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[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.

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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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Invisible

They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity. (Ezekiel 7:19)

This curse from the Lord was directed at Jerusalem and Israel because she, like the church today, was the espoused bride of God. She was His – He had put His mark on her, had bestowed great promises on her because she was His chosen people, had blessed her more than any other nation, and had lifted her up above all.  Just like He has done with America.

But Israel fell in love with the world. Just like America has.

One morning, the Lord woke me up and let me feel how broken His heart was for His Bride. She was fading away and becoming invisible.  She was adorned in gorgeous apparel, jewels, coifed hair, and makeup – beautiful! – but she became immersed in worldly ways and began to look more and more like the world. Her music, her doctrines, her focus, her services, and even the way she talked was becoming more and more like the world around her. Her lavish, carnal ways were causing her to become invisible. She was fading away and turning away from the Lord to another lover.

I could feel His heart breaking as His bride fell in love with a stranger and turned to commit adultery. As Jeremiah wrote of Israel, she had a “whore’s forehead” that refused to be ashamed, neither was concerned that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the latter rain, had been withheld from the Church because of her adultery. (Jeremiah 3:3)  Just like America.

I believe that it is our prosperity that has been the cause of our falling away from God. The spirit of Mammon has ridden on the back of our prosperity and has drawn us into an addiction for wealth, blessings, and entertainment. It is all about us – the message of the Cross has been pushed aside to make room for the Gospel of Me.

Since it was money that has taken the Church away from the Lord, then I believe that He will take away money to bring Her back.  Think you’ll escape the coming crash by investing in gold and silver?  You will not escape judgment by hiding yourself even deeper into the world. If anything, that may serve to make it worse.

If these judgments fell upon Israel, the chosen people of God, the apple of His eye, then how much more will it fall upon us who have followed the same path into a carnal religion, wallowing in the lavish ways of prosperity? We don’t see it in ourselves because we have become invisible, even to ourselves.

Neither did the Israelites.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
” (1st John 2:15)

Brother Dale
dale@dalegarris.com

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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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Inspiration

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”   (Psalms 42:1)

Great deeds are done by men with great desires, and the heart of man is the furnace that forges those desires.

Knowledge won’t drive you that far – it just makes you accountable.
Wisdom may enlighten you and make you aware, but it is not the driving force of your heart.
Obediently doing good deeds will make a fair show of going through the motions, but it is not inspired with the flame of passion.

We sit and listen to passionate preachers pointing us in the direction we should go, we read the books that are meant to get us moving down the right path, and we sing the songs that lift our souls, but those are only tools to help, not the actual driving force itself.

As human beings, we need inspiration to lift us up over mediocrity.  Something must drive us, or we will not be driven; something has to draw us, or we will not be drawn.  It is not in the heart of man to inspire himself to great things in God; it has to come from God.

We know what to do – we just need the desire to do it.

I have preached a lot of messages, and have had a lot messages preached to me, but as the congregation files out the back door, you have to wonder how far the word that was just preached to them will go.  We need more than that little bit of gas that the preacher put in our tanks to go much farther than the church door.

We can edify one another and hold each other up, but inspiration must come from the Throne of God.  He is the only one that can light that fire in your heart with the spark that comes from the Holy Ghost.  Now true, you have to bring fuel for the fire, and you have to continue to feed that fire, but the first spark comes from the Spirit of God.

It happens when you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.  A fire is lit in your heart that you never had before.  You can actually feel the warmth!  But it is up to you to keep the fire going.

All the preachers in the world, all the edifying stories from other Christians, and all the self-help books written cannot replace the wood for that fire.  That wood comes from the Word of God and nothing else.  There is no substitute.  The Word of God was written in the Spirit, and that is what you need to pierce through the layers of flesh and mind to touch the innermost part of your heart.

Reading and prayer will draw you to God and builds the fire in your heart, but when you forget your reading and prayer, however, you forget your power in God, and eventually the fire goes out. 

God will put the desire in our hearts if we go up to Him and get it; it doesn’t just fall out of Heaven into our lap.  And once we have it, we must continue to seek the face of the Lord to keep it.

So, life is a test: 

Some people care, and some people don’t. 

Some will seek the face of God, and some won’t. 

Some will overcome everything in their way to serve the Lord, and some will choose the easy way out. 

Some will cry out to God for the drive and desire to serve Him, and some will just wait for it to happen to them. 

Some will depend on others to serve the Lord, and some will push their way through the crowd to touch the Throne of God for themselves.

Some will cause their lights to shine and their fires to blaze, while others allow their embers to grow cold.

Some will do great deeds in God, while others sit and watch.

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The air settles heavily on you like a moist blanket, weighing you down and tiring you out when you shouldn’t be tired at all. It’s no wonder this world travels at a much slower speed than America. There is a saying here, “There is no ‘hurry’ in Africa”, and I can see why. Hakuna Matata. How insane our high speed intensity must seem to them!

The heavy pace of two services a day like I did in Buchanan City is over. Tomorrow we hope to meet with the Vice President of Liberia and perhaps the Speaker of the House. Our hope of meeting the President seems slim, but we should be addressing their congress later on this week.

