Whether the Revival at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, spreads, becoming another Renewal/Revival like the Father’s Blessing of 1994 in Toronto. Or becomes like the Revival which began in 1970 called the ‘Jesus Movement.’ Or perhaps it could turn into another Great Awakening like those under Martin Luther, John Wesley, or William Seymour. Our world desperately needs God to come in power, we are being barraged by suicides, mass killings, earthquakes, pandemics, famines, drug overdoses, pornography, and threats of nuclear war. Perhaps that is why when we heard about the move of God with the students at Asbury College, our spirits quickened to the possibility of it spreading worldwide. But as with any move of God, some are quick to find fault and criticize. May we be given the wisdom needed to guide us as God did with the Israelites in Exodus 13:21. “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light so that they could travel by day or night.
The depth of God’s love for humanity is immeasurable and unconditional. He loves us with unfailing and incomparable love, so much so that He sent His son to die for our sins. The students at Asbury testify to the freedom, grace, and hope that Jesus is pouring out upon them in these perilous times. No matter what we have done, where we have been, or who we are, if we believe in Him, and come in humble repentance asking forgiveness for our sins we will be saved. He is a loving and merciful God, and His love transcends all boundaries.
That is why we must be careful not to attribute the works of the Holy Spirit to the works of the devil. It was in Matthew 12:31-32, where we saw some of the religious rulers state that Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons (Matthew 12:24). “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” Indeed, not everything that appears spiritual is from the Holy Spirit. Satan can and does counterfeit the work of God. This is why we have a mandate from God to test the spirits to see if they are from God 1 John 4:1 “If we believe a particular activity is not from God but a counterfeit deception, we must denounce them.” Lois and I have seen and experienced things that many people would find uncomfortable, making us more forgiving and cautious than most. There is an old saying that is true, most of the time. “If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck!” Even then, we need to heed Gamaliel’s advice to the Pharisees in Acts 5:39. Gamaliel said, “But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
People often express their doubts and fears regarding a possible revival. Unfortunately, some Christians may even go as far as to attempt to thwart a potential move of the Holy Spirit due to skepticism. However, this goes against the notion of revival, that God will move in power no matter where, when, or how He chooses. Just as Jesus told His disciples to wait in an upper room until the Holy Spirit came, we cannot deny the possibility of a genuine revival if we allow our faith in God to overcome our fear of being misled. We must have the courage to trust in God’s guidance and allow Him to work through us no matter what happens. Let us be obedient and open to God’s plans and promises. I pray our discernment to judge that which comes from the heart of God is accurate and true. One cannot judge by outward manifestations alone but by the inward fruit within a person. Perhaps the following will give you a better understanding of the fruit of revival.
Are You Dry and Thirsty and in Need of A Fresh Touch From God?
At the beginning of the Renewal in Toronto, Margaret Polomo, a secular sociologist, did her thesis on how it affected those present. She came up with some interesting observations. For many individuals, the outward signs or manifestations are what they use to determine whether this was of God or not of God. Margaret studied the inward results or what we would term ‘the fruits’ of those who claimed to have been impacted during their time there. Her questions looked at the perceptions of spiritual and emotional well-being, changes in interpersonal relationships, and behavioral activities that affect the larger society.
- 50% of those questioned said, “When I first came to the Revival, I was experiencing spiritual dryness and great discouragement.”
- 80% said, “I am more in love with Jesus now than ever in my life.”
- 81% said, “I have a fresh sense of God’s forgiveness.”
- 55% “Spoke of being set free from Satan’s hold on a specific area of their lives as a direct result of the prayer they received.”
- 78% said, “They experienced an inner or emotional healing.”
- 5% said, “They experienced a healing from clinically diagnosed mental health problems.”
- 21% said, “They were physically healed during the prayer time.”
- 88% said, “They have a greater love for their spouses.”
- 83% said, “Talking about Jesus to my family and friends is more important now than ever.”
- 71% said, “My church has experienced positive benefits from my visit to the revival.”
- 34% said, “They have become involved in works of mercy (feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, etc.) since God touched them.
Those who took the time to complete the questionnaire were from 17 countries covering 40 denominations; 17% were Pentecostals, 15% were Anglican or Episcopalian, 11% were Vineyard Fellowships, and 6% were Baptist. 71% were married with an average age of 45 and formal schooling of 15 years. 18% were pastors, and 30% said they were church leaders. I do not know any Christians who would be opposed to their families and friends being impacted by the above list. It would stand to reason that if satans strategy is to destroy the church by having them fall deeper in love with Jesus, read their Bibles more, spend quality time with their spouse and children, pray more, and be healed of mental, physical, and emotional issues; Well…That is one sad plan and is surely doomed to fail!
The amazing truth is that God’s love for mankind is so deep and unconditional that He will use any means necessary to bring salvation to even one lost sheep and renew and revive the hearts of His people. The terms revival and renewal are meant for those who already have accepted Jesus as their savior and have become dry and thirsty and in need of a fresh touch from God. The revival that came out of Asbury in the 1970s revived the fire within the hearts of His people so much so that it spread lighting the flame that became known as the Jesus movement. Many were saved by His great love and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. There is a hunger that our hearts were created for, and that is to know and experience the love of our Lord and Savior. In Luke 24:32, they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
We say “Yes, Come Holy Spirit” revive us again! May this outpouring be just the beginning of the spread of His fire and love and the Great Awakening our country and world desperately need.
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