Devotionals

If You Truly Desire Revival, Learn the Lesson of Azusa Street

The Azusa Street Revival took place over one hundred years ago. The saints who participated have passed away, yet their stories live on. Their testimonies offer a glimpse into what the revival was like and stir hunger in anyone who has ears to hear. Like all things passed down over decades, some things are sure to be embellished or changed.

However, one thing that remains consistent in the writings of saints such as Frank Bartleman, in the Azusa Street papers, and even in the oral stories is the Shekinah glory—the manifest presence of the Lord.

For more than three years the cloud of God's glory rested on the house. Some claimed to see it; everyone felt it. They said the cloud never lifted—it was always present. Just as it was in the days of old, God filled His house with the cloud of His glory! It attracted hundreds of thousands from all around the world. They came, following the cloud, and left filled with God's Spirit.

There are over six hundred million Pentecostals on earth today. Every single one of them can trace their roots back to 312 Azusa Street. Though the building no longer remains, the fire that started there certainly does. That fire spread from Los Angles all around the world. The Pentecostal church continues to be the fastest growing segment of Christianity in the world.

As it was in the days that followed the first Pentecost, so has it been in the days that followed the Azusa Street Revival. The fire of God is impossible to contain. It spreads, transforming everything in its wake. Those who wish to find it need only humble themselves and come before the Lord.

Frank Bartleman was right. God chose an unlikely location to send revival, but in doing so He sent a clear message. The mission itself became a sign to all who would enter. It called out, "Humble thyself!"

Pentecost came to Azusa Street as it came in the Book of Acts. The Word of God says, "When the Day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place" (Acts 2:1, MEV). When the early disciples were unified with one heart, the anointing was poured out. William Seymour wrote several years after the Azusa revival, "Wherever God can get a people that will come together in one accord and one mind in the word of God, the baptism of the Holy Ghost will fall upon them."

If we truly desire to see revival in our day, we must learn the lesson of Azusa Street and seek a place of true unity in the body. The moment that blessed unity is rediscovered, the cloud will return! God is not looking for another church; He's looking for one church!

Today the Spirit of God is passing many by because they are too full of self or offense to be filled with anything else.

Pride and selfishness blind and bind the saints from experiencing the outpouring that comes upon humility and unity.

Learn the lesson from 312 Azusa Street. There, a building that was once a stately church had to become a humble stable before it became a house filled with the Shekinah glory. The original congregation abandoned the building in search of better surroundings. Little did they know that what man found unattractive, God found irresistible. Perhaps the move of God we seek isn't found in another place, but a different position.

Many ask where the miracles are and why revival tarries. They wonder where the cloud has gone. The answer is simple. As long as we remain separate and selfish, the Spirit cannot come. Imagine the divine possibilities when all of God's people in a community take down every wall that divides them and walk together in unity. Imagine the shift that will take place within your city when churches stand together united in a common cause and with a common voice. {eoa}

The preceding was excerpted from Daniel Norris' book, Trail of Fire (Charisma House, 2016). You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Daniel K. Norristhe founder and head of Daniel K. Norris Ministries, served alongside evangelist Steve Hill for more than a decade. Today, Daniel continues on in the footsteps of his mentor, bringing that same message of revival and repentance to the nations.

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