Asbury Revival

The Asbury Revival, Kentucky, USA: Why Not Here in Australia?

20 February 2023

2.9 MINS

I commend these two articles about this revival, The Asbury Revival and Asbury: 200 Years of Revival by Kurt Mahlburg.

As a recently retired faculty member from Alphacrucis University College, based in Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, I ask the question, ‘Why not here in Australia?’ I have had the experience of ‘chapel’ here in a Christian tertiary context for over ten years, and I think I know something of the culture of Christian tertiary institutions here in Australia. Why not revival here in Australia? Some reflections and prayers.


In reading about the Asbury Revival, some things stand out for me. It was not planned. Just imagine if the student leadership or the faculty ‘decided’ that on Wednesday 8th February 2023, they would initiate this year’s revival! The idea is totally preposterous. Yes, we can have chapel services ‘teaching’ about revival. We can have prayer meetings ‘praying’ for revival. But ‘when’ is in the hands of the Holy Spirit. That is an awesome idea to come to terms with. We can’t put God into our year planner. For some, dare I say, many academics, this is not a good fit with our culture! Imagine the messiness of not knowing when God will show up!

The Asbury Revival has been characterised by radical humility, generosity and gratitude. For me, I think I can take steps in the directions of humility, generosity and gratitude, but for any real lasting fruit, I most assuredly need the hand and the power of the Holy Spirit. But my theory is this. Unless we take the first step, He won’t.

Those involved with the Asbury Revival had a real problem finding words to describe it. It seems to me to be one of those things that can’t, by definition, be described. If we could, we would be putting the Holy Spirit in a box or in a book, or in a blog post. It simply can’t be done, and should not be attempted!

Sometimes in my Christian journey, I have met those who decry those who major in ‘experiences’. But for the subject of revival, I think there is only one way to describe it: we have to experience it!

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13, my underlining)

Being with Jesus was most certainly an experience that impacted these people’s lives. I think we simply need the humility to accept that we need to be marked by the experience of revival. (As an aside, I most assuredly don’t think this scripture means that there is no place for Christian schools, colleges and universities — it simply says God does not need them, but I am convinced He uses them.)

Fruits of the Spirit

Some of the results, or the fruit, of the Asbury Revival: Salvations, deliverances, healings, conflicts resolved, tensions lifted, a tangible increase in the genuine care for one another, and freedom from loneliness. This list is brilliant! You can’t imagine any of these being transitory. I would expect these things to be ‘lasting fruit’. So much so that the wider community will be transformed.

Back to my question, why not here in Australia? Why not! God is sovereign, and His timetable is not ours, but we can pray, and we can lay down anything we know to be a potential hindrance. I offer a few bullet points:

  1. If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
  2. Colleges and universities across Australia should give freedom to the students to take the initiative. I am not saying revival can’t come through faculty and staff, but it seems to be that the younger generations are the ones hearing from God so acutely and accurately. Revival can’t be mandated or managed from the top down.
  3. It seems to me that revival is God’s answer for a divided world. Some say the forces of division in America are greater than they have ever been seen since their Civil War. I pray that the fruit of Asbury may heal their land. And that the forces of evil arrayed against Christians and the Christian faith here in Australia might be turned back by revival.

May revival come again to our land.


Photo: Daily Citizen/Focus on the Family.

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  1. Kaylene Emery 20 February 2023 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Thank Jim and Amen. “ May revival come again to our land.” May those among us who seek to control and manipulate God…….see that they seek to replace Him .

  2. Neil Cadman 20 February 2023 at 11:24 am - Reply

    But is Jim Twelves someone to be listened to since he is an ex-member of a Pentecostal College? It has been noted that there were calls to repent. But a call to repent is meaningless unless they are telling people what to repent from. The commandments of God and solid preaching is needed for that. I would presume that if it is mainly young people attending the many charismatics and Pentecostals were there.
    The first thing that comes to mind is the speaking of false tongues. Modern tongues are a lie. The speaker does not know what they are saying, the few interpreters do not know what is being said and God, if I may say it does not know what is being said. The one thing God does not know, if I may say it is what a charismatic tongue speaker is saying. They are not speaking a language but gibberish because it has too few vowel sounds.
    The second thing that comes to mind is Rock and Roll, which means, sex in the back seat of a car and rolling away. The beat is sex beat. That is why it a vessel to promote fornication and rebellion. It breaks the command, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phi 4:8 No one takes up Rock and Roll out of a love for music but out a desire to be noted and glorify oneself and out of a fear of man. The approval of Rock and Roll allows the base person to rise to authority.
    The third thing is immodesty of women and submission to their husbands. “The woman is to obey her husband in everything.
    The fourth thing is women dressing as men in slacks and jeans.
    ” The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” Deu 22:5
    The fifth thing is women usurping the authority of the man in the Church., “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” 1 Tim 2:12
    The sixth thing is the cowardice of ministers in not teaching the full counsel of God, but being men pleasers rather than God pleasers.

    • Stephen Deverell 20 February 2023 at 11:49 am - Reply

      Neil Cadman, it is obvious that you are very religous and there lies your problem of being able to discern the Holy Spirit. We do not need anyone other than God Himself to bring conviction to each of us for the need of repentance, and He does, so we’ll if we are prepared to open our heart and not allow religion to be our yard stick, but the freedom that Christ hS given us.

  3. Marina 20 February 2023 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Love it Jim! Yes, humble ourselves & pray. We can do nothing except we abide in him & rely on him who alone can ignite the fire of passion for Him and His will in our hearts.

    • Jim Twelves 20 February 2023 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      Marina, many thanks for the encouragement. I must say, ‘relying’ on Him is such an avenue to peace. I pray that God ‘can do it here as well’, I am sure the Pacific Ocean is not too large for our God!
      Mind you, I am also praying today for the ‘leadership’ in Asbury as they seek to ‘manage’ the crowds while still being ‘led’ by the Holy Spirit. Having seen the footage of the crowds ‘outside’ the chapel today, I can only imagine what they might be going through.

  4. Kym in Adelaide 20 February 2023 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    ** Song – ‘My People’ by Charlotte Jane & Janna Mercedes (The Worship Movement Australia) **

  5. Stephen 20 February 2023 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Thanks Jim ..i experienced some great help from God at that college chapel back in the 90s when it was called Southern Cross .One such help was following a direction to pour out worship to the Lord at a particular gathering with people who had come from a revival to share about that but instead a revival fire of thevkove if God got poured out and transformed me in such a way arvo experienced the Love io God sweeping my heart literally and then moved with compassion for others and greater love for Jesus …and this still is a part of my life as I worship read God’s word remain in fellowship with The Lord and His people and pray ..Ge cones again and again by His Spirit ..tgank you Jim we take the first step and He has made a way for us to humble ourselves and pray ..Di it again in Australia ..greater than before for Jesus sake

  6. Stephen 20 February 2023 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Sorry for typos but Will say again Do it again Lord in Australi a ..We ask for Holy Spirit outpouring of the Love of God in Jesus name for His glory

  7. Warwick Marsh 22 February 2023 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Great commentary on the Asbury Revival. Help us JESUS! Call it what you will God is moving. Soli Deo Gloria!!!!!

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