Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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The Truth About Your Future

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Do you consider yourself a teacher? You may think that's an intimidating title, but God may want to use you to be involved in helping to point others to Jesus. Here's one non-threatening way that you can use to learn more about studying and teaching God's Word.

Revive Our Hearts is hosting an event for women's ministry leaders called Revive'15: Women Teaching Women.

Now, as I'm sitting here in the studio today, we still have a limited number of seats left, but they're going fast. You can get the latest information at ReviveOurHearts.com. But even if you can't make it to the conference, you can still experience it. I'm happy to let you know that the conference will be available as a life stream at ReviveOurHearts.com.

So I hope you'll set aside time, September 25 and 26, to watch the conference. Pastor Eric Mason will be speaking, along with Jen Wilkin and myself, and Lauren Chandler will be leading worship.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about your influence on other women and how to get them into God's Word. You can get all the details at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie Basham: Erin Davis likes to check things off lists and feel a sense of accomplishment, but as a mom, that can be challenging.

Erin Davis: I could spend the whole day at home with my three little boys, and I sure feel like I'm working hard, but at the end of the day, there's nothing to show for it. None of it fits in checkboxes.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

Nancy: I'm so thankful that Revive Our Hearts has the opportunity to speak to women every weekday, not only in the podcast and the radio program, but also through blogging. If you aren't reading the True Woman blog, I want to encourage you to check it out at ReviveOurHearts.com. It's daily encouragement from a variety of writers who are learning to live out God's Word in everyday life. So that's the True Woman blog.

There's another blog that Revive Our Hearts provides. It's for teenagers. It's called the Lies Young Women Believe blog. And what a helpful resource this is for younger women who have so many questions about how the Word of God relates to their dating relationships, their friendships, their school life, their future. If you have young women at home, I want to encourage you to be reading that blog with them.

Erin Davis is the facilitator of the Lies Young Women Believe blog, and earlier this year she wrote a post called "35 things I Wish I'd Known in High School." She picked the number thirty-five because it was her thirty-fifth birthday.

Well, no one could have predicted the interest that this post generated. It got so much attention as viewers commented and passed it along to their friends. This idea of "things I wish I'd known in high school," really hit a nerve, and we're going to explore that idea today.

Now, let me say, if you're not in high school, keep listening because the things that Erin will talk about don't just pertain to high school. She's going to talk about core truths that apply to all of our lives. And if you have some young women in your life, I hope you'll listen and then go over this list with them. It will be a really helpful way to generate discussion on the things that matter most. [Download a locker poster of these 35 things.]

Today and tomorrow we're going to listen as Erin reads us this list and then as she expands on some of the ideas that got so much attention when this post was first released.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. To begin, we asked Erin how she came up with this idea of "35 things I Wish I'd Known in High School."

Erin: Well, I was facing down my thirty-fifth birthday. I knew it was coming, and as I minister to teenage girls, I'm always questioning, like, "Is this the last year that my voice will speak to them? And if it is, what would I want to say to them?" So, I was just really thinking about the girls in my world that I know and love, and what would I want them to know about being thirty-five; that it's really not falling off a massive cliff, and what would I communicate to them.

I'm always thinking, If I could just have one cup of coffee with a teenage girl, what would I say? So this is that coffee conversation.

Number 1: God's promises are true.

Young Girl: "Come to Me, and I will give you rest."

Young Girl: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Number 2: He really does have a hope and a future for me. That's what it says in Jeremiah 29:11.

Young Girl: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for your wholeness and not for evil; to give you a future and a hope."

Number 3: The college major and career I picked don't define me. I am not my work. I am a child of God.

Leslie: Okay, let's pause there on number 3. How much pressure do young women feel to define their value by what they do?

Erin: Well, when I was in high school, I thought I had to choose the right major or the next sixty years were tanked. There was all this pressure to know what I wanted to be as an eighteen-year-old girl, and I didn't know.

So as I spend time with teenage girls, I just want them to know to hold that open-handed. I started out as a dental hygiene major. So thank goodness I didn't have it all figured out, because I don't think I would make a very good dental hygienist.

That's the big idea—you don't have to have it all figured out. But also, just for me now, I say there are Type A women and then there's me. I'm, like, Type Double-A—achiever, first-born achiever. It's so easy for me to think that what I accomplished in a day defines whether I used that day well. So I'm constantly having to remind myself that I am more than what I can accomplish, more than my to-do list, and that I still don't have it all figured out, and that's okay.

