by | May 25, 2023 | Hunger, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor, Surrender, Teachability

Unless you live under a rock, you are likely aware of the revival that broke out at Asbury College in Wilmore Kentucky. We are so incredibly grateful for what God is doing not just at Asbury but also at college campuses across our country. At both Christian and secular universities!


This past February, Laura and I were heading back from our vacation in Florida, and decided to detour to Wilmore and see if we could experience what God was up to. We arrived early in the morning, and discovered to our chagrin that we would have to stand in line for five hours in 20-degree temperatures before we could get into the chapel. Well . . . after two weeks in 75–80-degree weather in Florida, we didn’t think we could tolerate five hours of shivering!


A week later while sitting quietly with the Lord, I sensed Him say to my heart: “You don’t have to be at Asbury to receive a fresh touch from Me.”


And it really got me thinking . . . What should be our response to what God is doing on college campuses all over the country? During the past several weeks God has been downloading three words to me: Teachability, hunger, surrender. I want to take a few moments to unpack these three words with you.



Psalm 25:4-5 says, “Show me Your ways O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Can I teach here for a moment? Please avoid trying to duplicate or copy what God is doing at Asbury or on other college campuses. Rejoice over it, be thankful for it, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to replicate it in the church you lead (or attend). We don’t manufacture revival . . .  we make room for it. Let what God is doing work on you first. Be teachable. Simply be open to how God wants to move freshly on your mind, your heart, your behavior—perhaps in a way that will surprise you.

Isaiah 43:18-21 says, “Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” God won’t be put in a box. He won’t be confined today by the way we’ve seen Him move in the past. He is doing something fresh!

One more thing under teachability word: Resist the temptation to criticize it. You may be thinking, “It’s not like Brownsville or Toronto.” Or if you’re older like me, “it’s not like the Charismatic Renewal or the amazing move of God among hippies in the late 60s and early 70s.”


What God is doing at Asbury and other colleges will not look the same. One of the common threads reported on the college campuses where revival is breaking out is a deep sense of Jesus’ peaceful presence. If our college students need anything they need help with their anxiety! God knows what He’s doing . . . let’s allow Him to be God.



In Psalm 63:1 David wrote, “O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  In June I will celebrate 49 years of walking with Jesus. But even so, I have seasons where I feel like I’m in a rut. It’s a good rut . . . I’m spending time with Jesus daily. But from time to time, I sense the need for renewal. I wonder if any of our watchers or listeners can relate to that?

As I write these words, I feel a fresh hunger. A fresh sense of desperation. Hunger for God to transform those parts of my being that need transforming. Hunger to experience His nearness. And here’s the thing about hunger . . . hunger for God flows from our choices/habits . . . not the other way around.

How many of you drink coffee? How many of you had to develop a taste for coffee? How many of you now crave it in the morning? Hate to compare a passion for God with coffee, but the truth is we acquire a hunger for Jesus over time and through repetition.

If you aren’t spending time in God’s word and prayer at all, I’m not here to beat you up about that. Set an attainable goal of time in God’s word and prayer—for example—3x/week for ten minutes. Get consistent with this for a month, and then try adding a fourth day. Get that down, and then add a fifth day, and so on! And your hunger to participate in what God is doing today will grow! Teachability . . . hunger.



In Philippians 2:9-11 Paul states, “Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Experiencing revival is not about trying harder. It’s not about getting more religious, as if somehow the move of God is dependent on how holy we are in the moment. Revival ultimately is about surrender. I said that we cannot manufacture revival . . . instead we make room for it. One way we make room for a fresh move of God is when we hand over what God puts His finger on.  We can be teachable, and hungry . . . but without surrender, I suspect a fresh move of God’s Spirit in our lives will be elusive.

Here’s the bottom line: Jesus meets us in the place of surrender. Surrender is not just a one-time event. I come back to the place of surrender repeatedly. Surrender sounds like this: “Lord I take everything I know about myself, and I surrender it to everything I know about You.”


The proper response to Asbury? I’m sure what we’ve talked about today is not an exhaustive list. But I suspect that teachability, hunger, and surrender are on said list.


Rooting and praying for you to experience a fresh move of God in your life!