One night, Ellie had a really bad nightmare, and we dealt with it, but the following night she was afraid to go to sleep, fearing that the nightmare would come back. I asked if she wanted the nightmare, and she said, “NO!” Then I asked her who had authority over her mind. She does! I helped her walk in it and tell the nightmare it was not welcome in Jesus’ name, and we welcomed the Holy Spirit to come and play with her while she slept, which is exactly what happened! I am all for comforting a scared child, as that is part of our job as parents. But sometimes, we are actually encouraging the fear by comforting them instead of teaching them to use their authority and get rid of the junk.
- Authority, Fear
We can parent our children by standing OVER them and using our authority in a way that dominates and uses fear (of your disapproval, punishment or lack) as a motivator to control. We do this through scolding, yelling, harsh punishments, disconnection, ill words, anger, and withholding. OR we can use our authority to get UNDER our children and see their weakness as an area we get to empower them and help them grow and learn. We do this through teaching in the time of peace, connection, kindness, encouraging words, tangible skills and solutions, believing in them, cheering them on and expecting more of them.
American friends, the Dollar Store has some great costumes of armor, swords, police uniforms, and badges that go great with teaching children about Ephesians 6:10-18, using their authority, and being victorious over lies. They also have a plastic set of chains that are great for teaching them how hurts, lies, and offenses chain our hearts and how God wants us to be FREE!
Love this testimony from my friend about how she walked in her authority as a parent. We don’t manage the fear; we deal with it.
“My son has been fearful of blood/bleeding ever since his pinky finger accident in January. This week he got his first wiggly tooth, and I immediately saw fear come when we talked; he said he was afraid because when the tooth comes out, it will bleed. He talked about his wiggly tooth constantly for days (not wanting to play certain games/eat certain foods because his tooth might come out). 2 nights ago, I went into his room while he was sleeping and commanded fear to leave him, that he wouldn’t fear bleeding, and would have joy in the process of losing his tooth. The next day he didn’t bring up his wiggly tooth AT ALL, and, this morning, he came out and wanted all the family to wiggle his tooth because it was more wiggly, and he was EXCITED about it… NO FEAR!”
Fear is a tool the enemy uses to paralyze us and stop us from moving forward. Fear always comes with a LIE. Lies are not true and are almost always in the tune of God being powerless, small, or absent. We are created to crave God, but FEAR is the number one thing stopping us. We fear that if we surrender entirely to Him, He will send us to a remote area, take our children away, or require something of us we don’t feel equipped to do. Would it shock you to know that the same fear tactic the enemy uses on you, he uses on your neighbors? What if the fear you are fearing is just a LIE to get YOU to partner with the shore so that you never go after the GOODNESS of God? To fear God in the above way reveals that we do not really know our Father. The fear reduces you to being powerless, which is the whole point. To know Him is to trust Him, and to trust Him is to experience His radical goodness. Draw a line in the sand and tell fear it is time to GO!
I was once at the prayer house, and the worship song captivated me the moment I walked in. I nestled into my chair, closed my eyes, and felt so engulfed in His presence. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a weed wacker appeared so loud it crowded out the music. The atmosphere shifted in the room. Grrrrr. Grrrrr. Grrrrr. Suddenly it stopped, and again I found that sweet spot with the Lord. Grrrrr. Grrrrr. Grrrrr. Once again, its presence dominated. This went on for several moments. Going from the peace of His presence to the annoying revving of a machine. I was growing agitated when I heard the Lord say, “Get up, open the door, and command that they stop.” I realized at that moment the “Grrrrr” was being used by God to show me something. He continued to say, “There are things crowding out your worship and focus on Me. You have authority over the noise.” Instantly I knew what He meant, and I took authority over the mental noise that I was choosing to listen to.
If your thought life doesn’t produce peace, joy, love, and acceptance, then it is nothing more than a “Grrrrr” in the spirit realm. You have the authority to command it to cease.
I met with a young 20-year-old girl who got delivered of two tormenting spirits. I was overwhelmed with compassion for her. She was sincerely trying so hard but was harassed by these spirits. We cannot manage demonic spirits – we deal with them using our authority. It was time for them to go and for her to be FREE! Oh, that we would understand as believers the power and authority that He has so graciously handed to us. Many moons ago, I was sitting in my kitchen and reading Isaiah 61 for the first time. I wrote the date next to it in my Bible and had this awareness that this verse was for me, yet I was in the middle of walking out my own brokenness. I love how God can call us long before we are ready. Over the years, that fire in my belly has only increased. I am passionate about setting the captives free, bringing comfort to the hurting, and declaring freedom. Simply put, my mission statement is to defeat the works of the enemy in the family room!!
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” (Isaiah 61:1).
When we get overwhelmed with feelings out of nowhere, we have to stop partnering with “What’s wrong with me?” and begin to ask, “Lord, why am I feeling this? How do You want to use me right now?” We feel things in the atmosphere so that we can do something about it.
First – identify what you feel: fear, anger, worry, dread, etc.
Second – ask, “Jesus, what do You want me to do about this?”
Third, pray accordingly.
“I had been wondering if what I was teaching my 18-month-old was even working. Over the last month, I have noticed he walks into the room when the light is off and starts to cry. He runs to me and says, ‘Momma, it’s dark. I am scared.’ As he was running away, something rose up within me, and I told him to go back in there and tell the dark, ‘I AM NOT AFRAID,’ and I stomped my foot down. We did this for a whole month. He would cry, and I would remind him, and then he would tell the dark he wasn’t afraid and walk in and grab a toy. Finally, I turned the lights on for him after he walked through the door. But this morning, he walked into the dark living room, and I heard him say all on his own and stomp his feet, ‘I AM NOT AFRAID!’ He came to me so proud, stomping his feet, and said, ‘I am not afraid.’ Needless to say, we had a party in the kitchen when he told me this. Lisa, I thought you should hear this… What you do for parents even when their kids are too young to comprehend. They do, and I’m so grateful to see my son stomp on the floor to say he is not afraid!”
During our online JOURNEY class, we spend a few days talking about teaching our children to not only see but love those around them. It never ceases to amaze me how many parents say, “Oh, I can’t do that.” And their reasons always include some sort of fear. Fear of man, fear of rejection, fear of getting it wrong, fear of looking foolish, etc. Instead of empowering our children to love others, we let fear lead and indirectly pass that fear down to our children. God doesn’t push us to the point of it hurting us, but there is always an invitation to go deeper.
What if we dealt with the fear in our lives? The fear that we were introduced to and taught, and allowed God to parent us through our children by stepping out of our comfort zone to see and love others? The world around you needs what you carry. Do not let the fear of _____ hinder you from teaching and empowering your children to love others.
We all experience a flash of fear from time to time, but when fear controls our thoughts, choices, and emotions, it is time to address it head-on. If fear is something that has too big of a voice in your life, after it and deal with it on this side of heaven. God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a clear mind. So, let’s go after this together.