Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Ultimate Renewable Resource

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, “If you’re just leaning on your own natural abilities, you’re not leaning on something strong enough.”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The world and the church do not need to see what we can do. They’ve seen what we can do. They need to see what only God can do.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, May 15.

In order to effectively minister and build God’s kingdom, you need an anointed life. God needs to be working in you before He works through you in other people. Nancy explained that yesterday in part one of a message called, Divine Anointing. She prepared this message for ministry leaders, but we all can benefit from this study of God’s power.

We’re going to pick up on her second point: In order to effectively minister, you need anointed lips.

Nancy: If we would have anointed lips, we must constantly, never endingly, consciously, intentionally be pointing people to Christ and to His Cross. It’s all about Jesus. It’s the Gospel. 

Paul says, “We don’t proclaim ourselves. We preach Christ as Lord and ourselves, your servants" (2 Cor. 4:5). "I determined not to know anything among you, not anything, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Cor. 2:2) "He is the power of God to salvation, to sanctification, to redemption." (Rom. 1:16) "He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, and everything in between and from first to last. All of Scripture points to Jesus." (Rev. 1:8 all paraphrased)

I had about fifteen messages before we started daily radio. I was in itinerate ministry for women for about a dozen or more years—fifteen, give or take. Then we got into this thing where we have daily radio, and I found there was a whole lot more of the Scripture that begged to be taught. It’s been a joy to begin to get more of the whole counsel of God and to speak it into the lives of women. One of the great joys and challenges of my ministry to women is finding Christ everywhere in the Scripture.

I was recording a series of messages (I shared some of this with the women yesterday) on the life of Miriam recently. As I was getting ready to teach, I realized, "I haven’t pointed people to Jesus yet in this text." So I thought, “Where is Christ? Where is He?” I’m always looking for Him, looking for the Gospel. It’s always this exhilarating experience to me as I come across Christ in the Scripture, and I’m able to give Him and the Gospel to people in whatever I am teaching.

There’s no new message needed today. It’s the old, old story. I love to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love, and I don’t ever get tired of telling it. For all of eternity we’re going to be singing it and telling it and worshiping Christ and Christ crucified, the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the earth. That’s the Truth. That’s the Gospel. Jesus said if we’ll lift Christ up, then He would draw all men to Himself (see John 12:32).

If we would have anointed lips we must communicate with fervency, earnestness, and conviction. If we don’t believe what we’re saying is crucial, why should our listeners? I ask myself often today as I listen to the Word of God being taught and proclaimed: Where is the passion?

"They were astonished at [Jesus’] teaching for He taught them as One who had authority, and not as the scribes." (Mark 1:22) If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.

“Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord,” Paul said, “we persuade men . . . for the love of Christ compels us" (2 Cor. 5:11, 14 NKJV). We implore you on Christ’s behalf be reconciled to God.

The apostle Paul was not interested in just laying more information on people. There was a pleading, an appealing to be reconciled to God.

Paul said, “My little children for whom I am in labor [childbirth] until Christ be formed in you” (Gal. 4:19 NKJV). Earnestness. Conviction.

Then, as we have that, God calls us to confront the heart and the will—the hearts and the wills of our hearers. The goal is transformation; not just information. We don’t just want our listeners to know more about God. We want that knowledge to transform the way that they live.

You see this element of conviction in the New Testament. They were pricked in their heart after Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost. After Stephen preached, they were cut to the heart. How much of that do we see today? People being convicted, bowed down with conviction?

You read in your revival history, it’s always there, this overwhelming sense of the presence of God in deep, humbling conviction of sin.

I know that’s a work of the Spirit, and we cannot manufacture that. But I think it’s so important, and in my own teaching I’m trying to have proclamation that includes exposition of the Word of God. If the Word of God isn’t there, there’s no power—illustration of the Scripture; application, practical application; and then confrontation of the will.

Often in my teaching notes for radio, I will write three little letters: MIP—making it personal; make it personal. Or I’ll write: TIH—take it home. That’s a reminder in my notes to get off the page of the information and to speak into the hearts of those women. Take it home; make it personal. Ask the questions that convict the conscience—pointed, probing questions so they can’t escape what are they to do about this. So I’m asking: "How does your life measure up to this truth I’m saying to the women? What are you going to do about what you just heard?"

