MOVING WHERE GOD IS MOVING
There were times in our 53 years of marriage where we hit a “plateau” in our walk with the Lord. It was a “dry season” in which we sensed that we were going nowhere in our spiritual life. We wanted desperately to be closer to Jesus. Has this happened to you?
One way that helped us was extremely dramatic. We would sell our house and make a significant move! We were fortunate that I could take my work with us wherever we went. Perhaps you have moved several times and can relate to us!
Many of our moves were motivated by messages from the Lord. Some of the messages came from journaling during prayer and quiet times of bible study. Other messages were from information about locations where the Lord was moving towards a revival. For example, we moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1998 to help some friends with a new, growing church while I was on a university sabbatical. The church was a center for a new worship revival, some of it stimulated by new worship music from England and other English-speaking countries. The songs cried out directly to God instead of being descriptions of God or about spiritual topics.
After the Nashville experience, we returned to my original university job and found a group of students on fire for God. This “mini-revival” centered on worship and over 200 students gathered around their talented worship band on Sunday evenings. Our job was to be “Dad and Mom” to the worship band. It was a glorious time that motivated many students to repent and return to the Lord.
Shortly after that worship revival we moved to another university where there was a move of God. It involved as many as 800 students and young adults into an amazing string of worship nights, again on Sunday nights. (We finally figured out that students did not like to get up early on Sunday but would come to a Sunday night event!). Again, we were the “Dad and Mom” to the worship band. The main worship-leader was an amazing young man that is now the pastor of a large church he started in that same town!
Our conclusion—Go to a quiet place of prayer and find out where God is moving and run to it!
WHERE IS GOD MOVING NOW?
It is sad to see some of our States in the USA delaying the opening of churches due to the Virus scare. Awakening often happens in churches that seek revival. After studying the Federal and State Constitutions we saw that there were strong provisions for the freedom of religion and assembly. So, why the delay? Fortunately, some churches in the country have stood up against the shutdowns.
Also, closed churches mean that the fellowship and friendships with other Christians are restricted. Each of us need to pray about the opening of churches for these reasons. One high priority change is the need for churches to help with the Great Awakening that many Christians have been expecting.
Short History of Great Awakenings in America
Although there is some debate about the total number and dates of Great Awakenings, there were definite movements of God assisted by anointed leaders. “Awakenings” are defined as wide-spread movements that brought large numbers of new believers in Christ.
First Great Awakening: (about 1730-1740) took place mostly in New England by Solomon Stoddard in Massachusetts and Jonathan Edwards, his grandson (1734). The dynamic British preacher, George Whitefield was involved as a visiting influencer.
Second Great Awakening: (about 1790 to 1831). The famous Charles Finney Rochester revival of 1830-1831 was the capstone to this revival. This awakening was unique by moving among those who were less wealthy and less elite than the those in New England.
Third Great Awakening: (Beginning in the 1850s to the 1900s was highlighted by the leadership of Dwight L. Moody in Chicago (1858). This Awakening created new denominations and greater numbers of overseas missions. There were also social issues that emerged such as abolishment of slavery, women’s voting rights, and prohibition. Right at the end of this movement, the Azusa Street revival created several new Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations (1906-1915), with the leadership of William J. Seymour, A.B. Simpson, and many others.
Fourth Great Awakening: In the late 1960’s and 1970’s, the “Jesus Movement” began in California and spread widely at the same time as the emerging of the “hippy movement.” At the same time there were “healing revivals” in other parts of the USA. Several new denominations were founded such as the Vineyard and Calvary Chapel churches.
The Next Great Awakening
Some commentators have noted that these Awakenings occurred approximately every 50 years (like the Hebrew concept of Jubilee!)–First in 1730-1740, Second in about 1790-1830, Third in 1858-1915, and Fourth in 1960-1970. For these reasons, many anointed pastors have expected a new Awakening in our decade (e.g., 2010-2020). There have been “mini-revivals” that “primed” the awareness of revival. They were the Toronto Revival and the Pensacola revival in the late 1990’s.
Recently, prophetic pastors such as James Goll, Tim Sheets, Lana Vosser, and Rodney Howard-Browne have predicted the awakening to begin on Pentecost that is coming on May 31st, 2020. Pastor Tim Sheets[i] called this a “Literal Pentecost.” We experienced (on April 16, 2020) a literal Passover as we were all hiding in our homes from the Corona Virus[ii]. Israel had a similar home shutdown and experienced the same literal Passover for the first time in 2000+ years! See Exodus chapters 12 and 13 for a description of the first Passover and the Book of Acts, chapter 2 for all the details of the first Pentecost. All the evidence points to a Great Awakening worldwide in the next few months.
Another reason I love Pentecost personally is the description of Pentecost in The Message Bible:
“…they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks…” (Acts 2: 1-4, TM),
I love that phrase, “Gale force” and pray for that strength in myself! (see my name at the end of this blog)
Will you pray for this Awakening? Will you seek a place where God is moving and get into the middle of the Awakening? We pray that you do!
Pastor Gale Harold Roid
[ii] We took some blood and oil and anointed our door posts on the day of Passover!