On Wednesday, February 8, what started as a typical, regularly scheduled devotional service on the campus of Asbury University ignited into spontaneous worship, confession, repentance and testimonies. The outpouring of God’s Spirit was without expectation or preparation. Could this be the catalyst for nationwide, even worldwide, revival that faithful Christians have been praying for in recent years?
The word is out! Hundreds of curious people a day are visiting the university’s chapel to experience what is happening. Long lines of vehicles are backed up on the highway leading onto the campus. My pastor has joined numerous other pastors from all over the country spending a day or two there personally observing God at work. All are returning to their home churches with the life-changing story of this phenomenon.
Asbury University is a small Christian non-denominational university (1600 students) in Wilmore, Kentucky. One might think that, if God is beginning something new and epic, He would begin it in Washington, D.C., or at the U.N. If He wanted it to sprout from the Christian academic realm, why not at institutions like Liberty or Baylor Universities? I assume He is just being the God of the Bible who almost always chose the smaller, simpler, and weaker things to accomplish the miraculous.
And, this isn’t the first time for God to use Asbury for launching a major movement for His glory. On February 3, 1970, similar revival fires birthed on their campus began to sweep across America during a time of unrest, dissention, and rioting throughout the land. Prayer movements had been going on since the previous October and culminated in a seemingly routine chapel service similar to the current one. It exploded into a Spirit-filled, non-stop revival. Over the next few months, students sent over 2000 witnessing teams across the country to other schools, churches, and communities sharing the gospel of Christ. Many credited this happening as starting, or at least boosting, the “Jesus Movement” of the 1970s which spread like wildfire throughout North America, Europe, and Central America.
The Bible says God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He blessed His chosen people, Israel, beyond measure. When they turned from Him, they incurred His jealous wrath. When they repented, His Spirit moved powerfully in their midst bringing immeasurable blessings again. This spiritual cycle has been repeated in America’s history with the same results. Our country has been blessed more abundantly than any country in history. Yet we have turned from Him as evidenced clearly by today’s modern sinful culture. I believe the COVID pandemic was probably an element of God’s wrath on America and the rest of the world for our unfaithfulness. Could the Spirit’s work at Asbury be the seed of repentance and renewed dependence on God that will draw the hearts of America and beyond back to Him as Savior and Lord?
I honestly didn’t expect to see this in my lifetime, but I am repenting for my lack of faith and praying earnestly and often for God to cover our nation and world with the overflow of His work at Asbury. I urge you to do the same. God’s Word says His Spirit will not always strive with man. This may very well be our last chance.
Terry, this has spread to Lee University where our son is a professor. Fantastic. Praise God.
Thanks for the info, Bill. It’s happening!
A pastor friend of mine has a comment about this at the this site.
Joel, I appreciate your comment, and I respect you pastor friend, Missionary Jordan Standridge. However, I couldn’t disagree with him more. Should we really decry what God may be doing by questioning His method and venue? Standridge speaks of the universal church, then immediately criticizes the movement at Asbury because it is not happening in a local church with elder oversight and within his limited personal parameters. I am an elder in my local church, but sadly our churches haven’t been able to see the wildfires of revival in decades. Perhaps God is pivoting to another setting to bring about His will. And, are we to not give attention and support to a seemingly miraculous phenomenon because we need to wait some months or years to see its long-term results? Of course, God could bring revival to America and the world without any initial support, but I don’t believe that is the way He works.
Mel Blackaby, of the incredible Experiencing God ministry recently posted this. “I have noticed a disturbing trend among some Evangelicals: skepticism of anything good if they are not a part of it. Whether it is a movement of revival in America or incredible reports of church planting overseas, people feel the need to give their critique or judgment on what God is doing. And they do so as if they are the expert and their approval or lack thereof actually matters. As for me, I celebrate the testimonies of God working in other believers. I rejoice over young people repenting and getting right with God. I pray for those involved to stay focused on the Lord and to not get derailed by outside voices. I love to hear the impossible, because we serve the God of the impossible. Instead of pouring cold water on it, I want to fan the flame.”
I, too, have noticed the reluctance of many Christian leaders to support many movements that I consider God-ordained. I believe we have been seeing revival in many realms lately. The emphasis on prayer and testimonials in athletics, Hollywood movies caving to the surge in Jesus-centered movies, and the rising popularity of contemporary Christian music to name a few. I see the Asbury revival as another example of the stirring of the Spirit. I will watch for any signs of heretical teaching as I support it and pray for it, but I will not be skeptical just because it doesn’t go hand in glove with my non-essential doctrinal beliefs. Isaiah 43:19..