“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8). This verse reminds me of a quote from G. Campbell Morgan: “We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.”
The campus of Asbury University in Kentucky has been experiencing the “winds of revival” since a student-led chapel service began on Wednesday, February 8. While the schedule has now been augmented and the location changed, the revival is still going and growing.
A number of our Baptist leaders here in Arkansas have attended these services in person. Their eyewitness accounts are telling. While some others have cried emotionalism or some other criticism, these eyewitnesses I have heard from have affirmed this as real and genuine. A student of revival, Richard Blackaby, once said: “It is ironic that those who are most critical and suspicious of revival have usually never experienced it themselves.”
When the Christian movement first began in the book of Acts, a rabbi, Gamaliel, cautioned those who criticized it and attempted to stop it. He simply said “if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to stop it. You might even be found opposing God” (Acts 5:38-39).
So, if you cannot get behind it, don’t get in the way of it either. Let God decide. For God does as He chooses. The fruit will determine if this is of God. But for the time being, can we not celebrate these facts:
1. The focus is on Jesus. Only Jesus. No celebrities or personalities. No program. No agenda. Just Jesus. The only attraction is an encounter with the living Lord.
2. Holiness is the outcome. People are confessing sins openly and honestly. They are receiving the forgiveness of their sins which is marked by joy and celebration.
3. His presence is sensed and felt. Manifested in ways only God would. The heartfelt cry is on praying for more of God and less of “me.”
4. Spontaneous worship and prayer. With no structure or schedule, God’s people are gathering, and the result is sweet hours of worship and prayer. The worshippers’ testimonies are of indescribable and unspeakable times with the Lord.
As this movement has now moved to other college campuses and within churches, it is my prayer that Arkansas Baptists would pray and “set our sails” so that if God so chooses, He can freely move among us. Oh, that God would rend the Heavens and come down at our colleges and churches! May our first prayer be Psalm 119:25: “Revive me, according to your word.”