Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Surrendered to the Beautiful Truth

Leslie Basham: As a young girl, Carrie Gaul was injured as a result of her own disobedience, and she felt the distress that her pain caused for her parents.

Carrie Gaul: In that moment the enemy sowed a lie right into my heart that said, “Don’t ever talk about pain! Don’t you talk about your pain because, look, you’re a burden.”

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Voices of the True Woman Movement, for March 23, 2018.

Last month, the updated version of Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free was released. Nancy first wrote the book over a decade ago. We’re about to hear from some women who were deeply changed by it.

Nancy has revised the entire book, plus about 30 percent of it is completely new content—crafted to better address women’s needs here in 2018. You can get a copy at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Here’s Nancy talking with Carrie Gaul, who responds to women who write to Revive Our Hearts; also, Gayle Villalba, who ministers to pastors’ wives; and Laura Gonzalez, who heads up Aviva Nuestros Corazones, the Spanish language ministry of Revive Our Hearts.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Can any of you remember when you first read Lies Women Believe? I know the new version has just come out, but do you remember who told you about it, or how you got it, or what your experience was reading through it the first time—and how you responded? Who wants to start for us on that?

Laura Gonzalez: I read it in 2007, and it was the first book that I read from Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy: And you were a pretty young believer at the time, weren’t you?

Laura: Yes, a pretty young believer. Our church read it—the women read it together—and we had a retreat for women called The Truth Makes You Free.

Nancy: Was this in English?

Laura: In Spanish.

Nancy: In Spanish, okay.

Laura: So it was amazing what the Lord did then! It revealed so many lies. Like you mentioned, we live in this culture, and there are just so many things we just swim in, and we think they’re normal. We think they’re true.

Then when we’re faced with the truth, we uncover all these things, and we realize we’ve been living wrong in so many areas of our lives. So it was a great testimony of the truth, what the Lord did through that book in the church at that time.

Nancy: This is ten years ago or more, but do you remember any specific areas where women—you or other women—realized, “This was something we’d been swimming in thinking it was okay, and this caused us to reevaluate whether that really was truth.”

Laura: Back then, I think the whole feminist ideology that we all lived in and we breathed—and we don’t even know that we are believing those things . . . I think all of the women in the church were looking to their careers and accomplishments.

These truths just made them see how they had lost their way in some way. In my case, I remember specifically the chapter of children. I had believed the “truth” that I was in control of how many children I would have or when I would have them and even if they were a girl or a boy—I mean, just so silly!

I remember reading that. I realized that I am not in control and that children are a blessing! So that was a real understanding in my mind and my heart and even in our marriage. We started telling the younger people at church, “No, no, no. Children are a blessing! Have you thought about that?”

Because usually they want to get married, and they don’t even think. They just say, “Oh, we’ll have children like five years from now, because we want to live our own lives and bond.” They think about themselves, and they don’t really think that family is a blessing. So that was something that really cut deep into my heart.

Nancy: That’s perhaps been the most controversial chapter in the original book. What we hoped to say back then, and hope to say maybe even more clearly in the newer book, is: I can’t tell you how many children you should have or when you should start having children. I don’t know that for your life. But God does know it for your life. And whether it’s that issue or any other issue, are you asking Him what He wants for your life?

Laura: Exactly.

Nancy: Are you saying, “Lord, whether I’m married or single; whether I have children or don’t have children, You are Lord! I want Your will for my life.” It’s that, “Yes, Lord!” mindset that is really what we’re trying to get at there.

Laura: It’s releasing control to God in of all areas of our lives.

Nancy: It can feel scary!

Laura: Yes!

Carrie Gaul: In that area, Nancy, Dennis and I (actually I think it was before I read your book) . . . The Lord began stirring in my husband’s heart about having more children. Our kids were teenagers!

I remember the place we were and the night it was when he just kind of quietly said to me, “Car, what would you think about having more children?”

I laughed—like a Sarah-kind of laugh, you know! Like, “I think you’re crazy, that’s what I think!”

I love kids, but I was getting older, our kids were one a preteen and a teenager. Here’s what I want to say about that issue and every one of the issues—every one of the lies—that are presented in this book.

Sometimes we read the book and say, “Oh yes, that was a lie I was believing; I’m not going to do that anymore.” And we just move on to the truth. That is so not reality in so many of our lives. We have wrestle with the truth. And saying “yes” to the truth can be costly.

