Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Prepared for a Crisis

Leslie Basham: Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: If your life is always lived on the run, if your life is always lived with noise and clutter going on, you will tend to panic in a crisis. But if you’ve stored up a reserve, a reservoir of fullness gained from spending time alone with the Word, you’ll find that with a crisis you have a deep well to run to. You have a place to go.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, June 26, 2015.

Nancy: Well, we’ve come to the end of our series on how to have a quiet heart, from Psalm 131, but I hope that it’s just the beginning of your learning to walk in quietness, in simplicity, and in humility before the Lord.

As we’ve been in this passage, I’ve been thinking about the hymn by Francis Havergal, “Like a River Glorious.” That chorus has been running through my mind:

Stayed upon Jehovah hearts are fully blessed,
Finding as He promised perfect peace and rest.

Now, that’s not just an old-time hymn. That’s current-day reality. When our hearts are fixed upon Christ, we can have perfect peace and rest as Psalm 131 says. Let me quote it again:

Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the Lord from [now] and for ever [from this time forth and forever] (KJV).

I want us to focus on just that last little phrase. Different translations say it differently. The old King James says, “from henceforth and for ever,” from now and forevermore. You know what that says to me? There is never a good reason—not now, not tomorrow, not next month, not next year, not forty years from now—there is never, and there never will be a good reason for the child of God to fret, fume, fuss, or fear. Never.

The challenge is not while we’re all sitting in here listening to the Word of God with our open Bibles and taking notes. The challenge is when you get in your car today and you get out in the real world, which will provide a lot of opportunities for you to fret and fume and fuss and fear. That’s when we need to counsel our hearts and say, “Trust in the Lord from now and forever.”

I want to wrap up this series by giving you several practical suggestions for how to cultivate a quiet, trusting heart. These are just some things that have been helpful to me. Number one is the importance of a daily quiet time and regular Sabbaths—a daily quiet time and regular Sabbaths. By that I mean time that you take out time on a regular basis to center your heart on the Lord.

Isaiah 26:3: “[You will] keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee” (KJV). Fixing your mind on the Lord. Taking those quiet times when you’re alone, you’re away from the crowd, you’re away from your job, you’re away from other responsibilities, you turn off the radio, you turn off the television, taking time to just be alone with the Lord in His Word will prepare you for times of crisis.

It gives you a reservoir to draw from. If your life is always lived on the run, if your life is always lived with noise and clutter going on, you will tend to panic in a crisis. But if you’ve stored up a reserve, a reservoir of just fullness gained from spending time alone with the Lord, you’ll find that in the crisis you have a deep well to run to. You have a place to go.

Some of you moms, you’re thinking, When in the world can I ever get a quiet time?! Listen, I’ll tell you, if you’ll take the moments, the minutes that you do have, I believe God will bless and multiply those. Give Him what you do have, when you do have a few minutes, when the kids are down for a nap before they get up. You say, “Whenever I get up, my kids get up!”

Your children pretty early in life come to an age where they can learn to be quiet for a period of time. They need to learn to have a quiet heart. So your children, early on as toddlers, can learn—even if it’s just for a few minutes, fifteen minutes—that they need to be in their room playing quietly, and Mommy is going to take time to spend time with the Lord alone.

You can do it while you’re nursing an infant. There are ways to find moments. It may be just in a waiting room at a doctor’s office. I keep in my purse a small little testament that I can always pull out. Anytime I have a spare few minutes I can pull that out, and I can be filling my mind and heart with the Word of God.

Related to that, secondly is to eliminate unnecessary clutter from your life. If you want to have a quiet heart, eliminate unnecessary . . . now, that word is important: unnecessary clutter from your life. Because I would not suggest you leave here and go sell your children. But I want to tell you, we all have unnecessary clutter in our lives.

I look at some women today, and I see it in myself sometimes when I look in the mirror, and I see in people’s eyes this look of being stressed off the chart. I see women running around from one thing to another like chickens with their heads cut off, and I think, I can’t tell you what to eliminate from your life, but there has got to be something that is unnecessary clutter.

Examine your schedule for this season of life. Say, “Are there some things that don’t need to be in my life right now?” And that means sometimes (and when you’re doing a Christian radio program you hate to tell people this), but sometimes you need to turn off your radio.

