Revive Our Hearts Radio

Continuing the Journey

Leslie Basham: Here's some of what we heard yesterday on Revive Our Hearts.

Karen Watts: I was 23, married already and had two children. And we had been through some tragedies in our lives and had come to know the Lord at a seminar. But it wasn't long before I became a performance person because I began to neglect my relationship with the Lord.

The first big blow that we had as a family was that our oldest son went off to Bible college; as a matter of fact and immediately got into an immoral lifestyle.

In the meantime our younger son had married a sweet, godly young girl and through some circumstances that we're not quite sure of, she just changed her mind and she didn't want to be married anymore and she walked out on my son.

And there they were, the youth directors of our church. But I remember the day that inside I said, "I'm done with the Lord." I was totally helpless and hopeless and I wanted out.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, October 8.

Nancy, we had sort of a cliff-hanger yesterday. We were listening to the story of Karen Watts, and when we left off, she was contemplating taking her own life.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Yes, she really got to a point of severe desperation, greater than anything that most of us experience. Karen had been attracted to the message of the Gospel, but she had quickly slipped into a performance mindset, trying to keep up a perfect appearance, trying to do things on her own power. And then her family began to experience some severe trials. And she realized how empty she really was.

Karen Watts: My son had come home the summer before and it was a real wakeup call for me. We got a phone call in the middle of the night that he wanted to come home, he was 29 years old, I think. He wanted out, God had gotten a hold of him and he said, "I need help, I need deliverance from drugs, I know the only place I can find it is at home."

So he came home and we had less than 24 hours warning. And when he walked in that door, I thought, I have nothing to give him. I don't have the Lord anymore. I don't pray anymore, what can I do?

So, I started this new performance. And yet, it was like within a couple of nights we were going, "Did you see the latest movie" and we'd go rent a movie, a movie. I'm just going"¦this is so crazy, now when I think of it.

We took him to church; he was delighted to be there. It was such a wakeup call for me that I had nothing to give a man, my own son, who wanted to come back to the Lord.

So the Lord had begun to plow my heart and I did go to a Bible study in Monihans, a town west of us, about 35 miles. I started going there because I didn't know anybody. That's where I went.

I thought I could be this private little person and just sit there and see what the Lord could speak to me. They were going through the Book of Luke and going through the Book of Luke, I was re-acquainted with the Savior from day one, going back to my salvation, back to the character and godliness and love and sweetness of Jesus Himself.

So I was beginning to be softened when I got to that conference.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: [Nancy speaking at a conference] What does it take in my heart to experience ongoing continual revival? Listen if you would to these scriptures.

Karen had ended up at a Revive Our Hearts conference where I spoke on the heart that God revives. And I talked about the difference between proud people and broken people.

[Nancy speaking at a conference] Proud people are self-righteous. They have a critical fault-finding spirit. They look at everyone else's faults with a microscope, but their own with a telescope. And they look down on others.

Karen Watts: That's when the Lord began to remove the heart of stone that was within me and replace it with a heart of flesh.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: [Nancy speaking at a conference] But broken people are compassionate. They think the best of others and they esteem all others, better them themselves.

At the end of that particular session, I asked the women to get into groups of two or three and I invited them to tell the others what they had learned about this matter of brokenness, and then to pray for each other.

Karen Watts: My sister-in-law was standing beside me. She's one of the sweetest, godliest people I have ever known. She's a quiet person. She's the person that I would want to be. I just love her. I've always loved her dearly.

But I'd hurt her deeply during those years. When she would try to encourage me, I would come back with very hateful things. I rejected her affection and her prayers.

And when she was standing there I turned toward her and I was just about to apologize to her and I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was a little lady there that I had never seen before, an elderly lady, and she said, very timidly, she said, "I just feel like God wants me to tell you how much He loves you."

And something broke in me and I just started sobbing. And Becky started sobbing, my sister-in-law, and of course my other sister that brought me was standing there, and I just started pouring out in repentance before God, apologizing for the pain I had caused.

And of course this little lady behind me said, "I've been going to this church for 38 years and I've never done anything like this in my life."

I remember just feeling, this may sound really strange, I felt sweet again. There were so many things still up in the air in our family. When those subjects would come up, and I would begin to say the truth again, and say, "You know God is in control here, God is not going to let us down, He loves us."

And I began to encourage other people. And the Word was brand new and I was insatiably hungry for the Word. I got up early, and I still do that, but you know 5:00 o'clock every morning I practically ran to my kitchen and fell before the Lord.

