Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Ten Years of Promoting Revival

Leslie Basham: Do you ever feel like giving up? Karen Watts has.

Karen: I remember the day when inside I said, "I'm done. I'm done with the Lord. He did not do what I expected Him to do. I did everything right, and He didn't follow through with what I asked Him.

Leslie:
If you can relate, today’s program will provide hope.

This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, September 5, 2011. Not only is it Labor Day, it is also the beginning of a very special week at Revive Our Hearts as we mark a big mile stone.

"Congratulations for 10 years!"

"That’s a decade."

"Hard to believe."

"Ten years of incredible faithfulness."

"It has flown!"

"Happy Birthday
Revive Our Hearts!"

Leslie:
We are thanking God for ten years of ministry by taking this week to remember some of the things He’s done. Later in the week we’ll look at the topics of suffering, womanhood, and marriage. We’ll remember how these important topics have been covered on Revive Our Hearts over this decade.

Today we'll focus on revival. This is a topic that is very dear to Nancy’s heart. She talked about revival in the very first Revive Our Hearts series.

Nancy
: As probably a twelve- or thirteen-year-old girl, somehow I came across some writings and accounts of how God had moved in the history of the Church, to quicken and awaken the Church so that they had a new passion for Christ and a new effectiveness in taking the gospel of Christ out into a lost world.

Leslie:
That inaugural series was called Getting to know Nancy. She described her desire to see a nation transformed by revival.

Nancy:
Lord, would you do it again? I know that God is able in our day to move as He has in times in the past of our nation’s history and in other parts of the world and as He is moving today in other parts of the world. But so many times, we as believers today are operating under our own steam and in the energy of the flesh trying to develop new programs to motivate people, to get people to be spiritually productive, and it is really consuming a whole lot of energy but without necessarily a whole lot of fruit.

I look back and realize there are times when God chooses to reveal His glory in a new way. The manifest presence of God is known and experienced among his people. Then the impact that takes place in the lost world is astounding. So this set me on a burden to believe God for revival in our day.

Leslie:
That was the vision that Nancy Leigh DeMoss expressed ten years ago. Since then a lot has happened to promote that vision here on Revive Our Hearts. Nancy has taught through several series on the topic of revival including When Revival Comes.

Nancy:
In times of revival, one of the marks that characterizes genuine revival is the reconciliation of relationships and the clearing of conscience—people making restitution.

Leslie:
A Time For Tears

Nancy:
See, God knows the heart, and He knows that even sometimes while we look like we’re repenting, we’re still rebelling inside.

Leslie:
Cry of the Captives

Nancy:
When God’s people get filled with God, lost people notice. That’s what happens in times of revival. The world sees an in love Bride, freshly in love with Jesus. And the world says, “We want to know Him. We want to know him! Where is He?"

Leslie:
Along with a 12-week study on personal revival called Seeking Him.

Nancy:
Now, God is not lost. But as I look around at our churches and our evangelical world today and as you look with me, wouldn’t you agree that there is a sense of the presence and power of God that is missing in many of our lives, in many of our churches, in our homes? Are you desperate? Do you want more of God’s presence and His power in your life?

Leslie:
Nancy also interviewed Henry Blackaby about revival.

Henry Blackaby:
We cannot keep blaming everybody else for the condition of America when it dawns on us the condition of America is a reflection of the condition of God’s people.

Leslie:
And you’ve heard stories of revivals throughout history. The 1857 Prayer Revival.

Speaker: I think that this prayer revival had a huge impact on what will break out into the post-Civil War era of a great outpouring of Americans to go into foreign missions.

Leslie:
We explored The 1904 Welsh Revival.

Speaker: This is the way. What I’ve experienced, you can have! You truly can have what I’ve got. It’s excellent! It’s brilliant! It can transform you, and it was so real. It was so down to earth that people warmed to it. And the amazing thing, people responded. Hundreds of people, all different denominations came together.

Leslie:
A revival on the Island of Louis off the coast of Scotland.

Speaker: The Spirit of God through His Word witnessed with my spirit that miracle of miracles, I was a child of God. I couldn’t go to bed that night.