It means surrendering our own rights. But sometimes it means saying, “I’ve got no idea what You’re doing, God! I’ve got no idea, but I trust You.” And for me, Nancy, in that area of having more children, it was a fifteen- or eighteen-month process of literally wrestling with God.

I mean, I would take this Book apart, trying to see what God said about children. 

Nancy: “This Book” being—you’re talking about the Bible, for those who can’t see. 

Carrie: My Bible, my Bible, yes! I would be in the shower saying, “Lord, do You know what this will cost me!? Do You understand what You’re asking?” And do you know, ladies, every one of your stories are different; every one of them so unique.

We have women on the other side of the world who are being abused, sexually abused, and coming home with children that nobody wants to claim, you know? So these truths aren’t like a blanket that you put over it, and you just say, “Obey it” and, “Do it.”

This is a God of love who is saying, “I’m inviting you into My ways. I want what’s best for you! I want to show you who I am in the midst of that.” To make a very long story short, eighteen months of wrestling . . . Here’s the deal. I love children. I didn’t want to have more children, and we had made that impossible at that point, humanly. God had given me a love for His Word and was so beginning to open the doors to teach women His Word. I was like, “Lord, if I have more children, like, I’m blonde! I can’t do two things at one time! How am I going to do this? Why would You give me that love and then ask me to start all over again?”

I was at the kitchen sink one afternoon—our kids were gone, I was alone in our home. I did not hear a voice, but the Spirit of God said to me so gently (He is so gentle!). He said to me that day, “Carrie, today you have to decide. Today will you say ‘yes’ to Me—it’s all I’m asking—or not?”

I got on my face, literally, on our kitchen floor that day. I said, “I’ve walked with You too long. I know You’re good. I trust You. I don’t understand this; I don’t know what in the world You’re doing. But if that’s what You want . . .”

It cost $1,500 to get reversed what we had done. My husband never got a bonus—ever—in his job. That night I told Dennis. I mean, this whole time we’re wrestling. I said, “I’m ready, if that’s what you really want to do.” We didn’t have the money to do that. The next week, guess what he gets? A $1,500 bonus!

We never had more children, friends. I love children; that wasn’t what it was about. It’s about trusting Him! It was about, “No matter what I ask of you, Carrie, it’s for your good; it’s because I love you! It’s because I’m writing an ‘upper story’ that you have no idea. This is just the next step in the ‘lower story.’” You know?

And so, I don’t know Nancy, maybe three or four years, five years later, I was in Africa for the first time (which is a long story, but . . .). I’m on a dirt floor with women who had walked miles to get there. I often use that example in the teaching that I was doing. I just thought, I’m not going to use that. They won’t understand that; it won’t make sense to them—that illustration.

And the Spirit of God whispered, right in the middle of teaching, “Tell them the story, Carrie, and look into their eyes. Because when I was asking you to say ‘yes’ to Me, I had their faces on My mind. I knew you would never trust Me to come here if you wouldn’t first trust Me in that area.”

So all of what has been sown into us that is not truth is really a twisting of who our God is and the depth of the relationship. Sin does this to us. It constricts us. He’s inviting us into the beauty of the fullness of all that He has for us!

Nancy: And the devil wants us to believe just the opposite—that if we trust God, it’s going to restrict and restrain our lives, and that the fullness is to be had by eating the fruit that’s forbidden. [Satan to Eve:] “Did God say to you, you can’t eat from all the trees of the Garden?”

And so, he wants us to see God as a limiting God, a restraining, a restrictive God. There are restrictions, but only for our blessing and for our good and for His glory. So Satan changes the price tag and lies from start to finish!

Gayle, do you remember your early encounter with the concept—or the book—of Lies Women Believe?

Gayle Villalba: Absolutely! I read it right out of the gate, as soon as it came out. I was real excited to read the book. And I remember thinking, This is good! This is great stuff! I wonder if Nancy should say that? And then I would read further and say, “Oh, Nancy didn’t say it. Your Word said it, Lord!”

And that was pivotal to me when I read the book: “Is this just someone’s opinion—or what does God’s Word say about it?” And, honestly, that gave me freedom to enjoy and drink in everything that the Lord wanted me to learn from it.

Nancy: I think all of us would say that this whole thing of identifying lies that we’re believing—lies that are at the root of areas of confusion or struggle or defeat in our lives—it’s not something you just do once you read a book and you say, “Oh, those were the lies I believed.” (Carrie, you touched on this.) But it’s a daily thing of recognizing, “What am I taking in or accepting that isn’t consistent with God’s Word?” and “Where do I need to replace lies with truth?”

