Do you recognize when the enemy tries to steal your joy? One of the ways our adversary seeks to steal the joy of God’s people is through deceit, and he changes tactics with each new generation. In this generation, he seems to be taking direct aim at God’s design for male and female, as well as our sexual well-being, robbing us of peace and joy in the process. Listen in today as I teach from our July study at MomStrong International.
Transcribed version of the podcast is below
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Psalm 13:1-6
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
- MomStrong International
- Scripture Writing Challenge
- Firmly Planted Family Homeschool Resource Center
- Heidi St. John Conference in Lee’s Summit
- Heidi St. John Conference in Fredericksburg, Virgina
- Heidi St. John Conference in Vancouver, Washington
- See all upcoming events here
- Pastor Phil Hopper Podcast
Scripture Mentioned in Podcast
- 2 Corinthians 3:17
- John 10:10
- Genesis 3:4
- Habakkuk 3:17-19
- Psalm 6:1-4
- Psalm 101
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
This podcast is sponsored by MomStrong International.
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John podcast. Today is Wednesday, July 10th—this is episode number 790, brought to you by MomStrong International. We’re going to be talking about embracing joy today, and I’m going to do something I don’t normally do, which is answer another question from a listener because I think it ties into this study on biblical womanhood and embracing God’s design of male and female.
Stick around. I think you’re going to be encouraged.
Alright, so lots going on right now in my life. I am broadcasting today from the Firmly Planted Family studios in Vancouver, Washington—getting ready to head on out to CHEA. I will be there tomorrow, in Pasadena. So if you guys are anywhere in California. You guys for.the.love—California is on fire. And even if you’re not homeschooling, I would want to encourage you to come out. This is the last time that I will be down in Pasadena for quite some time and so come on out and see me. July 11th through the 13th—I will be at CHEA . I will link back to that in the show notes today. And then the weekend after that, I’ll be at AFHE in Phoenix, Arizona.
Coming up also, my women’s conference is going to be in three places this fall. The first place I’m going to be is in Lee’s Summit, Missouri at Abundant Life Church. You guys, I cannot wait. Pastor Phil Hopper, who was just on my podcast last week, is one of my favorite people on the planet. I love what God is doing at Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Come on out. We’re going to have a great turnout. You guys, we’re given stuff away. There’s going to be swag there. I mean, I’m telling you, I can’t even, wow—it’s gonna change your life. Bring your Bible, bring your friends. Come on out. I will do a one day event, August 24th. I will link back to that in the show notes today.
Next place that the Heidi St. John Conference will be, is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. That will be on September 14th. Then October 12th in Vancouver, Washington. My neck of the woods. Woot-Woot! Shout out to my Vancouver and Portland peeps! We’re excited about that! And then after that I’m going to be in Lincoln, Nebraska. So lots of stuff coming up on my calendar. I hope you guys will come out. I’ll be in Lincoln, Nebraska on the 19th of October. It’s not too early to start getting ready for these things. So stick it on your calendar.
You guys, my peeps in Lincoln, Nebraska—did you know that my grandparents are from Fairbury, Nebraska? It’s true. I took my kids and we went there on a road trip about eight or nine years ago just to kind of see the train platform where my grandfather used to come and wait for Grandma. So, really special. I’m really excited to be coming to Lincoln. So check it out. Put it on your calendar. October 19th in Lincoln, Nebraska. And October 12th here in Vancouver, Washington.
For the Scripture Writing Challenge at MomStrong International is Psalm 13:1-6. I’m going to read it for you and I want you guys to be writing this out. If you’ve not downloaded the Scripture Writing Challenge, it’s free. Check it out at MomStrongInternational.com. Here we go.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.
[Psalm 13:1-6 NIV]
Guys, let’s go ahead and open up this study on finding joy with a word of prayer.
Lord Jesus, thank You that you love us. Thank You that You’re here, that You’re listening. Lord, thank You that joy is a fruit of Your Spirit, evidence that You are at work in us. And Lord, as I look around the culture today, we have a lot of reasons to be afraid, a lot of reasons to not be joyful—and yet as we read the words of the Psalmist David, we recognize that we’re not alone, that the struggles that we’re in are not new. That David and wondered also— how long he would have to suffer, how long he would struggle with his thoughts and the fear that was in his heart. Lord, I pray today as we study this a little bit, that you would help us to do what David declared in his heart to do, which is to trust in your unfailing love. Lord, I pray for every person that’s listening to this today, that our hearts might rejoice in the salvation that you’ve given us through your son Jesus. Lord, that because of Jesus, we know this world isn’t all there is. We’re just passing through. Lord, we’re going to heaven. So father, I thank you. I pray, Father, that we would do what David did, which is to sing your praise and remember that you have been good to us. We love you, Lord. We invite you into this study. Thank you for what you’re doing here at the podcast, Lord, in your church, in men and women around the world, in Jesus name. Amen.
