Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Cry Out!: A Report from True Woman '16, Day 1

Leslie: One week ago today, about 7,000 women gathered together in Indianapolis knowing that we are living in urgent times.

Woman: I think the world is upside-down.

Woman: Right now is a time in history that I never thought I would be living in.

Blair Linne: There is a lot of fear and a lot of concern. We're not sure what is happening politically.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: A critical election . . . the likes of which we could have never pictured when we were planning this conference initially.

Mary Kassian: Terrorism. Threats of terrorist attacks.

Woman: Bombs which have gone off in our country in the last month.

Mary: Wars and rumors of wars.

Woman: There is so much violence and fear . . . 

Woman: the injustice . . .

Women: division and anger . . .

Woman: riots that have broken out in our nation . . .

Mary: unrest . . .

Nancy: You have the world situation and the very personal and private and deeply painful situations that we can't control; we can't manage; we can't fix; we can't change . . . 

Russell Moore: Christians are starting to get the realization that we can't operate out of our own strength.

Nancy: Yet we have access to the throne of God, the throne of grace—the One who does control it all.

Mary: It's in the darkest spots that the light shines most brightly.

Woman: It's like God is saying, "Now is the time. And I don't mean just pray. I mean CRY . . . OUT!"

Blair Linne: Call for the wailing women to come and cry out. Women, where are you? Stop whatever you are doing, for it is time to pray. It is time to weep.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Thursday, September 29, 2016.

Bob Lepine: Ladies, welcome to Indianapolis to True Woman '16! Are you glad to be here? (cheers)

Leslie: Last week, True Woman '16 began. Over the next weeks and months on Revive Our Hearts, we’ll be bringing you messages from that conference here on Revive Our Hearts. But today, you’ll get an overview of the entire conference itself. You’ll get a sense of some of the things the Lord did last weekend as women cried out together for such a time as this.

Now, a True Woman conference has always attracted women from around the world, but this year, it especially seemed like God was drawing women together in unprecedented ways.

Bob Lepine: I thought you should know that we have people here from every state in the Union at True Woman '16. We also have people here with us (are you ready?) from:

  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • The Cayman Islands
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • The Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Germany
  • Guatemala
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • The United Kingdom

Anna (speaking in Russian): My name is Anna and I'm from Vancouver, Washington. I go to a Russian-speaking church. When I heard all the countries, I just wanted to praise God that His Word is being spread and that not only America gets to experience all the blessings, that there are other countries that can partake and join in.

Woman: This was amazing to see so many people, so many women from so many countries . . . so many languages. You just go through the aisles and and you could hear so many languages, different languages.

Woman: It was like seeing the Great Commission taking place right before our very eyes.

Blair: The Bible says in Revelation, "Every tribe, tongue, people, and nation . . ."

Woman (South Africa): . . . will be before his throne. Every language, every tongue, every nation, every culture will be there . . .

Blair: . . . and they will cry out, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty."

Woman: In our country today, the division that we see in the world, we can expect that. But in the Body of Christ, I think that what God is doing is creating an atmosphere so that we think about each other more. What affects one really does affect us all.

Blair: The Bible says if one member suffers, we all suffer. No matter where that person is around the globe, we are family, and we have to see it that way.

Woman: We need each other. We need to support each other, so we need the body of Christ. I know that you in the United States are going through difficult times, so I need to pray for you as well.

Woman: What we are doing here is not normal. This is not happening outside of these doors. It is very rare that you see this kind of togetherness—all of us crying out and seeking the Lord.

Woman: When we are together in the Lord, it is something really special.

Leslie: As True Woman '16 began, Blair Linne reminded everyone why they had come.

Blair Linne:

What do we love when no one is looking?
We have a salvation purchased by holy blood.
Therefore, is not our sin worse than our fathers?
They had a shadow, but we have the fulfillment—so may we trust the Lord!

We have One who died once, for all.
May we learn from those who came before us.
Those who would rather be coddled than convicted; conned than consecrated.
Have we been held captive, or are we captivated?

The world is not hostile to the Church because they see no difference.
The Church is not hostile to the world because we have seen no deliverance—and this should not be.
We have One who died once for all who would believe.
He stretched out His hands for hours to let us know.
He is the love that will not let us go. 
He will not let us go. 
He will not let us go.

