Where Are Those Who Were Part of the Brownsville, Toronto and Smithton Revivals?

fire
Is the fire still burning in you for revival? (Charisma archives)

A lot of individuals within the modern-day revival movement are quick to share the incredible things that they've experienced at the altar. Most enjoy talking about the wonderful miracles and unusual phenomena that have taken place in the afterglow of the services. Their passionate accounts of impacting sermons and supernatural encounters could fill many pages of a book.

I'm truly thankful for all that has been observed and experienced over the last two decades. The way that revival brings an overwhelming sense of the Lord and His mission is something that must be treasured. Spirit-filled believers should always celebrate the wondrous reality of His glory!

Nevertheless, there's a part of me that wonders if there's something missing in all this. I readily understand the great excitement and fervor of my fellow revivalists. I honestly feel the same sense of wonder and joy. I love reflecting on the testimonies and enjoying the overwhelming awareness of what the Lord can accomplish. Everyone needs to experience the glory of God. 

Yet, I still have questions that I have been asking myself—and ones that I would like to direct to my fellow revivalists. One of which is this: "How could we be in and around such great things and not be truly changed?"

People get mad at me when I ask questions like this, but this is a question that has really gripped me over the last decade or so. I understand there have been positive shifts and that many revivalists still attend church—at least most of the time. I am not questioning anyone's faith or commitment to Jesus Christ.

What I am wondering about is the inexplicable loss of fire. How could people who experienced so much, not be that different from other Pentecostal and charismatic Christians? I'm not expecting perfection, but I am wondering why there isn't a better reflection of the "divine image" in our lives.

Sometimes there's still a lot of big talk, but much of what I see is backsliding, backbiting and a lot of vain excuses. Sadly, it's not just those who were a part of that "other revival" who are exhibiting this. It is also us. Sometimes I see this ugliness in me. I am a "revivalist" who hasn't always lived up to my calling and destiny.

It seems the prophet Isaiah observed a similar pattern centuries ago. He declared, "You have seen many things, but you do not observe them; your ears are open, but no one hears" (Is. 42:20). 

The prophet is suggesting one can see many things, but still not pay attention; have "open ears" but hear nothing. Under the unction of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah declares you can be in and around the glory and still not experience real transformation. 

His words are a brutal indictment of God's people, both then and now.

I'm really glad that powerful things have been seen and experienced. That is truly phenomenal. Yet, in the end, the pivotal question is not "What have you seen?" It's "How have you been changed?"

If you're not truly being transformed in His glory, you're dishonoring the Lord and undermining the very intention of revival. God didn't touch us in such an incredible way to keep us the same! 

We were made for so much more than this.

J.D. King's life was changed by the Smithton Outpouring. Today J.D. leads the World Revival Network, an association of ministers and pastors. J.D. is also an author and speaker.


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