Tremors Across America: Is a Christ Awakening at Hand?
[Editor’s Note: The calendar year is full of special initiatives in the Body of Christ. Are they signs of an impending Christ Awakening? David Bryant has written many books and articles over the past 40 years, but he regards this blog post as one of the most timely messages he has ever communicated. Is the Holy Spirit preparing for sweeping changes?]
During our years in southern California, Robyne and I lived in a small cottage close to the San Andreas Fault. As you can imagine, earthquakes were always in the back of our minds.
We had a little terrier name Dingy who became our early warning system. As Pasadena neighbors explained to us, the frequent times our dog suddenly jumped up as if hit with an electric shock was when she was feeling earthquake tremors—vibrations so subtle that humans are oblivious to them. But nonetheless, they happened every week (Dingy knew!), hinting that something much bigger awaited us. It was just a matter of time.
This year I’m feeling like Dingy. I’m sensing a convergence of spiritual tremors, in one calendar year, that seem to be pointing in the same general direction. Are these unique initiatives in the Body of Christ the beginnings of the shaking of God’s people by God’s Spirit? Are they meant to bring us together into the spiritual revolution for which many have prayed for decades?
More specifically, are these heaven-sent vibrations intended to alert us that a major breakthrough for Jesus is at hand? Do they give us reasons to tremble, but in this case with hopeful anticipation?
Here’s what I want to do. First, let me tabulate some of these major, parallel developments in 2016. Then, I’ll give you a set of questions to keep asking as each initiative unfolds. They should help us discern if any or all of these stirrings are about an impending Christ Awakening.
Encouraging and Amazing Signs of the Times
Below I highlight a few tremors to get us started. Please write to let me know of others that need to be included.
Under the banner of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Franklin Graham is now leading prayer rallies called Decision America 2016 scheduled for every state capitol building in the USA, calling Christians to stand up for Truth at this critical hour.
At their annual national meeting, the Mission America Coalition ramped up Vision 2020 to mobilize the Church to bring the gospel to every American within the next four years through a city-by-city strategy of “prayer, care, share.”
Azusa Now! consisted of a gathering of 100,000 believers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for 15 hours of worship and prayer. They beseeched God for new empowerment for Christians in America toward leading 80 million citizens to Christ and raising up 200,000 new missionaries.
In our nation’s capital, 20,000 pastors were invited to stand together for United Cry DC, brought about by OneCry. The focus was on praying for a renewed commitment in the Church to strive for biblical righteousness in the life of America.
On May 5, the National Day of Prayer, over 40,000 prayer groups were mobilized around the theme Wake Up America! and interceded for God to bring our nation alive to everything he wants for us in our time of desperate need.
Adjacent to the Supreme Court, the American Center for Prayer and Revival was dedicated and began organizing 24/7 prayer covering the nation.
The Awakening America Alliance encouraged congregations from coast to coast to host Sacred Assemblies on Pentecost Sunday to repent and seek God together for a national revival.
As it has done annually, Pray New York activated thousands of volunteers from metro churches and ministries to walk and pray over every street in NYC in just one day, interceding for the city to be “saturated with the glory and reign of Christ.”
For the first time ever, the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest denomination, has set aside an entire evening for A National Call to Prayer for Spiritual Leadership, Revived Churches, and Nationwide and Global Awakening as they convene thousands in attendance along with many others traveling from across the land to join them in St. Louis just for this one night.
The National Association of Evangelicals has summoned one million Christians of all denominations to join for Pray Together Sunday, to come before the Throne to appeal to God to radically change our hearts and our nation.
The National Prayer Summit, July 14-17, in Washington, D.C., intends to focus teaching and prayer on the ways God wants to prepare the nation for a spiritual awakening.
Hundreds of thousands (primarily youth and young adults) are expected on the Mall in D.C. on July 16 for Together 2016, organized by the Reset Movement, with the goal of “linking arms and lifting a unified sound asking Jesus to reset our generation.”