Leslie: Dr. Russell Moore shared on how the church can effectively speak to the world by embracing humility.

Dr. Russel Moore: A friend of mine who had been a lesbian/feminist/atheist activist started to weigh the claims of the gospel. She started reading through the gospels, and she started to be drawn toward Jesus. She said that one of the first things she did was to go and sit at a coffee shop across the street from a church and just watch the people getting out of the cars and their vans and their trucks and going into the church. And she was asking herself, Could I ever be one of those people? 

There are many people asking that question right now. And if all that we present to the outside world is, "We're more moral than you are. We're more well-behaved than you are. We have families that are more stable than yours are. We have lives that are more put together than yours are. We're happier than you are. We are more blessed than you are." We manage our image to show that we have everything together and there is no brokenness; there is no woundedness; there is no sin; there is no detox.

One of the reasons why we can be as a Church so angry and so outraged and so mean to people who disagree with us, to people who reject us, to people who call us names, is because, if we are honest, we are afraid. It is hard and difficult if you are going to love a hurting and dying world.

It's one thing to love the orphans in the abstract, until you bring that child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome into your home who's never been in a situation like that before. It's one thing to love hurting women in the abstract. It's another thing to bring that unwed mother into your home. It's one thing to love the lost people you are talking with in the line in the coffee shop. It's another thing to say, "It doesn't matter how messy my house is right now; it doesn't matter how disorganized my kitchen is right now, these people in my community need me right now." We, all left to ourselves, try to prioritize those things.

If we are freed from fear by the gospel, then we are going to be the people who are willing to have our lives wrecked and rebuilt by Jesus.

Leslie: At True Woman '16, Dr. Russell Moore called us to be real, and Mary Kassian followed up by helping us know what to do when we’ve come to the end of ourselves; when we’re scraping the bottom and feel like there’s nothing left.

Mary Kassian: The temptation that we encounter when we encounter difficulty is to forget God. We fail to remember Him, or at least, we forget who He really is. We treat Him like a vending machine. We put in our dollar into the prayer working machine, and we press the button for what we want. Then we get upset and kick it and get upset with God when He doesn't give us and dispense what we ask for.

We become all-consumed with the difficulty. The problem occupies all of our thoughts and all of our emotions. It is all that we see. But when we have a proper perspective on difficulties, God is in the forefront and the difficulties are in the shadows. He is all that we see.

During hard times we need to remember God. We need to remember that He is. We need to remember who He is. And we need to remember that we are His. We need to call out that remembrance of His faithfulness to us and to believers throughout all generations.

I think of that great C.S. Lewis story of The Silver Chair where Puddleglum and the children go into the Underworld. And the queen of the Underworld is throwing incense on to the fire, and she's playing her mandolin. She's lulling them to forget Narnia and to forget Aslan and to be so consumed with this world as all there is until Puddleglum bravely sticks his foot into the fire and breaks her spell.

That's what it is like living in this world. It's like we get lulled into this forgetting state where we forget God and who He is. We forget that He is. We forget we are His. We forget He's the great I AM, the eternal, self-sustaining, self-determining, ever-faithful, and all-powerful, sovereign God who loves me and is in an everlasting covenant relationship with me.

Leslie: On Friday morning at True Woman, Jennifer Smith shared her story of discovering true freedom while in prison.

Jennifer Smith: In this place where murderers are housed, rapists, drug addicts, those people that Dr. Moore was referring to last night in his message, those people were housed there. There was a group within those people that had found something. They had found Christ. They had found Jesus. There was a barrack in there that was a faith-based program. You could sign up to live in that barrack and become a student of the Word of God and taught how to live those things out.

Of course, I wasn't going to join them because I hated God. I was still His enemy. I was still living my life the way I wanted to live. So I started making fun of them like everybody else did. But secretly, I was watching them. Secretly, I was observing the joy that they had in the midst of prison. That haunted me because I had never experienced that.

I didn't understand how some of these ladies could have joy in the midst of doing a life sentence where they would never be able to walk outdoors. I never understood that. So it haunted me, but it drew me at the same time.

