I ministered to a 20-year-old mom who said with tears streaming down her face, “Lisa, you gave me Daughter goggles. Suddenly all I can see now is the orphan spirit in operation, which makes me so hungry to act like a Daughter.” I couldn’t help but laugh. I like the sound of that. And then we prayed for the gift of discerning identity to be activated in her life. She is a force to be reckoned with and will be used mightily in the Kingdom to give others Daughter goggles.
Hudson’s salvation story is very different than his sisters. A guest speaker came to their school to speak at chapel. God showed up and touched the children so deeply that he was invited back the next week to speak to the older kids. Since I had three kids in that group, I was eager to go. I began to witness something odd happening. There were two groups of kids in that room that day. One group was hungry and clinging to every word and move of the speaker. My daughters were in that group. But there was another group of kids which my son was in, and something was different. While there is always grace with the things of God, their response, or therefore lack of, seemed off to me. Days later I couldn’t shake what I saw with the group my son was in. I would cry out for Jesus to show me what it was and over the course of a few days He showed me that those were the kids who haven’t yet made a choice for Jesus. They are playing hard in the Kingdom, know how to hear Him, prophesy, and heal the sick but when they watch others encounter Him, they feel like something is wrong with them because they know they aren’t encountering Him the same way. WOW! When we see that there is more it should produce hunger in us, but because these kids are surrounded in a culture where there is an assumption they are already believers, it creates shame in them that something is wrong. This broke my heart. Hear me when I tell you what this produces in a child. They are angry and frustrated and often sabotage the things of God in your home. Not because they don’t want Him but because they don’t know how to say, “Hey, I am scared to tell you that I am not experiencing what you think I am”. I have since counseled scored of parents with kids who are acting out negatively only to find out that they feel spiritual pressure to behave, act and feel a certain way with God. They get tired of pretending and grow sick of managing the feelings that something is wrong with them. I knew I couldn’t go to my son and say, “Hey, I don’t think you are saved,” as he already had a deep connection with Jesus, and I didn’t want to do anything to plant doubt or tear that down. It was one of those moments where I honestly didn’t know how to respond. We were at church one day and I left so filled with His love, yet the moment we got home all hell broke loose mainly with Hudson (don’t you just love those moments. Ugh). I was so frustrated that going to church was producing so much chaos that I sent all of the kids to their rooms for a break from each other. I sat in the living room and cried tears of pure frustration. I heard God say, “It is time. Bring Hudson out,” and I KNEW God was telling me it was time to close the gap. I called him to the living room and held him. I asked, “Hey buddy. Are there times you see other kids at school and know that you don’t feel what you see them experiencing?” His eyes got really big, and he had this look of complete shock that I knew. He began to cry and said, “Yes.” I reminded remind him that Jesus loves him and so enjoys playing with Him, but that Jesus wants to be IN him and not just come and go like a friend. Hudson accepted Jesus that day.
I am sharing this testimony from one of my spiritual daughters:
“When the girls and I have some free time, we like to do what we call treasure hunting. We ask the Holy Spirit where to go to find someone that needs prayer. Today before our mission, I told the Lord I wanted to witness a real impact. For someone’s life to be completely changed (well, don’t be surprised when you get what you asked for.). We walked where we felt led at Walmart and ended up in an aisle face-on with my children’s father, who we had not seen in 9 years. Clear as day the Holy Spirit said that’s who you’re here to pray for. Umm, really, Jesus? You know our history, right? We said hello. Did some very minimal catching up and asked him and his now wife if we could pray for them, and they willingly received prayer. (For those of you that don’t know our story. Karina and I walked away from everything we owned when I was pregnant with Val to leave an abusive, toxic relationship and find safety). I truly believe this was a divine appointment. Never in my life have I felt the presence of God as strong as I did at this moment. His peace was definitely present. You know God has done a work in your heart when you can extend grace to somebody when they least deserve it. I am sharing this because I want you guys to witness that the power of God is real. If you knew me nine years ago, then you know this encounter would have been restraining order number four. My heart has truly been transformed, and to be honest, I’m still pretty shocked. What happened today was with strength I cannot take credit for. I would like my prayer warriors to agree with me in prayer for him and his wife to have shelter, find a successful treatment center, as well as some accountability to walk beside them. He told the girls he would be around again someday when he’s clean. I am proud of him for being honest and respectful.”
Nothing causes more hurt in families and the church than believers operating as spiritual orphans.
#1. The orphan spirit operates out of insecurity and jealousy. The spirit of sonship functions out of love and acceptance.
#2. The orphan spirit is jealous of the success of his brothers. The mature son is committed to the success of his brothers.
#3. The orphan spirit serves God to earn the Father’s love. The mature son serves God out of a sense of divine acceptance and favor.
#4. The orphan spirit tries to medicate its deep, internal alienation through physical stimulation. The mature son walks in the joy and presence of the Lord for comfort.
#5. The orphan spirit is driven by the need for success. The Spirit leads the mature son into his calling and mission.
#6. The orphan spirit uses people as objects to fulfill goals. Mature sons serve people to bless the Kingdom.
#7. The orphan spirit repels children. The spirit of sonship attracts children.
#8. The orphan spirit has anger and fits of rage. The spirit of sonship rests in the Father’s ability to control and guide the future.
#9. The orphan spirit is always in competition with others. The spirit of sonship is always blessing others.
#10. The orphan spirit lacks self-esteem. The spirit of sonship walks in the love and acceptance of Father God.
#11. The orphan spirit receives its primary identity through material possessions, physical appearance, and activities. The spirit of sonship is grounded in sonship and the Father’s affirmation.
