Revive Our Hearts Podcast

An Encounter with Power

Watch this series on video here.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Welcome to Revive Our Hearts. We’re about to hear the next installment of this week’s series with our guest, Erin Davis.

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Leslie Basham: This is the Revive Our Hearts for Friday, May 9, 2014.

Nancy: I’m so glad that you’ve been getting to know my friend, Erin Davis, over the past several days that she’s been a guest teacher here on Revive Our Hearts. It’s so fun to watch God put His hand on some of these younger women who are speaking and writing the truth about God’s Word.

Erin has written a number of books. One of them is part of the True Woman line of books and it’s called Beyond Bath Time. What’s the subtitle of that Erin?

Erin Davis: Embracing Motherhood as a Sacred Role.

Nancy: Erin loves the calling of motherhood. She’s got three precious little boys, and she’s written a very helpful, practical book for moms, especially moms of little ones—how to not just get your kids fed and bathed and clothed, but how to really have a heart for the discipleship calling that is motherhood.

And then, she is our primary blogger at LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com, a great blog designed especially for teenage girls. If you’re not familiar with that, I want to encourage you to go there. Erin, tell us just a little bit about the blog and what you’re doing there. Tell us some of the topics that you cover, and maybe just a minute about what God’s doing there through that blog.

Erin: Sure. It was born out of the book you and Dannah Gresh wrote, Lies Young Women Believe. We just wanted to continue that conversation, because the landscape of lies seems to always be changing, and that book’s been out a while.

Really, our goal is simple: to identify lies that young women are believing, and then to replace them with God’s truth. We have a wonderful team of bloggers, and we are always on the hunt for finding areas where we feel like young women might be veering from God’s truth or hearing something from the culture that is contrary to God’s truth, and we try to address those, always using God’s Word as our guide.

Nancy: Give us some examples of some of the topics you have addressed recently that girls are responding to.

Erin: We always have talk about fellas, because that’s a common topic. So we talk about to date, or not to date, and what that looks like, and what happens if you have a broken heart from a romantic relationship, and how to know he’s the one, or is there “the one?” and what to do while you’re dating.

We’ve tried to address that topic of guys and girls from every angle. We’ve been talking a lot in the past couple of months about purpose and living radical lives. Even though they’re young, what we hear from young women a lot is, “Well, I still have math homework, and I’m on the volleyball team, and I’m in band, and I don’t have time to do anything for the Lord!”

So we want to really address that, because we believe they should be doing big things for the Lord—no matter what stage of life they’re in.

Nancy: Which might include math homework and volleyball.

Erin: Certainly. We try to talk about friendships and family relationships. I love our readers! I frequently say if I could put their pictures on my refrigerator, I would. There are about 28,000 of them, monthly. They tell us, “I’m struggling with this,” or “I don’t know what to do about that,” so we try to respond to them in real time, always using God’s Word.

Nancy: It’s a great resource. It deals with some sticky issues, tough issues, very specific issues. I know recently you’ve been dealing with some sexual issues that girls struggle with, not just young girls, but older women as well. It’s a great resource, and I’m so thankful that the Lord is allowing Revive Our Hearts through this means to reach in and out to the next generation of young women—because the enemy is sure trying to reach them! The world is sure trying to reach them, and sadly, is being very effective.

So we have got to be reaching the hearts of those young women. Moms, grandmoms, you’re listening or reading the transcript, pray for the Lies Young Women Believe blog, for that outreach. 

Dannah Gresh, who coauthored that book with me, along with Erin, will be with me at True Woman ’14 in October doing a young woman track for teenage girls. Just pray that the Lord will help them and us capture the hearts of these young women with the truth of Jesus.

One of the resources that Erin has written is a Bible study called Beautiful Encounters: The Presence of Jesus Changes Everything. It’s about women in the Scripture who encountered Jesus, and He totally changed their lives. We asked Erin to come over the next several days and teach through this series on Revive Our Hearts, so you’re getting a taste of what this study is about.

I know God is speaking to our hearts as we’re gathered in this room about what He means to women, and what He can mean to us. So, Erin, take us back to the Word, and thanks for continuing to point young women, and us older women as well, to Jesus. Welcome back to Revive Our Hearts.

Erin: Thank you.

When my first son, Eli, was just twelve weeks in utero, they discovered that his bladder was blocked. I’ve shared parts of his story on Revive Our Hearts before. But today I just want you to know that I know what it’s like to be medically desperate.