After about a year of making fun of them and persecuting them, I decided to join them. You know, if you can't beat them, then you join them, right? So I signed up to come into this program. I began to hear things that I had never heard before in my entire life.

I began to hear the Good News. I began to hear of a gospel that said there wasn't anything that I could do. I couldn't clean myself up enough in order to be accepted by this Savior. But I began to hear about a Savior who knew no sin at all, but He became sin so that I could be made in His righteousness. I began to hear about a Savior who died a criminal's death—my death. And the wrath of God for my sins was placed upon Him that day. He bore that. He bore my sin. He paid that debt. And all I had to do was accept what He had done and believe and trust in the work that He had done on the cross was enough to free me from a lifetime of a bondage to sin. And the blood was enough to cleanse me and to forgive me. 

In that moment when my sin and the cross collided, I became reconciled to a holy God.

Leslie: One of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s most well-known messages is her classic talk on "Brokenness." And at True Woman '16, she updated that message for our day.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: What kind of heart does God revive? What kind of heart does God look to? The broken, humble, contrite heart.

Now, our emphasis in this era is on everything but that. We want to be whole. We want to be full. We want to feel good. When we think about revivals, we often think of them as times of great joy and blessing and fullness and celebration. And . . . it will be all of that and more . . . in its time. But we want a painless pentecost. We want all the fullness of God's Spirit and to be these great godly and free and full and fruitful women without getting to the cross. God's Word teaches us that the way up is down. The way to wholeness is through brokenness.

One revivalist, a man that was greatly used of God in revival in the 1970s in Borneo said, "Revivals do not begin happily with everyone having a good time. They start with a broken and contrite heart."

You and I cannot meet God in revival until we first meet Him in brokenness—humility and brokenness.

James chapter 4 says it this way, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (v. 8). The problem is, God is holy, and we are not. So we can't get anywhere near a holy God as we are. So how are we to draw near to God, and how is He to draw near to us? Well, he goes on to say, "Cleanse your hands you sinners, purify your hearts you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep." 

Now, could I just say that there are very few modern therapists who would give you that kind of counsel. They are trying to help us have a good self-image and feel good about ourselves. But James says, "Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom" (v. 9).

Nobody walks into a Christian bookstore today or goes online at Amazon or ChristianBooks.com and says, "Can you find me a book on how to be gloomy? How to be sad? How to be mourning? How to be wretched?" God's way is first down and then up.

Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.

Leslie: We’re reliving some highlights from the True Woman '16 conference, which took place last week in Indianapolis. On Friday afternoon, Stephen Kendrick told us about an unsung hero—his mom. For years she’s been praying behind the scenes as her sons have made movies like Facing the Giants and War Room. Stephen shared his passion for prayer with those gathered for True Woman '16.

Stephen Kendrick: Prayer begins by being in Christ. Definitely knowing Jesus as your Savior, knowing Christ is the secret to answered prayer. When He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me," (John 14:6) He wasn't being prideful; He was being truthful. There is one mediator between us and God. Someone who is equal to God and equal to man who can come between and bring us together—the man, Christ Jesus, 1 Timothy says.

Ephesians 3:12 says, "We have boldness and access with confidence through faith in him." So if you have religion but you don't have a relationship with God, God is not obligated to answer your prayers. In fact, Scripture communicates that God is not obligated. He can answer the prayer of a lost person if He wants to, but the Bible says that "the unrighteous prayers are not pleasing to the Lord."

So lost people praying to God if they don't have a relationship with Him, is basically talking to a stranger, and someone who is not obligated to answer their prayers. So prayer begins with a relationship to Jesus.

If you know Jesus, you can pray in His name, which means you are not praying based on your identity. You are praying based on His identity. You're not praying based on your authority, you're praying based on His authority. You're not praying based upon what you have done or your righteousness. You're praying based on what He has done and His righteousness.

If your heart is right with the Lord, you've confessed your sins, and you've forgiven other people, then get busy praying and ask "for the moon." Get specific and don't hold back. Leave that with the Lord, and let those prayers be in His hands.

