My whole Christian life, thirty-seven years, to be exact, I have heard people talk about and pray for revival. I have done the same. Something in my heart always kind of bothered me about this. It seemed like the right thing to do, but it never seemed to work. Now I understand that some are thinking that you might have to pray for many years and not see it in you lifetime. Recently, I completely changed my view of revival. I will do my best to back it up scripturally and with my own experiences confirming these truths. All I can say is the same thing I say about divine healing, the common way that everyone seemed to be doing it didn’t work and this did.
First, let me analyze a revival. The Asuza Street Revival at the beginning of the 20th century is the one that I am the most familiar with. It gave birth to several spiritual denominations; one of which is the Assemblies of God; which is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States and the world? In 1900, a group of students and their professor were trying to determine if “Speaking in tongues and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was for today. In other words, did this gift end with the Book of Acts (1st century church) and the apostles or did it continue. I don’t you how much information is available about what was going on in the world at that time concerning Pentecost. I am sure there were pockets of people who were speaking in tongues, but for the most part it was like the world was in a Holy Spirit drought.
This students and their professor, Charles Parham, were seeking God with all their hearts trying to find an answer with no one to guide them. They finally were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and this message spread to Los Angeles, CA and then to the other parts of the United State and the rest of the world.
So is Asuza Street a model for revival. Yes and no. It is a historical event and movement that caused revival. I think there is a difference between what happened there over one hundred years ago and today. Let me illustrate this with this song. I love the tune, the enthusiasm and the intent, but I am afraid the message of it may be misleading. It is a song that states “Lord, we need another Pentecost, send the fire.” So you are thinking what’s wrong with that. The students and Charles Parham, didn’t have any knowledge of whether Pentecostal power was still available. For them it wasn’t exactly correct, but the message of this song would have been closer. For us, it isn’t really a song that expresses the truth. Why? When it says we need another Pentecost, I respond by saying “what was wrong with the first one?”
Today, we have become a generation of spiritual storm chasers. We go to Toronto and Lakeland and other places to see if we can experience something and maybe bottle it and bring it back home. I completely understand the motivation behind this. I have thought the same thing myself. People want to see the power of God and the moving of the Holy Spirit. The only problem is these movements are short-lived and sometimes not very balanced. So what is the answer? What if we could have this power right where we are. I think it is found in Dorothy’s Red Ruby Slippers. What? I’ll explain a little bit later.
Ray Comfort, Way of the Master, who works with Kirk Cameron, said that according to his research about 2 out of every 100 people witnesses regularly. That would be to an unbeliever at least every six weeks. Some of the largest Pentecostal denominations only have about 1/3 of the adherents who profess to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and Speak in Tongues. You do the math. This is a problem! Jesus said “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest (John 4:35) Therefore said he unto them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2) Pray for laborers Jesus said. He knew the problem wasn’t revival but laborers. He also said that the harvest wasn’t a future thing. I realize there are mission fields where people have labored for years and sown seed and not saw the results they have wanted. Sometimes, one sows and another waters, but the harvest will come. The problem is that there are people who just pray only and don’t sow the Word. He said in the Great Commissions “Go and teach.” Prayer is like water and fertilizer; it prepares the ground for the seed and helps the seed to grow. I wonder if we have been duped by the devil into looking to the future for something that we already have! God can't give us what we already have!!!
So what about Dorothy’s red ruby slippers? Most of you have seen the Wizard of Oz. At the end of the movie, she is told that she had this power all of the time. I believe that the same is true for us. The difference between the Asuza Street revival and us today is that they were not baptized in the Holy Spirit, we are. You need to be a born again Christian to receive the Holy Spirit. Now if you are not, I encourage you to go to the link at the end of this blog that will tell you how to receive Jesus and/or receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. If you need additional help, and you don’t know where to go; then go to your yellow pages and look up Assemblies of God churches, or charismatic churches. I am sure, if you call the pastor, they would be happy to help you.
The bottom line is this; you can’t pray for something that you that you already have. Like Dorothy, if you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, you already have this power. You may just not be using it or know how to use it. Jesus told a parable that seems appropriate to mention here. In Luke 17:7, 8-he was really getting at; if you have a servant you use him. He does you no good if you don’t use him. Today, it would be like an employer having an employee and just letting him do nothing while the employer does all the work. We must use the Holy Spirit in order to receive the benefits.
I am not proud of this but for thirty years (thirteen of that as Pentecostal Preacher) I could have put all of my inspiration on an 8 and ½ piece of paper. Now after seeking the Lord and empowering myself though speaking in tongues abundantly (that means a lot) the revelation just flows out. Healing power is available whenever, I need it, and boldness, etc. Well you get the idea. Am I boasting, only in the Lord. I have told you the humbling truth of what I was like before, and through personal revival (speaking in tongues) God just revolutionized my life.
So do we need revival? God’s tells us to pray for our nation and leaders. I believe personal revival is always available. If we do this, then the 2 percent who are witnessing will turn into a much higher number. The 1/3 in Pentecostal denominations will also turn into a much higher number. We can have personal revival and a greater harvest to boot!!! Maybe, what we should pray is not so much for revival but “Lord, make me a laborer.” Then be filled up with the Holy Spirit and Go!
How can I become a Christian?
How do I receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
Asuza Street Revival