When our bodies work and the bodies of our children work, we tend to take that for granted. That’s just the way it is. We breathe without thinking; we walk without effort. In Eli’s case it would be being able to go to the bathroom without thinking about it. But his “plumbing” didn’t work, and it was so obvious to me that there was not a thing I could do about it.

Fast forward five years and I was pregnant again, with another little boy who we would name Judah. Same problem. Kidney is swollen. He has hydronephrosis, which is something I wouldn’t even have known to worry about until I had Eli. Again, I’m desperate. There was nothing I could do to heal that baby. I couldn’t modify my diet. I couldn’t exercise more. I certainly couldn’t perform the surgery that might be necessary for him, and I couldn’t just will his body to be formed in a different way.

Both situations were totally and completely outside of my control, and yet, as a momma with, now, two boys with a rather serious kidney condition, I so wanted them to be healed. I don’t want you to have to worry about my boys. I’ll give you a little update: Eli has one kidney that functions at about one percent. He’s an otherwise normal, healthy boy who will never play football and never go skiing, and we’re okay with that.

Honestly, I still desperately want him to be healed. I would still desperately love to hear the doctor say to me, “Erin, I can’t explain it, but both of Eli’s kidneys are fine.” Judah is only four months old, and the doctors monitor his kidneys very closely. We have to take trips to the specialist pretty often, and every time we go I just feel desperate. I feel, God, I want You to heal him. I want his kidneys to be okay. I want him to be okay.

Surgery is a very real possibility that we may face somewhere down the line. Desperate neediness has become sort of this constant companion as I mother, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t feel good, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Today we’re going to look at two women: one young, one old. Their stories intersect, and they have desperation as their constant companion, too. For them, it was desperation that led to a collision with the Savior who could heal them. So, in their case, desperation led to the most beautiful encounter of their lives. Let’s jump in.

You’ll need the backstory here. Let me give you a crash course. In Luke 8:22–39 Jesus and His disciples had sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. It was on that journey that Jesus calmed the storm. His disciples declared, “Who is this, that even the wind and the waves obey Him?” File that in your brain, because if the wind and waves obey Him, certainly every cell in your body obeys Him, too.

So they take this very intentional journey to the country of the Gerasenes. The reason they went there was so that Jesus could heal a demon-possessed man. This man was in very bad shape. The Bible tells us that for a long time he had worn no clothes. He was homeless.

At one point, people who loved him had tried to chain him and restrain him, and he couldn’t be restrained any more. He lived among the tombs. Mark 5 tells us that he cried out day and night from the tombs and cut himself with stones. This was the man. When Jesus spoke to the demons, they called themselves “Legion,” for they were many.

This man was tormented, yet Jesus got in His boat, pointed it toward the man, and started rowing. You need to know that the backdrop for the encounters we are going to examine today is that no one is hopeless, and nothing is beyond Jesus’ grasp.

So, it’s right after His return trip home, literally. His boat hits the shore from healing this demon-possessed man, and that’s where we focus in here, Luke 8:40:

Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus' feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying (vv. 40–42).

I know this is a series about the women Jesus encountered, and here a man kind of bursts on to the scene. But I don’t want you to miss that Jairus was a ruler in the synagogue. The rulers of the synagogue presided over the affairs of the synagogue. He was most likely a Pharisee, so this was a man with power and a man with means.

Jesus comes across the lake from healing a man who had nothing—including clothes—and He encounters a man who had everything, and they’re both equally desperate and needy. And yet Jairus, who had money and power and authority (when he said, “Jump,” people said, “How high?”) faced a situation he could not fix.

Luke 8:42: “ . . .for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.”

So Jairus had this young preteen girl, twelve years old. She’s his only daughter, and she’s on death’s door, and there was nothing he could do about it. Parents, we have to learn that lesson at one point or another. We like to think we have control over what happens in our children’s lives .

I’m actually really fortunate that Eli was diagnosed with a blocked bladder when he was twelve weeks old, because I learned before I even gave birth to him that he’s not mine, and I can’t control what happens to him. God’s in charge—I’m not. That’s the situation that Jairus is in. There’s nothing he can do to make his daughter well. I imagine he’s tried.

I imagine he’s called doctors, and he’s tried medicines, and he’s tried to figure it out, and there’s nothing he can do. No doctors could help her; no amount of money could make her well. Which is why we talked in the last session about God is the only thing that can satisfy. When push comes to shove, a lot of the things we put our hope in—they don’t deliver.

