Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Walter Price says there’s one way to know whether we’re truly loving Jesus.

Walter Price: It’s not how emotional we get. It’s not how loud we sing. It’s not how many tears we cry. It’s not how many words we give to the Lord that proves our love to Him. Rather, Jesus said it is whether we do what He tells us to do.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, October 26. We’re in a 12-week study of personal revival called Seeking Him. Nancy’s been teaching through the qualities that accompany revival, like holiness, humility, and repentance. This week’s focus has been obedience.

During these 12 weeks you have an opportunity to join Seeking Him: A National Prayer Meeting for Revival. This prayer meeting takes place every Saturday and you can pray along when you listen live via the Internet. In some cities, you can also listen by radio. For more details just visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

A similar prayer meeting was held a couple of years ago, and we’re going to hear what happened when Christian leaders connected by phone to pray for a revival of obedience. On the line we’ll hear Byron Paulus, Sammy Tippit, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Laine Johnson, Steve and Debby Canfield, and Bill Elliff.

To start things off with some thoughts on obedience, here’s Walter Price.

Walter Price: I thought we might start just by in a sense skipping the stone out of obedience across the pages of Scripture this morning. From beginning to end, the Bible is full of the theme of obedience. Obviously, beginning in the very opening chapters of the Scripture where God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He did give them an opportunity for obedience when He said to them that they were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

We move over to the beginning of the book of Deuteronomy where Moses preached his great sermons to the people as they were preparing to enter into the Promised Land. And he said to them in Deuteronomy 6:3, “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Then the Lord reiterated that same word to Joshua as they were there at the Jordan River preparing to go into the Promised Land. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, for then you will make your way prosperous, and you will have success” (Joshua 1:8).

The Lord Jesus brought the theme of obedience into our walk with Him and our knowledge of Him. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 7, when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he would does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (verse 21).

Of course, one of those great verses that we always run to when we think of obedience is where James said to us, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22, KJV).

As we skip that stone across the lake of Scripture this morning, I wanted to settle in the 14th chapter of John for just a moment. John chapter 14 is a great place to understand the depth of the importance of obedience for us in our relationship to the Lord Jesus. Four times Jesus says in this passage, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.”

First of all in verse 15, He makes that statement. Then in verse 21, He says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.” Then again in verse 23, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.’”

Now those are three positive statements about showing our love to the Lord by obeying Him. Then in verse 24, Jesus turns it to the flip side in a negative way, and He says in verse 24, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words.”

There are three things that I want us to see just really quickly from what Jesus said in John 14 this morning. The first is this. Obedience is the pathway to knowledge. In John 14:21 the Lord said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

It reminds me of the words that Jesus spoke in the 8th chapter of John where He said, “If you abide in My word . . . you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (verses 31-32, NKJV). So we see that obedience leads us into the path of knowledge as the Lord Himself discloses Himself to us.

Then we come back again to the obvious picture that comes to us about obedience from what the Lord Jesus said here and that is that obedience is the proof of love. Obedience is that acid test of love in the life of a believer. Four times the Lord made it very clear, “If you love Me, you will do what I say.”

That reminds us that it’s not how emotional we get. It’s not how loud we sing. It’s not how many tears we cry. It’s not how many words we give to the Lord that prove our love to Him. Rather, Jesus said it is whether we do what He tells us to do.

If you want to think of it in terms of worship, I think the highest act of worship is an obedient response to the Word of God from a sincere heart. So we see that obedience is our proof of love to the Lord Jesus.

Now as we think about showing our love to the Lord through obedience, maybe someone would have the question, “Well, then, what do we get out of it? What is our reward for obedience?”

I think it’s very clear from this passage what that reward is. The Lord Jesus said in verse 23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with Him.” So we see that the reward for obedience is Jesus Himself.

So we see that our responsibility before the Lord today is to obey Him. It is to do what He tells us to do. As Paul said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things,” but he reminds us that we’re not left to our own devices. We’re not left to our own strength because the Lord says that He will enable us. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Earlier in that same book, Paul told us in chapter 2, verse 13, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” God gives us the desire to obey Him and the ability to obey Him.

I love what Amy Carmichael said about obedience to the Lord and His commands to us. She said, “The Lord’s commands are His enablings to us.” What a wonderful, wonderful gift of grace.

So as we think about seeking Him today, if we want to have that reward of Jesus Himself, if we want Him to disclose Himself to us, if we want to know Him more, one of the great paths to seeking Him and finding Him is obeying Him in all that we do.

Bill Elliff: Thank you so much, Walter. Truly this morning we’re praying as Walter said for a real revival of obedience. What would it be like in America to see that kind of revival that would result in complete instant obedience to the Lord?

