Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Two Submitted Lives

Leslie Basham: And now, a very different kind of engagement than we are used to. A doctor named David was considering asking a young woman to be his wife. Here's what he told her.

David: Keep all communications at bay for a period until the Lord convicts us totally about this relationship. And when He does, then we would continue.

Leslie Basham: For six weeks, they didn't communicate with each other in any way. It's Wednesday, November 24, and this is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We've been talking this week to a missionary named Shannon. We heard how, as a single woman on the mission field, she had surrendered the likelihood that she would ever get married.

Then we heard about what happened when she met a godly young doctor. We haven't been using his real name for security reasons, but we've called him David. We are going to pick up Nancy's conversation with this couple. Before David and Shannon moved forward in their relationship, they got advice from leaders in their church. Shannon tells why.

Shannon: The Lord calls all of us to be in submission to one or more people in our lives and in this day and age submission is not a very popular word. But actually, it is such a beautiful and biblical concept. Submission is lining up behind those that God has put into authority over us and there is such a protection that is there.

And so I have really always very much valued the biblical and godly counsel that has come, not only from my parents, but also from the godly pastors and elders within my church, and that has also come from those on the mission field, and from my sending mission agency here in the United States. And so I really did not want to step out from underneath that protection and that headship.

I wanted to involve them in the process from the very beginning because I knew that they were older, they were wiser, and they had a lot of biblical and godly counsel to give that I needed. And so I did go to try and seek that out at the same time that I was asking the Lord to lead me. And David was also praying about this decision about marriage.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And you really trusted the Lord to work through those spiritual authorities in your life. I remember at one point when we were talking and you were seeking the Lord and wanting to confirm was this His will, and you said to me, "If my parents or the elders of my church, my sending church or the leaders of my mission board do not believe this is God's will, then I will relinquish this man."

Shannon: Absolutely. Because I believed that part of the way that I could come to discern and know the will of God was through the counsel of those whom He has placed in authority over me.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And, David, that had to be reassuring to you to know that you were going to be getting a wife who was responsive to godly leadership in her life.

David: Yes, that was very encouraging to me and seeing how Shannon was under the submission of her leaders was something that I had hoped that my wife would also be. That gives me reassurance to God's will in our lives.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: What happened next.

Shannon: Well, at this time I had come home for a short furlough, and I was able to meet with the elders. And we had decided before I left the field that we would just submit this to the Lord and began to pray. And we really believed that He would give us the discernment in our hearts that we would know if we were to be married to each other and to serve Him. And so we just continued in that process, while I was home on furlough, to communicate for a time while I was home by e-mails and through phone contact.

But then there came a time when David felt a conviction about that.

David: I was convicted that we needed to place this in the Lord's will entirely and we decided to keep all communications at bay for a period until the Lord convicts us totally of this relationship. And when He does, then we would continue.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: So you actually cut-off communication for some period of time? How long?

David: Yes. About six to seven weeks.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And what was that like for you, David?

David: It was a difficult time in the sense that for the first couple of weeks it was difficult to keep the communications away from each other since we had communicated for the past two months. But it was a time when I was being reassured from the Lord that He was in this, and He was going to answer me sooner or later. So I was hoping in Him and waiting on Him and sure enough, He was faithful to answer.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You felt it was important for God to confirm individually in your hearts that this really was His will.

David: Yes.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And Shannon, this was David's idea. What did you think about cutting off this communication for those weeks?

Shannon: Right. Well, at first, he actually posed it as a question and said, "I'm feeling convicted that we do this. What do you think?"

And I said, "Well, I don't really feel that it is necessary that we cut off all communication because obviously, we were very far apart from one another and couldn't see each other, and I was missing him. And we had been able to be together before. But I said, "Well, since you feel that way, then I think that we need to do that and I am willing to do that." And so, I didn't know when I would hear from him.

Basically, he said, "I will not call you. We will not e-mail or have any contact until I know from the Lord, one way or another, whether you are the one or whether you are not the one that I am to marry."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: So, you were in the United States; David was on the other side of the world, and you were waiting on the Lord, but you were also waiting on David to get this confirmation from the Lord?

Shannon: Exactly, yes.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: When or how did the first contact come?

David: I called her up and I told her that I heard from the Lord. And I'm sure that she is the one and I was also anxious to know what the Lord had spoken to her. And she was not fully sure at that point, but she was almost there which was a little difficult for me at that time because I was convicted, but I was hoping, and I knew that the Lord would convict her as well as He has convicted me.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: So David makes this phone call to you, Shannon. He says, "God has given him the assurance after these weeks of waiting on the Lord that you are the one that God has chosen for him." But you still have to get absolute assurance of this in your own heart. And I know I was talking with you about that time and that's when you left the United States from your little furlough there and went back to this country asking the Lord to make this absolutely sure in your heart. How did He do that?