Oswald Chambers says,

What the world needs is not a little bit of love, but a surgical operation. The calling of a New Testament worker is to uncover sin and to reveal Jesus Christ as Savior. We have to probe down as deeply as God has probed us, to be keen and sensing the Scriptures which bring the truths straight home and to apply them fearlessly.

That means the willingness:

  • to be prophets of God
  • to speak the truth even when it’s not palatable
  • to speak the truth when it meets resistance
  • to speak the truth when it means a message of warning or judgment
  • to be free from the fear of man or the love of the praise of men.

Getting free from the need for approval of the people to whom we’re speaking.

When we went on the radio, one of the things the Lord really helped me to settle in my heart, not that it hasn’t been challenged since, was this awareness that I was not (God helping me) going to speak for ratings or for income or for response or for number of stations. By God’s grace and Him helping me and others holding me accountable, I would speak the Truth and the Word of God and the wisdom of God, regardless of which way it rubs the fur and regardless of how incorrect politically it may be. I want to do that winsomely, and I want to do it with grace, but truth—truth. I can’t be intimidated by people’s response or the lack thereof.

I said to the Lord before we ever went on the air, “If being Your servant and being faithful to Your calling in my life means that our on-air ministry is short-lived, then I sign up for that. God, help us to take it home.”

Then to call for a response. Not to stop short of teaching and preaching for a response. Not just for information, but for transformation. Every time we’re exposed to the truth of God’s Word, personal response is required. If we don’t, James says, we’ll be like that deceived person who looks at his face in a mirror, and he goes away and says, “Oh, that doesn’t look so good,” but he doesn’t do anything about it (see James 1:23-24).

We have inoculated people, I’m convinced, against the truth penetrating and piercing their hearts because we’ve laid upon them layer upon layer upon layer upon layer of content, but we have not called them to repent and to believe and obey the Gospel, to press for obedience. That takes time.

I read about a church recently that has started a new thirty-minute service as an add-on to their other services. Their website promoting this service says, “Do you have more to do on your to-do list than time to do it? Need to jump start your week with a high energy focus on connecting with God? Then come to our thirty-minute service.” I won’t tell you what it’s called. You can go find it yourself, but their motto is: “Get in; get out; get grounded.”

Now, I can just, with all the respect I can muster, say, you don’t get in; get out; and get grounded. It takes time for people’s hearts to get grounded in the Word of the Lord. It’s like walking into a delivery room, nine months pregnant and six-whatever it is dialated—I’m not . . . I’ve never had a baby—and saying, “Hurry! Get me out of here!”

Now, you might have said that or thought it, but the process is required. There’s this aborting of the birthing process. I’m afraid it is going on in so much of our ministry where time is needed for heart preparation, for proclamation, for response.

Then, consciously seek and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. Consciously seek and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, crying out to God, “God, please give me fresh oil.”

It’s a great heaviness to my heart that in so many of our theologically orthodox circles . . . I want to say this carefully. I don’t want to broad brush because I know there are some wonderful exceptions. But in so many of our right-on theological circles, there is little room left for the mysterious, supernatural, fresh work and ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Now, none of the ones about whom I’m thinking would deny the work of the Holy Spirit. They teach on the Holy Spirit, but when it comes to that mysterious work of the Spirit and anointing the life and the lips of the proclaimer and of the listener, there’s a fear. I’ve seen it grip good Bible-believing people and ministries and ministers, and it’s to our huge loss. The Spirit, as the wind, moves where He will. You cannot put Him in a box.

We need to cry out to God for this fresh oil, for this power of the Holy Spirit because the work, the power is not in the words that we speak. It’s not in our natural eloquence. It’s not in our impressive or contemporary methods. It’s not by might; it’s not by our power. It’s by the Holy Spirit of God, says the Lord of hosts.

I think of that passage in 2 Kings 4 (verses 18-37) where the woman had the son who was the miracle son and then he died. She went out to find Elisha, knowing that the prophet, the man of God could do something about this. What a man of God he must have been for her to believe that, though this child was dead, he could do something.

