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Posts Tagged ‘revival christian salvation repentance church africa’

I love to sit on my porch in the mornings as the sun is coming up and watch the dragonflies bob and weave across the lawn, snatching up gnats like winged Pacman’s. The sun’s rays cut across the morning’s chill and catch their weaving flights like illuminated spots of light. They never seem to run out of gnats to pick up; the swarms are renewed every morning. By noon, however, they are all gone, disappearing under the heavy blanket of Texas heat as the sun asserts its dominance on the day.

In some ways, that reminds me somewhat of the Church. How many times has the exciting times that comes with the emergence of the Son in a time of spiritual refreshing slowly settle into the lethargy that comes with the afternoon’s heat. Like a heavy blanket pressing us into drowsiness, time has a way of reducing us into spiritual slumber.

As our fervor begins to wane, our prayer life becomes conversational and formal whereas it was once full of passion and fire. Services go from fiery calls for repentance and the fear of God to intellectual messages on theology and how we should live our mediocre lives. Altars for repentance, which used to be called “the Mourner’s Bench”, now have become havens for “pity lines” for the sins we never seem to overcome. We are encouraged to be nice to one another by “feel good” ministries whose reputations are bolstered by their best selling book rather than their prophetic effectiveness to call the people of God to repentance. (Jer. 23: 22)

“And my people love to have it so …” (Jer. 5:31)

Jeremiah makes the point that false prophets of peace and safety flourish in times like these. Prosperity is the ensign that our leaders wave in their pursuit of wealth so that they can show how God has “blessed” them (1 Tim. 6:5). We love the comfort of settling into a soft gospel that lulls us to sleep like the heat of a Texas afternoon. We are satisfied; we are comfortable; and we feel blessed.

Several years ago, I pleaded with God for the people in the American church. As I was wrestling in prayer, I cried out, “But God, they are really nice people!” There was that ominous pause, like what you feel before a storm breaks, and then the Lord answered me directly in words, “I will spue the lukewarm out of my mouth … and you think they’re nice?”

We are in desperate need of revival. The problem is that as the Church slides deeper into apostasy, they are less and less able to see it in themselves. There has to come a spiritual earthquake to wake them up. The deeper we fall asleep, the more we need a revival, the greater the calamity that is needed to awaken us.

“Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season:” (Jer. 5:24)

No revival comes without repentance. The harvest will not come without the former and latter rain (Joel 2:23), and they won’t come without our prayer life being gripped with the fear of the Lord to crack our knees in abject, heartfelt repentance. The kind that moves mountains.

Jonathan in 1 Sam. 14 had his earthquake after all Israel had fled because he climbed the mountain that was before him on his knees to engage the enemy and fight. We need to take on his same faith and tenacity to fight for the people of God and climb that mountain which is before us. If we won’t fight for this, who will?

It’s another hot, sultry dog day afternoon in Texas. The temperature is hitting 105 degrees and the heat smothers you. Tomorrow morning the air will be fresh and cool again and the dragonflies will be back, zooming around like dive bombers playing in the rays of morning sun, but then by noon, that oppressive heat will be back again, draining the life out of the rest of the day.

Lord, we need it to rain.

Brother Dale

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Another article from the booklet, Nigeria-2012


Nigeria is a very different place. I’m not sure how different it is from the surrounding countries in West Africa, but it sure is a lot different than any of the other places in East Africa that I’ve been to.

Your first impression when you get off the plane feels slightly out of focus. On the surface, everything seems the same as other African countries, and yet there something that lies just beneath it that you can’t quite put your finger on.  It’s just different somehow.  A somber blanket lies in the air that lends a subdued feeling to everything. There isn’t that feeling of color and laughter in the air.  It’s as if Nigeria has stepped out of Technicolor into a world that is colored in shades of grey. Life is a serious undertaking here.

Is it the culture? Is it just the way it is?  Or is it something deeper than that makes everything seem so drab – something deeply spiritual in nature?

