The ongoing revival at Asbury University drew an estimated fifteen thousand to twenty thousand people over the weekend. This is all happening in Wilmore, Kentucky, which normally has a population of six thousand. One eyewitness reported that the services filled five overflow buildings and a grass lawn with a 2.5-mile backup of cars going into Wilmore.
Beginning today, the revival services will be available to the public at another location in the central Kentucky area, while Asbury will continue to host evening services for college-age and high school students through Thursday, which is the National Collegiate Day of Prayer.
The fires of awakening are spreading. Revival services have begun at Samford University in Alabama, Cedarville University in Ohio, and Lee and Belmont Universities in Tennessee. Students have gathered at Baylor University in Texas to pray for revival. Over twenty college campuses have been affected so far.
True revival begins when we want more of Jesus than we have.
Do you? Why should you?
“None of us wants to be a fraud”
In Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?, psychologist John Powell writes of “the imprisoning fears and self-doubt which cripple most of us and keep us from forward movement on the road to maturity, happiness, and true love.”
He adds: “None of us wants to be a fraud or to live a lie; none of us wants to be a sham, a phony. But the fears that we experience and the risks that honest self-communication would involve seem so intense to us that seeking refuge in our roles, masks, and games becomes an almost natural reflex action.
“After a while, it may even be quite difficult for us to distinguish between what we really are, at any given moment in our development as persons, and what we pose as being. It is such a universally human problem that we might justifiably call it ‘the human condition.'”
Here’s the biblical answer to this “condition”: the God who is love (1 John 4:8) loves you more deeply, passionately, and unconditionally than an earthly father can love his children. He grieves your struggles and suffering even more than parents grieving the death of a child. He stands ready to guide your path with omniscient wisdom no human father can match. He will empower your obedience with omnipotence the strongest father cannot begin to offer.
But we must partner with him to experience his best.
“God means to fill each of you with what is good”
God’s call is clear: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1–3).
St. Augustine observed: “God means to fill each of you with what is good, so cast out what is bad! If he wishes to fill you with honey and you are full of sour wine, where is the honey to go? The vessel must be emptied of its contents and then be cleansed. Yes, it must be cleansed even if you have to work hard and scour it. It must be made fit for the new thing, whatever it may be.”
St. Gregory of Nyssa (335–394) made the point this way: “As no darkness can be seen by anyone surrounded by light, so no trivialities can capture the attention of anyone who has his eyes on Christ. The man who keeps his eyes upon the head and origin of the whole universe has them on virtue in all its perfection; he has them on truth, on justice, on immortality and on everything else that is good, for Christ is goodness itself.”
Our fallen culture will not understand, but this is to be expected, according to St. Gregory: “People are often considered blind and useless when they make the supreme Good their aim and give themselves up to the contemplation of God, but Paul made a boast of this and proclaimed himself a fool for Christ’s sake. The reason he said, ‘We are fools for Christ’s sake,’ was that his mind was free from all earthly preoccupations. It was as though he said, ‘We are blind to the life here below because our eyes are raised toward the One who is our head.’”
St. Gregory concluded that Paul “bids us follow his example. Seek the things that are above, he says, which is only another way of saying: ‘Keep your eyes on Christ.’”
“The best life of Christ is his living biography”
The more we seek to know Christ, the more we become like Christ. In fact, one practical way to know how fully we know Christ is to examine how fully we exhibit him to the world.
According to C. S. Lewis, “The whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have his way, come to share in the life of Christ. . . . Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”
Jesus’ first disciples are our first example. After walking with their Lord for several years, when Peter and John were brought up on charges, the Sanhedrin “recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
Charles Spurgeon commented on this text: “A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best life of Christ is his living biography, written out in the words and actions of his people.”
Such “living biographies” are the results and the catalysts of genuine spiritual awakening.
If you were to manifest Christ more today than yesterday, what would you need to change?