Jairus’ power couldn’t help him; Jairus’ money couldn’t help him. So here he comes; he’s in a state of desperation. I imagine mom and dad are there with the preteen girl, and they’re freaking out, and they don’t know what to do, and he has this last idea: ”I’ve heard about Jesus. Maybe He can help me. I’m going to go find Him!”

So Jairus takes off running. Jesus is in the crowd. Because the crowd has heard what He did for the demon-possessed man, they’re waiting for Him on the sandy shore. Jairus cuts through all of that and says, “You’ve got to help me!” He comes to Jesus in a state of total desperation.

I want you to notice something here, and we’re going to notice it throughout this text—desperation is a gift. I’ve often heard Nancy say that anything that causes us to depend on God, on Jesus, on Christ, is a good thing. That doesn’t mean it feels like a good thing, but just because it feels yucky doesn’t mean it’s not a good thing. Desperation is a gift.

Take a minute to think about whatever it is in your life that makes you feel desperate right now. I can think of several things. If we’ll let it, that desperation will be a gift. I’m sure you’re a lot like me. During seasons of smooth sailing there’s not a lot of depending. But when we get desperate, man, do we pray like we’ve never prayed before . . . do we search the Word like we’ve never searched before . . . do we call on believing friends like we’ve never done before . . . do we worship like we’ve never done before!

Desperation sure feels uncomfortable. I wouldn’t choose it. I’m not going to act like I love desperation and I want more of it, but desperation can be a really good thing, if we choose to let it force us to press in to Christ.

So Jesus has just come back from this trip. I don’t know what His plans were after arriving home, but I love that He allows Jairus to interrupt Him. He’s on His way to heal Jairus' daughter when He gets interrupted again. Turn to Luke 8:42–48: “As Jesus went, the people pressed around him.”

So there are two things happening. The people have heard how He’s healed the demon- possessed man, and then they hear that He’s going to heal somebody else, and they want to see it this time, right? So the crowd is tracking with Him because they want to see what is going to go down.

And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone.  She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.
And Jesus said, "Who was it that touched me?" When all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!" But Jesus said, "Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me."
And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace."

Don’t miss the juxtaposition here. Jairus is so desperate that he’s publicly saying, “I need help! I need help! Somebody help me!” This woman is equally desperate, but her situation is so private and so humiliating, she thinks, If I can just sneak in. There are a lot of people here; nobody’s going to notice me. I’ll just kind of fly in under the cover of this crowd. I need to touch Him; I need to be healed.

There’s an interesting element to this story. This woman has suffered for twelve years, and how old is Jairus’ daughter? Twelve years old. So the amount of time that Jairus’ daughter has lived, this woman has been suffering and seeking healing. She has been suffering for a very long time!

Is there an issue or problem in your life that you have been dealing with for a really long time? How does it feel when you can’t find relief? I don’t know if you do this, but sometimes I act as if there’s a statute of limitations on God answering my prayers. “I prayed about this for a week (or a month—or a year), and nothing has happened, so I give up.”

But I love the tenacity of this woman. She’s sought healing for twelve years. She’s tried everything and nothing has worked, but she doesn’t give up. She isn’t just content with her suffering. She thinks, If I can get it to Jesus, it’ll be okay. He’s going to fix it.

I love the practicality of Romans 12:12: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” It doesn’t matter if we have a need that lasts one minute or one decade. The response God calls us to is: rejoice, be patient, keep praying.

Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” This sounds to me like a psalm written by somebody who was desperate. “Wait for the Lord! Be strong! Wait for Him; wait for Him. He’s coming, He’s going to fix it. He’s going to heal it. Keep waiting for Him. Don’t give up!” That’s what this sweet woman does.

Even though this woman had suffered for a very long time, she still believed Jesus could heal her. Have you suffered for a very long time? Do you still believe Jesus can heal you? That relationship that’s been broken for decades? That child of yours that’s been wayward for a long time? Maybe it’s something in your body, like it was in this woman’s body, and you’ve prayed about it and you’ve prayed about it and you’ve prayed about it, and you’re still sick.

I love her faith! She’d been sick for a long time, and she just thought, If I can get to Him, He’s going to fix it. This is not hopeless! Even though she had suffered for a long time, she still believed in His power to heal.

What about something that seems dead and in the grave; something that seems hopeless? That’s what happened to Jairus’ daughter—she died. While Jairus was on the way to get help, she died. Let’s read Luke 8:49–55:

While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler's house came and said, "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.”

How’s that for insensitivity? “She’s dead, come on, leave Him alone.” But Jesus wasn’t troubled. He didn’t mind being interrupted.