Leslie:
Nancy, what goes through your mind as we review those series?

Nancy:
Well, I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed Revive Our Hearts to bring women a message of revival over these 10 years. I am so thankful for the way that His Word has deeply penetrated women’s heartsconvicting them, challenging them, and encouraging them to be more fruitful through the power of Christ.

We’re about to hear from one woman who’s heart has been revived. If you’re feeling dry or empty today, I think you’ll be encouraged by the story of Karen Watts.

Karen Watts:
I was 23, married already, had two children, and had been through some tragedythe loss of twin boys who died at birth and some other tragedies in our lives. So at 23, I was a pretty big mess.

Our marriage was definitely a mess. I had a horrible temper, and to win an argument meant to at least make the other person say that they agreed. I had a violent temper, I demanded my way, and I screamed at my children. I was very unkind to my children, and I wanted perfection in my life to prove that I could make up for the years that I’d been such a mess. I came to know the Lord at a seminar, and I came home ready to change.

Of course, immediately the moral thingsthe drinking, the screaming, the foul language, the soap operas I watched on television, the way I treated my children, the way I responded to my husbandGod just began to convict constantly and change daily.

I started memorizing Scripture. Matthew 5, 6, and 7 is what God challenged me to memorize, and that was the course through that seminar to learn to be a loving, godly person. But it wasn't long before I became a performance person. I had built a lifestyle and began to neglect my relationship with the Lord. I would parade this lifestyle of godly living, and it became a real legalistic type of lifestyle, looking down my nose at others who had not arrived at the place that I thought I was.

It was a good, clean life. I mean, I was doing the right things and avoiding the wrong things. I don't regret that part of it. It was that pride that began to build up in me, a spirit of condemnation toward others. It robbed me. It really robbed me of my relationship with the Lord, and I think it set my sons up for some very wrong decisions in their lives as well.

The first big blow that we had as a family was that our oldest son went off to Bible College, as a matter of fact, and immediately got into an immoral lifestyle and made choices totally against everything he had been brought up in. By the time he came home for Christmas that first year, he was a totally different man.

That just began a snowball, it seemed. You know, just building and going faster and faster, and him marrying the young woman.

Then came the death of their child, and their marriage was already in trouble. So he left town and left her with us, her and the next new baby. They had had another baby by then, and we lost touch with him for the most part.

He eventually moved in with and actually married a woman who was a topless dancer who had two children of her own. He got heavy into drugs and for about six-and-a-half years, we didn't see him much at all.

In the meantime, our younger son had married a sweet, godly, young girl. I don't know if my husband Kyle did so much, but I had a new point of pride now. I had this son who was a youth director in our church, and now I'm going to be okay because everybody is looking at this other son of mine. And, you know, everything's good.

Then through some circumstances that we're not quite sure of even to this day, she just changed her mind and didn't want to be married anymore. She walked out on my son. So there they were, the youth directors of our church. He was terribly devastated, and I was devastated.

Of course, all this other stuff was still going on with my older son, and my father-in-law got Alzheimer's and had come to live with us. I remember the day that she filed for divorce; I cried out to God. I fasted and prayed and begged and had family prayer meetings. It was a pressure cooker.

I remember the day when inside I said, "I'm done. I'm done with the Lord. He did not do what I expected Him to do. I did everything right, and He didn't follow through with what I asked Him. He didn't follow His promises. I raised my kids right, and now look at them."

I would try to read my Bible, and there were mocking voices, "You really believe this? I mean, look at your kids, and look at your situation. This was not how it was supposed to be." I had swallowed a philosophy that if you live for the Lord and dedicate your life to Him, you just won't have to face this stuff.

When my dad died, it gave me an excuse, a valid excuse in front of people that know me to give in to all that bitterness that was beginning to build up. I was still going to church, by the way, and I was still teaching Sunday school, four- and five-year olds. I never prayed, I never opened my Bible. If you talked to me about the Lord, I would tell you, "I don't know Him."

