Series: The Powerful Influence of a Godly Woman (Kay Arthur)
Kay Arthur: God, You created me woman. You know what You designed for me to be. I don’t want to be a foolish woman. I want to fulfill Your purpose for me. Speak to me through Your Word. Cleanse me through the washing of Your Word, and work in my life so that when I see You face to face, I am not ashamed, but I hear well done, My good and faithful daughter.
Father, now convict me of sin, of unrighteousness, of judgment, and fill me with Your strength and power with Your blessed Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ holy name, I thank You that because what I have prayed is biblical, You will hear, and You will answer, amen.
Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, November 12.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: What kind of woman do you want to be? Kay Arthur asked that question yesterday, contrasting a wise woman with a foolish woman, based on the book of Proverbs.
She delivered that message at the True Woman conference last month in Fort Worth, Texas. We’re about to hear part 2 of that message, and Kay is going to confront some important issues in our day, asking whether we’ve become too comfortable with sin.
When I first heard this portion of the talk, I had to ask myself some tough questions, like: When was the last time my face was wet with tears over the sin in our nation and the sin in my own heart?
During this message you’ll hear Kay refer to women waving white hankies. Women were waving these across the auditorium, representing a white flag of surrender as their way of saying “Yes, Lord, I submit to You.”
Now, as we pick up this part of the message, Kay is reading from Jeremiah chapter 9 where the prophet makes an intense, earnest appeal, and we hear the heart of God grieving over and confronting the spiritual idolatry and adultery of His people.
Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider, and call the mourning women, that they may come; send for the wailing women, that they may come! Let them make haste and take up a wailing over us, that our eyes may shed tears and our eyelids flow with water. For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion, ‘how we are ruined'” (verses 17-19, NASB).
Listen, we ought to be wailing for other women. We ought to be wailing for the condition of the women in the United States of America because, honestly, and I don’t mean this cruelly, but we are a generation of harlots that are raising harlots. We are destroying this nation with our harlotry, and a voice of wailing is heard.
When was the last time you wept, that you groaned for the sins that are going on in our nation among women?
When was the last time you were kind enough, bold enough, caring enough to talk to another woman and to call her to holiness and righteousness? It says,
Now hear the word of the LORD, you women. Let your ear receive the word of His mouth. Teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor a dirge. For death has come through your windows (verses 20-21).
In Jeremiah 9:23, the Lord says
Let not a man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands [Me] and knows Me (verses 23-24).
How well do you understand God? How well do you know Him? Precious one, are you just a New Testament Christian? You will not know God. You will not understand God until you get in Genesis. Yes, I see the white flags. You will not understand God until you start with the beginning, “God created the heavens and the earth” (1:1).
Every time Israel gets in trouble, you see it throughout the Old Testament, God reminds them: I’m the One that created the heavens and the earth. That’s why there’s such a battle over evolution and why you and I must know and understand the Word of God. It’s in the Old Testament that we get to know God. It’s in the Old Testament that we understand His justice and His righteousness and His holiness, and how we are to live. He says,
“Let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” says the Lord. “Behold, the days are coming that I will punish all [now listen carefully] who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised” (verses 24-25).
Now, He’s not speaking just about men. What He’s saying is, “You’re circumcised physically, but your heart is not circumcised.” The old is not cut away, and you have not become new. Are you a woman who tolerates sin, who white washes it with ungodly counsel, and in doing so, does not warn people of God’s coming judgment?
He goes on to say in Ezekiel, “Because you disheartened the righteous with falsehood when I did not cause him grief” (13:22). You’re giving wrong counsel. You’re saying that this is God. It is not Me, and you are giving wrong counsel. “But you have encouraged the wicked not to turn from his wicked ways and preserve his life, therefore, you women will no longer see false visions nor practice divination, and I will deliver My people out of your hand. Thus you will know that I am the LORD” (verses 22-23).
Listen, when you and I speak as a child of God, we’re going to be held accountable for what we say. We’re going to be held accountable for the counsel that we give. If it is not according to the Word of God, it is wrong because in this Book is everything and anything that you and I will ever need that pertains to life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3). I see the white hankies. It is so important.
Now, listen to what He says: Are you a woman who played the harlot and in the process sacrificed your children? What am I talking about? Abortion. It says therefore, oh harlot . . . You say, “I don’t like you to talk about abortion. I’ve had an abortion. It brings up bad memories.”
