Listen to Nancy answer this question recorded on Moody Radio with Kelli and Steve

Remember when you first became a Christian? For those of you raised in a Christian home where Jesus was loved and lived out, consider yourself blessed. For many of us who were not so fortunate, placing faith in Jesus was a massive paradigm shift. I was 32 when I embraced Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who died and rose again to pay the penalty for all humanity’s sins, including mine. The joy of knowing I was loved, forgiven, and set free from the power of sin gave me a completely new outlook on life. As a result, I assumed everyone I knew, including those I did not know, would be thrilled to hear the Gospel’s good news. Such was not generally the case.

For many, the thrill of being saved is short-lived. Many get discouraged when family and friends reject them because of their faith; others fall back into their old life patterns. Sadly, many churches today have lost their desire to teach the good news of Jesus and have opted to talk about things that make people feel good. Their Bibles get shoved aside, and their lives get filled with other important things that distract them from living out our faith.

The great news is that God has not shoved us aside. Quite the contrary, He knows our struggles and rejoices with the angels when one person repents and comes back to fellowship with Jesus.

“And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15: 6,7).

There are other times when God, not so quietly, draws us back to Him through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This time, He shed His Grace on a small seminary school in Kentucky called Asbury. Students crowded the altar at Hughes Auditorium at Asbury University during a revival that began on Wednesday, February. 8, 2023. It started with 20 students, and then the President of Asbury Seminary sent an email to all the students, encouraging them to come to the chapel to join the 20 students with what he described as an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Two hundred students arrived for worship at the chapel soon after, and there has been non-stop worship ever since.

Videos of students participating in the non-stop prayer and worship service have made their way to social media, sparking international attention. As of February 16, posts with the #AsburyRevival hashtag have generated 34.5 million views on TikTok.

NBC reports that students and faculty from 22 schools in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Illinois, Minnesota, Tennessee, Indiana, and other states have trekked to Asbury to join in on the religious experience. Travelers from Singapore and Canada arrived soon after. NBC reports that the largest crowd was on February 14, with over 3,000 attendees, two-thirds of which were from out of state. The crowd was so large the revival had to expand to four additional facilities in the college town.

A revival’s primary target is those who have made a profession of faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior and then lost the fire of their salvation and let it slip into dormancy. A revival is a re dedication of their lives to living out Christ in all areas of life. It offers a “clean slate” to all who have slipped away from practicing their Christian faith. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, it is an act of God calling us to repent from our worldly worldviews to an active, God-centered focus that will forever change how we live and love one another.

“I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart” (Ezekiel 18:31).

“Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel” (Romans 8:9).

When the Holy Spirit pours out over people, not only will Christian lives be transformed, but also their boldness to share, preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus. They will begin to live out the Great Commission of going to all the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus. This outpouring was witnessed when the disciples of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the first Church. Peter, who denied Christ three times, delivered a powerful sermon through the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him…Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:22-24,41).

Writer Samuel Sey sends out some caution about what is happening at Asbury. “For that reason, in desperation for any semblance of hope for our culture — some Christians have abandoned all discernment, and they’re eager to idolize anything or any “revival” that professes Christ. But our hope isn’t in a change in our culture. Our hope isn’t in a revival. Our hope isn’t in a Christian culture. All of these are good. We should earnestly pray that God would change our hearts first and, through that, our culture.”

Calling something a “revival” might be a mistake. God’s grace comes to us in many ways, some small and others are huge. The point is that the outpouring of God’s grace should not be scrutinized just because it may or may not meet the requirements of someone’s definition of a revival. Thousands became Christians through God’s outpouring of His Spirit, with thousands more re-dedicating their lives to Jesus; for that, we can thank God for His amazing Grace!

“I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart” (Ezekiel 18:31).