Revival: The Work of God
Have you heard about the revival at Asbury University Chapel in Kentucky? You've probably seen news coverage, trending topics, and opinion pieces since then.
We are astounded by how it all began and is developing.
It began when a group of students continued to worship after a Chapel service.
Jesus alone was exalted. Worship was devoted only to Him because of who He was (and still is) and what He had already accomplished for us.
Soon the glory of God filled the room.
Individual and corporate repentance occurred.
Weeping, singing, and praying soon followed.
The news soon spread and people traveled from near and far to attend the revival and experience God's touch.
The Asbury revival has spread to Lee, Cedarville, and Samford University.
A striking aspect of the Asbury Revival is the lack of special speakers, media, flashy lights, and other worship accessories. Amid the campus revival, media giants like FOX News reached out for interviews but were denied!
The Asbury congregants got it right. “Revival” which is “the work of God” is always accomplished when Jesus is our only point of focus.
So, what is a revival? A biblical perspective is necessary because revival is a transformational work of God on man.
For Israel to be in good standing with God, a revival is called for in the Old Testament. This involves Israel reaffirming the covenant that the Lord made with it on Mount Sinai. It requires that they obey God's law in all spheres of their lives.
We learn about the revived church in the New Testament—a church that the Holy Spirit helped establish, empower, transform, and thrive. That is how a church ought to operate. Hence the NT does not talk about revival although it does use the word ‘anakainoo’ which means renewal. This refers to a renewal of the inner person (2 Corinthians 4:16), the mind (Romans 12:2), and the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). Another word is ‘anapsychsis’ (Acts 3:19) which means “refreshment”. At its most basic, it refers to reviving something that had previously died.
Since the time of the Book of Acts, the church has changed. God, in His mercy, had to move through the work of REVIVAL because it had become entangled in the web of man-made traditions, religious eccentricities, and ideologies. He has changed the spiritual climate of entire cities and nations throughout history through revivals, bringing many into the Kingdom. History attests to previous revivals, including the Gold Coast revival in 1875, the Khasi revival in 1905, the Azusa Street revival in 1906, and the Shillong revival in 2006, to name a few.
In each of these revivals, there was such a longing for God's presence that no other conversational topics were brought up. Remorse was expressed. Weeping was present. There was constant prayer. There was unwavering recognition of Jesus as the magnificence of God. The rooms were infused with God's presence. Many people received prophecies and visions. There were miracles and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. The good news spread. The revival then spread to other locations as revived people traveled. from one city to another, across a country, and to neighboring countries. A revival is a move of God!
What are the fruits of a Revival? It has been noted from previous revivals that:
Those who had a genuine experience attested to a fervor to preach the gospel and spread the good news
There was a greater love, a yearning, to read the Word of God, and to pray
New songs were spontaneously written
Old debts were settled, confessions of sin and restitution were made, and stolen goods were returned.
Revivals often had the greatest impact on children and youth.
History has proven that the revival spreads to nearby churches and neighborhoods.
As we rejoice in the fact that God has moved in Asbury, let's strive to consistently manifest revival's fruits as a church. The fruits of a revival should not fade after the floodlights go out.