Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Leslie Basham: How can you choose courage in a fearful world? Here's Trillia Newbell.

Trillia Newbell: We need to look at what matters. What is it that God is looking at? He's wanting our hearts. He wants women who fear Him. Encourage one another. Build one another up. Serve one another. Sing hymns over one another. We need to do that because we need each other.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: When the apostle Paul wrote to a young pastor named Timothy, he told him to act on the gifts that God had given him. He said God hasn't given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.

Fear can tempt us to hold back from doing what God has called us to do.

Yesterday we heard the beginning of a conversation about how to say no to fear and yes to following Jesus in faith. We heard from Erin Davis, who's the lead writer for the Lies Young Women Believe blog for Revive Our Hearts. She was interviewing Trillia Newbell who has written a terrific book called, Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves.

Now, it's easy to say, "Don't be afraid." But the truth is, our world is a frightening place. We hear about political in-fighting, financial woes, mass shootings, terrorism. Those things are in the news every day.

Well, Erin and Trillia are going to talk about walking in faith, even when there is very real danger, as we hear part two of this conversation on "Fear and Faith." Let's listen.

Erin Davis: When we were together at Revive '15, Jen Wilkin was teaching about women teaching, and she called us to what she said was a balance of fear and fearlessness. I thought that was really beautiful, but I wondered if you could help me understand what the difference is between healthy fear and unhealthy fear? I want to be fearless for the cause of Christ, but I do need to approach God with fear, His Word with fear, my calling with fear. So I wonder if you could just give me your thoughts on that balance between fear and fearlessness—especially as we minister to women.

Trillia: In Proverbs it talks about the tongue can bring life or death, so we want to have a proper fear of the fear of the Lord when we think about what we saw and how we're speaking as it relates to women, or just in anything, really. We want to fear the Lord, have an awe and reverence of Him, and know that there's power in what we saw. There's power in what we do. It affects people, and there's a great responsibility.

So we want to have that weight. There should be a weight and a fear. It's the Lord. This is His Word. We want to handle it as such. So for those who are speaking, I believe that's where you want to fear. Fear the Lord.

Don't fear man, but fear the Lord and know that you have a responsibility to share with conviction and carefully and with patience. In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul asks Timothy to rebuke, reprove, and correct with patience and teaching. That's what we want to do. We want to be patient and loving and serve and teach.

And then the fearlessness is that we can be hindered. We talked about this at some point. We can be hindered and not step out in faith. God may be calling you to start a Bible study, and it's been confirmed by other people. So it's been confirmed that you have a gifting, but you won't do it because you're afraid no one will show up; you're afraid of failure; you're afraid that you'll get it wrong. That can hinder ministry.

Erin: That's right.

Trillia: Or you could be afraid of man, afraid that people will not accept you or judge you as you speak.

I think the good fear is that we fear the Lord, and that we know that what we say and do means something. God has lots to say about our tongues—all through James and throughout Proverbs. It's even neat that a soft word can turn away wrath. I mean, there's such power in the tongue.

But yet, we want to be fearless and be women who run after God, who are eager to serve where needed and where called and not be frozen because of fear.

Erin: I think one of the sources of fear in your book that surprised me, and I had not necessarily thought of overtly, was a fear of other women.

Trillia: Yes.

Erin: And then especially, as you're talking about ministry, I think that might be one of the main barriers that we have to ministry is a fear of how it will be received among women. You said this quote in chapter 3: "One hindrance to the sweet ministry of Titus 2 and the community in which God intended for the church is sinful comparison." I felt like that was a great gut-punch to us as women. So how does, broad-angle for me, women fearing women impacts the church?

Trillia: Sure.

Erin: And then I would love for you to narrow that focus a little bit and know how women fearing women has impacted your own ministry.

Trillia: So broad, when women fear other women and we compare, what I've seen in the church is division, slander, judgment. And that, to me, is unfortunate. We can see it in small things from: "Do you breast feed or do you not?" From things like: organic, not organic; home school, monastery school; whatever. There are so many opinions.

We are taking the principles of God's Word and attaching our practices, and then we're saying, "This is what you must do." Then we're comparing one another and judging one another. It just divides instead of supporting and loving and encouraging one another.