I have spent the last two weeks bringing a message of revival to several churches whose hearts are turned to God for something other than the same old stuff that they have been hearing.  Something different has to happen. Their desperation for a true move of God is rising and pushing past the ineffective platitudes of blessings and good things that have been promised to them free of charge. It’s not working and they know it.  I am embarrassed to say that these messages of false prosperity and unmerited blessings have poured forth from America, and so many innocent people have believed that, because America has been so blessed, this message must be true.

By now, however, they are beginning to realize that it’s not working.  Something is missing.  This is not the same gospel that our grandfathers preached and they are not getting the same results.  We have forgotten something along the way as we followed the Pied Pipers of Prosperity and Blessings off into a modern Gospel that is softer and more “loving” than that old message of repentance and the fear of God. Our Bible colleges churned out a new generation of pastors and taught them to discard the old God of Judgment for a new God of Love.  And in the process, we lost something so vital in the Church that we don’t know how to find our way back.

Satan has done such a complete job of turning our focus onto ourselves that we don’t even realize how far we have turned from the Cross.  The message that I bring is predicated upon the concept that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not about you – it is about others – and revival will not come until we turn our focus to the lost that are dying in sin.   But no matter how hard I drive this message home, I will often hear another preacher get up right after me an promise the same people all kinds of new blessings, new deliverances, new miracles in their lives … all for free!  And the crowd that just bowed their heads in recognition of their own self-serving ways will jump to their feet and cheer as this new preacher promises them all kinds of blessings and negates everything that I just preached.  Just human nature, I guess.

Revival is not free — neither is it cheap — and breaking through this cloud that covers their Pollyanna Gospel mindset, not only in Nigeria but all across Africa, is essential before any move of God will come. Is this the spiritual cloud I feel here that sucks the life and joy out of the very air? Could it be that Satan has entrenched himself here in Nigeria as his last stand of resistance to stop revival at any cost? Is Nigeria the last bastion of darkness that must be conquered to allow the Great African Revival to break forth?

Many here believe that Nigeria is highly chosen for this great move of God and that is why Satan has concentrated his darkness to destroy this nation.  It is not the sinners he must control; it’s the Christians.  And what better way than to lull them into a false sense of security with a “love gospel” that has worked since he first used it in the Garden of Eden.  It’s all about you. Don’t worry.  Hakuna Matata. Thou shalt not surely die because God loves you. Here, take a bite.

There are heroes here in Nigeria. Men and women who are willing to take a stand that will invoke the ire of the Church in an attempt to wake them up.  Many will hear the call of the trumpet and rise to the challenge.  Many will not, but will resist and attack those who will. Battle lines are forming, choices are being made, and destinies are being decided.  It is a time for war, and Nigeria is the battleground.

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;”  (Joel 2:1)

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[Here’s another post from the Nigeria-2012 booklet that I thought I’d pass on. There’s a couple more that I’ll send later. — Dale ]


It’s the eyes that get you.

All the shouting and the praising is great, but it is when you look into their eyes and see the sincerity of their heart that you really know that God is doing something special here. It’s not just another meeting to sing some songs and hear about how much God wants to bless you and bring you into some vaunted abundant life.  The stuff we saw tonight is down to the roots of the soul – serious dedication to do whatever it takes to have revival.

Nigeria is very different from East Africa in that this is a serious people. You do not see the color and gaiety here that you find in Kenya, but neither do you see the lackadaisical attitude that you find in East Africa. Nigerians work hard and have a more serious outlook on life.  Their approach to the Gospel reflects that same attitude.  Whereas in Kenya, the shouting and singing may be louder initially, their ardor begins to wane when it comes time to dig in and do the work of the Gospel. Nigerians, on the other hand, may not be so open and emotional, but they seem to have a more serious fixation on the hard facts of the price that must be paid to have a true revival.

