Hot Topics

The Asbury Revival and What it Might Mean for You

Doug Bender

February 22, 2023 | 2 minute read

You may have heard the buzz about what’s happening at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. Thousands of young people are flocking to experience firsthand a real-life revival on campus. Major media outlets and social media alike are exploding with testimonials of people experiencing a movement of God in what’s being called the first revival in the social media era. But what might this mean for you?

What is a “Revival”

In simple terms, “revival” refers to someone experiencing a renewed sense of life or strength. When used about your spiritual life, it describes you going from a stale or deadened spiritual state to an invigorated reawakening and a more authentic connection to God. For example, if attending church has become perfunctory and prayer is just another chore, you may need a revival. 

Trust God, Wherever You Are

People worldwide have hopped on planes with one-way tickets to experience the revival at Asbury, hoping to rejuvenate their spiritual lives. Are you out of luck if you can’t get to Kentucky? No, because God is not limited by geography.

I think of the Roman commander in the story of Matthew 8 in the Bible. Here a man is in desperate need of a fresh movement of God to heal a loved one. He finds Jesus and asks him to heal his servant. But when Jesus offered to travel to his house, the commander described his belief in Jesus’ healing power no matter where he or his servant happens to be. This man experienced revival because of his faith, not his geography. You can, too!

Your Will Be Done

Revivals often go hand-in-hand with worship. Why? Because of what worship means. It’s not about the quality of the music or the flair of the show accompanying it. Worship is about the heart. Specifically, worship is surrendering to the greatness of God. This is another crucial step in experiencing a revival. 

You might already trust God, but what does that really mean for you? When I look back over my life, I realize that I have often trusted God to work out my plan rather than trusting God to work out his plan. There’s a big difference between the two. Surrender means you give up your plans and trust in God’s plan. This is crucial to experiencing a renewed connection with God.

So ask yourself, why are you still holding onto your own plans? 

Do Something…for God

Some people experiencing a revival at Asbury are doing so not because they are there but because of the journey that got them there. They took steps, and those steps brought them to revival. In other words, it’s about the journey and not the destination. True faith is action-oriented. It compels you to do things for God. Dead faith lets you sign onto the cultural trappings of faith without actually doing anything real with your life. But don’t obsess about finding some huge and grand act you can perform with your faith. The great things of God are often things that few people notice. It is feeding the poor, protecting the weak and sharing hope with the hopeless. Nobody will give you a trophy for these things, but it’s just the sort of “something” God is looking for in his people. And just the sort of “something” likely to spark a revival in your life. 

Have you experienced revival? We’d love to hear from you. Please share your story with us on social media @iamsecond.

Doug Bender

Doug Bender

Doug Bender is an I Am Second writer and small groups coach. He developed many of the small group tools found at and has coached churches, organizations, and individuals to use I Am Second groups to share the message of Jesus with their friends and family. He also works with I Am Second's parent organization, e3 Partners, as a church planter and pastor in countries such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and the US. Doug and his wife, Catherine, have four children: Bethany, Samuel, Isabella, and Jesse.

Search for what you’d like to read about