Robin J Johnson with Janette Johnson
In the darkest days His light still shines. There still might be days when it’s hard to focus, but His light never ceases to be diminished; it shines through.
Since August of last year there have been many dark days. Suddenly our lives were put on hold; plans forsaken, travel and meetings cancelled as we and our family together faced traumatic, tragedies that unexpectedly unfolded before us, turning our lives upside down and inside out. Questions asked of the Lord went unanswered, yet we truly know He is faithful. He does not change, His everlasting love is stedfast and sure. Therefore, we chose and continue to choose to put our faith in His faithfulness.
“Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, through it all Ive learned to trust His word.” Andre Crouch
Since the beginning of the new year there are increasing numbers of good days rather than bad ones, though we all carry a certain and real sadness in our hearts for loved ones gone. But we are making choices to go on as they would want us too. Fixing our eyes on Jesus we will continue to run the race.
As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. Hebrews 12:1 (TPT)
Standing beside the casket of our eldest daughter (October 2022), looking down at her lifeless body, yet knowing with an absolute certainty that she was with the Lord, I made a promise. I will not retreat, I will not be defeated, will not stop, I will go forward. Though we have lost this battle, the enemy will not triumph over us or close us down. We will push on. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15)
No Holding Back
As I prepare this edition I am back in SE Asia for the first of several visits this year. Our commitment to Christ and His church has not waned. How much time any of us have, God only knows. In these last days of the last days we must prioritise our lives and ministries. Jesus is coming again and as we are confronted with all the increasing signs around, I suggest it is soon.
There is a Stirring Within
In recent days Janette and I have been talking about the need to see a fresh wind of the Spirit blow across our lives and the life of the church; it is time for another “Jesus Revolution” — “One Way Jesus” needs to be revived.
The other week my son sent me a link to the movie “Woodlawn”, a movie that I had never seen before. It is based on a true story from the 1970s about revival breaking out among US College football teams. “Woodlawn” reignited something within us as we remembered the days of the “Jesus Revolution”.
The dramatic impact of salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit on my own life in 1970 still resounds today. We watched as hundreds and thousands of young men and women were transformed as they committed their lives to Jesus. Filled with the Holy Spirit they went out, as we did, to reach a generation for Christ.
We have been asking, “Where is that generation?” Where are those impacted and transformed in the early 70s? I am aware there are a number of men and women in significant leadership roles, all over the world, still serving Christ today. We were nobodies from nowhere and remain so, yet we are impacting nations today.
Our desire has always been to raise the next generation. There are spiritual sons and daughters in various nations and even some now call us “grandma and grandpa”. What an honour to help equip and release new generations. This has always been the plan, one with which God is surely pleased.
However, there comes a moment, a time in history when God steps in with a new and fresh wave of His glory and grace to spark, not just the ones and twos, but a whole new generation of ‘sold out’ Jesus lovers.
God is Doing it Again
Suddenly there is breaking news of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in a 10am Chapel service with about 30 students at Asbury University, Wilmore, Kentucky. It started on February 8, and is continuing day and night, with thousands now flocking to Wilmore to experience this revival. Reports of salvation, healing and deliverance are filtering through. Other places are reporting similar things. It is spreading, inspiring others to seek more and ask God to move in their own locations. How long it will continue and how far it will spread is yet to be seen. Our hope is it will remain, increase and be the catalyst for revival all around the world.
The latest news is there will be no more public meetings at the university as this outbreak has brought so much disruption to the school and Wilmore, a town of only 6000. Meetings are being relocated to a venue in central Kentucky as thousands continue to pursue Him!
Revival is definitely messy, disruptive and often inconvenient, but oh the glory that comes down. There aren’t enough words to describe it. What will it take to once again surrender all?
