God is moving again at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. The school has been blessed with revivals on a fairly regular basis since 1905, and the major revival that occurred in 1970 impacted at least 130 other campuses at the time. All of this revival history is recorded on their website.
Thankfully, the school’s students and faculty seek revival by responding to the Holy Spirit’s stirrings to pray and seek God’s reviving presence. Asbury has a faculty and administration that adjusts the schedule when the Spirit clearly moves, has a theology that welcomes revival, and has a heart to give God the glory for the great things He does.
The present moving of the Spirit is well documented in their electronic publication The Asbury Collegian. These are firsthand accounts. My sense is that this present move is a quiet but real moving of God.
Many are blessed by what is happening. Hundreds have poured in from other places. Yet, if you’re not there, it may be difficult to process all you might have read or seen on videos. Some wonder whether this revival is real. How can you know?
Often, we tend to focus on an incidental occurrence and then argue for or against based on that one particular issue. But revivals cannot be properly assessed with a focus on incidentals. Revivals must be assessed based on the tests of the Spirit delineated in 1 John 4 where essentials are highlighted and we are instructed to test the spirits to discern that which is from God.
A true work of the Holy Spirit:
- Produces a right view toward Jesus—which leads to overcoming Satan’s lies and, therefore, deals with sin (1 John 4:2-5)
- Produces a right view toward the Word of God—which is accompanied by conviction of truth by the Spirit of truth (1 John 4:6)
- Produces love for God and others—which leads one to act on that love (1 John 4:7ff)
Through reading articles and personal posts and watching numerous videos from those on site, the best I can tell, this move, in the main, passes these tests.
- There is much emphasis on Jesus—the person of Jesus. He is exalted. He is the focus! The young people are thrilled with Jesus! Glorious!
- There is much indication of dealing with sin—repentance, confession, apologies, forgiveness, healing of hearts, peace, and freedom.
- There is also much talk about love in action with testimonies of love being lived out.
In the main, this move clearly appears to pass the tests of the Spirit in 1 John 4. I rejoice! May this Spirit of revival continue to have His way!
This is not to say there might not be a later-developing aberration of sorts, especially given that many have been drawn to the school from the outside. Such occurrences have often happened during other revivals. So, knowing this, we must be careful not to write off the real if an aberration takes root, and we must not embrace any aberration alongside of the real work taking place. The stream of aberration does not negate the real stream and the real stream does not condone any aberrant stream.
Praise the Lord, the Wind of His Spirit is blowing again! People at the Asbury epicenter and, by now, people at other campuses are being blessed. May we all seek God’s reviving presence—even now.
John Van Gelderen