Revive Our Hearts Weekend Podcast

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Fullness in Christ

Episode notes:

These series make up today's Revive Our Hearts Weekend program:

"Freedom, Fullnes, and Fruitfulness in Christ"

"Lessons from the Life of Joshua (Part 12): Leaving a Legacy"

"Begging God for Him"

"Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction"

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Blair Linne:

We have communed with Fullness.
How He resuscitates us when we are left impoverished,
Heals our greatest need.
Sometimes allowing physical suffering to link arms with us,
so we might fall into the everlasting arms of Him in whom we trust.

Dannah Gresh: Recognizing the power of God to fill us . . . on this episode of Revive Our Hearts Weekend.

Blair:

Not knowing that God has prepared everlasting food for you,
Through His Crimson Cord, He is so giving.
The Eternal Meal is here since the Bread of Life is near!

Watch Blair recite this poem, "Freedom, Fullnes, and Fruitfulness in Christ."

Dannah: Welcome to Revive Our Hearts Weekend, I’m Dannah Gresh. 

You doing okay today? I wish we were in my kitchen together right now, cause I feel the need to cook something. Isn’t that what fall does to us? I do love some good comfort food! My favorite thing to make this time of year is slow cooked pot roast. You know the kind . . . that just falls apart with a fork. I ususally serve it with with roasted carrots, mashed potatoes (because my husband is fanatical about those!) and, of course, some good gravy. Mmmmm!

Did you know the act of prepping the meal—cutting the vegetables, adding the spices, putting the meat in the oven—actually gets your body ready to eat? There’s scientific evidence, friend. Your stomach starts to work and rumble when you do those things.

Then, when you pull that perfectly roasted meat out of the oven, well . . . the smell makes your mouth water. You gather your friends or family around the table and . . . yum, you eat! You eat till you're full . . . sometimes too full. And then the next day, you do it all over again.

But imagine with me a different kind of fullness. One that doesn’t make you feel bloated; one that leaves you satisfied.

The mission of Revive Our Hearts is to call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. Last week we unpacked freedom and looked at what it meant to be free in Christ. Today, I want to share with you what this fullness in Christ is all about.

Let’s start with some Bible teaching from Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. She spent some time teaching on the book of Joshua.

Today, we’re gonna hear Nancy zeroing in on one verse as she talks about fullness. To help really understand where she is going, I want to remind you of a few things. You remember Caleb and Joshua, two of men who spied out the Promised Land? Well, years later they are in the process of divvying up portions of that land between some of the people of Israel.

Caleb’s daughter asks for land, too. Here’s her request from Joshua chapter 15, verse 18, “She got off her donkey, and Caleb said to her, ‘What do you want?’ She said to him, ‘Give me a blessing. Since you have given me the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.’ And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.”

Here’s Nancy.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: As I have meditated on this passage where she says, “Give me also springs of water,” that New Testament passage has come to my mind from John chapter 7 where Jesus stood up on the last day of the feast, and He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers [springs] of living water'" (vv. 37–38).

Jesus said, “I want you to be full, full and overflowing to water your heart and so your heart can water other hearts. Out of his innermost being, if he believes in Me, will flow these rivers of living water.”

“Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive” (v. 39).

Jesus said, “It's the Spirit of God that fills your cup, that causes you to overflow, that waters the dry and arid and barren land of your heart and makes you fruitful. It's the Holy Spirit who produces love and joy and peace and patience and kindness, goodness, gentleness—produces those fruits in our lives that would be otherwise barren and hard and parched and cracked.

I think you know as well as I do that that's what our lives would be apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit. So that's why we say, “Lord, I believe. Would You give me a blessing? Would You give me springs of water to go with this land that You've given me?”

The last part of verse 19 says, “And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.” She said, “Give me springs of water.” She wasn't picky about which ones, but he gave her her heart's desire and more.

What a generous dad! He had enough to spare. He gave out of his abundance. He was generous with his daughter, and what a picture of our generous, heavenly Father who says, “I have enough. You want springs? I'll give you upper and lower springs. There's not too much. It's not too much to ask that I would do this for you.”

Remember that passage in Luke chapter 11 where Jesus talks about asking your father for good gifts? He says,

I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened (vv. 9–10).

He says, “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” (v. 12). He says, “When your children ask to have their basic needs provided, are you going to give them something that's going to bite them, something dangerous? No!”

He says, verse 13 of Luke 11, “If you then, who are evil,” you are less than perfect parents as any parent would acknowledge. If you “know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give,” give what? “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

You want more of God in your life? Now, I know that theologically there's a sense in which you can't get more of God in your life than you already have. If you're a child of God, you already have the Holy Spirit in you. But Jesus talks about asking for the flow and the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I wonder how many of us are living as spiritual beggars when we might be living as spiritual princes and princesses and kings. We might be living in abundance if we would just ask.

