Revive Our Hearts Podcast

God's Perspective

Leslie Basham: We’re bombarded with information. What we really need isn’t more data but insight on how to interpret it. Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We need to have God’s perspective on our world. We need to see world events through God’s point of view, through God’s eyes. We need to know what God is saying in this day. He is not silent. He is speaking.

Leslie Basham: It’s Tuesday, April 3rd, and you’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Information zips across the globe at amazing speeds, and I’m thankful for it. I’m glad people are logging onto ReviveOurHearts.com to read today’s transcript. I’m glad they’re listening to the podcast edition of the program. But along with speedy information, you need time to process what you’re hearing. You need wisdom and discernment. Nancy’s going to explain where that discernment comes from in a series called A Time for Tears.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: As you look around you and you see what’s going on in this world, in your community, in your family, in your little part of the world, you see the heartache and the heartbreak. Where do you get your perspective? How do you understand what’s really happening?

Do you get most of your perspective from the evening news? Do you look to CNN to tell you what’s really happening in our world? Is it from news magazines? Is it from your friends? You sit around and have conversations and throw around opinions about what’s happening. “Well I think this is what’s happening in the world.” “Well, it seems to me this is what’s happening.”

As never before, we’re living in a day where we need to understand what is happening—not just what it looks like is happening, but what really is happening in our world. We need to have God’s perspective on our world. We need to see world events and the events of our little worlds through God’s point of view, through God’s eyes.

We need to know what God is saying in this day. He is not silent. He is speaking. There aren’t many people who are really listening to what He’s saying. That’s why we need to be those who hear what God is saying. We need to know how to respond and how to help others respond. How do we do that?

We’re looking this week at the book of Jeremiah and the book of Lamentations (written by Jeremiah, the weeping prophet). We’re particularly examining a passage in Jeremiah chapter 9 where he issues a call for the wailing women to come. He says, “Now is a time for weeping. Now is a time for grieving and for mourning.”

Jeremiah looks out at what is happening in his nation, and he weeps. And he issues a call, or God issues a call through him, to women to join in this funeral dirge, to join in weeping and wailing and grieving over what’s happened.

So how are we to know what we’re to weep over? Well, he tells us in this passage. Let me read again the first paragraph. “This is what the Lord Almighty says, ‘Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come. Send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us until our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids. The sound of wailing is heard from Zion: How ruined we are! How great is our shame! We must leave our land because our houses are in ruins. Now, O women, [God says,] Hear the word of the Lord; open your ears to the words of his mouth'" (Jeremiah 9:17–20).

How are we to know what’s going on in our world, what’s really going on? How are we to know what’s worth weeping over? How are we to know what really matters? We’ve got to become women of the Word. “Now O women, hear the word of the Lord; open your ears to the words of his mouth” (Jeremiah 9:20).

One of the problems with many of us is that we’re so busy talking that we can’t really listen. We’re so busy telling other people what we think, what our opinions are, what we have figured, that we’re not listening. In the Psalms the psalmist says, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak” (Psalm 85:8).

Now God has given to us His Word. That’s how we hear His voice. We’ve got to become women of the Word. The Word of the Lord translates our times for us. It tells us where we’ve come from and where we are and where we’re headed. It tells us the story. We’re living in a story that’s unfolding. It’s God’s story. That’s what history is—His story.

The Scripture unfolds that story for us. But it not only tells us what has happened, it tells us where it’s all headed. We know the last chapter. It’s already been written, and it’s in this book. We’ve got to get into this book, turn off the news sometimes, put down the News Weekly sometimes and pick up this Book and say, “Lord, teach me what’s really going on.”

“Now O women, hear the word of the Lord; open your ears to the words of his mouth” (Jeremiah 9:20).

Now as we become women of the Word, God will show us what we’re to weep over. He will show us what concerns Him. He will show us what’s on His heart. As Jeremiah listened to the Lord, God gave him a word for his day.

It’s interesting to me that that was not primarily a word for the pagan nations that surrounded Judah. There were many idolatrous, wicked nations around the nation of Judah and Israel in those days. There was great wickedness. There’s great wickedness around us.

