Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Consequence of Lies

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss says sin usually takes wives to one of two extremes. Either she’ll be co-dependent, needing her husband’s approval too much, or she’ll be too independent.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: If we fall into either one of those extremes, it doesn’t allow us to be who God made us to be as women interdependent upon men together for the glory of God.

Leslie: Today we’ll learn how to live in the balance. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, February 12.

Yesterday, Nancy began a conversation with Mary Kassian. Together they wrote the workbook, True Woman 101: Divine Design. They talked about some of the ideas in this workbook with their friends Karen Loritts, Erin Davis, and Carolyn McCulley. They explored how the fall of the first man and woman is still affecting us today.

She’ll pick back up talking about some of the temptations we face today.

Nancy: Let’s talk for a moment about how sin, saying yes to the deception, to the deceiver, how it affected the relationship with each other and with God. What was some of the fallout there?

Karen: We'll start with the husband. He just threw his wife under the bus. Genesis 3:12 says, "The man said, 'The woman you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.'"

Ouch. The woman You gave me. You gave me this woman. She did it. I didn't choose her. Everything was going okay. I was better off without . . . yeah, the woman.

Mary: Oh, man. Can you imagine how much that hurt?

Erin: I can't really imagine. That must have been so painful.

Mary: I mean, here her protector, her provider, her hero just turns on her. Unbelievably painful.

She lived in this perfect relationship, and it's like God hadn't even given the judgment against sin, and right away this unity is fractured. You could almost hear the crack. Her heart must have split in two. I mean, I can't imagine the betrayal she must have felt because she had gone into it thinking this was a good thing. Not having any ill intent, being deceived, not being wise, but not having any malicious intent—and then just BOOM—ow!

Erin: And we're going to assume these are the first harsh words Eve had ever heard. I think a lot of us as women can remember every harsh word that's ever been spoken. Right? They make a deep, deep impact in our heart.

Karen: Oh, talk about a marital adjustment time. They had it big time.

But I like that word when it says chapter 3, verse 1, “The serpent was more crafty.” It talks about that craftiness, the schemes of the devil in Ephesians, chapter 6 when it talks about the armor of God. He has his schemes. He had a definite plan. He knew. He was working it.

Let me go to the wife, the woman first, with her lack of contentment. She wants competiveness. I'm going to her, and when it fell down, I mean, everybody was saying, “No, No, No.”

Erin: Don’t you think part of the scheme was to pit husband versus wife, wife versus husband?

Karen: Yes.

Nancy: Keep in mind that in Genesis 1 and 2 was paradise. God made them to have co-dominion, to be co-regents, to serve together for the glory of God.

Erin: You see this unity and equality.

Mary: A beautiful partnership.

Karen: Very healthful partnership.

Erin: Amazing.

Nancy: Now it's not us together, but it's me versus him.

Karen: I don't want to say this, but they were nake. But now everything was a show. So there was no intimacy. It was now violated.

Mary: She must have felt incredibly violated and betrayed. I'm sure right there were the roots of bitterness, anger, resentment, and, really, self protection. I mean, that's how I would have reacted. Like, “You've got to be kidding me. He's not going to look after me. I'd better look after myself. This guy's turned on me.”

Nancy: And we still see that same mindset in our own lives and in our culture, things really haven’t changed that much. So how does culture encourage us as women to assert our independence?

Carolyn: It undermines the whole concept of unity and teamwork. I’m struck, when I look at this, when the Lord God comes into the garden in verse 9. It says, “But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” If we could understand the implications of our decisions and the impact on other people to understand that sometimes we do things that other people are going to be called to account for because that's how authority works. So God, who gave the rules to Adam, comes to him and says, "Where were you? I gave you the rules; you gave them to Eve. Where were you?"

Mary: You didn't step up.

Carolyn: Right.

Erin: Isn't that a lost principle? We don't think of the consequences or the accountability that our husbands, fathers, pastors, bosses may face because of our choices.

Carolyn: So we think we can do this warfare on our own without realizing that the very essence of unity and community is what is needed in spiritual warfare. So to understand when the first lies get sown anywhere in any one of our relationships, that when we withdraw and we hide—we can’t. The second we do that, he's already winning, and if we would understand that more, we would be less judgmental toward each other.

We would understand, “Hey, get that sin into the light as fast as you can. Get it into the light so that it won't be hidden, and you won't be under attack. And we would get each other's backs.”

So it's not just even a marriage principle. It's a community because we are all the Bride of Christ.

Mary: Divide and conquer . . . that was Satan's strategy. It was like, go in there, split it up, and have it us/them. Have the women exert her independence and the man blame the woman and exert his independence. So he's saying, "Not my fault; it's her fault.” And she's going, “Well, it wasn't really my fault, either.”

