Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

Leslie Basham: Before we begin today’s Revive Our Hearts, Nancy Leigh DeMoss remembers being surprised one evening.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The Lord has surprised us many times during past True Woman Conferences. For example, as we got ready for True Woman ’12, we knew the women inmates at a prison in Arkansas were praying for the conference. As they prayed for each attendee by name, they made a new link on a prayer chain and wrote their prayer out on that link. 

Well, there’s no way we could have anticipated what it would feel like when that whole chain, thousands of links, finally appeared on the opening night of the conference. 

Bob Lepine (speaking at True Woman '12): The chain is made up of links with prayers written out. Your name is on this chain.

Attendee 1: The most inspirational thing to me [at the conference] was the prayer chain from the women at McPhearson Correctional Facility. 

Bob (speaking at True Woman '12): And prisoners have written a prayer for you on the link of the chain to create more than 35,000 links. 

Attendee 2: And the chain stretched all the way around, up and down the aisles. 

Attendee 3: It went on forever. 

Bob: It looked like half a mile of chain that had been stretched out. 

Attendee 1: It was just really neat to know that all those prayers had been offered up to God’s throne on our behalf. 

Joni Eareckson Tada: It was so heartwarming knowing the names of all those women . . . And I was thinking, “My name is on that chain somewhere.” It just touched me so deeply.

Bob (speaking at True Woman '12): We’ve made arrangements for this event to be LIVE streamed into the prison and for the women to be able to participate. I think we’ve got . . . Say “hi” to them. (sounds of shouting and clapping)

Nancy: And I still tear up when I look at the video of what happened that night and how God moved in such a sweet way.

Now as we make plans for True Woman ’14, we’re asking the Lord once again to do more than we could ever ask or think.

We’ve invited a number of speakers, Pastor Jim Cymbala, Janet Parshall, Joni Eareckson Tada. Angie Smith will be joining us, Lauren Chandler, and others. But most important, we’re asking the Lord to be there, to meet with us in a powerful way, and to help women find greater freedom and fullness and fruitfulness in Christ.

True Woman ’14 is coming to Indianapolis next October, and it’s not too early to make your plans to attend. Between now and this November 25, you can get $50 off your registration (regular registration price). Now, that’s the lowest price we’ve ever offered for a True Woman event. So let me encourage you to get a group together from your church, your area, and say, “Let’s plan now to go to True Woman ’14.”

You can get all the details or register yourself or your group at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, November 12.

Nancy will pick up the conversation she began yesterday. We’re in day two of a four-day series called “Looking Back After Eighty Years.”

Nancy: I’m so thankful I have this opportunity to talk with my dear friend Kay Arthur this week who as we air this is celebrating her eightieth  birthday. The birthday was yesterday. We actually had this conversation several weeks ago as Kay was anticipating her birthday.

She’s been such a blessing to so many of our listeners and to me personally. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to honor this woman of God and for our listeners to have a chance to learn from her life.

So, Kay, welcome back to Revive Our Hearts, and happy birthday week, by the way.

Kay Arthur: Thank you so much.

Can I tell you a story because of your desire for your listeners?

Nancy: Yes, please.

Kay: When I got saved at the age of twenty-nine, I told God I’d go back to my husband that I was divorced from. Although he was not a believer, I told God I would go back to him because I knew God hated divorce. But he committed suicide.

Then I married Jack. We got married and went to Mexico. I had two boys. David was born down there in Mexico where we were missionaries for three-and-one-half years. Then we had to leave the mission field because I became ill with a heart condition.

But, anyway, I was sitting there, and I was working with teenagers. They were coming to know the Lord, and I’m teaching them the Word of God. I was sitting there that morning rocking and nursing David, and I just got upset with the Lord. I said, “Lord, where were You when I was a teenager? Why didn’t You let somebody like me come to me when I was a teenager? Why didn’t You send somebody to tell me the Word like I’m telling these teenagers the Word?”

God just spoke to my heart—I’ve never heard any audible voices or anything—but He just spoke to my heart and said, “I saved you when I wanted to save you, and if you will quit complaining and share your story, I will use it to help others.”

So here we are.

Nancy: And He certainly has done that.

Kay: Isn’t it amazing?

Nancy: It is.  It's an amazing grace. That’s what it’s all about—not just for our younger years but as we get older as well.

As you look back, I’m sure you’re reflecting as you turn eighty—that’s a special marker birthday. I love these markers, and I love to reflect back on what the Lord has done and where He’s brought me.