A prominent pastor here told me that they have been fasting and praying for revival but God is not answering.  Something is wrong, and they want to know what it is.  Now that is a serious cry for revival!  This is past the singing and dancing and enters into the serious reality of what God requires. The Altar of God is not a place of singing and dancing, but of blood and sacrifice and death.

One of the biggest lies that Satan has sold the Church is that we can just sit in our little pews and God will have mercy on us and send us revival.  Sorry, but if you do nothing, nothing will happen.  Mercy is not handed out free – it must be paid for.  Mercy begets mercy, unto the merciful He will show Himself merciful, and as James tells us, judgment shall be without mercy on those who have shown no mercy.  What a trip the devil has put us on!  And we believed him!  Or should that be in the present tense?

But these guys know differently.  They know there is a price to pay for everything in God – everything. And the price for a full Holy Ghost revival is extremely high.  That’s why they are so rare – nobody wants to pay that price.  That is precisely why you have to be desperate in order to see revival come.  So desperate that you are like Rachael in Genesis 30:1, “Give me souls or else I will die!”  So desperate that you are willing to give your life so that souls can be saved.  If you are not, you will not see a real Holy Ghost revival because you won’t do what it takes to get one.  You’ll just have some really good “church”.

But these people tonight have had enough of “church”.  They are ready for whatever God has placed before them and are ready to answer the call of the trumpet that is blowing in Zion – the call to the last battle between God and Satan for the souls of Man.

You could see it in their eyes as they came in droves to kneel at the altar.  The entire church came down — even the ushers!  They emptied themselves of their self-interest and pride as they ripped their hearts wide open to repent and surrender all to Jesus.  The passion at the altar was only surpassed by the cries of “hallelujah” that were so loud that my ears over-amped!  There was victory in the church tonight.

When you see a serious dedication like that, you can expect serious results.  I have no doubt that their passion will carry them into the Word of God to give them the power to fast and pray for God to build a fire in their church.  And then watch as that fire spills out into the streets to bring in the lost and dying into that same Holy Ghost blaze.

Just as in childbirth, revivals are birthed in pain and labor and travail. They also end up with the same kind of rejoicing.

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“And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants …”   Nehemiah

I know how you feel, Nehemiah. It’s been so long since we’ve had a real outpouring of the Spirit that we don’t even know what it is like anymore.

How long has it been since you’ve gone to services knowing that the presence of the Holy Ghost would be there in such an electrifying power that the very air would be alive with the glory of God? You would literally be beside yourself, caught up in the Spirit so much that you would feel like you weren’t even on the face of the earth anymore. Today, I see people in church doing what I call the “Pentecostal Bounce” in an attempt to make it happen, but I remember when the Holy Ghost would pour down so hard that it would literally “set your feet a-dancing”.

I remember.

Can you remember a time when souls would be flocking to the altar night after night under the over-powering conviction of the Holy Ghost, just dying to get saved?

I remember.

When we talk about healing, do you think back to when the power of God would come down like a bombshell and people would be instantly, supernaturally healed? Or has it been so long since you’ve seen something like that that you don’t really believe it anymore, and are content with a “gradual healing”, little more than settling for crumbs under the Master’s table.

When someone tells you that the Lord spoke to them, do you figure that it was nothing more than some ethereal hint of an idea or some kind of a “strong thought”? Or do you know what it is like to actually hear God speak?

Can you remember back to a time when the supernatural seemed natural? Or does it just seem like a tale that is told?

I remember.

But when I look around, I see Christians debating about points of doctrine and how THEY think things should be, fighting like kids in a schoolyard. I see Pastors subscribing to videos and books and Lesson Plans in an attempt to ignite a resurgence of the Power of God in their church. I see basket socials and basketball games to make church look more fun to the unsaved.

And all the while, they are missing the glory of God.

I am told that you can’t go by feelings – that you have to go solely by the Word of God. (Of course, that assumes that you agree with what they think it says.) Maybe they have just never felt what the real power of God feels like. If they did, they’d know what it is like to be under the Anointing, and experience that feeling that is more real than real. I would remind you that the Bible says the Spirit and the Word are one.