Leslie: During this season of life, one of Erin Davis' main jobs is to take care of three young boys, and that creates a whole new need to remember her value isn't in what she does but who she is in Christ.

Erin: I think the hardest part about being a mom is that none of it fits in checkboxes. I could spend the whole day at home with my three little boys, and I sure feel like I'm working hard, but at the end of the day, there's nothing to show for it. In fact, the house looks worse. There's more laundry somehow, and maybe we spent the whole day building a fort outside, but there's nothing to measure for that time as a mom.

So I just have to remind myself a lot that the Lord doesn't love me because I'm the best mom ever or the most achieving career person ever or any place that I would want to give myself gold stars. When He looks at me, I have worth because He made me, and He loves me, and that's a good lesson—especially when there's no measurable progress in the motherhood world.

Leslie: So, say you're tempted to get your value from your accomplishments, how do you set your mind on the truth?

Erin: Well, I'm a huge advocate of memorizing Scripture. I'm kind of constantly memorizing Scripture, and that's something that we do as a family. I also have it all over our house. My New Year's resolution a couple years ago was to get a Bible verse in every room of the house. So everywhere you go, there is truth. I have a Bible verse on the steering wheel of my car. I'm just constantly forcing my eyeballs toward the Word of God because it's so easy for my emotions to tell me a different story.

Leslie: Erin Davis is reading us a blog post she wrote called "35 Things I Wish I'd Known in High School," and number four encourages younger women to focus on internal qualities when considering a potential spouse.

Erin: Number 4: Marrying a guy who loves Jesus really, really matters.

Number 5: Parents are pretty cool. Their rules are for my good.

Leslie: And Erin says you can choose to respect and honor your parents even when they're not perfect.

Erin: I think the Bible's teaching on authority can be a bitter pill to swallow—especially if the authorities in your life don't understand you, or their rules seem out of control, or if, for example, you are a Christian and your family, your mom and dad are not believers. The waters get muddied, I'll admit it, but the Bible says all authority in our life God put there.

So it's easy for us to want to write ourselves excuses why we don't submit to our authority: because they're a bad authority or they don't understand us or they don't trust the Lord. But I've just learned that when I'm obedient to authority, even difficult authority—and I would say sometimes especially difficult authority—that there's grace for me there.

When I'm obedient to what the Lord has asked me to do, which in this case is to honor your father and your mother, that the Lord blesses that. And my little guys will tell you that that is the first commandment with a promise. It's as if God knows that honoring our fathers and mothers can be challenging.

So if that's your situation, your parents are difficult and it's hard to submit to them, I would just take that to the Lord often. I would look for every way possible to honor your father and mother. You don't have to like them. You don't have to like everything that they do. But you can honor them. You can find ways to honor them. And I can just say from experience that God will bless that.

Leslie: Erin Davis is continuing to tell us "35 Things I Wish I'd Known in High School."

Erin: Number 6: Being the prettiest or most popular girl in school matters for about half a second after graduation. In contrast, being the kindest girl in school gets remembered well past your ten-year reunion.

Leslie: And this point was inspired by a story.

Erin: After high school, several years after high school, I was taking a class, and there was a boy there that I'd gone to high school with. Honestly, I didn't even remember his name, and I would have guessed that I wasn't very nice to him. But he said, "You know what I remember about you? You were always really nice to me." That left an impression on me that so many years later just being kind to him made me memorable.

Leslie: So being kind and developing other heart attitudes is far more important than physical characteristics. And her next point is about physical appearance, too.

Erin: Number 7: You will look back at pictures of you and think you were stunning, trust me!

Number 8: Insecurity is a massive waste of time and energy. Be confident in God's love.

Leslie: Okay, let's park there for a minute because insecurity isn't just something that's in high schoolers.

Erin: I think insecurity is an issue that just gets larger and larger as we age if we don't address it. Of course, the first place we see insecurity is with the first woman, with Eve, where the serpent says to her, "You will be like God." And so the undertone there is who you are is not enough, and my guess is that's why she nibbled. I mean, insecurity has a way of taking women down.

So if you're insecure about how you look in high school, and you don't understand God's truth about that issue, you will be insecure about how you look everywhere along the way. If you think it's hard in high school, wait until you have a post-baby body, and then I imagine all along the path.

So, for me, I know I have to grab onto God's Word about my identity at every stage of life. And insecurity is something I battle often. The only thing that I have learned, the only weapon I've learned that works is the Word of God.