But I’m just wondering, Kay, are there maybe two or three people—friends or mentors or encouragers—that have been a key influence in your life? People who have helped you love the Lord, love His Word, or have been used in some special way in your life as you think back on it?

Kay: My primary mentors in my early days was a guy that I started dating after I became a Christian. He brought me the Phillips translation of the New Testament, and he brought me to biographies of great Christians. So I read: Hudson Taylor, Robert Murray M'Cheyne, Andrew Murray, Madame Guyon, and many, many others. Those were my mentors—Isabelle Kuhn. And those biographies were the ones that mentored me in those early days, plus the Word of God.

I would say that the people that I have worked with in this ministry since God started Precept Ministries, the friends that He has brought into my life that are still my friends, the people that have loved me warts and all and have been faithful friends: Jan Silvious, Billy Campbell, Tommy Hammil. I could go to all these good people and tell you that each one of them, just by their lives and just by their patience with me and their partnership . . .  

And the young people that I’ve had an opportunity to teach the Word of God to and have seen grow up and become godly wives and godly husbands and wonderful parents. That’s what I would have to say is who has mentored me. There’s no individual that has sat down and said, “Okay, now, I’m the discipler; you’re the disciplee.”

Nancy: So much of that happens just in the course of living life and doing life with other believers. And you have become that mentor and friend to countless people whose names you won’t know this side of eternity. I know a lot of those women would like to thank you.

Let me insert here, that if you’ve been influenced through Kay’s life and ministry, if she’s been one of those friends to you and you’d like to send her a birthday greeting, or you’d like to let her know how her ministry has influenced your life, you can go to ReviveOurHearts.com and go to the transcript of today’s program. There’s a comment blog there at the bottom of that transcript, and if you’ll just write your comment or your testimony or your word of greeting to Kay, we’ll be sure and send those on to her at the end of this week.

So Kay, thanks for becoming that friend and encourager and mentor to so many of us that you’ve influenced over the years.

Kay: Thank you. I want to tell you about one couple: Mia and Costel Obgleski. They’re from Romania. Years ago I went out to speak at Campus Crusade’s international school of theology. God led me to give a very gripping illustration of the suffering of a man from Romania.

When I finished (and a luncheon followed that), this woman came up to me and said, “What you say about Romania is true, but these people don’t believe you. They don’t really understand.”

I said, “How do you know?”

She said, “I’m from Romania.”

When she told me that she was from Romania, I said, “Romania?! I want to go to Romania but my board won’t let me go because they’re afraid I will end up in prison, but you could go for me. You and your husband could learn these Bible studies here.” I took a book, every book on that table from whatever I had, and I gave it to her. I said, “You can translate these into Romanian, and you can teach them, and my heart’s passion can be fulfilled.”

This is before the Iron Curtain came down. They had been raised in Romania, and they had prayed and prayed and prayed, “Lord, take these churches that are now civil halls and bring them back to be churches. Lord, put the gospel on radio and television.” So this was their prayer.

And then in this one incident—when I pray about, “God, what am I to speak on? What am I to say?” And He gives me this illustration, and He connects me to this woman.

Do you know that they’re in charge of our whole Urartian ministry? Do you know that of all the people in my life, they are the greatest example to me of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and to make disciples of others.

We are in 185 countries. Many of them because of that couple. We’re in seventy languages or maybe more. Many of them because of that couple. And here they are, this little couple from Romania, and coming over burdened for their people, and this is what God did.

So when you ask me about mentors, I was the one that was led of God—and my husband—to bring them on staff—but I brought on staff people who are far more capable than I am. Far more consecrated than I am. And they are an example to me, a precious, precious example to me.

So don’t ever get bigger than your britches. You have to just watch how God is weaving your life together with others to accomplish His kingdom purposes.

Nancy: Well, Kay, if you’re known for anything, it’s for getting people into the Word and teaching them how to study God’s Word. You have just such an amazing life message. This is not theoretical for you. This is something you live, and I’ve seen this again and again over the years as we’ve talked. You just kind of bleed the Word. We touch you, and the Word comes out. And I love that.

As you think back now over fifty years of studying God’s Word, digging into it, what do you see as the benefits and the blessings of accumulated years of studying God’s Word—some of these same passages over and over and over again. What difference has that made in your life?

Kay: Well, it’s made an enormous difference. In fact, I think it’s the difference between being a doctor and a patient in your Christianity. If you know the Word—His Words are spirit and light. Do you remember the end of Deuteronomy when Moses came and spoke all these words and the songs and the hearing of the people?