I'm ashamed when I think back of how many times in my Christian life I have been scrimping and scraping and just barely holding it together, just surviving. "How you doing?" "Oh, not bad under the circumstances." Well, what are you doing there? What am I doing there, and why aren't we asking God for fullness?

Now, I'm not saying that when you have the fullness of the Spirit flowing through your life that your life will be easy, that it will be problem free. You may have more problems than you did before, but there ought to be a fullness. “Out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”

Psalm 23, “My cup overflows,” (v. 5) and I don't find very many Christian women today, myself included many times, who are pictures of overflowing abundance. We're just kind of trying to hang on till the rapture, you know—exhausted, frazzled, frenzied, frustrated, fearful. Ladies, our lives ought to exemplify the fullness that there is through life in Christ and in His Spirit.

You say, “How do I get it?” Ask your Father. Ask Him. Say, “Lord, I thank You for what You have given me, for the land that You've given me, but would You give me springs to water it?”

I pray as I come into these sessions—I want to teach the Word. I want to teach it faithfully. I've done the study. I pray for clarity and to be able to deliver these messages, but I'll tell you one thing I pray probably more than anything else. That's, “Lord, would You anoint me with the power of Your Holy Spirit? May it come with fullness. May it flow forth. May it not be just words on a page, but may it give life and health and strength and grace to those who hear. May it be anointed with the power of Your Spirit.”

You say, “Well, I'm not a speaker.” Are you a mom? Are you a wife? Are you a grandmom? Are you a single woman in the workplace? Are you a student, maybe a high school student sitting back there on the back row?

What is your season of life? Ask God for the fullness of His Holy Spirit. Pray for it. Ask Him to fill you and to overflow through you to give blessing and life to others.

Listen to the entire episode, "Overflowing Abundance." This comes from the series, "Lessons from the Life of Joshua (Part 12): Leaving a Legacy."

Dannah: Why aren’t we asking God for fullness? That's what Nancy just challenged us with. Let's just sit with that a bit.

Now let’s get down to the brass tacks of how this all works, how God fills ordinary women like you and me. Let's find out why we might not be asking.

I want to share the story of Stacey Salsbery and how she experienced the fullness of Christ. God’s Word was a part of her life, but not her focus. She looked to other things to satisfy her. God wasn’t enough for her. She was always looking for the next thing. 

In high school it was comparison and body image. Then in college it was diets, weight, and beauty . . . then marriage, then kids. She kept asking, "Why does this not satisfy me like I thought it would?" 

Stacey talked with Nancy and me, and she shared what was the tipping point for her to begin to experience fullness in Christ.

Stacey Salsberry: I had kind of had enough. I was tired of being discontented! I had so many wonderful things, so many blessings, that God had given me . . . and yet, I still wanted more! Even with kids, it became, “Now I need my alone time. Now I need date nights. Now I need a vacation. Oh, wait! Now we need a bigger house!”

I didn’t like what was coming out of me! I knew the discontentment wasn’t right. And by the grace of God, He woke me up. He did that through Scripture. I was reading in my Bible one day . . . and I will never forget this moment. I was studying the book of Genesis. So I had been in the Word, I had been reading.

But I would say it was just a part of my life; it wasn’t where I was seeking for satisfaction. But I opened up my Bible; I had been studying in Genesis 15. And in Genesis 15:1, God said to Abraham, “Abraham, I am your very great reward.” (paraphrased) And I thought, Wow! Is God my reward?

He had been, maybe, a part of the blessing in my life, but He was not my reward. It struck me how much I wanted God to be my reward! 

Dannah: The picture I’m getting in my head is . . . Stacey, sweet middle school, high school, college, young mom Stacey really loves Jesus, but she’s waiting for the next award or reward He’s going to give her for following Him . . . right? 

Stacey: Yes!

Dannah: And suddenly now, you’re realizing, “I don’t want something in His hands, I want it to just be Him, His presence, that is the reward!”

Stacey: Yes, yes! It was a switch in thought for me. It wasn’t the blessings of God that I was seeking, well, it was, but it didn’t need to be. It needed to be Him! He needed to be the one thing above all else that I was seeking.

Nancy: And, practically, what changed at that moment? What did you do differently? Were you just thinking differently? How did that change the trajectory for you?

Stacey: First, I confessed my sin. I realized that I had been chasing all of these other things. Not that they were bad things, but just spending years of begging God for this or that. But what if we beg God for Him? And so, I started doing that: “Lord, I don’t know how to do this well, but give me more of You. That’s what I need in my life. I want You to be my reward!” 