My little girl asked me today if God did miracles today just like He did in the Bible. My answer was yes, He still does. Why then, she asked, do we not see them anymore? Well, for that, you have to go to Isaiah 30:1. (I’ll let you look it up for yourself if you’re really looking for an answer.)

I know that many will read this column and think I’m just on some trip.  Some of the old-timers, however, will remember back wistfully, to a time when the Glory of God flowed through our churches, and sigh with regret, wondering if we will ever see it again.

But there are others, especially you young people, who will see the promise, the possibility and the hope, and will cry out to God with all your hearts like Nehemiah for a restoration of what we have been missing for so long.

Let me tell you that the promise is sure and the possibility is enormous, but the hope must spring from your heart.

The first step to revival is to realize that you don’t have one. The 2nd is to want it more than life itself, and be willing to believe God for it. Our churches, sadly, have forgotten both.

But I remember.

And I still believe.

Brother Dale
www.revivalfire.org

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Pastor Patrick came to Mbarara three years ago to visit his newly married niece.  His church was located about 50 miles away, and it was suffering from the typical spiritual doldrums that it seemed all the churches in Uganda, and all of Africa for that matter, were suffering from. Uganda had taken part in the wonderful revival that had swept across Africa in the early ‘70’s, but it had been cut short by the demonic persecution from Idi Amin.  That move of God has dissipated into a boring mediocrity and a resulting decent into sin and corruption within the Church in general. He didn’t know what to do or how to bring life back into his church, but he was determined to seek the face of God for an answer.

His niece’s husband had a church in Mbarara, but unlike so many others, this church had a new infusion of life. There was something exciting going on here.  There was not only hope, but it was if they had discovered a new direction and a vision for revival that had been lost since those exciting days 40 years ago. They were having a 3-day seminar on revival by some American friend of his nephew, and he decided to attend.

After two days, he could hold it in no more and armed with a booklet from the American revivalist, he raced back to his community without even telling his nephew what had happened to him. He didn’t really know himself what he was going to do next, but he knew he had a hold on the answer to end the apostasy that had been suffocating his church.

He started preaching right out of the booklet. Starting with his own church, he challenged them with the principles of the Word of God that were laid out in the booklet. It was like shattering a glass ceiling that had hung over their faith – they could see through the glass into the very heavens, but never could get past it.  But now it was shattered, and a new freedom and purpose gripped his congregation and they headed into their community to win souls.

A fire was ignited that spread throughout the whole area.  During the next three years, Pastor Patrick planted 70 new churches, with many other existing churches asking to join him.  A steady stream of sinners came to answer the call for Salvation, and as the Spirit of God began to move, the miracles began to happen. The sick were brought to the church to be healed and the tormented to be delivered. Joy and rejoicing had returned to the House of God.  God had lit a fire.

I preached in Pastor Patrick’s church yesterday. The only way I can describe what it was like is to say it was not just exciting, it was exhilarating.  I don’t think very many people knew who I was, but that’s okay.  For me, it was just a little pat on the shoulder from God to encourage me and lift me up as I struggle through the final days of this very difficult trip. You never know what God can do with even just a single seed.

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”
(Ecclesiastes 11:1)

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Ten years. That’s how long it has been since I first came to Africa to preach revival.

Ten years. Sounds like a long time and makes me feel old, but honestly, the years have just flown by.  I can’t tell you how many trips I have made here, but I can tell you that my passport had to have a bunch of extra pages added to it, and it is nearly full. 

I never did keep a count of all the churches I’ve preached at, how many pastors I have ministered with, or how many souls have been saved.  It never seemed pertinent for some reason. Looking back, I can see that I would have just lost track after a while. I’m not too good with keeping details like that. 

