A Testimony From The 2008 Heart-Cry For Revival Conference
  By Pastor Shep Johnson

    The Heart-Cry for Revival Conferences of 2006 and 2008 at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina were life-changing moments for me and others from the family of First Baptist Church. The worship, speakers, and workshops were wonderful. Everything that was said seemed to apply directly to me. I came to those meetings knowing that something was wrong with my life and my ministry. I was working, and working hard, but my efforts were void of power and effectiveness. During those days at The Cove, God revealed to me that He would not use a vessel until it was first emptied, cleansed, and dedicated fully to Him. God began in me a process that is still underway today. I learned that revival is more than a moment in time. Revival is God producing a continuing lifestyle of brokenness, repentance, prayer, holiness, and obedience in the heart of a believer. God made it clear that I must deny myself, take up my cross daily, and follow Him (Luke 9:23). As the light of Godís holiness began to bear down on my life, all sorts of sins became apparent. How could I expect Godís power to manifest in my life if I continued to embrace the things of this world while trying to keep Him at a safe distance? What a fool I had been. As Vance Havner said so many years ago, I had been playing marbles with diamonds. It was time to get real.

    In the days since Heart-Cry our local pastors have confessed the sins of competition and suspicion. We have learned to love one another. Barriers have come down, and churches have come together. We have set apart one Sunday a quarter to meet together as churches to worship in one place. God led us to hold a community-wide revival where 60 area churches participated, crossing denominational and ethnic barriers. This was preceded by a Heart-Cry One-Day Pastorís Conference on revival. In the days ahead we look forward to doing more things together. Pastors in our area are even planning to get a group together and drive up to the 2009 Heart-Cry for Revival Conference at The Cove.

    I am still not where I need to be, but at least I have been given a vision of where God wants me to go and how He wants me to get there. To God, and God alone be the glory.