosperity preachers out there – but there is no such Gospel.  We are thrust into a war where the combatants are invisible, our choice of paths are often dictated by desires instead of sight, and the ultimate ends for our souls can only be taken by faith.

To negotiate the way before us we need a determination to resist the comforts that our flesh pulls us and reach through to the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, fueled by the hope of righteousness above all things. 

That’s tough sometimes.  And that’s why the Lord puts us through those dark valleys that we must go through.

No, I don’t like it either.  But you know what?  Above all things, I want to go to Heaven.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  (Matt. 7:13,14)

[Excerpt from “Revival in the Wings”, volume 4 of A Voice in the Wilderness]

Available on Amazon:

Without a Vision

Without a vision, the people perish… (Proverbs 29:18)

I have listened carefully to the recent debates concerning gay marriage.  Just by the fact there is even a debate about it causes me to despair about the future of our society.  We are following the historic paths of the great societies throughout time that declined into moral degradation and ultimately perished.

The word is that the homosexual issue can be won by relegating it to social and legal arguments instead of moral ones.  If we admit that homosexuality is merely a preference or a medical anomaly, then how can we deny them their social rights? 

It makes for a difficult point to argue against if you take God out of the picture.  After all, they are people too, aren’t they?

Rambling on and on about statistics and studies on the effects of social change can go on forever without ever coming to a conclusion.  Let’s do another study!  We don’t know enough about it already.  We’ll just argue this thing to death by trying to prove our opinion with slippery facts.

How in the world did we get so far away from our roots?  How did we allow ourselves to step off the bedrock of moral absolutes into the quicksand of relative truths?

It started when we left off to fear the Lord.

First, it was that the fear of God isn’t really “dread” or trembling fear.  It was just “awesome respect”.  Oh, that sounds so much better doesn’t it?  God really loves us, and He wouldn’t be some old, austere, judgmental God, now would He?

Then it was just, “have a little talk with Jesus” and you got your ticket in!  Hakuna Matata.  You don’t have to worry about it anymore.  God is Love!  Hooray!

Well, now that we have got that settled, we can slack off on our intensity to walk in extreme holiness and righteousness. Neither do we have to read and pray as if our lives depended on it anymore.  We can just cruise on through.  Or, as one old man put it, “just relax and be raptured”.

Where did this all start?  In the Seminaries and Bible Colleges.  It took some time, but with a little here and a little there, Satan worked a perfect plan to take the guts out of the Gospel. We now have very well-educated ministers who know all about administration; they know all about Greek Lexicons; they’re all read up on the latest “self-help” Christian books, they’re established in church doctrines, and they know how to “prepare” their sermons and balance the church finances … but they’ve forgotten how to walk in the Spirit of God.

And there is no outpouring of the Holy Ghost in the land.  It’s been so long since we’ve had one that we don’t even know what a revival is anymore, and we don’t have a clue as to what it takes to have one.

And so, we are left with a sophisticated church that has no life in it.   The tethers that tie us to that bedrock of Truth have been severed, because it is only through the Fear of the Lord that men depart from evil – nothing else.  Take that away, and you slip off the Rock into quicksand.

The excitement that drives a revival only comes after a people realize their apostasy and come to a place of deep, brokenhearted repentance and begin to cry out to God with all their hearts.  The blueprint for a God-sent revival is in the Book of Joel. 

Without that, you don’t have a vision.  All you have is “church as usual”.

Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. (Joel 2:12-13)

[This article is an excerpt from
“Revival in the Wings”, vol. 4 of the Voice in the Wilderness series –

Available on Amazon: 
https://www.amazon.com/Voice-Wilderness-Revival-Wings/dp/1734221348]

All our books can be found on Amazon at:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Dalen+Garris&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

False Revival

“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.

Draw Me

[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

[Excerpt from soon to be published A Voice in the Wilderness, Volume 5]

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.”  I Kings 18:41

Last night, as we were in a prayer meeting of saints crying out for a fresh new move of God, the Lord opened my ears to hear what Elijah heard.

The events concerning Elijah’s ministry have deep significance for these last days.  From the time when he first presents himself to Ahab and declares a drought unto the time when he is chased into the desert by Jezebel’s persecution, we see a picture of how end-time events will unfold.

In a time of seeming great prosperity for backslidden Israel, Elijah’s prophetic word of a coming drought seemed absurd.  The judgments of God seemed far away from the lush green fields and prosperity that was all around.  Life was good, and no one expected it to change.

And out of nowhere, comes this hairy man that no one has heard of and stands right in the face of the king to declare something that on the surface seems laughable.  Who was this unknown peasant with an outrageous attitude to rebuke the king himself right in the middle of the king’s court?

But three years later, no one was laughing. 

We have gone through several years of spiritual drought.  Prophets of God – real prophets of God – have warned us, but no one was listening.  On the contrary, we have been inundated with hordes of preachers declaring peace, prosperity and blessings upon the people of God.  We have flocked to their seminars, bought their books and videos, and paid them money to hear more.  For a season, it seemed so prophetic — we have found a new path into God’s prosperity that all the old-timers from the brush arbor revival days were never aware of.

They preached the Fear of the Lord and a crucified walk of sacrifice, but we have heaped up to us teachers that have illuminated a new, better way of “love” that is so much more enlightening.

But now, like Gideon, we wonder where are all the miracles that we used to see?  Where are the piles of discarded crutches, the packed altars with broken hearts, the supernatural outpourings on our services and all-night prayer meetings – for that matter, where are our prayer meetings?  We are in the midst of the drought, and we are just now noticing our dry throats and cracked lips that once were anointed with the Spirit of God.

After 3 years of drought when there was no moving of the Spirit of God in Israel, Elijah called forth a final showdown with Baal.  Judgment was set upon a mountaintop where the fire of God fell and devoured the priests and prophets of the established churches of the land.  And still, there was no revival – just a mumbled acknowledgment of what was obvious, but no heartfelt repentance.  After all, not only had the people just witnessed the death of their beloved local pastors and prophets, but with them, the demise of their hopes for prosperity and a life of religious ease.

But then Elijah turns to Ahab and tells him that he hears the sound of an abundance of a rain. 

I heard that sound last night. 

It was the sound of desperate hearts crying out to God to please forgive us for our idolatry, to have mercy on us and send a revival, not just for us, but for all those souls out there who have been lost because of our apostate ways.  I could hear the echoes of Nehemiah and of Daniel when they too had cried out in repentance for God to have mercy on His people and restore us once again.

There was a melding of voices as I could feel them funneling straight up to the Throne of God, driven by the sorrow of tears that flowed from broken hearts.  And then, intermingled with them, was the drip, drip, drip of the tears of God falling to the Earth for His people.

It was the sound of abundance of rain.

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.

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