Our colonies became unified, much through a revival that took place in North Hampton, Massachusetts in 1734-35. This was a revival that lasted about 18 months. A man by the name of Jonathan Edwards was preaching. It was of such magnitude that businesses, schools, and farms shut down. The glory of God was poured out on the Connecticut Valley until people began to reel under the power of God. They came from everywhere to be touched by the living God. After awhile, the revival dried up.
At that time there was a young man attending college in London, England, by name of George Whitfield. He began hungering for God. He began to cry out in his dorm room one day, with these simple words, “I thirst.” His dormitory room began to fill up with the glory of God. He began to laugh uncontrollably. He said that he was overwhelmed by the joy of The Lord. God had become so very real deep in his soul. From that day on he began to preach in London. The power of God began to fall every time he preached. He was kicked out of churches. Many times when you begin to experience the power of God more than the status quo, that is what happens. Did he despair, feel sorry for himself, and quit? NO, he began to preach in the fields & to the coal-miners. If there is a true fire shut up in your bones, you are compelled to preach anywhere that you can. Several months later there were 3,000 coalminers in attendance, than a month later, 10,000. Two months later there were reports of 20 or 30,000 coal miners in 3 locations. London was shaking under power of God, in a matter of few weeks. Whitfield was just a twenty year old boy but began to feel a pull to the colonies. He showed up in what would become America in 1740.
At that time, America was only thirteen rebellious colonies from different parts of Europe They pretty much hated each other. All they cared about was themselves, their own farms and little colonies. There was no harmony and certainly no nation under God. Whitfield began tohave open air meetings for the next 35 years in these colonies. In 1740, he went back to north Hampton where revival had waned in Jonathan Edward’s meetings. Edward’s wife began to weep for 2 days. Once again, the glory of God fell in those churches. Thousands of young people got saved in those meetings. Some of the founding fathers of our nation came. Also, some from Europe, and slaves from Africa began to come, as the power of God began to fall. The African-Methodist-Episcopal church came out of that 25 year revival. Guess what began to take place? One nation under God, thirteen colonies tasting revival. They began to have a destiny & realize God had a purpose for them that went beyond their own family, their own church, and their own colony. They realized that God had put His hand upon America for a divine purpose to be a bright & shining light, a hub of world evangelism. They were to promote Christianity over the next 300 years.
One of the converts of that revival was a man by the name of David Brained, who became a missionary to the native Americans. He later died in Edward’s home and Edwards wrote his diary. We are all so connected in revival. A now, very famous man, was touched by that book. He name isWilliam Carrey, (considered to be the father of modern missions from England). He went to India. Another one touched through all of this was Judson, who served in Burma for over 40 years & was instrumental in beginning the first mission's society in America. Jim Elliott ended up on the mission field after reading that same book. Jim Elliot was one of five missionaries killed an attempt to evangelize the Waodani people of Ecuador.
This country was birthed in revival. God has moved here generation after generation. We’ve tasted from on high and we know that nothing else will satisfy us. This Great Awakening must start in our hungry hearts. Jesus said "if anyone is thirsty, come anddrink and out of your belly will flow rivers of living water”. It’s time to shake nations one state at a time. It cannot be done through a luke warm religious church but one that has tasted of those living waters. Those old revivalists set a standard that still needs to be followed. It was one of no compromise or fear. They would not back down for their own protection.
These are some of the descriptions given about their preaching and the stand they took. “The Holy Spirit used sharp edges of the sermons to cut deep. People couldn’t sleep on Sunday nights after these messages. Edwards preached so strong that the next day they could talk of nothing but the upheaval in the pulpit. They gathered in homes to pray. Shops and businesses closed. The next day every hearer was eager to hear the words of the minister. Tears flowed, in sorrow & distress, others with joy & love, others with concern for the souls of their neighbors.
Day and night people came to seek help. Edwards had the ability to paint pictures. His aim was to make heaven and hell, their joys and terrors, real. In his now famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, he compared the sinner with a spider suspended over the flames ready every moment to singe & be burned asunder. He said, “You have nothing to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, or what you have ever done or can do, to induce God to spare you one moment”. People grasped the pillars and pews to keep from sliding into the pit. They could smell the sulphur.
They described George Whitfield this way. He hurled Gospel truths like thunderbolts, his eyes flashing, andhis words had the effect of a red-hot pitchfork thrust into a tub of butter. He believed in using his voice. “I love those who thunder out the Word”, he once said. “The Christian world is in a dead sleep. Nothing but a loud voice can awaken them out of it.”
When he preached, every word was heard by seamen on board a boat anchored four hundred feet away. He preached in meeting houses, barns, fields, and wagons. Everywhere people were convicted of sin, and driven to the foot of the cross. One one occasion a neighboring chimney caught fire and they began to scream out thinking that God’s judgment had come. When they realized what it was, they said, “If we’re so unprepared for judgment that the light of a burning chimney throws us into fear, how much in need we are of repentance.”
Those revivals were demonstrative. In the revivals, people went into trances, saw visions, and had their countenance changed. Their knees shook together, and men fell as though a cannon had been shot through their hearts. They had to be carried from the meeting- house.
Whitfield said, “conversion is undeniably, an emotional affair. Though the intellect enters in, feeling, not thought, is the gateway to knowing God.” He wasn’t concerned by the nature of the outward displays. What counts, he argued, is whether or not they indicate an inner change which won’t evaporate when the emotional upheaval wears away. The thing he and Edwards had in common was the belief that the conviction that the Gospel compels a personal decision that will change an ordinary man into a new being.
These men changed the entire course of America. That’s what we need again! That’s what we have in a missionary sent by God from South Africa to the United States, right when we needed it more than ever. Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne & his wife, Adonica were sent here from their native land, with three hundred dollars to their name and three children. They have persevered through many things, including the death of their 18-year old daughter on Christmas day a few years ago. They have never quit believing that they were sent to this nation to reap a harvest of souls and to see a Great Awakening. They will be in Washington D.C. July 4-11 preaching, as the prophets of old, for that reason. They have rented the Daughters of The American Revolution Hall at their own expense and are holding nothing back. They are risking everything to preach the truth, hold nothing back, and call this nation to a spiritual awakening. My husband and I are joining them, and I urge you to go, to pray, to give. You can go on their web site at Revival. com, go to Celebrate America and give.
Can you and I make a difference? Yes, if we will repent, get hungry like Whitfield did, cry out, tell everyone we meet that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. Let’s pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on us.