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Asbury Revival: What's Next?

Will Riddle 3 minutes to read

For nearly two decades, a remarkable man, a firebrand, more consecrated to a singular purpose than perhaps anyone we’ve seen in our lifetime led a movement to save America.  It was called “The Call” and it brought two generations of young people out to cry out for America in major stadium events.  Along this journey he began to believe that the key to America’s future was to end the killing of unborn children, and so without any broader political agenda, he began activism and protest led people around the country in this galvanizing prayer:

Jesus, I plead Your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation.

God, end abortion and send revival to America.

It’s here.  As the continual and rapid moral decline of America continued, this prayer began to seem more and more fantastical, but in the suddenly of God, in the unlikeliest of times, Roe vs. Wade was overturned, ending the ability of the Federal government to force states to allow abortion.  In less than 12 months, revival broke out on the campus of Asbury University.  The fulfillment of these prayers proving that the accumulated prayers and action of the saints can move even the biggest mountain in the unlikeliest of times. 

A revival with cultural reach broader than anything seen in America since probably William Randolph Hearst told his papers to “puff [Billy] Graham,” catapulting a national moment of universal appeal.   We’re seeing it again.  The wall that has separated Charismatics and non-Charismatics has suddenly and unexpectedly dissolved, as God gave leadership to the revival to conservative Methodists, and everyone came to play on their terms – no hype, no big lights, no shofars, no falling down, just heavenly singing, and praying for one another at the altar, for hours and hours and hours. 

This is not just an accident, but a lesson.  God doesn’t need a big show or even powerful people.  No one on the stage was known before this revival, and few will be known with a name afterwards.  This is the nameless and faceless generation that has been prophesied for the last thirty years.  Many will want to copy it, but if anyone wants to carry this revival, they will have to learn this lesson – God is giving something that can’t be sold to people that can’t be bought. 

Now, Asbury, completely overwhelmed with the global interest that this extended prayer meeting brought to their campus has been forced to close it’s doors to the endless throng.  But this is God’s doing.  His plan all along was not to set up another Christian shrine, but to catalyze something much bigger and much broader – to light a fire that burns from coast to coast, and pops up everywhere.   I believe it is what a good friend has told me for years was coming: “A Second Jesus Movement with Wisdom.”

It is therefore no accident at all that just as Asbury is closing it’s doors, the theaters are opening their doors to show one of the most amazing God-stories of our time: The Jesus Revolution.  Do not miss it.   It is the second lesson, and the second match to the revival.   Young people are going to remember the history that they never knew and catch the flame, while those later in life will be inspired again.  One of the messages of the movie is that revival comes when we cross cultural barriers, and welcome those we fear. 

What does this mean for the increasingly perilous political situation in which we find ourselves?  Perhaps nothing directly.   Jesus did nothing to directly to address Roman politics under Tiberius, or bring in the longed for Jewish state, what he did do was start a movement which has never and could never be stopped, a movement much more powerful than any Caesar.   This revival may not measure on the political Richter scale, but it will tip the spiritual balance of power.   Praise God that Seminary professors were found at the altar, and the Pharisees have been cowed into silence by the tidal wave of God.  God has “opened the floodgates of the deep.” (Gen 7:11) and He’s going to thwart even the best laid plans of Pharoah. 


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