This year our family did something new when it came to decorating for Christmas....
At our 2022 National Gathering I quoted Walter Kim who, when talking about the trajectory of our country and future needs, said that we need to pray for another great awakening. The recent outpour of the Holy Spirit at Asbury University is encouraging to see and has reminded me of this hope and prayer articulated by Walter.
I don’t know anyone at Asbury who has given me a first-hand account of what has been occurring, but I know people who know people and am therefore getting bits and pieces of information. Also, perhaps like you, I have read various articles and reactions to the revival. In some instances, I am surprised at what seems to be hypercritical commentary on what is occurring, while at the same time I am surprised at those who are trying really hard to replicate it. I spoke at Truett Seminary at Baylor University a couple of weeks back and I have to admit I had hoped to see something out of the ordinary. Alas, chapel went their standard 50 minutes, I met a few people, and I left.
As I think about what is going on at Asbury and its impact on us, I see three implications for our lives and churches.
First, I hope we can be hopeful for what is happening, rather than critical. Some of the circumstances may be foreign or even push against what we think is decent and in order. However, to approach this revival primarily from a critical perspective is likely unhelpful. I think of Paul who got reports of others preaching the gospel for self-centered reasons and basically said, “I am just thankful that the gospel is being preached.” I’m not implying that there is anything self-centered about what is occurring in Asbury, but rather that we can choose to look at this situation with a critical spirit, or instead one of excitement.
Second, I hope we can be more aware of the Holy Spirit’s move in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. There are so many passages in Scripture that remind me to be attentive and listen to what God is seeking to do in any particular moment of my life. I wonder how many times I have missed the Spirit’s work and/or the “still small voice of God”.
Third, I hope we can pray for awakening. I have heard people talk about Asbury and wonder if it is an awakening or revival. Perhaps it is tomato-tomahto and ultimately I personally don’t care what we call it. But I am reminded to not just talk about a need for a reawakening in this country but to be diligent in praying for God’s Spirit to move.
I know as I continue to walk with our movement in ECO, and as we seek to be part of the greater movement of God, I pray that I would take these words to heart for myself and always be open and looking where God is at work in big and small ways towards awakening!
Grateful to be on the journey with you,