 

My sisters were not serving the Lord when all this started. But during this time, the Lord had gotten hold of them and revived their hearts in a big way, and they began to pray for me. They were seeing the bitterness, depression, and suicide I wanted. I wanted out of this life. I was thinking that someday I would get up the nerve to swallow enough of those pills to end it all.

I was totally helpless and hopeless, and I wanted out. I would even hear a little voice that said, "You know you're saved. You'll go to heaven, and you can just get out of this. You won't have to face any of this anymore."

My son had come home the summer before, and it was a real wakeup call for me. We got a phone call in the middle of the night that he wanted to come home. He was twenty-nine years old, I think. He wanted out. God had gotten a hold of him, and he said, "I need help. I need deliverance from drugs. I know the only place I can find it is at home."

So he came home. We had less than a twenty-four hour warning. And when he walked in that door, I thought, "I have nothing to give him. I don't have the Lord anymore. I don't pray anymore, what can I do?"

So I started this new performance. It was like within a couple of nights we were going, "Did you see the latest movie?" And we'd go rent a moviea movie. I'm just going this is so crazy, now when I think of it.

We took him to church. He was delighted to be there. It was such a wakeup call for me that I had nothing to give a man, my own son, who wanted to come back to the Lord.

So the Lord had begun to plow my heart. I did go to a Bible study. We were going through the book of Luke, and I was re-acquainted with the Savior from day one, going back to my salvation, back to the character and godliness and love and sweetness of Jesus Himself.

So I was beginning to be softened when I got to that conference.

Nancy:
Karen had ended up at a Revive Our Hearts conference where I spoke on the heart that God revives. I talked about the difference between proud people and broken people.

Nancy (speaking at a conference): Proud people focus on the failures of others, but broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need. Proud people are self-righteous. They have a critical fault-finding spirit. They look at everyone else's faults with a microscope, but their own with a telescope. And they look down on others.
Karen: That's when the Lord began to remove the heart of stone that was within me and replace it with a heart of flesh.

Nancy:
At the end of that particular session, I asked the women to get into groups of two or three, and I invited them to tell the others what they had learned about this matter of brokenness, and then to pray for each other.

Karen:
My sister-in-law was standing beside me. She's one of the sweetest, godliest people I have ever known. She's a quiet person. She's the person that I would want to be. I just love her. I've always loved her dearly.

But I'd hurt her deeply during those years. When she would try to encourage me, I would come back with very hateful things. I rejected her affection and her prayers.
And when she was standing there I turned toward her and I was just about to apologize to her, and I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was a little lady there that I had never seen before, an elderly lady. She said, very timidly, "I just feel like God wants me to tell you how much He loves you."

And something broke in me, and I just started sobbing. And Becky started sobbing, my sister-in-law, and of course my other sister that brought me was standing there. I just started pouring out in repentance before God, apologizing for the pain I had caused.

And of course this little lady behind me said, "I've been going to this church for 38 years and I've never done anything like this in my life."

I remember just feeling, this may sound really strange, I felt sweet again. There were so many things still up in the air in our family. When those subjects would come up, I would begin to say the truth again. I'd say, "You know God is in control here. God is not going to let us down; He loves us."

I began to encourage other people. The Word was brand new, and I was insatiably hungry for the Word. I got up early, and I still do that. But at 5:00 every morning I practically ran to my kitchen and fell before the Lord.

Of course, I called my sisters and brothers and told them and wrote letters and apologized to so many people. I'm sure people were really tired of hearing about it.

But I told the Lord that weekend, "If You can set me free, I'll take any opportunity I can to tell anybody, whether it's in a grocery store, in my kitchen, to a group, a large group, a small group, I will tell that You have the power to redeem a bitter, lost soul and to restore 'the years the locust have eaten' (Joel 2:25) and to sustain sweetness and faith even when things continue to go wrong."

As a matter of fact, I was a little anxious for the next big test because I knew I needed to know what was going to happen to me when that next bitter cup came. I have had several since thenone bigger than all.

I went into my bedroom. I had to get alone with the Lord and fight a spiritual battle, the hardest one I've ever fought. And God brought me out victorious and did some things in my family that needed to be done for 27 years that I wasn't even aware of.