So lots of stuff going on at MomStrong International right now. If you guys haven’t downloaded the study, it’s not too late to do it. We’re talking about embracing our role. I know that there are a lot of men who listen to this, but guys—there’s a lot of truth in here for you. So the studies are really written from the perspective of and for women, but God’s Word is for everybody. And the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:17—Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. There is liberty. There’s not a better a verse for the month of July, having just survived the gay pride extravaganza month of June. I’m really happy to make all things about liberty and freedom in the month of July. And we want to start with the freedom that we’ve been given in Christ. So this month, as we embrace God’s plan for Biblical womanhood, and God’s designed for human sexuality, I’m going to answer a question that I would normally reserve for a Mailbox Monday. But, I thought—man, this is good for what we’re going to be talking about today.
So let me address it for you really quickly and then we’ll jump into the topic. A mom recently wrote to me and she said—Heidi, I never considered myself to be a homeschooling mom. Go figure, here I am on my second year of homeschooling. Woot-woot, girlfriend. I relate to you. I also did not think I’d be homeschooling. She said—anyway, with Rachel Held Evans death recently, I have discovered a former pastor’s wife that is a friend of mine on Facebook who used to be one of our leaders at Mars Hill Church, and she’s beginning to share liberal progressive news. I am very shocked that many of our pastor’s wives from this denomination end up going to the side of Progressive Christianity.
She then shared a podcast, and actually I looked up the podcast. And the podcast, I’m not even gonna get the name of it because it’s so ridiculous—but it’s a transgender who says that he’s a Christian. And so she’s sharing this podcast and she’s wanting to know if I can talk about it a little bit. She said—when I listened to at the beginning, I want to say our identity shouldn’t be in anything other then Jesus. So what is the truth? What about his design for marriage? What about his design for male and female? Some of these are so confusing. I have to Google the terms.
Well listen, anonymous friend, you are not alone. A lot of us are having to Google the terms and I want to just tell you right now—these people who call themselves Progressive Christians— can you just run for your ever loving your life? These are people who have been deceived. The Bible teaches us in Timothy that even people who claim the name of Jesus are going to be deceived in the end times. And I believe we are definitely living in the end times—I mean, in relation to eternity, right? If the Lord comes back a hundred years from now, we are still definitely in the end times.
And I just want to encourage you, right now, to a place of knowing and believing and studying the Word of God. God is very clear on our identity as male and female. The Bible teaches us that God made us male and female, in His image. And so when you hear a man, I don’t care if he claims to be a Christian or not, but especially if he claims to be a Christian, and he saying— well, I’m a man, but I’m transitioning to be a woman. You know, I just read an article the other day about a college in the United States, a so-called university, which yeah, for the love, I mean that’s a whole other thing. But in a university there are these trans-activists are demanding to put tampon dispensers in the men’s restroom.
And I heard a Democrat running for president, Julián Castro I believe, who said this. He was saying he was first social justice, right? We’re social justice warriors and he’s for social justice. And if a trans-woman needs an abortion, by golly should have access to it. And I just looked at my husband, I’m like, we have lost our minds and the world is on fire. A trans-woman is not a woman. A trans-woman is a man. And a man can not get access to an abortion because a man does not have a uterus. A man cannot get pregnant. We are allowing 0.002% of our population who is mentally ill, and in many cases beyond the scope of what we would consider even a normal mental illness—to determine, and define, and shape the culture.
And so as Progressive Christianity begins to infiltrate the churches, which by the way is bringing socialism with it, which will bring communism. You guys, we need to wake up. We need to wake up. So when you hear a pastor’s wife, and I use the term pastor very loosely in this case, go to the site of Progressive Christianity—my first reaction to that is I 100% guarantee you she doesn’t know her Bible. She’s not reading her Bible. The Bible is very, very clear on our roles as male and female and on God’s design for male and female. He does not make mistakes. Are there chromosomal abnormalities? Absolutely. There’s something called intersex. People are born with all manner of brokenness, right? But we’re not talking about that. We’re just talking about people who are like—I think today, I feel like a woman.
