We had a Let the Children Fly team meeting and I sensed many people were dealing with spiritual resistance (the refusal to accept or comply with something, the attempt to prevent something by action or argument). As I was sharing my own experience, I saw this picture of workout resistance bands wrapped around one’s legs. They can still walk, but it takes more effort with every step because there is resistance set up to oppose their steps. I got the idea to grab rubber bands and put them between our fingers to feel the resistance. I put on some worship music, and we just spent time aligning our hearts with His. During worship, God reminded me of a story where a man came up against great resistance, but it was God who put up the block for his training and development. When the challenging season was over, he knew his anointing had doubled. I began to process that some resistance is good and from the Father’s hand to develop us more like Jesus. But then I saw this picture of the enemy using resistance and disguising it as being from Him. And that is when God showed me the strategy. Many people are experiencing resistance and simply accepting it, going low, and submitting to the Father when in reality, it is something that needs to be dealt with in the spiritual realm. The more they partnered with the resistance saying, “Well, it is just for my development” or “It comes with the territory of breakthrough,” they were actually partnering with the enemy who was bringing the wrong kind of resistance against them, their minds, calling, assignments and relationships. What’s the difference? Your level of peace! God’s training, character development, increasing our capacity, and seasons of refinement are not always pleasant, but they come with a layer of peace. Only God can discipline you in a way that still somehow feels loving and protective. If the resistance you are experiencing leads you to feel uneasy, unsettled, full of lack, discouragement, or hopelessness, then perhaps it is not more patience that you need but a revelation of your authority to resist the resistance and watch it flee. I gave each team member scissors, and we stretched the rubber bands between our fingers to feel the resistance and then cut it. The bands went flying everywhere, and joy broke out. We all felt lighter and restored to hope and confidence that He will complete the work in us and fulfill the promises over us in His way and in His timing.
ARE YOU FEELING RESISTANCE?
I had two significant encounters that changed my relationship with Holy Spirit. Here is the first one.
When I became a solo parent, there was a wide and deep gamut of emotions to process. I would go into my closet and let it out. I could cry (even yell), and the kids would not be able to hear me. It was my safe place. My mentor gave me two books to read, and I would wake up early and go into my closet. Something began to yearn deep within me for more of Him. The former was great, but I was dying for more. It felt like survival. I had to have more of Him. I did not want the wacky, weird, even embarrassing Spirit that made my heart feel so unsafe and uncomfortable, but I was growing in my unquenchable hunger for Him, and at that point, my hunger was forcing my guard down. Hungry people do whatever it takes to be fed, even break down mental barriers that have been erected to keep them ‘safe.’ Within six months of losing my husband, my dad died, and two weeks later, my stepdad died. I was in full-blown grief over the significant men in my life and, at the same time, developed a headache that would not cease. It felt like a constant brain freeze from eating something cold too fast; nothing would reduce the pulsating pain. This went on for three months straight. People kept telling me it was just stress due to my profound grief, but deep down, I knew I had better coping skills than that. Despite the pain, I managed to drive the kids from CO to MN by myself for my dad’s funeral, and weeks later, I even took them to the mountain for our annual family getaway, but all I could do was lay on the bunk bed, unable to move. Finally, one night, I told the kids to lie down on Mommy’s floor and sleep. I could not help them get their PJs on or brush their teeth. I put my head on the pillow that night, fully confident I would die of my brain blowing up. The pain was unbearable. Hours later, I was rushed by a friend to the ER, where they discovered my carotid artery was torn. It was nothing short of a miracle that I held together for three long months walking around with a ripped artery. I was transferred to ICU and was told a simple sneeze could severely tear the artery completely. I was at high risk for a stroke or aneurysm. I spent a very scary few weeks maneuvering through healing for both my broken body and heart. I was still so sick and weak after being released from the hospital that my friends thought it best to keep the kids for a bit longer to give me time to heal. I was assigned a home health nurse because I kept fainting and passing out whenever I would stand up. One afternoon, I sat dazed on the couch, wanting to get up to make myself something to eat, but too weak to move. It was hours before my nurse arrived, yet I knew I risked passing out again if I got up. I was trapped in my body. While my heart was being stretched beyond its capacity with grief, my body was also being pushed to the limits. I was overwhelmed by my state and so desperately wanted to be healed. I missed my children (I had not been with them for over a month) and felt isolation so deep it was paralyzing. I was extremely sick and powerless to take care of my basic needs. It is hard to describe the weakness of my mind, body, and spirit at that moment. It felt like death.
