Throughout the history of the United States, there have been several revivals and spiritual awakenings. The first one, “The Great Awakening of 1734”, started in a small church and the message was delivered by one of my favorite pastors, Jonathan Edwards. It went from 1734 to 1743. The Holy Spirit inspired preachers far and wide to preach messages of returning to God. It was estimated that 80% of America’s 900,000 colonists heard the messages given by George Whitfield, another pastor who took up the call to preach to his fellow Americans.
In 1800, “The Second Great Awakening”, took place and ran its course for forty years. James McGready, a Presbyterian minister, led by the spirit preached the word and many saw all sorts of spiritual manifestations in Logan County, Kentucky. Pastors like Charles Finney and Gardiner Spring reached thousands and hundreds of thousands accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord.
Since then, there have been hundreds of great and small revivals. Growing up in a small Texas town, we had regular revivals. Churches would shut down and join the congregation of other churches to share meals together and listen to the words of great pastors from around the state.
One of my fondest memories was getting to hear the message given by a dear man of God, O. Byron Richardson. He delivered the Good News and his words have stood the test of time. I remember scraping up the money to buy a record of one of his messages, “Blocking the Way to God”. When he found out that I didn’t have the money, Brother Byron gave me a copy of it and told me to never fear preaching the Word of God. For days, I followed not only him but also every word he spoke. Between Brother Joe and Brother Byron, the Word has always been a part of me. Both have since gone on to be with the Father. But, these men of faith spoke the words God placed on their heart without fear or compromise. Each spoke with love and the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
America and the world need a Great Revival. Messages of hope, faith, and love preached by great men of God need to fill our hearts and minds and bring us all back to the roots of this great nation. It was faith in God and our trust in Him that got us through the darkest of times. Every church needs to be filled beyond capacity and tents erected with sawdust floors for the great voices of faith bellowing out into the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord.
In chapter three of the Gospel that bears his name, Matthew writes, “In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, ‘Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.’ The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’”
Our voices must be as strong as the voice of the one crying out in the wilderness. Many will scoff and insult you for your belief, but the message has to be preached. When you look at what is going on in our world, messages of hope, faith and love are needed even more today. Many have fallen away from their faith only to accept the lies of a fallen world. People are walking in darkness and they even realize that there is a big void in their lives. They try to fill their voids with alcohol, drugs, sex and other vices. They want something to fill that void and provide them with hope, faith and love.
I call all to begin the Great Revival in their churches and committees. Raise up your voices in praise and worship and humble yourself before the Lord. Pray for this message to take root and start with one voice joined by others. Deliver the message to those around you and join others to “prepare the way of the Lord”.
Pray for His words to fill you to overflowing and share the message that He has given you. God will give you the words. He will guide you. Don’t wait a moment longer. Share the message and give Him the glory. When you allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart, the message will come to you. As you deliver His message, you will stand firm in His grace.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.