Don’t walk into your house and just automatically turn on the TV, turn on the radio. We’re so used to having noise around us all the time. You cannot have a quiet heart if you always have media going and blaring in your ears and in your eyes.

Your children need to learn this too, by the way. For them always to be in front of a computer screen, always playing electronic games, does not tend toward a quiet heart. Eliminate unnecessary clutter from your life.

Then when pressures come, interruptions, distractions, steadfastly refuse to get agitated, hot and bothered. Discipline your soul. Discipline your heart. Say, “I’m not going to let this make me agitated, hot and bothered.” That doesn’t mean you never will, but purpose in your heart that when these things come you will maintain a quiet heart.

Here’s another suggestion. Don’t try to dull and medicate the pain or the pressures of the difficulties in your life with things less than God: shopping, food, entertainment, TV, music, alcohol, drugs. These things may make you feel better and calmer for a few minutes, but they all wear off. They’re short-lived. Put your hope in the Lord.

Then pray about everything. Make that your first resort rather than your last. Say, “Lord, what should I do?” There are so many illustrations of this in Scripture.

I think of King Jehoshaphat, when the Moabites and the Ammonites came against the nation of Judah. Jehoshaphat just right away cries out to the Lord and says, “O Lord, we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

Make it your first resort. You get that letter with that piece of news. Take it and lay it out before the Lord and say, “Lord, what should I do?”

Then remember this: When it comes to keeping a quiet heart, you have to keep doing it. You have to keep going back to it.

The other day I had a number of phone calls in the course of one day, and by the end of the day (it was a Friday) I remember just a multitude of thoughts within my heart. I did feel this kind of heaviness on my chest. This was just more than I could handle.

I said, “I’m going for a walk.” I got up out of my chair and went outside. I had Psalm 131 in my head and in my heart, and I began to quote it. I just began, word by word, phrase by phrase, to walk through Psalm 131. I was meditating on it.

I would say a phrase, and then I would pray. Then I would sing a hymn or a song. And I said to my heart, “I am going to walk, pray, quote, and sing until this heaviness lifts and my heart is quiet again.”

It took close to an hour, and I just kept walking, saying, “Lord, You take it. I trust in You.” And I could begin to sense the burden lift. You have to keep doing it; keep going back to it.

Eric Liddell was famous for the 1924 Olympics where he refused to run on Sunday. You remember his story being told in Chariots of Fire. That movie didn’t tell what I think is the most important part of his life, as he went on to become a missionary in China and was imprisoned during World War II. While Eric was in that prison camp, he developed a brain tumor and actually died of the tumor in the prison camp.

As he was in that prison hospital, there was a band of prisoners with musical instruments who were going through the camp playing songs and hymns. As they came close to the hospital where Eric was lying dying of this brain tumor, he wrote out a note, handed it to a nurse, and asked her to take it out to the leader of the band.

The note asked if they would please play what was one of Eric Liddell’s favorite hymns. And they did outside his window. You’re familiar with the hymn. It goes,

Be still, my soul! The Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.

So say to your soul, “Be still, my soul. Hope in the Lord from now and forevermore.”

As our hearts are bowed before the Lord, would you just say to your soul, “Be still”?

Lord, I do pray that as people look at our lives they would see a peace, a quietness, a rest that the world can’t understand and it can’t experience because it doesn’t have the indwelling spirit of Christ. I think this is one of the greatest ways, Lord, that our lives can be a light and an example and blessing to the world around us.

I think it’s one of the greatest things that will draw people to Christ. In a world filled with terror and fears and turmoil, they can look at us and see there’s peace in our souls, not because we don’t have problems, not because we don’t have difficult circumstances, but because we have You. And You are enough for all of our eternal needs.

Thank You, Lord, for speaking to our hearts. Continue to do so and to quiet our hearts through Your Word and through the power of Your Spirit. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been giving you practical insight into developing a quiet heart. She’ll be back with the second half of today’s program.

