These past few months have given us terms that have become a part of our collective vocabulary. One of these terms has to do with waves. The Covid-19 pandemic is often referred to as a wave. First, it was in China then England, Spain, and throughout Europe; then, it came to the US starting in Washington State and California before spreading to New York and recently to South America. Even now, the experts are speculating if a second wave has started. We also heard terms like mitigation, social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask, etc.. Around the world life has come to a standstill as we struggle with the effects of isolation, the worldwide economic shutdown, and the uncertainty of what tomorrow may bring.
The effects that the wave of Covid-19 has on humanity is in direct opposition to the effects that a wave God’s power ‘historically referred to as a revival’ has on humanity. The wave of Covid-19 may have begun with bats but the wave of God’s power began in an upper room filled with people on their knees praying. Acts 2:1-4, When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. And like a wave, it sweeps over towns and villages, cities, and nations. During the Welsh Revival, it was not uncommon for people to wait on docks for ships to land that were from areas where the Revival had taken place so they could ‘catch the wave’ of God’s love and power. As the wave of Covid-19 came, we found ourselves social distancing from one another, but when the wave of God comes, we will find ourselves infecting others with His love and compassion through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The following story of what a supernatural wave of God’s power looked like when it came upon a town in Wales will give us an idea of what to expect in the days ahead.
The Wave of Revival Fire
During the Welsh Revival, there was a large school, and in it was observed a small boy who was under some deep agitation by the Lord. The schoolmaster called him over and told him to go home and call upon the Lord in private so as not to disturb the other children. Since he was young, the schoolmaster sent an older boy back with him who was steadfast in the Lord. On their way home, they saw a deserted house and went in to pray. They stayed and prayed till the young boy felt the weariness leaving him, and a peace settled over him. Rejoicing over the breakthrough, the young boy went back to the schoolmaster to tell him of the peace he now felt. He had accepted Jesus into his heart, and soon the news of it spread throughout the entire school. That afternoon boy after boy began to slip out of the school to pray. Soon it became noticeable to the schoolmaster that many of them were missing from class, and looking over the wall of the schoolyard, he saw a number of them scattered around the wall of the schoolyard on their knees in earnest prayer.
He was overwhelmed by what he was witnessing and asked the older boy to go out and pray with the younger boys. As he led them in a prayer of forgiveness of sins, they began to break into bitter cries. Soon their cries penetrated the school till other boys in different classes started to slip out of their desks and get on their knees and began to cry out for mercy. Soon, the girls in their classrooms began to hear the cries of the boys, and they too got on their knees and began to weep.
But the walls of the school could not contain the wave of God’s love and the cries began to reach the streets around the school. It didn’t take long before those living close to the school began to come over to see what was happening. And at once, they were on their knees and joined in the cry for mercy. It increased and increased until the entire school, and its playground became filled with sinners seeking God. Soon word was sent to find clergymen of any denominations to come and pay for all those present. Dinner time was forgotten, and it was not till eleven o’clock at night that the school premises began to empty from those who had fallen there. Zechariah 4:6, So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
The next day an open-air meeting was held. It was unsure if any would come, and a week before, no one would have had hoped for more than a few coming, but now things were different. Dense masses of people from town and country began to pour into the square by every approach. In a short time, a multitude crowded around the platform where singers and speakers were addressing the meeting.
So many people came that it was hard to hear the speakers, so they broke into four groups, and speakers spoke to each of the separate audiences. One of the speakers said that as he spoke, he became aware of the profound and peculiar attention which every person seemed to have on every word he spoke. Though it was the plain gospel truths that spoke of the lost condition of humanity and the saving grace of God, each person hung onto each word as if their very existence depended on their not missing a single word. I remember saying, “How is this?” “Why is this?” And yet, the people stood motionless and utterly silent. As each minister finished, almost on cue, a very peculiar cry began to arise from out of the groups. Great multitudes of those present began to fall to the ground or were held in the arms of relatives and friends. One young man was crying out in a prolonged wail and kneeling beside him I asked why he cried out so? He said. Oh! ‘my sins, my sins Lord Jesus, have mercy upon my poor soul! “O Jesus, O Jesus, come!”
The ground became packed with those who had fallen, all stricken by the condition of their souls and all crying out for mercy. For three to four hours, we all stayed and ministered to as many as we could. As we left the meeting, we found the strange manifestation to have advanced before us, and we could see people standing outside their doors waiting for us to come in and help them as the wails of those inside were heard out in the streets. The meeting continued, and for days, whether it be morning or evening, those stricken by God would suddenly fall in the shops, at work, in the schools, on the streets.
The first effect of the Revival was that ‘fear came upon every soul.’ Then every church was filled to suffocation, and we were obliged to take to the open fields to declare the message to hundreds of hungering and thirsting people. The need for the ‘bread of life’ took hold of everyone, and each moment of each day, the multitudes pulled at you wanting to know where they could get such bread. Of those who accepted Jesus during those days, I know of no one who backslid.
As surprised as we have been at the magnitude of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is the time to speak and live in hope as we pray and prepare for the wave of God’s presence when He comes sweeping through our towns and cities as whole nations Awaken to His outpouring of salvation, healing power and love. Psalm 85:6, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?”
Rex & Lois
Twenty-five years ago we were so graced to be part of a wave of God’s power and love and were used to spread Holy Spirit fire that came to a small town in northwest Montana and spread throughout the nations. If you like Holy Ghost stories we encourage you to read, ‘When The Fire Falls’
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Hi Rex & Lois – Very timely reminder of what God has done and will do again. Thanks!
John & Gayle