Asbury Revival?

The Asbury Collegian reports that during a call to confession last Wednesday, Feb. 8, at least 100 people fell to their knees and bowed at the altar. Since then it has turned into a Holy Spirit outpouring that shows no signs of stopping.

People always look at these kinds of things in different ways. Some people look at what’s happening in Asbury through tribal lenses, that is to say, to see if Asbury matches up with their denominational brand. Others look with general skepticism, being suspicious of anything that might appear to be a move of God. For reasons that are outside the scope of this post, I think both of these views are mistaken.

Revival comes when people turn their full hearts to God (i.e. they repent of their love for this world; of the lust of the flesh, the lust of their eyes, and the pride of life). Notice how much time people are spending there? They aren’t worried about being “inconvenienced”. And their minds aren’t preoccupied with their business in the world. Notice how no one came for entertainment or some other natural draw? No one printed revival invitations. In other words, no one designed this revival. People are there worshipping God. They’re not thinking about what they’re going to get out of the service, or what benefit the church program is going to give them. Revivals don’t come to people who won’t give God their time, who won’t allow themselves any inconvenience, and who insist on getting something for themselves! Ironically, the setup of most churches isn’t designed for revival because they’re designed to control time, prevent any inconvenience, and keep people happy!

So for those who are thinking about what’s happening in Asbury, we need to understand something very important about how God moves: his moves cannot be fabricated or controlled by human will (See John 3:8)!

Any serious study of the history of Christian movements shows us that after every authentic move of God, well-meaning religious leaders who see what happened, who want what happened for themselves, come and take control of things to turn God’s move into “movements”. God never grants permission for this because there’s only ever been one movement of God (i.e. Jesus’ Church). But people take these individual moves of God and turn them into their own movements anyway. Then, as those movements grow, they create new traditions, and they slowly begin to calcify, eventually hardening into legalism, creating division and pride.

We should not look at what God is doing in Asbury to try and think about how we can duplicate the expression of this revival for ourselves – I pray the Church would hear and understand this – as if we can take control of this by replicating the form and conditions we see there. I’m sure someone will try to create a 24/7 praise room to replicate this move. But that’s not what God is doing in Asbury! It might be what some will make of it, but, if this is God’s move, that’s not what he’s doing in Asbury because he’s not interested in creating new programs, traditions, or hoops that people have to jump through to get to him! We already have all the access we need to God through Jesus. We already have the Church that he has founded. We don’t need to renovate God’s temple, we just need to look at what he’s doing in his people!

Jesus said “a tree is known by it’s fruit“: instead of trying to duplicate the expression of this revival we must watch to see what God is doing so that we can know what his move is really about.

I tremble in reverence whenever I see or hear of God moving amongst his people because it’s when he moves that we are most accountable for how we respond! And the greater his move the more we’re accountable. Recall that in the greatest moves of God, during the days Jesus walked the earth and founded his Church, those who weren’t paying attention, who were just looking at their traditions, who were just trying to manage their organizations, often ended up resisting and opposing him! Just consider why God moves in his people. Fear and revere him.

So what should we do when God moves?

We must turn our hearts fully to God! How easily do our hearts grow cold, even in the very shadow of the Church? How quickly do we fall asleep when waiting upon the Lord? We must turn our passion, our hunger, our full desire upon God. We must stir up our appetites so that we hunger and thirst for his righteousness! We must examine ourselves by his word to turn again towards his will. And, most importantly, we must ask of God, “what would you have me to do?” He is our Lord. God never moves without purpose. So when he moves in the open, we have to respond to our Lord.

I suppose you could distill my whole post down to this one point: are you prepared for the move of God? We often spend more time analyzing and dissecting these things than we do preparing ourselves in reverence for what God is doing right now. And, in many cases, that’s because we simply don’t believe God is doing anything at all.

In times like these I find it is best to simply “watch and pray” so that we, ourselves, might be prepared to move with God wherever he leads!

2 Replies to “Asbury Revival?”

  1. I saw a YouTube of the chapel service that kicked this off. It was a great teaching on the love of God from Romans 12. It ended with a very simple prayer for personal revival. Apparently God granted the request. My hope is it begins to transition to preaching of the gospel and salvation of many young people around various colleges in this country and the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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