Psalm 85:6 (NKJV)
That Your people may rejoice in You?
6 Will You not revive us again,
That is exactly what has been happening on college campuses across the East coast of the United States. He is reviving His children and they are finding their joy in Him again. On Wednesday February 8, 2023 in a routine chapel service at Asbury University, a private Christian University, in Wilmore, Kentucky this scripture came to life. A routine service with a call to repentance has triggered a fire that is spreading through the students who are taking it to other campuses.
Asbury University is no stranger to revival fires starting there. Back in 1970 revival broke out during a chapel service that lasted for seven days and consisted of 144 hours of non-stop worship. Information about the event is on the University website. The testimonies to the power and influence of that revival is being seen today in 2023. The February of 1970 revival triggered outreaches to other churches, colleges and countries with the same outpouring of the Lord’s presence seen and experiences.
Deeper Still: Memories of God’s Power and Love in the 1970 Asbury College Revival
America has seen such spiritual fervor before. Jonathan Edwards, known revivalist preacher from the 1700’s, piggybacked George Whitefield’s tour of the 13 Colonies, to inspire a renewed spiritual fervor and thousands of missionaries for the coming centuries. The fire that began in 1733 inspired a spiritual hunger for God as well as attacks from some fearing the “fanaticism” of the new converts. The enemy didn’t waste any time in seeking to stop things by triggering a spiritual distress of eternal damnation in those who did not answer the revival call to conversion. At least two people were known to have committed suicide for these reasons, one of them being Edward’s own uncle. In 1941 George Whitefield preached at Edward’s church and reminded the congregation of the revival of years before. A deeply moved Edwards wept during the service he was so touched by Whitefield’s sermon. This stirred up a new fire and revival sprung out again in Connecticut in 1741 for a brief period of time.
So, we can see that the Lord stirs up His children from time to time. The dying embers of the fires of the last revival are blown on by the Holy Spirit and brought back to life.
Isaiah 57:15 (NKJV)
15 For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
The signs of true revival seen from Edwards day as well as Wales and Azusa Street are being seen in Asbury in my opinion. It’s not personality driven. No one person is the focus of attention by the Lord Himself. Repentance and restoration are key components of each experience. Praise and worship but spontaneous and led are seen and heard. The 1904 Wales Revival, the largest Christian revival of the 20th century, was especially known for its Spirit led spontaneous worship from attendees both inside the church and those waiting online outside to get in. Many of our worship songs today came from those spontaneous sounds. One of the aspects of the Wales revival that we will be watching for is the long-term effect it had on church congregations and local communities. The Welsh revival kept the church buildings of Wales filled for years to come and inspired an Awakening that swept Europe, North America, India, the Orient and Latin America.
Like Asbury the Welsh revival started with a call to repentance by a preacher that influenced young Evan Roberts, 26-years old, into ministry and spreading the revival fire. Along with the help of his college aged friends Roberts let the Holy Spirit guide and direct things in Wales. It lasted less than a year but was credited for 100,000 converts. According to local police it also accounted for a near 50% reduction in arrests for drunkenness through 1907 in Glamorgan County. It began as an effort to kindle a fire in the non-denominational non-sectarian community and spread in the dry, dead wood of traditional religion. The revival fire was quenched when human interference through the personal attacks of people Evans respected drove him into a depression. If a revival fire is spreading the enemy is not too far away with efforts to put it out and destroy those involved.
And that is something those in Asbury and elsewhere where this fire has spread need to keep in mind. The same leaders from the prior revivals are the ones attacking the next wave of revival because they are not leading it and it doesn’t match their expectations. I am seeing attacks on social media from those who have no understanding of such things. If the revival fire is from the Lord you can’t stop it and if it’s not it will fade and go out. It doesn’t need man’s help to sustain it nor does it need our help to end it. The Lord is in control in every aspect of this kind of awakening in His Church. Let no one put their hands on it either to control it or restrain it. If ANYONE gets in His way He will move them out of the way. Maybe even permanently. This and His Church are that important to Him.
I say let it burn and consume everything in its path. If judgement begins in the House of the Lord, then it makes sense for a cleansing fire to come first. He needs a clean, holy Church to stand against the darkness and evil of this day. The Antichrist is waiting in the shadows. Let’s keep him there with the lifesaving illumination of the revival fire of the Holy Spirit. Darkness is simply the absence of Light. So, LIGHT IT UP CHURCH!
Richard J Grund