But Jesus on hearing this answered him, "Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well." And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, "Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.”

I can’t imagine being the mom in that situation. I would just want to scream, “She’s not sleeping! My baby is dead. She’s gone!” But Jesus knew what He was about to do.

And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead [probably nervous laughter]. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, "Child, arise." And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

The lives of Jairus’ daughter and the woman with the issue of blood collided when their desperation led them to Jesus. One was too weak to ask for help for herself—her daddy had to go and seek help for her, and she died from her sickness while Jesus was still on the way. Yet, even death was not beyond Jesus’ healing touch.

The other one had been sick as long as Jairus’ daughter had been alive. She sought healing and found disappointment for over a decade, until she experienced a beautiful encounter with the healing power of Jesus.

I don’t know what puts you in the position of these women, but I bet you’re in one of their stories. I don’t know what you need healed, but we all need the reminder that Jesus has the power to touch what is broken in our lives and in our bodies and make it right.

Psalm 41:3 says, “The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.” James 5:14–15 says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

Matthew 4:23 describes Jesus’ standard operating procedure: “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.”

God has the power to heal what is broken in our lives. God has the power to heal what is broken in your lives! He demonstrated this power during His time here on this earth, but Hebrews 13:8 promises us that He has not changed. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

So, yes, He healed while He was here, but it’s not like He lost the power to do that. He can still heal. He still heals. My sons’ kidneys are not outside the realm of God’s sovereignty and power—neither is that cancerous cell that’s in your body, or that chronic pain that you’re experiencing, or that area of your heart that’s been broken for a long time. And that’s exciting to think about!

But let’s think beyond the miracle for a moment. Fast forward beyond the day that Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter and the bleeding woman. What were their lives like a year later, five years later, ten years later? The Bible doesn’t say, but we can know both these ladies went on to face challenges after their encounter with Jesus.

They probably got sick again. Eventually, Jairus’ daughter died a second time. The woman with the issue of blood may have faced another chronic condition. Eventually, she also died because of weaknesses in her body. So, why did Jesus bother to heal them if they were just going to get sick again? Why did Jesus bother to raise that girl from the dead if she was going to die again?

Miracles get our attention, but physical healing is ultimately not God’s most powerful work in our lives. The reason He displays His power by healing us is to increase our faith in Him and to show us just how big He is. The real purpose behind each miracle is to deepen our faith and to glorify God.

We don’t need to know the name of the woman with the issue of blood, and we don’t need to know the name of Jairus’ daughter, because the story’s not really about them. It’s about what God can do, what He did do, what He wants to do, what He will do. So think about those areas of your life where you’d like to see Jesus work.

If you’re like me, you just want Him to make the problem go away. But you have to ask yourself, “Do I just want Him to make this problem go away, or do I want His glory to be displayed through my circumstances?” The correct answer is the second one, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy for us to choose that.

God was glorified in all of these situations of healing that we looked at here, not the person who was healed. So, whatever it is that’s making you desperate for Him today, it’s a gift. Ask Him to use it to glorify Himself through you.

Nancy: Erin, as you were talking, I was thinking about a message I heard recently, given by Joni Eareckson Tada, who—many of you know—is a quadriplegic. She had a diving accident when she was seventeen. She’s ended up spending the last forty-seven years sitting in a wheelchair that she can’t get out of by herself.

She was talking about this whole area of healing, and about how many people over the years have come up to her and said, “Joni, can I pray for your healing?”

She said, “I say to them, ‘Please do! I want you to pray for me. But here’s what I want you to pray will be healed. Would you pray that God would change me and heal me in the area of my attitudes, my impatience, my selfishness.’”

And she starts to list these sins of the spirit that she says are more debilitating to her than even her physical condition. She says, “That’s what I want you to pray that God will heal me from.” I’ve watched this woman, whom I’ve known for many years, who has accepted this physical disability, knowing that God can heal her. Knowing that one day, if not here on this earth, He will give her a new body that is perfectly restored.

But she’s accepted this disability as within God’s sovereign choice and plan for her life—and as a gift. She’s seen how God has used that wheelchair and the physical limitations to put His power on display to glorify Himself. I just think, though, she wouldn’t have written the script that way.

We wouldn’t have written the script that way for her or for ourselves in our areas of limitations or weakness. But God has used that woman in so many ways to put the glory of God on display, to minister grace to millions of people around the world who know and love Jesus better as a result of this woman speaking from her wheelchair.