Leslie: Not just hearing the Word of God, but really believing it.

Erin: I think for most women, insecurity is really an issue of unbelief. We know what God's Word says about us, but we just choose not to believe it. I know that's true because many women. I would say, "How does the Bible say that you were made?"

And they will say, "Fearfully and wonderfully." But that's not how they carry themselves, and that's not what they think when they look in the mirror.

So it's about knowing what God's Word says about you, which I think is probably the easy part, and then believing it.

For example, I know that the Bible says that God loves me with an everlasting love, that He woes me with lovingkindness. So that's not the same as a temporal love or a love that comes and goes based on my performance or a love based on his mood. Everlasting love is love that goes on and on and on, and it existed before I existed, and it will exist forever.

So I just have to know those verses, like, "I'm fearfully and wonderfully made." "He loves me with an everlasting love." There are just passages all throughout the Bible that speak to the depth of His love, and I just have to, first, know them, and then I have to believe them. And if I'm honest, I have to take both of those steps most days.

Leslie: And like Erin said, the only way to get truly over insecurity is to be confident, not in ourselves, but in God's love for us as His children.

Erin: I'm not sure I understood God's love until I birthed three beautiful baby boys who are so imperfect and make mistakes often, but never does it dampen my love for them. So, fearfully and wonderfully made does not mean I have no flaws. It means that I was made, and the Creator loves me because I'm His creation, imperfect, deeply flawed, and deeply needy of Him—much the same as my children are of me. But none of that means He doesn't love me. In fact, a sentence I have to say to myself a lot is that I will measure Jesus' love by the cross, and His power by the resurrection.

So how can I know that He loves me? Is it because I feel loved in that moment or loveable in that moment? No. Is it because I had the perfect day? No—it hasn't happened yet and probably won't happen. But I can know that He loves me because He went to the cross for me. So I will measure His love by the cross and His power by the resurrection, because no other measuring stick works.

In spite of the fact that I'm flawed and broken, He loved me so much to go to the cross and rescue me. I've never known a bigger love.

Leslie: Erin Davis is continuing with "35 things I Wish I'd Known in High School."

Erin: Number 9: "The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." That's from Proverbs 16:9. It's okay to have a ten-year plan.

Young Girl: I will learn guitar. Then I want to join a band and travel to New Zealand.

Young Girl: And then I want to travel to Hawaii and study humpback whales.

Erin: But there's a 100% chance God will interrupt it, and that's a good thing.

Leslie: Erin has learned this point from personal experience.

Erin: I think if your ten-year plan is as detailed as my ten-year plan was, which was, like: "I'm going to go to this college for this many years and this graduate school for this many years, and I'm going to get married at this point, and I'm going to have this job and this job, and we're going to live in this house, and we're going to have this much money saved."

Maybe that's my Type Double-A personality, but there was no room for the Lord in that plan, and so God interrupted often. I think maybe if you hold your life more loosely than I did, you might experience less interruptions, but I don't think any of us can look forward to the next forty, fifty, sixty years of our life and develop a plan that's going to work out, and I think that's good.

I'm so grateful that the plans I had for my life didn't work out like I thought they would. My husband and I never planned to have kids. We were going to not have kids in the name of ministry, and the Lord interrupted that in a really dramatic way, and I'm so grateful. I can't imagine my life without my kids.

So that verse . . . we plan our lives, but the Lord really plots our steps. I'm so grateful because He knows better than I do.

Leslie: Erin Davis has been sharing her heart for younger women. She writes for the blog Lies Young Women Believe, and today she's been reading one of those blog posts. This one got a lot of attention. It's called "35 Things I Wish I'd Known in High School."

And, Nancy, I can understand why you wanted to share this material here on Revive Our Hearts.

Nancy: The advice that Erin has shared for high-school age women really applies to all of us. So whether you're a teenager or age thirty-five or seventy-five, there's some heart issues that we all need to deal with.

Here's one that Erin touched on: My work does not define me. That's true whether your work is homework for a class or running a business or teaching a group of women or being a stay-at-home mom. God may have you doing some of those at different seasons of life, but in every case, our identity doesn't come from what we do.

Our identity is in Christ. He was perfect, and when we know Him, His perfection is imputed to us. So that means we don't have to prove anything through our work. Instead, we can joyfully serve Him and others in whatever calling God has for our lives.

