Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Only Source

Leslie Basham: Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Our world tells us you ought to be self-sufficient. A lot of self-help books you can pick up in book stores and on the market today will tell you how you can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.

But if you want a relationship, an intimate relationship with God, you’re going to have to come to know Him out of your weakness and need saying, “Lord, I have no source of blessing other than you.”

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, May 29.

Yesterday Nancy began a helpful series called, El-Shaddai: The All-Sufficient One. She talked about how to trust the Lord when you are called to wait. If you missed yesterday's program because of the holiday, you can hear it at ReviveOurHearts.com. Nancy's picking that series back up, talking about God's amazing provision.

Nancy: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” (Pro.18:10 NASB). Those that know your name O Lord will put their trust in you. For you O Lord, have never forsaken those that seek you.

We’ve been talking about the names of God and how they’re a refuge in the safe place for our hearts. We’re particularly focusing during these sessions on the name of God, El-Shaddai.

We’ve been looking at the life of Abraham, and we’re seeing that God revealed himself to Abram at the age of ninety-nine as El-Shaddai.

We’re in Genesis chapter 17, picking up with this story. We’ve seen that God had told Abram, “You will have descendants. You will have a seed.” And through that seed, Jesus Christ we know, the whole world will be blessed.

But Abram had to deal with the fact that his wife was barren. She could not have children. He had looked inward to himself and Sarah. They were insufficient to fulfill what God has promised.

So in their own insufficiency, they decided to look outward. We saw in yesterday’s session that Abram looked to his servant Eliezer. They looked to Hagar, the Egyptian handmaid, and said, “Lord, could we help you out?” We’re looking for some sufficiency here, but neither of those plans were what God had in mind.

God wanted Abram to see that He did not and He does not need any help from us when it comes to fulfilling His promises. God is fully capable of fulfilling His promises and accomplishing His purposes without our help.

As women we tend to be born fixers. If something’s not working, or if we believe God wants to accomplish something in the life of a mate, or a child, or a friend, our tendency (do you agree with me?), is to jump in there and see what we can do about it.

Abram and Sarah were just like us in that respect. But God wanted them to see that what He commands, He enables. What He promises, He is fully able to fulfill. So we come now to chapter 17 of Genesis. Abram is now ninety-nine years old and now not only is his wife barren, but Romans tells us that Abram’s body was as good as dead (see 4:19).

Now neither of them is able to provide children. They are both unable to bring forth children. In that setting you just sense that God was waiting till they knew beyond a shadow of doubt that there was no way this could happen. It was utterly impossible.

Sometimes God does wait until we’re at the absolute end of our own sufficiency before He reveals himself as El-Shaddai.

Chapter 17, verse 1,

Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am [El-Shaddai, the] God Almighty, walk before me, and be blameless, and I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.:

“I will multiply you exceedingly.” Now, He’s talking to a man who he and his wife are both absolutely unable to have children. So verse 3,

So Abram fell on his face and God talked with him saying, "As for Me, behold My covenant is with you, you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram [exalted Father], but your name shall be Abraham, father of a multitude.”

Isn’t that just like God to come and meet with us in the midst of our impossible situation and say, “You thought it was impossible. Now I’m going to tell you, I’m going to do exceedingly abundantly beyond anything that you could have ever imagined.”

The difference between Abram and Abraham is one Hebrew letter. It also happens to be the main letter in the name of God, Jehovah. What’s the difference between Abram and Abraham? It’s God breathing Himself. It’s the presence of God breathed into our lives, His fullness, His sufficiency, His power, His ability that takes us from empty to full, that fulfills God’s promises in and through us.

God says, verse 6, “I will make you exceedingly fruitful.” If you want to see the end of the story, well not really the end but the next chapter, just flip over to Genesis chapter 21, “And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said.”

God keeps his promises. He’s never in a hurry, and He’s never late. He’s always right on time. Now, He’s often not on our time, but He’s always on His time, the right time.

The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the set time of which God has spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. (Gen. 21:1-3, 5)

By the way, that makes Sarah how old? Ninety years old.

Some of you may be a little worried that this thing about having children in ripe old ages, but God wants to show that when we come to the end of our own sufficiency, His sufficiency is just beginning.

God is saying, “I am the one who can supply all of your needs.” Now to better understand that, we want to delve into this name, El-Shaddai. What does it mean? What did it mean for Abraham, and what does it mean for us?

This is a wonderful name of God that shows the tender care and compassion and grace of God on our behalf.

The name El is a short form, as many of you know, of the name of God—Elohim. It’s the name of God that speaks of His power, His omnipotence, His strength, His might. I love that name because it says that God is able to do anything He wants to do.

But He’s not only El, He’s El-Shaddai. That word Shaddai is a tender, touching word that is actually formed from the Hebrew word, Shad (S-h-a-d), which is the Hebrew word for breast. It speaks of a nursing mother who takes her infant to her breast and supplies for that child all that the child needs.

It’s a picture of God as a tenderhearted, compassionate, nursing mother. Now you put that with El, the powerful, omnipotent, mighty, all-able God who also is the tender, nursing caretaker and provider for His people. He’s the one who supplies. He’s the one who nourishes. He’s the one who satisfies.

