Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Dannah Gresh: Think about how you pray. When was the last time you asked God for more of Himself? Here’s Stacey Salsbery.

Stacey Salsbery: Ask the Lord, “Give me You.” Start there. We spend so much time praying that God will give us things or that God will fix things, and yet, what if we spent just as much time praying that God would give us Himself?

Dannah: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of A Place of Quiet Rest, for December 2, 2020. I’m Dannah Gresh. 

So, what satisfies you? Is it a hot fudge sundae smothered in whipped topping with nuts and bananas? I have to admit, sometimes that satisfies me. And that’s okay; the Lord has given us a lot of good things.

But when we begin to live a life where we’re looking for things to satisfy us, whether it’s food or entertainment or a career or a relationship or an achievement or a reward, it might be time to stop and take inventory and see if maybe, just maybe, something else could be the ultimate satisfaction.

Nancy, you look pretty satisfied. Right now, actually, you have a smile on your face. You just came from a really special meeting, and you have met some really special friends that you’re excited about. Can you tell us about that?

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: I am! I just came from spending several hours with a really precious part of the Revive Our Hearts team, but ones I don’t see very often . . . some of whom I had never met before. That is the content team.

I was so inspired to hear their passion, their heart, as they’ve come in from around the country for a few days of training. (I think maybe one or two are from Canada as well.) Some of these women are single, some are married, some have children, a couple are empty-nesters. 

In their different seasons of life, they’re really burdened about helping women experience greater freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. That’s an outreach we don’t talk about a whole lot on the podcast or the broadcast, but I was so encouraged as I saw these women, heard their heart for the Lord, their love for His Word, their eagerness to connect the truth of God’s Word with women right wherever they live. 

Actually, I took some lengthy time while we were together walking through the last paragraph of the book of Ecclesiastes, where the writer, Solomon, talks about the value of the words of the wise.

Here I was with this group of wise women who are writing words that minister grace to people day after day. I know a lot of our listeners may not have ever checked out the True Woman blog, but having just met with these women who are doing such a great job on that blog, I’m thinking this is an outreach that many more of our listeners will want to check out.

Dannah: Yes, I just got an email recently from a woman who said, “I have literally used the blog to find answers to some of my hardest questions. When I have a question about how to be a better mom, I go to the blog. When I have a question about how to talk to other women who are struggling in the walk with the Lord, I go to the blog.”

And so, whatever question you might be struggling with today, just type those words into our search engine, and we probably have several blogs on that topic that will guide you in biblical truth. 

Nancy: You can find all those blogs at our main website, ReviveOurHearts.com. The True Woman blog for women, the Lies Young Women Believe blog for teen girls, and then we also have a Leader Connection blog that’s for women’s ministry leaders, pastors’ wives. 

Some of those bloggers were here with us today as well. So, there are lots of great resources there for whatever season of life and ministry you may find yourself in!

Dannah: And today, Nancy, we get to talk to one of your new friends from the blogging team, Stacey Salsbery. Not only does she have her own blog where she gives readers a weekly practical, deeper look into God’s Word, but she is a member of our True Woman blogging team. We are so excited to have you, Stacey! Welcome.

Stacey: Thank you, Nancy and Dannah. It is a joy to be here today! I absolutely love blogging for the True Woman blog, but also for Revive Our Hearts. It has definitely been a gift to me, and I love sharing the Word of God with women!

Dannah: Before we dig into your passion to share God’s truth with other women, tell us just a little bit about your family and some of your interests.

Stacey: I am actually married to a farmer. We live in central Indiana. My husband, Craig, farms with his family. I like to call myself “CEO of Home Operations.” I take care of him full time, as well as our four children ranging in age from twelve to five. I’ve got three boys and one precious girl.

Nancy: I understand your husband gets to listen to Revive Our Hearts sometimes even when you don’t.

Stacey: Yes he does/ He spends hours in the tractor, and one of his favorite things is listening to biblically sound radio programming—that keeps his mind going and his heart as well. 

Nancy: You get Moody Radio where you live, so he gets to tune into that. And how thankful we are for our partners at Moody Radio across the country.

Stacey: Absolutely! And here’s the funny thing: sometimes Moody Radio is the only radio station that will come in, in the tractor. 

Nancy: So he’s stuck listening to those programs!

