Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leaving Self Behind, Part 5

Leslie Basham: Have you ever wished you could sit down with a godly, older woman and get her perspective on tough issues? Today, we will get that kind of wise counsel.

It is Friday, July 5 and this is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss.

If we think we know everything, we show how ignorant we really are. Today, we will have the opportunity to learn from a woman who has gained a lot of wisdom through the experiences of life, and through a love of God's Word. Here is Nancy to introduce our guest today.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We all need mentors in our lives. We need godly, older women who can help us understand the heart and the ways of God, and how to apply the Word of God to real life situations. One such mentor for me, though from a distance, has been Elisabeth Elliot. Over a period of many years, I have been helped and instructed by her writings, her tapes and, even on some occasions, the opportunity to ask her some questions in person.

Often when Elisabeth speaks to an audience, she leaves time at the end for people to ask questions of her. Today, on Revive our Hearts, we will listen in on one question and answer session that Elisabeth led after she spoke to a group of women in Denton, Texas.

Elisabeth Elliot: Okay, how do we deal with the pain and confusion of waiting for a mate, watching our friends married off one by one and continuing the desire to be a wife and mother? How do we live and understand God's sufficiency? Well, you cannot possibly live happily if you are living more than one day at a time. You know it is really absolutely none of your business whether God is going to give you a husband. If you are single, you are single today--period. Case closed. God is not likely to give you previews of coming attractions.

Question: I have a friend who loves me and that I love. We have decided to be friends for the moment. How can we be sure that we are not relying on our own strength to resist temptation?

Elisabeth Elliot: Well, I presume that this is a friend of the opposite sex. Perhaps you love him. And maybe he has been telling you that he loves you, which he should not have done. My father told my four brothers, "Do not ever say to a woman, 'I love you,' until you are prepared immediately to say, 'Will you marry me?'" This couple has gotten into something very dangerous. A woman should not allow him to know that she loves him. If he said, "I love you," then she should have said, "Well, you ought not to have said something like that, unless you are prepared to give a proposal." That will scare off about 99 percent of the men. Unfortunately, Lars has something else to say here.

Lars: This question comes up often. Let me add one thing from a man's perspective. No way. I mean, sometimes, one or the other will feel that they are "in love." Maybe six months later, the feelings will change. You cannot do it. You can be friends with everybody, but not special friends.

Elisabeth Elliot: There should be absolutely no physical contact whatsoever until a couple is at least engaged. Even then, there must be extreme caution. If you are telling the guy you love him, and he is telling you he loves you, you are already in big trouble. Nevertheless, I would say, "Keep your hands off, keep your clothes on and stay out of dark places." The minute a guy wants to hold your hand, just pull it away. That is all you have to do. In addition, Lars says that men are scared to death of women.

Question: I have been a "stay at home" mom for over thirty years. People ask me quite frequently, "Do you work?" What is a good response to that question?

Elisabeth Elliot: You can just smile sweetly and say, "Yeah, I have a lot of housework to do." Then they say, "Oh, you poor thing, you do not have anything else to do." I do not see why you need to worry about that at all. Just smile and say, "I thank God for the privilege that He has given me to stay at home."

Question: Could you encourage the young women here today to remain pure in heart and body until marriage?

Elisabeth Elliot: In one of the stories by the great Russian writer, Antoine Checkoff, he wrote about a girl who had allowed a young man to know that she was very interested in him. "She, having avowed her love, and cast forever away her woman's enhancing inaccessibility, seemed smaller, simpler, and meaner because she took the initiative."

Women are taking the initiative right and left, inviting guys out, and doing things for them. However, when that is done, the woman is going to seem smaller, simpler, and meaner when it comes to maintaining her chastity. I would be very naïve if I imagined that all the women here were virgins when they got married, or if those of you that are not married are all virgins. Some of you have already given away that priceless gift of virginity.

However, remember, there is forgiveness with Christ. And yet God is not going to give back your virginity. It can only be given away once. However, He will give you back your chastity if you repent and if you make up your mind to keep hands off until God brings the right man at the right time.

Question: Because I lost my father when I was a teenager, I deal with the fear of losing my husband. Can I find peace about this and just live my life? I am 28 years old.

Elisabeth Elliot: Once again, I encourage you to live only one day at a time. It is a great simplifier. We only have this present moment. We do not know if there will ever be another one. Therefore, when we accept what God has given us today with thanksgiving, with grace, with good cheer, it is amazing how all these questions about the future and/or the past rather evaporate. The words, "fear not," occur close to a thousand times, I think, in the Bible. Do not be afraid.

