A Holy Spirit Tsunami!

Written by John Holt 

We need a Holy Spirit Tsunami!  

To anyone who lives by the ocean, the idea of a tsunami brings fear rather than hope.  However, the correct definition of the word depends on the context of its usage.  A tsunami can be a long high sea wave caused by an earthquake or some disturbance in the depth of the ocean.  A tsunami can also be defined as an arrival or occurrence of something in overwhelming quantities or amounts.

What do I mean when I say we need a Holy Spirit Tsunami?  I was a young pastor during the early 1970s when the social tsunami called “the hippie movement” was sweeping across our nation.  It was a counter-cultural movement challenging every value and the mores of the previous generation.  They declared that anyone over 30 years old was suspect and could not be trusted because they were part of the establishment.  A generation of young adults “dropped out” and lived high on drugs and what was called free sex or love. They also hit the streets and college campuses protesting the Vietnam War. I watched the riots in the streets, the lawlessness, the hated of rules and boundaries, and the destruction.  The Kent State horror of college students being shot by the National Guard in 1970 fed this hatred of what was referred to as “the establishment.”

As a follower of Jesus, I despaired for our nation.  All the signs of the “last days” mentioned by Paul in 2 Timothy 3 were happening all across our nation. Was there any hope?

But then a spiritual tsunami began on the West Coast and started to sweep across our nation, and across all North America and Central America and even parts of Europe. It was a Holy Spirit tsunami of grace. As this Holy Spirit tsunami swept across our nation, it changed the spiritual topography, just as a coastal tsunami changes the physical topography. Nothing was left the same!  Even the church of Jesus Christ!

This spiritual tsunami was named the “Jesus Movement, Jesus People, or Jesus Generation.”  Dropped out, drugged up hippies were being swept into the Kingdom of God by this tsunami of “Holy Spirit poured out grace.” It was a counter-cultural spiritual movement. It birthed new music, a new sound, a new look, new ways of doing church, and a new passion for Jesus in the hearts and lives of that young adult generation.

I remember the resistance to drums and guitars in the church. And the resistance to long hair and clothing styles, and the attitudes of good church people as they tried to hold on to valued traditions. But I also remember the wonderful and powerful work of the Holy Spirit as He changed and redeemed broken lives and also changed the church of Jesus so we could love and embrace this overwhelming work of the Spirit.

I am praying for another Holy Spirit tsunami!  It will be different for sure, but I believe it is coming. Romans 5:20 promises that where sin abounds, grace super abounds. The Greek word implies that grace will flow in abundance and overwhelm all obstacles. One translation words it, “the gift of grace has overflowed!”  Now that’s a Holy Spirit tsunami!  I am praying for a counter-cultural, overwhelming, super abundant wave of God’s grace and Spirit to sweep across the young adult generation of our day.  Come Holy Spirit!


img_0825John Holt and his wife Kathe have served in pastoral ministry for over 45 years. In this semi-retired season of his life, he enjoys teaching, mission trips, writing, camping, and reading. He and his wife have three children and nine grandchildren.