You will see in Scripture, sometimes God answers a prayer immediately. Sometimes He'll answer a prayer the next day or the next week. Sometimes His perfect timing is to wait for years. He's got that all figured out. But don't let delays discourage you from praying. Don't let yesterday's seemingly unanswered prayers stop you from praying in faith today.

If you are struggling with praying and trusting God in faith, if you're like, "I'm having a hard time really believing God will answer," then Philippians 4 says to spend some time in thanksgiving before you do some supplication. Here's what happens. If you spend some time in thanksgiving, you're looking in the rearview mirror of your life and you're seeing nothing but the faithfulness of God in your past. You begin to say, "Thank You, Lord, for carrying me here. Thank You that You brought good out of that. Thank You that You worked here. Thank You for providing there. Thank You for this. Thank You for that." Spend some time thanking the Lord. That will give you a running headstart to look at the future with the requests that you have when you pray in faith, believing God can do the same thing in the days ahead.

Leslie: On the Saturday morning of the conference, Janet Parshall told us about a persistent widow who has a lot to say to us on prayer.

Janet Parshall: There is an interesting story when you and I struggle with being consistent, insistent, and persistent. We get instant money out of an ATM. We get instant popcorn out of a microwave. You can even file for instant divorce if you want to. We flip through a website. We flip through an iPhone. We flip through the TV channels. And we expect God to be just as responsive. In so doing, we are weak, flabby, and muscularless Christians.

Let's be like the persistent widow who didn't go to the judge's house just one time to plead for help. She went over and over and over and over again, knowing that the judge would eventually hear her cry.

You and I have been commissioned to go before the Judge of all judges—boldly—the Scripture says. Having been given permission by the Judge Himself to consistently cry out, to insistently site our petitions, and persistently, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, breath by breath, persistently speaking to the Great King who hears our pleas. Regardless of how He answers, just being in His presence makes prayer time worth it all.

Andrew White said something very powerful,

No prayer, no faith, no Christ in the heart.
Little prayer, little faith, little Christ in the heart.
Increasing praying, increasing faith, increasing Christ in the heart.
Much prayer, much faith, much Christ in the heart.
Praying always, faith always, Christ always. 

What a powerful statement.

Raise your heads, lift your hearts dear sisters. The day is coming when we shall speak to our most righteous, our most loving Judge, face to face. Until that day, all honor and power and glory be to His name. Amen and amen.

Leslie: And as this conference all about crying out in prayer came to a close, Dave Butts shared how we can be praying for our nation, especially between now and the presidential election.

Dave Butts: When it comes right down to it, many times we get overwhelmed by all the crises, all the things going on in our world and in our nation. We reach a certain saturation point where we kind of want to say, "I don't want to hear any more. I've got my own things. I've got my family and friends. I just want to circle the wagon and stay right here. I don't want to know what's going on." But if you don't know what's going on, you don't know how to pray. And you're not able to see how God is moving and how He is at work in our nation and around the world.

One of the ways that I've been praying in my own life is that God would make me like the sons of Issachar. Issachar was one of the twelve tribes of Israel. It was said of them in another place in Scripture that the "sons of Issachar understood the times in which they lived and knew what Israel must do" (1 Chron. 12:32). So I've been praying for that spirit. "Lord, would you make me like those folks from Issachar? That I would understand the times in which I live? And then, have an idea of how to pray and what to do; what the people of God must do in our day?" 

Leslie: We’ve been reviewing highlights from True Woman '16, the conference all about crying out to the Lord in prayer. And whether you were there in person or not, all of us need to be crying out to the Lord in these days. To help you cry out to the Lord more effectively, we’d like to send you a series of emails between now and the presidential election. Each day’s email will tell you about a way you can be crying out to the Lord for our nation and our world.

To sign up and cry out with us during these days that are so needy, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. That’s ReviveOurHearts.com and sign up for the free forty-day prayer guide for our nation.

Now as we’ve reviewed the events of the True Woman '16 conference, you may have noticed we left out one important part.  On Friday night, the 7,000 women in Indianapolis were joined by about 2,500 groups of praying women all across the world in a simulcast. It was a three-hour prayer gathering for the urgent needs of the day.

Tomorrow, you’ll hear highlights from that historic gathering. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

Scripture was taken from the ESV.

 

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