Bree Penner | Student Contributor
Revival, in its simplicity, is about Jesus. Sadly, He gets pushed behind the agendas of man.
That often leads to a stifling of the move of the Holy Spirit.
When we simply lay down our desires and our plans to make room for the Lord to move, He moves. That is what happened at Asbury and what I experienced in my own heart.
There was no flashiness, no performance, no fear of man — only Jesus. That was enough. Heaven came down on earth, and it was so beautifully simple.
Arianna Blakeley, Taylor University freshman professional writing major, also went to Asbury three days after the revival started.
“[It was] like a piece of heaven on earth and it was not earthly, therefore, it was out of my expectations,” Blakeley said.
The way things played out went against my expectations since initially, I went in expecting emotional hype. Instead, when I walked through the doors, I felt absolutely nothing, but I knew God was there, so I pushed through the lack of emotion.
Though around three hours after I arrived, I went up to the front of the room with my friends to be prayed over by a leader. The leader after he prayed reminded us of the story of the transfiguration of Jesus.
The transfiguration of Jesus happens in Matthew 17:1-8, of where “he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus,” and then later in the passage, it states, “when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.” The leader shared how it is important to remember that after such a dramatic revealing of God’s glory, in the end it is only Jesus that matters.
I walked back to my seat after receiving that word, feeling slightly disappointed. I had not been comforted, but rather pierced.
I had wanted a prophetic word that would make my heart feel warm and bubbly, but that was not what I received. What happened next, will forever be ingrained in my memory.
My spirit felt Jesus draw near to me and say, “Am I a disappointment to you?”
There was a shift as I repented for the ulterior motives in my heart. I had ultimately wanted an emotional experience.
I wasn’t truly worshiping the Lord, I was pursuing myself. I had put my agenda above God’s and when faced with Jesus Christ, I had said He is not enough.
But when I was confronted with myself, I simply just relocked eyes with the King of Kings. It was not emotional of me weeping, but rather just a return to beholding Jesus.
Even after I did that, I did not receive any emotion. Instead, I learned how surrender is not about receiving, but rather about giving up ourselves.
At Asbury, I joined a unified body of believers who were lifting up their voices in one heart and mind. No one exalting themselves over one another.
Hannah Caruana, a Taylor University junior film and media production major, also went to the Asbury revival.
“God was doing a wide range of heart work — heart operation— in the space,” Caruana said. “Yet the unity of awe, wonder, reverence for God was very tangible.”
While God was ministering to each person at Asbury, we were collectively worshiping and giving Him our all like Mary of Bethany when she poured her oil out on the feet of Jesus. It was the most unified I have ever felt within the body of Christ.
Bill Heth, Taylor University Professor of Biblical Studies has been studying revival for years.
Heth said that students everywhere had just come out of COVID repression. The connection that people felt at Asbury with one another and with God was so moving and different from what they had experienced during the pandemic.
“It’s a priceless honor to experience a revival,” Heth said.
The strong sense of belonging was so tangible in Hughes Auditorium at Asbury and supernatural peace was evident in the room. I do not believe it was a coincidence that this revival happened when it did after years of people praying for it. It is something that will remain with people for years to come, and maybe even for some, it shifted the trajectory of their life.
There is a shift back to the true heart of worship. A shift where we lay down our plans and submit to the supremacy of Jesus Christ.
What happened at Asbury is only a taste of what is to come. After all, it was a glimpse of Heaven.
Bree Penner is a freshman social work major at Taylor University.