We need to look at what matters. What is it that God is looking at? He's wanting our hearts. He wants women who fear Him. There are these characteristics, and they're all of the heart. But we take all these random practices, and we compare, and it just divides us. Then we can slander, or we can feel like we aren't accepted, or we can be clickish, and we aren't accepting others.

That, to me, is the heart of that chapter. We could be, "a band of sisters." That we would be sisters that are just encouraging one another constantly, because we need it. We are all, really, in the same place. We need encouragement.

The Scriptures have all of those Scriptures about one anothers. One another this. Encourage one another. Build one another up. Serve one another. Sing hymns over one another. We need to do that because we need each other.

So that is a broad sweep.

In terms of ministry . . . I write and I speak. There are going to be other women who are going to sell more books, who are going to speak more, who are going to have more followers, or whatever it is. We need to be okay with that and excited. "Lord, use that woman."

Pray for that woman. Pray that she excels, and that her ministry goes forward. Pray that it's also saturated in the Word of God and that it's submitted to Him and that she is protected in that because there's such danger in fame and whatever that we live in, this celebrity culture. So we want to pray for her protection.

But I can see in ministry we can do a lot of comparing. "Do I speak like her? Do I write like her? Do I look like her?" And the answer is, "No, no, no." We can only be who we are, and that's good. God created us, and it's unique, and it's different. I have a heart and love for diversity, and so we should celebrate it. Celebrate the diversity of the women even in ministry because we're all different.

Something that Nancy said to me at Revive '15 . . . she was speaking right before me, and she looked at me, and she said, "Trillia, I'm so excited about you speaking. There is a chance that we could repeat things, but if we do, don't worry about it. That just means they need to hear it twice."

It was so good for me to hear that because, as a speaker, I think sometimes we can be afraid that someone will take our thing. But there's such freedom when we work as a team. And for her to say that to me, I just felt free. That's right! The Lord wants to work. So we can be a band of sisters in ministry, in various ways, but that was a real, tangible, specific way.

Erin: I think in our world, as writers and speakers, it's very easy to look over the fence at what someone else is writing, or how many books they're selling, or how often they're speaking, or how big their audiences are, and have, what I call, spiritual envy, which is what you're talking about—sort of envious of their gifts.

That doesn't limit it to what you and I do. A woman could be envious of another woman's mothering strategy. Or another woman they know is a great prayer warrior, and it feels like, to her, that when she prays, she doesn't get the response. Or another woman might be a great organizer of people, and another woman looks at that and goes, "I don't have that gift." So we can easily have spiritual envy.

Trillia: Absolutely.

Erin: You write in your book that to fight that kind of fear with encouragement.

Trillia: yes.

Erin: I would love to know, practically, what does that look like?

Trillia: Practically, I can get real specific. We want to encourage one another. And we know that God has made us with varying gifts and varying abilities. So instead of looking and saying, "Why didn't You make me like that?" We can instead see a woman who's crafty—that's a good example. I am not crafty. I'm glad that my kids get a cake for their birthdays, but our birthday parties aren't going to be elaborate and crazy and have all these fun things because that's not where I'm gifted.

But I can take my kids to a birthday party, and I can look at that woman, and I can say, "The Lord has gifted you this way. Look how administrative you are. Look how creative you are that you could design a cake that looks like the Statue of Liberty. That's amazing! That will never come from me, but praise the Lord that you can do that, and I'm going to delight in it and eat it!"

I think that's what we need to see more of—more women just encouraging one another. "You love fitness. Look at you on Facebook talking about running again." Instead of being, like, "Ugh. There she is, talking about running again." Instead, we can say, "Fitness or training is of some value. Let her enjoy this." Instead of judging her and thinking ill of her or comparing, "I'm so lazy; I don't do that." Maybe it will inspire me, maybe today I'll take a walk. Or maybe I'll just encourage her and think good thoughts.

So I think those are just two real practical ways that I think we can, especially, we've got the Pinterest. I'm not on there, but that's a breeding ground for comparison. We should be able to laugh at ourselves and just enjoy that there are people who can do those things rather than be discouraged or discourage them, which is, I think, our temptation.