As we begin to pray this morning, I wonder if we could enter into His presence by acknowledging the Lord, who His very nature compels us to obey Him. So for the next few minutes, let’s just adore the Lord and praise the Lord and focus on His attributes that call us to obedience.

Father, as we begin this time of prayer, we look to You. You are the One who is worthy of all of our obedience and all of our affection. Father, I want to thank You personally for just Your faithfulness, that You always do what You say You do. Lord, how that compels my heart to be faithful as You are faithful. So Lord, I just thank You this morning for Your faithfulness that calls me to obey.

Sammy Tippit: Father, I thank You for Your amazing grace. O God, you’ve been so good. I was so lost and You came and saved me. I deserve nothing, God. I deserve hell. I deserve eternal separation from You. Yet out of Your great grace, You reached down and showed me favor, and God, You saved me. Thank You for sending Jesus. Thank You for His obedience, Father.

Lord, I just love You, and I want to obey You and follow You and do what You want me to do because You saved me even when I was an enemy, Lord. You reached down and loved me and redeemed me and changed me. Father, I just thank You for that. You are so good. You are so holy. I just love you today.

Debby Canfield: My Lord, I just thank you so much and praise You for Your unconditional love for me. Even as Walter was speaking, God, I realized more and more that it was that love, Your pursuing love to my life, that drug me out of the deep pit and put me on the solid rock. Because of that, I want to obey You.

I want to pursue You. I want to seek You with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind. God, I thank You and praise You that You loved me enough to put my sin as far as the east is from the west, and I didn’t deserve it.

Steve Canfield: Father, I thank You that You are the sovereign God of the universe, that in the midst of a changing and fluctuating world that You are same yesterday, today, and forever. I praise You that nothing has taken You by surprise. I thank You that in the midst of all the difficulties that every person who is listening and every person who is praying right now faces, that You’ve known all that. We worship You because You are sovereign. You are in control, and we trust You with our lives.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Lord, the fact that You are the Lord, You are the king and ruler of this universe, the rocks obey You. The trees obey You. The wind and the waves obey You. The angels obey You. How could we not obey You? You are the ultimate, sovereign Lord and authority over all this universe. Just because of who You are, it’s really unthinkable that we would do anything other than say, “Yes, Lord.”

Sammy Tippit: Father, I want to thank You for Jesus. I thank You that You didn’t just tell us to obey You and then not show us how to do it. Lord, I thank You that Jesus was obedient to the point of death. Lord, I thank You for His great love for us and that He was willing to take upon Himself human flesh. Lord, I just thank You for the Savior. Lord, I just love You. O God, I thank You for His obedience.

Laine Johnson: Lord, we think of how in His humanity the Lord Jesus learned obedience through suffering and the willingness to suffer in order to obey the Father or even to say, “Lord, can this cup pass from Me, but not My will but Thine be done,” and then to say, “Arise; it’s time,” and to go to the cross and to obey You. Lord, make us willing to suffer in order to obey the will of God. Lord, it’s the right thing to do.

Bill Elliff: Holy Spirit, I am grateful for Your indwelling presence that gives us that desire and power to obey. I ask that You would just fill us, fill my life, Lord, that my desires would be towards things that are eternal and that my values would be toward things that are eternal. I thank You that You are the One who gives me that desire and power to obey what I can’t in and of myself do.

Walter Price: As we continue to pray and when we look at the Lord and we see His holiness and His grace and His love and His purity and His faithfulness, it shows us quickly the disobedience of our own life. Like Isaiah, we just cry out, “Woe is me.”

So I wonder for this next season as we all participate all across the country, if we would let the Spirit of God search our hearts, and let’s prayer prayers of confession and repentance and a cry for cleansing and purifying.

Can I invite you to just be as specific as you possibly can be? Let’s confess before the Lord on behalf of our own lives, the life of the church in America just areas of disobedience that we know are displeasing to the Lord and cry out for His cleansing and His forgiveness. Let’s pray.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Lord, I don’t pray, and Your Word says that everything should be done by prayer. I work so hard to prepare messages and to deliver them and to direct a ministry of revival and prayer, calling women to biblical womanhood. But Lord, so often, so much of the time, I’m running hard, doing the work of the ministry, but not stopping to seek Your face, not stopping to ask You for wisdom and grace and power.

Lord, I don’t to just be calling other women to become intercessors, but I want to be a woman of prayer. I know that that’s an expression of humility when we cry out to You and we say, “Lord, we need You.” Forgive me for the self-reliance and the independence that makes me think I can do anything without seeking Your face, without crying out to You, without being a woman of prayer.

Walter Price: I wonder as we pray all across the nation if in just a quiet moment now You would be honest with the Lord about the area of obedience in your life that He wants to demonstrate His glory and His faithfulness and you’re struggling with. I wonder if you would just confess that to Him. Cry out to Him for His cleansing and His help. Would you pray?

