There are many great stories throughout history that we can reflect on and be inspired by where the people of God encounter the power of God evidently at work accomplishing something of great significance in their city or nation.
I love reading stories of historic importance from the past and this week as I have been reading Nicky Gumbles bible in one year, here’s a little taster from that of Duncan Campbell’s story during the 1949 revival.
The 1949 revival is one of the greatest revivals in the history of the United Kingdom that took place in the Hebrides. Duncan Campbell, the preacher at the centre of the revival, later described how it began.
Seven men and two women had decided to pray earnestly for revival. One night, at a prayer meeting held in a barn, a young man took his Bible and read from Psalm 24;
1The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
5 They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
He shut his Bible and said: ‘It seems to me just so much sentimental humbug to be praying as we are praying, to be waiting as we are waiting here, if we ourselves are not rightly related to God.’ He asked God to reveal if his own hands were clean and his own heart was pure.
That night God met with them in a powerful way. As they waited on God ‘his awesome presence swept the barn’. They came to understand that revival is always related to holiness. A power was let loose that shook the parish from centre to circumference.
‘Three men were lying on the straw having fallen under the power of God. They were lifted out of the ordinary into the extraordinary. They knew that God had visited them and neither they nor their parish would ever be the same again.’
Four miles away, two sisters aged eighty-two and eighty-four had a vision of God. They saw the churches crowded and the youth and the community flocking into the churches. They had ‘a glorious assurance that God was coming in revival power’.
Duncan Campbell was invited to come and speak to them. When he arrived in the parish church it was packed out, with hundreds waiting outside. No one could explain where they had come from. Within ten minutes of the service starting, men and woman were crying out to God.
They were meeting with God in all of His holiness.
There was such a sense of the presence of God on the island that a businessman visiting said, ‘The moment I stepped ashore I was suddenly conscious of the presence of God.’
God was meeting with His people.
What an extraordinary privilege it is to meet with God. With the anticipation of the coming of Jesus once again we have so many opportunities to keep meeting with God as we continue to seek His face and approach Him with great confidence. Yearning not for what has happened in days long ago but desiring to linger, to wait and experience more of His holiness and His power at work in our lives today.
Let’s never stop meeting with God and never stop gathering with the family of God, for in all of those occasions we will encounter more of His presence and see more of His kingdom break through in these days.
God still desires to meet with His people.