Erin: When we were at Revive '15 together, one of the speakers told the story of how she became a Bible study teacher. A woman in our church noticed her natural giftings, and said to her, "I think you might be gifted as a Bible teacher, which is interesting to me." But then that woman ended up handing her Sunday school class over.

So I just think that's a beautiful example of the things you're saying, that when we recognize giftings in other women, we really do have two paths we could choose. One: We could take the path of comparison and fear and frustration and feeling like we don't measure up. Or, it's really pretty simple, I think, to look that woman in the eye and say, "Wow! You are gifted in X, Y, Z."

Trillia: Yes!

Erin: I think you're right when you talk in the book about how that has such a profound effect on our fear.

Trillia: It does. The humility that she would give her ministry over to someone else. I think it takes great humility and trust in the Lord. That is a woman who isn't fearful. She's not fearful of the future. She's going to trust the Lord that He has what's best for those other women and for her and for the other Bible teacher. I love that story. There's much that could be illustrated and talked about from that one story.

Erin: I think it's obvious how encouragement helps us in our fear of other women, but I wonder if being encouragers, how does it help us in our other areas of fear—our fear of the future, our fear of not measuring up, our fear that we can't trust God. Are there any other ways that encouragement can act as an antidote to fear?

Trillia: Well, there's a few things. I think being the recipient of encouragement can really help us battle, "Oh, wait, that's right." And point us to the Lord because encouragement isn't about us, ultimately, really. It's about God. "This is what God is doing in your life. This is how God has graced you. This is how God has gifted you."

It points us to Him. So if we can keep that in mind when we are encouraging someone, what we are actually doing is pointing them to the Lord, the Creator. That can help spur us on to encourage because I know that when someone encourages me, it builds my faith. It builds my faith for ministry. When someone tells me, "Hey, I really enjoyed whatever . . . (your talk or your writing), it helped me through X, Y, Z." I think, Oh Lord, it's so easy to doubt. It is so easy to doubt when you're doing ministry. So it spurs me on to keep doing good works.

Talking to a mother who's laboring day in, day out, because she had a heart for her home, to have it organized, and to encourage her, "Hey, your work here is beautiful." And she can remember her labors aren't in vain. So I think there's such an opportunity to build other people's faith.

And then being an encourager takes our eyes off ourselves. So I think it can help us to fight fear. If I am looking at you, Erin, and I say, "Erin, I loved your Connected book." And I look at you, and I say, "Thank you." I hope that spurs you on to go and write something else." Because we need that.

Erin: Yes.

Trillia: I think it helps guard me against fear. I don't have to compare myself. I can just be encouraged because the Lord is using Erin or Jen Wilkin, or whoever it is, in its really unique and sweet way. I think it helps us battle and get our eyes off ourselves.

Erin: I think this is a really practical, easy way to fight fear.

Trillia: Yes.

Erin: We can start being encouraging right now.

Trillia: Yes.

Erin: You give a lot of time in your book to unhealthy and sinful fear, but you do give a nod to healthy fear. And you frame it around a story of something really horrible that happened to you in college.

Trillia: Yes.

Erin: I wonder if you would just share that story with us, to help us understand there is a time when we should probably develop or listen to healthy fear.

Trillia: When I was in college, I was actually on a trip with several. It was this huge, massive trip. There were tons, hundreds of people on this trip. I actually wasn't a Christian at the time, but I went into a room with other Christians. I would have been considered a "good girl," but I didn't know Jesus. I knew that I didn't want to party, and I didn't want to drink, and that's what a lot of the other people were doing, so I hung out with these Christians.

Well, we were all hanging out in a hotel room. It was mixed, guys and girls. I wasn't thinking anything of it. We were mostly young. An older gentleman who was also on this trip knocked on the door to come in, and we were, like, "Sure," because we knew of him a little. We didn't know him, but . . .

Erin: Was there anything in your gut or your inside that sent up a warning or a flare?

Trillia: Not a thing. We were eighteen, nineteen—we were just not thinking about it. There was nothing in our gut, and we were very welcoming. We wanted people to come. It was fine. There was probably about fifteen of us in there, in this one little room.

Well, that evening, we all fell asleep. We were watching a movie. We were all over the place, on the floor, and, unfortunately, the older man who had come in had had a history of sexual assault. He had molested his children, which I would find out later. He assaulted me while I was sleeping, and I woke up to that.