We’re wrapping up a series today called "How to Have a Quiet Heart." If you want your spirit to be ruled by quietness and calmness, I hope you’ll listen to the whole series. You can order the CD or listen online at ReviveOurHearts.com

Throughout the series we’ve let you know about a book by Nancy that will encourage you to maintain a peaceful heart in the Lord each day. The book is The Quiet Place. It’s a 360-day devotional. In each short chapter, Nancy will help you focus on the truth from God’s Word and let it quiet your heart.

We’ll send you a copy when you support Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any amount. It’s gifts from listeners like you that make it possible for us to continue providing biblical teaching for women you can trust. You can make your donation at ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1–800–569–5959. It’s the final day we’ll be making the offer, so make sure to call right away.

Today Nancy showed you how to have a quiet heart even when you’re stressed by issues like finances. We’re about to hear an example of a woman who has modeled that kind of quiet heart for decades.

Jean Murphy recently attended a Revive Our Hearts’ recording session at age 91. Her husband Lloyd went home to be with the Lord a few years ago. This couple made many decisions to invest their lives in ministry even when it wasn’t obvious how they’d make it financially.

Nancy talked with Mrs. Murphy about God’s provision.

Nancy: Now you and Lloyd have seen the Lord provide for you in some amazing ways over the years. Can you just tell us—there’s a lot of economic uncertainty today, and people are concerned about how their financial needs are going to be met. Just encourage these women about how God has met your needs over the years.

Jean Murphy: Never have we had a want or a need that God hasn’t supplied. It hasn’t always been like we’ve asked, but that’s all right.

I remember when we were praying when they first started Social Security, and the conference that we belonged to suggested that Lloyd and I join Security. It cost $300, and we didn’t have even $100. So we went to our knees. He prayed first, and then I was praying, and while I was praying, the telephone rang.

They said, “We want to set up an office there in Goshen at the headquarters, and we wonder if Jean Murphy would do it, and we’ll pay her $300.”

Leslie: At one church where Lloyd pastored . . .

Jean: We were there five or six years.

Leslie: This couple only made a small salary and never received a raise.

Jean: We lived on the same thing when we went there as we did when we left, but God supplied all of our needs, and He always has, and I believe He will.

My whole mission was Bible teaching, and I had many women and many young people when we first went where we were before I went to the nursing home. The young people asked me if they could have a Bible study, and I said, “There’s nothing more than I would rather do than have a Bible study.”

Nancy: And you were teaching that study in your eighties.

Jean: I’m sure I was in my eighties, yes. They listened to this old woman teaching. (Laughter)

I have letters in my file that they say, “Dear Mrs. Murphy . . .” Why they have loved me so much, I will never know, but God knows, and He supplied all my needs.

Nancy: How long were you and Lloyd married?

Jean: Sixty-six and a half years. The last thing I said to him was, “I love you so much.”

And he said, “I love you more.”

I said, “Why do you say that?”

He said, “Because there’s more of me.” (Laughter)

Nancy: How do you make a marriage go the distance like that?

Jean: I told him on our second date, “I promised the Lord that I wouldn’t go with anybody that I couldn’t pray with.”

And he said, “Well, I’m not going to pray because you want me to.”

I said, “Well, that’s up to you.” But on our next date, he put his head down on the steering wheel, and he started to pray before we ever started, and we prayed together all through our marriage.

Learn to pray with your husband. That means so much. We prayed all through our marriage. One of the last things he said to me was, “Honey, will you pray with me?” I’m so glad.

I loved him very, very much.

Nancy: And now you’ve been without him three years. How has the Lord met your needs as a widow?

Jean: I have no money—no money, and God promised that He would supply all my needs. He’s never failed me, and I have many, many friends who are praying for me. I don’t want to miss what God has for me. I don’t want to miss it.

Nancy: It’s been a sweet thing to see how Jean invested in so many people—young people, all kinds of people—over the years, and now how God is using . . . When I say young people, it’s not—I’m young to Jean. But some of these young kids who care for her, who help get her to church and make sure her wheelchair is where she can see and come and retrieve her.

She is reaping in these years the investment that she has made in lives over so many years when there’s now not so much that she can do for herself, but she has poured out and invested in so many others’ lives.

I’m saying that because I know I’m looking at some moms and women of different seasons of life who, it’s all give right now—at least it feels that way—but just a reminder that you reap as you sow.