I don’t have to tell you that we’re living in a very secular, corrupt, wicked culture. Some of us have gotten too close to it and it’s hard for us to differentiate. But if we step back, we realize that this is a very wicked day. It’s a day when wickedness is flaunted, when the things that are evil we call good. The things that are good we call evil. We laugh at sin; we scoff at righteousness.

A recent Gallup poll said that 57% of the American people believe that it is not morally wrong for a couple to have a baby if they are not married. Sixty percent believed that it is not wrong for a man and a woman to have sexual relations before marriage. Forty-two percent believed that abortion is morally acceptable. Fifty-nine percent believed that divorce is morally acceptable. Forty percent believed that homosexual behavior is morally acceptable.

There has been in our culture a rejection of God, a rejection of absolute truth, a rejection of God’s law. And with that there’s been a pursuit of false gods, a pursuit of false religions.

Jeremiah lived in such a day. He could have looked around and pointed the finger at all the surrounding nations, but he didn’t because God gave him a message, not for the secular culture, but for the people of God. I believe the message we need to be hearing and speaking today is not so much a message to our secular culture as it is a message to the people of God.

God’s concern was for His own people. Because you see, God wanted to use His people as an instrument to take His gospel to the nations. If God’s people became blended in with the world and became corrupt like the world, then they would have no light. They would not fulfill God’s purposes and bring God glory among the pagan nations.

So we read in Jeremiah chapter 9, “Call for the wailing women to come. Send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us until our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids. The sound of wailing is heard from Zion: How ruined we are!” (Jeremiah 9:17–19).

What is Zion? It's the people of God. It’s the people who profess to know God. It’s the people who have God’s name. It’s the believers. “How ruined we are! How great is our shame! We must leave our land because our houses are in ruins” (Jeremiah 9:19).

Now we’d like to point the finger today to Hollywood or to San Francisco or to Washington, D.C. or to centers of wickedness and wicked influence in our culture. And they certainly abound.

But the message of God through His prophet 2,700 years ago is ringing into our hearts today. And God says, “Wait a minute. Before I can say anything to them, I’ve got something I want to say to you.” It’s a message for us. How ruined we are. How great is our shame in every measurable area.

God’s people today are sinning just like the world in every area you can identify. Now some of the statistics vary a little bit, but there’s not anything going on in the world today, as wicked and corrupt as it is, that is not also going on inside the four walls of our churches, inside our homes as believers.

I remember hearing one pastor say after God had met with his people in a time of spiritual cleansing and revival, during the course of those weeks there had been a prayer meeting. The people had listed the sins of the nation so that they could intercede for the nation in relation to those sins.

At the end of that period of time when God was moving in that church in an unusual way, that pastor shared with us that as he looked at that list of sins of the world, he realized that every single one of those sins had come to the light in his own church during the past weeks. “And,” he said, “a few other that were too wicked to name that night that we made that list.”

How ruined we are. How great is our shame.

Leslie Basham: How much more influence could the church have if people stopped complaining about everybody else’s sin and got real about their own sin? Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be right back with more teaching.

Today’s program is pretty heavy. But if you embrace the topic it will lead to forgiveness, freedom and joy. Would you respond to what you just heard? Take a next step in getting real about your sin and go through a booklet by Nancy called Begin at My Sanctuary. Nancy can help you identify sins in your life and walk you through a complete process of healing and wholeness.

This is so important that we’ll send you a copy of Begin at My Sanctuary at no cost to you. Just ask for it when you call 1-800-569-5959, or look for this free offer at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Now let’s get back to Nancy’s teaching.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Now throughout the book of Jeremiah and also into the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah opens up the patient. He does a little surgery here. It’s not a little surgery. It’s major surgery. He takes the scalpel; he takes the knife. He opens up God’s people, and he says, “I want you to see what God sees.”

Because you see, from all outward appearances, the people were doing fine. There were a lot of spiritual leaders who were telling them they were doing fine, that they didn’t have anything to worry about.

