You may have heard about the outbreak of revival at Asbury University in Kentucky. Last week a chapel service started that has yet to come to an end, and for over a week now, the students of Asbury have been worshipping almost continually. Last night, my husband, who is one of the most God fearing, biblically sound people I know, asked me what I thought about it. Not because he’s a skeptical person by nature, but because he’s very cautious about trying to “gin up” as he often says, a move of God. I’ve honestly been processing this for the entire last week as I’ve watched what has been happening with these kids . . . and yes, they’re mostly still kids . . . at Asbury. My initial reaction, which I do not think was wrong, was “Wow! God is doing something at this school.” I believe this generation, Generation Z, is sitting on the edge of a precipice not seen by any generation prior. I believe, they are being set up, by God, to be radical missionaries and world changers for Christ. I believe, in a world and a culture that is in rapid decline, these young followers of Christ will both reach others for Him on scale we have never seen before and also be persecuted, quite possibly in unfathomable ways, for their boldness and love of Jesus. Which is why I think the discussion about Asbury is so important right now. And the questions . . . Is this real? . . . Is this sincere? . . . Or is this an emotionally driven event? . . . need to be asked and addressed.

I’m not at Asbury. But what I can say from what I’ve observed, mostly via social media posts, is I believe there is a deep sincerity to what is happening. I see a hunger for the things of God . . . for a real relationship with Him, and I do not discount that this could very well be the beginnings of revival.

On under definition number one for the word revival it states, “restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc.”.

Restoration to life . . . bringing back that which was dead. When I say I do not discount that this could be the beginnings of revival that’s where I believe the key is. I have sat in worship services that I did not want to end. I am not an overly emotional person, and when I say I wanted it to continue, it was not from a place of being overwhelmed emotionally. It was from a place of being so fully in the presence of my Savior, of catching just a glimpse of how close heaven really is and knowing, in that moment, that there is literally nothing that compares to worshipping the One, True, Living God. But I don’t think that’s the end all, be all of revival . . . I believe it’s the beginnings of revival.

Revival isn’t an event. It’s not a series of meetings or something that only happens within the four walls of a church. It’s so much more, and if we never carry it out of that place where it has begun. . . if it never leaves the four walls of a church building . . . then I’m not sure we can call it true revival. I believe revival is marked by transformation and repentance . . . it is marked by a hunger for the Word of God . . . a desire to spend time in His word and in prayer . . .ultimately it is marked, by going out into the world and reaching others for Christ. I believe that revival often begins with a sincere move of God, such as this one at Asbury, and as hearts and lives are changed, it spreads outward and cannot be contained.

The reality is, we have to live this life here on Earth. We have jobs, and families, and bills to pay, and responsibilities. I’m going to say this, and I’m sure that someone, somewhere is going to gasp and be horrified, but we were never called to infinite worship services this side of heaven . . . and there will come a time when, if this is truly revival, those who have lived it and experienced it are called to go . . . to go into their homes, their classrooms, their workplaces, their families . . . to go out into the world and share what God has done in their own lives. Because as followers of Christ, we have been commissioned to “go”.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

True revival is an internal transformation with external consequences and effects. I am praying for the students at Asbury University because I see God doing something beautiful in their hearts. But I’m not just praying for them. The reality is we all need revival, but we don’t have to pack up and travel to Asbury (although, for those that have gone to pray over these students and witness it with their own eyes, I think that’s awesome), or any place, near or far, to experience revival. Revival starts in our hearts. It starts with us repenting before God and asking the Holy Spirit to fill us and dwell in us, to lead us, and guide us. It starts with us opening our Bibles and diving deeply into His word. It can happen in our homes – our kitchens and our living rooms . . . it can take place in our churches, our classrooms, and even our cars . . . revival isn’t about an event as much as it’s about fully submitting to the Lordship of Christ.

Evangelist Gipsy Smith, who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s, once said, “Do you really want to see a revival begin? Then go back to your home and draw a circle around you on the floor. Then get down on your knees in the middle of the circle and ask God to convert everybody inside that circle. When you do that, and God answers, you are experiencing the start of revival.”

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