It's been a very long time, and it's a very big problem, but a very big God puts His beauty on display as a result of her encountering Christ in that limitation.

God does it different ways, right? For these we just read about, He raised one from the dead; He healed another. In Joni’s case, God said, “I can use you better sitting in that wheelchair.” So, whichever . . . The submissive heart says, “Lord, if it pleases You, it pleases me. But I know You are the One that I need.”

Erin asked us a really good question. I just want to take us back to that. Is there an area of your life where you are desperate? There’s an issue, there’s a problem, there’s a challenge, it’s a heart issue, it’s a physical issue, it’s a relational issue, it’s a financial issue, it’s a besetting-sin issue.

How many of you in this room can think of some area of your life where you’re desperate to get help or to see God do something? Some of you younger ones, if you haven’t lived long enough to experience desperation, let me tell you—you will. It’s just a matter of time.

There are seasons of life. Thank God, for most of us, not every season is full of desperation. But I’ve now lived fifty-five years, and I’m telling you, there have been plenty of seasons where I have just said, “Lord, I don’t know what to do. I can’t handle this. I need you.” I don’t know that there are ever sweeter words the Lord hears than when we say, “Lord, I can’t handle this. I need You.”

Think about the thing that you just said was your point of desperation, and remember that anything that makes us need God is a gift; it’s a blessing. The Lord may take that problem away. He may fix it; He may change it. But even if He isn’t pleased to do that yet, or now, He will change you through that circumstance.

The hardest things in your life will give you your greatest testimonies, the greatest means of ministering to others. So, two women—one a twelve-year-old girl and her dad and the other a woman who had suffered greatly and had not been able to experience healing—but in both cases, Jesus comes into the situation, and it’s transformed. The disability, the hardship, the desperation becomes a gift and a blessing.

O Lord, how we want to thank You that You meet with us right in our point of desperation. You create circumstances . . . Even this week, Erin and I prayed on the phone the other night for women who would be here in this session—that you would create circumstances in women’s lives that would make them more conscious of their need for You.

I think you’ve been doing that. Keep doing it, Lord, in my life, in our lives. Anything that makes us need You is a blessing. Keep us not running to ourselves or to friends or to other means of problem solving, but ultimately, at the deepest level, keep us running to You. Keep us coming to Your throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. We give you thanks in Jesus’ name, amen.

Thank you so much Erin. I love getting to join with you and these other women, digging into God’s Word and seeing what really practical living truths are there, because we have a living Savior who wants to meet us at our point of need.

I just want to remind you that Erin has written a book that includes all the women she’s teaching about in this series. It’s called Beautiful Encounters. It’s the stories of women who met Jesus and how He changed their lives. In fact, I love the subtitle of this book: The Presence of Jesus Changes Everything. It changes everything! He changes everything, and He’s doing that in our lives.

This is a great resource, not only for your own study, but some of you who have younger women in your life, maybe teenage girls (your own daughter or granddaughter, or a Sunday School class, or some young women in your community). Get them together and see if some of them would like to do a study. This is a way you can help get them to Jesus.

We’ll be glad to send you a copy of this book. (It’s available if you want to purchase other copies at our resource center at ReviveOurHearts.com.) We’ll be glad to send you a single copy of this book for you to take a look at and maybe do it yourself before you invite others to do it with you.

We’ll send it to you just as our way of saying "thank you" if you send a donation of any amount to help support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts as we’re pointing women to Jesus. Give us a call at 1–800–569–5959, or you can visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com. Let us know what gift you’d like to make to the ministry, and then we’ll send you a copy of this book.

It’s available at our resource center, additional copies, and what a great tool to help get ourselves and other women to Jesus, whose presence changes everything!

I hope you’ll join us next time on Revive Our Hearts as we continue this series and hear about yet another woman whose life was changed by her encounter with Jesus, as we’re listening to our guest teacher this week, Erin Davis.

Leslie: We’ve been hearing from Nancy Leigh DeMoss and from our guest teacher, Erin Davis. To hear a longer version of today’s teaching from Erin, visit ReviveOurHearts.com and listen to the podcast version of the program. That’s also where you can get a copy of Erin’s workbook Beautiful Encounters. We’ll send you a copy as our way of saying thanks when you make a donation of any size to Revive Our Hearts.

You can make your donation at ReviveOurHearts.com, and that’s also where you can order the leaders’ guide Beautiful Encounters.

When someone’s hurting we have a tendency to show sympathy. Erin Davis says there’s something better than sympathy. She’ll tell you what it is Monday on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

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

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.

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