I just want to tell these guys who want to be women— it’s not that amazing, okay? And really, real women are desperate for men to be men. You guys have heard me say this on the podcast before. I loved the article I read in The Washington Post not too long ago from the woman who said—dear progressive feminist, you’re hardcore feminist, stop screwing it up for the rest of us. Like, we love it when men are men. Women are born responders. This is God’s design. We have been born to be helpers. There’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t mean we can’t be doctors and lawyers and nurses and such. It means that God has given us a unique design according to His Word. And part of what’s happening in the culture right now is our embracing, particularly in Progressive Christianity —Rachel Held Evans was a great example. I’m very sad for what happened to her and very sad for her family, but her belief about the Bible was completely wrong. It was absolutely heretical what she was teaching.
And there are a lot of Christians who call themselves believers who are listening to this teaching and really falling prey to it. And the net result of that is we’re watching the enemy of our soul come in and he’s literally stealing our joy. And that’s kind of where I want to focus today because our joy is robbed from us when we forget that we have an adversary, right? So we look for joy, we want to be happy, we want to be free, right? Where the Spirit of the Lord is—there’s freedom. But we’re not free to walk away from God’s design of male and female.
We’re not free to not walk out of the covenant of our marriages. We’re not free to engage in what God says is sin, and then use the Bible to excuse it, right? So we have an adversary. The Bible teaches us that he comes, his name is Satan. He comes to kill and steal and destroy. This is out of John 10:10. So do you recognize it when the enemy tries to steal your joy?
One of the ways that he’s trying to do it is through deceit. And that is absolutely what’s happening in the culture right now. This is the focus of our study at MomStrong International this month. If you haven’t downloaded it, I would love for you guys to join us. It’s about $8 and some change every month. And it really, you guys, I can’t even tell you—we’ve got a team of about five women that are helping write this study right now and get it out to you. And God is doing amazing things. So check it out. Come and join the Bible Study and community there.
And one of the ways that our adversary is stealing the joy right now, is through deceit—and he’s changing tactics with each new generation. So in this generation, he’s taking direct aim at God’s design for male and female. He’s taken direct aim at our sexual wellbeing, robbing us of peace and joy in the process. And that’s really what I’m hearing from this young mom who wrote to me and said— this is so confusing. It’s confusing because it’s the enemy and the Bible is not that complicated. So when you guys start to get confused, I just want to encourage you— it’s probably the adversary at work, right? And this is how he sounds in Genesis 3:4 where he says— you will not surely die. You’re not going to die. These words have echoed throughout time beginning the moment that Satan launches assault against those who bear the image of their Creator.
Remember we talked about this before? You are image-bearers. So can you hear the voice of the enemy right now? I can. Satan has always been invested in stealing the identity of God’s people. We are image-bearers of God, and if there’s one thing Satan hates, it’s an image-bear. And while we might not see him in the form of a snake in the garden, his slippery-lying voice remains the same. So Satan played directly to Eve’s desire to go beyond the safety of God’s design for her. And this is where the temptation began. See if you guys recognize a slippery, a smooth-tongue voice of the enemy— you will not surely die. God’s not serious about sin. You will not surely die. God’s design for male and female is flawed. You will not surely die. Instead, you will find joy when you embrace your truth rather than God’s, you will not surely die after all, who are you hurting? You will not surely die because God isn’t the final authority on all matters pertaining to life and godliness and matters of sexuality, in matters of marriage, you are. You will not surely die if you embrace your truth. You will finally live.
Can you hear him? You guys, same lies, different generation. You see at its root, sexual sin as a rebellion against God’s created order. I’m gonna say that again. Sexual sin is a rebellion against God’s created order. It’s the creation saying to the Creator— we don’t like the rules you gave, so we’re going to make our own. Have you guys noticed that sin always begins at the tiny seed of discontent?
And what’s happening in the schools right now is that tiny seat of discontent, which is being pushed out by Nike, and Target, and Apple, and Google—and I could go on and on and on. And these young kids are watching it. What happens is that seed of discontent, that’s the same seed that was in Eve’s heart when the serpent said— you’re not going to die, you won’t. Everything’s going to be just fine. Slippery. And when that seed of discontent is planted, we become dissatisfied with what God has given us. Whether it’s with our spouse, our bodies, or even our gender— the enemy moves quickly. He knows that when the Creation worships itself rather than its Creator, we are easy pray for his joy-stealing lies.
