Ps.63:1 – O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
The birth of the Great Awakening that influenced the birth of our country happened in a small frontier town, Northampton, Massachusetts in 1734. There was a sudden interest in spiritual things that came upon this town with a surge of conversions starting first with the young people. There apparently was a radical life change in some of them that served as a catalyst igniting the fires of revival in this Puritan congregation. Jonathan Edwards became known all around the western world through his writings, chronicling the move of God in his church. Here are some remarks from his publication, A Faithful Narrative.
“But as to those that have been thought to be converted among us in this time, the change in them seems abiding. They appear to have a new sense of things, new apprehensions and views of God, and the great things of the Gospel. They have a new sense of the truth of them, and they affect them in a new manner; though it is very far from being always alike with them, nor can they revive a sense of things when they please. Their hearts are often touched, and sometimes filled with new sweetnesses and delights. There seems to be an inward ardor and burning of heart which they express, of which they never experienced the like before. There are yet new kind of breathings and pantings and breakings of soul for the longings it hath. Some that before were very rough in their temper and manner, seem to be remarkably softened and sweetened. And some have then souls exceedingly filled and overwhelmed with light, love, and comfort, long since the work of God has ceased to be so remarkable.”
What catches my attention from this account is the passion that is apparently birthed in these new converts. Edwards speaks of an “inward ardor and burning of heart” in these new Christians. He also speaks of “breathings and pantings and breakings of soul”. What a contrast to the “pray this prayer and now you are saved” theology of this age. I think we have become so afraid of offending people with the gospel that we have watered our message down to the point of it being void of power. Lord send us some inward ardor and breathings and pantings after God.