Of course, I called my sisters and brothers and told them and wrote letters and apologized to so many people. I'm sure people were really tired of hearing about it.

But I told the Lord that weekend, I said, "If You can set me free, I'll take any opportunity I can to tell anybody, whether it's in a grocery store, in my kitchen, to a group, a large group, a small group, I will tell that You have the power to redeem a bitter, lost soul and to restore "the years the locust have eaten" [Joel 2:25] and to sustain sweetness and faith even when things continue to go wrong.

I knew, as a matter of fact, I was a little anxious for the next big test because I knew I needed to know what was going to happen to me when that next bitter cup came. I have had several since then--one bigger than all.

I went into my bedroom, I had to get alone with the Lord and fight a spiritual battle, the hardest one I've ever fought. And God brought me out victorious and did some things in my family that needed to be done for 27 years that I wasn't even aware of.

I'm still growing. I still hear the voices occasionally: "See, it's happening again, things are falling apart." And I run to the Word and I say the Word to myself and to anybody who will hear it.

"I will not be afraid of evil tidings; my heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord" [Psalm 112:7]. "When my heart is overwhelmed within me, lead me to the rock that is higher than I" [Psalm 61:2].

And I found a new strength; I found freedom, the freedom and healing that He's brought into my life, and the opportunities that I've had to share it.

I'm just amazed to be sitting here right now. I am amazed that I can love people, that I can love my husband. I'm amazed to be loved.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: [Nancy speaking at a conference] Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness. They're thrilled that God would use them at all, in any ministry. And they know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.

*Song

Karen Watts: I have my antenna up all the time. I want to be instant like the little lady at the conference that tapped me on the shoulder. I want to be willing to spend time praying or talking with other women.

In the past few months I've been tempted to think, Oh, nobody wants to hear what you have to say. And who do you think you are anyway. After all the rebellion and bitterness that you have done and all the pain you've brought to the Lord and to others, who are you?

And then I begin, as I was going through the Psalms and the Psalmist said over and over, "Come and hear and I will declare what the Lord has done for my soul" [Psalm 66:16].

Hopefully, as I grow in the Lord, I'll do it with more wisdom in Christ and fewer words, but I do want to declare what the Lord has done for my soul.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We've been listening to the story of Karen Watts. It's been several years since Karen first had that incredible life-changing encounter with the Lord where He delivered her from the bitterness and bondage that she had experienced for so many years.

As I have gotten to know Karen in recent years, it's been such a joy to see her continuing to go on to grow in her walk with the Lord and to see the joy and the fullness and the freedom and the fruitfulness that God has brought into her life.

In fact, I received a letter from Karen not too long ago and she closed that letter by saying, "I'm so very grateful that God has brought me to that first Revive Our Hearts conference. My life has not been the same."

She said, "Not only do I have peace, joy and faith but my family and my grandchildren are no longer the target of my anger and bitterness. What a miracle-working God we have."

And I would just say Amen to that.

You know, Karen ended up at that Revive Our Hearts conference because someone loved her enough to invite her, someone who had been praying for her, someone who was concerned about her spiritual condition and knew that she needed a fresh touch from God in her life.

You may have a Karen in your life, someone you have been carrying a burden for. Maybe you'd been thinking, Boy I wish I could get them exposed to this kind of teaching. They just need a fresh revival in their lives.

Well, several weeks from now we have another Revive Our Hearts conference coming up. The conference will be on November 5 and 6. It's a Friday night and all day Saturday. It's being held in Anderson, Indiana, which is within an hour of Indianapolis.

Whether you have a Karen that you want to invite to attend that conference with you or perhaps you're just sensing a need in your own heart for a fresh work of God's Spirit, let me encourage you to consider joining us for that weekend, November 5 and 6.

Leslie Basham: To find out more visit ReviveOurHearts.com or give us a call at 1-800-569-5959. As we heard today, one of the things that had an impact on our guest was the list contrasting proud people versus broken people. That list is included in Nancy's book, Brokenness: The Heart God Revives.

We're all tempted by pride, which means we should all read this book. When you order, we'll include a printed copy of the Proud People Versus Broken People on a card for you to remember.

Now, have you ever considered your eating habits a part of worship? Listen next week when we get great advice on how we approach food. Please be here for Revive Our Hearts.

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness, 1923, Ren. 1951; Arrangement by Keith Lynch.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the radio series.

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