Revive Us Again

by Dale Reeves

Story Pastor


By now I’m sure you have heard about the phenomenon that has transpired the past few weeks at Asbury University in the little town of Wilmore, Kentucky. The movement of God’s Holy Spirit that was ignited in the 1,500-seat Hughes Auditorium has spread like wildfire. With no planned agenda, students gathered to simply worship God in song, repent of and confess their sins, intercede on behalf of others, share their testimonies, and allow God’s Word to wash over them. The services last weekend filled five overflow buildings on campus and a grass lawn with a 2.5 mile backup of cars heading to Asbury.


Jim Denison shared in his “Denison Forum”:

“The ongoing revival at Asbury University drew an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people over the weekend . . . to a town which normally has a population of 6,000. . . . The fires of awakening are spreading. Over twenty college campuses have been affected so far.”


Is this truly a revival, a special outpouring of God’s Spirit, a spiritual awakening, or something else? Denison comments, “True revival begins when we want more of Jesus than we have. . . . The more we seek to know Christ, the more we become like Christ.” Then Jim quotes from the book of Acts in providing for us the first example of this in Jesus’ disciples. After walking with their Lord for several years, when the apostles Peter and John were brought up on charges before the Sanhedrin, the members of the Jewish ruling council “were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13, NLT).


Into All the World

The above graphic was created by Eliza Crawford, a student at Asbury University. She is doing an art project that is based on all the visitors who traveled to Wilmore, Kentucky, the past two weeks to encounter Jesus. Wow, isn’t that incredible? Talk about the world coming to your doorstep. We would assume that the vast majority of these world travelers already had a relationship with Jesus before they came to Asbury, but can you imagine the impact on the nations if each of these individuals returned to their homes fired up for God? That is now the focus of my prayers and many others as a result of the recent gatherings that have taken place in the name of Jesus.


Just last night on the campus of Asbury, they held the Collegiate National Day of Prayer event with several national speakers. The purpose of it was to pray for revival among believers on college campuses and spiritual awakening among the lost. The crazy thing is that this event was planned a year ago to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the day of prayer for college campuses. Isn’t God’s timing incredible?


Speaking of God’s timing, the opening of the movie, Jesus Revolution, is today. It tells the story of a young hippie’s quest in the 1970s for belonging and liberation that set in motion a counterculture crusade—a Jesus Movement—that became the greatest spiritual awakening in American history. Is God now doing something similar, some fifty years later? I highly recommend you take your family and friends (and those who don’t know Jesus) to see this film. You can check out the trailer here:

Jesus Said GO

Just two nights ago I traveled up north a bit to Cedarville University to participate in their night of prayer and praise. Our multitalented “daughter in the faith,” Paige Senseman, is a junior there, a music major, and a member of their incredible worship team HeartSong. Their stated purpose is to “communicate a livable reality of the Gospel as seen through genuine worship.” Along with Cedarville’s president, HeartSong led us in worship that evening. I was curious how the night might unfold as Cedarville has been one of many campuses that have caught the fresh blowing of God’s Holy Spirit these past few weeks. In addition to some great worship singing and times of prayer, the night included a number of students sharing testimonies of the encounters they have recently had with students from other universities where they have taken the Gospel message—stories of hungry students in need of God at Michigan State, Ohio State, Wright State, and others.


I asked Paige what she thought about what’s been happening in colleges the past few weeks and she said this,

“At all times, in all places, people need God. At this unique time, students on our campus and elsewhere are recognizing that need and turning to him. And the hope, joy, and peace they have found is contagious.”


Their president and professor of theology at Cedarville, Dr. Thomas White, has shared these words with students and their parents:


“I don’t know what the Lord is doing, but he is doing something unique and special. . . . In a genuine revival, we should see confession of sin, repentance, salvations, Jesus being exalted, and the Word of God being held high. A genuine work of God must be organic. . . . We are challenging our students to take what God is doing in their lives and go share it with others. Join me in praying and preparing for God to move in our lives, on our campus, and in our country.”


In the service I attended this week there was a clear call for students to continue spreading this good news among many other campuses, churches, and communities. As one student shared, “In the last two verses of Matthew 28, Jesus makes it very clear that we are all to GO and make disciples of all nations. And Jesus promises us that he will be with us when we go.”


Victorian England’s best-known minister, Charles Spurgeon, referred to these examples as “living biographies.” As we look to the future, as we continue to pray for the spark that was ignited in Wilmore, Kentucky, to spread like wildfire across our nation and across our world, what kind of “living biographies” will we see as a result of this spiritual awakening? And, what kind of fresh spark has God ignited in your soul lately? What kind of refreshment do you need from the Holy Spirit?


We have this promise that we can cling to if we will be obedient to the working of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives:


“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus” (Acts 3:19, 20, ESV).

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