“A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today!“- Billy Sunday – Evangelist
In case you missed it, a revival is happening at Asbury University and Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, about two hours away from where we live in Cincinnati. Last Wednesday, the flame of the Holy Spirit’s fire began to burn as students and faculty gathered for 10AM Chapel and engaged in prayer, worship, confession, and repentance. A week later, the University community is still in revival, now being joined by people from across the Country who want to experience the power of God. This phenomenon occurred 53 years ago in the year 1970 as told in this documentary. REVIVAL is defined as an improvement in the condition or strength of something; an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again: a reawakening of religious fervor, especially by means of a series of evangelistic meetings; a restoration to bodily or mental vigor to life or consciousness, or to sporting success. Now in a small Kentucky college town, Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit are strengthening those gathered. The Lord God has become the popular priority. Jesus is important again. Bodies, souls, and spirits are reawakened and restored to life in Christ’s name. It’s beautiful.
In Psalm 85 the psalmist Korah wrote a prayer for God to restore Israel after their estrangement from Him. A breach needed to be healed. God had put away His anger and forgiven His people in the past…now they asked for Him to do it again and to establish a world of righteousness, glory, and peace.
1You, Lord, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. 2You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. 3You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger. 4Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. 5Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? 6Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 7Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation. 8I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly. 9Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. 10Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. 11Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.12The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. 13Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.
As usual, some folks are bent on analyzing, critiquing, and ‘discerning’ this move of God versus praising the Lord for it and praying that it will extend not only to other college campuses, but to churches across the Country and around the world. Perhaps we all need to find an altar—a place of prayer and repentance where we too can seek and find revival’s fire. That’s what I’m praying.