If the worst thing that can possibly happen does happen, as I have experienced in my life a couple of times, I can stand here and assure you that the grace is going to be there when you need it. However, the grace is not given for imaginations. (Lars is talking in the background).

Lars is reminding me of that lovely little story that Corrie Ten Boom tells of how she was terrified that she might fail her Lord if she went to the concentration camp. She was so afraid. Her father, with great gentleness, said to her, "When you were a little child, and you were going on a train journey, when did I give you the ticket? Was it two weeks in advance? No, I gave you the ticket when you got on the train. If God is going to put you through that kind of test in a concentration camp, God will be there." And, you know from hearing or reading Corrie Ten Boom's books, He was there.

Question: Is there a place, abiding in Christ, where you can arrive and no longer experience the feelings of loneliness and ache?

Elisabeth Elliot: I do not think so, necessarily. Christ, Himself, must have been very lonely at times, even though He was one with the Father. However, He was also human and loneliness itself is a spiritual discipline. I have written a whole book on the subject called The Path of Loneliness. I hope that it can be helpful. We know that the feeling of being empty does not make any sense when you are not experiencing any outward major tragedy, yet it still hurts. I know what that is like, and God knows far better than I do.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: That was Elisabeth Elliot who along with her husband, Lars, was answering some questions from a group of women in Texas. Elisabeth has tackled some of those tough issues that all of us deal with from time to time, such as matters of loneliness and fear.

I have been challenged by her reminder that we just need to live one day at a time and that God does not give us grace for our imaginations, for the what ifs. I remember talking to some dear friends at the time that the wife was dying of Lou Gehrig's disease. They addressed this matter of fear--fear of loss, fear of death. And, I remember hearing my friend Janice say, "God does not give us grace for the imaginations of what may be. God's grace is sufficient for everything I need today."

Is there a fear that has been controlling your life? It may be fear of financial loss in this economy or the loss of a job. It may be the fear of the death or loss of a mate or a child. Maybe you are single, and you are thinking, I cannot live the rest of my life without a husband. Well, God is not asking you to live the rest of your life without a husband-- today. God is just asking you to walk with Him today, to trust that His grace is all that you need for today.

Why not just name that fear right now. Say what it is. What are you dreading that might happen down the road? Would you just imagine yourself taking that fear and placing it in your hand, as I am doing right here, and lifting it up to the Lord. Just lift your hands up with that fear, imagine that fear to be in your hands, lift it up to the Lord and say, "Lord, I bring this to You and I lay it at Your feet. You said that I am to cast all of my cares upon You because You care for me."

Right now, give that burden over to the Lord, trust it to Him, lay it at the foot of the cross and then do not take it back. But leave it at His feet. Know that He will give you this moment and the grace that you need for tomorrow, the next day or the next as you need more grace, or a different kind of grace. He will give you grace to keep lifting up those burdens to Him.

Leslie Basham: Thanks Nancy. Nancy DeMoss will be right back to close our time in prayer. If you enjoyed gleaning wisdom from our guest, Elisabeth Elliot, let me encourage you to get a copy of her book, The Music of His Promises. It will teach you to listen to God with greater love, trust, and obedience. The book is made up of short sections that are easy to read, yet are thought provoking. You can call us at 1-800-569-5959 to order your copy. The book is available for a suggested donation of $11.

Now today's program wraps up the series with our special guest, Elisabeth Elliot. If you missed any of it, you can order the series on cassette for a suggested donation of eight dollars. You can also order any of our books or cassettes on our Web site, www.ReviveOurHearts.com.

While you are there, we hope you will take a look at the prayer needs we have identified, and that you will pray for the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. We need the prayer and the financial support of our listeners, and we appreciate your help. You can send your donation to Revive Our Hearts. We hope that you can be back on Monday, when we will hear about all the ways women seek in order to satisfy their thirst. We will learn what Jesus meant when He referred to Himself as the living water. Now, again, here is Nancy to lead us in prayer.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Oh, Lord, we all have burdens on our hearts. We have fears, we have dreads and we have things in us that seem to be crushing loads at times. And Your Word had said that to worry is a sin. We are to trust You, and those that trust in You will never be disappointed. Lord, I can say, as Elisabeth Elliot has said, that over all the years I have walked with You, I have never known You to let me down. And, every time I have trusted You, You have been faithful and You have given the grace that was needed for that moment.

So, I know that You will give me the grace that is needed this day for the burdens of this day. I pray for the one who is listening right now who has just lifted that burden, that concern, that fear, to You. Would You give her grace to trust, to roll that burden upon You, to leave it there at Your feet, and not to take it back, to trust that You are great enough and big enough to carry that burden? We will thank you in Jesus name, Amen.

Leslie Basham:

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