Remember how Elisha sent his servant Gehazi ahead with his staff? Can you imagine Gehazi saying, “I’ve got Elisha’s staff now. I’ve seen it do amazing things before. Now I’ve got the staff.” And he runs ahead of Elisha, and he lays that staff on that lifeless body, and what happens? Absolutely nothing because staffs don’t bring life. The life is not in people or staffs, church staffs, or ministry staffs, or in curriculum or books or programs.

What happens when Elisha comes into that death scene? He lays his life on that lifeless body, head to head, hand to hand, arm to arm, body to body, leg to leg, and he prays, and God breathes the breath of God into Elisha, through Elisha, into that lifeless body, and the child comes back to life.

It’s the work of the Holy Spirit of God as we lay our lives, not our programs, not our notes, not our CDs, not our illustrations, as we lay ourselves on these lifeless bodies, as we cry out to God and say, “Oh Lord, anoint with the power of Your Spirit. Stir; cause these dry bones to live again, to become a great army.”

And God in His mysterious, gracious, wonderful, marvelous way says, as He stirred over the earth and spoke into being the world into this dark, formless void, emptiness. He spoke, and it was. He brought life. He brought light, and so He does today as we offer ourselves up. He fills us. He anoints us. He enables us. He empowers us to go out and be instruments of life.

Paul says, “My speech and my message were not in impressive or plausible words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:4-5 paraphrased).

I have had with the Lord more times than I can probably count that conversation that Mary of Nazareth had with the angel there in Luke chapter 1. When he told her of her calling, she said, “How can this be?” I’ve looked into the face of the Lord so many times as I’ve sensed His call on my life, and I’ve said, “Lord, how can this be? I don’t have what You’re asking me to give.”

But then this wonderful verse—I don’t know what my life verse is, but this would be one of them—where the angel says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). That’s anointed ministry under the power and the shadow of the Almighty.

We are weak. We are inadequate. We are poor at best, but we have this limitless supply of the grace and the Spirit of God available to meet our needs, and it never ever, ever, ever runs out. We just keep coming back and saying, “Oh God, more, more, more fresh oil, fresh oil. Give me, God, fresh oil.”

I’ve been reading a book called, The Sermons of Charles Spurgeon on the Death and Resurrection of Christ. It’s been such a rich reading to my soul. I’ve been noticing how absolutely, utterly dependent Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, was on the power of the Holy Spirit. You see it over and over again in his messages. He says things like, “Oh, Spirit of the Living God, win an entrance for the blessed Christ this morning.” In another sermon,

Beloved, I speak but too coldly upon a theme which ought to stir my own soul first and yours afterwards. Spirit of the Living God, come like a quickening wind from heaven and let the sparks of our love grow into a mighty furnace flame just now, even now if it may so please Thee.

Dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit. So we need to pray for the Holy Spirit:

  • to illumine and to enflame our hearts
  • to anoint our lips
  • to prepare the soil of the hearts of our listeners
  • to open their eyes, to give sight to the blind
  • to give understanding
  • to make application
  • to bend wills
  • to grant the gift of repentance and faith
  • to preserve and to protect the seed that has been sown in their hearts

Somebody sent me an email this past week about a new book that has come out. It’s called, With or Without God. It’s written by a woman that I’ve not heard of before. She’s a very, very liberal apostate, a woman minister in Toronto’s West Hill United Church. In this book, With or Without God, she’s urging the Christian church to get rid of what she calls “its myths, doctrines, and dogmas.” Essentially she’s saying, “Get rid of God; get rid of Christ; get rid of salvation.” She calls them to redefine salvation and God in ways that are strictly secular.

In the piece that was sent me, this one sentence stood out to me, about this book With or Without God. It says, “Generally speaking, no divine anybody makes an appearance in West Hill’s Sunday service liturgy.”

Here’s my question: Could the same be said of many of our evangelical services and ministries? “No divine anybody, generally speaking, makes an appearance”?

