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  • Writer's pictureMrsMollyWilcox

Asbury Revival Reflections by Sarah Irene

I'm so thrilled to pass the mic to Sarah Irene for this week's newsletter. Sarah Irene is a Michigan native who moved to Nashville, TN in the summer of 2021. Sarah is passionate about seeing her generation (shout out to the 1998 zellenial kids) and the next generation step fully into what the Lord has before them.

She does this through writing relatable posts, supporting teen mommas with community initiatives, keeping it real on social media, training youth volunteers in discipleship, and speaking as much life as possible into the girls in front of her.

On a personal note, Sarah is the real deal. I meet a ton of people aspiring to make an impact and Sarah isn't just aspiring to do it - she got her hands dirty as soon as she moved here and got busy being the hands and feet of Jesus. When I look for guest bloggers I don't look for big instagram followings or the most professional bios, I look for a purity in heart and an anointing and Sarah has both.

I haven't been able to personally be in the room for the Asbury revival but Sarah went there and brought it to us. This weekend, my husband and I went to see "The Jesus Revolution" and after the movie people were laying hands on one another praying and one woman stood up to prophesy over the room. Revival is happening in our churches, on our college campuses, and even in our movie theaters. (:

The following post can be found on her blog here and she's so generously agreed to share it with us:

Psalm 22:3 "Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel."

There are many people commenting on what is going on at Asbury this week and for good reason. People are commenting on why they went, why they are choosing not to go, and whether they believe it is a true revival. I almost feel like I am writing these thoughts more as a reminder of what I encountered in my hours there, than much else. If anything I am writing this to protect the narrative of what I encountered. This is not a history of the revivals at Asbury. This is not a history of what has been going on this week.

I texted Danny late Sunday night that I wanted to go to Asbury. He didn’t respond to that particular text the next morning so I figured he didn’t want to go. At about 4:55 pm Monday evening, I was wrapping up work and I got a text saying that he would be down to leave in 30 minutes. This was the most spontaneous, adventurous text I have gotten from this man…maybe ever.

I love a good spontaneous adventure but I am SIGNIFICANTLY more cautious than DK and I had some questions. Here are some of the things we asked before we packed up and left-

  • What are our expectations about going?

  • What do we sense the Lord saying?

  • Will we be observers, participants, or both?

  • What time will we actually get back to Nashville?

The deciding factor for us was that we want to be the kind of people that take God at His word. To catch what He is doing sometimes takes a jump. We decided it was less about the “experience” and more about catching more of His heart. So I filled a water bottle, threw my journal and Bible in a backpack with a pair of sweats that I never would end up changing into and we hit the road to Wilmore Kentucky.

When we got there at about 11 pm, there were people everywhere. People outside on the steps of the chapel, college students starting to walk home, people entering the building, people standing in the foyer, on the sides of the sanctuary and of course people in the rows of seats.

We found seats quickly and sat and just observed for a bit.

We both noticed lots of chatter- some singing, some talking, some reading scripture out loud. Danny ended up pulling out his Bible and reading through the book of Mark. By the time we left at 2 am, he had read the entire book, specifically notating places in Mark where the word “immediately” was used as well as places of healing, demonic deliverance, and prayer exploding in tongues.

I sat a little and then started to enjoy the swells of worship that were led by students rising up to encounter the Lord. It very much reminded me of all-night worship nights that we held in college. There was a young woman that kept catching my eye and I felt the Holy Spirit’s permission to ask if she needed prayer. As I knelt down next to her she told me that she was a high school dropout from one of the small neighboring towns. She told me that she needed prayer against her pride and that there were some things that the Lord was highlighting to her specifically that she was really prideful in. She did not share with me what those items were but as we were praying I felt the Lord download to me a picture of how He sees pride in a new way.

