Last week, on Monday morning, my apprentices rolled in a few minutes before 8:30am as usual. Before they could get coffee and settle in, I asked them, “Do you want to have a regular day or go on an adventure?” 

I’d heard about a revival happening at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. If the Holy Spirit is doing something unusual and I can get there, I want to be a part of it. As the story goes, the previous Wednesday morning (2/8) some students at Asbury stayed after chapel to pray and then it just never stopped. Since then thousands of people have been showing up to encounter the Holy Spirit.

Thirty minutes later we were in the car on a four-hour drive to Kentucky.

Road trip car bonding is some of the best bonding. We had a great time goofing off, but also spent as much time discussing the Holy Spirit and the business of publishing. They listened in on a phone consultation that I had scheduled and asked good questions about it afterwards.

Around 1pm we pulled into Wilmore, Kentucky and searched out the revival. What’s happening there is a beautiful thing. They’ve had a nonstop worship service happening since Wednesday morning. Whether it’s a revival or not, I have no idea. God didn’t assign me to be the revival police, and I think that “revival” is a term that’s easier to determine after the fact than in the midst of it. But I can tell you that people are encountering the Holy Spirit. God is healing hearts and relationships there. People are coming from all over to experience it.

I’m so glad that our apprentices had the opportunity to participate in it. Sometime in their future someone will bring it up and they’ll say, “I was there.”

It’s amazing to be in a space with a couple of thousand people on a Monday afternoon, and to recognize that almost everyone in that room had some other place they should be. I know I did. I had work to do. My apprentices had work to do. But every single person that day made a decision to prioritize the presence of God above everything else. There was no time to make arrangements, we all just showed up. Among those thousands, how many assignments went uncompleted, games were missed, healthy dinners were traded for fast food, meetings were cancelled, business opportunities lost? But we each decided it was worth it.

One of the things I saw is that the Holy Spirit will fill the shape of the vessel He’s invited into. I don’t know Asbury well, but I think this event carried their signature. The Holy Spirit honored who they are, and everyone who came honored it as well. It was not a super charismatic atmosphere and no one seemed to come with their own agenda to turn it into that. Instead it was marked with a gentle peace and a specific sense of calmness and order.

I think I can say this with due humility: the second thing I saw is that God has already been blessing us with what they’re experiencing at Asbury.

On the previous Sunday, my pastor (who very much honors what is happening at Asbury) preached that we don’t have to drive to Asbury because the same thing is happening here in our region. It turns out he was right.

I was only there for a few hours before it was time to drive home, but from what I saw, we already live in the present reality of what God is inviting people into at Asbury. I’m absolutely in full support of what’s happening there and I praise God for it, but we’re in many ways already living that in community. We experience the Holy Spirit every single week in our church community and we experience the Holy Spirit on a regular basis at The Company.

Whether it’s just a few of us in morning worship or a gathering of 50 at one of our worship nights, that active measure of the Holy Spirit is just regular life and we’re still crying out for more.

Our vessel has a little different shape than Asbury, but it’s the same Holy Spirit.

Visiting Asbury fired me up, but not in the way I expected. I selfishly wanted a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. What I saw instead was people coming from all over to experience what we are already privileged to enjoy every day. I saw how spoiled we are and I was convicted about how much better of a job we can do of sharing it.

In some way, I didn’t know how hungry you are for this. It’s just become normal for us to see miracles, prophecy, and other supernatural manifestations of the Spirit. I kind of thought that if you don’t have it, you must not want it, and I’m sorry for that. Plus it’s a hard thing to talk about, because I don’t want you to think we’re bragging or believe we’re something spiritually extraordinary. I also want to respect the privacy of those who come. But I see that I can do a better job of stewarding the work of the Holy Spirit in our community.

It turn out we have it, people want it. I think it’s time to share it with you.

Five days a week we meet for worship at 8:30am and meet the Holy Spirit. On Fridays, it’s a little bit more elaborate—we usually have a prepared teaching and take communion together.

Intermixed with our regular work throughout the day, we’re having spiritual conversations, discussing the Bible and spiritual books. That car trip is almost a microcosm of our life—writing, business, spirit, and community seamlessly work together.

That’s why you gotta come here. I know you may not be in a position to move to Zanesville for two years for our apprenticeship. But for a day or a week, or even an hour some Friday morning, prioritize the presence of God and just come. We’ll make space for you.

We have an extra desk and it has your name on it. Anybody who wants to make a good faith effort to be a part of what’s going on here is welcome to come and hang out. If somebody’s already using the extra desk, we’ll find a space for another one.

I don’t know that you’ll have any kind of exuberant experience, but I’m confident that you’ll meet with the Holy Spirit. Bring your writing projects and I know that you’ll find it to be an invigorating and constructive experience. We’re all on the same team with similar goals. While you’re here, you can sit in on our discussions and Alli will also beat you at Mario Kart (but she’ll be really nice about it).

On Monday, a little after 5pm we piled back in the car and headed back to Zanesville by way of Arby’s and Chick-fil-a. We talked about what we had just seen and how the Spirit is at work in our lives. Given the long day and late hour, I’m sure our conversation leaned more into the goofy stuff the closer we got to Zanesville. A few minutes before ten I dropped the apprentices off at their apartment building.

Almost 14 hours earlier they’d shown up expecting a regular day, but got a Holy Spirit adventure instead.

And that’s the stuff of LIFE. That’s the opposite of sideline sitting. We work, we play, and when the Spirit beckons, we GO.

I can’t believe that’s a day at work for me. I’m honestly so blessed. Even more, I can’t believe that every day I get to show up and experience the Holy Spirit in a way that people will literally get on airplanes to get a taste of.

The invitation is real. Just like those students that stayed behind after chapel at Asbury; just like all of those people there on a Monday afternoon, it’s up to you to say yes. It’s up to you to prioritize the presence of God and the call He’s placed on your life above everything else.

So when are you coming? You can drop by, but it’s usually best to reach out first, just in case the Spirit takes us on another adventure that day.

God is good. I know I didn’t do anything to deserve this life, Jesus just shared it with me, mostly by way of other people. I’d love to share it with you, too.

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