Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Power of a Consecrated Life, Part 1

Leslie Basham: When we devote ourselves entirely to God, amazing things can happen. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, November 28.

Imagine a desolate village in the developing world--the type of thing you would see in a National Geographic magazine. If God called you there, would you go? That's what one young woman named Shannon had to decide.

Lets join our host Nancy Leigh DeMoss as she talks with Shannon about what God can do with a life entirely devoted to Him.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Thanks, Shannon, for joining us here in the studio today.

Shannon: Thanks for having me, Nancy. I'm very excited to be here.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I've really enjoyed the opportunity (in recent weeks) of getting to know you and hearing a little bit about your story. God has led you in this pilgrimage that is now taking you to the mission field. Tell us about how you came to know the Lord.

Shannon: I'm very thankful to have been born into a family with parents who love the Lord, and who raised us in the fear of the Lord. I especially think of my mom who was very diligent and had us--on a daily basis--in God's Word and memorizing Scripture.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: So you came to place your faith in Christ as a small child?

Shannon: I really don't remember a specific day or time. But I can remember during those early years, (I was probably about 6 years old at the time) I accepted the Lord. I didn't know much at that time except that I was a sinner, and that I could never make my way to heaven by my own good works. (I knew) that God had to have a perfect sacrifice, and that God had provided that perfect sacrifice in His son, Jesus Christ. And (I knew) that I was to place my complete trust in Him to be reconciled to God. That was really all I understood about Christianity. But I can remember (as a small child) kneeling beside my bed with my mother (after listening to a Billy Graham Crusade on television), and she prayed with me to receive the Lord. Before that time I always wondered if I had really ever accepted the Lord. But after that time (with mom kneeling beside my bed), I had an assurance of salvation.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And now you're headed to the mission field to give your life in vocational service for the Lord. Tell us what it is that you're going to be doing on the mission field.

Shannon: O.K. Well, there are a couple of ways to answer that. Vocationally, I'm a Nurse Practitioner. I have a specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology so I'm involved in working with women. On the mission field, my entrance into this particular country in Asia--which is a restricted access country and so to get in I have to have some type of viable work to do there so--I will be working in the capacity of a nurse practitioner and taking care of pregnant women and delivering babies, so that will be my job. I'm going to this particular country because I want men and women, specifically women and children, there to know about the Lord. And so my heart is dicipleship for women and children. And that's really why I'm going to the mission field.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Now did you always know that you wanted to be a missionary? At what point in your life did you sense that this might be God's leading for you?

Shannon: Actually, the seed for missions work really was planted as a teenager. A couple from our church (who were missionaries) were home on a furlough and came to speak to our youth group. I can remember this particular missionary wife encouraging us to begin reading missionary biographies. And she encouraged us to begin with Shadow of the Almighty which is Elisabeth Elliot's book that basically contains Jim Elliot's diaries and the story of Jim Elliot. I began to really, at that time, consume missionary biographies and I read just about everything that Elisabeth Elliot had written. And then I read Hudson Taylor and William Carey and, ultimately, Amy Carmichael and that really sealed for me that this is what I want to do with my life. I want to have this type of love relationship with the Lord; and out of that, I want to tell the world about Him. So that was my seed for missions.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Shannon, I can remember (as a little child) one of the first books I read was The Shoemaker Who Gave India the Bible, which is a children's version of the story of William Carey. And, I think, this is a whole area where moms can have an influence on their children by making sure they have (in their hands) true life stories of men and women that God has used. In my life, and it sounds as if in yours, also, (that reading those kinds of books) had the effect of giving me a sense of passion to love the Lord with all my heart. And I was drawn to a life in the Lord--in service for Him. This is a practical thing that parents can do in bringing up their children to have a heart for God. Ok. Now you're a teenager; you're reading these books; they're inspiring you. You headed from high school to college, and were you thinking, Now I'm going to be a missionary. I'm going to train for this?

Shannon: Yes. Definitely. I was planning to go into medicine and then go on to the mission field as a medical professional. However, my first actual cross-cultural experience out of the country occurred after my freshman year in college. I went with a group from my church to Papua, New Guinea. And I began to think, Maybe, I have made this decision about going into missions a little too hastily. Because literally if you have ever seen National Geographic magazine, they were nowhere near the twentieth century. We were living out in the jungle on the Sepik River in these bamboo huts high off the ground. And (we were) bathing in a little stream that flowed down out of the mountain. (We were) eating out of the river and living under mosquito nets and using out houses. And I thought, This is NOT the American Dream and as an American I know how good life is. Lord, I don't know if I want to do something like this.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You came back from this experience thinking that you didn't want to spend the rest of your life camping out.

Shannon: Exactly. I thought, Lord, you know, maybe I can do short missions. That's what I thought.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Had you talked with your parents about your heart to be a missionary and how they felt about all this?