So, instead of working together for a solution, which they couldn't do . . . they couldn't provide the solution. It had to be God who comes into our lives and provides the solution for us. I think apart from that, we will have a tendency as women . . . I will have a tendency as a woman, apart from God, to wrap myself in self-protective layers, to exert my independence and to lash out at everyone who I perceive to be a threat to me or unsafe for me or competition for me.

I think that what we see here with Eve . . . Boy, I just resonate with this so much because this is really sin I'm so familiar with.

Nancy: Sin takes those relationships in one of two extremes it seems. What God created was healthy.

Erin: Healthy, very healthy.

Nancy: Interdependence. 

Erin: Right. We had two individuals.

Nancy: God and two individuals needing each other. So was for him a helper, suitable, fashioned for him. It's just a great sense of holy interdependence—dependence on God, interdependent on each other.

Mary: Like in the Trinity.

Nancy: Like in the Trinity, but then Satan . . .

Erin: It’s quite a love story. It's like the king of the thing that women are still trying to find.

Nancy: Yes, it's what the heart longs for. Satan sends us, I think, in one of two directions, particularly in the marriage relationship but in others as well, because sin affects all our relationships. One will be the unhealthy, what some would call co-dependence, which is, "I'm so needy that I can't function."

Mary: "I need a man. I can't function without you. I'm going to suck my identity and being and source of meaning from you."

Nancy: Which is where a lot of women live. Then there's the other extreme of independence.

Erin: I don’t need you.

Nancy: I don't need anybody or anything. If we fall into either one of those extremes, it doesn't allow us to be who God made us to be as women, interdependent upon men together for the glory of God

Karen: Eve should have said, “We're not going to do this, serpent, and just get away.” They needed come on the same battle field, on the same tennis court side and work this against the enemy, because they were into a spiritual battle.

Lots of times in relationships with men and women, we get into trouble when we're fighting against each other.

Nancy: The man becomes the enemy. 

Karen: When the enemy comes, we need to pull forces and together battle the enemy because he has a spiritual plan for us to split up.

Nancy: There's somebody doing this study who is right where you just described Karen.

Karen: There's a snake in the garden.

Nancy: There's a snake in the garden. Somebody has sinned, and there's chaos or dysfunction or consequences. Now is an opportunity, a moment of grace to step into the light with God, and to say, “Instead of tearing my husband apart or this man at work or this person or this dad who wounded me or wronged me in some way, I'm going to find a way by God's grace to seek God in my fallenness. I'm going to seek His help, to seek His grace, and see if we can get on the same playing field.”

Erin: That woman has a hope to have a different outcome that Eve faced by just taking the one step Eve didn't take, which was to consult God. If she'd just take that one simple step today after this study in her church and consult God, she'd have a different story.

Karen: I would say, too, as a pastor’s wife. In churches you have men and women, and sometimes some churches go down the tube. They may physically still be there, but spiritually they are not where God wants them to be. They’re not doing kingdom business because you have this inciting of the women against the men and their authority—competition with whoever the leaders are, the elders, or the deacons.

The outside community is looking at us and saying, “They can’t even get it together there in the church,” because you have this group and that group. Everybody is out of order, and they’re not being responsible for what God has called us to, even inside of a church.

Mary: Whenever we have an us/them mentality with people we’re in community with, I think that’s where we go wrong. I think that was one of the primary things that happened right away because of sin—us vs. them.

Erin: Well, Adam’s blame game didn’t work.

Carolyn: It didn’t work. God said, “Okay, I will just punish Eve.”

Erin: My bad.

Mary: Yeah, my bad. Where is that Eve?

Erin: It absolutely didn’t work . . . the blame game . . . does it ever work? It very rarely works.

Carolyn: Well, we even get a picture of this in Job where God parts the curtain a little bit where we can see that spiritual warfare. Satan comes in ready to accuse. He’s ready to accuse God. He’s ready to accuse His people. He says, “You give that Job extra special favor. That’s why he still blesses You.”

Erin: The accuser of the brethren.

Carolyn: And the accuser of God. Like, “This man’s only happy with You because You bless him.” And Job’s wife . . . oh, she falls into that trap that I think maybe some other women are looking at here which is, “There are difficult circumstances in my life, and I’ve tried to be righteous and godly all my life, and this is what I get.”

It’s like you survey your circumstances, and you go, “I don’t get this. This can’t possibly be God.” You don’t understand that there’s a bigger picture involved. If you will stand fast and realize that the enemy has accused you and accused God, so hold fast in these circumstances and wait because this story has not been finished yet. Do not try to force the ending and say, like Job’s wife, “Well, just curse God and die.” Don’t do that. Trust God.

