Asbury University is located in Wilmore, Ky., a 16-minute drive south of Lexington. According to reports, spiritual revival has swept across the Christian college campus – and a nonstop church service of sorts since last Wednesday night has become a source of interest and enthusiasm all across the world.
It all began with a call to confession inside the school’s chapel. Approximately one-hundred students came forward. Despite the Super Bowl, students, teachers and guests were still there four nights later. Alexandra Presta, editor of the “Asbury Collegian,” has been filing reports since the service began. Just last evening she wrote:
“Confession and forgiveness are pouring out. We’re serving each other and the community through worship, community, prayer, IT, writing, hospitality.”
A few nights ago, Presta wrote:
“Peers, professors, local church leaders, and seminary students surround me – all of them praying, worshipping, and praising God together. Voices are ringing out. People are bowing at the altar, arms stretched out … no one wants to leave.”
For as long as I can remember, Christians around the world have been praying for revival, not just in America, but all across the world.
“Will revival come in our time?” asked Dr. Billy Graham decades ago.
Long before Dr. Graham, Charles Spurgeon observed, “If we want revivals, we must revive our reverence for the Word of God.” The pastor affectionately known as the “Prince of Preachers” also noted, “Revival begins by Christians getting right first and then spills over into the world.”
It should hearten us to see members of the rising generation pursuing the Lord with such fervor. It’s easy to grow discouraged at the gathering clouds and storms of the world. Our culture has grown increasingly sick and coarse. Yet, here is some wonderful news, a hopeful turn, and an answer to prayer.
Coincidentally, though very much related, the new movie, “Jesus Revolution,” opens February 24th. Based on the true story of the revival that swept across Southern California involving Lonnie Frisbee, a charismatic and complicated hippie-street-preacher and pastor Chuck Smith, the Hollywood production stars Jonathan Roumie of “The Chosen,” and Kelsey Grammer.
Pastor Greg Laurie, whose book the movie follows, described the film as “The story of how two very unexpected men came together—Pastor Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee—resulting in the last great spiritual awakening in America, often called the Jesus Movement. It’s also a love story.”
Calvary Chapel and Asbury University Chapel may be thousands of miles and decades apart, but they’re both sites where the Holy Spirit descended and moved the hearts of hungry Christians. It’s far too early to assess the lasting impact of this answer to prayer in Kentucky, but it’s a reminder that the Lord is ever present and available.
It was Dr. Graham who once observed, “A mystery and wonder of prayer is that God often waits until someone asks.”
Could one of our many challenges as Christians be that we’re not bringing our burdens and needs to Him? He wants to hear from us. Of course, He’s also not some cosmic butler looking to fulfill our selfish desires. He wants our hearts. He wants us to want to know Him on a deeper level.
As Christians, we should pray for ongoing revival in Kentucky and for the reprisal of a Jesus Revolution all around the world.
Photo Credit: Samuel Reed, Asbury Collegian