I’m not sure that it matters that much to me. After all, they are just people like anyone else, and as politicians, I would imagine they are more interested in what American money and resources I can bring to Liberia, rather than what they can do to help promote a Holy Ghost revival here. The goal for me would be rather to touch something in them personally that would spark a revival in their hearts.

The pastors that came to the Buchanan meetings are still energized. I heard one pastor excitedly relate how people were instantly healed, and another about the clear revelation of how to bring revival to their country. Unlike in other countries, they are taking action by establishing the Revivalfire Movement of Liberia organization. I suppose that makes me a bishop over 20+ churches here. Not what I was expecting, but in Africa, you gotta go with the flow. It’s too hot to do otherwise.

Liberia is the only other country besides the United States that has been founded on the Gospel. You can see the effects of that, not only in the names of the stores and the signs and references to Christianity, but in the theological fabric of the churches themselves. There has been a strong foundation here, but as in everywhere else, they have slid into a mediocrity of “church as usual”.

But they are not happy with that. They know what real revival is, and they know what it is not. They recognize that the bland messages coming out of America of an all-embracive grace is powerless without righteousness. They believe in the fear of God and understand what the lack of that does to erode the strength of their foundations. They want change, and change does not come without repentance.

I am assuming that the two churches that I will be visiting this week are of the same spirit as the pastors in Buchanan. If so, we should have another exciting week. Perhaps this will be the beginning of a new phase in my life, and maybe, just maybe, the ignition of a fire that will burn across Africa.

Great moves of God are born out of great faith, and great faith is born out of great hope. I believe they have both.

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I know everyone’s been expecting some exciting stories of what we are doing here in Uganda, but after three days of services, I don’t know what to write.

After visiting the Ladies of Hope in several of the villages around Mbarara, we had a service in the village where we chased out of the witchdoctors.

For such a small village, the place was packed. As we entered into the services, we watched a young man leading the kids in wild dancing and singing about Jesus. They were having so much fun that you couldn’t help laughing as you clapped along with them. And it struck me – these were the kids that were slated for death to be butchered on a Satanic altar.

But now they were dancing.

Yeah, did that get you? This was one of those moments that gets caught in your throat and you catch a glimpse into something deeper than our daily, comfortable lives. Something horrible was destroyed and something wonderful was restored to the Life of Jesus.

Then we went to a series of churches in small villages north of Kampala. It was the same program for us – Cindy with the women, me with the men, and then a service in the evening. Then move on to the next church.

I have done close to 1,000 services in 14 years, so after a while, they all seem the same. It’s not the message that I preach that is memorable – it’s the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I’m thinking that this should be standard for everyone, but the truth is, they haven’t experienced it anymore than we have in America. So when the evening service starts lighting up with the Spirit, it leaves them jumping up and down excited!

In one of the afternoon sessions with the men, I heard something new for me. A young man stood up and said that they had heard the false prophets telling them about how God was going to pour out all kinds of blessings all over them – and they believed it! – but now they realized that they actually had to do something! Revival was not free and there was a price to pay for it. For me to hear that is such a great relief. They get it. There’s hope.

You never know what will happen in a service, which person will be affected, and what fruit will come forth. Sometimes you never hear about it, but sometimes the Lord will allow you to catch a glimpse of what He is doing. I got one of those the other day when Noah told me about a young man who attended one of our services several years ago and was inspired to take the gospel out to his people and start a church. He now pastors a church of 700 people. He has been trying to find us so we would come and see what God has done.

What was it that lit that young pastor up? What is causing the celebration in the village of orphans? What creates such a fire that spreads in so many directions that we can’t begin to keep track of it? It’s not the words of the message. It’s not a great speaking eloquence. It’s certainly not my personality!

It’s Him. The Holy Spirit. He moves with invisible power, filling the air and igniting hearts. He takes them and fills them with vision and sends them forth, holding up the torch that was lit in that service, and shining Light into the world.

So yeah, a thousand services later, they all seem the same and there’s not much to say. It’s the anointing that makes the difference. That’s what changes the monotonous into the miraculous.

Brother Dale

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The Secret to Answered Prayer

I am doing a series of messages on Youtube about the secret to answered prayer (https://youtu.be/UVMC-Z3LebQ). Basically, I went to 4 different passages in the Bible that deal with prayer and the promises that God gives us if we follow His conditions. Those conditions are to keep His commandments, to sow mercy on the lost, and to dive deeply into His Spirit. Pretty simple stuff.

In the midst of this, the Lord reminded me that, above all things, He is still sovereign. Sometimes He doesn’t do what you want Him to do when you want Him to do it and the way you want it done. And sometimes, just about when you think you have it all figured out, it can make you wonder how everything is supposed to work. I have prayed my guts out and watched nothing happened, and I have barely whispered some quick mutterings over a group of women and watched them all get healed. Go figure.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that, God prefers to move within the bounds of Creation. It is when He cannot that he will shatter the glass dome of the supernatural to do miracles.

I have seen the supernatural at work hundreds of times, so I expect a miracle when I pray … but a lot of times it just doesn’t happen no matter how hard I pray. And that is where faith steps in and takes over.

Presumption is proclaiming that God is going to do all kinds of things for you, but faith leaves it in His hands and trusts Him for the solution.

A huge difference.

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