A couple of summers ago, we took a family trip to Six Flags. A trip to Six Flags (or any amusement park for that matter) serves to fulfill some fort of deep seeded emotional need for torture and abuse. While I am certain that the PR department at Six Flags really doesn’t want you thinking about it, amusement parks are breeding grounds for communicable diseases. The people, the handrails, the people, the ride restraints, the people, the food, and did I mention the people? And if you’ve ever been to Six Flags, then you are very familiar with the “gum trees.” If you think I’m talking about trees that drop spikey balls in the fall, think again. The Six Flags gum trees are trees close to the ride entrance where generations of delinquents have stuck their old bubble gum on the tree trunks. When you think about it, only one word really comes to mind – G-R-O-S-S!!
This particular trip ultimately led to the inevitable – our son contracted a stomach virus. Shocking, right? He touched something that someone else touched and then touched something that ended up in his mouth. Optimistically, it was like riding the Georgia Cyclone for the next 36 hours – the trip to Six Flags that kept on giving! However, the realist within us recognized the gross chain of events that led to ginger ale and saltine crackers.
Revival is like a spiritual bug – it’s catching. Just like the stomach bug, it takes key people in key places making key decisions that lead to the infection of others. Unlike a stomach bug, revival is a bug that we very much want to catch.
The contagious nature of revival was seen in 1970 at a small Methodist College in Kentucky. Revival broke lose in a regular chapel service at Asbury College. It wasn’t a “planned” revival. Like the outbreak of a dangerous contagion, once it started, there was nothing to stop it. One eyewitness described the outbreak of the revival…
On February 3, 1970, Custer Reynolds, Asbury’s academic dean and a Methodist layman, was in charge. President Dennis Kinlaw was traveling. Reynolds did not preach. Instead, he briefly gave his testimony, then issued an invitation for students to talk about their own Christian experiences. There was nothing particularly unusual about that.
One student responded to his offer. Then another. Then another.
“Then they started pouring to the altar,” Reynolds said. “It just broke.”
The 50-minute chapel service lasted non-stop for 185 hours, and intermittently for weeks. The revival also spread beyond Asbury. Wherever the Asburyians traveled, revival followed. By the summer of 1970, the revival had reached more than 130 other colleges, seminaries and Bible schools, and scores of churches, from New York to California, and even to South America.
Are you ready to spread the bug? Maybe you’re one of those key people in key places that need to surrender to the Lord. Imagine the impact that those first couple of students at Asbury had on the congregation that day. Is God dealing with you in particular about something? Don’t ignore it. Deal with it and see if God is pleased to use your life and your testimony to set our hearts ablaze!
Revive Us Again!