For the areas you see the orphan spirit still at work, ask Father God to encounter you with His love and truth! For the areas you have experienced someone else’s orphanness, pray for them to receive God’s love.
Years ago, the kids and I went through the Kingdom training classes. One night, I was selected to be a part of the team to ask Jesus (prophesy) what He wanted to say to each person. There had to be well over 150 people lined up around the room. It was a powerful night of activation for me. I got to the end, and Jary was waiting, but when I got to her, she turned the tables on me and began to prophesy such deep rich words of life over me. It is hard to explain all that happened at that moment. All I know is that I received something so profound through this woman’s prayers. Years later, I can say that I am walking in what she released over me.
When I was 24, I had a drug overdose and wasn’t found for three days. The first officer on the scene declared me DOA (dead on arrival) and literally went to get the body bag. The second person on the scene declared he found a faint pulse. I love that part of my story because it is so richly prophetic. Light always trumps darkness, and it only takes ONE person to declare life to that which appears to be dead. No matter what you are going through in your marriage, with your kids, your finances, health, or circumstances, DECLARE LIFE and watch God resurrect that which looks, feels, and appears dead! As I walked out my three-month hospital stay, which included being in a coma, kidney failure, liver failure, and respiratory failure, my brother got so tired of the ongoing grim reports spoken over me from the medical staff that he put up signs all around my room that said, “No negative words spoken here.” I am here today because LIFE was spoken and declared over me.
Years ago, I attended a church with a gal. She loved Jesus, but boy, was she messy. She had a lot of emotional issues that made it nearly impossible to have a connection with her. Years later, her name popped up on Facebook, and I immediately judged her as ‘that messy girl.’ The Lord stepped in and said, “Lisa, if you still hold her to that view, it is a judgment against Me and your lack of belief that I am capable of moving in someone’s life.” WHOA. Sure enough, I friended her, and God has done a brilliant work in her. She is a fabulous mother in a healthy marriage. I learned a lot that day about trusting God’s redemptive work in the messy places of others. Since then, when I encounter a messy person, I begin to pray for those God encounters and revelations knowing God is big enough to carry them into wholeness. I want to position myself on the life-giving side of the Cross in their life!
We moved to California, but only three of the four children had acceptance letters for the school. We had yet to hear about a spot for Ellie. We were sitting in Hebrews coffee shop when the head of the school approached me and told me there was room for Ellie. I asked her to share it with Ellie directly. Upon hearing the news, Ellie shot me a look and, with her finger in the air, said, “I told you!” and went off to play. It wasn’t arrogant or disrespectful. It was full of faith and confidence that phone calls, lack of calls, now or later, it doesn’t matter. What her Father has spoken is as good as true! It was easy for her to wait because she heard what He said – that she would get in. This was God building her faith! In the future, when she wants something, I would remind her of this testimony and encourage her to have faith for it again.
Look what this mom had to share: “One morning, I was really touched by our five-year-old son. He told me that he heard Jesus talking to our son, Jeremiah. I asked, ‘What did He say to him?’ He said that He loved him! I told him that when Jeremiah gets home, he can tell him. So when Jeremiah got home, he told him. My son Jeremiah is special needs and has a hard time, so it was perfect.”
One of the things I love about traveling and speaking is the ministry time. One touch of God can change a life in a moment. I often spend a great deal of time with God before asking how I can partner with what He is already doing in a particular community, as I never want to come in and just do my thing. At one place over the summer, He said to do ministry time totally different than I was used to (love that!). The Presence was so sweet and tangible. As a minister, you want people to encounter and receive all they can, but there was something that wouldn’t let me move forward. I had to process what He was doing and how I could partner with it while standing on stage in silence. He said, “I don’t want to come in as Fire tonight. I want to come in as a Gentleman. There are people in the room who need to know I am safe.” People encountered a safe Father, and it was breathtaking. It was the simplest yet most profound ministry time I have ever led.
A mom mentioned: “When I read about children with the language of acts of service wanting you to help them, I thought of my daughter. An example would be me fixing her hair. Sometimes I don’t have time to help her and ask her to do it herself, and she does get upset actually.”
My response: I know you love her and show it through providing breakfast, clean clothes, and getting her to school, but can you increase doing it in a way that she values and understands? What if sending her to school with her hair done by you filled her tank in a way that empowered and helped her throughout the day to feel safe and secure? Would you want to do it then? She is giving you the keys to her heart. The amazing thing about children is that their hearts are small and fill so fast. A five-minute hair session can literally change her day! How can you create the time to communicate love to her? Can you wake up five minutes earlier? Can you braid it the night before? When you honestly cannot do it, how then can you communicate that you still love her without being able to do her hair?
Let’s slow this down for a moment. A child is asking for help because that is how their tank gets filled, and the parent to whom they are offering their heart begins to get upset and frustrated with them for not doing it themselves. They now walk away with a tank even lower than when they first asked. I KNOW this is not the goal of many parents, but this is what happens when we fail to understand *their* language. We have miscommunication and a breakdown of deposits in their heart. Hear the difference: “No, I already taught you how to tie your shoes. You be a big boy and do it by yourself. Stop fussing and get it done now. No, I will not help you. You are going to make me late. Hurry up,” VS. “Oh, buddy. I love that you want me to help you, and my heart really wants to, but I cannot right now. I need you to tie your shoes. I am so proud of you for the way you have mastered tying your shoes.” Can you hear the difference? One sees the heart and affirms them, while the other only sees the task. It isn’t a yes/no, you do it/I do it response. It is seeing their heart and making sure you are communicating and affirming your love for them.