“The Lord is calling His church back to humility and brokenness. Notice that we don’t hear the names of preachers associated with the 2023 Asbury revival. Those who have attended the Asbury meetings are impressed by their simplicity. Ministers are sharing God’s Word, but true revival is never about men, flashy sermons, smoke machines or special lighting. When God’s presence is in the room, all we can do is bow and lift our hands. It becomes irreverent to exalt a man when Jesus is the focus. We don’t need to fabricate the Holy Spirit’s anointing when He is in the room.” (J. Lee Grady in his blog Fire in My Bones) https://charismamag.com/blogs/fire-in-my-bones/what-is-god-saying-to-us-through-the-asbury-revival/
We sometimes have used the term, “a dissatisfied satisfaction” I think it is time we drop the satisfaction. Why are we so content with the mundane and ordinary? We talk of good services, and claim, “God is in the house”, yet are we kidding ourselves. Mostly we all go home the same. We get excited when one hand goes up in an appeal to receive Christ. Yes, Jesus said that angels rejoice when one sinner repents, but one is never meant to be the benchmark. Don’t misunderstand me, I thank God for each and every person who surrenders their life to Jesus. However multitudes are waiting, sitting in darkness, bound by sin, tormented and hopeless. Jesus meant it when He said the fields are white and the harvest is ready, but we need labourers for the harvest! Nothing has changed except that the sands of time are running out, this is a ‘now’ moment! We need, in fact we must have more — a true, significant and lasting outpouring of the Holy Spirit; not just a visitation — but a holy habitation, in Jesus name! Why? To bring in the harvest.
Breathe Oh Breath God
Revival is never neat and tidy. It doesn’t come packaged or looking like we may have imagined. It may offend, as did in previous times. I have seen revival come overnight and I have seen it go away overnight. I write with tears in my eyes, remembering such times. Let us cry out to God, ask him to forgive us and petition Him to revive us. From deep within we must call out, knock on heaven’s door, seek Him again and plead before His throne for grace and mercy; revive us again.
Revival may not be the same, look the same or sound the same this time. In fact history would tell us it won’t. Diversity and variety is seen throughout the Bible, and it is no different today Though one thing is certain; people will be filled with the love of God and empowered to love like Jesus loved. In the past people judged what they saw, some harshly, while others were welcomingly. What I saw when I watched footage of the new outpouring, were people falling in love with Jesus all over again, and lives being transformed; a testimony to the grace of God.
What it will look like this time, I don’t know and I don’t care, I just want more of Jesus, His love and transforming power! Whatever is happening at Asbury, while some are not doubting at all that the Holy Spirit is moving, yet other people are already trying to define it, perhaps seeking to understand or make it fit with their theology and past experiences. However I believe we should not be trying define or confine it. Put simply, we need to jump in the river and get down into the deep end.
Let all this serve as an opportunity for us to say, “God have mercy, come and revive us again.”
I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by and in your anger, remember your mercy. Habakkuk 3:2 (NLT)
God we want, yes we need a fresh touch. Revive us Lord, for we have wandered far from what is your normal, thinking that our routines and our blessed time-constrained attempts are God ordained. Forgive us Lord and come again, send Holy Spirit, breathe oh breath of God, we want to see Jesus. We humble ourselves and cry for your mercy.
We are losing a generation to lies, seduction, political correctness and deceptions from the pit of hell itself. Our current younger generations are being destroyed by gender confusion, identities are being lost, not even to speak of the mutilation of young bodies and souls. It is definitely time for a revival, one so significant that it results in transformation that impacts all of society.
“Revival has played an unparalleled role in civilising nations and shaping history for the better. This fact, along with the increasing darkness of secular culture, has prompted believers all around the world to seek God for another ‘Great Awakening’.” (Kurt Mahlburg – The Daily Declaration 15 Feb 2023)
So Where do We Start?
And now you must repent and turn back to God so that your sins will be removed, and so that times of refreshing will stream from the Lord’s presence. Acts 3:19 (TPT)
It starts with a heart of worship fully surrendered. My prayer is, “Let it start with me.” Together with the church of Jesus Christ we must gather and ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking, offering prayers of intercession to bring us back to a life of holiness.