Living on Purpose: It’s encouraging to see a hunger and thirst for God
By Dr. William Holland
There is a move of the Holy Spirit happening in Wilmore Kentucky where the small evangelical Asbury University and Seminary are located. As the regular chapel service began Wednesday morning in Hughes Auditorium, it was not long before things became extraordinary. Many students did not leave and continued to worship as the band kept playing. The message that morning focused on confession, repentance, and how true love for God and others is more than just words. News traveled quickly and soon more students started coming in. Many said they felt the power of God drawing them to examine their hearts and make a fresh commitment to Christ. College students have joined in from other colleges including the University of Kentucky as Christians from other states are making the journey to experience this 24/7 manifestation of God’s presence. It is not known at this time how long this outpouring will last, but there has definitely been a lot of excitement in the last five days. The crowds are growing as the worship, praying, reading scriptures, and personal testimonies of God’s power are generating faith and a glimpse of what the normal Christian life should be like.
Asbury president Kevin Brown spoke on John 17 Friday night, a passage that calls for unity. “So when people see us, they see one accord. For this generation, for the church, for the world, the edification of our neighbor, and the glory of God. This is not an Asbury thing, this is a kingdom of God thing.” Saturday night all 1500 seats were taken with many people standing around the walls. When the Asbury website started posting daily updates, soon the site had so much traffic it crashed. Growing numbers watching the live stream are sending prayers not just from around the country, but also from places like Paraguay, Indonesia, Africa, Australia, and India. The editor of the School Newspaper said, “We are encouraging each other to have this posture of radical humility. We are trying to understand God’s love in a greater way. It’s not about us, it’s about Jesus and I believe this is why it continues.” Some of the older generations may remember another outpouring here in February 1970. It began when the Dean at that time invited students to share their testimonies and miraculously, the worship and praying lasted for 144 hours straight. Classes were canceled for the week and many traveled around the country sharing about what God had done in their midst.
Another comment from a news site, “We see depravity now in America, every day, wherever we look. It’s encouraging to see young people on their knees in prayer. May this revival spread like wildfire across this land. America has never been in deeper trouble. Lord help us.” I have written about revival in the past and it can mean several things like renewal, awakening, restoration, repentance, or making alive again. It’s associated with those who once were on fire for God but they have drifted away into what is called a cold or lukewarm state of being spiritually lethargic. To be revived means to be convicted by hearing God’s truth and seeing the need to be reignited in our passion to be completely sold out to Jesus. In Revelation chapter two we see the letter to the church at Ephesus where Jesus said, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love.” He is saying that when Christ is at the top of our priority list, our love for Him will blaze like a roaring fire. However, when we allow the cares of the world and our carnality to become more important than our relationship with Him, we become ashamed and nonchalant like smoldering embers.
Revival is a gift of God’s grace and yet the only thing that is preventing it from happening anywhere is an attitude of our heart. It begins when someone wants to become a living sacrifice for God. What does this mean? It means the realization that living holy is how we please Him. Our gratitude and love for Him is not just about what He can do, it’s for who He is. You do not know that God is all you need until you realize He is all you have. He’s either the Lord of “all” of your life or He is not really your Lord at all. We will discuss more about revival next week.
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