Well, you can see how Erin's post is helpful for women in every stage of life. I hope you'll be getting this kind of daily, practical encouragement for yourself. Every weekday the writers at the True Woman blog and the Lies Young Women Believe blog are showing how God's Word relates to everyday life. I hope you'll become a subscriber. You can find both blogs in one easy place. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com .

Leslie: And, Nancy, we asked Erin to describe what happens day by day at the Lies Young Women Believe blog.

Erin: The best way I know to describe the Lies Young Women Believe blog is that they are the girls whose photos would be on my refrigerator, if that were possible, although it would have to be a massive refrigerator because there are thousands and thousands and thousands of these girls who come to that blog every day. Our goal is to be a beacon of truth online.

They come from all different walks of life, all different faiths, and with lots of good questions, and we just try to continuously point them to God's Word. It's just one of the greatest pleasures of my life to continue to be a source of truth for girls who are looking for truth.

Most of them are high school or early college age. They have varied experience as far as Bible knowledge, but for whatever reason, they are really open to what we are teaching, and they ask good questions, and they ask hard questions. We try to be good stewards of that with just continuous biblical teaching in a language that they can understand and relate to and engage with.

Leslie: Lies Young Women Believe has been one of the fastest growing digital outreaches of Revive Our Hearts.

Erin: We just are so surprised at the consistent growth of that audience, and they are just so teachable, which is my experience with young women overall. But what God seems to be doing is just answering our prayer and making it a place where people can come and ask questions about "this is happening in the culture, and I don't know how to filter it through God's Word."

So we don't shy away from anything. We believe since the Bible is God's Word, that all of it is good news, and all of it is applicable. We just have girls coming and asking us all kinds of questions about what they hear in church, in the culture, what's happening in their families. And I so appreciate that we're the place that they feel like they can come and ask those questions, and that they can depend on us to consistently point them back to God's Word.

We've had a lot of crazy things over the years with girls dealing with really difficult things. I so appreciate that they trust us with those stories, and then that they are willing to go to where we point them—which is the Bible. We get a lot of good stories about how the Lord used the site to drive them in to His Word. So He does all the heavy lifting, but we just continuously point them to Him and to His Word.

Leslie: Erin Davis says she's so glad the Lies Young Women Believe blog is one of the outreaches of Revive Our Hearts.

Erin: Well, what I love about Revive Our Hearts is the Titus 2 mandate, which is that God's plan for discipling women is for women to teach each other and for older women to teach younger women.

Now, I'm super passionate about teenage girls, but I realize not everybody is. But when you give to Revive Our Hearts, you are, whether you're a seventh grade Sunday school teacher or not, whether you have teenage daughters or granddaughters or not, through this website, you are really practicing Titus 2, which is older women teaching younger women. And I can say that the next generation of young women do nothing but thrill me for the future of the church.

So as we're equipping them, I just feel like it's such important work. And the money given to Revive Our Hearts allows us to continue to pipe truth into their hearts. And, honestly, they're not getting a lot of truth other places. They're getting a steady drip of things that don't align with God's Word. So it really is a blessing to be able to continue to put God's Word in front of them.

Leslie: Erin Davis is able to put God's Word in front of young women thanks to listeners who believe in this ministry and want it to spread.

One very helpful way you can help fulfill the mission of Revive Our Hearts is to join our Monthly Partner Team. Nancy Leigh DeMoss is here to tell you more about it.

Nancy: Our monthly partners are the lifeblood of this ministry. They commit to pray for us. They share the message with others. And they give $30 or more each month to underwrite this ministry.

So if God has used Revive Our Hearts in your life, would you consider joining this ministry in a significant way? As a monthly partner, you'll hear from us regularly, so you'll know how to pray for us. And you'll also get resources that are especially developed for our partner team. And you can get one conference registration each year at no charge.

In fact, if you become a partner now, you can use that conference registration for the upcoming Revive'15 conference just around the corner, September 25 and 26 in Indianapolis. You can get the details about the Revive '15 conference and how to become a monthly partner, and you can actually sign up there to be a partner, all at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy.

Tomorrow Erin Davis will pick this series back up. Among other things, she'll discuss this question: How do you say "no" to busyness while at the same time saying "yes" to the big things God's called you to do?"

We'll pick back up with point eleven in the series "35 Things I Wish I'd Known in High School." But wait, we never heard point ten.

Erin: Number 10: The bands you listened to high school will be your very favorite bands forever. Keep the tee-shirts. They will be vintage and awesome when you're thirty!

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

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About the Speaker

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 …

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