Revive Our Hearts Weekend Podcast

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Lies and Truth

Dannah Gresh: Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Good news isn't precious until you've heard the bad news. Here’s the bad news: Lies are everywhere. They are more powerful, more evil, and more destructive than we can imagine, and we are all deeply affected by lies—every one of us.

Dannah: I have some good news for you, today we’re gonna learn how to combat those destructive lies. 

This is Revive Our Hearts Weekend, I’m Dannah Gresh. And as the summer starts to bloom and we plant our gardens, I’m hankering for the harvest already . . . especially watermelon! I could eat myself sick with good melons! In fact, it reminds me. When I was very small, my older cousin told me that if I swallowed a watermelon seed, I’d wake up pregnant! Think about it. It makes a little bit of sense! That big round water watermelon is just the right shape and size! Well anyway, on that particular occasion, my mom was nearby to be sure I didn’t fall for that lie.

But . . . truth be told many times in my life I have fallen for lies. 

  • The lie that I could “control” the Christian dating relationship I was in during my high school years.
  • The lie that I could eat anything I wanted without it impacting my health or appearance. And then that's always followed up by . . . 
  • The lie that I didn’t have any worth unless my appearance competed with the photoshopped beauties applauded by society.

When I think about i, some of my greatest spiritual battles—maybe all of them—were because I believed a lie—much more terrible and personal lies than the one my cousin told me about the dangers of my mom’s garden.

Let’s think back to the first garden. Is it okay if I imagine it had lots of good watermelon? That first garden was perfect, Adam and Eve could have all the fruits they wanted and life was good. The only thing that God asked them not to do: not to eat from one tree. Soon after, the first lie and first sin appeared in that perfect garden. Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. 

Nancy (from "Truth . . . or Consequences"): The serpent said to the woman, “What God told you is not true. You can determine your own truth.

In fact, you'll be better off if you do.” And he concocted a narrative that seemed right. It was appealing; it was attractive. After all, would she have gone forward if it hadn't been? The only problem with the story was, it wasn't true!

Eve fell for that lie, that deception. She was deceived, and ever since that day, every human being who has ever lived has been deeply impacted by lies in several ways. We've all been sinned against by others who are deceivers and deceived. We've been wounded by lies that other people have believed, and we've all been deceived ourselves.

Satan lies to us; this fallen world lies to us; our own hearts lie to us. We absorb and believe things about God, about ourselves, about our relationships, about our past, our present and our future—things that seem right to us, but they aren't true.

Listen to the full message "Truth . . . or Consequences.

Dannah: That was Nancy from True Woman '18. As she said, Satan lies to us in so many ways—the way we look, the way we feel, the way we understand God. We start to see God differently than we should. 

We pull away, we hide. In fact, that is what Adam and Eve did, they hid from God. In Genesis 3:8 we read this:

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Believing lies usually ends up with us hiding from someone. Something. And almost always end up with us hiding from God!

Lies aren’t always found in the most obvious ways, like from Satan using a serpent's body. Today he seems to favor technology as one way to present his lies. That was a topic of conversation several weeks ago between Gretchen Saffles, Nancy, and myself. Gretchen, the author of The Well-Watered Woman. She shared how social media caused her to dwell upon a lie that resulted in her thankful heart becoming terribly unthankful. Here’s Gretchen. 

Gretchen (from "The Well-Watered Woman"): I remember when my husband and I first bought a house. I was, like, “This is it! I finally get to decorate a house!” I found myself in that rabbit hole, drinking from that broken cistern, on Pinterest.

I was comparing myself to so many other people. I would see something, and I would go, “Oh, but this doesn’t look like my house.” Then I started to not be grateful for what God has provided for us.

I had to stop myself. I had to take a step back and go, “God, this house is not mine. This house is Yours. I will decorate it, and I will enjoy that, but ultimately, it’s just a building. I want to steward it, and I want it to be a place of ministry, not a place where I can show everybody how great it looks.”

That’s one really practical example that I’ve experienced in my own life.

Dannah: Yes.

Nancy, what about you? What are some areas where maybe you’ve struggled with something that’s good, a gift from God, but if you’re not vigilant, it can become a broken cistern?

Nancy: Well, let me say first, Gretchen, thank you for what you just said about the home. When you get to be my age, in my sixties, I’m now seeing all you younger women doing these amazing, beautiful things with your homes. And my home starts to feel a little out-of-date, not more traditional.

