A Great Awakening

Terry Walton



I Was Thinking…

Do we need another ‘Great Awakening’?  The ‘First Great Awakening’ swept through the British American colonies beginning in the 1730’s in reaction to many ministers concerns that this new country was swept up in the ‘Age of Reason’, also called ‘The Enlightenment’.  People were relying more on their minds than their hearts and there was concern of losing touch with our Creator God.  Preachers like George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards preached boldly the Gospel with countless people being converted to faith in Jesus Christ and a wave of ‘spiritual awakening’ swept across this infant country.

But here is the thing when our souls are stirred and awakened…the other side isn’t happy.  Not too long after this ‘Great Awakening’ began, America became divided.  ‘New Light’ preachers set up their own schools and churches throughout the colonies.  Princeton University was one such school.  The ‘Old Light’ ministers refused to accept this new style of worship.  (Does any of this sound familiar?)  However, one surprising result was greater religious toleration.   With so many denominations bubbling to the surface, it was clear that no one denomination would corner the market on religion.  The new expressions of faith that emerged were much more democratic in their approach.  The overall message was one of greater equality.  And in the era of slavery this was a courageous Gospel. 

The essence of the ‘First Great Awakening’ was broad ‘revival’ sweeping across England and America.  It stirred the soul and the one that wants to destroy the soul.

Do we need another ‘Great Awakening’?  Do we need ‘revival’?  I believe the answer is “Without a doubt we do!”  And I happen to believe we are on the verge of a great movement of God’s Spirit.  Why do I believe this?  Because it seems to me the Spirit of Darkness is working overtime to keep us divided and in conflict.  Something blessed is on the verge because the evil one is working hard to stop the momentum before it starts.

In 1942, C.S. Lewis wrote the ‘Screwtape Letters’.  Screwtape is the character of Satan and his protégé is Wormwood.  Screwtape mentors Wormwood when he says about Christians these words, “If we can just keep them distracted, we’ve got them!”  These profound words remain timely for us!

Do we need another ‘Great Awakening’?  Yes we do.  Will this squelch the work of the one who seeks to destroy souls?  No it won’t.  But it will move our hearts and our minds to be in line with Christ who prayed “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  May it be so!  I’m praying for it…how about you?
Always Thinking…

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