Erin: Exactly. Trust God for who He is. Believe Him for who He is.

Carolyn: For women who are single, I often go back and use this illustration. I hope my theology is correct here when I just say, “Have you ever thought that there could be a moment where you are in that position where it’s like you have to be content to be able to stand there and say, ‘I do not have a husband, but I am not going to curse God and die because of something I didn’t get.' I don’t know all the implications of spiritual warfare, and maybe God has said, ‘I want her to stand righteously in this saturated society and to say, "My God is enough."'"

If you thought about that concerning spiritual warfare, would you do it?

Nancy: Go Carolyn.

Erin: Amen.

Carolyn: A lot of times women go, “But I still want my prize.” You’ve got your prize—He’s Jesus.

Nancy: That’s true whether you’re married or single. The married woman, she's got her prize. But we've got three married women here to say that marriage isn’t always a prize. Right?

Mary: That's how you have that healthy interaction and that healthy independence by realizing that who you are and ultimately what your life is all about is not about this temporal stuff.

Nancy: It's not defined by that.

Mary: Right. It’s not defined by that. When my circumstances don't look right, when my husband doesn't do what I think he should be doing, when I don't get the package that I want, when I am bitten with this desire for something more; instead of reaching out and getting it in an ungodly way, I remember that there is a bigger picture and a bigger storyline. Like you said, Erin, I go first to God . . . go first to God.

Karen: I have Psalm 139 all marked up because that’s such a special portion of Scripture for me. My mother, as a teenager, conceived me out of wedlock. I go back to that. It says God had something specifically in mind when He created me in my mother’s womb. As I look down how my life has unfolded over these years, that prayer at the end of that psalm talks about: “Search me, O God, and see within me.”

This desire to be prideful, sufficient within myself to my husband, I have to remember that God formed me. He had a purpose and a plan for me, and I’m created in the image of God. So if there’s anything in me—being competitive, lack of contentment, prideful—then He already knew that. So now my prayer is, “God, search me, and take that out of me.” It’s not just once and for all. It’s moment by moment.

Erin: It’s a journey, isn’t it?

Karen: It’s, “God, it’s You. God, it’s You.”

Nancy: Daily.

Karen: I have to continue to do that. I have to fight against that because the enemy knows where I came from. I can slip back and go whining, but God knew me. My prayer is, “God, I want to be who You created me to be. It’s bigger than anybody can write a book about. It’s in Your Word, so search me." Those things are in my fiber of my being, my DNA. "God, You’re bigger than DNA. So I’m going to trust You.”

Carolyn: That’s right. Another psalm is one of my favorites in terms of dealing with bitterness and envy, Psalm 73. The psalmist is very honest about the fact, “I look around, and people who don’t follow Your rules seem to be blessed, and I don’t get this. Where is the difficulty?” He’s honest before God in saying, “This is hard.”

But the turning point is so important. It’s in verses 16 and 17: “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task until I went into the sanctuary of God. Then I discerned their end.”

We have to go into the sanctuary of God or the end makes no sense. Right now, if we just look at our temporal circumstances . . .

Erin: . . . the story makes no sense.

Carolyn: Right. We miss all the foreshadowing. We miss all those other important story elements because we’re like, “This must be the end of the story.” But it’s not.

Nancy: Well, the story is what it’s all about. We’ve talked about paradise, Genesis 1 and 2. Then the paradise lost is Genesis 3 on. We know the end of the story.

Carolyn: Yes, hallelujah!

Erin: That’s a good thing!

Nancy: Through Christ is paradise regained. But we’re not in the happily-ever-after yet. We’re in that process where a redeeming God is making all things new. What I love about the message and mission of true womanhood . . . and true manhood for that matter . . . is that we are called in this not-yet-now season where it is still paradise lost, but we have this faith and this vision heading toward paradise regained that as the redeemed people of God, men and women. We can glorify God. We can show the end of the story. We can show that God is renewing.

Erin: We can believe in the end of the story. You can’t always show the best part of it.

Nancy: But we can model it.

Erin: We can model it and sign for it.

Mary: We can be signposts.

Nancy: Here’s the verse that is the signpost, right here, that came to mind as we were talking, Romans chapter 15, verses 5 and 6. If you apply this to manhood and womanhood, this is how we demonstrate what God is doing. “May the God of endurance and encouragement . . .

Mary: It’s hard.

Nancy: It’s hard, but He is the God of endurance and encouragement. If that’s all the verse said, that would be great.

Carolyn: That’s sufficient.

