As we continue to honor the twentieth anniversary of Revive Our Hearts, we’re still feeling celebratory. Beyond nostalgic, we feel eager to see what God will do next. As we reflect on all He has done, we hope you’ve been reminded of all He can do and that you’ll dare to ask Him what He wants to do through you.
A decade ago, as Revive Our Hearts celebrated its tenth anniversary, Nancy responded to several questions, revealing some of the challenges of calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ and casting a vision for the future.
Q: How has your life changed since starting Revive Our Hearts ten years ago?
Nancy: I have a much greater confidence in the Lord and in His enabling, sustaining grace and power.
At the same time, I have a constant, conscious sense that I can’t make it apart from Him (that’s a good thing!). I have seen more of my weaknesses and experienced more of His strength . . . more of my sinfulness and more of His grace. I’ve learned a lot (and am still learning!) about relinquishing control and letting the Lord and others manage things.
As a result of seeing Him come through on my behalf and the ministry’s behalf again and again and again (we call them “Red Sea moments”), I have even more reason to trust Him and less reason to doubt Him or to panic or be anxious in the midst of storms. Not that I never doubt or panic—I do! But my heart is steadied as I remember His faithfulness over these past ten years.
Q: How do you decide what to teach on Revive Our Hearts?
Nancy: I usually select topics or Scripture passages based on either what the Lord is teaching me and how He is working in my own life or an issue I sense needs to be addressed as I listen to other women share their struggles/burdens or read letters and emails from our listeners.
Some of the richest teaching series for me have been birthed out of a change I have made in my personal devotional life. For many years I made a practice of reading consecutively through the Bible at least once or twice a year. This approach has been of great blessing and benefit to me—I love getting a panoramic view of the Scripture and seeing how each portion interrelates with other parts.
However, in recent years, I have felt the need to slow down the pace at times and meditate more deeply on smaller portions of Scripture. So I have spent months at a time poring over and pondering individual passages such as Psalm 23, 2 Peter 1, the book of Habakkuk, the Lord’s Prayer, etc.
I get immersed in the passage, reading it over and over and over again, memorizing it, meditating on each word, phrase, and verse (not only in my quiet time, but often throughout the day), cross-referencing to other portions of Scripture, journaling, asking the Lord to work that portion of His Word into the warp and woof of my life.
Once my mind, heart, and life are saturated with one of these passages, I usually end up developing a radio series based on the overflow of where I have been living. After spending extended time doing personal meditation, I will pull out other commentaries to shed additional light on the subject.
Q: What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced since starting Revive Our Hearts?
- Maintaining a “quiet heart” and personal intimacy with the Lord in the midst of the demands of my daily schedule.
- Managing my time effectively around His priorities and agenda. Far too often, I look back at the end of a day and realize I was busy all day with “urgent” demands but did not accomplish the “important” things that most needed to be done.
There are always more opportunities, requests, and demands than can be humanly fulfilled. I have to keep reminding myself of what I have said to others many times over the years: “There is time in every twenty-four-hour day to do everything that is on God’s agenda for my life this day.” That means I need to be prayerful, tuned, and sensitive to the Spirit, so I can know what is on His “to-do list” for my day.
- I struggle with the reality that in so many areas of my life I know I am not consistently living up to the biblical standard to which I am calling others. To be honest, sometimes I don’t even want to live up to that standard—I get weary at times of always being spiritually vigilant and constantly waging war against my flesh, the world, and the devil. But in my heart I really do want to be like Christ and to glorify God. So I seek to be responsive to the conviction and the work of the Spirit in my life and to walk in the light—confessing and repenting of sin as He reveals it, receiving His forgiveness, and pressing on by His grace.
- There have been significant changes in Christian radio in the past ten years (reflective of a drift in the evangelical world as a whole). Though there are exceptions, it seems that the industry as a whole has become more “market-driven” than “message-driven”—i.e., many decisions are being made based on the question, “What do people want to hear?”, rather than questions like: “What do people need to hear? What is the message that needs to be communicated to this generation?”
I have to wrestle with these pressures in my own teaching. I know that certain topics are “guaranteed” to generate greater response. But I have to be sure I am willing to teach on unpopular subjects or take counter-cultural positions as the Lord leads, even if that means we pay a price in terms of audience response.
Q: What are some of the greatest personal battles or temptations you face?
Nancy: When I feel overwhelmed by deadlines (writing a book, preparing for teaching sessions, writing ministry communication pieces, etc.), I easily fall prey to discouragement and doubt. In those seasons, I wrestle a lot with a sense of inadequacy and feelings of inability to do what I have been called to do.
I am prone to focus more on the challenges and “hardships” in my life and ministry than on the Lord. I have to consciously “counsel my heart” according to His Word and choose to look at those difficulties from His perspective and to embrace them as a necessary part of the process of sanctification in my life and a means through which He can be glorified.