I can find myself thinking, Oh, maybe I could just redo this and this and this and. . . And then I’m saying, “What are you doing, in your sixties? Is that really necessary? Is that going to be life giving? Or is that going to end up, is that going to be a broken cistern?”

So, you just added one to my list!

But another one for me that has been a go-to well so many times, but often proves to be a broken cistern, is the whole thing of food. Eating when I’m happy; eating when I’m sad; eating when I’m mad—just eating.

Dannah: It sounds like eating your emotions, or emotional eating.

Nancy: Emotional eating. Boy, you go back to Genesis—in the beginning of Genesis. God says, “I’ve given you all this fruit of these trees to enjoy.” Food is a good thing. It’s a gift from God. But if I’m looking to food, as I often have throughout my life (and still do, often), as something that is going to make me feel better about myself . . . Eating or not eating. We can do it different ways. “I’m going to indulge in this, or I’m going to abstain from anything because I don’t like the way that I look, or I don’t like the way that I feel.”

It can become such a god and such a task master and can leave me feeling really empty and dry and wilted. Rather than seeing this really amazing meal, I think, Oh, this is going to make me feel so great! or This amazing dessert, I just have to have it!

It can be an idol, and it can lead me to really not flourishing at all.

Gretchen: As a matter of fact, I’m more on the opposite end. I battled Anorexia. In my freshman year of college, I ended up losing about twenty-five pounds because I idolized a certain pant size. I thought that if I looked a certain way that I would be more beautiful and more desirable. I thought that I would fit in better if I looked a certain way.

And instead, what happened is that I lost so much weight, and I began to lose my identity in Christ as I was so obsessed with having a certain number on the scale and with controlling every bit of food that would come into my mouth.

God brought me to a breaking point. He allowed me to get to this low point where I realized that I was helpless and broken, drinking that empty well that it was only leading me to a place of death, not a place of life where Christ was leading me.

I remember I used these note cards, and I wrote down every single Scripture . . . I still have them. I’ve never gotten rid of them because I see these note cards that I wrote in college, and I always see them as this reminder that God really can save, and His Word really is the Living Water that we drink from. His Word really saves us from these broken cisterns that lead only to death because He came to give us true life.

Nancy: Gretchen, what was on those note cards that made such a difference for you?

Gretchen: Scripture. I went through my Bible, and I wrote down as many verses as I could. I carried them with me everywhere I went.

I remember being in a study hall where I was studying for a class test, and I had them sitting out next to me because I knew, even in that moment, I may start struggling. I would read from my book, and then I would go through some of those Scripture verses. I took them with me on the bus. God’s Word was literally my lifeline.

Nancy: That takes us back to Jeremiah 2 so beautifully where God said, “My people have committed two great evils.” And what were they? One was: You’ve turned to things of this world” that aren’t necessarily inherently sinful—food is a good gift; homes are a good gift; friends and relationships are a good gift.

But He says, “You’ve tried to find your soul’s satisfaction in these things that cannot satisfy. They’re going to disappoint you. They’re going to let you down. They can’t fill you up.” They’re kind of like cotton candy. I mean, it looks so amazing when you’re a kid. You’re at the fair. And you think, “Boy, I’m going to love this!” And then you’ve got a stomach ache. Or it just doesn’t satisfy for more than just a moment.

So God says, “My people have made these broken cisterns that can’t hold water. They can’t satisfy.”

But He says, “Also, they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters.”

God said, “I want to satisfy you deeply.” Here are these people, they’re in this dry land, following after their idols, following after their immorality, following after their broken cisterns. And God says, “Look! Here I am! A fountain of living water!”

This lush, beautiful, filling, satisfying place that Christ provides through Himself, the living Word, and through His written Word, and why would we settle for the stuff that are cheap substitutes and miss the fountain of living waters God wants to give us through His Word. But, that’s what we do. Right?

Dannah: Yes. We do.

Gretchen: Right.

Nancy: He was calling His people to repentance, and He calls each of us to repentance so that we can experience that well-watered place, that place of fullness and flourishing and blessing. That’s what our hearts are really craving.

Listen to the full epidsode, "Turning from Empty Wells." Listen to the entire series, "The Well-Watered Woman, with Gretchen Saffles."

Dannah: That makes me just want to be very direct and ask you: What’s the lie in your life that you’re listening to? The phone that’s in your hip pocket . . . are toxic lies coming from it? 

Satan used the lie of Pinterest to fool Gretchen; he used the lie of food to trip up Nancy. These lies, if not dealt with only get bigger and bigger. We have to learn how to combat them.