And Jeremiah said, “No, it’s not so. What you need to do is see what’s inside.” I think of the prophet Ezekiel who was told by God to dig a hole in the temple. This happened in a vision. God said to Ezekiel, “Don’t just look at what it looks like is going on in there. Look through that hole. Look into the inner part of that temple and see what I’m seeing. See what’s really going on.” (See Ezekiel 8)

We can look around in our nation, and we can see churches flourishing. We’ve got mega churches. We’ve got mega programs. We’ve got books and bookstores and TV programs and Christian radio programs and all kinds of seminars and conferences and multi-million dollar ministries. And it looks like we’re flourishing.

But God then comes along and uses an instrument like His servant Jeremiah and says, “Let Me open up a hole. Let Me show you what is really going on inside the walls of My house. Let me show you what’s going on inside My people.”

Now this is important because as he looks at that condition, Jeremiah says the message that is needed today is not a message so much for the pagan nations surrounding us. It’s a message for God’s people.

So in Jeremiah chapter 9 where he calls the women to wail and to weep and to grieve, he’s saying, “You need to mourn over your own condition. You need to mourn over the condition of your homes. The problem isn’t outside of us. The problem is us.” We’re going to see that the ultimate message is, “Return to Me. Return to Me.”

But if you don’t know that you’ve deviated from God’s plan, from His will, then you don’t know that you need to return. It doesn’t do any good to call people to repentance today in the church if we don’t know that we’ve strayed.

I’d encourage you to read the book of Jeremiah on your own. Read it through several times and watch as he lists the things that God sees in the lives of His people, the true spiritual condition of God’s people.

Now one of the things you’ll see repeated over and over and over again—thirteen times in the book of Jeremiah—God says, “My people have forsaken Me.”

“They have forsaken Me” (Jeremiah 2:13).

He says, “Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the Lord your God?” (Jeremiah 2:17).

“Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God” (Jeremiah 2:19, NKJV).

Now this is not the entertainment industry. This is not the pagan politicians. This is God’s people, the ones who are called by His name. Jeremiah says (God says), “You have forsaken God, the One by whose name you were called, the One who has redeemed you, the One who bought you, the One who owns you, the One whose you are. You have forsaken Him.”

It wasn’t that they weren’t doing their religious thing. They were still going to church services. They were still offering sacrifices. But their hearts had left God. They were going through the motions. Not only had they forsaken God, but God says in chapter 5, “Your children have forsaken Me” (Jeremiah 5:7).

You see, when God’s people forsake God, there’s very little chance that their children are going to have a heart for God. Incredibly, by the way, though Israel and Judah forsook God, God is such an incredible God of mercy. And He says, “Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the Lord Almighty, though their land is full of guilt before the [Lord God] of Israel” (Jeremiah 51:5).

No matter how far we go, God doesn’t forsake us. He is going to revive His people. I believe there is going to be, before the return of Christ, a great worldwide revival where God is going to purify His bride that has forsaken Him in so many parts of the world. I believe He’s going to woo and win back our hearts to Himself.

And through our weeping, through our prayers as women, we can be a part, I believe, of orchestrating the prelude to God moving in that kind of sweeping revival.

Not only does God say, “My people have forsaken me,” but He says, “They have forgotten me” five times in the book of Jeremiah. “They have forgotten me.”

God says, “Does a maiden forget her jewelry, or a bride her wedding garments?” A woman who is getting ready to get married, she doesn’t forget her wedding dress. A woman doesn’t usually go out and forget her jewelry. “[But] my people have forgotten me, days without number” (Jeremiah 2:32). We are preoccupied with so many other things—everything but God is taking center stage in our lives. We’ve forgotten what really matters. We’ve forgotten Who matters.

Then Jeremiah says that the people no longer had a fear of the Lord. They didn’t tremble in the presence of the Lord. Chapter 2, verse 19 of Jeremiah: “‘The fear of me is not in you,’ says the Lord God of hosts” (NKJV).

“Should you not fear me?” He says in chapter five. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I make the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it” (Jeremiah 5:22).

“But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say [among] themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest” (Jeremiah 5:23–24).

People take God and His gifts for granted. They see the power of God. They see God in nature, but they don’t fear God. They don’t reverence Him.

We’re not talking about lost people out there. We’re talking about the people of God. And God says, “Should you not tremble in My presence?” When’s the last time you found yourself in the presence of the Lord trembling at the thought of His holiness, trembling at the thought of how unholy you were?