Though I was young, I had the mind about me to wake someone else up, to run out of the room, get authorities, and he confessed. He went to jail, and it was miserably sad. But it also awakened in me an awareness of my surroundings and to guard against putting myself, though it was not my fault in any way, shape, or form, but to guard against putting myself in situations where something could happen.

So it has produced in me, I think, a healthy fear, a wisdom. It's probably wise not to sleep in mixed company of people you don't really know. And though, again, it's not my fault in the least, it's probably okay to have someone accompany you to your car at night, I think, especially as a female.

It's just awakened in me a sense of, "Okay, I need to be more aware of my surroundings and more aware of the temptation that's out there for men and women." I think it's protected me since that time.

Erin: I appreciated you sharing the story, but I also appreciated the balance because I don't think what the Bible is saying that we should always ignore our fear of response or that all fear is unhealthy or that all fear is rooted in unbelief. In that situation, there was a legitimate fear, a healthy fear.

So I wonder, are there some other areas of our lives where you recognize healthy fear versus the unhealthy fear that we're trying to unpack in more of the book?

Trillia: Yes. I think that we can have a healthy fear, and almost like a righteous anger, I think, if we have a prodigal. If we have a kid who has run off and is on drugs, for example, we know what the end result could be. We want to trust God and pray to Him. We don't ignore it as if it's not happening. We bring our anxieties to the Lord. We don't want to worry and not trust God, but there's something that is grieving . . .t grieves our spirit, and I think that's okay.

I really am thankful we have the account of Jesus in the garden. He's praying, and He even asks, "Lord, if it's Your will, take this cup away from Me." I love that because it shows us that we don't have to grin it and bear it. We can ask God, "Lord, I have cancer. If it's Your will, will You take this from me? Lord, I have a son, a kid who's a prodigal run off." Just various situations. I think in His grace and His kindness He's called us to, yes, submit to Him, but there is a healthy fear.

Fear is an emotion that He gave us, so we can turn it into complete anxiety and worry constantly, or we can turn it into, "Okay, Lord, I'm going to submit it to You, and I'm going to trust You." Or, like my situation, "I'm going to grow in wisdom. What is it that I can do in the next situation that might help prevent . . . all things aren't prevented, but where I can grow in wisdom in different areas?" God is so good to give us a lot of grace, I think, in this area.

Erin: What is the fear of the Lord, and how can we as women grow in that?

Trillia: The fear of the Lord is an awe and a reverence of God. It is recognizing that He is holy, and we are not. We are separate. We are different. So, to me, as we recognize this, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." We grow in wisdom.

And then, we grow in knowledge. We understand that God is worthy of our praise, our admiration, our trust because we fear Him, because we are in awe of Him, because we magnify His name, because His name is already magnified, we worship Him.

So the fear of the Lord is an acknowledgement that God is God.

Nancy: We've been listening to a conversation between my friends Erin Davis and Trillia Newbell. They've been talking about Trillia's latest book, Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves.

This is a reminder that I need as someone who is sometimes tempted to fear, tempted to take matters into my own hands and to want to be in control. It's really a topic that applies to every single one of us.

So I hope that you'll follow up on today's conversation and get a copy of Trillia's book called, Fear and Faith. We'd love to send this to you as our way of saying "thank you" when you support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts.

Here during these summer months, people can get busy and donations tend to fall off a bit, but we still need to pay our bills in order to keep this program coming to you each weekday. So if you appreciate the practical teaching and the discussions you hear on Revive Our Hearts, like the one we've been listening to today, would you ask the Lord if He would want you to make a gift at this time to help support this ministry?

When you make a donation of any amount, we want to say "thank you" by sending you a copy of Trillia's book, Fear and Faith. You can make your donation online at ReviveOurHearts.com, or give us a call at 1–800–569–5959. Be sure to ask for Trillia's book, Fear and Faith, when you make your gift.

Thank you so much for partnering with us as Revive Our Hearts is helping women find faith in Christ as an anchor for their souls in these fearful times.

Leslie: Tomorrow, Josh McDowell joins Nancy to talk about ways that you can talk to your children about wise choices in a sinful world. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.