In Psalm 27:13 (NKJV), David wrote, I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
I too would have lost heart except that, beginning 11 years ago, a series of providential encounters began that have restored my hope and reassured me that God is not through with America.
Eleven years ago, I had given up hope of America ever seeing another great, national spiritual awakening. I thought God was through with America, and I had decided to focus my attention on other areas of ministry. Then everything changed when I had a life-altering encounter with the Almighty.
I had seen and experienced revival from the time I was a child. I recall my parents taking me and my brothers to the great tent revivals of the healing evangelists in the 1950s. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and called to preach the gospel during the great charismatic renewal of the 1970s. I participated in the Word of Faith revival of the 1980s and the revivals of Toronto and Pensacola in the 1990s.
These were all legitimate works of the Holy Spirit. However, I observed so much man-made hype and fake manifestations as to cause me to lose heart that America would see another genuine Great Awakening that would revive the churches of America, impact the culture, and stem the tide of secularism and false religion that was flooding the land.
Then one Saturday in the summer of 2010, I got in my car to make a two-hour drive from Tulsa to the Oklahoma City area where I was to speak in the Sunday morning service at an area church. As I pulled onto the highway, and with no expectation of any such thing happening, I suddenly felt that I was enveloped in God's presence.
At the same time, my mind was flooded with thoughts of hope and faith that America "could" see another national, spiritual Great Awakening. So intense was the experience that I was hardly aware of my surroundings as I drove. I could hardly wait to check into my hotel and write down the thoughts flooding my mind and heart.
I arrived at my hotel and quickly checked in. Then for another five hours, I sat on the bed with my notebook computer on my lap as God's presence continued to flood my heart and mind. I praised God and wrote until the presence of God lifted, and I fell off to sleep.
Two major truths were indelibly inscribed on my heart and mind from that encounter. First of all, my hope was restored that America could see another national spiritual Great Awakening that would alter the course of the nation. I clearly saw that God was not through with America.
Secondly, I saw, for the first time, that there was a direct bearing of the First Great Awakening on the founding of America. I had studied and even written about the First Great Awakening, but for the first time I saw that it directly impacted the founding of this nation. I saw that revival is in America's national DNA.
Out of that experience, I wrote the book, America's Revival Heritage, which we published in 2012. However, even as we marketed this book, I was being providentially led to more resources that confirmed the fact that America was birthed out of the First Great Awakening and that God had a divine plan for this land.
After the first printing sold out, I made plans to publish an updated second edition. However, so much new material had come into my hands that, as I wrote, I realized it was an entirely new book. In 2014, we published Pilgrims and Patriots with the subtitle The Radical Christian Roots of American Democracy and Freedom.
During the summer of 2019, I sensed a deep stirring to take the research I had already done and add a chapter on slavery. I knew that in this new book, I was to show that the Great Awakening had a direct bearing, not only on the founding of America, but also on the ending of slavery on this continent.
As I began this new project, I was amazed at the resources that providentially came into my hands. These resources were exactly what I needed to make the case about the Great Awakening and the ending of slavery.
While working on this new project, I read about the New York Times' 1619 Project in which they were "reframing" America's history and claiming that 1619, when the first African slaves were brought to these shores, was America's true founding, not 1776. They presented America as being defined by 1619 and therefore racist and corrupt at her core, in need of fundamental change.
My response was "No! No! America was not defined by 1619! America was defined by 1726!" 1726, of course, was the year the Great Awakening began.
Although I originally thought that this new book would be a second edition of America's Revival Heritage, there was so much new material about the Great Awakening and the antislavery movement it ignited, that I realized it was an entirely new book. So, in December of 2019 we published 1726 with the subtitle The Year that Defined America.
This past summer (2021) I sensed a deep desire to take the chapter on the Great Awakening and slavery in 1726 and expand it into a small book that documents how America's founders turned against slavery at a time it was accepted and practiced in most of the world. It seemed appropriate in light of the vicious attacks on America's founders, and so Abolitionist Founding Fathers was published in June of this year.
Out of these experiences, I have established the 1726 Project. This is not an organization, but an idea and movement to educate America about her overt Christian roots in spiritual awakening. This historical knowledge, along with biblical promises such as 2 Chronicles 7:14, becomes a solid foundation for praying for another Great Awakening to roll like a great tsunami wave across this land.
I have hope this will happen, for God has assured me that He is not through with America.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is a revivalist, historian, and ordained minister with 50 years of service as a pastor, teacher, and professor of theology. His books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. To schedule him to speak at your church or event, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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