New Horizons, New Awakenings
The arrival of the Plymouth Pilgrims in 1620 is documented as the preliminary breaking of spiritual ground that unleashed the vision of God for this new land. Their sole reliance on the Bible and its laws encompassed every aspect of life for these seventeenth century Christians.
Unfortunately, it seemed the passionate fire of these Puritans of a long ago generation began to dwindle into a dying ember at the dawn of the eighteenth century. An independent spirit overshadowed the desire for cultivating the sacred seed of their ancestors. However, God has a way to fan the flame of a deeply ingrained hunger and by the early 1700’s He began to reawaken a sleeping America.
It began with one of those “suddenlies” in 1734 when the heavenly match was lit and rapidly exploded into holy flames. Under the conviction of the preaching of Jonathan Edwards, the people cried out, sobbed, and fell to the floor under the power of the Holy Spirit.
This dynamic outpouring of the Holy Spirit had all the makings needed to bring a desperate nation back to its roots and back on its knees. These powerful revivals continued to illuminate the countryside until the first events of our American Revolution slowly began to emerge on the horizon.
Perhaps by the grace of God the first Great Awakening was designed to radically change wayward hearts and let loose His covenantal love on His people. He would teach them reliance on His mercy in order to endure the impending storm of war and independence. This supernatural stirring began to anoint a generation of dedicated preachers who, along with a new breed of “founding fathers,” prepared the country to fight for her freedom as “one nation under God!”
We then find history repeating itself in subsequent decades following the American Revolution. The new nation’s anchor in Christianity was, for a second time, losing ground. Yet the winds were positioned in the right direction to blow the same sacred fire to kindle the next great wake up call. Once more at the turn of the century, a second Awakening took place prior to precarious events that led up to the Civil War. This time the nation was about to learn the lesson of living together in harmony side by side with his brother.
God was America’s Provider and reigned unopposed over this thriving nation. Church and community were the solid foundations in every town as the Lord graciously continued to bless and prosper His country. Life in the twentieth century was close to idyllic with the family providing the backbone of a stable America.
Fast-forward to the twenty-first century and we see an extraordinary increase in knowledge, while technology continues to develop at astounding speeds not even imagined a decade ago. What became non-essential was the vital hunger and commitment for the simplicity of God and family.
Because of this new mind-set there is a strange darkness penetrating our nation’s soil that has unearthed a destruction of unparalleled force. The church on the other hand seems to have gone into deep compromise with a challenging world. For the sake of “unity” and “political correctness” the Body has unwittingly turned away from the basic foundation of Christianity. As this harmful compromising enlarges, there are churches that will fall away from truth and concede it is just another sign of the times. Thankfully by His great mercy, God will always send the antidote to this moral decline.
At times the antidote seems to promote even greater calamity before the nation is to be restored. Yet a day will most assuredly come when the Lord sends His Final Great Awakening to a world that is now in grave danger of spiraling out of control. Once again, He will initiate an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and awaken His wayward children who will then rise up, understand their need for a national repentance, and with humble hearts, receive amazing grace and forgiveness.
The Body of Christ, by the tender mercy of God is now beginning to long for a climactic revival even greater than the First and Second Great Awakenings. We are captivated by narratives that embrace the spirit of those colonial-era meetings. One account involves a young man who attended the famous 20,000-person revival at Cane Ridge, Kentucky in 1802. “The noise was like the roar of Niagara. The vast sea of human beings seemed to be agitated as if by a storm. I counted seven ministers, all preaching at one time, some on stumps, others on wagons…some of the people were singing, others praying, some crying for mercy. A peculiarly strange sensation came over me. My heart beat tumultuously, my knees trembled, my lips quivered, and I felt as though I must fall to the ground.” This young man was so moved that he went on to become a Methodist minister. Oh how we need the end time church to become like- minded!
Today a new weather pattern is beginning to sweep over the horizon. The environment is setting the stage. Many churches that are coming out of their comas are beginning to teach the importance of corporate repentance, fasting, deep intercession, and finally, preparation. The words of the second chapter of Joel may now be coming to life:
“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
We are also beginning to see state after state looking up to the heavens in anticipation of a downpour of revival to burst forth on this dry and thirsty land.
Local politicians exhibiting Godly discernment see the direction this country is headed and are forming prayer caucuses in their districts. Their intention is to humbly invoke the blessings of Almighty God, imploring Him to hear their prayers and heal our land.
In some instances, it may look like the enemy of God’s covenant army is winning. But the Lord is about to let loose Christian warriors who will stand in formation, unbending, undaunted, yet extraordinarily victorious in obliterating any pathetic weapon being formed by the evil one who is doing his best to destroy our country.
This divine militia will begin to be unleashed throughout the country by divine leading. Outbreaks of Holy Ghost fire will, in the end, set into motion those “soldiers of the Lord” to readily anticipate the subtle tactics of the enemy, wield their swords to subdue him, defend the sacred covenant, and bring in God’s amazing finale. I believe this may be the way America will emerge from her moral and spiritual lethargy.
The “Great Latter Rain Revival” of Joel is beginning to power up. Can we as a nation continue to shift and realign to God’s perfect plan? The answer is a resounding YES! We must never give up hope in seeing this great move of God. It will surely come. If we will allow the Lord to shake immorality, confusion, legalism, condemnation, and discouragement from us realizing authority of demonic forces is extremely limited, then we as a nation will begin with renewed fortitude reclaim this covenant land back for the glory of God. It will come through this final Awakening foretold by Joel as well as keeping in mind the words of Jesus at the wedding feast at Cana, “You have saved the best wine until last.” 3
When it appears that the whole nation has turned away from their First Love, the Lord sends a great revival to expose HIS eternal love, and the spiritual climate of the country changes. It is marvelous what He can do when He finds a remnant that are watching for the glory clouds and are faithfully committed in declaring “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” What God has once awakened He can and will cause to awaken again.
“….you know what a critical hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” (Rom.13:11, Amp.)