He Responds

“God comes where he is wanted” 

Two weeks ago, Jon Tyson, an author and pastor from New York City, came to Athens and said this phrase when talking about revival. He and his family had traveled to the locations of many famous revivals around the world, and came to realize that there was nothing particularly special about where God sparked revival. There were just desperate people who called out “come, holy spirit”. 

Revival was a foreign concept to me before I came to Wesley. It honestly sounded kind of crazy to me, and I did not understand what people meant when they said it. But revival is something that is prayed for everyday for the students of UGA and the people of Athens. And over the years, I have joined in on praying to see God revive Athens and learned more of what it means. 

To me, revival means God responding to the desperation of His people and heaven touching earth. It means all people experiencing the love of God seeing Him rightly, and responding accordingly. It means renewing and awakening.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14 

God calls us to turn to him and recognize our need for Him, and He responds. 

I had the opportunity to personally experience one of those revivals around the world in 2019. I went on a mission trip to Cuba with Wesley that year.  If you have never heard about the church in Cuba, revival is happening. You should look into it!  The church is growing exponentially everyday and people are responding to God at rapid rates. It's absolutely beautifully crazy how much God is moving, healing, and present. You can feel the spirit in a way that you cannot miss.  While I was there, I remember thinking, why can’t this happen in Athens? 

Why don’t people respond to God in Athens like they do here? 

What are we missing that they just get? 

And the truth is, although Cuba is the most special place, there is nothing uniquely special as to why revival broke out there. Instead, it is God’s response to their desperation and desire for Him. The people of Cuba are DESPERATE for God. The pastors make 40 dollars a month doing what God has called them to do. They need Him to show up to put dinner on the table at night. Their hearts are positioned to know that God is their everything and all they need, and they NEED Him to show up and they tell Him that. They give everything they have to follow Him, and he responds. It is beautiful. 

To be honest, it was really hard for me to adjust back to Athens after that. I had such a fire to see God awaken and renew and revive, but I became discouraged quickly. We live in a lot of comfort, and there are a million and one ways for us to distract ourselves from desperation. 
BUT, there is a way for us to position our hearts to recognize our dependence on God. Because although we may not all need Him to move to have dinner on the table at night, our soul NEEDS God. And the people in Athens and the students at UGA that do not know God, NEED God. And we get to join in on the years and years of prayer for God to bring revival to this campus to see heaven touch earth. And we get to want God, recognize our need for Him, and invite Him to come. 

So let us join in on the years of prayer for revival that is deep in Athens. Let us tell God that He is wanted here. That He is needed here.  And believe that He will respond.

"Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” - Psalm 85:6

"After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly." - Acts 4:31

"My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever."
- Psalm 73:25

Author | Carolyn McLain





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