God uses the most unlikely situations

Published 6:00 am Saturday, November 10, 2018

Some believe in fate. Some believe in luck. Some believe in synchronicity, or the universe working together to bring certain things about at a precise moment. Personally, I believe God’s plan and timing are perfect.

Our culture is so mindful of fame and celebrity status. Those who are well known through various forms of media have a lot of opportunities and power to influence society for good or evil. They are spokespersons for a wide range of issues. It would be easy to think that if God had a message He wanted to convey to humankind, He would pick one of the rich, powerful, or beautiful people from around the world who already have a following.

Usually, He does not. At the time of Christ’s coming as a child, the people who were waiting on the promises of God in scripture to come to pass were definitely not expecting God to choose a young unknown virgin woman to be an earthly vessel who would carry the Son of God. They were looking for a new king or a political movement to produce a leader that would usher in the greatness of God on the earth. It was even said about Jesus in His lifetime on earth, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (his home).

I’ve often encountered that attitude in other places about southeastern Kentucky, western Virginia, and northeastern Tennessee. Can anything good come out of this region?

In researching for another reason, I came across several documentaries about the Azuza Street revival. God laid His hand and poured His anointing out on one faithful African American man, who was hungry for revival, along with a small group of believers who supported his efforts. As the Spirit of God showed up and people began to witness incredible healings, miracles, and even a Holy nonconsuming fire sitting on the church’s rooftop, word spread, and the meetings began to be integrated in a time of great racial segregation in this nation. The power of these meetings, the impact it had on people’s individual lives, and those called into full-time ministry still impact our world today. An unlikely vessel, in an unlikely part of town, in an old run-down building, were the perfect combination for this great revival.

However, this is only one example of many around the world.

Concerning the Welsh revival of 1904 and 1905, Wikipedia states, “The Welsh Revival was the largest Christian revival in Wales during the 20th century, while by no means the best known of revivals. It was one of the most dramatic in terms of its effect on the population, and triggered revivals in several other countries. Meanwhile, the Awakening swept the rest of Britain, Scandinavia, parts of Europe, North America, the mission fields of India and the Orient, Africa and Latin America.”

It is said that the Welsh coal miners who were transformed by the revival couldn’t get their coal ponies to obey them because the animals were so used to the abuse, screaming and foul language they had become accustomed to hearing from the workers. They had to be retrained to respond to kinder, gentler, transformed men. It is also reported that the Spirit of God would invade the underground mining works and men would encounter God in the depth of the mines. What unlikely set up was that in the minds of men? Yet, God found it a perfect arena for what He wanted to do.

In Scotland, when revival broke out in the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, those affected most were seamen, fishermen, and “Most of the new converts were relatively young and from the lower groups in society.”

The list of worldwide revival places where God touches earth and changes men is most likely to begin in improbable places among unlikely people according to society’s expectations, but in the places where people seek to know God more deeply. It may be unexpected on the world stage for such great things to spring forth from our region, but in God’s eyes, I believe that qualifies us for the miraculous.

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at judith99@bellsouth.net or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.