By Arlie Martin
Senior Opinion Writer
Over my years at Asbury, I have heard increasingly-negative comments on spritual emphasis weeks like Fall Revival, Holiness Emphasis week and Great Commission Congress. I won’t lie, my voice has been among the dissenters before, but I have come to realize that there is merit in what is happening during these weeks.
If you ask most students what their main complaints with these weeks are, most will tell you that they find them either boring or to be forcing spirituality.
If you are one of those who find it boring, there isn’t much that I can say to change your mind.
It’s your prerogative, and I will agree that sometimes the speakers aren’t all that great.
However, don’t write it off. Your attitude plays a vital role in your spiritual vitality. If you approach a service expecting nothing from God, that’s probably what you’ll get.
For those of you who claim that these chapels force spiritual movement, I think you are very wrong. I know we have all heard about the 1970s revival to the point that most of us are sick of it and would rather not talk about it, if we were being honest. This feeling has led to a general resentment and misunderstanding of the reason we set aside these times.
No one planning Great Commission Congress or Fall Revival wants to force the Holy Spirit into anything. Would they like to see a huge outpouring that lasted days? Absolutely; who wouldn’t want to experience the presence of God like that? But that doesn’t mean that’s what they expect and are trying desperately to make happen.
What they do want is to provide a time where we, as students, can learn about and focus on Christ in a specific way. This week, the focus is on living without boundaries and knowing who we are and what we are called to be. God has provided you with a high calling and purpose designed exactly for the talents He has given you. It’s a message we hear so often and forget even more, causing this week’s emphasis to be a necessary and beneficial reminder.
The goal is to pray together and seek together as one body. If that is forcing the Holy Spirit, then we should probably disband every prayer group and revival service that ever plans to meet. Expecting God to move isn’t forcing Him to do so; it’s having faith enough to believe in His power and love to answer prayer without having evidence that it will happen.
I appreciate that I go to a place that values the spiritual body and wants to make sure that it is healthy as a whole, not merely on an individual basis. Jesus told us to ask, seek and knock so that we can receive all that He has for us. Weeks like Great Commission Congress provide us with those reminders and opportunities to re-center and re-focus our lives around Christ so that we can serve Him and know Him more.