What If? The Asbury Revival & Beyond

Charlie Marq

February 25, 2023

When news began to hit about the outpouring of God’s Spirit at Asbury University during what many are calling the Asbury revival, I happened to be traveling in Asia seeing God working in new, fresh ways. And it got me thinking—what does God have up his sleeve for Asbury and beyond…? 

What Happened at the Asbury Revival

By now you have certainly heard about the Asbury revival. It has been on every social media platform and even made the news. 

It all began with a chapel message on the love of God and our need for confession and repentance. Worship bled over after the service, continuing 24/7 for 16 days. Over 50,000 people attended to experience God through prayer, praise, testimony, and Scripture reading!

People have reported incredible activity like:

  • Sensing the tangible presence of God unlike any other time
  • Physical and emotional healing
  • Experiencing freedom while confessing and repenting of sin
  • A deep hunger for God
  • The lost being saved with absolute off-the-charts rejoicing
  • An expression of God’s love and servant-heartedness toward others

Ultimately, everyone is declaring Jesus has been high and lifted up! 

Several Forge staff and speakers were present and declare no less that it was life-changing, second to the day of their salvation! Click here to listen to a podcast where they share their testimonies!

Now, there are reports of the Asbury revival spreading to other universities—as students were set on fire and determined to launch prayer meetings in their communities, leading to more pockets of revival! 

A group or worshipers sitting in the chapel during the 2023 Asbury revival.

Is It Truly Revival?

This begs the question: Is the Asbury revival truly revival? How can we say it isn’t?! 

According to Jonathan Edwards, one of the itinerant evangelists of the Great Awakening, revival “is a glorious and wonderful working of God when the Spirit of God is poured out in a far greater and more glorious measure.” And that is exactly what the surging crowds of Asbury have been experiencing. 

Hearts are returning to God as their first love, and that is beginning to spill over to others too!

As I was traveling throughout Asia, we proclaimed the good news of Jesus everywhere we went, inviting people to follow Jesus. And everywhere we stepped foot, people continued to say, “Yes, I want to follow Jesus,” leaving behind Buddhist and Hindu backgrounds! It wasn’t just once. Nor just twice. It was a continual pattern! I had never before experienced something so dynamic in some of these regions of spiritual darkness. And everywhere we went to cast vision for un-evangelized unreached regions to be engaged—and for ordinary believers to become everyday laborers—pastors declared, “This is an incredible answer to my prayer!”

All the while, I’ve begun to hear reports of God at work in other places of Asia, with hundreds being baptized. And, in Africa, thousands coming to Christ! 

How the Asbury Revival Could Lead to Awakening

God is uniquely at work in the Asbury revival. Revival pockets are lighting up across America in other settings too. Hearts are opening up in new fresh ways around the globe…

And so I wonder, is it time for a wild worldwide Kingdom harvest?!

What if… it began with the Asbury revival but is so much bigger? What if God is lighting up pockets of revival across the nation? What if God is reviving His people so that an awakening of society occurs, not only in America but all around the globe? 

What if these revivals became a worldwide awakening? In fact, according to author Mark Shaw, even the Great Awakening in the 1740s was a “coalition of local revival movements in North America, Europe and Great Britain.” 

What if a worldwide awakening movement is at the core of God’s heart, and revival pockets could fan a worldwide awakening into flame if ordinary people would simply be set on fire and be sent out as His Laborers for the Kingdom?! 

There is a whiteboard at the Asbury revival where students wrote out prayer requests. And at the center of the board was the prayer request at the very heart of Jesus Himself—more Laborers! (Matthew 9:38)

I believe two types of people are crucial to fanning revival into awakening:

  • Itinerants
  • Laborers

Throughout Scripture and history, we see itinerant evangelists spreading God’s message from place to place as lives are set on fire, and revival spreads! Of course, we see this with people like Peter, Paul, and others in the book of Acts as well as in historical figures like Charles Finney, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, and Dwight Moody—not to mention others. That’s why Forge sends out itinerant speakers, following the model of Jesus and proclaiming Him from place to place (Mark 1:38)!

But revival never ends with preachers. Success of the movement always lies in the hands of the ordinary person. Even in Acts, the message spread from house to house day by day, not through church leaders but through everyday people (Acts 8:4)! And the same is true in history. 

So, as everyday people, how can we participate in revival and awakening?

4 Ways to Participate in Revival and Awakening

  1. PRAY!! Before he had even begun his ministry, Billy Graham, perhaps the most well-known evangelist in history, once knelt on the floor in the same divots where John Wesley had regularly prayed on his knees. And he earnestly prayed “Lord, would you do it again?!” Clearly, God answered! May God answer our longing prayers for revival too, as I believe He is already doing!
  2. Confess your sin and repent. This is always at the heart of revival movements!
  3. Seek Jesus first. Not fame. Not ego. Not a better platform. Not better opportunities. Jesus. Simply and only Jesus.
  4. Share Jesus with those who don’t know Him! Revival does not spread and become awakening unless ordinary people join what God is up to among those who don’t know Him yet! And, even now, I believe God is opening and softening hearts to the good news in a new powerful way!

As we look at the horizon, longing for revival, longing for change, longing for worldwide awakening, may our prayer continue to be, “Lord, will you do it again?”

If you desire to be used by God right where you are today, Forge is here to help you live as a 24/7 every day, everywhere Kingdom Laborer! Start by taking the Spiritual Multiplication Quiz to learn where you are making an impact.