If I were technologically astute, from where I sit as I write I would show you a panorama view of the inside of my office which is, in fact, a replica of an old cowboy bunkhouse. Here I sit on the outskirts of Buckhorn, New Mexico on my 43 acre ranchito of mesquite, tumbleweeds, jackrabbits, cottontails, Gamble’s quail, mule deer, coyote, rattlesnake, and passing through, the occasional javelina, black bear, mountain lion, coatimundi (look it up, Terri has seen one,) and it has even been rumored, a chupacabra or two (I may have started the rumor.) Inside my bunkhouse is rough cut lumber, rusty tin for a ceiling, cowboy pictures, an old bronc saddle in the corner and the back wall covered with books from old dead preachers. And an air conditioner!
Included on my back wall are several books on Revival, many on revivals in our Nation’s history. Oh folks, if you could just glimpse what I’ve seen in my heart’s imagination fueled by this kind of reading. If you could see what I’ve seen! Actually, I can’t recommend it. Many stay mad all the time simply by watching Fox News. If you read the stories of Spiritual Awakening in our past, it wouldn’t make you mad about the present, it would devastate your heart. ‘Break your heart’ is too gentle a phrase. Revival Yearnings is the only term adequate. Longings, cravings for that which is lost, that which remains unfulfilled, for an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results. Not just nostalgia for simpler,‘bunkhouse’ days, but a demand of the innermost being, a fire kindled by the Spirit of the living God that will settle for nothing less than a return to Biblical holiness. Not the good ole days my generation remembers, but days none of us have ever seen. For instance..
John L. Girardeau, Southern Presbyterian white pastor to black slaves, Zion Church, Charleston, South Carolina, 1858
One evening while leading the people in prayer, he received a sensation as if a bolt of electricity had struck his head and diffused itself through his whole body. For a little while he stood speechless under the strange physical feeling. Then he said “The Holy Spirit has come; we will begin preaching tomorrow evening.” He closed the service with a hymn, dismissed the congregation and came down from the pulpit; but no one left the house. The whole congregation had quietly resumed its seat. Instantly he realized the situation. The Holy Spirit had not only come to him–He had also taken possession of the hearts of the people. Immediately he began exhorting them to accept the Gospel. They began to sob, softly, like the falling of rain; then, with deeper emotion, to weep bitterly, or to rejoice loudly, according to their circumstances. It was midnight before he could dismiss his congregation…The meeting went on day and night for eight weeks. Large numbers of both white and black were converted and joined the various churches of the city.
–From Preacher with Power by Douglas Kelly
This local church revival was part of a Spiritual Awakening that swept America from coast to coast. That Awakening was one of many over the centuries of our history. Are they just that, a thing of the past? It would seem so. That’s why I say perhaps it’s best you not read Revival literature. It will crush your heart. You would see the futility of political wrangling to save America. You would see how far gone we really are, how utterly hopeless the situation is.
And you would see that in the past, America was in the same condition, many times, when Almighty God chose to send an overwhelming outpouring of the Holy Spirit to purify His Church and bring this nation back to righteousness. Certainly America is a lot bigger now and more wicked than ever, but God hasn’t aged, He hasn’t weakened. Our God is able to deliver us! And I believe He will.
If you could see what I see!