Revival: The Experience at Home

Countless words have been and will be written to attempt to describe what’s been happening on the campus of Asbury University in February of 2023. So far I have been very careful to NOT put too many thoughts down because only time will tell what kind of impact this recent “awakening” will have. But what I’m going to attempt to do is give you a slice of what it was like to experience this from another small corner in the state of Kentucky. My story is by no means what everyone went through but I hope what happened in my life will maybe start to help uncover some of the things going on nation-wide as God is moving powerfully in His church right now.

First of all, I never physically made it to the revival service. I am a graduate of Asbury Seminary so I am familiar with the small town of Wilmore, but I now live about 90 minutes away in Southeast Kentucky where I lead worship in my hometown church. I had a desire to make the drive up, most likely because my spirit recognizes that the Holy Spirit is doing something. But every time I started to hatch a plan to get there, other things came up. I’m a big believer in being faithful where you are planted so my first concern is my family and my work in my church community. These priorities meant I didn’t have much of an opportunity to leave. My wife got to go and take part in the revival one evening while I had an event going on and I’m happy to say she was blessed by her trip.

This brings me to last Monday when I was so close to getting in my car and making the trip but I just did not feel peace about it. So what did I do? I prayed the night before that God would give me an answer. That Sunday night Asbury made the call to start streaming the services before moving them off campus at the end of the coming week.

I went to bed Sunday night anxious over what God wanted me to do. And I woke up early Monday with this idea on my mind that I should be praying with my own community. Now I do believe that God was doing something special with those who could get to Asbury in person, but I also believe that God is not confined to a place and time and that a believer can experience all God has for them, they just need a willing heart. We have His word and the Holy Spirit to guide us. So I hold these two things in tension, often not knowing how to reconcile them. But what God led me to do last week felt like some kind of answer…

I asked permission to open the doors of my own church.

I invited anyone who wanted to watch the livestream and to worship and pray together to come and made myself available to hang out in the sanctuary and greet people and offer prayer. What happened, may not have been ground-breaking but I believe it planted seeds that I can’t wait to see God bring growth to. We had a handful of people most of the afternoon, we felt the presence of God as we joined the students in singing worship songs. We took opportunities to pray for each other one-on-one as well as in small groups. I invited a neighbor who, unbeknownst to me, had been dealing with some questions and we had some great conversations about faith together. I came away feeling like God had helped me through some things as well and I am currently experiencing some deeper levels of surrender…

My main takeaway is this… God wants to do something in YOUR community. I’m by no means pouring cold water on people who felt called to make a trek to Wilmore. That can be a huge blessing. But revival, like a fire, is designed to grow. I think of John Wesley’s missional desire as he put it, “to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” May we be the tinderbox that God wants us to be and may we open our doors, our free time and our lives to receive the fire in our souls and to let those sparks fly outward.

“Freely you have received; freely give…”

Matthew 10:8

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