Stacey: He’s “stuck,” yes. He tells me all about them when he gets home from working for the day.

Dannah: That’s precious. So you have an absolute passion for taking women into the deep places of God’s Word. Did you always have that, Stacey?

Stacey: You know what, Dannah, I would like to tell you “yes,” but the honest truth is “no.” Like so many of us, God’s Word was a part of my life, but it was not my life. It was not my focus. I spent years, just like many of us do, chasing . . . 

Well, we could start all the way back in those middle school or high school years with body image . . . which is still something that we can get wrapped up in and concerned with today. But chasing that I needed to look like this girl or that girl.

Nancy: So trying to find satisfaction, fulfillment . . . that’s where you were drawn. And that can be women of any age falling into that.

Stacey: Absolutely, yes! There’s this constant search, I think, to find something that satisfies us. When that doesn’t work, we just move on to the next thing.

Nancy: So back to the middle school and high school years: what did that look like for you?

Stacey: It looked like a constant comparison. Even if I were to accomplish, let’s say, a certain number on a scale, it didn’t bring me the joy and the satisfaction that I thought it would. It just left me feeling empty or maybe making a new goal or chasing something new. “Now I need to be with this group of girls and work on my popularity.”

Because what we find is, unless it’s found in Christ, unless our satisfaction is found in the Word of God, it’s going to be lacking!

Nancy: As you’re talking, Stacey, I’m thinking about that woman in John chapter 4—the woman at the well—who came to get water, physical water, because she was thirsty. But Jesus met her there and talked to her about living water that she needed. Here’s a woman who had had five husbands, she was now living with one who wasn’t her husband.

Jesus spent this amazing conversation trying to help her understand that the things and places and people she had been running to, to get the thirst of her heart satisfied, none of them were enough. He said, “If you drink from the water at this earthly well, these earthly things and people, you’re going to have to keep coming back for more.”

Then He promised her, “The water that I have for you—this living water—will quench your thirst so you’ll never be thirsty again.” I just think, how many of us—all of us as humans—are running many times from one well to another trying to find something that satisfies the deepest thirst of our hearts. 

So for many it does start with physical qualities, comparison, body image, diets, weight, beauty. As you got older and found those things didn’t fully satisfy, what are some of the other wells you found yourself running to?

Stacey: Well, it was always a dream of mine—as most little girls, maybe—to be married, to have my own family. When high school didn’t satisfy me like I thought it would, it was college that I could not wait to get to. And while college was a wonderful season of life, it didn’t last forever. 

Graduation came and went and life was moving on, and I wanted to be married. That was the next thing I looked to: “Give me a husband, Lord! I need one!” 

Nancy: And there’s nothing wrong with high school, college, husband, or marriage, unless we’re thinking that’s the thing that’s going to make me happy.

Stacey: Right, exactly. I believed the truths of God’s Word, and I would have told you I believed the truths of God’s Word. Yet I still found myself saying, “Yes, Lord . . . but . . . I want this, too!”

Dannah: Well, and when we say that, “I believe God’s Word . . . yes, Lord . . . but . . .” What we’re really saying is, “God is not enough. That living water just isn’t going to be enough, because I need a boyfriend! I need great grades! I need a husband!” 

So many times I see women . . . Nancy, going back to John 4. The thirst that that woman was dealing with really did have to do with wanting a man to be her satisfaction, and to quench that thirst over and over and over again.

I meet great Christian women who really do love the Lord, but they want a husband. They’re not putting the love of God and the relationship with Him in a sufficient place. So they get the husband, and he’s a good husband, and he’s a godly husband, and he might even be the kind of husband who listens to Revive Our Hearts on tractors! (laughter) But they’re still thirsty on the other side. 

So they’re like, “God, fix the husband!” and “God, make the husband better!” and “God . . .” And it never ends, does it? We just go from well to another.

Nancy: There’s nothing wrong with wanting a husband. A husband is a good thing, and that’s a good gift. There’s nothing wrong with asking God for those good gifts. But when the equation in our lives is, “I have to have Jesus plus . . .” (anything else; fill in the blank!) 

At a different season of life, it may not be just a husband, but children. I know you are married, Stacey, but did you find yourself after you got a husband, thinking, I need more?

