A Most Amazing Revival at Asbury
Halfway through the Super Bowl, I received a most unexpected and yet welcome text from a friend in North Carolina about a remarkable revival breaking out at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky.
“Our son is flying there to participate,” he said. “Professors are canceling classes. Go Holy Spirit go.”
While I didn’t do any searching that Sunday night, on Monday morning I started Googling “Asbury revival” and found a couple stories. Events began with a chapel service Feb. 8 that kept going day and night. (So many visitors came that on Feb. 24 the school moved services off campus.)
Soon after I had scanned the online copy, I received an email from the managing editor of a magazine I have written for in the past, though not that much in recent times. He wanted to know if I had been following the news at Asbury.
“Not until last night,” I replied. “A friend texted me about it. Wilmore is about two and a half hours away if you want me to go.”
That trip has yet to materialize. The events at Asbury touched off a flood of spiritual activity and news coverage. It came so fast and so furiously that the managing editor later told me they were still deciding how to cover this wave.
A week after my friend’s text, the NBC outlet in our area carried a story from a station in central Kentucky. It spotlighted a gas station and convenience store that had been inundated with business because of the traffic jams caused by the influx of thousands of visitors to a town of 6,000.
Video from inside the store showed a standing-room-only kind of crowd, with the owner talking about how he hadn’t had a chance to take a break all day. He also mentioned “how nice” all the visitors were.
The Asbury Revival, which is being duplicated in places like Tennessee, Alabama and Ohio, has stimulated constant news coverage. And not just by Christian outlets like the Christian Broadcasting Network and Christianity Today, but mainstream media, such as The Washington Post and CNN.
You can’t necessarily bookend the stunning injury to the Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin that stopped the team’s game against Cincinnati on Jan. 2 with the Asbury Revival.
But I still find it fascinating that 2023 could well be the beginning of a move of God that will make the world sit up and take notice. After all, with these two events it already has, so who knows what more is yet to come?
In a world of woke politics, abortion advances in state referendums, and fading church attendance, many Christians have lamented the decline of morality and church influence. While I don’t necessarily disagree with them, we also have to keep our eyes on what God is doing.
He is never dismayed by the results of the latest election, those who ignore biblical teaching, or the state of the world. After all, He sent His Son to die for it.
Just when we think things can’t get worse, He prompts professional football players to start gathering in prayer circles after games. And as the season is ending, He stirs students at a small university to pray and worship for hours on end. And that creates such a dramatic impact people from as far away as Finland come to see it.
That’s because whenever the world says, “Check,” God answers: “Checkmate.”