A Beautiful Distraction


   A Beautiful Distraction -True Revival   
                        Do Not Destroy it by human greed

                                                     Jim Burns

Sometimes all we need is a beautiful distraction from the day to day, humdrum ceremonies and rituals in the church to see the “true church” of Christ Jesus function.

The Asbury University move of God, the spontaneous, non-leadership, humble, child-like move of God gives us a look at what the early church might have looked like – altogether with everything in common, with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying each other, and many were being saved.[1]

People are being captivated by the stunning revival breaking out at Asbury U in Wilmore, Kentucky, as students, faculty, and people from outside the university flocking to the school’s chapel to participate with singing, sermons, and overt praise to the name of Jesus.  A worship services started on February 8, hasn’t stopped, day and night, students and professors are passionately worshipping Christ spontaneously, without leadership, without prompting by man.  Hours and hours of nonstop worship, praise, confession, testimonies, Scripture reading, lives being changed, and miracles being witnessed.

No human leader is directing them. Spontaneous hunger for God. Chapel service on Wednesday has not ended. Students are staying all night. No bells and whistles. So, refreshing!. It is now spreading to other universities. Busses are coming!! Never planned all spontaneous Holy Spirit driven. People prostrate, shoes and socks off as the tangible presence of God is among them.  Such a beautiful distraction from the norm of humdrum worship that many of us experience.

The move of God started on February 8, and by February 15, 2023 this revival has spread from Asbury U, to the Ramp, Jackson Georgia High School, Cedarville University, OH; Ohio Christian University; Lee University, Tennessee; Bethel, TX; Park Hill, MO; Indiana Wesleyan U, IN; The Gate, NC; Kings Highway, AL; Kingdom Life, Maine; University of Kentucky, KY; Eastern Kentucky U, KY; Kentucky Christian U, KY; Christ for the Nations, TX; Israel; Uganda; Jimmy Swaggard College, LA; and God only knows where it will go. What a wonderful distraction from the humdrum worship habits we have become accustomed to. God things are happening.  Like someone said, “When God shows up and He shows out.” Things happen that man cannot explain. Praise God that He is showing out!

However, when the beautiful distraction comes, -a true move of God, the world jumps on board to sell their wares.  Most people in this country are falling away from the worship of Christ.  It is said that Christianity is moving fast away from most Americans today.  But when a beautiful distraction of the true move of God comes, many want to get on board for their own benefit.

This advertisement is an example.  Get your FREE TICKET for a conference on how to grow your church. 

An add about Faith Believing curriculum for teens.

How to attract younger people to your church.

Mentoring tool for the next generation. On and on they go, many offering a free sample, with a lot of sales pitch in the process.  They want your contact number so they can continue to try to sell their wares.

I’m not putting these ads down, but I have a problem with using a beautiful distraction of God’s move as a means of selling their wares.  I heard that prominent ministers and famous gospel singing groups are trying to horn-in on what God is doing just to sell their wares – their agendas, their programs, their show boarding for their own benefits, with the guise of “lending their services.”

I recently wrote a little short story, Living a Life that Counts, a simple fictional tale  that has deep spiritual implications. My motivation was to give it away as an inspiring, uplifting, entertaining and motivational book for Christians.  It was to be an e-book, I wrote it, edited it, designed it, and promoting it under the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God. I put it on my Facebook, and now I am getting a dozen or more advertisements a day.
How to write a book and publish it.  Download a guide book.
Publish your book today. Does God want you to write a book. We can help.
I get more offers to help me write my book, to edit my book, to design my book, to print my book, to promote my book, and on and on it goes.    It is sad that the world is so much into using what God is doing to make money on it. 

