Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘prosperity’

I am in Ughelli, a small city in Delta State of Nigeria. I’d try to google what the population is but the internet is so slow here, it would take 15 minutes just to get an answer. Probably close to 100,000. There are people crawling all over the place no matter where you look.

Nigeria is very crowded in the south, but the infrastructure is undeveloped. There’s lots of people, but not a well-developed retail environment.  All those billions upon billions pour in from the oil that is being drilled, but they can’t fix the roads, keep the electricity on, or build a modern infrastructure. I am repeatedly told that it is because of the deep level of corruption here. It’s in the air, in the way they think, and the way they act. They could be one of the most developed countries in Africa except for this cancer that has robbed them of their prosperity.

I wonder if there is a correlation with the Church in Nigeria. You see signs and banners everywhere advertising the next great miracle conference, the next Night of Miracles, or the next incredible, spectacular, fantastic, death-defying, miracle-generating, prosperity-showering, supernatural three-ring circus. Step right up folks! Get your once in a lifetime anointing to fix all your problems, solve your money worries, and generally make you feel a lot better.

And yet, sin is endemic and the corruption leaches out of these religious snake oil salesmen like the ooze of a poisonous wound. The people are so starved for the truth that they will grasp for anything, hoping that God will somehow see their plight and bestow upon them their showers of blessings. And so they flock to these false prophets that are everywhere like fleas on a dog, and end up feeding the very corruption that is destroying them.

But there are those who see and understand. They know that the Gospel is not about themselves; it is about others. This is the great challenge for Nigeria, for revival cannot take root in poisoned soil. They recognize the darkness for what it is and are determined to stand for the truth. But you rarely find them in the big churches. It always seems to be the pastors of the small congregations who recognize that this fake prosperity message is nothing more than Satan’s plan to keep the Church away from repentance, from true holiness, and from a willingness to carry the cross in sacrifice so others can escape Hell.

Hasn’t that always been the way? Throughout history, revivals have most often been birthed outside the theological established halls of religion and have been more revolution than revival.

I have visited some these churches this week. I can tell they are ready for a true Holy Ghost revival because of their overwhelming response to the message of repentance, righteousness, and revival. They get it. And they’re excited to hear it. And they want more.  They want revival and they recognize that this old-fashioned message is the way to get it.

I am looking forward to a time when not the fiscal but the spiritual prosperity will bloom and the infrastructure of the gifts and operation of the Holy Spirit rises up out of the rubble of this failed religious chicanery. For that to happen, these men and women will have to challenge this endemic corruption in the Church. It will not be easy or quick, but I believe there are heroes-in-the-making here who will hold up the Blood Stained Banner over this country and declare victory.

Brother Dale — (Join our email list)

Read Full Post »

I read a Scripture yesterday that really stopped me cold.

I am always ready to talk about the Fear of God, and how the modern church has diluted it to a more socially correct definition of “respect”. The Fear of God is rarely preached today like it was generations ago, and as a result, our whole attitude toward Judgment has deteriorated. God, who was once the holy, awesome Almighty before whom we stood with fear and trembling, (or as the old prophet said, “let Him be your dread”) has now been relegated to a God of all-embracing Love who is our “Daddy” instead of our God.

I try to be quick to explain that God’s Love is contingent upon our walk in holiness. He loves those who keep His commandments – yes, He does — but He hates the workers of iniquity. (His words, not mine.) That’s not exactly “unconditional love”. Let’s face it, God is a Jew. He makes deals, and that is the deal.

Nevertheless, when I read in 2nd Corinthians how that they had received Titus, a minister of God, with fear and trembling, I had to pause. What a different picture than what we have today!

Imagine receiving one of our popular televangelists today with fear and trembling. Or consider listening with great trepidation to one of our many prosperity preachers who expand the concept of Love into an art form for tithing. Imagine yourself hanging fearfully on every word from your Pastor. It’s just not going to happen.

Why should we? Our Pastors are all nice guys, our prophets are wrapped in garments of peace and love, and our preachers entice us with soft, unchallenging messages. There’s no room for those old Holy Ghost messages of hellfire and brimstone anymore. They’re just old-fashioned, crotchety old men whose pants are on too tight, and they just don’t get it. We’re too sophisticated these days for any such a hard-edged Gospel as that. Today, it’s all about Love.

We are missing those men of God who had real authority – the kind of authority that you can feel way down in your bones – the kind of men that, when they walk in a room, you can feel the power of God upon them, that when they speak, everybody listens. What ever happened to those guys?

Well, we’ve dismissed them. We don’t like that uncomfortable feeling we get when we listen to them, and we really don’t want to give up our ideas of personal independence and submit to reproof with abject humility. Naw, we like those other guys that tell us smooth things, that prophesy unto us deceits. They have a Gospel that goes down a lot easier.

And yet, God expects his ministers to be a flame of fire. (shudder)

Remember when the woman who had the issue of blood was cleansed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment? She fell down with fear and trembling. Why was that? Because Jesus had that powerful authority in God. And how did Jesus get that authority? The Bible says he was heard in that He feared!

It is the fear of God that gives you authority and power in God to stand as a true minister with the supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit upon you. Without the fear of God, you can only get skin-deep. The fear of God is wisdom; it is strength; it is confidence; it is true happiness; and it gives you holy boldness.

When a minister of God stands with that kind of authority in God, you will feel that same fear and trembling that the Corinthians felt. There is a power in his words and an anointing in his presence that can be felt way down in your soul. It is not the man whom we fear, but the power of God that is upon him.

But our values have changed. Fear and Hell have become four-lettered words that we avoid like … well, … like what they are.

There just isn’t much of a market these days for ministers of fire, and, as they say, you get what you pay for.

Read Full Post »