When Zack Meerkreebs, volunteer soccer coach, stepped off the stage at Asbury University February 8, after delivering an “improvised sermon on love” to the student body at their thrice weekly chapel service, he was certain he had “whiffed it.” He texted his wife, “Latest stinker. Be home soon.” But some students, moved by the service, stayed on, then some came back, then more. In the next thirteen days, fifty thousand people hungering and thirsting after righteousness from around the world, including five friends of mine, had cycled through that continuous spontaneous worship service in a small Kentucky town.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8).

God uses whoever and whatever he wants to accomplish his ends whenever he wants to accomplish them, which may or may not be within our comprehension. The pivotal point of human history, the sacrificial death of the Son of God on a cross, had the appearance of an itinerant preacher who whiffed it catastrophically. The Apostle Paul bore the stripes of the times he whiffed it, and surely Zack Meerkreebs is marveling at what our Sovereign God did with what he considered his failed effort.

In the same manner Jesus told Nicodemus, “The wind blows where it wishes…” (John 3:8). That was his analogy for the prerequisite workings of the Holy Spirit in unregenerate hearts “appointed to eternal life,” producing in them spiritual rebirth and belief. From all appearances that wind blew in Asbury February 8th, and God used a soccer coach’s “stinker” sermon to fan a fire that touched thousands of lives. The university has stopped the worship service now but the students say the spirit lives on. If it was true revival those hearts aflame will never be extinguished.

God willing, the extraordinary events in Asbury will prove to be spiritual rebirth and renewal—real revival—in coming days, weeks, and years in permanently changed hearts and lives. God willing, a number of embers were plucked from the fire in Kentucky and taken back to home churches around the world and a global conflagration will ensue. One ember reached Cedarville University in Ohio, leading the university president, who attended their extended chapel service, to say, “I am not a charismatic, but I felt the presence of the Lord in the room. It was palpable.” God willing, there will be a planetary pandemic of “hearts burn[ing] within us” (Luke 24:32) like the men on the road to Emmaus. One cannot comprehend even a little bit of the magnitude of the Gospel story, with its unbroken string of supernatural events and incomprehensible love, without a sense of the heart burning within. There is nothing this unraveling civilization needs more.

Lord, may the fire in Kentucky keep on burning, inflame the world and lead your own to you.

“And when the Gentiles [in Antioch] heard this [Paul’s preaching], they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48).

See you in church.


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