So all of us have been on that personal journey, but then, at the same time, we’re also walking with other women that we’re discipling, that we’re speaking to (we’re all involved in ministry of various kinds). We can see this in others’ lives as well.

Just talk about how, in the course of counseling, speaking, ministering, families that you’ve connected with—how you can see the principle of the power of lies to put in bondage and the power of truth to set people free.

Laura: Going back to the book and the impact of that, I remember a year ago I led a study of the book in one of the churches we were in. These were all ladies of all ages there—like thirty people in the group. In the end, one of them said, “If I had read this book twenty years earlier, I wouldn’t have been divorced.”  

Something that we see in women—and I think in all of us—is we are afraid to sacrifice. We are afraid to suffer, because we think God doesn’t want us to suffer. And it’s true—God wants good for us. But there is suffering. Suffering is good for us sometimes. It gets us closer to God.

So I feel that this book—and all the truth—just makes women look to God and look at the truth of God—who He is and how He loves us. All His ways are good, and all His purposes are good, and everything He says is good! We doubt that constantly.

Nancy: Yeah.

Laura: That reminds me of that verse in Hebrews that says, "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists” (Heb. 11:6).

Sometimes we know with our mind that He exists, but we live as if He didn’t. We want to rule our lives and rule everything and control everything. So we must believe that, “he exists and that he [is a] reward[er] of those who seek him.”

So I love what Carrie said, that in the end, it’s a matter of trust. That’s where He wants us. He just wants us trusting, trusting Him that He’s a good God, that He loves us.

I love to mentor younger girls, and the first thing I encourage them to do is get into the Word—because in the Word, when we dig deep, that’s when we start seeing all these lies.

Sometimes, we think we have something, and then we find a new truth, and we realize we’ve been believing something that is not true. Sometimes we think we know the truth and we think we’re following the truth, and we’re not. So just being in the Word has . . .

I’ve seen many of the girls that I’ve mentored . . . There’s one specific case that, I mean, it’s just amazing in how many ways her life was liberated of different bondages. It was all the Word of God . . . all the Word of God!

Nancy: And that doesn’t sound like, “So what?” But really, when you think about it—whether it’s younger or older women—what are the kind of influences that are speaking into our lives day after day? I mean, I’m talking about Christian women. What are some of the things that we are listening to more than the Word of God?

Laura: The world and social media and, you know, culture. 

Gayle: Everything in the world tells us we deserve happiness, “me first,” “have it my way.” The world is against God’s Word and so, in dealing with younger women—oh my goodness!—I don’t have wisdom of my own. But God’s Word can be trusted!

I appreciated that about your book, too, that it’s the Word that’s our foundation—that’s where truth comes from. You have referred before to the term “functioning atheist.” I think that is so profound. I remind myself of that often, when I’m about to make a decision that seems right. I’m thinking to myself, Why do I think this is right? Oh, because the world told me, or a radio program told me (not Revive Our Hearts, of course!), or a self-help book told me, or something on television, or even a well-meaning friend.

We have to go back to the truth. I don’t want to be a functioning atheist. I want to be true to God’s Word!

Carrie: I love what John 8:32 says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The Truth has a Name, and His Name is Jesus! And as we get to know Him, as we get to know Him through His Word. . .

I heard someone say not too long ago that the words on the pages of a book are meant to be an experience. We’re meant to experience intimacy with the Living God! So we do it, not in just memorizing words in order to . . . We want correct doctrine, of course, we want right doctrine, but His Name is Jesus. We’re inviting Him in, and His Word says He will lead us, shepherd us, guide us into all truth. He will show us as we’re willing. Isaiah 2 says, if you will consent, if you’re willing, and you will obey, He will open the door and begin to show us. 

You know, Nancy, one of the things in the last year is the Lord has been taking me into all truth—more truth, more about Him, more about the lies that I’m believing. Because, you don’t read the Book and you’re done. There’s things in us that God is always bringing to the surface.

One of those things in my life that I’ve realized . . . While I always knew the enemy hates us, he hates our children, he certainly goes after our children, but I don’t think I really understood some of the ways he does that. One of the things he’s brought to my own mind from my own childhood: as a little girl, maybe five or six years old, in a totally innocent situation, I disobeyed my parents. I ran through the garden when I wasn’t supposed to. I gouged my leg—like just gouged it.