I still hear the voices occasionally: "See, it's happening again, things are falling apart." And I run to the Word, and I say the Word to myself and to anybody who will hear it.
"I will not be afraid of evil tidings; my heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord" (Ps. 112:7). "When my heart is overwhelmed within me, lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (Ps. 61:2).

I found a new strength. I found freedom, the freedom and healing that He's brought into my life, and the opportunities that I've had to share it. I'm just amazed to be sitting here right now. I am amazed that I can love people. I'm amazed to be loved.

I have my antenna up all the time. I want to be instant like the little lady at the conference that tapped me on the shoulder. I want to be willing to spend time praying or talking with other women.

In the past few months I've been tempted to think, "Oh, nobody wants to hear what you have to say. And who do you think you are anyway? After all the rebellion and bitterness that you have done and all the pain you've brought to the Lord and to others, who are you?"

And then I begin, as I was going through the Psalms and the psalmist said over and over, "Come and hear and I will declare what the Lord has done for my soul" (Ps. 66:16).

Hopefully, as I grow in the Lord, I'll do it with more wisdom and grace and fewer words, but I do want to declare what the Lord has done for my soul.

Leslie:
That is Karen Watts remembering the time when God revived her heart. We’re so thankful that God has chosen to bring personal revival to Karen and countless other women during the ten year history of Revive Our Hearts.

Today we’ve looked to the past. We heard the vision for revival that Nancy Leigh DeMoss articulated ten years ago. We’ve seen how God has been reviving hearts over the past ten years.

Nancy, what is your vision for revival now?

Nancy:
Well Leslie, I believe that the need has never been any greater than it is today for movement of revival in the hearts of God’s people both in this county and around the world. So here at Revive Our Hearts we are going to continue casting that vision for revival. One of the ways we want to do that is to continue sharing the stories of what God has done in the past.

I think God can use that to create a sense of hunger and longing for God to do it again. For instance, coming up next month we'll be sharing some special programs to mark the 40th anniversary of the Canadian revival. You may not even know what the Canadian revival is all about. But we'll be hearing some first-hand accounts of how God moved in extraordinary ways to capture the hearts of people and churches and communities through the outpouring of His Spirit.

I think your heart will be stirred to believe God to send revival in our day. We’re going to continue calling women to cry out to the Lord for personal and corporate revival. That is going to be our focus next September at the True Women ’12 Conference: Seeking Him Together.

I hope that you’ll start making plans now to join me for that very special weekend along with Joni Eareckson Tada, Priscilla Shirer, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Janet Parshall, Mary Kassian, Keith and Kristyn Getty, and many others.

As our team is working now on the program for True Women ’12, we’re asking the Lord to help us call women to experience true, personal revival and to experience perhaps a new sense of brokenness, humility, honesty, holiness, and hunger for God. We’ll focus during the weekend not only on the vertical our relationship with the Lord and making sure it’s right, but also the on horizontal—making sure our relationships with others are what God intends for them to be.

So we are calling for thousands of women to come together in Indianapolis next September for True Woman ’12. You can go to ReviveOurHearts.com to get more details about that special event.

These are just a couple of examples of how we’ll be encouraging women to seek the Lord for revival in the months ahead. My desire is that God will raise up an army of praying women who will be crying out to Him to visit His people in power, transforming families, communities and even nations for His glory.

I want to ask you to join with us in this mission as we continue to cry out, “Lord, You’ve done it before. You’ve sent revival in the past. Lord, would you do it again for Your glory?”

Leslie
: Thanks Nancy. If you’d like to hear a longer version of Karen's story, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. Look for the series Transformed Women: Meet Karen.
Amy Lumpkin says that early in her marriage she was like a pit bull.

Amy Lumpkin:
Bless my husband. In the beginning of our marriage I would come at him from one direction, and he would say, “Amy, whatever. I don’t agree with that.” So I would back up, regroup and come at him another way. I would not stop until I literally beat him down and just tore his spirit until he said, “Okay, you’re right.”
Find out what Amy discovered about biblical womanhood tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

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

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