Dr. Michael Brown

Michael Brown: The ‘Flares’ of Asbury Continue Stoking Global Revival

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Dr. Michael Brown knows all about revival and how to recognize it. He was a huge part of the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida, that began in 1995 and lasted nearly five years.

But, Brown warns, that when many believers experience revival—especially these days—they simply are not capable of sustaining it. Brown says many are unaware of how God wants to work and how He wants revival to spread through a church that can not only be biblically illiterate but oblivious to how He wants to move.

Brown says church members can pray for years—and sometimes decades—but still not see the fire of God fall like it has in places like Brownsville, Azusa Street and Toronto, Canada, all places in the past that saw God’s glory shine through and souls get saved by the thousands.

“It may take that long some times for God to move people out of their rut, for God to shake our communities; for conviction to fall on the lost and for the church to step into its destiny,” Brown told Charisma magazine. “We know something has to change, but the outpouring comes and gets short-circuited along the way. It never sees its full potential because we don’t know what to do when the fire falls. We don’t know how to steward the flames of revival.”

A prime example of that can be seen in the Asbury Revival that took place earlier in 2023. On Feb. 8, what began as a routine Wednesday morning chapel service on the campus of Asbury University in Kentucky among a small group of students turned into what the school now calls a “multiweek” outpouring.

Led by students, the services attracted college students from not only across the country but around the world. People came to Wilmore, Kentucky, from as far away as Russia and Japan, and the “outpouring” caught the attention of the world’s media with countless reports of life-changing salvations and rededications to Christ.

Long lines formed just to get into Hughes Chapel, sometimes extending a half-mile long around the campus.

Yet, the outpouring ended on campus on Feb. 24, and no similar services have been held at Asbury. While the enthusiasm for God spread to other college campuses, the revival died down and quickly lost its spark at universities across the country.

Brown says there are many reasons for why the Asbury campus revival didn’t—or couldn’t—last.

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“Number one, I don’t believe it was supposed to be the place where everybody came flocking,” Brown says. “I’ve felt clearly for years that there’s going to be an outpouring in thousands of different places all over America. Of course, God’s moving already all over the world.

“That’s why I was so felt so burdened to get my new book out—’Seize the Moment: How to Fuel the Fires of Revival’to help equip pastors leaders that have never experienced this what to do. It’s one thing to talk about preparation for you know for hurricanes coming to your community and boarding up the house and having supplies and things like that. It’s another thing when a hurricane hits and you have no idea what it is.

“Now, you’re in the midst of it and it’s a little too late to get ready. I’ve known for years that it’s not just going to be one place. Of course, in many places already around America, the Spirit has been moving dramatically. There have been sustained outpourings for years in different churches with multiplied thousands of new converts and lives changed. So Asbury leadership saying this is not the place where everyone’s coming and we’re not holding public meetings, I felt that was absolutely right.”

Brown says the fire that fell from Asbury indeed fell on many other college campuses—as many as 100-plus he had heard at one point—and that the lives of many students continue to be touched despite the flame flickering out at Asbury.

And it’s not simply happening on college campuses, Brown says. In January, he was asked to preach on revival at a church plant in Englewood, Colorado. It was a church he said that had grown rapidly with a strong emphasis on prayer and seeking the face of God.

When the Spirit fell upon Asbury University, Brown said the Colorado pastor wondered why it hadn’t happened at his church.

Shortly after, however, the fire did fall on that church in a Sunday morning service, and it continued throughout the day and into the next morning. Brown says that church has been continuously in prayer and worship “24/7” ever since.

Dr brown Seize moment“People may not know the connection there, but it’s one of these things that the spirit is at work,” Brown says. “I know, years ago, when I began to hear reports of the Holy Spirit’s falling here, the Holy Spirit’s falling there, it didn’t make me want to chase what was happening as much as saying OK, this is it. This is the season.”

Brown says that the verse he is using for his new book is Zechariah 10:1, which reads, “Ask for rain from the Lord during the season of the latter spring rains. And the Lord will make the storm winds; and he will give them showers of rain; and he will have vegetation in the field.”

“There are times when God moves,” Brown says. “Isaiah 55:6 says seek the Lord while He’s near. Call upon Him while He may be found, There are these seasons and moments of revival, and we have to grab hold of them. Asbury to me was just a flare going up by God to get national attention to the subject of revival. Definitely, the fires have gone out from there to touch many and I expect that to increase.” {eoa}

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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