Where can we find revival? How can we find lasting change? Revival with “we” starts with me. Will it last? The deeper the change, the greater the range, but each generation has a choice to make. What will be your witness to this generation, the young and the old? Where do you start? To be key, the foot of the cross. But if you are in need of some soul-searching, a revival, and you desire to find what God expects of you, then I would recommend you begin with this booklet.
J. Otis Yoder brings together four very striking Biblical accounts to light the fire of revival. He begins on Mount Carmel, goes back to Ai, moves on to a certain barn-builder, and returns to Jerusalem.
In the case of Elijah on Mount Carmel, you can’t help but wonder if J. Otis wrote this recently. It was 1977 for J. Otis and even longer for the Scripture, but man’s problems and God’s solutions remain the same. I hope I don’t spoil the reading much, but here are a few thoughts I gleaned from the first chapter:
Decision – All the confusion and hesitancy in the world lies between two decisions, between God and Satan. In the story of Elijah, the proxy for Satan was Baal. There are only two choices. So, what is causing your confusion? What is keeping you from clearly choosing God and His Will for your life?
Devotion – “Oh what an awful fact is neglect. It is like a sneaking thief. It takes away from you the best in life and replaces it with a broken altar and a god that cannot see, hear, or do…Have you forsaken and neglected the altar of God?” If you’re looking for revival, start with your own personal devotion to God.
Determination – Elijah desired to please God, and he left nothing out; he held nothing back, he let nothing stop him, he stood alone, but stand he did. He called for a decision, he led by example in devotion, and he showed determination—he did not quit.
Oh, but there’s more. In chapter two, he goes on to explain “what to do about sin.” And in chapter three, he lays waste to the waste that is self-indulgence. If I might summarize, and spoil the reading a bit less, let me put it this way:
Whether you be a sinner condemned to die like Achan, or wealthy and well-loved, revival is waiting on your decision. Whether, by popular perception, we have become self-destructive or the self-made millionaire, we all need repentance.
One illustration had a little “bite” for me personally. “Here in America, in one year (1977), the American people spent more for dog food than they did for missions. Isn’t that a pity? More concern for the dog population than for the poor, downtrodden, lost sinner. That’s a shame!” Now, I do understand the value of keeping our animals fed: God commands it. But this does make me wonder about the value of some of our enterprises. Proverbs 13:11 states that “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” In other words, the quick buck doesn’t go very far, and true value is found in hard work, but that’s another topic. The point is: Is my job adding more value to people’s lives, or is some of it a bit vain?
Let’s take this one step at a time: Am I adding temporal value, or just fluff? Am I adding eternal value, or just fuel? What more does God command?
Now, I recognize that I haven’t written much regarding the final chapter, the results of revival! But I trust you’ll find it an encouraging and challenging read as well. That passage is Ezra 9:1—10:12.
As I read this book, I found it so full of challenges. One might say that this book is not for the faint of heart, because it is hard to hear. But no, that is exactly who it is for, to call all men to revival, particularly those who need it most! God has a solution for the faint of heart; call on Him, wait on Him, and place your trust in Him. Read this with conviction and listen. How ever still, how ever mighty the voice, obey. Trust, obedience, revival!
~ Eric Druist
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