Out of nowhere, I began to see events unfold. This was not just in my mind; it was as if it was really happening, and I was watching it like a movie. I saw a girl on a hospital bed and emergency workers rushing around her. They were running and racing the hospital gurney down the hall (again, I was watching this as if they were really doing it). There was seriousness and panic in the air. The girl on the hospital bed was me, and suddenly they stopped and placed a white sheet over her. I cannot fully explain what happened next, but I stood up and dropped to my knees. It was like my face could not get low enough to the ground, and words began to flow out of my mouth. It was as if I was speaking from the depth of my toes. I did not understand what I was saying, yet I knew I was saying something. It was forceful, and while I was aware I could stop it at any time and felt ‘in control,’ it was so powerful and moved without my effort or help that I did not want to interrupt it. It went on for a good five minutes, and then it was like it was over. I sat up stunned, with my face and hair completely soaked. I was a bit bewildered by what I had just experienced but realized I felt physically different. I felt like me again and felt strong for the first time in months. I had absolutely no grid for what just happened. I called my mentor, fully convinced I may have just lost my mind. She began to laugh and said with much joy, “Oh Lisa, you just had your first vision and spoke in a prayer language. Lisa, that was Holy Spirit!!!!” I believe the vision was Holy Spirit alerting me that a spirit of death was coming to me, and He gave me a language to pray against it. My mind did not understand it, but my spirit did. That encounter left me speechless for months. Was that the odd, wacky, and uncomfortable Spirit I saw touching others? Suddenly to have my own experience changed everything. I had to have more of Him. My hunger became almost excruciating to steward. My biggest prayer from that moment on was, “More, Lord, MORE.” Holy Spirit knew my journey and knew why I was so leery of Him, yet He also knew my deepest desire could only be filled and satisfied by Him. He knew I had a calling on my life that would be to introduce scores of people around the globe to Him, but I first had to experience Him, and He knew it had to happen in a way that came through my need, not my intellectual knowledge as that was shut down to Him.
P.S. I wept writing that. I cannot imagine my life without Holy Spirit. I think of the pages and pages and pages of testimonies of ways He has shown up, revealed truth, parented the kids, opened doors, brought me comfort, healing, and joy, and been there for me. What about you? Are you stuck in the place of being hungry for more of Him but leery of Holy Spirit? Do you need an encounter with Him that reveals who He really is? Cry out and tell Him. It’s okay to acknowledge your weariness, concern, and doubt. Confess your trust and faith in Him, even when you do not have it all figured out yet. More Lord, MORE!
Get out of the courtroom! Some of you have been hammered with accusations from the enemy that your God is not a good Father. God is moving in a way many have not experienced before, and His ways are not always ours. We have to leave room for Him to be just that – GOD! If you hear a barrage of accusations against Him, LEAVE THE COURTROOM! You do not need to listen to evidence against Him. The evidence is tainted; the accusations are lies. The trial is a mock trial. It is not your job to defend the Creator of the universe! It is your job to silence the enemy with your praise! It is your job to know and stand on the Word of God! It is your job to be a witness of love to others! There is no case to be won – we live in a place of victory now!
I often hear comments about how ‘easy’ it is for me to partner with God in my parenting, as if somehow I have an easy button in parenting because of it (huh?). Yep! I have pressed into hearing Him for my children. Yep! I have some history with Him. Yep! I have faith that He will show up, reveal, and help me. Yep! I have a partner in parenting. But I STILL have to: Exercise that muscle! Make a choice to go to Him! Intentionally listen to Him! Be uncomfortable in the waiting! Trust that He knows more than I do! Surrender my children! I am in a season now where I feel utterly clueless, do not know what to do, and have Mama Bear emotions over my child’s choices. I, too, can often feel like I am at square one in my parenting. My history serves as evidence that He is faithful, but I still have to choose Him and do my part over and over and over again. That is how we build HIStory and partner with Him.