Stacey: Yes. I have a wonderful husband, and I do want to put that caveat in there. He is a wonderful, godly man! And yet, marriage was not intended to satisfy us like a relationship with Christ is intended to satisfy us. 

So even after marriage, the next thing I looked towards was children: “Oh, it’s because I need to be a mother. That’s what’s missing!” So I had a baby, and then I had another one, and then I four!

Nancy: You find out pretty soon that those children aren’t looking to satisfy you; they’re looking to you to satisfy them!

Stacey: That’s exactly right! I felt depleted as a mom. It was not fulfilling me as I thought it would. I was the little girl looking for the stay-at-home mom table on career day—that’s what I had always wanted. And then, when I had it in my grasp, I thought, What’s wrong with me? Why does this not satisfy me like I thought that it would?

It’s because it’s not intended to satisfy me like a relationship with Christ is.

Dannah: When did you start to realize that? I have to say, what I hear is something I see in my own life sometimes, and what I hear from other women: you’re never really living in the here-and-now for Jesus, because you’re so consumed with what you need in the future and what you’re asking Him for in the future.

So, when did you start to really say, “This cycle isn’t working. I need to change it!” What did that look like? Take us to that room, that day, that time period when you really understood, “I have to stop this pattern!”

Stacey: I had kind of had enough. I was tired of being discontented! I had so many wonderful things, so many blessings, that God had given me . . . and yet, I still wanted more! Even with kids, it became, “Now I need my alone time. Now I need date nights. Now I need a vacation. Oh, wait! Now we need a bigger house!”

I didn’t like what was coming out of me! I knew the discontentment wasn’t right. And by the grace of God, He woke me up. He did that through Scripture. I was reading in my Bible one day . . . and I will never forget this moment. I was studying the book of Genesis. So I had been in the Word, I had been reading.

But I would say it was just a part of my life; it wasn’t where I was seeking for satisfaction. But I opened up my Bible; I had been studying in Genesis 15. And in Genesis 15:1, God said to Abraham, “Abraham, I am your very great reward.” (paraphrased) And I thought, Wow! Is God my reward?

He had been, maybe, a part of the blessing in my life, but He was not my reward. It struck me how much I wanted God to be my reward! 

Dannah: The picture I’m getting in my head is . . . Stacey, sweet middle school, high school, college, young mom Stacey really loves Jesus, but she’s waiting for the next award or reward He’s going to give her for following Him . . . right? 

Stacey: Yes!

Dannah: And suddenly now, you’re realizing, “I don’t want something in His hands, I want it to just be Him, His presence, that is the reward!”

Stacey: Yes, yes! It was a switch in thought for me. It wasn’t the blessings of God that I was seeking, well, it was, but it didn’t need to be. It needed to be Him! He needed to be the one thing above all else that I was seeking.

Nancy: And, practically, what changed at that moment? What did you do differently? Were you just thinking differently? How did that change the trajectory for you?

Stacey: First, I confessed my sin. I realized that I had been chasing all of these other things. Not that they were bad things, but just spending years of begging God for this or that. But what if we beg God for Him? And so, I started doing that: “Lord, I don’t know how to do this well, but give me more of You. That’s what I need in my life. I want You to be my reward!” 

I prayed, and I asked Him to fill me with that longing for Him. What a prayer to pray, right?! He is faithful to do that. And He did!

Dannah: Did it change overnight? You read that Bible verse, you prayed that prayer, and suddenly your mind was in alignment with that truth. Or did you still find yourself slipping into the desire for things or other rewards?

Stacey: I definitely still found myself slipping back into it. You know, my eyes had been awakened to the truth, but it is still a constant fight for God to be my reward, and not this or that or success in this area or even for certain successes with my children. It’s a constant fight and reminder. I have to be in God’s Word daily if I’m going to be able to fight against that, but there was also a joy that had been missing. That was a gift!

I don’t think that contentment is something that we can conjure up. I can’t tell myself, “Okay, Stacy, now you need to be content with this. You can do this. You can do this!” Contentment was really a gift I found that God gave me as I spent time with Him. It was a blessing that I received from Him!

Nancy: Well, you come to realize what a great treasure He is, and that He’s the all-surpassing treasure; that there is no one more beautiful, more lovely, more wonderful, more desirable than Christ. All these other things—good as they may be—lose their allure, their shininess.

