Tuesday, October 30, 2001
Pegged as the Elisabeth Elliot of a new generation, Nancy Leigh DeMoss hopes her daily Bible-teaching program, "Revive Ours Hearts," will spark a movement of "true revival among Christian women in our day."
DeMoss has had "a real burden for revival in the church," ever since she was 11 or 12 years old. Then came a more specific burden for women. "I have really prayed that the Lord would use 'Revive Our Hearts' as a vehicle to raise up women who have experienced personal revival, and then would be instruments of revival in their homes, in their churches, in their communities."
Who is this woman with such lofty goals? Since 1980, DeMoss has served as director of publications and women's ministries and editor of "Spirit of Revival" magazine for Life Action Ministries. She has conducted "Revive Our Hearts" conferences for women throughout the United States and has been a guest on numerous radio programs. DeMoss is the author of "A Place Of Quiet Rest" and "Lies Women Believe: And The Truth That Sets Them Free."
A native of Philadelphia, DeMoss was raised in a family deeply committed to Christ and to the mission of world evangelization. She has walked with the Lord for many years. In fact her very first memory is that of trusting Christ as her savior.
"That was at the age of 4, and by the time I was 6 or 7, I knew that God had His hand on my life and had set me apart for service," says DeMoss. "Of course, I had no idea what that would mean. I just knew that my life was consecrated to the Lord for his purposes. There really was no pressure from my parents; they, of course, wanted us to be fully devoted to the Lord. But they did not pressure us in terms of vocational ministry."
DeMoss says she never had any question or doubt that she would engage in full-time Christian work. "I actually started teaching my first Sunday school class to my friends when I was 8 years old. More or less since then, I have just loved ministering the Word. To me it's been the highest and holiest calling for my life ... to be set apart for the Lord in that way. I consider ministering an incredible privilege."
The call has meant a life of singleness for DeMoss, at least for now. "I have always had a pretty strong sense of being set apart to serve as a single. It wasn't such a difficult surrender for me. It doesn't mean there aren't moments of thinking this is hard, but every married woman has that too. For me, I have had the sense that, as long as I was single, it was for the purpose of being set apart for a unique sort of ministry."
DeMoss graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in piano performance. After completing college, she served on the staff of a large local church in the area of children's ministries.
For more than 20 years, she has communicated her burden for both personal and corporate revival in conferences and retreats throughout North America and abroad. In the conference setting, she came in contact with women who have very real and deep hurts, issues and struggles.
She now brings that wealth of experience to "Revive Our Hearts." DeMoss says she believes strongly in "the power of the Word, power of the truth, power of the gospel, power of the spirit - not to solve all our problems but to give us a direction and perspective in the midst of problems."
Doing the show is not without challenges. The broadcast has been added to a year when DeMoss already had a fully booked schedule. "It has been rigorous," she admits, "but for me, unquestionably the biggest challenge has been to keep priorities in terms of my walk with the Lord. The busyness and the demands have increased exponentially, so the temptation then is to take shortcuts in my time with the Lord, in the Word, and in prayer, which I can less afford to do now."
DeMoss has worked hard to maintain a quiet heart and personal worship and meditation time, even though the show's "birthing process has been so relentless." She says she thanks the Lord she has good people around her who love her enough to ask the right questions and hold her accountable. "But that's an ongoing daily battle."
When asked about the highlights thus far, DeMoss responds, "There's been so much pent up in my heart, in terms of the Word and applying it to the lives of women, that I feel like now I'm able to have a greater vehicle. Not so much because there are more people exposed, but because there are more opportunities - 260 times a year to be exact - to proclaim truth."