A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, February 13, 2023

Some Ponderments on Revival

I have been reflecting the past few days on the revival or divine visitation at Asbury University (story here) and other such visitations, I offer some thoughts.

1) Many have been saying in response to what is happening in Wilmore that they hope it will bear fruit. Yes, such awakenings should bear fruit, but let's be honest and acknowledge that some (not all) have said that as a way of throwing shade at this week's event because the university does not hold the "right" position on certain issues, and therefore God's hand in it might be questionable. I have yet to discover any human litmus test for God to visit God's people in an awakening way. That gives me hope that I may be so visited. Sadly, we are in a time when politics in particular has grabbed center stage in such an unhealthy way, the validity of every event has become (as one person has said) a Rorschach test on which we project our own values.

2) We don't have to hope the Asbury visitation will bear fruit. It will bear fruit. St. Paul tells the Corinthians that God provides the increase (1 Corinthians 3:5-7). Only God knows what will be produced in the future through the lives that have been so visited? We dare not assume that if we don't see the fruit, nothing will have come of it. God does not need to show us because God does not need our approval. Jesus tells a few stories reminding us of the often unnoticeable movement of the kingdom. Yeast in dough and mustard seeds come to mind.

3) In the Bible, when the Spirit moves in a dramatic way, it's always unexpected and untamable, and therefore uncomfortable. We human beings are control freaks, and it is no less true for how we view the movement of God. Nowhere in the Bible does the Spirit move and the people say to God in response, "Where have you been? We've been waiting for you," or "We knew you were going to do that." Could it be that we question in part because we are scared to death that a divine visitation will happen to us? Discomfort at the thought of revival is to be expected.

4) In a world that so often invites us to be cynical, let's be hopeful that the divine visitations that have happened will continue to spread. There is no formula or incantation to bring it about other than prayer and a willingness to be surprised by the holy.

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