And so I want to encourage you today as we study what God says about joy and how to find it—to embrace what God says is true. You guys—you are loved. You are loved by your Creator. You are loved by a wise Father, and His heart for you is much like your heart for your children. God knows that our rebellion, like Eve’s, is not going to bring us joy and peace because true joy comes from God. It’s not dependent on our circumstances either. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and we get this fruit when we walk in obedience to the One who gave it to us in the first place. When we embrace who God says we are, joy follows. In Habakkuk 3:18-19 it says— Yet I will exult in the Lord. Actually, let me go back. Let me go back to verse 17. So Habakkuk is having a kind of a hard time. If you guys haven’t read the book of Habakkuk, we’re going to study it here at MomStrong International, hopefully in the fall.
He’s having a rough go of it, right? It’s a long story, but a read Habakkuk. So Habakkuk 3: 17-19 and now he’s starting to, he’s really, he’s looking around and he’s like— dude, I’m in trouble. And he says— Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. [Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV]
God does it. This is Habakkuk saying— listen, even though the fig tree does not bud…. Let me put it in in 2019 language for you—though I’m struggling to understand the thoughts I’m having in my heart, though I don’t understand why we’re struggling financially, though I’ve struggled through miscarriage and disappointment, though I haven’t seen the fruit in the life of my child that I hope to see, thouhg my marriage struggling, though we are pressed on every side—I will rejoice and be joyful in the Lord.
My God, He is my strength. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. He enables me to tread in high places. You guys, this is the Lord of Heaven’s armies. This is the God who loves you. He loves you and God desires that your life would be filled with and marked by joy. Joy is not a product of your circumstances. Joy is an unmistakable sign of the presence of God. That means husband, no matter what’s happening to you at work right now, you can go home and be joyful. You can treat your wife and your children with joy. Moms, no matter what you’re walking through right now, you’ve got teenagers who are mouthing off at you, a kid who just broke your favorite teapot—that may or may not have happened to me—whatever it is, whatever the circumstance is, the enemy would like to come in and steal our joy, we’re not going to let him do it because we know that joy comes from the spirit of God. Joy in every circumstance.
Joy because of our circumstances, is driven by emotion, right? And so that makes it reliant on our circumstances. So if that’s what we’re looking forward to for joy, then we might as well just give up. But Biblical joy is knowing that all is well between me and the Lord, right? Our Salvation has been secured at a great cost. Our soul has been redeemed for eternity. Charles Spurgeon taught on the fruit of the Spirit in 1881 and the message that he gave then rings loud, and clear, and true today. It is referenced heavily throughout this study and we’re going to link to it at the end, so you guys can dig deeper on your own.
But he says— Biblical joy is produced by the Holy Spirit.
So if we’re saved then the Holy Spirit has indwelt us, and He is producing the fruit of joy. So we can slow the growth though, but if we are saved, God is always at work. God gives us deep transparent transparent joy. And as we look into David’s life, imperfect as it was, we will see him pursuing a daily relationship with God.
I want to just encourage you, we’re going to study a little bit about how David did that. Guys, this is something you can jump in with us too. We’re going to be in Psalm 6:1-4 and Psalm 101. And I want you to think about the emotions that David was experiencing. Because, you guys, I think sometimes you think: oh my goodness, this is the worst generation ever. It’s not. The enemy has always been at work, and just like he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, he is deceiving men and women today.
And I want to encourage you, go back to the Word of God. Know His Word. No matter what people say. They’re going to call you names. They’re going to make you feel like you’ve got the problem. You’re the bigot, you’re the fascist. You’re the backward persons. But you say— no, I trust in the Lord, Maker of Heaven and earth. God wants to fill you with joy. And part of that joy comes from knowing that you are walking in and right relationship and embracing what God says is true.
You guys, I hope that this study this month is encouragement to you. So much is happening in the culture right now. We have seen a rapid departure from the truth of God’s Word and that is why the culture is crumbling around us. But also, I want you to be encouraged—because everywhere I go… I was speaking just not too long ago at Slavic Summit here in Vancouver, and I’m telling you what, there is a groundswell of men and women who claim the name of Jesus and know His Word who are getting off the bench and onto the battlefield, linking their hearts and their hands in prayer, and a passion to change the culture for Christ.
It begins with studying, and knowing, and applying the Word of God. To be able to do what Paul said to Timothy to rightly divide the Word of truth. To know it, and understand it, and apply it—and then get out into the world and change it. The Gospel changes people.
I hope you guys have enjoyed the podcast today. If it’s encouraging to you, please, please, please leave a review for the podcast at iTunes. There are tens of thousands of you listening to this right now and we will love to see tens of thousands of reviews over at iTunes. So head on over and leave a review there.
Don’t forget to come on out to the Heidi St. John Conference. Next one coming up is in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. I love you guys. I’ll be back on Friday with a special guest.
Have a great Wednesday everybody, and I’ll see you back here on Friday.
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Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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