A topic burning across American soil is the racial divide. Many ideas and concepts, including the rewriting of American history, have spawned major spiritual warfare fueling division in this great nation. Some have made the color of the skin the focus, when God is calling us to discern the impact of sin in the earth. Since the fall of Adam in the beginning, we cannot lose sight of the foundational truth that through one man’s disobedience sin entered the world and death spread to all men because all have sinned. Sin is the problem, not the color of skin. Any human being, no matter the color of their skin, bleeds red when their skin is broken, confirming that God’s Word is true.
Acts 17:26-28 says, “He has made from one blood every nation of men to live on the entire face of the earth, having appointed fixed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek the Lord so perhaps they might reach for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’”
History reveals that regardless of the racial divide in existence since the fall of man, God has always unleashed the weapon of unity to address the issue and bring revival. Consider the Azusa Street Revival of 1906-1909, where an estimated 700 million believers today trace their spiritual roots. While many rejoice in the great miracles, signs and wonders of wheel chairs losing their owners and peg legs being transformed into brand new limbs and children playing hide and go seek in the tangible glory of God, we cannot forget that the spiritual warfare of the racial divide was happening during that time.
Allow me to remind you that the Azusa Street Revival was birthed in the spirit of unity in the face of a racial divide. God chose an African American man named William J. Seymour during the time of Jim Crow laws of segregation to lead one of the greatest revivals of all time. It is interesting how God reveals the spirit of unity because, though the African American man William Seymour would pastor the revival, he learned about the baptism in the Holy Ghost from a white man named Charles Parham. Due to Jim Crow laws, William Seymour had to sit outside the classroom because of the color of his skin to learn about the Holy Spirit, yet God chose him to lead the entire revival. It goes a step further in God revealing the heart of unity of every tongue, tribe and nation. The Azusa Street Revival was named after a Native American girl whose name was Coma Lee. She prayed for her chief who was healed by God. As the miracle manifested in their midst, the chief renamed Coma Lee and called her “Azusa,” which means “blessed miracle.” This would be the name of the Azusa Street Revival.
The heart of God flows in the unity of utilizing every tongue, tribe and nation for revival. An African American man, William Seymour, known as the “Catalyst of Pentecost,” would lead a revival in which he learned about the baptism in the Holy Spirit from a white man named Charles Parham, who was considered the “Father of Pentecost.” The revival would be named after the Native American woman, Coma Lee (Azusa). The footprint of the historical Azusa Street Revival sits in downtown Los Angeles today, called Little Tokyo, which is a Japanese community. Finally, the Azusa Street Revival took place half a mile from El Camino Real, “The King’s Highway,” which was the old trail linking the Spanish missions, pueblos and presidios. Frank Bartleman, a great intercessor of the Azusa Street Revival, said it best. During the revival, “The color line was washed away in the blood of Jesus!” Unity is not optional; it is mandated from heaven if we desire to see revival in America. The God of the Bible is not racist!