Having just returned from a remarkable experience at the Asbury Revival I’d like to address the common and natural question of “do I need to travel to a specific place to experience Revival?” The answer to this question is multi-faceted. So let me take a moment to unpack it from a Biblical and Historical point of view.
First of all, we know that God is omnipresent so you don’t have to travel somewhere to meet with Him. At the same, when we observe the history of Revival in both the Bible and in the United States we see that God often expresses HIS MANIFEST PRESENCE at certain places, during certain times, and in certain unique ways.
For example we find Outpourings of the Holy Spirit which were locational and strategic all throughout the New Testament flowing from the ultimate fountain that began flowing in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). In other words, the birth of the Church was the result of a locational outpouring of the Spirit in the city of Jerusalem! This provides key confirmation that God does in fact choose specific places to pour out His Spirit from time to time.
We also find other places in the New Testament describing Outpourings of the Spirit here:
• Acts 4:31
• Acts 8:15-18
• Acts 10:44-46
• Acts 19:6
• Titus 3:6
• Romans 5:5
As for American History we have documented evidence of various and significant Outpourings of the Spirit that seemed to have a relationship to a specific location where prayer, worship and preaching was occuring. These include but are not limited to:
• North Hampton, Massachusetts 1734
• Logan County, Kentucky 1800
• Rochester, New York 1824
• North Dutch Church, NYC 1857
• Brooklyn, Michigan, Denver, Schenectady, Nebraska, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Taylor University, Yale University, and Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky 1905
• Azusa Street Revival, Los Angeles 1906
• Wheaton College Revival of 1950
• The Jesus Movement, USA 1960s and 1970s
• Asbury College, 1970
• Toronto Canada 1994
• Pensacola, Florida 1995
A common characteristic of these revivals is that they would spread to hundreds if not thousands of other places! So why does God move in this way from time to time? It’s ultimately a mystery.
Do you have to travel to one of these revivals in order experience God? While it’s true that you can experience God anywhere through prayer, worship, and reading the Bible it’s still true that Outpourings of the Spirit have unique features. They usually spread so far that they end up in a city near you!
Being that large scale revival usually happens in intervals it’s a good idea to engage them when they occur if you have the ability to travel and can make time to go. You may be able to see and experience a historic event while more importantly be able to experience a unique manifestation of God’s Presence in the Earth!
But doesn’t the Holy Spirit live within us, why do we need a revival meeting? The Bible teaches that believers are indwelt with the Spirit but it also teaches us to be filled with the Spirit. We also see the same apostles who were filled with the Spirit in Acts chapter 2 being filled over and over again throughout the rest of the book of Acts.
The indwelling Holy Spirit regenerates our heart to pursue God more. This pursuit of God by the Spirit leads to greater infillings of the Spirit! So just because you already have the Spirit doesn’t mean you don’t need to seek to be more surrendered to Him!
Praying for Revival works! If you are unable to travel to a place like Asbury, begin asking God to pour out Revival in your local church and in your local area! What’s happening in Asbury can happen in your town if the body of Christ will begin to truly pray! I hope this post was helpful as the discussion about revival continues to be a topic of conversation, God bless!
Credit: Kyle Bailey