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We are living in the greatest times the world has ever seen. God, by His divine plan, chose for us to be alive right now in this time—not in the days of the Welsh Revival, or in the days of Azusa or any other time in church history.
That means that God sees something in us. He sees the potential that we have to bring heaven to Earth and a mass harvest of souls come to the knowledge of God. The exciting part is He wants to use you and me to do it.
I was recently reading some statistics about church growth in other parts of the world, and I was astonished at how different they are compared to the church in the U.S. in the past. The article stated that, in China, there is a person born again every three seconds, which comes to 28,800 people every 24 hours! I minister in Brazil often, and that country is seeing a revival sweep across it that is bringing societal transformation.
At a service I recently ministered at in Brazil, the service didn't start until around 10 p.m. My thoughts were, "Who is going to show up to a service that starts that late?" To my surprise, when I arrived, the place was packed with 2,000 young adults who were 18 years of age and under. They were there to seek God and worship. I was blown away. Try calling a service at 10 p.m. in most places in America and see how many show.
What is the key to this type of move in these other places? As I have sought the Lord over this question, He keeps taking me back to this one key—hunger. Those who are hungry for God will be filled. It's kingdom economics; where there is a demand there will be a supply. God will always pour Himself out on those that are desperate for Him.
What about the church in America? Aren't we desperate? My answer to that question is we are beginning to be. For years, I would say no, the church hasn't been hungry for God. However, I am seeing that change in our nation rapidly. There are places I know of that are starting to experience real revival and transformation as a result of seeking hearts that are committed to devotion with the Father.
I can take you to Batesburg, South Carolina, and show you what hunger looks like. Damon Thompson, a powerful voice to this generation, has been leading a revival there for two years now that has not stopped. It's not just good services, but it is spilling into the community. The town was once had one of the highest crime rates per capita in South Carolina, but since the revival there it was just named one of the safest cities in South Carolina in the local paper.
A couple years ago, we started to experience the winds of revival blow through our region again. Myself and several other leaders gathered weekly to pray and seek God to come.
The Lord was faithful to answer our cry of hunger, and several leaders started to experience unusual moves of the Spirit in their meetings. One friend of mine, Rick Curry, saw the Lord walk through the back of His church one Sunday morning and Rick was out in the Spirit for several hours after that encounter. He held meetings at his church nightly after that with several senior leaders, which quickly became known as the Gulf Stream Revival and spread all over the gulf coast. We were seeing hundreds come to the Lord every weekend as it moved throughout the panhandle of Florida.
There are many other places where this is happening in America. I know of a move of God in the hills of West Virginia where a young youth pastor named Kaleb Hanshaw moved to take a position at a church just a couple years ago. I remember talking with Kaleb as he made this move to West Virginia from Bartow, Florida. His purpose for moving was to see a generation in that community experience revival fire.
Recently his labor has paid off, as he and several other youth pastors have come together for extended meetings because God is pouring Himself out among the youth in the schools. They are filling the local high school stadium as students are coming out and getting saved and baptized—1,500 so far. It is revolutionizing their community.
These are just a couple of places I know of. We can't lose hope for our nation! God is doing something that is unique and the dead stale religion of yesterday is not the inheritance for our future. Our inheritance is revival, awakening and a nation on its knees bowing to a holy God!
Continue to pray for hunger in your community and believe that if God can do it in Florida, South Carolina and West Virginia, then He can do it where you live also!
Chris Mathis serves as the lead pastor of the multi-racial, multi-generational Summit Crestview in Crestview, Florida.