I have often said my kids have access to the smallest, darkest, and most remote places in people’s hearts. Places I am so keenly aware I have no access to. Teaching, training, and equipping them to use the gift of being a child for the Kingdom is one of my greatest honors.
- Playing in the Kingdom
As believers, we have a mandate (an official order or commission to do something) on our lives to carry things to the throne. Pick an area that you want to lift up today and release your prayer. While personal prayers are so dear to the Lord, I encourage you to widen your eyes, and together, let’s cover issues and topics that affect our culture and generation (ex., abortion, drugs, leaders, homelessness, salvation, etc.). Your voice matters!
Years ago, as I was learning how to play in His Kingdom, I often struggled to balance my hunger for Him and being a full-time solo parent of four small children. I wanted to attend meetings and training, pray for people, give people prophetic words, and be on the ministry team, but I felt like I couldn’t because my children needed me. I felt trapped between my two loves. Then, at church, a gal who barely knew me gave me a prophetic word that I was a conductor of the orchestra. She said God knew my heart longed to play the instrument, but it was time for me to pick up the conductor’s wand and help others play their instruments. I knew at that moment God was saying that I was to empower my children on how to play in the Kingdom and get under them to help them fly. Our world shifted at that moment, and I no longer felt the pull in two directions but poured my hunger into my children. Nearly a decade later, my children travel and minister with me. It has been a dance of giving them opportunities and crossing chicken lines. I watched the fruit of that one prophetic word and felt like I was witnessing my legacy. Tears of utter gratitude came freely that God did not call me to lay down my desires but multiplied them four times.
One of the biggest lies about Christian parenting is that you have to master things yourself first (knowing the Word, hearing God’s voice, praying for others, soaking in His Presence, etc.). Maybe, perhaps, it was God’s plan all along that you grow together as a family going after the things of the Kingdom. There is NO way I would be where I am now if it weren’t for my formal Kingdom training that was married with my children’s child-like faith. The KEY is in sharing what you are learning WITH your children and TOGETHER playing in the Kingdom.
I dare to say your child has a greater capacity to release the Kingdom more than most adults because it takes FAITH and childlike faith is a gift from the Father to partner with Him. I keep sensing God highlighting children ages 4-8 and how they will be the ones releasing the Kingdom in great measure, children who haven’t yet been taught about fearing man, legalism, or church politics. These are the children who simply hear their Father and marry it with childlike faith and reap a harvest of fruit.
“Jesus, who do You want me to show extra kindness to today?” Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or at bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is so empowering for children because they witness how God communicates with you, it increases their faith, and you get to encounter Him as a whole family. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened by worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.
Veterans are very dear to my heart. One day we were in the frozen foods aisle, and an elderly man was walking towards us in a brand-new shiny Veterans hat. I stopped and asked him if he was a Veteran. He was taken aback, and I quickly mentioned that his hat was so crisp and new. He got tears in his eyes and said he was a Veteran but too ashamed to wear his hat. A week earlier, his buddy had chewed him out for never wearing it and told him he needed to wear it with pride. That was his first outing wearing it. He pulled out his worn wallet and showed me a photo of all the medals he had earned, including the Purple Heart. He was injured as a Medevac but went to sign on for another term. I can’t fully describe to you what happened, but tears came pouring out of my eyes. I stood up straight, grabbed my son, and said, “Hudson, THIS is what a real hero is,” Tears began to fall from the man’s eyes. Another shopper stopped, I introduced them, and they stopped to shake his hand. Then another shopper came to salute him. This went on for a while, and we had a small gathering of people in the frozen food aisle honoring this hero. That man had walked in full of shame but walked out of the frozen food aisle the hero he really was!
This is so precious. I was teaching this mom how to help her children hear God, and she sent me this testimony. THIS is how we teach our children how to be the light around them.
She shared: “We have a not-so-friendly neighbor who never waves to us, making the kids upset. We just asked Jesus what He wanted us to know about him… It amazed me what we heard… We ended it by praying for him.”
One morning, Lauren (then 15) led our family devotions. All of the kids woke up super late and assumed that waking late meant we would forgo our new commitment to meet in the living room at 7 EVERY morning to spend time with Jesus as a family. We talked about the sacrifice it sometimes takes to follow Jesus and that if their outfit, hair, makeup, packed lunch, etc., were perfect, it would add little to their day, but giving God room and time to speak to them would fill them in a way the other things can’t. Lauren chose to read to us from her daily devotion about the urgency of the Lord’s return and making every day count. She had each of us think of one person in our world that needed to know they were loved, and then we asked Jesus to show us HOW. Lauren shared that God highlighted a new girl at school who was crying. When she asked Him HOW she could love her, He said to hand her a card with her phone number on it and invite her to come over for dinner and go to youth group with her. The Spirit of God was all over this assignment, and we spent the rest of the time praying for Lauren’s confidence to walk in love and obedience. The ONLY thing Lauren had planned was to read the verse. God showed up and did the rest. We don’t have to be a Bible scholar, school teacher, or executive leader to usher our children to Jesus. We need to be intentional about making space and have faith He will show up.
I love Monday mornings. I have the house to myself and crank out a ton of work! The Lord said to go to the prayer house and just sit with Him. It took me a moment to lay down my agenda, but here I am. Someone walked up to me and handed me a note containing a prophetic word so spot on, so big, so encouraging, and life-giving that all I can do is sit here in AWE. He sees me. The prophetic is a coffee date with Jesus. Take a risk today and ask Jesus what He wants to say to someone around you.
We were on the road, and as we were packing up our hotel, I noticed how clean and neat it was despite the night before when it was trashed with our stuff everywhere. I realized I had taught the kids that we lay down our rights in order to show love. In this case, I taught them over the years we have every right to trash a hotel room and let housekeeping do their job, but is that who we WANT to be? We have decided as a family we want the housekeeping staff to walk in and say, “Oh WOW,” which often includes leaving them notes, a tip, and finding a tidy room. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy, which means right living must occur if we live in and share His Kingdom with others. The laying down of our ‘rights’ to do things His way brings peace and joy that no amount of ‘rights’ could ever bring. It is an honor to play in His Kingdom by loving others well.