I’m Dannah Gresh and this is Revive Our Hearts Weekend. Today we are talking about lies. And I want to take a few minutes to look at how our screen use impacts our access to lies. You see, for about eighteen months I’ve been studying how our brains and our hearts, and our children’s are impacted by social media. I'm so alarmed by what I'm seeing. In late 2019, I became increasingly aware of the direct correlation between the advent, the introduction of the smartphone/social media and the exponential growth in anxiety, depression, and suicide. I'm not just talking about us. I'm talking about our children and grandchildren. They are the ones most at risk. In fact, the same detrimental impact does not seem to hit us once we’re over the age of twenty-five. 

I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility—and love—for the younger generations. I have set about the task of sounding an alarm for moms and grandmoms and finding great resources for them to train their children and grandchildren to use screens wisely.

One of the best resources I found is Arlene Pellicane, who I now consider a good friend. She has done extensive research on our brains and the effects of technology and wrote the book Screen Kids: 5 Skills Every Child Needs in a Tech-Driven World. Recently, she and I talked through how we combat the lies we believe, especially those presented to us by and through social media. I asked Arlene what Scriptures we need to be applying to keep our kids—and us—to keep us safe. Here’s Arlene. 

Arlene Pelicane (from Grounded): You can look everywhere. You look through Deuteronomy and it's all "obey the commands of God." Treasure . . . be careful to obey these commandments. Be careful to do these things.

So you think with our children, How are they going to learn how to obey the commandments of God? Yes, your phone, your social media can help you. Our kids can be using their phones to read the Bible. Our kids can be reaching out to missionaries. Our kids can be learning about different cultures and how to reach them. Absolutely, those things can be done.

But take that reality check and say, "Okay, is the average child doing that? Is my child doing that?" I have some nice, godly kids, but they are not memorizing Scripture usually when they are looking at YouTube. My son is looking at Nerf videos and playing chess. These are all fine things, but they are not necessarily the best use.

You can think of Matthew 6:33: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Can entertainment be a part of your life? Of course. We need that. We need laughter. We need a silly video that is pointless once in a while. But should that be first? "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." So look at where your time is.

Hebrews 12. Our kids are running this race. There's this cloud of witness. "Put aside the weight that easily puts you down." The snares that get you. There are so many snares set up, whether it is pornography, whether it is video game addiction, whether it is disrespect that you see in so many of the shows—disrespect for the family, disrespect for the gender of a man and a woman and how they are created in God's image.

These are snares for your children. You can't as a parent think, Well, that's how the culture is. No! You as the parent have to be like, "Wait a minute. My kid is running a race and I need them not to be encumbered with this sin and these troubles, so I'm going to step in and say, 'These are the things you are allowed to watch. These are not the things you are allowed to watch. I don't care if so-and-so can play that video game, you cannot play that video game.'" 

You get in there and know that groundedness in the Scripture will help you to have courage, because it is not fun to buck your child. No one is going to say, "I told my child he couldn't play that video game." No child is going to turn around and say, "Oh Mom, you're growing in righteousness. You're a Proverbs 31 mom. Way to go."

They are going to make you feel like an ant; that you are so stupid and so backward and you need to get with it. So we do need the Word of God to ground us.

Dannah: Your books lead us to the Word of God. I'm so proud that you got the Wall Street Journal, as a Christian author . . .

Arlene: I was amazed! God can do anything.

Dannah: My last question is, Give us one simple, practical tip. As adult Dannah, how would I used my time in investing in the right things, and what is the wrong stuff?

Arlene: So this is for us as adults and for our kids. Look at your screen time as, Is this a digital vegetable? Or is it digital candy? What that means is, Is this something I'm using to grow myself, that is making me healthy like a vegetable? These are things like listening to a sermon. These are things like Skyping Grandma for your kids. That's a digital vegetable. That's a good relational tool to build a bridge between you and Grandma. That's awesome!

But what's digital candy? That's the YouTube video that's just for fun . . . laughing because they fall down out of building in a funny way. That's digital candy. Watching a movie, etc. That's digital candy.

A little digital candy is fine. We need that. But just in the same way when you feel sick when you eat a huge bag of chocolate chips . . . a little bag won't hurt you, but a huge bag will. In the same way, if you or your children binge watch all this digital candy and you do it a lot, you're going to feel sick.

Just the idea of, "Hand me my vegetables. Let's get in the stuff I have to do." In work, it's the productivity stuff. Let me do the productive stuff first before I open whatever is on sale. Digital vegetables first and then digital candy—same thing for your children.

