Acts 1:8 (NIV)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
A week or so ago I shared with you one of my Holy Spirit stories. It was what I call a “fail” story, as I failed to do what I sensed the Lord was asking of me. This week I think is fair to call a success story. Certainly the success is attributed to Jesus, but I did play my part. I think you will be encouraged and blessed by the story. I will certainly never be the same.
I was working the altar in the Hughes Auditorium on the campus of Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. It was in the midst of the sixteen days in February of this year (2023) we now call the Asbury Outpouring. On Wednesday, February 8, a regularly scheduled chapel service ended, yet nineteen students remained to pray. Within hours the chapel spontaneously filled with people again. Within days, tens of thousands of people from all over the world were coming and going from this little town.
Though no stranger to dynamic movements of the Holy Spirit, Wilmore had never seen anything like this in its history. Groups from more than three hundred colleges and universities made their way to the unplanned meeting with Jesus. People were there from more than twenty countries from around the world. The line to get into the building wrapped around the block and went up the street, sometimes taking ten hours to get through. There were five overflow venues across town—all full—and this was going around the clock. The altars were constantly flooded with people of all ages and nearly a thousand altar workers were being trained in the ministry of prayer in the power of the Spirit.
Over the course of my life and ministry I have seen many and varied expressions of the gifts of the Holy Spirit at many times and in many places. I have never witnessed them in such fullness and concentration as we saw in those days in Wilmore. All of the gifts were in operation. We witnessed people come to saving faith, extraordinary experiences of sanctifying grace, all manner of healing, deliverance from suicide, sexual brokenness, all manner of addiction, gender confusion, and all kinds of evil spirits, exorcisms, relational reconciliation, racial reconciliation, words of knowledge, wisdom, and prophecy abounded. The full ministry of Jesus of Nazareth flowed through the room and outside through the throngs gathered on the front lawn. There was no sense of stage or program, just the unfettered worship of souls abandoning themselves to the goodness and glory of God. The only name of consequence in the whole affair: Jesus.
Alongside many others, I was at the altar ministering to person after person for every situation under the sun. One young woman approached me and she was in obvious pain. She had a cast like boot on her left leg. She asked me if I would pray for her leg to be healed. During these days, my whole manner of prayer shifted from what I call triangulated prayer (praying to God for the person in front of me) and into the grace of impartation speaking directly to the person in front of me in Jesus’s name in the power of the Spirit. I asked if I could anoint her with oil and place my hand on the boot cast. Then, in the spirit of the apostles from Acts 3 at the Beautiful Gate, I said, “Jenna, what I have I give you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, receive his healing in your body.” She stayed at the altar and I moved on to the next person. (Keep in mind, this kind of ministry was happening continuously for hours on end as people came to the historic altar to meet the risen Lord.)
A few hours later I found myself standing off to the side of the stage and altar talking to a friend. I saw a young woman walking toward me, her face beaming. As she got closer I recognized it was her, the young woman for whom I prayed earlier. She was carrying the boot cast in her hands and walking freely. She was ecstatic as she exclaimed, “I’m healed! Jesus healed me!” Then she began to jump up and down with vigor while shouting, “I’m healed! I’m healed!” We embraced and prayed together prayers of thanksgiving, glorifying God.
As I reflect on this experience, I rejoice in the Lord. I participated in a bonafide miracle of Jesus.
Seedbed is responding to this work of the Spirit in a number of ways. We are developing a resource for the local church gleaning the wisdom from these days. Watch the short trailer here. We are also now releasing the definitive and authoritative documentary account of the extraordinary meeting: Taken by Surprise: The Asbury Revival of 2023, by Mark. R. Elliott. Order it here.
Abba Father! Thank you so much for the extraordinary thing you did earlier this year at Asbury University. So many were so blessed in so many ways. You have given us a definitive and durable sign of hope in our day. Thank you for this miracle story. We pray for more outpouring and in many places. Let this be a first fire of many. We need awakening. Come Holy Spirit! Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.
How have you been encouraged by the Asbury Outpouring? Does this story told today raise your confidence in the healing ministry of Jesus today?
Today let’s sing our Saturday song, “Sanctuary.” Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary for you. Such a profound prayer of consecration. This is our story dear friends. This is our song.
For the Awakening,
P.S. Holy Spirit Stories Welcome
I would love it if you would send a story of faith from your life we might use on a Saturday in the future. We will be glad to attach your name or a pseudonym or anonymity—it’s up to you. It can be a story of coming to faith, a story of transformation, a story of healing, deliverance, suffering and sufficient grace, family reconciliation, prodigal returns, answered prayer, and so forth. A word count of 500–800 words works well. We can’t guarantee publication, but we assure you of our prayerful discernment. You can reply to this email with your story and it will come to me.