Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: According to Evelyn Christenson, God's never finished helping his child grow.

Evelyn Christenson: Keep me faithful, Lord. That's what I'm saying at this age. The hardest transition, by the way, is when you have to start peeling off, not doing what you want to do because there isn't enough strength and all that. But to stay faithful in these years is what I am learning now. So, I'm never done. I will never be done with the Lord changing me--never.

Leslie Basham: It's Thursday, June 30th, and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

For the last couple of days we've heard from Evelyn Christenson about the things she's learned over a lifetime of suffering, but she isn't done learning. Here's Nancy and Evelyn.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Now, you've talked about getting to eighty and having this unshakable confidence in God's word and His ways, no more doubts. You've been through the night of weeping. You're experiencing the morning of joy.

But I know there are some who get to their older years and that's not their experience. They're bitter, ornery. I've watched this. I have seen two different kinds of older people.

Evelyn Christenson: And they say, "if only."

Nancy: "If only." A lot of regret. What's the difference?

Evelyn: The difference is where you are right now, today, whatever age anybody listening is today. Start right now with Romans 8:28 and your faith in God is that He's in control. He never makes a mistake. Get to know Him. Stay in the Scripture to get to know who God really is. That's why we're so feeble and so, I don't know, anemic almost because we don't stay to know who God really is.

You don't test Him, but you believe Him when He says He is going to do something. The eagle's wings, I'm going to rise up. I'm going to wait on the Lord, and you know the whole story. No way, if you don't take that literally and live it, then how can you expect to look back on an experience and say wasn't it wonderful? It depends on what you are doing today. Now you can't do anything about what you did with yesterday, but anybody at any age can start right now with that unshakable faith in who God is.

Nancy: But what if my faith is a little shaky? It is not unshakable yet.

Evelyn: Alright, it's not unshakable. So, I don't say test Him because that's not true. But accept a promise, prove Him. Accept a promise. Make sure He said it. But if He says something . . . . Of course this is what I believe in my devotional reading. I only read until He speaks. The very first thing He says. I pray it through or confess, ask Him for it, whatever it might be in my devotional reading. Then I apply it.

Sometimes I have stayed in one verse for four or five days to get this applied, really applied in my life before I go on because it isn't how much you read, but it's what you do with what He speaks to you and says something. It jumps off the page. That's the point at which I stop right there and let God as He has spoken to me. Then, my reaction to Him. He's the only, only, only author of a book who is right there speaking to us as we meet.

If we would remember that this is God interacting with us in His written word . . . . I don't think we're done interacting with the word until we have interacted in prayer. When the author of that book who is speaking specifically to us at that specific time on that specific need that we have or He has, whatever, He may be calling us. So I listen, but I apply right then.

Nancy: Evelyn, I have to tell you that since I was a little girl, my goal in life, don't laugh, has always been to be a godly, old lady. I have this picture in my mind of what this godly, old lady is.

Evelyn: I love this. I love it.

Nancy: In my early twenties I started graying, so I found that the old part comes easier than the godly part. But I'm in my mid-forties. You're now at the age of eighty, and only God knows which of us will get to heaven first.

But I've asked the Lord to give me eighty-five years, if it would please Him, of fruitful, strong ministry for Him until the age of eighty-five. He may not give me that many. He may give more. But it's my goal, my heart's desire, to finish well, to get to the season of life where you are with a strong heart and that unshakable faith.

I want you to look me in the eyes in my mid-forties and tell me what's your counsel, what do I need to remember? How do I get from here to where my heart's desire is to be and that is an old woman full of faith, full of love for God? What's going to get me from here to there?

Evelyn: It's what you do every single day. When you stay in His word, listen, apply it. Be willing for Him. Be flexible. Let Him be in control. Trust the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. It is really step by step by step. Sometimes there will be many steps in one day and some of them are huge, big steps and some of them are just little, baby steps. But every single day, work at it; it's discipline. You have to be discipled.

But it isn't all discipline. Once you get into this routine, it's joy. It's exciting. It's thrilling. But Nancy, I have the same goal. You see, I'm eighty, and I am asking the Lord today to keep me this way--to keep me not wavering. I want to be able, when I step into heaven, I want to be able to look the Lord in the eye and, of course, I want Him to say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

But I want to be able to say, "Lord, as long as you let me live I did my best. I know I messed up many, many times, but Lord, I tried. I did everything I knew how to do. I want to be able to look at God without those awful regrets that we hear about in 1 John--when we are so sorry and we will be embarrassed when we see the Lord. I don't want to be embarrassed about anything when I see the Lord.

