As Christians we say we want revival, but what is it? This Crosstalk took listeners back to a revival within Scripture and looked at the preacher, the people, the preaching itself, and the proclamation of God’s Word.
Joining Jim to examine this topic was Dr. Les Ollila. Dr. Ollila is the founder and director of Building Great Leaders. He’s a former pastor, staff evangelist, and former President of what was then known as Northland Baptist Bible College. He’s also a member of the Board of Directors of VCY America
Is revival about being more excited about the church and the things of God? Dr. Ollila indicated that you can do things to bring about excitement, but that’s not revival. Instead, he described it as an exchange from what you were, to what God wants you to be. More specifically, it’s an exchange of your dead works to serve the living and true God, an exchange from your will to submission to God’s will, an exchange from your walk in darkness to walking in light, exchanging your name and reputation for His exalted name, exchanging your pleasures to instead be a pleasure to Him, exchanging your liberty for love, and an exchanging of your idols to worship only Him.
On the issue of idols, we read the description of graven images in the Bible and can tend to think we have no idols today. Is this true? Dr. Ollila said this isn’t true. In fact, we have four controlling idols today. The first one is our name/reputation. The second is our possessions. The third is our will and the idea that no one tells us what to do. The fourth is the idol of pleasure. These are idols of the heart we can hide well and make look quite respectable.
According to Dr. Ollila, revival means there has been life. It’s not a resurrection. The apostle Paul recognized that he was alive, yet he had to die to himself. So revival is coming back to life but dying to self in order that we might fulfill our purpose which is to glorify God.
From there Dr. Ollila described the cultural background during the time of Nehemiah and Ezra his priest/scribe. Knowing this provides a better understanding of revival so that we can properly apply this lesson to our lives as believers and to the churches we minister within.