How many of you feel lost without corporate worship, weekly gatherings, and deeper interaction? How many long to pass the Communion plate and enter His presence together? With the lack of church meetings, have you found Him on your own? Have you opened your Bible? Hosted your own worship time? Prayed? Taken Communion? Or has no church left you empty? We need to change the language from NO church to KNOW church. YOU are the church as He dwells inside of you. If we can only find His presence, hear Him, and enjoy Him in the company of others, perhaps we know church more than we know HIM! It’s time to buy your own oil by learning how to go after Him in the secret times when no one else is around. When you starve yourself, your body will eventually stop giving you hunger pangs as a way of survival. When you eat, you become hungry. It doesn’t matter if you FEEL like feeding your spirit; we do it anyway SO THAT it creates a hunger for more. We read our Bible, pray, worship, and take Communion, which increases our desire for more. If you are waiting for the hunger to kick in, you could be waiting for a long time. Dive in today and start eating.
HERE’S THE KEY – When corporate gatherings start happening again, there will be an explosion of His Spirit because you will have oil in you to burn! Don’t wait for the church to start again so that you can enjoy someone else’s fire – get your own – today!
You can only be condemned in your parenting if you are doing it FOR Him. When we do things in our own strength, it becomes about our performance. But, when you have the revelation that He lives IN you and works THROUGH you, one cannot condemn what Jesus is doing.
We are not alone in our parenting. We are not given these gifts only to fend for ourselves. Instead, they have a perfect Father who so passionately wants to help us raise them, heal them, transform them, and equip them to be ALL that He designed for them. Oh, that every family in the world would see that we have a partner in our parenting!
Isn’t this a beautiful testimony from a father?
“Our family went on a family hike, and our eldest daughter was having fun running around. We got to the falls and took some pictures, but on the way back, she started whining about wanting to be carried and kept her whining and crying all the way back to the car. I told her if she kept it up, I would give her a spanking, and I could see the fear come into her eyes. She started trying to force herself to stop crying, and it was like something had switched inside me. I asked if she needed to be held, and she gave a huge nod with obvious relief, so I took her out of the car and held her on a nearby rock. I felt prompted by Holy Spirit to ask if she liked the waterfall, and she said no, that it was too loud. I asked if the noise and force of the waterfall scared her, and she said yes. I told her I was sorry for not realizing she was scared and asked if she would forgive me. She did, and I walked around holding her a little longer, and we ended up having a nice time again. This wouldn’t have happened before taking the mentoring class. When we were at the critical moment right when we got back to the car, I felt God cut in and remind me (gently, but in a way that couldn’t be ignored) that my connection to her heart was more important than her outward behavior, and it just froze me. I just wanted to share how the things you shared with us continue to bear fruit in our lives.”
The Kingdom Era will be marked by families moving from busyness to connection. Anxiety to empowerment. Compromise to authority. Mark my words – this is what God is doing in families, and you either align yourself with Him, or you miss it because you refuse to let go of the old.
Church Era in families – busyness, anxiety, compromise.
Kingdom Era in families – connection, empowerment, authority.
Your child is not being disobedient to resist the things in you that are not Kingdom. What do I mean? So many times, parents come to me out of pure frustration over a child who is rebelling, angry or defiant. But once we explore the situation deeper with Holy Spirit, we discover that the parent is partnering with fear, control, or woundedness, and the child is simply reacting to what is out of alignment and will not follow that path. That is ultimately a good thing, as God parents us through our children. Not all conflict in the home is the child’s fault. Sometimes it is God allowing us to see what is in our hearts that need to be aligned. Your child is not being disobedient to resist the things in you that are not Kingdom – that’s called God’s redemption!
I love Communion Sunday. I take the forgiveness of my sins seriously and believe with my whole heart that Jesus is not only the Savior of the world but MY Friend. The price He paid for me to know Him and walk in that friendship is no small thing. While my children took communion on Sunday, I wanted to go deeper with them. I went to the store to buy gluten-free rice crackers and a bottle of grape juice. I already had communion cups (at any party store) and gathered the kids. We spent time going around telling Jesus what we were thankful for (because of Him). We broke the cracker and sat quietly as we each focused on His body being beaten, ripped, and torn for US! We recalled the countless times He has washed us clean from our messes and mistakes and never once turned His back on us. We thanked Him for ‘taking the spanking on our behalf’ and quietly consumed the juice. What struck me so profoundly about our pastor’s message is that communion is so much more than just eating and drinking over a history lesson. Just as being baptized is more than taking a swim, there is something more significant going on when we take communion. We take communion to RECEIVE His forgiveness and healing TODAY. We are committed as a family to taking communion every morning. We recall who needs the blood of Jesus in their life or circumstances, and we take it on their behalf. We focus on what Jesus has done for us TODAY and fill our hearts and minds with His goodness. Gather your kids and partake in one of the greatest gifts ever given to man!