“Surely the Lord is in this place…” Genesis 28:16
The first time I ever experienced genuine revival I was a layman, a member of a local church where we had been praying for revival for three years. We were honest with both ourselves and the Lord as we prayed. We admitted that we did not know what revival is. We knew one thing for certain. We needed what only God could give us, both as individuals and as a church body.
I have often compared the preparatory work that the Holy Spirit did prior to the coming of revival to that of a dove building her nest! She flies away and selects a twig, or a leaf, or a feather or a piece of cloth, then returns and fits it in to what she has already begun. She comes and goes numerous times. Finally, when she decides the nest is fully finished, she sits and lays her eggs, birthing new life!
The Holy Spirit would on occasion visit powerfully in one of our church services. The presence of holy God would be awesome, and the Spirit would convict of sin. Then it seemed like the Spirit would leave for a time, sometimes weeks, sometimes longer, giving us time to deal with the issues of sin both in our personal lives as well as in the life of the church. Then we would have another obvious visit of the Spirit, and He would once again convict of sin. Then there would be a period of no outward sense of His presence for a time. Then He would return. This continued for a period of about three years. Then the Spirit came and dwelled!
At this point I am going to be careful about what and how much I say. I dare not risk grieving the Spirit by touching His work with a single finger of the flesh. But I am compelled to testify that the presence of the Lord both in the building and on the grounds of that church was incredible! We had to leave the building unlocked and open 24/7. People (church members and non-church members) would come all hours of the day and night just to be in God’s presence! Consequently, we saw scores of people saved, Jews, Muslims, addicts, and one occasion even a witch!
Rev. William Macleod, pastor of the Parish Church in Uig on the Isle of Lewis (in the Hebrides Islands) off the west coast of Scotland was interviewed concerning his conversion during the Lewis Revival in the 1950’s. He was asked what it was like on the island during the Revival. His reply was short, but full of power. “You could feel God everywhere!”
If you share with me the conviction that “we are doing many of the right things in our churches, but we are doing them without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit,” then join with Phyllis and me praying believingly for a fresh coming of the Spirit in this our day…