Dannah: Digital candy versus digital vegetables, a topic to talk about at the dinner table tonight, of course, with all those phones on silent!

You can my entire conversation with Arlene about phones, technology, and social media and how it’s affecting our children on Grounded. Go to ReviveOurHearts.com we’ll have a link to that episode of Grounded for you.

This is a good time for me to ask: Have you even heard of Grounded? It’s like coffee with girlfriends who have their Bibles open! Each week we enjoy insightful interviews with people from all over the world. You can join me and my friends Erin Davis, Portia Collins, and Alejandra Slemin for a weekly dose of hope and perspective grounded in God’s Word. 

Listen to the entire program on Grounded: "Using Screens Wise, with Arlene Pellicane."

Dannah: So on this episode of Revive Our Hearts Weekend, we’ve discovered how lies are sneaky. No matter the source, they slip through the cracks and easily trip us up if we aren’t vigilant to identify them before they take over. But here’s where the good news come in: we can break free from the lies. We can walk in, live in, and be set free by the Truth. Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth once again to tell us how.

Nancy (from "Lies Women Believe"): Now, let me just remind you that walking in the truth—learning to walk in the truth—is a journey. It’s a process; it doesn’t happen overnight. If we’re children of God, if we’re followers of Christ, we’re all in the journey, that process, together.You may be at a little different place in your journey than I am, and you may be in a little different place than she is, but it doesn’t happen overnight. There are just a few things I want to encourage you to do as you seek to walk in the truth—so you can experience the freedom that Jesus promised to those who know the truth.

First of all, be alert! Don’t be mindless. Evaluate what you read, what you see, what you hear from others, from magazines, from movies, from music. I hear kids say, “I just like the music.” They’re not thinking about what it’s saying.

And it’s not just kids. Listen, there are a lot of adults who know every single word to many top hit songs for generations past, but they’ve never stopped to think about what those songs say. Some of them may be great truth. Some of them are not truth at all!

You say, “Aww, it doesn’t make any difference. I just like the music.” Listen, what you put in . . . “garbage in, garbage out.” So be alert. Don’t be mindless. And as you read things, as you see things, such as articles in magazines on the stand at the supermarket, on TV and movies, things you hear from your friends, be asking yourself all the time, “What’s the message here? Is it true? Is it consistent with a biblical perspective or worldview?”

There is no such thing as a harmless lie! Because as you think in your heart, so you will be (see Prov. 4:23; 23:7). So be alert. That’s one of my goals in writing this book, Lies Women Believe, so that we could start thinking.

I’ve had so many women say to me, “When I read the Table of Contents—all those lies you listed—I’ve thought, I don’t believe those lies.” And then so many have come back and said, “Wow! I didn’t realize how many of those lies I believed!” So, be alert; don’t be mindless.

And then, daily renew your mind with the Word. You cannot know the truth if you’re not in this Book. Become saturated with the truth. Become a student of truth—soak in it, become super-familiar with it. Love wisdom, love the truth, seek it earnestly. Seek Christ earnestly, daily renewing your mind with the truth.

And then, consistently counsel your heart according to the truth. A lady wrote and said, “A Bible study I attend recently completed Lies Women Believe. It revealed lies I had been believing.” So what’s she going to do now? She’s going to learn to counsel her heart according to the truth. How did she do that? She said,

I’ve now memorized the twenty-some truths listed in the last chapter. Every time I’m attacked by Satan’s lies, I have a truth and Scripture to help me. The truths I rely on the most are: "God is enough," "God can be trusted," and "The pathway to true joy is to relinquish control."

If you have that book, Lies Women Believe, I hope you’ll go to the last chapter—or we have a bookmark that has just a short version of these twenty-one lies. I want to encourage you to keep a piece of paper, or the PDF you can get off our website, or this bookmark of these lies and periodically just read these aloud to yourself.

Counsel your heart according to truth:

  • God is good.
  • God loves me and wants me to have His best.
  • I am complete and accepted in Christ.
  • God is enough.
  • God can be trusted.
  • God doesn’t make any mistakes.
  • God’s grace is sufficient for me.
  • The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover all my sin.
  • The cross of Christ is sufficient to conquer my sinful flesh.
  • My past does not have to plague me.
  • And on and on . . .

Listen, if you’re dealing with a past that plagues you . . . There’s Scriptures to go with all of these. You memorize that truth. You get into God’s Word and get to know that Scripture. Then you can remind yourself, when Satan comes pummeling you with those lies, “My past does not have to plague me.”

