(By Dean Merrill) To hear some Christians talk about spiritual gifts, it evokes the opening crawl of a Star Wars movie: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …” They reminisce about some wonderful camp meeting back in 1947, when there was “a mighty move of God.” They describe in glowing terms what they saw in an Oral Roberts or Kathryn Kuhlman healing crusade. They hark back to the Azusa Street awakening in Los Angeles (1906-09) and how, in spite of the prevailing Jim Crow laws and attitudes, the Holy Spirit brought whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians together in a great flow of spiritual renewal.

Somehow I hear the voice of Gideon in the background, who said to the angel, “”O my lord, if the Lord is with us, then why has all this happened to us? Where are all His miracles that our fathers told us about? They said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us out of Egypt?'” (Judg. 6:13b). He yearned to see God in action now, not just a hundred or two hundred years previous. I echo the earnest plea of the prophet Habakkuk: “O Lord, I have heard the report of You, and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of these years make them known; in wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2). READ MORE