Don’t take my word for the Asbury Revival, see for yourself
I want to share some perspectives from some of those who have been there. A friend of mine, Tony Portell from Indianapolis, was there. Zach Bennard was there, Matthew Rice was there, and Beck Taylor, President of Samford University witnessed the revival for himself on his own campus.. Don’t take my word for it, hear for yourself what others are experiencing revival.
After he returned someone one asked Tony to define revival. Here are his words:
Tony Portell’s words on the revival
“Someone asked me to define revival, so I tried to keep it simple.
Revival is something sovereign that comes down from Heaven as opposed to being generated by people, though hunger to experience God certainly plays a part.
Revival is God reaching down and touching people with an overwhelming sense of His presence leading to repentance or turning toward God and away from sin.
As revival spreads and affects the community this becomes an Awakening with masses of people turning to God. These awakenings impact every area of society.
We have had four of these in American history. The first Great Awakening was in the 1730s-1740s. The Second Awakening was 1800s1830s. The Jesus Movement in the 60s and Charismatic Renewal in the 70s.
We are long overdue and praying that what has been happening on college campuses in the last few weeks will build and become the revival of the church and Awakening of society.
-Tony Portell, pastor of Vineyard Life Church, Indianapolis
Regional Representative for multiple Vineyard Churches
Zach Bennard’s take on the Asbury Revival
As many of you know, I am at the Asbury Revival in Kentucky. Last night, I slept in my car in 30° weather and snow, and this morning waited in line for 4 hours in the freezing weather to be in the service. I’ve noticed a few people criticizing those who make the drive to be here, and I want to speak to it. I stood in line next to somebody who drove 13 hours to be here. He was a Pastor. I stood next to another man who traveled from Orlando. There were people there from Brazil and just about every other state there.
Now some people throw out, “You wouldn’t have to travel if you had personal revival”. I totally understand that not everybody is able to make the trip and that is okay. And I agree that personal revival is a necessity. We can have it. Here is the issue: Most Christians DON’T. Most Christians are content with not ever picking up their Bible, rarely go to
Church, they bash other Christians, rarely witness, and live mediocre at best Christian lives. I’ve been there. We all have.
Now let’s look at Asbury. 9 days ago, a few college kids stayed behind to pray after chapel ended. And because of their obedience, God showed up in a mighty way. Fast forward to today and THOUSANDS of people from all over the world are flooding this little town. Why? Because God is moving. You want to know the main conversations I heard today from people who went? They were hungry for God. They weren’t experiencing God in a corporate setting in their local church. They had personal prayer lives. But they LONGED to be in a room with other likeminded people who were hungry for Jesus. And let me tell you this: Being in that auditorium today with 1600 people seeking Jesus was absolutely breathtaking. There was ZERO HYPE. It was raw presence. There was no “God’s man of power for the hour,” there was no outstanding musicians or eloquent preachers. BUT Jesus was the main attraction.
We live in a world today where we can go to the movies and spend money, waste time, and nobody says a word. We can watch hours of sports and nobody say a word. We can take vacations because “we want the experience” and nobody says a word.
BUT, when people from All OVER THE WORLD get excited about exalting Jesus and they rearrange their schedules and give up things to drive where Jesus ALONE is being exalted, we quickly want to criticize.
We pray for Revival, yet when God doesn’t do it where we are, we point a finger at people who go where it is.
I’m convinced one of the clearest signs that we don’t have personal revival is we haven’t learned to celebrate other people’s hunger for the things of God. Instead of celebrating what God is doing, we find fault.
In that room today, I sat next to a man in his 70s on my right and a man in his 30s on my left. I witnessed people from every background and every language, come together with ONE AGENDA: Lift Jesus high.
I witnessed prayer, repentance, the Word of God, healings, deliverance, and salvations.
Are these things I’ve witnessed myself before? Absolutely! But it still causes my Spirit to leap. There is STILL HOPE FOR AMERICA!
WHAT IF THIS MOVE CAUSES REVIVAL TO BREAK OUT IN AMERICA???
We may need to throw down our stones and pick up the Word of God. He is doing a new thing. And you best believe I’m going to support it and believe in it, whether it happens at my church or not.
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11 #asburyuniversity #asburyrevival2023
-Zach Bennard is pastor of Church Without Walls, Dyersburg, TN
CWW has 242 Connect groups to life each other up to Christ.