What does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 6:11?

And such were some of you. [You used to be this way, but you’re not that way anymore!] You’ve been washed, regenerated, justified, cleansed by the blood of Christ (paraphrased).

Begin to counsel your heart according to God’s Word. And as you do, the truth will change you. It will transform you from the inside out. It may not change your circumstances, but it will change you, and it will set you free! Amen? Amen!

Listen to the full message "Walking in the Truth." Listen to the entire series "Lies Women Believe."

Dannah: Amen. The Word of God will change you. It will help you break you free from the bondage of lies. 

So what will you do with all this good stuff we’ve discovered together today? You do need to do something with it for it to work in your life. You can't just hear it, you have to do it. Be doers of the Word. Let me share an example of how I've had to do it. 

I’ve noticed that one area where I continually have to push re-set to live in Truth is the way I use my phone and the way I approach social media. About two years ago I was feeling really anxious,  and it seemed it might be connected to how connected I am to my phone!

I decided to step away from social media and greatly curbed my smartphone use for a total of four months. During that time, I used the twenty, thirty, forty sometimes sixty minutes a day that I had previously spent looking at my friend’s pictures and posts of sour dough bread and selfies, I spent that time in God’s Word, counseling my heart with Truth.

I'll tell you, the change wasn't immediate, but I can testify that being on my phone less and in the Word more created so much freedom. I found myself considerably less anxious because the notifications and emails weren't calling out to me. They had less control over me. And God’s Word was more alive in me. It was more at the ready as I faced life each day. What I noticed more than anything else, I liked the gift I was giving my husband of being available and truly present when I was in the house, rather than absorbed in social media that often didn’t matter, news that made no difference in my life, and work that could certainly wait. My life felt good. My marriage felt good.

When that happened, I realized I was living out one of my favorite Bible verses in the entire Bible:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:2).

Let me promise you this: if you’re feeling anxious, depressed, stressed, frustrated, overlooked, angry? Those emotions could be evidence that there are lies in your life. If you’ll step back from the source of those lies and cut off the access they have to your mind and dive into God’s Word to know the Truth. You will be set free! 

If you’d like help doing that, Nancy’s written a best-selling book called Lies Women Believe. In fact, over one million women have used it to experience freedom. There’s even a Lies Women Believe study available on our website. Go to ReviveOurHearts.com. These resources will help you identify your lies, rip them up and out of your heart, and replace them with truth. Remember: the truth will set you free! 

Check out the Lies Women Believe study—complete with book, workbook, and video.
 

The issue of lies and the truth is serious! We are living in a time when truth is under attack. So at Revive Our Hearts, we are more excited than ever to share the truth that sets women free! We can only do it with the help from listeners like you. You make this program and this ministry possible through your prayer and your financial gifts.

Right now, we are coming up to the end of our fiscal year in a couple of weeks, and we’re praying for the Lord to meet our need of $750,000. Would you consider giving a gift to help us fill that need? Visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call us at 1–800–569–5959 and make your donation today. 

Thanks for listening today. 

In Psalm 110 we see these comforting words, "The Lord is at your right hand!" Do you ever have a hard time believing this truth? That God is close to you? Tune in next week to Revive Our Hearts Weekend, we’ll be talking about how God is always with you.

I’m Dannah Gresh, and you’ve been listening to Revive Our Hearts Weekend, an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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About the Teachers

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.

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.

Arlene Pellicane

Arlene Pellicane

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of several books including Parents Rising, 31 Days to a Happy Husband and Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life. 

Arlene has been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, The 700 Club, and Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah. She hosts The Happy Home podcast and writes regularly for Proverbs 31 Ministries and Girlfriends in God.

Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and her Masters in Journalism from Regent University. Arlene lives in San Diego with her husband James and their three children. 

Gretchen Saffles

Gretchen Saffles

Gretchen Saffles is the founder of the global online women's ministry Well-Watered Women, the creator of the Give Me Jesus quiet time journal, and a passionate writer who longs to see women grasp the fullness of the gospel in everyday life.  As she shares from her life experiences, Gretchen writes with authenticity and boldness, encouraging women to seek Christ right where they are and live in his abundance. Gretchen lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two sons and loves going on adventures with her family, traveling to new places, daydreaming of wildflower fields, cooking tasty meals, baking chocolate chip cookies, painting, reading good books, and teaching women to know and love Jesus.