Then he said, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, (this is what you’re doing in your radio program) even all the words of this law. For it is not an idle word for you; indeed, it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your life in this land” (32:45–46).

In other words, if you’ll live the way I tell you to live, you’re going to live longer in the Promised Land. When you disobey is when you’re going to get in trouble and be cast out.

So I would say that most people today, I believe, are failing in their Christian walk or are weak or sickly or are incapacitated because they don’t know God. In Daniel 11:32 it says, “But the people (and it’s in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes—which was a horrible time for the Jewish people—but he says, but the people) who know their God will be able to stand firm and take action, to do exploits for God” (paraphrased).

Nancy: Well, as you’re sharing, Kay, I know that our listeners’ one takeaway for sure is that the Word of God is alive. It is powerful. It is not dry. It is not boring. And I think a lot of people have that impression of the Scripture, that it’s dry and boring. One of the things that I’m reminded of as I listen to you is that people who think that way about the Scripture probably aren’t reading it and probably aren’t living in it as you have.

It sounds like one of the reasons the Scripture has become so alive to you is that you are in it, you’re spending time in it. You’re reading it, studying it over and over again. That’s how the Word takes on greater meaning in your life. Is that right?

Kay: It’s exactly true. The problem is we live in a busy, busy world, and I’ll match my schedule with anybody’s. Okay, so we live in a busy world, but we have to carve out time. We’ve got to sit at His feet. And when we sit at His feet, and we listen to Him, it really, in a sense, expands our time. We all only have twenty-four hours, but it expands, it makes our time more efficient.

It gives me a confidence. It helps me move on because I know, “Hey, God’s got that covered,” or Okay, this friend acted nasty, but God knows or I know they didn’t mean it,” or whatever. In other words, I know how to handle life.

This is why I’m so keen on people studying God’s Word inductively. And by inductively, I mean that they go to the Word of God themselves. One of the things that distresses me is when I hear women’s ministry leaders saying, “Oh, don’t do Precept if you have young children.” Well, we all had young children. We were all raised on Precept. I had a son in my old age, and I had children, and to say, “Don’t study it that way; it’s too hard.” It’s not too hard. It just takes time.

But you’re spending time sitting at the feet of God. He gave us sixty-six books, Nancy. And I keep saying to people, “If He gave us sixty-six books, Precious One, how many do you think He wants us to know?”

Then they say, “Sixty-six.”

And I say, “Yes!” And you’ve got to know it.”

When God speaks book by book, every book has a purpose. Every book has a structure. Every book has a message, and it’s not that you just want to get the general message. You want those words which are spirit and life to come alive in you, to guide you.

I love Psalm 119. Verse 102 says this: “I have not turned aside from Your ordinances. For You Yourself have taught me.” And see, to turn aside from His ordinances is when I carry guilt or when I don’t think God has forgiven me. (You’ve written an excellent book on forgiveness.) But when I think God hasn’t forgiven me, or I say, “Well, I can’t forgive myself.”

We’ve got to know and believe God. The more we know Him, the better able we are to believe Him, and then the more we are able to walk as more than a conqueror. He talks about overcomers. In Revelation, in the letters to the churches, every one ends in a message to the overcomer. An overcomer is not a super Christian. An overcomer is a Christian. If you’re a Christian, you’re an overcomer. “And this is the victory that has overcome the world (1 John says) even our faith.”

It’s taking God at His Word. But you can’t do that if you don’t know it.

Nancy: So, Kay, as you get into your day and into the Word—not just when you’re writing studies for other people—give us a glimpse into what your time looks like with the Lord in His Word as you sit at His feet. Do you have a special place you go for that? Is there a particular time? Can you give us a little glimpse into what that looks like for you?

Kay: I sure can. When I get up, I make myself a cup of coffee, and I go, and I have my Bible there. I have my marking pens, and I have two chairs. I’ll sit in one or the other depending on the sun and how bright it is. I can tell you this: It’s in my bedroom. My bedroom is pretty. I’ve made it pretty and calm and that. (And if you like pretty, I think you ought to have a pretty place in the house for you to meet with the Lord. Whatever you need to do to make it look pretty to you, make it pretty to you.)

But I get in. I sit down in that chair, and I go, “Oh, Lord”—because that’s where I’m meeting Him. Now, today I reluctantly left that room to come into the parlor because I didn’t want to turn on the light at 4 o’clock in the morning and wake my husband. But that’s what I do. Then I open the Word of God, and I begin reading.