And when we see Him, we shall be like Him. My goal has been to be like Jesus, be conformed to the image of God's dear Son. I have worked at that for all my life, for many, many years, for most of my adult life. That has been my goal: to be conformed to the image of God's dear Son. And when I see Him . . . .

Nancy: You want it to be just the next step?

Evelyn: Because when we see Him, we shall be completely like Him. I don't want to have this great big gulf in-between. I would like to be able to just slip in and be like Jesus. That's my goal. It's not an easy goal. It takes a lot of discipline, a lot of work, and a lot of sacrifice, but it has such awesome joy. I don't want this to sound negative because this kind of life has peace, and it has joy that the world cannot understand--most Christians do not understand. But I can say unequivocally, it does work. It works to be conformed to the image of God's dear Son.

God stopped me very recently, and I almost apologized for having that goal because I was reading in Hebrews 1. How many times and isn't it amazing how the Lord will show us something new? I suddenly saw Jesus the Son of God. See, God spoke to us in the prophets, etc in the Old Testament, but now He sent His Son, who is the exact representation of the glory of God. I stopped, and I thought I have been praying and struggling all these years to be conformed to the image of the Son of God, who is the exact representation of the shekinah glory of God.

I fell on my face and I said, "God, forgive me. I am not worthy. I'm not worthy. Please forgive me for having thought I should be conformed to the image of Jesus, who is the exact representation of Your glory." You know what God said to me? I am God who wrote Hebrews 1; I also wrote Romans 8 for you to be conformed to the image of My Son, who is the exact representation. I wrote both of them for you, and then I could accept it.

Keep me faithful, Lord. That's what I am saying at this age--the hardest transition by the way. There are transition points in our lives, of course, rites of passage. The hardest one is when you have to start peeling off, not doing what you want to do because there isn't enough strength and all that. But to stay faithful in these years, this is what I am learning now. So, I'm never done. I'll never be done with the Lord changing me--never.

Leslie Basham: All of us are going to face changes as we get older. Rather than ignore what's coming, we need to be listening to older women who have gone before us. Evelyn Christenson has been talking with Nancy Leigh DeMoss about aging and trusting God during every season of life.

If you missed any of our programs with Evelyn, I hope you'll get a copy on CD. To order you can call us at 1-800-569-5959. That's 1-800-569-5959.

We want to give women wise counsel for every change and challenge they'll face. We're so thankful when listeners write to tell us how Revive Our Hearts is affecting their lives. We're thankful to the listeners who give to make this ministry possible.

Here's Nancy to tell us about a listener who has done both of those.

Nancy: I received an interesting letter from a listener the other day. She said, "I wrote to you back in 2000 and asked you pray for a more orderly, disciplined lifestyle for me." She said, "Now, I'm writing to follow-thru and tell you how God is continuing to work. As long as I write my monthly gift check to Revive Our Hearts, my spending remains disciplined and within budget. If not, look out. When self comes first, everything is pinched."

Then she goes on to tell how as she puts Christ in other areas of her life, including: her eating, her housekeeping, her child training, and in every way how she has come to experience such joy and peace and godly discipline in her life.

Well, I had to smile as I read that letter, but you know it's really true, not only in this woman's life but in my life as well. As I put God first in my giving and in every other area of my life, other things really do come into better order, better balance and discipline. In fact, learning to give God's way is one of the most important means of our experiencing sanctification and spiritual growth.

So, I want to challenge you to consider whether you are really honoring the Lord in your giving. I hope that you're giving first to the ministry of your local church and then as the Scripture teaches I want to remind you that we have a responsibility to give, to minister to the financial needs of those who have ministered spiritually to us.

So, if God has used Revive Our Hearts or some other ministry to be a blessing to you, to help you in your walk with the Lord, then let me encourage you to consider how you might support that ministry financially. If God leads you to give a gift to Revive Our Hearts, I can tell you those funds will be used to help us call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

Leslie Basham: If God's putting it on your heart to give to Revive Our Hearts, you can call us at 1-800-569-5959 to make a donation. When you donate today, you can ask for a free booklet called Promises to Live By. It lists promises of God from the Scripture and will encourage you during difficult times. You can also ask for it when you send a check to Revive Our Hearts, Box 82500, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68501.

When you do day-to-day things like love your kids or husband, you never know who's watching and you never know what impact it will have for eternity. We'll talk about that tomorrow with our guest, Sharon Jaynes. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.