108 days until the Lilburn, GA, USA Revival Conference
We came back the next night, Friday, and the church was packed. There had been no publicity; people just came. God was present in the service. God moved again and the altar was filled with people crying out to God, praying, repenting of sin, giving their hearts and their lives to Christ. The same thing happened Saturday. Sunday morning when I arrived at the church I had to park blocks away because there was not enough room anywhere near the church. God was moving in such a wonderful way.
The pastor came to me as I walked into the church, and I saw the twinkle in his eye and the smile on his face. He said, "Sammy, Ive prayed and I believe God wants us to extend these meetings."
I said, "Okay, Pastor, whatever you say. Im with you."
He said, "But weve got a problem." I said, "Whats that?" He said, "We dont have room in the church. The crowds are too big." I said, "What are we going to do?" So we moved over to the university campus, and the first night we outgrew the facility on the university campus. We had to move into another facility. Two nights later we outgrew that facility.
The pastor came to me and said, "Sammy, Ive been praying, and God is up to something wonderful with the young people, much more than we imagined that He wanted to do in this city. I think we ought to go and talk to the former governor of the state, who owns the television station and ask him for time on TV to tell what God is doing in the city."
I said, "Pastor, he would never let us do that," and then I saw the twinkle in his eye, and the smile on his face, and I said, "All right, Pastor."
We met with the former governor of Louisiana. The pastor began to tell him what God was doing. He sat there and listened to Pastor Morris share. The pastor said, "Tell them, Sammy. Tell them, Ray" (who was the leader of the music group), and we began to share what God was doing.
The public school system had been shut down because of racial violence between African-Americans and Anglo-Americans, and there had been fighting between the two groups. During those meetings God had moved and worked, and the leaders of the African-Americans and the Anglo-Americans who had been fighting one another got right with God and went to each other and asked forgiveness of each other, and the schools reopened without incident and with peace in the schools. Everyone was astounded.
My wife shared Christ with one of the most notorious drug addicts in the community. The woman had been arrested and was facing thirty years of prison. She came to a meeting and the presence of God was so strong that night she gave her heart to Jesus Christ. She threw all of her drugs away. That was close to forty years ago, and to this day she has never again taken drugs.
After the ex-governor heard us tell the story he said, "What is it you want?" and we said, "We want to have some time on television to tell what God is doing." He said, "Let me ask you something. You say you have outgrown the buildings. Do you think the civic center would be big enough? It holds 10,000 people." We said, "Well, we guess so." He whirled around in his chair and called the mayor and said, "Mayor, weve got some young people that are finally doing something positive for the youth of this city. I want you to donate the civic center. If you wont donate it, Ill pay for it, but Id rather you donate it." And the mayor of the city donated the civic center.
That final night of the services thousands of young people gathered with no publicity, no advertisements. The headlines of the newspaper on the front page were about the revival that God had sent. The 6 oclock news reported that the Spirit of God had moved in Monroe, Louisiana. The atmosphere of the meetings was interesting. There was not a lot of emotion. There was a sense of awe, a sense of the holiness of God, a sense of brokenness and a sense of repentance.
I fasted for the first time in my life. Fasting wasnt something I decided to do; I simply couldnt eat. Between the services, there was a place set aside for prayer, and you wanted to be there in the prayer meeting where there was a sense of Gods presence.
God moved at Asbury College and Seminary just a couple of months after that. There were moves of God that took place here and there throughout the nation, sovereign, divine works of the Spirit of God. That atmosphere cannot be worked up. It cannot be brought down by some dynamic preacher. It is simply a visitation from heaven.
When you read the book of Acts, you find the atmosphere of revival. After Jesus was risen, He sent His disciples back to Jerusalem to pray. He told them, as we read in Luke chapter 24, to go into all the world and proclaim the good news of forgiveness of sins and repentance, and then He told them, "
but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high" (v. 49).
We find in Acts chapter one, the Church was in a prayer meeting. In Acts chapter two, the Church was proclaiming the Gospel. In Acts chapter three, Peter and John were going to a prayer meeting, and in Acts chapter four, the Church was praying. The great missionary movement of the Church was thrust forth in Acts chapter 13, for there were men praying and seeking the face of God.
Beginning in Acts 4:31, we read what kind of atmosphere was in that early Church: "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need" (4:31-35). -Sammy Tippit
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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon