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Posts Tagged ‘Christian walk’

[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

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Elijah’s Walk in the Desert

”But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.” (1Kings 18:5,6)

Three hundred miles, maybe more, depending on how circuitous a route he took and where Mt. Horeb was. Forty days walking. That’s a long, lonely walk.

Although prophets of God do not lead normal lives like most people, there can be seen glimpses of our own walks with God in them. You may not have called fire down from Heaven, but every time you stood up against the normal conventions of worldliness to declare the truth of God, you do pretty much the same thing. The world by nature does not like holiness, and it will resist anyone who steps out of the crowd to call it to change. And prophets are considered the worst.

But somebody has to do it, and that’s why God calls prophets. They do not possess pleasant personalities and are not the “life of the party”. They are not swayed by others’ opinions, nor would they be considered “nice guys”. Nor do they care.

Everything is black or white to them; there are no shades of grey. It is either righteous or it is sin. And for some reason, they feel compelled to tell you so.

Even if you are the king.

You will not find them in the spotlight of a big ministry receiving the accolades of the crowd. They just don’t fit in. The corporate ministries of today are foreign soil to them. They are more suited to wearing camel’s hair in the middle of a river than the Brooks Brothers suits and coifed hairdos of this generation’s spiritual leaders. And as a result, they walk a lonely path.

Few understand, and fewer appreciate them, and none realize the price.

We think they are made of some kind of steel that doesn’t feel the loneliness or the pain of rejection. Since they don’t bend to popular attention, we think their hearts are like stones that feel no affinity for others, but the truth is, they are people just like everyone else. They love, they hate, they need, and they feel just like us. They just have to walk a different path and keep on going.

Sometimes it is for three hundred miles with no food or water just to hear the voice of God.

I had a dream many years ago of myself walking in a desert of soft sand, much like the Sahara. Each footstep was difficult as it pushed through the sand. No water, a hot sun, and nothing but sand made it a weariness just to get to the top of the next sand dune and see if the city that I was trying to get to was there. But all there ever appeared was more sand.

I didn’t know where I was or if I was heading in the right direction, but I just kept walking, hoping that I wasn’t walking in circles. And then I heard a vehicle coming from behind me. A young man with blond hair and a bronze tan drove by in a Dune Buggy, waving to me as he passed by, “Hey, Mr. Garris. I’m off to my ministry! Praise the Lord!”. And off he drove over the horizon.

You have to wonder at times like that, what is wrong with me? Why am I here trudging along in this loose desert sand heading seemingly to nowhere, while this young kid is zooming along so effortlessly to his ministry? What did I do wrong? Will I ever reach that city that I am trying so desperately to find?

Do you ever feel like that? Does it seem so simple for others, when everything seems to be a battle for you?

Forty days trudging through the wilderness just to wait in a cave. Make sense to you? I doubt if it did to Elijah either. All that way, then up a mountain to sit in a cave to wait.

First the storm, then the earthquake, and then the fire. But still Elijah waited. And then the still, small voice.

Had Elijah not allowed God to take him through that crucified walk that strips the flesh and breaks the spirit, I don’t believe he would have recognized that voice like he did. It would have been just noise, indistinguishable from all the noise of the world.

You may not have to go for three hundred miles without food and water, or stand up against a king to declare a spiritual famine upon the land. You may not call down fire from heaven or raise a woman’s dead son, but you possess in your soul the ability to declare the righteousness of God to a worldly church that is mesmerized with an easier, worldly doctrine that mistakes grace for sin and covetousness for prosperity.

You will get the same results as Elijah did and you will go through the same lonely walk as he walked. But know that you are not alone – there are 7,000 that God had reserved – and you are not walking aimlessly. You will finally step over the hill of that last sand dune and see the City that you’ve been searching for and you will recognize the still, small voice of God as He speaks to you.

“Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

 

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