When we worship the Lord, we go through the motions, we sing our songs just like the children of Israel. They were still singing their hymns and their songs and spiritual songs, but there wasn’t a fear of the Lord in their hearts.

Jeremiah also spoke to the people of God about their rebellion. He says, “‘You have rebelled against the Lord your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree and have not obeyed me,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 3:13).

Disobedience. We believers know so much, but we live so little of what we know. When we know something and don’t obey, God says that’s rebellion. We sit here in this room. We think, “I’m not a rebellious person.” But I wonder how many things do I know from the Word of God that I’m not living.

And God says if that’s true, if it’s consciously true in my life, then I’ve rebelled against Him. “Why do you bring charges against me?” God says. “You have rebelled against Me . . . In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction” (Jeremiah 2:29–30).

“You struck them,” Jeremiah says, “but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent” (Jeremiah 5:3).

God says their rebellion is great and their backslidings many. He’s talking about His people. Does that grieve you? Does it give you a heavy heart? We don’t like to come to church today to hear a heavy message. We want something that’s going to make us feel good about ourselves. God’s Word teaches that you will never really feel right about yourself until you see yourself as you really are and let Him make you right.

So God says, “I’ve got an issue with you. I’ve got a case against you. Hear the Word of the Lord.” What are we as women to do? This ought to make us weep. It ought to make us grieve. There’s a time to weep, a time to mourn.

Leslie Basham: There’s a time to laugh and a time to weep. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been helping you recognize the time you’re living in. Some of us get so comfortable that we need a sobering reminder about the devastating effects of our sin.

Some of our listeners have gotten that kind of wake up call being sentenced to time in prison, and they’ve responded with humble hearts. Here’s Nancy to explain.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Not too long ago we were in a recording session here in Little Rock, Arkansas, and we had a group of women, as we always do, sitting in and listening to the teaching. At the beginning of the session, I went around the room and asked the women to introduce themselves.

Right in the front row there was a gal sitting who said, “I listened to the very first Revive Our Hearts program that ever aired in September of 2001.” She said, “I listened from my prison cell.” And then this young woman went on to tell the story of how she had served a twelve-year sentence in prison. The last three years of her sentence were the first three years that Revive Our Hearts was on the air.

She told about how she and other women in that prison listened regularly to Revive Our Hearts and how she had been so impacted, so disciplined. God has used that as one of the instruments in helping this women become a radiant, precious, godly, young woman who is now involved in ministering in prisons herself.

I was just so encouraged as I heard this testimony and heard of how God is using this ministry to minister to many inmates. We receive a lot of letters from inmates sharing how they are being nurtured in their faith, are becoming women of God as they hear this message.

I just want to say that’s an outreach that most of our listeners may not be aware of that we’re able to disciple women and help women find freedom and fullness and fruitfulness in Christ who are sitting behind bars today.

You know, that’s just one of the outreaches of Revive Our Hearts that wouldn’t be possible apart from friends who share our burden and share our vision for revival and biblical womanhood and are financially supporting this ministry so that we can stay on the air. We can send the program into all kinds of out-of-the-way places across this country and around the world.

So if the Lord has used this ministry to be a blessing in your life and you’d like to see it multiplied into the lives of other women in all sorts of life situations, I want to encourage you to consider making a gift to Revive Our Hearts. When you send your gift, be sure and let us know the call letters of the station on which you listen to Revive Our Hearts.

Thank you so much not only for your financial support but also for your prayers as we seek to share this message with hungry hearted women all across this country and around the world.

Leslie Basham: Make a donation to Revive Our Hearts by calling 1-800-569-5959. You can also donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

If you haven’t been there in a while, I think you’ll find the website to be a powerful resource. When you visit right now, you can get information on how to honor your mom in a special way for Mother’s Day. It’s coming up, so take a look at the gift set we’ve designed for moms. Again, you can do that at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Wouldn’t it be strange for a doctor to withhold important information about your health because he didn’t want to hurt your feelings? Well God isn’t like that doctor. Find out why tomorrow when we’re back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

All Scripture is taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

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