I’m thinking of verse 21, at the end of 1 John chapter 5. The last verse of the epistle of 1 John says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” That suggests to me that this isn’t a one-time happening for us.

Like, “I realize that I’ve been looking to things and people other than Jesus to satisfy me. So, I say ‘no’ to them; I say ‘yes’ to Jesus. And now, I’m just worshipping Him with all my heart for the rest of my life!”

There was a great theologian of the past who said, “Our hearts are idol factories.” We’re always manufacturing, we’re coming up with new replacements and substitutes and things and people and experiences that we think will satisfy us. 

And so the apostle John says, “You’ve got to be doing heart work all the time, to make sure you’re not falling back into longing for and clinging to and loving anything less than Jesus.” Right?

Stacey: Yes. You have to take “every thought captive [to obey Christ]” (2 Cor. 10:5). And yet, Psalm 16:11 says (and here’s one of the rewards that we can look forward to when it’s the Lord we’re seeking first and foremost), “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” I love that verse!

Nancy: And the fullness He’s offering us—the verse you just quoted talks about at His “right hand are pleasures forevermore.” That reminds me of another passage in Psalm 73:23 that says, “I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.”

So at His right hand are pleasures. He’s holding our right hand. “You guide me with your counsel . . . afterward you will receive me to glory.” And then this is such a piercing question: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (vv. 24–25).

It doesn’t mean there aren’t good things on earth, good gifts God gives us. But the psalmist is saying, “Compared to the joy—the priceless pleasure and treasure of knowing You and having You—those other things look like they’re baubles. They’re not necessary. They may be cute and pretty, but they’re not essential.”

So the psalmist says, “There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail [and all the things that my flesh and my heart gravitate to], but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (vv. 25–26). My reward, my portion.

And then, I look at the last verse of Psalm 73, “For me it is good to be near God” (v. 28). Like, all the things we think are good, all the things we think are essential, all the things we think we have to have, the things we spend our time and our energy and our effort and our money pursuing after . . .

And moms with their kids, too, it doesn’t end with one generation. Now you’re pursuing after them with your kids. And the psalmist says, “What is my greatest good? 

It is to be near God!” To be near God! If you’re near Him, what’s the implication? “I have everything good that I have to have, that I can’t live without.”

Dannah: Okay, I am feeling so convicted by this program! I would say I started this conversation with you ladies today thinking, I’m not chasing after satisfaction in other things; I’m not chasing after idols. But as I’m listening, I’m thinking, Wait, do I need to do a heart check?

I’m thinking back to my reading from this morning in 2 Chronicles where Jehoshaphat—he’s a godly king—removes the high places, the places where the idols were worshipped. He goes through his whole reign as king, really, with a lot of honor to the Lord. 

Then he dies and he goes to be with the Lord in his sixties, and 2 Chronicles 20:33 says, but “the high places were still there.” And I was like, “Wait, wait, wait, wait! I thought he pulled them down!” 

How easy is it for us, sometimes, to learn the lesson that you’re telling us that you’ve learned, Stacey, and to not look for those idols and those other things to satisfy us, but for them to sneak back in. I think I’m going to go home from this conversation and take inventory and ask, “Lord, are there some idols, are there some ‘high places,’ are there some things I’m seeking—some rewards other than You—that I need to tear down?” 

Stacey: Absolutely! And you know another great promise to hold onto is Matthew 5:6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Nancy: I love that, Stacey, because God says He longs to fill the hungry soul with good things (see Psalm 107:9). We’re saying, “I’m hungry; I’m needy; I’m thirsty.” We all are. We all have thirsty hearts. But He’s saying, “Let me fill you! Let Me give you what is good. Llet Me give you what you need!”

Stacey: That’s right. Yes.

Nancy: If we’re hungering and thirsting after Him, we are going to be filled; we are going to be satisfied. I think that’s how we can see women (or men, for that matter) in places where they’ve experienced great loss, where they have not been in an easy marriage, or maybe have been struggling financially, or their kids have not been doing well . . .

I mean, it’s a broken world, and there’s a lot of broken stuff out there. But I watch some of these people and think, How do they have this joy? How do they have this sense of contentment? when I know the circumstances they’re facing could lead them easily to discontentment.

But they have found a Source of quenching their thirst that is invisible, unseen, but just as real—more real—than anything this earth could offer them!