Now in her nineties, without income, God is meeting her needs through His people as she has invested all these years, and He’s going to keep doing that as long as He gives you breath.

Leslie: Jean Murphy hasn’t only invested in a multitude of women as a pastor’s wife and Bible study teacher. She’s also invested in you. She’s faithfully supported Revive Our Hearts over the years through sacrificial giving. More importantly, she has consistently prayed for this ministry.

God takes the prayers and the gifts from our listeners and multiplies them in the lives of women who need to hear His truth. Nancy gives one example: Janiece from San Antonio, Texas.

Nancy: She said:

I wrote Revive Our Hearts a few years ago. I was struggling terribly. I was in an immoral relationship and felt too addicted to leave it. I’m twenty-two years old. [So she wrote us a year ago when she was twenty-one.]

I am single and there’s so much I do not know. Revive Our Hearts has been one of the primary tools God has used to teach me.

When I wrote a year ago, I did not think I would get a response, but I did—a very gracious one that even included resources to help me. Thank you.

I just wanted to write to inform the ministry that God has indeed delivered me. My heart has been captivated by my King—capital “K.” I have unbelieving parents; I come from the most hideous past—an urban kid is what most would classify me as, I think.

God in His mercy has captivated my heart and soul. I walk in newness of life with a heart totally submitted to my King. My thoughts, heart, desires, goals, and ambitions have all miraculously changed. Thank You, Jesus.

I just wanted to write and say, "Thank you; thank you; thank you." I am prayerfully considering becoming a Ministry Partner. I’m not sure exactly how, but I will explore the website to find out.

Thank you, sisters. Grace and peace.

Is that not a blessing? The power of the gospel to change lives. When we started this ministry, one of the things I said years ago as we were going on the air is, “Lord, there are already too many—certainly enough—maybe too many books, television programs, radio programs—we don’t need another one. But if You’re leading us to start this program for women on the radio, would You so anoint our efforts that it would produce supernatural fruit and changed lives?

It’s been so precious to see over these years how the Lord has answered that prayer. The emails we get from people who say, “I had to pull my car to the side of the road, I was crying so hard listening to this,” or “I got on the floor in my kitchen on my knees and just repented of what God had convicted me of that I had said to my husband that morning.” Or just God stopping, arresting people—that’s the word I want—dead in their tracks.

Thank God that girl wrote a year ago! How did she even hear this program? I have no idea, but in God’s sovereignty, in His providence, He connected her with the message; she wrote. Thank God for our precious correspondence team who responded to that email, and thank God for the Holy Spirit who worked in that girl’s life to give her the courage to break off the addictive, immoral relationship that she said there was no way should could do. That strength came from God, not from us.

Then to see God not only get her out of that relationship—not only putting off sin—but putting on being in love with Jesus. I love her saying, “My heart is captivated by my King.”

I’m so grateful for the power of the Spirit and for those on our team and those on our Ministry Partner team, those women like you listeners who support this ministry, who pray, who help make it possible so the Janieces from San Antonio, Texas—urban kids . . .

There’s no way I could reach an urban kid. I don’t speak that language. I don’t have that kind of experience or background or savvy or coolness or any of that. But that’s not what reaches people, is it? It’s the power of the Spirit, the power of the truth that sets people free.

So just as a word of encouragement and rejoicing, but also to give you a sense of vision as you pray for this ministry.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been sharing her thanks to God for using Revive Our Hearts to change the lives of women. In the letter from Janiece, you heard the phrase “Ministry Partner.” She wanted to partner with Revive Our Hearts, spreading biblical truth to other women, so she wanted to join the Ministry Partner team.

When you join this special group of listeners, you’ll get a lot in return. You’ll receive one of Nancy’s books. You’ll also receive a conference registration which you can use at this year’s Revive '15 event for leaders. And you’ll regularly receive special resources created just for ministry partners.

We ask in return that you pray for the ministry, give each month, and share the message with other women.

Get all the details on becoming a Ministry Partner at ReviveOurHearts.com.

I hope you’ll invest in your church this weekend and then join us again on Monday. Pastor Eric Mason will talk about why you need others in the body of Christ—and why it’s so important to invest your life in others. 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.