Nancy: “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you"—women, men, in the church, in marriage, in the work place—those who know the God of endurance and encouragement. "May He grant you to live in such harmony with one another"—not independence, not unhealthy co-dependents, but interdependence. "Live in harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus that together we may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

That’s what we’re doing. We’re telling the story. So when you as a couple or in any environment with another believer see the problems that sin causes, you have the temptation to blame, to feel betrayed and rejected—because it does happen. It’s a broken and fallen world. But instead of getting bitter, throwing your mate under the bus, or God under the bus, you humble yourself and say, “Oh, God, I need Your grace. We need Your grace. We’ve blown it. My mate has blown it. I’ve blown it. People in my work place have blown it. We’ve blown it. We need You.” When we come back to Him, He gives us His grace and allows us harmony.

Mary: That’s really the only way we can return to paradise. Not forever, but we can get moments of it where we come to the same juncture that Eve came to, and we make a different choice.

Karen: We have to also help. This Christian life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon, and there are things that we come to a marathon with that are maybe weighing us down. We have to drop some of those things to continue on into the race. It’s a marathon.

Erin: It’s really a relay race. We have to be passing the baton. We have to be working together.

Mary: I don’t know my racing terminology, but I think that we can’t do it all on our own.

Karen: That’s right. It’s endurance. Everything’s not going to happen overnight. You’re not going to be in paradise until it’s over.

Carolyn: The finish line isn't in this life. The idea that the best will be here. I just keep thinking of this one gospel song where the one line is, “The best is yet to come.” It's just a repetition, and I love it, because we expect so much here, so much satisfaction here. But it's a fallen world. We won't experience it here.

Nancy: We wait in hope.

Carolyn: In joyful hope.

Mary: What are we going to leave women with? What do we tell women who are being tempted by the same sort of lie? What would you tell a woman?

Carolyn: Consider the consequences.

Nancy: And consider the prize of obedience.

Karen: Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Erin: I think even simpler . . . just consider. Eve didn’t. 

Nancy: Stop and think.

Erin: Just stop and consider how it’s affecting others; consider how you can talk to the Lord about it. Consider who can help you make a different choice. Just stop and think it through.

Karen: I think right now I’m the only Christian in my immediate extended family since my brothers and my mom have passed along. When I think now as a wife and a mother with my children, things that I would have tended to or want to do, I have to always remember that, first of all, I have God in my life. Whatever DNA was in my upbringing or whatever, it’s gone. I have a responsibility to leave another legacy for them.

Nancy: Because you have Christ in you.

Karen: Right. There are no excuses for me. I can’t just say, “Well, this is the way I’m made.” God specializes in changing us, and I’ve seen that. I say, “Trust God. He’s a trustworthy God. If He can save you, He can take care of your past, present, and future sins. He’s a God that can take care of where you are right now and put in those little holes that you’re lacking maybe in your background or something like that.”

Erin: Adam and Eve lost a lot in the garden, but they didn’t lose God, and they didn’t lose each other. I think a woman who’s facing temptation to sin, if she can just realize the value of not losing God and not losing those men and women that are in her life that are God-given, that she can have holy, healthy relationships with, I think that temptation will lose its luster.

Leslie: That’s Erin Davis. She’s been talking with Carolyn McCulley, Karen Loritts, Mary Kassian, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Nancy and Mary wrote a workbook together called, True Woman 101: Divine Design. This group of friends has been talking about chapter 4 which takes readers back to the Garden of Eden.

True Woman 101 is perfect for groups to work on together. That’s what Jennifer discovered. She’s a Bible study leader who wrote to say this:

Our church has taught your True Woman 101 Bible study this fall. We as women have really benefitted from your teaching and your passion and your dedication to the Word of God. We would like to thank you especially for including the videos and other supplemental materials on your website for free. This has been such a blessing. It has made the study affordable and available.

Leslie: Now, she’s talking about a video version of the kind of conversation you just heard between Nancy and her friends. We’d like to send you a copy of True Woman 101 when you donate any amount to Revive Our Hearts. As you’re going through the study, you can watch those matching free online videos as well.

Make your donation by calling 1-800-569-5959 or visit ReviveOurHearts.com. When you contact us, ask about ordering more books for your whole group at a discount.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss says there’s one book of the Bible that’s the most misunderstood and neglected. What do you think it is? The book is a valuable treasure that will show you how to fall and stay in love with Jesus.

Nancy: There are many verses in this book that are probably familiar to you even if you’ve never studied it, and maybe you didn’t even know where they came from.

For example: You’ve probably heard the phrase: “It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.”

And then this phrase: “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” You see it on wedding rings and wedding pieces.

And then maybe you’re familiar with this verse: “He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.”

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss begins a new teaching series on this book tomorrow. Please join us again for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

 

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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