In 1835, Titus Coan landed in Hawaii to share the gospel with the island's people. On his first tour, multitudes of people from miles around came to hear him. Many listened with tears and would not go home. The people remained and crowded around him so earnestly that he had no time to eat. The Holy Spirit drew and remarkably touched people's hearts. In the places where he spent his nights, they filled the house, leaving scores of people outside. All wanted to hear about Jesus. On the Sabbath day, on the way to where he was scheduled to preach, there was a line of four villages not half a mile apart. Every village begged for a sermon before he could get to the planned preaching place. Starting at daylight, he preached in three villages before breakfast at 10 am. Many were cut to the heart by the sermon and desired to get their lives right with God.
Within a short while, he was ministering to 15,000 people. Unable to reach everyone, they came to him and settled down to a two-year camp meeting. There was not an hour, day, or night when an audience of 2,000 to 6,000 would not rally to the signal of the bell for the next gospel message. There was trembling, weeping, sobbing, and loud crying for mercy, sometimes too loud for the preacher to be heard, and in hundreds of cases, his hearers fell into a swoon. Some would cry out, "The two-edged sword is cutting me to pieces." The wicked scoffer who came to ridicule the preaching dropped like a dog and cried, "God has struck me!" Once while preaching in the open field to 2,000 people, a man cried out, "What must I do to be saved?" and prayed for God to have mercy on him, and at that, the entire congregation took up the cry, also, for God to have mercy on them. For half an hour, Mr. Coan could get no chance to speak but had to stand still and see God working in the lives of those who came.
Today, many have become so resigned to the evil permeating our society that they think there is no hope and that we should wait for Jesus to come because what can we do? We can pray and cry out to the Lord; that's what we can do! One cannot plan to have a revival. It is entirely something that God does. Churches might call a series of meetings a revival, but it is a conference until God shows up in power. Only when the Lord visits can it indeed be a revival. God's power is displayed over the human heart—often, it is an outpouring of grace over a territory or a country. In answer to prayer, God usually has prepared a particular person He uses. The revival continues as long as the person keeps a humble heart before God. God has used revivals such as these to change the spiritual environment of whole cities and countries, bringing many into the kingdom.
I am convinced that a move of the Holy Spirit is needed today. The church today is battling against a wicked tide of evil that threatens to engulf the world, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19 KJV). If ever there was a need for Holy Spirit revival, it is today. Where are the intercessors who will pray and cry out to God for what is needed? God will do His part if the church will pray: “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).
Often, we don't listen to the conditions of the above Scripture, the word if that starts the promise. We are to humble ourselves, pray, and examine ourselves in the light of God's righteousness to turn from all unrighteousness (confess our sins to God), then God will act to forgive our sin and heal the land. If we don't do these things, guess what? – we will not receive the blessing. Keith Thomas
These writings on revival are from a series on the Holy Spirit's working through His people. It is found on the All Studies page. Scroll down until you come to Be Filled With the Spirit. Click on Holy Spirit Revival.
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