So we see God not just as the almighty God. Everywhere you see this name translated in our English Bibles, it’s translated Almighty God or God Almighty. But as you study this word out, the commentators agree that a better translation would be the All-Sufficient One. The All-Sufficient One! El-Shaddai!

This is the God who delights for us to be at a place where we are helpless, as Abram and Sarai were. Helpless to meet their own need. Helpless to fulfill God’s promises. But the more helpless we are, the more we’re forced to rely on El-Shaddai.

When we rely on Him, then the promises are fulfilled. The wonderful thing is: We can’t get the credit. God gets all the glory.

Everyone knew that Abraham and Sarah could not have children. So when that little child, Isaac, was born, everyone knew this is a miracle. God has done this. God is the provider.

Abraham had to learn his own insufficiency, the futility of relying on his own efforts, and the foolishness of impatiently running ahead of God.

Is there a need in your life today for which El-Shaddai is your solution? Physical? Financial? Emotional? Relational? Vocational? Spiritual?

God says, “For all of your need I am your El-Shaddai. I am your provider. I am your nourishment. I am your All-Sufficient one.” We’ve seen that God sometimes waits until we’re at the end of our own sufficiency, when we’ve come to end of our own resources, and there’s absolutely nothing else we can do to solve our situation. Then in desperation we stop looking outward, we stop looking inward, and we look upward, and we say, “O Lord, I need you.”

I think those are words God loves to hear from His children in the same way you love to hear those from your children. “I need you.” When it gets hard is when your child gets to about two years old and it’s, “Mommy, I can do this by myself.” Then you feel not quite as needed.

Well, God as our heavenly parent, or heavenly Father, wants us to always be in a position where we recognize how desperately we need Him—that only He can supply our needs.

Now the name El-Shaddai reveals to us a number of things about God as we trace that name through the Scripture. The name El-Shaddai appears forty-eight times in the Old Testament. As we’ve said, it’s generally translated Almighty God or God Almighty.

That communicates part of the meaning of the word, but perhaps, it would be better translated All-Sufficient One. He is almighty, that’s the El part, but the Shaddai part says that He is our sufficiency.

As our nourisher and strength-giver and satisfier, we see in Scripture that God is the pourer forth of blessings. He pours forth blessings into the lives of His children. He is the all-bountiful one. He’s the God who blesses us richly, the One who enriches His people with everything that they need.

As we see this name appearing at various times through the Old Testament, we see this connection between El-Shaddai and blessing.

In Genesis 28 Isaac says to his son, Jacob (he’s passing on a blessing of a father), “God Almighty, [El-Shaddai], bless you” (verse 3).

Now, how do you think that Isaac knew about El-Shaddai? Well, it seems obvious to me that he learned about El-Shaddai from his father. And who was his father? Abraham, who had had his son, Isaac, when Abraham was ninety-nine years old after twenty-five years of waiting for God to provide this promised son.

You see, Abraham knew that God was his all-sufficiency because he had a child when it was absolutely impossible to have a child. That child was Isaac.

I believe that as Isaac grew up, his father Abraham was teaching him about El-Shaddai, about the All-Sufficient one, saying, “Isaac, not only did God meet my need and the need of your mother when we could not have children, you were a miracle child, born as a blessing of El-Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One.”

I didn’t get to know Him until I was ninety-nine years old, but I want you to know Him all of your life. He is your All-Sufficient One as well.”

It appears that Abraham passed that knowledge onto Isaac who now is passing it on to his son, Jacob.

“Jacob, I want you to know about the God of my father, El-Shaddai.

By the way, are you passing on to your children and to the next generation, the knowledge of who God is? As God reveals Himself to you through His word, as He proves His name to be great and trustworthy, as you walk with God and He demonstrates in your life His power, His greatness, His sufficiency; are you teaching your children out of your life message who God is?

That’s how one generation is to learn the ways of God—by hearing it from the previous generation. That’s why older women are to teach younger women. All of us in this room are an older woman to someone. We’re to be teaching the next generation in our homes, in our community of faith, in our churches, teaching the ways of God, teaching the names of God.

Well, Isaac passed on to Jacob the name of God, El-Shaddai. When Jacob went to die, he passed that name on to his son, Joseph.

For we read in Genesis chapter 48, Jacob says to Joseph, “God Almighty [El-Shaddai], appeared unto me . . . and blessed me” (v. 3). Do you see the connection with this name with blessing? El-Shaddai is the one who blesses His people. He pours blessing into our lives.

In the next chapter, Genesis chapter 49, Jacob gives a blessing to his son, Joseph. And he says, “The Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above” (v. 25).

He's saying, “Not only did God Almighty, El-Shaddai, bless me and my father and my grandfather; but Joseph, He’s your God, too. He, the All-Sufficient One, will bless you with the blessings of heaven above.” What is Jacob saying to Joseph?

He’s saying, “Joseph, God is your source.”

Joseph had many difficulties in his life when he needed to know that God was his source, that all the blessings he needed were to come from the hand of God.