Sammy Tippit: God, I pray for a revival among the men of America in general. Father, I want to thank You for the prayer groups of women that I’ve heard about and yet, Father, the men fall so far short and follow so way behind. I pray God that You would raise up men who seek You, men who put You first.

I pray that there would be prayer meetings in the business places that would emerge. I pray that there would be men who would take initiative and put You first in every area of their lives. Father, I pray that You would work in the hearts of men to obey Ephesians chapter 5, to love their wives as Christ loves the Church.

Lord, I pray, that You would just break that male ego, that self-centered pride of thinking the world exists for us. Lord, I pray that You would make men servants in their homes. Lord, I pray that where there are homes that are broken because of harsh, hardhearted men, You would break their hearts and give them tender obedience. I pray that wives would find new men in their homes.

Lord, I just pray that tomorrow in churches, as men go with their families to worship and think they are doing You a great favor, God I pray You would break their hearts. God I pray You would set their hearts aflame for Jesus. God, I pray You would give them a heart for You, a passion for You, to obey You.

Lord, as we heard the Scripture, we know the problem with obedience is love for You. So God I pray that You would raise up a generation of men in America who have a passionate love for Jesus Christ. God, I thank You that You’re going to do that. O God, I pray for the men in Jesus’ name.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Lord, as Sammy has prayed for the men, I want to intercede on behalf of the women. Christian women all across this country, the Word says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but you don’t do what I say?”

Lord, even as we were in the conference last weekend and had women confessing issues of bitterness and hatred and anger and unforgiveness, how can we call You Lord and live with those things? So Lord, we pray for a revival of obedience in our hearts as women.

Lord, may we come under Your authority. Lord, I pray that we would be clothed in the love that is humble and that we would be encouragers of our pastors, of husbands, of the men that you have placed in leadership in the body of Christ. That we would not be whiners, not murmurers, not complainers. Give us, Lord, a spirit of contentment, satisfied with what You have provided and not demanding that we have more or that things go our way.

O Lord, we pray that as we as women take our place under Your authority and in quietness and subjection as You have directed, that You would then encourage the men to be the leaders and the men that You intend them to be. So Lord, make us obedient, revived, humble-hearted, broken women. For Jesus’ sake I pray it.

Debby Canfield: Lord, that we would talk less and pray more. Father, that we would not think and gossip and wish things would change with our husbands and our children, but Lord, that You would find women on their knees before You crying out to You on behalf of our husbands, on behalf of our children. Not just when things are going rough or when there’s rebellion, but God, every single day.

Lord, I know that You’ve said if Your people will pray, You’ll hear us. God, it’s only through prayer that You open our eyes so that we can see our needs and see how we can change and what areas we need to obey in. So Lord, I pray that as I’ve asked You over and over, God, for revival, that You would bring women to their knees calling out to You on behalf of their families.

Bill Elliff: Father, we look through the Old Testament and we are astounded at the stubbornness and the rebellion of people who are being led by such a great and faithful and loving God who’s seeking to bring them into the great land of promise. Yet all along the way they continued to dig their heals in and seize control and resist You and not obey.

Lord, we wonder about that, but Lord, if we’re honest, it’s our own lives and it’s our own churches and the way we respond to You. So Lord, we pray that we would see our sin of disobedience across the nation and there would be great conviction and great repentance.

You desire to give that which is good to Your children. Lord, how foolish it is to resist Your commands. How foolish to not listen to You and respond. So Lord, we ask in the name of Christ this morning—hundreds of people all across the nation—we cry out to You. We lift our prayer. We send it like a sweet-smelling sacrifice to You.

O God, we pray that You would bring a great revival of obedience in this land, and we ask that Father, so that You would be glorified and You would be magnified and You would be seen as the Great Shepherd and guardian of our souls that You are. For Your glory, we pray.

Leslie: That’s Bill Elliff praying that all of us would experience the joy of obedience to God. We also heard from Byron Paulus, Sammy Tippit, Laine Johnson, Steve and Debby Canfield, and our host, Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Tomorrow morning she’ll join with Christian leaders in prayer for revival. It’s part of a 12-week series of prayer meetings called Seeking Him: A National Prayer Meeting for Revival. The prayers we heard today give you a picture of what it will be like to join God’s people in prayer tomorrow.

You can pray along while listening live. In many cities Seeking Him: A National Prayer Meeting for Revival will be broadcast on the radio. You can also hear it online. For more details, just visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Do you have a clear conscience? A lot of people who thought they’d carry secrets to their graves have discovered the freedom and joy of clearing their conscience and you can too. Nancy will talk about it next week Revive Our Hearts.

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

All Scripture is taken from the New American Standard unless otherwise noted.

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