I prayed, and I asked Him to fill me with that longing for Him. What a prayer to pray, right?! He is faithful to do that. And He did!

Dannah: Did it change overnight? You read that Bible verse, you prayed that prayer, and suddenly your mind was in alignment with that truth. Or did you still find yourself slipping into the desire for things or other rewards?

Stacey: I definitely still found myself slipping back into it. You know, my eyes had been awakened to the truth, but it is still a constant fight for God to be my reward, and not this or that or success in this area or even for certain successes with my children. It’s a constant fight and reminder. I have to be in God’s Word daily if I’m going to be able to fight against that, but there was also a joy that had been missing. That was a gift!

I don’t think that contentment is something that we can conjure up. I can’t tell myself, “Okay, Stacy, now you need to be content with this. You can do this. You can do this!” Contentment was really a gift I found that God gave me as I spent time with Him. It was a blessing that I received from Him!

Nancy: Well, you come to realize what a great treasure He is, and that He’s the all-surpassing treasure; that there is no one more beautiful, more lovely, more wonderful, more desirable than Christ. All these other things—good as they may be—lose their allure, their shininess.

I’m thinking of verse 21, at the end of 1 John chapter 5. The last verse of the epistle of 1 John says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” That suggests to me that this isn’t a one-time happening for us.

Like, “I realize that I’ve been looking to things and people other than Jesus to satisfy me. So, I say ‘no’ to them; I say ‘yes’ to Jesus. And now, I’m just worshipping Him with all my heart for the rest of my life!”

There was a great theologian of the past who said, “Our hearts are idol factories.” We’re always manufacturing, we’re coming up with new replacements and substitutes and things and people and experiences that we think will satisfy us. 

And so the apostle John says, “You’ve got to be doing heart work all the time, to make sure you’re not falling back into longing for and clinging to and loving anything less than Jesus.” Right?

Stacey: Yes. You have to take “every thought captive [to obey Christ]” (2 Cor. 10:5). And yet, Psalm 16:11 says (and here’s one of the rewards that we can look forward to when it’s the Lord we’re seeking first and foremost), “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” I love that verse!

Nancy: And the fullness that He is offering us, in the verse you just quoted, it talks about it. "At his right hand are pleasures forever more." That reminds me of another passage. In Psalm 73 it says, "I am continually with you; you hold my right hand." So, at His right hand are pleasures. He's holding our right hand. "You guide me with your counsel, afterward you will receive me to glory." Then this piercing question: "whom have I in heaven by you? There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you."

It doesn't mean that there aren't good things on earth, good gifts God has given us. But compared to the joy, the priceless pleasures, the treasure of knowing You and having You, those other things look like baubles. They are not necessary. They may be cute and pretty, but they are not essential. So he says, "There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail [and all the things that my flesh gravitates to], but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Listen to the entire episode, "God as Our Reward." This comes from the series, "Begging God for Him."

Dannah: Thank you, God, that you long to give good gifts to your children and you long to fill us with You, to satisfy us with You.

One of the gifts He gives us is food. Remember I shared about making a meal at the beginning of our time together? Many of us love our food.

If you have read the Bible for any length of time you probably know that there is a link between denying yourself food and wanting more of God. It’s called fasting. Here’s Asheritah Ciuciu with Nancy and me, explaining the purpose of fasting. 

Asheritah: Correct. Fasting is purposefully setting aside a good gift to say, “I want something better.” Food is a good gift.

Dannah: And for a time, for a season.

Asheritah: Yes. Food is a good gift from a good Father meant to turn our hearts to Him in worship. When we fast, we set aside that gift, whether it’s food, whether it’s . . . Scripture talks about abstaining from sex when you’re fasting in certain situations. That’s a good gift as well. It could be I’m not going to read books for a season—I just want to read Scripture. It could be giving up a TV show. It could be giving up social media.

Dannah: Do you think . . . I want to ask a question here because it’s a question I wrestle with a lot. I’m not sure I have the answer. Do we have a biblical model of it being anything other than food—fasting? Like, can we really call it fasting when it’s social media or TV? Is that really biblical?

Asheritah: Yes. I’m glad you brought it up because we don’t have a model in Scripture for abstaining from anything but food in a fast. But I would use the same word because of the principle. In ancient days, they didn’t have TV. They didn’t have these other things.

Dannah: That’s true.

Asheritah: There’s so much competing for our attention and affection in our world today that I think the principle still holds true: Turning from something good to say, “God, I want something better. I want You.”

In my own life, five years ago I went on my first sugar fast. I felt the Lord brought me to Psalm 73 where the psalmist says, “Whom have I in heaven but You and earth has nothing I desire besides You. My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever ” (vv. 25–26 paraphrased).

Nancy: It’s easy to say, but not so easy to live.