Matthew Rice on the Asbury Revival…
Yesterday, I made the trip to Asbury University. I woke with a nudge to go, so I jumped in the car and drove south. I’m so glad I did. The lines were long (it took 2.5 hours to get in the building), and the weather was freezing, but once I entered the room and took my seat in the balcony, I wept for over an hour.
The services are simple: long stretches of worship led by a rotating group of student teams, testimonies, scripture reading, brief exhortations, invitations to come to the altar any time, and more worship. There was a marked humility and love for people among the seasoned campus leadership, who continued to point to Jesus.
The manifested presence of the Holy Spirit in the room was palpable. And while I realize people will respond in different ways, for me, it was just a tangible sense of the love of God that permeated the atmosphere and overwhelmed my heart.
I wept because of what I felt.
I also wept because of what I saw.
The Pinetops Foundation, a Christian research organization, predicts that by the year 2050, over 40 million youth will have been disaffected from Christianity. That’s over 1 million per year! I believe that part of what is driving the exodus is that our expression of faith has often been about everything but Jesus and, in many cases, angry and isolating. But there is a growing hunger to experience the authentic presence of Christ, including His heart, ways, and overwhelming presence, especially among emerging generations. A burning experience that results in burning hearts.
“And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’” Luke 24:32
At Asbury, the ministry teams and so many attendees (if not a majority) are 25 years and younger. And they are leading and going as hard after the presence of God as anyone I have seen in thirty-five years of ministry. I came away encouraged that this is the beginning of a worldwide movement – a new Pentecost for emerging generations with the power to stem the tide of the exodus and release heaven on earth. This is the beginning of The Revival and awakening for which we’ve been praying.
As I took in what I was seeing, I had the thought – the Lion of Judah is roaring.
On Sunday, February 5, the world witnessed what some considered one of, if not the most, blasphemous display ever performed on the Grammy Awards, as Sam Smith and Kim Petras, performed a song with demonic and sexually charged imagery.
Three days later, a small group of students lingered in the presence of God after chapel in Hughes Auditorium in Wilmore Kentucky. There were no bright lights, no cameras, and no press. Only a singular desire to pursue Jesus. But what started as a small spark has grown into a fire that has the attention of the world, with thousands coming from various nations to attend the gatherings. As of today, the hashtag #asburyrevival has 55.4 million views on TikTok.
The song performed at the Grammys was entitled “Unholy.”
At the front of Hughes Auditorium, above the platform, emblazoned above the pipe organ are the words “HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.”
As I watched God ignite hearts in the room, I was reminded of the Grammy performance and that the Asbury Revival started three days later. I sensed Jesus speak to my spirit, “You didn’t think I would be outdone, did you?”
The Lion is roaring again, with an invitation to move from what is “unholy” to a gracious encounter with the Savior, where we experience “Holiness unto the Lord.”
Revival is not coming.
Revival is here.
And Jesus is inviting all of us to taste and see.
Beck Taylor, President of Samford University, Homewood, Alabama says,
I just spent 90 minutes w/ students in Reid Chapel. Hundreds lined the pews & aisles singing, praying, giving witness to the Lord. It’s real, genuine, vulnerable, passionate, biblical, and all about Jesus.
“It’s the most unified I’ve seen our student body.” “It’s unscripted and not programmed. The Spirit is leading.” “Students are sharing from their hearts.” “The Gospel is being proclaimed.” “Our campus will never be the same.” Pray for Samford’s campus!”
Samford University was started in 1841 as Howard College by Baptist in Homewood, Alabama.
This revival is not over yet. Although Asbury is shutting down the official meetings at the auditorium, the revival is spreading to other campuses across the country. I just saw that Baylor University students are praying for a move of God there, then Texas A & M is catching the fire, Oklahoma University, the revival has spread to Uganda, and now in Pakistan. One man who just recently went to Asbury described it this way: “I don’t know exactly know what is going on, is it a revival or not, but what I experienced was an encounter with Jesus in an awesome way.”
My prayer and earnest request to all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, please start praying for this kind of outpouring to come to your house, your church, your community, to fulfill our commission from our Lord to start where you are, move into your community, out to your country, your state and to the uttermost parts of the world. We can do it, if we simply open our hearts to Jesus and request the fullness of the Holy Spirit to activate in our individual lives.
This is my earnest prayer today.