Lack of self-control in my use of time, physical disciplines (diet and exercise), my tongue, etc.—I have been studying this whole topic and asking the Lord to develop this fruit of the Spirit in my life.
Q: What are some of the things God uses to encourage you?
Nancy: I’m amazed at how the Lord will sometimes prompt someone to call or send me a note of encouragement just when He knows I need it most. Sometimes it is from a dear friend, other times from someone I’ve never met. That encouragement means a lot to me, whether verbal or written.
- Hearing about people who pray faithfully for me and for the ministry. My heart is infused with fresh faith and grace when someone says, “I’d like to pray for you”—and does it right then and there—whether in person or on the phone.
- Hearing testimonies of hearts that have been revived and lives that have been changed as a result of the ministry.
- Relaxed meals (or phone conversations or walks) shared with close friends—sometimes women, sometimes married couples—who know me well, care for my soul, know how to ask the right questions, and don’t think of me as a “public person.”
- Sometimes what encourages me most is just getting out of myself and reaching out to someone God puts in my path who needs a listening ear, a caring heart, or a helping hand.
- Listening to the preaching/teaching of the Word—whether at church, online, through CDs, or at conferences I am able to attend occasionally. I sit and listen with a hungry, needy heart and am never disappointed—Christ-centered preaching fills my cup and fans the flame of my devotion for Him.
- Reading biographies of godly men and women and classic devotional books is also greatly encouraging.
- I have learned to encourage myself in the Lord by meditating on specific promises from His Word and affirming that they are true, regardless of what I may feel at the moment. I carry a list of some of those promises in my Bible and often turn to them to strengthen and encourage my heart.
Q: How would you like people to pray for Revive Our Hearts?
Nancy: Pray that the Holy Spirit will supernaturally anoint our efforts and work powerfully in the hearts of women to receive and respond to the truth of God’s Word. Also pray:
- That doors will remain open to proclaim the truth of His Word through the airwaves and through other means of communication.
- For wisdom as we think strategically about technological changes taking place and determine how to best utilize available technologies to communicate the message of revival and biblical womanhood.
- That the Lord will raise up many additional financial partners to support the outreaches of ROH on a regular basis. Pray that some will be prompted and enabled to underwrite ministry projects and needs on a larger scale.
Ask the Lord to:
- Show us how to reach younger women with this message.
- Raise up like-minded women and men to serve with us in this mission—both as volunteers and in a full-time capacity.
Q: How do you want people to pray for you personally?
Thank you for asking! Please pray in relation to the specific challenges, battles, and temptations mentioned above. Ask the Lord to give me understanding into His Word and to help me proclaim the truth in a way that is faithful and pleasing to Him. Also, Pray:
- I will serve the Lord with gladness.
- I will walk by faith and will choose to believe His truth, rather than being driven by my emotions or my circumstances.
- Every part of my life will be consistent with what I proclaim to others.
- For “fresh oil”—for divine anointing of the Spirit on my life and ministry. Pray that I will be filled with His Spirit, will manifest the fruit of the Spirit, and will walk and serve in the power of the Spirit.
- For spiritual protection in the battle, for endurance in the race. I want to run well for His glory—all the way to the finish line.
Q: Where do you want to see the ministry ten years from now?
Nancy: In the next ten years, we want to expand our various broadcasting, event-based, internet, and publishing outreaches to see the following take place:
- A grassroots movement of Christian women who reflect the beauty of Christ, are filled with the Spirit, and are committed to live out the implications of the gospel—in their homes, churches, workplaces, and communities. Women of purity, humility, love, faith, and wisdom.
- A widespread movement of women who are praying fervently—individually and corporately—for genuine revival in the church.
- Thousands of local church women’s ministries structured, equipped, and resourced to nurture and train godly women using biblical models and principles.
- A more intentional, developed Titus 2 component to the ministry—motivating, mobilizing, and resourcing women to “teach what is good” (Titus 2:3) to their children and younger women.
- An integrated effort of biblically-grounded female authors and speakers to shape and influence the lives and thinking of Christian women.
- A more active presence in other languages, countries, and cultures, including the ability to offer our resources to many more women who do not speak or read English. We particularly hope to see a full-orbed ministry to Spanish-speaking women, both in the United States and throughout Latin America.
- A host of women whose hearts have been revived, actively involved in ministries of mercy and compassion—both in local, hands-on efforts, and in ways that minister grace to needy and oppressed women around the world.
As we cross the threshold of our twentieth anniversary, it’s clear God has been at work through the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. Many of the things we were praying for a decade ago are realities today, prompting us to continue to step out in faith and ask God to use this ministry for the next twenty years and beyond.
We’re still saying “Yes, Lord” and He is still committed to calling women around the world to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Him. How will you partner in the mission to see women around the world thrive in Christ in the days ahead?