Asheritah: “There’s nothing I desire on earth besides You.” So the Lord drew me into a special time of fasting from sugar. And I’ll just say, as a side, if you are pregnant, if you’re nursing, if you have medical conditions, be wise about this.

Dannah: Yes. Right.

Asheritah: So for me in that season, I couldn’t go on a complete fast from food, but I noticed sugar had that stronghold in my life, so I stepped away from sugar for a season. I got all the sugar out of my house, all the desserts. I told my husband, “You don’t have to do this, but I’m not going to be making desserts anymore, just so you know.”

Those first few days, the withdrawal symptoms were real.

Dannah: Headaches.

Asheritah: Headaches.

Dannah: Were you grumpy?

Asheritah: Tiredness, grumpiness—someone brought cookies to work.

Dannah: Oh no!

Asheritah: I was like, “What are you doing to me?!”

Dannah: Did you want to smack them?

Asheritah: Yes. No, I’m a very Christian mean woman. (laughter)

But I went through that withdrawal for a little bit, but what I found I was doing that very first fast was I was giving up sugar, but I would snack on crackers and potato chips. Like, I would get the craving for sweets, and so I went to something else instead.

Nancy: Trading idols. Substitutes.

Asheritah: I didn’t even realize what I was doing until, again, the Lord convicted me, “Why are you going to what doesn’t satisfy? Come to Me.” And that, I believe, is one of the keys to Christian fasting. It’s not just not eating something. It’s replacing that with feasting on God’s Word, with prayer, with worship, with meditation. It’s learning to delight Him.

Listen to the entire episode, "Set Free from Lies about Food." This comes from the series, "Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction."

Dannah: Feasting on God’s Word, delighting in Him. How often do you truly delight in Him? To marvel at His majesty, to wonder at His mercy and grace. 

Delight in Him. I pray our time today convicted your heart to sit before Him and ask Him to fill you full to overflowing with Him and all that He is. 

Not sure what to say? Well, here’s a prayer that Nancy shared when she was talking about the rivers of living waters. Simpley say “Lord, I thank you for what you have given me, for the land You’ve given me, but would you give me springs to water it?”

Oh, friend, I’m so excited to see what God’ll do in your life!

Ya know, a great way to feast on God’s word and delight in Him is getting the Word in you. And Revive Our Hearts want to help you do that; we want to help you lock your eyes on Jesus. We have a displayable 31-day Advent card set that will help you lock your eyes on Jesus this coming Christmas season. This card set is a companion to Nancy’s devotional The First Songs of Christmas. Each day’s card will remind you of God’s promises and His presence. This Advent card set is yours when you give a gift of any amount to support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts.

Please consider giving a gift today. It’s easy to do at ReviveOurHearts.com/weekend, or call 1–800–569–5959. And make sure you ask for the Advent card set and be reminded throughout the day to fix your eyes on Jesus.

Next week, we’re gonna talk about being fruitful in Christ. What does it mean? What does it look like? Jesus said “you will know them by their fruit.” Do you have fruit in your life? And I don’t mean apples. We’ll talk about it next week on Revive Our Hearts Weekend.

Thanks for listening today. 

Thanks to our team. I asked them what their favorite food is! Peanut butter is the go to for Phil Krause. Dylan Weibel has a stomach currently full of popcorn and a heath bar.  Rebekah Krause would never pass up a cheese quiche. Justin Converse loves him some carne asada street tacos. Michelle Hill, well, that girl will always turn to dark chocolate. And for Revive Our Hearts Weekend, I’m Dannah Gresh. Think I’ll head to the kitchen now and make that pot roast! 

Revive Our Hearts Weekend calling women to freedom, fullness and fruitfulness in Christ.

 

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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.

About the Host

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

About the Guests

Asheritah Ciuciu

Asheritah Ciuciu

Asheritah is an author, speaker, and blogger. She grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and studied English and Women's Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio. Her passion is helping women find joy in Jesus through a deeper walk with God, and she shares personal stories and practical tips on www.OneThingAlone.com. Asheritah is married to Flaviu and together they raise their spunky children in northeast Ohio.

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery is a farmer’s wife and mother of four. When she isn’t serving a meal on the side of the road, riding in a tractor with her husband, or driving kids to practice, you’ll find her escaping the crazy by writing devotionals at Deeper Devos, where she gives readers a weekly practical and deeper look at God’s Word. Her favorite things in the world (not counting her Savior, husband, and kids) include flipping houses, buying new books, and going for a nice long run. Stacey and her family reside in the cornfields of Indiana.

Blair Linne

Blair Linne

Spoken word artist Blair Linne hails from the Washington,D.C. area where she lives with her husband, Pastor Shai Linne, and their children.