Building on the past five years, The New York Leadership Center is convening Movement Day Global Cities, with thousands of leaders attending from cities across America as well as 100 major global cities. They will consult for three days about launching fresh “gospel movements” in urban centers of the USA and beyond.
Right before the US presidential election, leaders will gather once again in Washington, D.C., for 48 hours of prayer over our nation at the National Prayer Assembly.
Are there other events that have happened or that are planned for 2016 that I missed?
How Do We Best Interpret Each of These Tremors?
Can a spiritual earthquake be far behind? Are these the foreshadows—even foretastes—of a Christ Awakening movement at hand? In the end, how can we know for sure if any of these activities hold potential for fostering and fueling such a movement?
In Matthew 16 Jesus criticized leaders of his day, saying: “You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times (NLT).”
Interpret we must. But how?
Jesus followed his censure of those leaders by declaring that the only reason the disciples were able to grasp the long-range implications of stunning events swirling around his ministry was because the Father continued revealing to them the greatness of who Jesus is as “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
So maybe that’s our clue.
If we’re looking for a widespread Christ-exalting revival, then maybe for each of these events and initiatives we should ask pointed questions to determine how fully Christ-focused each one is, both in goals and in implementation.
In other words, how many of them appear to be pursuing a broader spiritual undertaking designed to give renewed primacy to Christ and his supremacy among his followers?
For each activity listed, therefore, let’s apply this series of Christ-shaped questions to help interpret whether these “signs of the times” hold promise for something as profound as a nationwide Christ Awakening:
- Is it more about the Reviver than about the revival?
- Does it seek the Bless-er more than it seeks the blessings?
- Is it Person-driven (Christ-driven) before it tries to be purpose-driven?
- In a Church that today harbors many Jesuses, how thoroughly biblical is the Jesus in view for each episode?
- In a Church today that often diminishes Jesus, how does this activity serve to magnify and enlarge him for everyone involved?
- Does its emphasis on turning from sin culminate in leading participants to turn toward Christ and take hold of fullness of life in him?
- In every expression of prayer is it abundantly clear that the pray-ers know that Christ himself and the full extent of his glory is the ultimate answer for every concern they address?
- Whatever the agenda or issues embraced by each enterprise, is there a consistent effort to keep taking all of it back to Christ, laying all of it before Christ, bringing all of it under Christ, and giving all of it over to Christ?
- In the midst of what’s said and done, is it obvious that the highest resolve is to make much of Christ, to show more of Christ, to expand our appreciation of Christ, to manifest the wonders of Christ, to share in the victory of Christ, to promote a greater pursuit of Christ, and to see everything fulfilled in the exaltation of Christ?
- As an activity unfolds, does it seem that its leaders are making every effort to ensure that everything spoken or prayed or planned flows from Christ and flows back to him, so that he is defined as the beginning and end of all its actions as well as all its outcomes?
- Finally, throughout each initiative is it obvious that leaders and participants are consciously committed to ensure as top priority that everything is compatible with Jesus’ name—meaning that the whole effort is carried out preeminently to extend his reign, to spread his fame, to increase his gain, and to ratify his claim?
So, What Do You Sense These Tremors Are Telling Us?
Worldwide there are about 500,000 earthquakes a year. About 100,000 of them can be felt. Only a few turn things upside down. Only once in the past 55 years has the world experienced what’s called a “monster quake”—a 9.5 earthquake in Chile in 1960.
The Church is long overdue for its own Spirit-induced “monster quake”—a graciously cataclysmic work of the Father to shake and wake his people so that we might experience and enter into fresh vision, passion, and action wrapped up in his dear Son, our reigning Redeemer.
How might any one of these current tremors—or all of them combined—evidence that such a broadscale Christ Awakening may be bearing down on us?
You be the judge. Apply the questions. See what you discover.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Bryant
Known as a proclaimer of Christ and Messenger of Hope, David Bryant is the founder and president of Proclaim Hope!, a ministry whose goal is to serve a nationwide Christ Awakening. David is the author of five books, including Christ Is ALL! Join in the Joyful Awakening to the Supremacy of God’s Son.