Shannon: I had during my high school years and during early college years I did. And I think that they probably thought that this years down the road and things can change from time to time. But they were encouraging all along.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Which is a blessing. Think of how many parents today discourage their children from really following the Lord. And what a blessing for both of us to have had parents who said, "We'll miss you, but we want you to do whatever it is the Lord has called you to do." How did the Lord encourage you to go in this direction?

Shannon: He was very patient with me as He always is. And during those college years, I look back now and there seems to be a common thread: missionary after missionary, a contact that I would have, sermons that would have a theme about missions. Missions was ever before me in my college years, but one of the transitional points came during my senior year at college. I was studying in Europe and attended a German church and was invited by a German friend (that I had just met) to go out to lunch with her. And we began to talk about missions, and she shared with me that God had called her to the mission field and she would be leaving within the next year to go into full-time mission service abroad.

And I told her "Yes, I was going to do that at one time." And then I shared my experience with her.

And I told her how I had changed and I'll never forget--she looked me in the eye and very pointedly said, "Shannon, the reasons for changing your mind are not godly reasons. And you need to get down on your knees and ask Him what He wants you to do with your life. Whatever He tells you, you need to ask for the strength to be obedient to Him whatever He asks you to do. And I can remember thinking, This is the leading of the Holy Spirit, the encouragement to pray again to open my life back up to the Lord to see what He wants me to do. You've got to do that, Shannon. So I did.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Shannon, I think that's really the heart of the matter for all of us whether we are women, men, married, single, have children, have no children, are a missionary, or are here at home. What God calls us to is--finding out what the will of God is for my life. As you said, getting into the Word and on our face before the Lord and saying, "Lord, what have you made me for? What is that that you've called me to do?" And waving that white flag of surrender and saying, "Yes Lord." And that may mean for you that you head to the mission field.

You know, there was a time when I was a child that I thought that perhaps that was the way that the Lord would direct me, but I've discovered God's will is not really so much a place or a job as it is a heart. It's a lifestyle; it's a walk. It's saying, "Yes Lord."

So for someone that means being a mother of three small children and devoting herself to the care and nurture of those children and all that that involves. It may be (during a season of life) to be a student, to be surrendered to the will of God in everything that's involved in being a student. For someone, it may be in a professional field or a career. But whatever God is saying to us in every one of our roles as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a friend, as a woman of God saying, "Lord I embrace Your will for my life. And I'm not going to determine that will based on whether I like it or not, whether it feels good or not; whether its easy."

One of the statements, God has greatly used in my life along these lines came from a great missionary named David Livingston who prayed this prayer. He said, "Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever every tie but the tie that binds me to Your service and to Your heart." That's what we're really talking about--saying, "Lord, you have your way in my life. Whatever it is, I embrace it." And that is the pathway to true joy, fulfillment and fruitfulness.

Shannon is going to be back with us tomorrow. But before we go, I think, Shannon, we just want to point out that to many people today (who may be seeking the Lord's will) the thought of being a missionary, of devoting their life to cross-cultural service for the Lord may not even be on their radar screen.

Shannon: That's exactly right, Nancy. You know Matthew 28:18-20, and we all know it very well--the Great Commission. But what we fail to realize so many times is that this was a command from Christ. This was not a suggestion; it was not take your choice, do this or that. He said you will go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. And so when we recognize that this is God's command to all of us as the Body of Christ, we have to recognize that we have some part to play in this. And so what I had to say is: "Lord what part do you have for me to play?"

Now for me, the answer came back, "Shannon you are to be one of the ones who goes." That is not going to be the answer that comes back for everybody. But the challenge there is to ask that question. And then when you ask the question, to have ears that are open, eyes that are open, hands that are open and to say, "Lord whatever You ask of me, whatever Your call on my life is--I will do it for Your glory.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And, Shannon, I can't help but believe that God is calling many women and men throughout this country to ask that very question and to give that same heart answer.

Leslie Basham: What is God's role for you in helping to fulfill the Great Commission. We hope you spend some time today asking God how He wants to use you to help fulfill His purposes in the world. If you'd like a copy of Nancy Leigh DeMoss' interview with Shannon, you can call us to order a cassette. It's part of a series called "The Power of a Consecrated Life." It would make a great gift to any young person you know who's seeking God's will for their future. You can call us to order the cassette for a suggested donation of $8 at 1-800-569-5959. You can also order tapes on our Web site at www.ReviveOurHearts.com. While you're there, you can find more information about Revive Our Hearts and look at our schedule of future broadcasts.

Well, how would you feel if your son or daughter announced that God had called them to minister in a developing country? Afraid? Angry? Excited? Tomorrow we'll hear how Shannon's parents responded as she continues to talk with Nancy about the way God called her to the mission field. We hope you can be here tomorrow for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.