Shannon: After this furlough, we went together out to this hospital when I returned to the field. And I continued to pray, and actually it was just through a process that didn't take long because I had all of this confirmation already from those in authority over me, and I would say that I was probably 98 percent, 99 percent certain it was the Lord's will.

But I wanted to be able to work together because we knew that we were going to be going into a very stressful environment. We are in a very remote area. I was going to be the only non-national who was working in this area, so I knew it would be very stressful, and so I wanted to be able to go and experience what it would be like for us to work together as a team, all four of us with the other staff at the hospital.

And it was just through a short process of continuing to pray during that time, the first few months that we were there. And I just knew. It's difficult to explain but the conviction and the certainty from the Lord within my own heart and mind was just there. And there were no warning signals that had come from anywhere, no red lights and I really just knew that This is within the will of God that you marry this man.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: David, the Sunday before you and Shannon got married, you were introduced to Shannon's home church. I was in that service and you said something that almost brought tears to my eyes. It was the first thing you said as you were meeting this new congregation and you said, "As the watchman waits for the morning, so we have waited for the Lord and now the morning has come."

You and Shannon both have had to learn a lot about waiting on the Lord. And I wonder if one or both of you would have something to say to single listeners who feel like, I have been waiting a long time or a mom with an unsaved husband or a wayward child waiting on the Lord to fulfill the desires of their hearts. And it seems like the morning is never coming. How would you encourage someone who is still waiting?

David: The words that encourage me and I would like to encourage all of the listeners today are, "Fix your eyes on Jesus because he is the author and finisher of our faith" [Hebrews 12:2]. And no matter what happens, no matter what storm, what thunder, how difficult a situation, He will bring all things to pass. That's what I would like to encourage everyone.

Shannon: Nancy, I just think of Psalm 34 [:9] and it says there that, "For those who fear the Lord, there is no want and for those who seek them, they are not going to be in want for any good thing." The Lord is sovereign. He is in control. He works all things after the wise counsel of His will, and He does all things that are good and right. He does not withhold any good thing from those who follow him.

And so, wait on Him. Submit. Ask Him to give you the patience and the ability to be just quiet and to trust Him that He has all good things to give us and in His time, when it's right, He will bestow those good things on us. And just because a woman may submit her singleness to the Lord, it doesn't necessarily mean that He is going to give her a husband just because she does that. But again, the goal is not marriage. It is a wonderful thing. It is a God-given gift, but it is not the goal.

In my case, I gave that part of my life to the Lord, and He gave it back in such a beautiful way. But if He does not choose to give a husband to a woman, she is in no way lacking. She is in no way a half-person. God is able to be her husband as the Scriptures say and to fill her so that she never feels any want or any lack. And He will do that if He deems that is best to bring Himself Glory which is the ultimate purpose of our lives and also for her own sanctification.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: But I do think that marriage is the norm for most women, and I would just encourage them to wait on the Lord. Don't try to work it out. Don't go searching and trying to make it happen. Let Him bring the man that He has created for you.

As the Scripture says, "Those who wait on the Lord will never be desolate, they will never be put to shame."

Leslie Basham: God does give us so much. Nancy, on this day before Thanksgiving, we have a lot to be thankful for at Revive Our Hearts.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Leslie, I am so thankful for all that God is doing through the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. You know, this month we are commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the 1904-05 revival that began in Wales. And in conjunction with that special anniversary, we have just released a brand new book called, Seeking Him. It's in a workbook format. It's a 12-week study designed for individuals and small groups who want to experience the joy and the freedom of personal revival.

Beginning in January, we'll be presenting a series here on the air on Revive Our Hearts. It's called, "Seeking Him," so people can listen and follow along with the Seeking Him workbook. I really believe that when people begin going through, Seeking Him, we are going to hear thousands of stories from individuals who are experiencing for the first time the joy of a clear conscience, who are experiencing healing in their personal relationships and experiencing also a deeper joy and passion in their relationship with Christ.

I want to encourage you to order the Seeking Him workbook so that you can be ready to go through it with us when we begin this series in January and also to be praying about who the Lord would want you to invite to go through that workbook with you. It may be your small group or your Sunday school class or a group within your church maybe just one or two other individuals so that you can experience not only the joy of personal revival but can also be an instrument of challenging others to seek the Lord for revival in their hearts.

Leslie Basham: If you would like more information on using Seeking Him with a group or by yourself, you can call us at 1-800-569-5959. That's 1-800-569-5959 or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Now, we typically think of a wedding as being emotional on the Mother of the Bride. What if the bride was about to move halfway around the world? We'll hear from Shannon's mom tomorrow. Please be here for Revive Our Hearts.

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

Thank you, Susie, for preparing today's Revive Our Hearts for the Internet.

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