We never say we can do without God, but how much of what we’re doing are we doing ourselves, that can be explained apart from God, with or without God? I think that kind of defines the issue of whether we’re content to go on without the anointing of God’s Spirit.

The world and the church do not need to see what we can do. They’ve seen what we can do. They need to see what only God can do.

A long-time friend who is a pastor, he’s been with us at Heartcry in past years, sent me an email a couple years ago. It really spoke to me. In fact, I forwarded this email back to myself (if you’re used to using Outlook, you know how to do that) every time I’m getting ready to speak or have some form of public ministry, because I want to be reminded of this charge.

He said,

I carry a burden for the unction of God to rest on you. Don’t ever take it for granted. It’s the power that cuts through to the heart of the matter. Such unction comes by God’s grace, but through a high price. That price is worth it in light of the need and eternity.

Don’t let your ministry grow stale. Don’t let it become a program or formula. Realize that it’s always Christ who is the answer and the need of women and men alike. Take people to Christ. See every program, every page of every book you write, every interview, every conversation as an opportunity to lead people into His presence, for that is what we need. The evaluation of everything in your ministry should be: Was God there? Did people encounter the God of the universe? Did I recede so that He could be clearly seen and experienced?”

So that’s my cry. Oh God, fresh oil. The anointing, the power of Your Holy Spirit, the fullness that floods of living water that You promised would flow through us and from us if we would be filled with Your Spirit. It’s the heart of Moses who said, “Oh God, if Your presence doesn’t go with us, we cannot go on.”

I don’t want to be satisfied, and I don’t think you do either, with business as usual, with explainable lives and ministry, lives that can be lived without God.

Oh God, for fresh oil, for the anointing of Your Spirit. And then, by faith, having cried out for fresh oil, may we receive it and believe God for it, amen.

Leslie: Do you often speak out of your own power? Your own wisdom? Nancy Leigh DeMoss has made me stop and evaluate my words. Am I being filled with God before I speak to others? Nancy delivered that message to ministry leaders at the Heartcry for Revival Conference. When you order it on CD, you’ll hear more from Nancy than we had time to air today.

Do you appreciate being able to hear the teaching on Revive Our Hearts? We’re able to bring it to you because of listeners who support the ministry financially.

Nancy’s talking with one of those listeners who have chosen to give. Vicki Rose knows the joy of spreading God’s Word by supporting Revive Our Hearts. Nancy’s talking with her about why she partners with us and why we need to hear from you this month.

Nancy: We’ve been blessed during the month of May. As we've been sharing with our listeners, we have some friends of the ministry who have stepped up and said that they would match dollar for dollar every gift that comes in to the ministry from someone who has never given to Revive Our Hearts before—up to a total of $100,000.

We are very encouraged by those friends. We have people who have been blessed by the ministry, they've been impacted by it but have never before been led to give to the ministry. Vicki, would you just say a word to encourage those listeners to perhaps partner with us in that challenge—those who have never given before.

Vicki Rose: I would love to encourage you. If you have never given to Revive Our Hearts, in giving there's a joy of partnering with a ministry that reaches so many women world-wide, not just in the United States. 

I was in Russia last year for a conference, and women there are listening to Revive Our Hearts, as well as in the Dominican Republic and all across the United States. I would just encourage you to be a partner, because when you partner with Revive Our Hearts, you are partnering with God's Word going forth into all the world, which is part of the Great Commission.

Nancy: Thanks, Vicki, for that good word of encouragement. I do hope that every listener will consider what the Lord may want you to do to be a part of helping us to meet this matching challenge.

I hope that every listener will read the book Ablaze with His Glory, by Del Fehsenfeld, Jr., the founder of Life Action Ministries, the parent ministry of Revive Our Hearts. I believe this book will stir in your heart a fresh passion for revival. 

We'll be glad to send you a copy of that book when you send in a donation of any amount to Revive Our Hearts here during the month of May.

If you want to call us to make that donation, the number is 1-800-569-5959. Or if it is easier for you to give online, you can do that by visiting us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: We talk about revival a lot here on Revive Our Hearts. Tomorrow you’ll get a deeper understanding of what revival is all about from speakers who are watching God work across the country. Please be back, for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

 

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