“It happens over and over again that the gospel ‘comes alive’ in a way that the evangelist had never dreamed of, and has effects which he never anticipated. The gospel is addressed to the human person as a human person in all the uncountable varieties of predicaments in which human beings find themselves.

The gospel has a sovereignty of its own and is never an instrument in the hands of the evangelist. Or, to put it more truly, the Holy Spirit, by whose secret working alone the gospel ‘comes alive,’ is not under the evangelist’s control. The wind blows freely.”

– Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society

I really wish people would stop scheduling revivals. It never works. God doesn’t synchronize watches with us.

I won’t pre-label an event “revival” or an “experience of the Spirit” or anything like that, because a) I am not prescient enough to where the Spirit will blow next, and b) if I were to label something “revival,” I would be both tempted to stir things up myself to suit the name and second guessing whether anyone’s reaction was a result of the Spirit’s spontaneous move or a response to the expectation to react.

I want to raise the sail for revival in desperate prayer, godly sorrow, and dogged proclamation of the joys in Christ, but I don’t have enough bluster to move the boat myself.

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One thought on “I Won’t Pre-Label Revival”

  1. Brandon Clements says:

    I completely agree Jared. It all gets confusing, especially since all of the revivals that I went to growing up definitely were not revivals.

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Jared C. Wilson


Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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