I want to tell you something—and I do this in my book—it’s time to pull the plug on pain.If God has forgiven you, you are forgiven. Put it away and move forward.(Applause) But if you have not confessed it, then confess it, and He is faithful and just to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9).
Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD, “Because your lewdness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers and with all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your sons which you gave to idols (Ezekiel 16:36).
You took your child, and you offered your child to a false god, and that’s what many people do when they get on the abortion table. They take their child, and they offer that child in their womb where they’re to be secure, on the abortion table because they have not listened to God, because they have not been the woman God wants them to be.
Do you want to be that kind of a woman? Listen, women are powerful. The way you live has greater influence than you know on your husband, on your children, on your church, on your community. It is influence for good or influence for evil or influence for nothingness.
You say, “What do you mean by nothingness?” Nothingness is this: “I’m going to remain in neutral. I’m not going to take a stand for anything. I’m not going to call sin, sin. I’m not going to call people to righteousness because I want people to love me and because I want to be accepted.” What kind of a woman is that?
Are you a woman who has raised your children as 1 Timothy 2:15 says to walk in faith, to walk in love—now, listen carefully—to restrain themselves. They don’t run all over the church. They don’t run on the pews. They don’t stand on people’s furniture. Are you that kind of a woman rather than women who abandon their children on the altar of their career or before the idol of self or who would assume that they, not God, are the provider? Do you understand? “I can’t stay at home, God. I can’t take care of my kid.” Have you thought about down-sizing?
I want to be careful here, and I understand there are extenuating circumstances, so please hear me that I know all of that. But I don’t believe that God ordained for you to have children and have someone else raise them, including your mother or your in-laws. God gave you a child for you to raise, and you are accountable.(Applause and cheers)
But you say, “I’ve got to provide.” God promises to provide all of our need according to His riches in glory. You and I have to believe. We have to be women of faith. We have to trust Him, and God will come along.
You say, “But my kids’ education . . .” Listen, God loves your kids more than you love them. God is wiser than you, so don’t lean to your own understanding. Lean on the person of God. Embrace His precepts for life.
From Deborah and Yaw El, in the days of judges, in the darkest hour of those days, there was a woman that was an out-front leader. There was a woman that stayed at home, and both of them conquered the enemy because both were women of courage. One took the tent peg and nailed the enemy to the floor, and that’s what you and I need to do.
From them to Mary who, in the fullness of time, when God sent forth His Son, a Son that would deliver men and women from sin, from its penalty, which is the wages of sin is—what?—death—from its power so that I am freed from sin. If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.
On July 16, 1963, I went down on my knees, an immoral, divorced woman, telling my husband to commit suicide when he said he was going to, and later on he did. But I came up a brand new creature in Christ Jesus, “old things passed away, all things became new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). I’m telling you, I was delivered from the power of sin, and if you haven’t been delivered from the power of sin, you do not have Christ in you because that is part of the work of the Holy Spirit.
What kind of a woman do you want to be—condemned in your sin or cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ once for all and cleansed daily by the washing of the water of the Word? Do you want to be a true woman, what God intended you to be—godly, righteous, loving, faithful, holy, fulfilled, not frustrated, triumphant, and not defeated?
If you’re going to be a woman of God, this Book has to be your daily bread. He said it in Deuteronomy. Jesus quoted it to the devil in Matthew 4:4. He turns, and He looks at the devil, and He says, “It is written, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”
What you and I are holding is the very words of God. In 2 Timothy chapter 3, He says this in verse 16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (KJV). The word is only used once in the whole New Testament, and it means “God-breathed.” All Scripture is God-breathed. These are the very, very words of God.
What are you doing preferring the writings of men and women and reading those above reading the Word of God? What is your favorite book? If it’s not the Bible, something is terribly wrong, and you can turn it around by coming to know the Word of God, because these words are spirit and life. Jesus said, “The words that I speak are spirit and life” (John 6:63, NKJV). They are a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart, as Hebrews says.
So in 2 Timothy 3, verse 14, He says you, “however, continue in the things that you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have heard them.” This is Paul’s last letter to his son. He’s going to die, and he says, and “from childhood you have known the sacred writings” (verse 15).
