Kyle Idleman, a preacher and best-selling author, was introduced in Wednesday’s Convocation at Liberty University as one of the greatest Bible teachers of the next generation.
Idleman’s book, “Not a Fan,” has sold over half a million copies and more than 10,000 churches have used the video curriculum. He is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church, one of the largest churches in the country with nearly 21,000 in attendance every weekend. Following Convocation, Idleman signed copies of his books, including advance copies of his latest work, “Aha,” which is set to release March 1.
During his message, Idleman used the well-known story of the prodigal son to show students that sometimes in life we are forced to awaken and see ourselves for who we truly are, what he calls an “Aha moment.”
He then proceeded to list the ingredients of the “Aha moment”: awakening (conviction), honesty (repentance), and action (obedience).
He told students that when the prodigal son had spent all of his money and was taking care of pigs, he realized things were supposed to be different in his life.
“I think God is continually wanting to open the eyes of our hearts and wake us up to some things that maybe we have been sleeping through,” Idleman said. “You can be a Christian for years and years and God still could convict you of some things. He still wants to wake you up and allow you to see something you have never heard before. He wants to sound an alarm in your life.”
Idleman said that after people awaken to the conviction and the Holy Spirit opens their eyes, they need to have the courage to be honest.
“One question I have learned to ask is: ‘Have you cried about it?’ If you do not exercise this practice, if you do not keep your heart soft in this way, it will limit how you think God can use you. Most of us would rather be in denial in our lives, than be honest,” he said.
Idleman asked students when was the last time they were honest with themselves, looked into a mirror, and said “I have sinned.”
“(You can) justify it, compare yourselves to others, minimize your sin, blame other people for it, but broken-hearted acknowledgment that you are a sinner and (this) is what you deserve for your sin is an important part of how God can work in us,” he said.
The last ingredient in the “Aha moment” is action.
“We can live our whole lives stuck between having conviction and action,” Idleman said. “One of the most important things I have learned about how the Holy Spirit works in me is that He wants to do it now. He doesn’t say tomorrow. He says today is the day to hear God work and take action.”