Warning: Asbury Is NOT A Model…
As I was praying about the revival at Asbury College, the Spirit of God spoke to me and said, “Asbury is not a model… it’s a call.”
The revival was marked
Asbury College, located in Wilmore, Kentucky, was the site of a powerful revival in February of 1970 as well. Students and faculty alike were touched by the presence of the Holy Spirit and experienced a profound spiritual awakening that spread throughout the campus and beyond. The revival was marked by intense prayer, confession of sin, and a deep hunger for God’s presence. It really is striking to see the similarities between what happened then and what’s happening now.
However, we can get into trouble if we look to the Asbury Revival as a model. It is not something that we can simply replicate or imitate in our own lives by mimicking what they’re doing or how they’re doing it. Like the bronze serpent that God commanded the Israelites to lift up in the wilderness, the Asbury Revival is a call to seek God, not a model to be copied.
Jesus even references this
In the book of Numbers, we read about how the children of Israel had been complaining against God and Moses, and as a result, God sent fiery serpents among them (Numbers 21:4-9). Many of the Israelites were bitten and died, but when they cried out to Moses, God commanded him to lift up a bronze serpent on a pole. All who looked at the serpent were healed and saved from death. Jesus even references this and compares himself to this event in the third chapter of John’s gospel.
Later on, however, the Israelites began to see the bronze serpent as a model to be worshiped, rather than a call to seek God. They made it into an idol and began to offer sacrifices to it. As a result, it had to be destroyed.
“He removed the high places, broke the sacred pillars, and cut down the wooden image. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.” 2 Kings 18:4
In the same way, we must be careful not to turn the Asbury Revival into an idol or a model to be worshiped. Instead, we must turn it into a megaphone and heed its call to seek God.
Isaiah 55:6 tells us to call upon God “While He is near.” Zechariah 10:1 admonishes us to, “ask for rain in the time of rain.”
Asbury is a barometer. It’s more than a model (though there’s lots we can learn from the simplicity of the Divine flow of; testimony, repentance, prayer, and worship); it’s an invitation! “Let all who will, come!”
Asbury is a call to ongoing revival and renewal in our lives and in the Church as a whole. We must continually seek God, asking Him to renew and transform us from the inside out.
A military stronghold
The name “Asbury” is an old English word that means “fortress.” A fortress is a military stronghold. It’s a place of defense and safety. God will come down and visit those who provide a place for Him to move among His people and defend the revival against idolatry, celebrity, and the sin of presumption.
May we all be inspired by the example of the Asbury Revival and open ourselves up to hear the call. Let’s make space for this reviving to happen in our own homes, schools, and churches.