Now, what are the sacred writings that Timothy knew? Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges . . . all the way through the Old Testament. That child was taught the Word of God. This is the foundation for all of your Christian life. And he says “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and it is profitable for [teaching]” (verse 16, KJV).
It is profitable not only for teaching, but for reproof, to show you where you’re wrong.How do you know you’re wrong if you don’t know the Word of God? That’s why our society is in the mess that it’s in because we know what the world says, and we listen to the Christian TV, and the Christian radio, but we are not listening directly to God, and God wants you to know Him. God wants you to discover truth for yourself.
He wants you to know that this is not what this person thinks or what that person says or this one preaches. “This is what I’ve said, and this is My Word, and it is profitable for what you believe. It is profitable for reproof, and when I reprove you, I’m going to show you how to correct yourself.”
It is profitable for correction, and it is profitable for training in righteousness so that you know how to live and how to be a true woman of God and how to be a child of God that pleases Him, “so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (verse 17).
What he’s saying in essence, if you look at the play on the Greek word, he’s saying this: There is not any situation in life that can come your way, that can throw you for a loop if you know the Word of God, if you are established in the Word of God. There’s nothing. He’s got every base covered, in principle and precept.
That’s why in Psalm 119, he says, “I love Your precepts. Through Your precepts I get understanding, and I hate every false way.” (Psalm 119:104).
Precious ones, I want you to know, and I want you to understand one thing, and that is this: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for. [It is] the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV). If God has said it, it will surely come to pass. He says, “I watch over My Word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12. ESV). As He has purposed, it will come to pass.
You and I need to live by every Word that comes out of His mouth. My whole passion, my whole life, the whole life of our ministry is to establish people in God’s Word. In Psalm 119, verse 102, he says, “I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me.”
God has given you the resident Holy Spirit, your Tutor, to take the Word of God and to teach it to you so that you might be the woman that God intended you to be. If all other women don’t stand, you will stand anyway because you love your God, and if you love Him, you will obey Him and keep His commandments.
Let’s pray. Father, seal it to our hearts now, in Jesus’ name we pray. Don’t let us get away. Oh, Father, tether us, as Nancy said, to Your Word. In Your name we pray, amen. (Applause)
Nancy: You’ve been listening to a message that Kay Arthur delivered at the True Woman conference in Fort Worth last month. As you’ve heard, Kay is passionate for each of us to know God’s Word, and I hope this message has stirred in you a desire to know the Scripture more deeply.
When Kay finished this message, I felt it was important to make sure that the women gathered there had a chance to respond to the conviction of the Spirit:
It’s so easy in a conference like this just to move on into the next thing, but I think we would abort the process of what God is doing in our hearts if we just moved too quickly because God’s been speaking.
So I invited the women to make some changes based on what they had just heard:
Do you know how you know if you’ve really heard? It’s if you do it; if you say, “Yes, Lord,” if you respond. For so many years, so many of us have sat in church services, women’s conferences coming out of our ears, Bible study classes. We’ve sat; we’ve listened; we’ve been moved; we’ve been stirred; we’ve applauded; we’ve waved white flags. But our hearts have not really been bowed, and we’ve not really been changed.
It would be easy to sit here and think it would be neat to see all these other women responding, but I think the Holy Spirit is asking each of us: What is your response?
I believe that question applies to each of us now. What’s your response? Is there some action you need to take?
There are women in this room who right now are involved in an immoral relationship, not physically maybe, though there may be those as well, but on the Internet, flirtatious relationship, you’re playing with fire, giving your heart to somebody other than your mate, to a man who’s married to someone else. You need to come and confess, repent before the Lord.
I wish you could have seen what took place there at that Fort Worth Convention Center that very moment as hundreds of women got up out of their seats and headed toward the front of that auditorium where they knelt and just made an altar before the Lord.
Now you may not be able to do that right now, but perhaps you can bow your heart and just make an altar there in your heart, wherever you are. Confess any areas where the Lord has shown you that you need to repent, to confess sin, to ask the Lord for grace and strength to obey Him. Please don’t let this day end without making things right with God.
Oh Father, how I pray that You would please have Your way right now in each of our hearts and lives. Help us to be women and men who come to You with open hearts to Your Word day by day, and help us, by Your grace and the power of Your Holy Spirit to live out the truths that we have heard. I pray it for Jesus’ sake, amen.
Used with Permission. Revive Our Hearts