God’s constant re-creative nature to rekindle His people, and through them, to light that same fire in others who have known only darkness, is undeniable and ready to emerge again in our time.
The question is, “Will we choose to be part of it?” More basic than this is, “Will we be able to recognize such a renewal as it unfolds before us?” And finally, “Will we—each of us—join Jesus and get involved in what He’s already doing?”
My Jesus-Now Awakening came through the humbling of my own broken pride on a painful afternoon in Asheville, North Carolina in 1988. I was supposed to become the director of a new center to train and send evangelists throughout the world. Then as soon, as my vision started to come together, the whole thing began to change. I sat by myself in a small hotel room 3000 miles from my wife and family. I remember the exact moment my panic reached its peak. I rushed over to the only window in the room thinking, What am I going to do? I looked outside. I had to see something that was alive, something that could break through my darkness. I gazed through the window but there was no one in sight—just vegetation, a hillside with bushes, and a tree. Praise God for that single tree! As I saw the wind rustle through its upper leaves, I saw life. I must have stared at it for a long time, for at that moment, surrounded by the blackness within me, this tree was the only living thing I knew. Without warning, the picture changed. A bird flew toward the tree and lightly perched on one of its top branches. Immediately something happened inside me. For the first time in days, perhaps weeks, I felt life surging within me. Life unexpectedly trickled back into my black world. I thanked God for this bird because through it I was seeing life overcome death in me. I knew I couldn’t stop looking until all of the mental blackness went away. After three or four minutes of silence, of praying and trusting God, the blackness faded. Looking back, I had yielded myself to the Lord in a fresh way, allowing Him to bring a renewed sense of a Jesus-Now Awakening into my life.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12 New King James Version
The present revival I’m talking about is so different and so radically life-transforming—unlike the world we live in today—that the only way to see this spiritual movement is with a new set of eyes, different from the ones you and I were given at birth. It’s only with spiritual eyes able to spot and follow a pinprick of light that you and I will be able to see beyond this present darkness.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 NKJV
Only when we know this truth will we see that the current speck of God’s light is much bigger, much brighter, than our world’s current darkness.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all… if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5, 7
In the Holy Scriptures, hope is a noun; hope is a Person. This hope, as revival, is a hope that’s so compelling, so wonderful you can’t live without it, but yet so wonderful you know you can’t produce it.
In light of this hope, we’re not just purpose-driven. We’re person-driven—“…By the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope…” (1 Timothy 1:1) —the person of Jesus Christ.
We need a large enough vision of Jesus, His love and salvation, that ignites fresh hope and passion toward Him and then begins to “reconvert” God’s people back to God’s Son for all that He is. This is what comes out of true spiritual awakening, true revival—sustained transformation both inside the church and through the church.
Whether you believe a major spiritual awakening is present, unfolding, or still somewhere in the distance, it’s difficult to deny that God is drawing His people to Himself and that His people are poised to reach others with Christ.
“The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling.” Ephesians 1:17-18
There is hope for those in spiritual darkness. If the current flicker, perhaps glow, of God’s light leads to a widespread spiritual awakening in this country, will we look back and realize God began His work through unlikely individuals who were simply broken and humbled?
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