Jesus saw this in his own time.  He was disgusted with the merchandizing of the spiritual for the benefit of money.  Jesus took a whip and ran the moneychanger from the Temple area.  Jesus said, “It is written, “My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” In this passage Jesus shows us how people started to forget about serving in the House of Prayer and diverted themselves to serve a different god – money. Jesus was furious seeing that they had turned a place of spiritual worship into a place of merchandise.[2]

God is putting together a body of Christ, fit vessels for His service, in many of these college campuses, across denominational lines – Asbury is Methodist, Lee is Pentecostal, Samford is Baptist, and many others are joining in the move . The cross of Christ, the shed blood of Jesus takes away our impurities, often one by one, and makes us vessels of honor to Him.  We are not there yet.  God is working toward sweeping away our bad attitudes that spoils the unity of the body of Christ. Because we are imperfect vessels, God must work on us as a potter works with a marred piece of clay until all the imperfections disappear and we become a fitting vessel in the body of Christ. Jeremiah says it like this: “But the vessel that he was shaping from the clay became flawed in his hand; so he formed it into another vessel, as it seemed best for him to do.”[3]

God wants the body of Christ to be in complete harmony and unity, but it will take time to see it happen.  What we see in the campuses across this country is part of God’s plan.  Students, faculty members, and others are coming together as one in Christ Jesus in humble worship, repentance, and basking in the presence of God.

Many of our churches are rebelling against this spontaneous move of God.  Some are calling the move fraudulent, emotional hype, will not last, while others like those cited above are ready to capitalize on the movement for their monetary benefit.

Paul speaking to the Corinthian church, he could not address them as spiritual because they were so worldly, mere infants in Christ.  He said to them they were not ready for the meat of the Word, so he would give them milk because they were just not ready.[4]  

The Corinthian church was like our church today.  They were developing divisional groups (like our denominations today); they were quarreling and jealous.  One says I follow Paul another says I follow Apollos (I’m Baptist, I’m Methodist, I’m Church of God, I’m Mennonite, and on and on). Paul said he laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon that foundation he built. Paul also says that we should be careful how we build. 

We should build only on the foundation laid by Jesus Christ. I believe most of those denominations we cited above started building upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.  However, with man’s additions (mostly to make the group better) became more man’s views than God’s views. Man is so different in his thinking, many of these denominations or faith groups were formed.  I believe that’s why Paul is warning the Corinthians why they should be careful in our building.   We need to be careful what we build, it must be built upon the solid rock – Jesus Christ and follow his teachings.

What did Jesus say about the qualities of those who enter the Kingdom of heaven?
One who becomes humble like a child.  Humility.  Trusting.  Natural. Dependent.
Spontaneous.  Without putting on airs. 

Jesus says, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives m.”[5]

How do we become like children? What is the definition of being childlike? Here are a few synonyms that most likely apply to Jesus’ definition of becoming like children: trusting, dependent, natural, spontaneous, awe-inspired, without airs, and innocent. Perhaps some of these, or all of them, would qualify for what Jesus is talking about. 

John Wesley is said to have been said during his ministry, “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.”

What we are seeing with this revival starting at Asbury, and students across this country are like children: trusting, dependent, natural, spontaneous, awe-inspired, without airs, and innocent.

The one who stands against sin and stands completely upon the unsearchable riches in God’s Word will shake the gates of hell and set up the Kingdom of heaven upon this earth. The one who is called to preach the Word of God has an awesome responsibility.  My responsibility is to encourage the move of God, not to quinch the Holy Spirit and try to make a dollar off it.

The church in America has an awesome responsibility to pray for and encourage this spontaneous, trusting, natural, innocent revival of the Spirit of God, instead of using this beautiful distraction as a means of making money off it, or cruising the obvious move of God.  

Jesus clearly says there are consequences for misusing such move of God through sin (making money off the move) or crushing the little ones (discouraging a true move of God).[1]  It would be better to have a large millstone hung around his neck and tossed into the depths of the sea to be drowned.

Let’s encourage the spontaneous, natural, trusting, innocent move of God to grow into a large awakening throughout this country as those of the 1700s, the 1800s, the 1960s and 1970s.

 Let us use this beautiful distraction from the norm and embrace what God is doing in our midst.

[1] Matthew 18:6

JB 011923

[1] Acts 2:42-46

[2] Matthew 21:13; Luke 19:45-48

[3] Jeremiah 18:4

[4] 1 Corinthians 3:1-16

[5] Matthew 18:3-5

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