There it was, written in 10-inch letters on the roadside marquee of a little country church. "Revival This Week With Evangelist Daniel Norris." When I saw it, it made me chuckle a little on the inside. That statement always amuses me.
The very idea that we can organize revival is a rather strange idea to me. If such a move of God could be orchestrated, why not call every church to special meetings this week? After all, if revival could be so easily arranged, wouldn't every city be experiencing one at this very moment? We could win the entire nation in seven days. If only it were that easy!
Revival is something altogether different than a special series of services. In fact, revival isn't a service at all. Sure, it may be experienced within the four walls of a church, but it could just as easily be experienced on the streets, your home or even your workplace or school. Who knows, it could break out at this very moment, in the very spot you are reading this. Why not? God is willing if you are.
Revival is not defined by an environment but by an encounter. People don't come to a revival to experience a place, but a person. They want to meet with God. When people share about revival, they don't talk about the how wonderful the setting was, but how wonderful their Savior is.
Revival is an encounter. It is the point of impact where heaven meets Earth and the holy, all-consuming, eternal presence of God touches the dry, desperate, mortal man. There transformation is certain. The dead or dying are resurrected to full, abundant life, and a fresh fire is ignited that cannot be easily extinguished or contained. It swiftly moves person to person through a community and changes everything it touches.
O how we desperately need such a move to take place within our nation once again! Is it no wonder why so many believers are truly interested in it? However, interest alone will not bring it. Someone must become burdened for it!
America is a land that has seen many great moves of God in her short 240-year history. I write about a few of these, along with others from around the world in my latest book, Trail of Fire, in which I recount 10 powerful stories from 10 of the greatest moves of God this world has ever seen.
These awakenings transformed entire communities and even nations. The effect of these revivals can still be seen to this day. However, I didn't write the book to offer a history lesson on revival. There are plenty of books like that. Trail of Fire invites you to imagine what it was like to be in the midst of the move of God in hopes that the story will stir something fresh in you.
Trail of Fire takes you to Enfield, Connecticut, and sits you on an old wooden pew in a packed church to hear Jonathan Edwards preach "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." It invites you to an old canvas tent pitched in the open fields of Cane Ridge, Kentucky with 35,000 people to watch as the fire falls during that first camp-meeting.
It beckons you to listen for the sound of revival that swept through The Cape colony of South Africa. That revival transformed every home in just three months. It shares the story of one man's sacrifice that brought revival to the forbidden places of Korea and birthed the underground church. My personal favorite is the story of the Hebrides revival. God invaded an island chain simply in response to the prayers of two elderly sisters. Trust me, these stories are beyond fascinating, they are highly combustible!
If you are like me and know revival is something altogether different than what it has been reduced to, you'll want to dive into this book! Trail of Fire is not about what God has done; it's about what God is doing! My hope and prayer is that some of the burning embers of these past moves of God will ignite a fresh fire within your spirit. I truly believe you will experience your own powerful encounter with the Lord, break free from the dull, dry routines of religion and become a catalyst for revival!
At this moment, there are thousands of churches and millions of believers across this nation praying regularly for revival. With each passing day, more and more saints are beginning to wake up to the reality that the answer for America and this fallen world is not political, but spiritual.
Such a move does not come by happenstance. It cannot be arranged or organized. It may come suddenly, but not accidentally. Study the history of revival and you will discover this to be true. Revival comes as a response. It is heaven's answer to the persistent and passionate prayers of a people who have properly positioned themselves before the Lord. Now is time to position ourselves for such a move!
Revival is our only hope. This is why I feel Trail of Fire is a word in due season! A good friend of mine said, "Without another great awakening, we are ruined as a nation and world. This book is destined to be a map and a mandate for those crying, 'More, Lord!'"
I pray it is! Let us start a fire together!
Daniel K. Norris is an evangelist who worked alongside Steve Hill bringing the message of revival and repentance to the nations. Together, they co-hosted a broadcast called "From the Frontlines." Norris also hosts the Collision Youth Conference that is broadcast all over the world. He can be contacted at danielknorris.com.
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