Stacey: Absolutely! Yes!

Dannah: So, Stacey, I kind of encouraged the women who think, Oh, no, I’m not looking for satisfaction in the wrong places, to take an inventory. What final challenge would you have for the one who’s listening and going, “Oh, yes. I am that woman who is like, ‘God, give me the next thing, give me the next thing, give me the next thing. I’m never quite satisfied, no matter what He gives me.” Where would you encourage her to start changing her heart?

Stacey: I would encourage her to start with prayer. Ask the Lord, “Give me You!” Start there. We spend so much time praying that God will give us things or that God will fix things, and yet, what if we spent just as much time praying that God would give us Himself?

So I would say to that woman (and I still am that woman sometimes; I don’t always have this figured out), “Go to Jesus. Tell Him. Tell Him, and ask Him for Himself. Ask Him that He be your reward, and just see what happens.” I know that He would love to answer a prayer like that!

Dannah: Maybe we should pray a prayer like that right now. Stacey, would you guide us?

Stacey: I would be glad to, Dannah.

Father, You’re God! And what a privilege and honor it is to come before Your throne, that we’re invited, God. May that never get old! Thank You for allowing us to come into Your presence. Thank You for loving us. Thank You for salvation. Thank You that we get to have a relationship with Christ. And I pray that we will recognize what a gift that truly is to have a relationship with You!

And, Father, I pray for the women that are listening right now, and I just ask that You would be their reward. I ask that You would hold them, God, however they need to be held, and that You would be in their life in a new way! It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Dannah: Maybe God’s stirring your heart like He did mine through this conversation. Have you been chasing after any idols? Do you need to do a heart check, too? My prayer is that God would be our true reward, that we won’t chase after anything else. All we need is found in Him!

Nancy: That’s such a basic foundational principle of the Christian life, Dannah. This year it’s been tempting to think that we might need something other than Jesus to satisfy us. You know, we need “the right candidate in office,” or we need stocked shelves for coming emergencies, or some would say we need a vaccine to protect our health.

I want to just say that ultimately there is no created thing on this earth that will satisfy our souls. Only Jesus can do that fully and lastingly! Well, we’re coming to the end of an excruciating year, and we want to keep bringing you back to that bedrock foundational truth: Christ is King! That’s the security and the hope for your soul and mine!

Dannah: It truly is! And in 2021, we want to continue proclaiming that truth here on Revive Our Hearts, but we need your help to do it. Close to half the donations we rely on every year arrive in the month of December. So your gift this month makes a huge difference! It helps us point women to Christ in the year ahead. 

When you give to Revive Our Hearts, you become part of stories like this one: a woman from Honduras wrote to us earlier this year. She writes, 

Your books and podcasts have added a lot of ‘salt’ to my life, making me so very thirsty for God! They also inspired me to keep praying and looking for a local church. Thank you for watering my seeds of faith in Jesus. What you and your team do really does make a difference in others’ lives! It does in mine, so thank you.

Nancy: I love that, Dannah! These podcasts are ‘salt,’ making this woman thirsty for God! And that’s what we want to do in the lives of women around the world. So you can help us reach even more women like that woman in Honduras who need the salt to make them thirsty for God. 

Some generous friends of Revive Our Hearts have established a matching challenge fund here in the month of December. So every gift that you give to Revive Our Hearts this month will be doubled! And what a great opportunity that is for your investment to be multiplied in the lives of women around the world.

Dannah: But to be a part of that matching challenge, we need to hear from you by December 31. And look, it’s human nature to wait until the last minute, but you’ll feel so much better if you go ahead and just do it right now. You can make your gift by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com, or call us at 1–800–569–5959.

Nancy: When you get filled with the living water, inevitably it’s going to flow out. 

Stacey: That’s right!

Nancy: God doesn’t just fill us up to make us full, but so we can be instruments to bring fullness and blessing to others as well. We’re going to talk with Stacey again tomorrow about some ways that God is flowing His living water through her to others. So be sure and join us here for Revive Our Hearts as we continue this conversation with Stacey Salsbery.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth reminds you that true satisfaction is only found in Christ. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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About the Speakers

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 …

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Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery is a farmer’s wife and mother of four. When she isn’t serving a meal on the side of the road, riding in a tractor with her husband, or …

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