Puritans, persecuted in England, "made plans to find a home where they could worship freely and live out the Christianity they believed was according to Scripture." Eddie Hyatt writes this in his book America's Revival Heritage (page 10). After a harrowing trip across the Atlantic, the Puritans landed in Cape Cod. They had drawn up a covenant with God and one another called the Mayflower Compact. As stated in this covenant, their voyage was to plant a colony "for the glory of God, and the Advancement of the Christian Faith."
The revelation or vision of a God-fearing and God-honoring nation came before the Puritans embarked on their journey. Their vision came from their belief that "God had created society as a unified whole to reflect His glory. Church and state, the individual and the public--these were all related spheres and all were to function under the Lordship of Christ..." (Eddie Hyatt, page 13, America's Revival Heritage) I do not think the Puritans ever saw the completion of their vision. But, the vision is still alive in the hearts of many Americans.
God instructed Habakkuk to write down his revelation so a herald could run with it. Habakkuk 2:3 says, "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." The forefathers of our nation certainly wrote down the revelation! They left us a trail of documents that define the purpose of their communities. One example is the 1739 founding document of Connecticut called "The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut." "...We do for ourselves and our successors enter into combination and confederation together, to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we now profess."
What happened to the vision of the first immigrants to our land for a country of unified people walking in the glory of God? Eddie Hyatt suggests that the second and third generation immigrants lost the vision of their parents and grandparents and made increasing prosperity their goal. In doing this they lost their spiritual vitality. As spiritual vitality waned, compromise became a way of life. They ignored their Biblical foundation.
As time went on, some in the community of faith began to recognize how far the nation had moved from God. They began to call out to Him in fasting and prayer, desperate for a move of God to get the nation back on track. God heard their cries. Revival broke out in some of the churches in the mid-east. The move of the Spirit spread. It impacted people of every standard, male and female, black, white and Native American. It became known as the First Great Awakening. That Awakening would impact the education system and the government. Most of the founding fathers were influenced by the Awakening of the 1740's.
The revival of the First Great Awakening was not sustained. Society went back to its moral slide away from God. However, again, a remnant of God's people remembered that God is a covenant-keeping God and stood on the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." God sent a Second Great Awakening, but the cycle repeated itself again.
It is my prayer that the appointed time for another Great Awakening is near. Only God can save our nation! There are pockets of revival going on in the east and west coasts right now. But we need revival to sweep across our land, touching every segment of society and every community in America. We need the vision to be restored. Please join me in praying in another Great Awakening for America that maintains the vision of our founding fathers and includes God in every aspect of our lives.
Joan E. Mathias