I can’t tell you for sure what kind of impact I have had here.  I know it has to be something deep and wide, but I can’t point to anything concrete that would show the extent that this message has traveled.  I know there are many pastors – some of whom are reading this column – who would vehemently disagree because they were there and saw the Spirit of God at work during those revival meetings and witnessed the results. Nevertheless, I am still a relatively unknown with no established ministry.  Of course that was never the point anyway. I didn’t come here to build my ministry; I came to build theirs.  Still, it would be nice to know.

And now I am about to launch off into a new adventure. In a few days, I will be heading into the Congo, right into the area that has seen so much warfare these last 15 years. If there was ever a place that needed God, this would be it. The devastation from so much warfare has created an intense need for God in these people.  They are desperate for relief.

This will call for a very different message than I usually bring. There will be no need here to reprove them about an easy-going, lazy “church as usual” attitude. That message of reproof is reserved for calmer areas of the world with established churches that are settled back on their lees and have lost their zeal and fire.  No, there is no lacksidaisical spirit here that would be a barrier to a move of God.  What I expect to find instead are deep, festering spiritual wounds that are debilitating their faith in a God who seemed to be missing in their time of horror. I have had people from Rwanda ask me where God was while a million people were butchered in 100 days. That is a tough question to answer when looking into the face of someone who had to watch as their little children were hacked to pieces, tortured, butchered and raped in front of their eyes.

Satan had his holiday and reigned supreme over these people during that time and through the years since.  But now it is time for God to burst through the darkness. We are going into the midst of a fog of despair to bring hope. I don’t have all the answers – I don’t even have most of them – but I do know that the only hope and salvation for them is through the Blood of Jesus Christ, and that somehow through all the pain and suffering that these people have been through, God will reign supreme over Death, Hell, and the grave. 

This next month should be a high water mark in my ten year campaign. I expect to see the power of God revealed in ways that overpower and exceed the intensity of pain.  The glory will outshine the darkness, and we may see God move in ways that have not been seen since Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem.

Pray for me.

Brother Dale

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Never let it be said that serving the Lord is not a great adventure. It is also a battle. And that, I guess, is part of the adventure!
Just about every day, the devil hits us with something new. Usually it’s the vehicle (which is what it was today), but Satan’s imagination is not limited to that. It’s always something. He can’t stop us, but he can sure vex and frustrate us. But the trick, I have learned, is to turn his attacks around on himself. So while I am stuck here at the hotel for 5 hours instead of being at the church preaching, I have decided to use this time that the devil has given me to storm the gates of Heaven for revival – right here, and right now! Revivals do not come without travailing intercessory groaning and desperate battles of prayer. I may not be an intercessor, but I do know that preaching without prayer is like the Meat Offering in Numbers 28 without that pure, beaten oil to anoint it – dry, tasteless, and ineffective.
Perhaps, I should thank Satan for this time to cry out to God. … ummm …. perhaps not.
uganda8a
Yesterday, the anointing filled the church so heavily that the bishop could actually see the glow of the Anointing as I was preaching. He was so excited (I mean like jumping-up-and-down excited) that I had to call home to have him tell Cindy about it. I didn’t see it because I was busy giving the message, but I could sure feel it. It was the presence of the Shekinah Glory. He could actually see the glow. Souls got saved, pastors came up with broken hearts to be anointed and prayed for, and the congregation felt the Holy Ghost conviction to repent. We broke through and something great happened.
The verse that kept resonating throughout the whole service was “the Lord is strong who executeth His Word”. Amen. Don’t make the mistake of not believing God. He is strong! And He WILL execute His Word because it is HIS Word. Praise God, revival is coming, yea, it is even here already!
I am now heading there for the 3rd session. The van is finally fixed – this time it was the radiator, yesterday the brakes, flat tires, engine, gas, etc. But we are on our way. Just like that ol’ Gospel song, “Praise God, I’m on my way to Canaan Land”.
Do I sound excited? You have no idea. You’d have to be here to understand. As they say in Texas, “it’s better felt than telt”.

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