I should have had stitches; they weren’t able to do that at that time. But parents loved me. They were caring for me, right? But as a little five- or six-year-old girl, I remember looking at their faces, and I knew I was causing my mom distress. Like, I felt bad that my pain was hurting her.

And the Lord has shown me that in that moment, the enemy sowed a seed right into a wound (I mean, obviously not that wound) that was created in my heart. I didn’t want to hurt my parents, and they didn’t want to hurt me, but they’re wrestling with, “What do we do with all of this?”

In that moment, the enemy sowed a lie right into my heart that said, “Don’t ever talk about pain. You suck it up. Don’t you talk about your pain, because, look, you’re a burden.”

I am fifty-six years old, and that lie—until the last year—has been a lens through which I looked. I couldn’t have told you that; I didn’t know that. I’m in the Word all the time. But it’s just constantly saying, “Jesus, just show me! I just need You to show me! I am so willing!”

I'm asking, “Where there are things in past where a lie has gotten sown into the seedbed of my life . . . I’m living out of it, and I don’t even know it. Where there are things that happened to me—intentionally or unintentionally—where the enemy has sown something, and I don’t know that . . .”

So your book, Nancy, is like a catalyst, a launching pad to begin asking the Lord, “If it’s not this lie in this chapter, then God, what is it today that You want to show me, because I want freedom from it! I want all the shackles off.” I want to sense His presence and walk in it on a daily basis.

Nancy: That’s always been the goal with this book, the original and the new one. It’s not that it would be an encyclopedia about what Christians should think about these forty-five subjects. I think they’re important subjects, but there are a lot of other important subjects.

It was more just to challenge us to a way of thinking. Are we taking in things that we’re not evaluating? We’re not thinking critically? We’re not thinking biblically? We’re just going with the flow? We’re swimming with the current?

And God says, “My ways are not your ways. As the heaven is high above the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways” (from Isa. 55:8). If there’s a way that the majority is going, the broad way leads to destruction, but the way to life is narrow, and there are few that find it. (see Matt. 7:13)

We want people to have that end result of experiencing God’s favor, His blessing, His goodness, His grace. I wanted to challenge women to a way of thinking: “Am I on the broad way that leads to destruction, or I am choosing the path of truth which is the way of the cross? It’s the way of sacrifice. Sometimes it’s the way of suffering. It’s the way of saying ‘no’ to your flesh and ‘yes’ to God. It’s swimming upstream!”

The goal was to get women of every season of life, every socio-economic status and every issue of our lives (not just “their” lives, “your” lives, but “our” lives) to say, “Lord, what do You think about this? What are You trying to do? What are You trying to say in this? What is a biblical worldview on this subject?”

And even if it puts us, like, in the tiniest, tiniest, tiniest minority, are we better off going with God or going with the crowd? Now, it’s way easier to go with the crowd! And I can say, even the Christian crowd sometimes isn’t always thinking.

In all these areas we talk about—how we express our emotions, in how we deal with forgiveness, how we deal in things done wrong to us—there’s so much of all of this in our world. It’s a broken world! The world has a way of thinking, the Christian world has a way of thinking about many of these things. And a lot of times it’s not consistent with the Word of God. You can see it in the divorce culture. You can see it in good Christian people who would never get divorced. It’s not always in the behaviors. Sometimes it’s in the attitudes, it’s in the demeanor.

Are my reactions, my responses, my choices rooted and grounded in God’s way of thinking? Or am I just doing what comes naturally? "There’s a way that seems right unto a person, but the ends thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12 paraphrased).

I really think the world and its way of thinking is like an IV in our arms. I mean, it’s drip, drip, drip, drip—all the time. It’s just feeding itself into us day after day, and that’s where we need to sometimes just get detached from that drip and get a new drip inserted, and that is the drip of God’s Word!

And you may think, I don’t really know how to think Christian-ly about all this stuff. I may be a new Christian. This is a new way of thinking to me. You don’t master God’s Word by just a quick one-week or six-month of cramming it. You do it by day-in, day-out living in it, by talking with the people of God about the things of God and saying, “Lord, how does this speak to me?” I’ve been teaching today on Titus, and I’m seeing things in Titus which I’ve taught and walked through in deep ways for years, but I’m seeing fresh things from God’s Word. It’s becoming more a part.