I notice that often preachers and even just those in my regular community, come at pride like they are entering a cage fight, and in some cases that might be totally warranted, but I did not sense that was the heart of God over this young woman. Instead, I saw in the spirit just how saddened the heart of God was that pride had separated her from greater intimacy with Him. We prayed for deeper surrender, a heart of flesh, and that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would remind her of just how much a gentleman He is. We prayed that as she lets pride fall, that in humility she would see just how much the Father has been longing to be near his daughter.

This time of prayer with this young woman really marked me.

Something really evident about what is happening at Asbury is that this move of God was not started or sustained by any one person/evangelist. It was because students were hungry to stay in the presence of God.

This young woman was sitting in a chapel where revival was breaking loose all around her and she wanted to participate more fully. And yet… there was her pride sitting in the way. How absolutely kind of the Lord to reveal His heart of indwelling love that moves us away from pride and into the abiding presence of God. This has been a wild reminder to me that for all of time, the Lord has wanted to be near His creation and has constantly made ways to do so.

Another thing that was easy to notice being in the room into the early morning hours was that the worship was pure. Set lists, lights, pro presenter lyrics, and slides, any sort of theatrical addition was thrown out the window. While we were there a pianist and between 1-3 vocalists took turns singing out praises to God. It was beautiful to see people praising for the sake of praising and not from a manufactured emotional moment.

I attended a Free Methodist college and experienced a wealth of Wesleyan teachings when I was first introduced to theology. I have learned over the years that the contemplative ways of connecting to the Lord are more often than not, the most effective way for me to spend time communing with God. I no longer attend a church that incorporates primarily contemplative forms of worship, but a much more charismatic style. I love that my church invites the Holy Spirit in power while also staying rooted in the word. It can be difficult to find both.

In full transparency, I often feel left behind on matters of fiery Holy Spirit encounters because of the ways I most effectively relate to the Lord. It’s been a journey of holding space to run after both. Attending this time at Asbury felt like going home in a sense, back to my roots of not focusing on anything but clearing my mind to fix it on Jesus. It was intimate in a way I haven’t felt in a while, likely because I wasn’t trying to conjure up some feeling, or trying so hard to hear the Lord but to just be with Him in a room that felt like Heaven.

I will go first in saying that often being a newer member of a charismatic congregation can feel like learning a new language in front of native speakers or learning how to go for a jog next to an Olympic sprinter. It can be incredibly new, exciting, terrifying, and confusing all at once. There have been times in attending a church in this new denomination where I have wondered if I am even worshiping the same God because the way He is spoken about just seems so different. I know now that He is the same God yesterday, today and forever, I am just learning new sides to His character in a deeper way.

Attending Asbury last night helped me come back to the heart of the Father in a way that I have been missing- not having to prove anything to anyone, not being watched, looked at, or judged but just sitting in the presence of my Maker.

Some people want to see signs and wonders before they name this revival. I specifically want to celebrate that my King moved Heaven and Earth to be near these college kids and those who trek to this small town to experience it for themselves.

I might be feeling slightly protective of this school and against those who try to fit revival into manufactured formulas. Maybe I don’t have a right to be. I think it boils down to a desire to see pure moves of God like this stay unadulterated and the glory of the Lord to remain the most important thing.

We know that the word “revival” holds reverence. Let us also know that the Lord is mighty and for us to believe that we could fit every move of God into quantitative earthly words would be foolish. Let us believe that revival starts in each of us.

Let us be people of stirred-up faith and not skepticism.

Let us be people who celebrate moves of God even when that might be across the country… and especially when we wish it was in our own city. Let us celebrate that in a generation where 48% have no affiliation to the God of the Bible, their eyes are paying attention to something taking shape on other campuses across the nation. Let us be humble enough to learn their hunger and thirst. Let this be a tangible reminder that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. Let us not be quick to wonder why it isn’t happening for us, but be quick to praise that “on Earth as it is in Heaven” was a reality this week for this school regardless of how this move of God looks in comparison to revivals of days past.

P.S. If Sarah's words blessed you check her blog out & give her a follow on IG. (:

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