Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I am a pastor but if I walked through vocational door number two, I would probably be teaching history. History is a love of mine and it is not just beneficial when playing Trivial Pursuit. History reminds us of how God has worked in various times and cultures. It gives us a glimpse of the bigness of God and reveals to us that his power can be poured out in our time and in our town. We have seen many examples of this in American history. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the American churches had been consumed by materialism and apathy (sounds familiar). The evangelistic enthusiasm of their parents to reach people far from God had been lost in a prosperous and expanding land. A Boston preacher summed up the spiritual climate of the times, “Alas, as though nothing but the most amazing thunders and lightnings, and the most terrible earthquakes could awaken us, we are at this time fallen into as dead a sleep as ever.” People began to cry out for God to break their culture’s spiritual sleep. God heard the cries of his people and one of the great historical movements of God began in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1734. Beginning with the preaching and writing of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, God chose to ignite the Great Awakening. Through this movement of God, Whitefield preached a farewell sermon to a congregation of about 20,000. Thirty religious societies were formed, 150 churches were impacted, denominational barriers came down, Princeton Seminary was established, and Christianity expanded into the American frontier.
God desires to awaken us for Christ. God will do something in our day (even during a global pandemic) that we could not imagine; the question is “will we be part of what God is doing?” I often pray, “Lord guide me to walk in your steps, by your power, living my life for an audience of one.” As we allow God to transform our lives we will begin to see his power poured out in our families, church and community. The key is submissive allowance. Are we allowing God to mold us, to break us, to use us? It is only through a broken, pliable, sacrificial life that God will extend to us the full measure of his blessing.
I believe that our heart reveals whether or not we believe Ephesians 3:20-21. Jeremiah Burroughs writes, “Whatever your heart is most set upon, that is your God.” Is our heart set upon things of God? (personally convicting) Are we living our life for the external or the eternal? Does our lifestyle, time and talent mirror our heart for God? When they do, we can only await the awakening of God in our time for our generation. I pray for the day when future generations can study our history and be encouraged that God is alive and well in America.
Lord, forgive me for doubting your power. Forgive me for setting my heart on the external instead of the eternal. Help me to have a life that is focused on you looking at your hand at work in our time. Begin an awakening in my life and allow that to permeate to all people in my sphere of influence. Shine your spotlight on my life and reveal what I need to turn over to you. Awaken us Jesus! Create a boldness in me for the things of God. Thank you, Lord, for being a God so big that we cannot even imagine how you will pour out your love and forgiveness to a hurting world. Amen.