The old-time preacher—I forget which one—said we should be so filled with God’s Word that when you prick us, our blood is “Bibling.” What comes out is God’s way of thinking!

Laura: There’s so much confusion out there that two things might look to be true—the lines get so blurry sometimes. If you don’t have that plumb line and you’re not deep into the Word so you can say, “No, this is wrong . . .” Sometimes it’s difficult; it’s not simple. It’s so important to be in the Word.

Gayle: You mentioned: Cherish great thoughts about God. That has stayed with me over the years actually, because life isn’t easy. Bad things happen! We’ve gone through an incredible couple years recently. 

Nancy: Incredible, in a hard way!

Gayle: Yes, really hard! And you know what? God has never let us down. At those times, we’ve had to remember to think those amazing thoughts about who God really is. He means this for our good and His glory, ultimately. It doesn’t feel like it at the time, but He does. He can be trusted. That’s what we keep going back to.

Nancy: Anything else on your heart?

Laura: Well, I remember that I was asked, when we were going to start translating Revive Our Hearts into Spanish, “Do you think these things that we’re teaching can be translated into other cultures?” And the answer is, “Yes, because it’s all the same lies.” We all believe exactly the same lies everywhere!

It might look different day-to-day, but it’s the same heart, the same lie about God, about who we are, about who God is, about what we believe, about family—about everything. It’s universal; it’s sin! And it’s no respecter of nations or languages.

Nancy: And that’s why we’ve seen—I think to our surprise, at some level—such widespread interest in other languages and cultures and parts of the world that are very non-Western. Not every illustration is applicable in every culture, but the core truths . . .

Laura: And the Holy Spirit will apply it.

Nancy: Yes, He does!

Laura: He will apply it. This book, the Lies book, is one of the most popular ones in Spanish. So I have expectations to see how they’re going to receive the new version. That’s going to be exciting!

Carrie: I heard a story, Nancy, from Uganda recently. A Muslim background believer who had not known the Lord for very long—married, of course, to a Muslim man. He has a second wife, and so he lives half-time with this woman who’s now a Christian and half-time with his second wife.

And this woman has now connected, from Uganda, to a woman who’s a listener to Revive Our Hearts for many years, and so she’s beginning to disciple her in some of these truths. I can’t wait for her to get this book to her friend!

But, the wife asks, “What should I do?” Well, uh, what should you do? Well, you love your husband; you pray for him, and you’re kind when, you know, you don’t want to be. And so, over the last maybe six months, this man has come home. He’s not gone back to the second wife for like three or four weeks, which is very unusual.

He’s a Muslim man, and he’s beginning to soften, he’s beginning to listen to her. She’s not yet told him that she’s come to Christ, but she’s implementing, she’s drinking in the truths of God’s Word. She's in a reality that’s beyond what I can even imagine—the heartache. She has three children, she’s pregnant with her fourth. But she’s honoring God, and she’s following His ways, leaving behind the lies and walking in the truth.

Now, he’s not come to salvation yet, but I told her friend he’s on his way, he just doesn’t know it—because God is working. He’s drawing as she lives out of the truth—even in a difficult marriage.

Leslie: That’s Carrie Gaul telling us how the Lord can use a life completely surrendered to Him. She’s been talking with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth about the book Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. We also heard from Gayle Villalba and Laura Gonzalez.

Nancy first wrote that book over fifteen years ago, but she has just revised it and added new material—to reflect the needs of women in our day. We’d like to send you two copies of this book. Why two? So you can go through it with a friend. We’d also like to send you two study guides, two bookmarks, and an audio CD with Nancy teaching this material. This package is our gift to you when you become a new Revive Our Hearts Monthly Partner.

This special group of supporters commits to pray for the ministry; they tell others about it, and they donate at least $30 a month to keep the ministry going month-by-month. If God’s used Revive Our Hearts in your life, and you’d get joy in partnering with us, this is the team for you!

As a partner, you’ll get a monthly letter from Nancy along with a monthly devotional booklet. And you’ll also get a complimentary registration to one Revive Our Hearts conference each year.

To get all the details on becoming a Monthly Partner, visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1–800–569–5959.

Hey, make sure to be here Monday for a new first-time guest teacher on Revive Our Hearts. Erika is young and full of energy, and I think you’ll agree that she will take you deep into God’s Word. She’ll explain how Easter is all about a love story, and you’re invited to be a character in that story! Hear more Monday on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help you walk in the truth. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV unless otherwise noted.

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