The need for revival
by Brian Jones, Major –
Major Brian Jones
In these challenging times, a quiet cloud of lethargy seems to have fallen upon the Church at large, and The Salvation Army is no exception. How frustrating it is for us to work so hard and see so little fruit! How our hearts ache to see people struggling spiritually! How we yearn to be closer to our God in our own lives! What visions we have for God’s work, and fear that the storehouses are too empty to accomplish them!
But there is hope. The disciples, after the crucifixion of their Lord, were huddled, quiet behind closed doors. They were frightened, discouraged and without a sense of focus. They had not only lost their Master, they had lost all hope. God, however, had another plan for them. That was Pentecost, where they experienced the descending of the fire and received the incomparable power of the Holy Spirit in their lives! Christ told his followers that if He did not go, the Holy Spirit could not come. Perhaps it is only in our despair and in coming to the end of ourselves that we are open to receiving the Holy Spirit. In these seemingly desperate and discouraging times, the fields are ripe for a revival.
Commissioner Linda Bond called on Salvationists throughout the West in her New Frontier article of March 8, 2003 to pray “that God will sweep over us in a tide of revival.” Just as the disciples were waiting for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit that they might continue the work Jesus had started, so too our Army needs to wait upon the Holy Spirit to help continue the good work which we have started.
No matter how discouraged we may be, the same fire that was promised to and descended upon the believers in Jerusalem can be ours! The fire of the Holy Spirit is available to re-ignite the power of God within us and will enable us to “do even greater works than he had done! This may be impossible for us to imagine, but it is our Savior Who made the promise. The fire of the Holy Spirit was the key to the saving of 3,000 souls at Pentecost, the building of the church, healing the ills of body and spirit, and taking the message of salvation across the lands.
We remember how a band of eight Salvationists arrived in New York City in 1878 to start the work of The Salvation Army in America. Full of the Holy Spirit, they lowered to their knees on the docks and prayed that they might be used to bring God’s light to those who suffered from the hunger and pain of body and soul. A revival came upon the land unparalleled by any since. In 10 short years, 60 Corps were established across the United States. The number of soldiers had increased 100 fold.
We invite you to join us now in preparation for the Prayer and Revival Summit at Crestmont College May 13 – 16, 2004. Our speakers include Commissioner Linda Bond, Dr. Kenneth Ulmer, Dr. David Hocking, Captain Oscar Tippol, Major Lee Lescano, Captain Ivan Wilde, and Captain Robert Marshall.
We anticipate a powerful visitation by the Holy Spirit in a movement of revival in our hearts and across our land. We know and claim the powerful promise that is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “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 will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Join with us as we receive the mighty blessing of revival.