Now I have had people in olden days say, “When you’re having your quiet time, you can’t study the Word because that’s not spiritual. You’ve got to read a devotional.” And I think, What do you mean you can’t study the Word? It’s God’s Word. God’s speaking. These are words that He is speaking, that He has breathed, that He has written that are your life. Of course spend it in the Word!

So I spend it in the Word. I pray as God leads me. Precept Ministries puts out for our Epaphroditus team a prayer list, of something to pray for every day. I have that. I have Marlae Spikard’s prayer list for, I think it’s Women of Hope. So I have those two prayer lists that I do just for the day.

I also have a little book called, On This Day. It’s written by Robert Morgan, and it’s stories from Christian history of what happened on those days. I love biographies. I love to hear the stories of my brothers and sisters, and I learn from it. I don’t always read out of it every day because many times I don’t have time.

I keep a pad and pencil there and I write down anything that comes to my mind because wherever I go and speak, I don’t bring the same message. I say, “Lord, what do You me to say? In North Carolina next week, what do You want me to say, and Arizona?” So I keep a pad and paper, or I fold up the piece of paper, and I keep it in my Bible. I write down anything that comes to mind so I don’t forget it—I’m going to be eighty. As you’re listening, girls, I’m eighty right now. So pray for me.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m asking God. One of the verses is out of Psalm 90, and it talks about three score and ten, the average lifespan, perhaps eighty.

Nancy: And the Lord has blessed you with eighty.

Kay: Yes. And then it says, “So teach me to number my days that I might have a heart for wisdom.” The New American Standard Bible says, “So that I might present to You a heart of wisdom.” The English Standard Version says, “So that I might have a heart of wisdom” (v. 12).

Wisdom is handling life God’s way. It’s based on knowledge. So we get the knowledge through the Word of God, Then as you read Proverbs and you just mark through everything He says about wisdom, it’s just incredible. Then I know, “How do I do this? How do I handle this?” I ask Him to forgive me.

One of the things I’ve been doing is searching my heart. I tell you, I think, Lord, no wonder You haven’t taken me home yet. You have so much refining to do in my life! I look, Nancy, at all the dumb things I’ve done. And then I have to go through the exercise of, “Okay, that was dumb. You know it. You love me. I will learn from it. I will press on.”

There’s a verse in 2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 9, and it says, “I have as my ambition whether in this body or out of this body to be pleasing to the Lord.”  So if I get uptight with my husband, then I’m going to go right back and ask him to forgive me.

Nancy: Kay, one of the things I so appreciate about you, as long as I’ve known you, you never just coast. You are intentional about seeking the Lord and not drifting spiritually.

I’m going to cut us off here because I’m watching the clock, and we are out of time for today, but I want to carry on this conversation tomorrow. I want to talk about this whole thing of aging, how you view that, how you stay intentional, stay fresh, stay in the battle. I have some questions about that, and I know our listeners do as well. So we’re going to pick up this conversation tomorrow and talk about what’s on your heart at the age of eighty, and how do you get there and be fruitful and full of life as you are. And I so thank the Lord for that.

Remember, if you want to leave a birthday greeting or word of encouragement or testimony for Kay about what she’s meant in your life, go to the bottom of today’s transcript, go to the comment blog and put your words there. We’ll be sure and pass those on to Kay at the end of this week.

Please join us tomorrow as we continue this conversation with Kay Arthur right here at Revive Our Hearts.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy.

Kay Arthur and Nancy Leigh DeMoss have been encouraging us to be women of God’s Word, faithfully serving all our days.

Do you find conversations like these motivating and helpful? Would you help us continue providing this kind of encouragement to you and to other women who need this message? We’re only able to provide Revive Our Hearts each weekday thanks to listeners who believe in the ministry and give to make it possible.

When you support the ministry with a gift of any size, we’ll show our thanks by sending you a book by our guest, Kay Arthur. It’s called, Discover the Bible for Yourself. Kay will show you how to read, mark, and study God’s Word so you know what it means. You’ll find introductions to each book of the Bible. There are also tools like maps and word studies. Kay will explain how to use them.

When you support Revive Our Hearts with your gift, ask for Discover the Bible for Yourself. Donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1–800–569–5959 and ask for the book.

Well, Kay Arthur isn’t afraid to tell you her age. She’ll explain how she’s approaching her later years tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

All Scripture is taken from the NASB unless otherwise noted.

 

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