I was reading this morning in James chapter 1 and was reminded that every good gift and every perfect gift comes where? From above! (see v. 17)

All the things we need, all the blessings we have in our lives, come not from ourselves, not from others, but from God.

I’m so thankful for a father and a mother who taught me this lesson just as a way of life as I was growing up.

I remember my dad teaching us that God is the source of all blessings in our lives and that anything good we have comes from God. Therefore, we should not look to an employer or a paycheck or any person to meet our needs, because all blessings come from the hand of God.

We have no other resource unless God opens His hands and pours out blessings upon us.

Now the implication of this name of God, the All-Sufficient One who blesses us, is that as the recipients, we are needy and we are dependent.

We have needs that we can’t meet, and so we are dependent upon Him. His all-sufficiency implies our insufficiency, that there are needs that we cannot meet. Now our world tells us that we ought to be self-sufficient.

A lot of self-help books you can pick in bookstores and on the market today will tell you how you can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.

But if you want a relationship, an intimate relationship with God, you’re going to have to come to know God out of your weakness and need and say, “Lord, I have no source of blessing other than you.”

Paul said in 2 Corinthians chapter 3, “Our sufficiency for this task, is of God, he is our only sufficiency” (v. 5 paraphrased).

Jesus taught His disciples, and He says to us, “Apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NIV). “You have no blessing, no sufficiency apart from Me.”

The wonderful truth is we find that El-Shaddai is not just the God of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; but He is Jesus who came to this earth and who gives to us an infinite supply of whatever we need. That’s why Paul could say in Philippians chapter 4, verse 19, with such confidence, “My God, [El-Shaddai, the Almighty One, the All-Sufficient One], shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Jesus Christ is our El-Shaddai. He is our sufficiency. He is the one who blesses us. Everything that we will ever need is found in Him. So what do you need? Strength? Peace? Rest? Joy? Comfort? Wisdom? Guidance? Forgiveness? All these blessings and more come from the hand of El-Shaddai.

I love that verse in 2 Corinthians where Paul says, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8).

You see, God does want you to just scrape by. God wants to give you an abundance of blessings.

Now His blessings are sometimes different than the blessings we would define as blessings. It’s not always material blessings. It’s not always physical health. But He provides for us the blessings abundantly that He knows that we need in order to be the women He wants us to be.

So how do we get filled with His supply? We cry out and say, “Lord, I need you.” Then we draw near to Him as a nursing infant does to his mother.

We come boldly to His throne of grace so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Then we simply receive His supply even as that nursing infant receives the supply from the mother and then we give thanks remembering that if we have Him, we have every blessing we need. We have everything that we need.

So where is the place for whining? Where is the place for complaining? Where is the place for groaning? There is none if I recognize that in my El-Shaddai I am blessed with every good and perfect gift.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been opening our eyes to evidences of God’s goodness. The ears that let you listen to this program, they’re from God. The radio or the computer you use to listen, those are from Him, too.

We’re so thankful for all the ways that we can present Nancy’s teaching to women. Thanks to the generosity of listeners who give, you can hear Revive Our Hearts on the radio. You can also hear it as a podcast. You can read the free daily transcript. We're able to bring Revive Our Hearts to you through each of these channels thanks to listeners who support the ministry financially.

Nancy, we've been hearing from so many during this important time.

Nancy: It's been such a blessing over the last few weeks to get the reports on how our listeners have been standing with us here during this month of May. It’s an important month for Revive Our Hearts, as we've been sharing with you, because we’re closing our books on our fiscal year-end. We’re in the final days of this fiscal year and are asking the Lord to help us finish strong.

If you haven’t yet given to Revive Our Hearts during the month of May, would you ask the Lord what He might have you give a gift? And if so, what that should be? We’re asking the Lord to provide listener support of at least $350,000 during this month.

Just as a reminder, if you have never before donated to Revive Our Hearts, your gift will be matched by some friends of the ministry who are doubling the gifts of every new supporter up to $100,000.

So if this ministry has been a blessing and an encouragement to you, and you've never before given to this ministry, let me encourage you to do that now. Here in the final days of this fiscal year and of this matching challenge, you can make your donation at ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can give us a call at 1-800-569-5959, and let us know that you'd like to help us at this special time. Thank you so much for partnering with us in this way.  

Leslie: When you participate with a gift of any size, we’ll say thanks by sending you the CD, Hidden in My Heart, volume 2. It’s a collection of Scriptures set to lullabies. Our team has fallen in love with this music. Here’s a sample.

Song from Hidden in My Heart, vol. 2:

Do not fear for I am with you.
Do not be dismayed for I am here.
I am your God. I am here.

I will strengthen you; I will help you.
I will uphold you with My steady hand.
For I am here. I am your God.
I am here. 

Leslie: Ask for Hidden in My Heart, volume 2 when you call with your gift of any size. The number is 1-800-569-5959, or take us up on this offer by donating at ReviveOurHearts.com.

If you love your plants, you provide them with sunlight and water. They probably really like that. You provide them with pruning, and they may not appreciate that so much. Find out how we’re like plants and God is like a perfect gardener, tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

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

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

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