DISCERN FIRST

DISCERN FIRST

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.

WORDS MATTER

John 10:10 shares that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, while Jesus came to overcome and bring life. Your WORDS decide which side you want to camp in.

AUTHORITY OVER FEAR

We do not manage fear. We do not become a slave to overcome it. We do not coddle fear. We use our authority OVER it so that it is resolved once and for all. I see so many parents living life managing their fear. This is spiritual orphan living and a recipe for defeat. Christ died to give you authority over fear. I declare that it can be resolved and dissolved in your life!

WE ARE AT WAR – CAN YOU FEEL IT?

Are you aware we are not battling flesh and blood but something in the spirit realm? If you are a born-again believer, then you are enlisted to fight. But like any battle, the weapons you use are vital to your success. The wrong weapon in battle makes you vulnerable. The right weapon not only protects and covers you but aids in advancement.

I SAID NO TO FEAR

When my daughter was in first grade, she came home and said it was the worst day ever. She said the substitute teacher yelled at the class with a red face most of the day. I felt fear as she shared with me how the adult handled situations and asked her with the utmost compassion, “Oh honey, did you feel fear when she did that?” She wrinkled up her face and shook her head, saying, “NO! I wouldn’t let it!” She knew the fear wasn’t from her Father and how to take out her badge of authority and use it.

Kids don’t need to put up with everything that is handed to them in the spiritual realm. When my kids come home with stories about someone being unkind, rude, or disrespectful, we walk through forgiveness and then release the opposite back to them in the spiritual realm. You can’t be a victim when you are partnering with the Creator of the universe. 

FOREBODING SPIRIT

Oh my goodness. I went to Walmart with my daughter, and we laughed and smiled as we walked inside. I had a mental note of how much joy I was feeling at that moment. We grabbed a cart and took off for our items. I began to feel something, and it was starting to affect me physically, like a deep pit in my stomach. I noticed the empty shelves where cleaning supplies and wipes were supposed to be stocked. It was an eerie feeling. I walked away and felt gripped with a strong feeling. I finally stopped and asked my daughter to check her gut and tell me what she was sensing, and she said, “Oh, Mom. It feels scary, like we aren’t going to be okay.” I asked her if she believed that, and she said NO but was feeling it strongly. We realized it was not us but the atmosphere. We left and renounced the feeling of dread and fear and released peace. 

Parents, please be sensitive to your child. It may not be a character issue if they have random outbursts, but simply feeling the atmosphere of fear around them. Ask Holy Spirit if it is time for correction or to pull them in close and assure them Jesus is in control.

PEACE IS A CHOICE

Repeat after me…

“I declare PEACE over my heart.”

“I declare PEACE over my home.”

“I declare PEACE over my marriage.” 

“I declare PEACE over my children.”

“I declare PEACE over my friendships.” 

“I declare PEACE over my day.” 

“I declare PEACE over my mind.” 

We can walk in the peace that surfaces all understanding. The kind of peace that makes no logical sense based on external circumstances. But it is a CHOICE! Today I choose PEACE!

CATTLE PROD

I used to have this cycle where events would tell me that I didn’t belong. I would work it out sometimes rather fast, but it took my time and energy. Cycles can be exhausting and wear you out. I began to see this as unfruitful and pressed in further with the Lord. While it was great I could work it out in my heart, I wasn’t so sure God wanted me to be on auto-repeat with the same situation.

As I asked the Lord, I heard the word ‘cattle prod.’ Growing up around Minnesota farms, I knew what a cattle prod was but felt an invitation from the Lord to study them further. WOW! A cattle prod’s purpose is never to kill or destroy the animal; it is to CONTROL them with the purpose of getting them to MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. I asked God to show me who gave the enemy the legal right to use this tool on me, and I saw my mom. My childhood was full of pain and heart splinters, causing me to move out for good when I was in the 8th grade. But the picture He showed me was when I still lived with my family. Surprised by the time frame, God showed me that my mom would often make comments about me not belonging, or she would say, “Maybe you need to live elsewhere.” This taught me, long before I was removed from the home for good, that I didn’t belong in the circle. So fast forward to adulthood when circumstances gave me the message I didn’t belong; it was like a cattle prod in my side. It would get my attention, and I would stop doing what I was doing and spend time unpacking the hurt and lies. I always found the truth and peace again, but once I realized the root of where this was coming from, I forgave my mom for teaching me I didn’t belong and declared that tool no longer effective. I saw Jesus come to a herd of cows (and had the sense I was one of them). When He scooped me up, I morphed into a little lamb snuggled in His arms. He carried me away from the dirt and manure and brought me to the grassy field. But when He set me down, I immediately tried to run back to the herd. Why in the world would I do that if He just reduced me? He said, “Because it is familiar. You believe you are a heifer, but you are My sheep. The cattle prod is used on those who do not know who they are (identity). It is My job to keep you in the pasture, but I do not use a cattle prod to control you; I use My staff to lead you.”

The irony of the cattle prod is that it always seemed to happen right before something big in my life, and it caused me to not only stop but move in the opposite direction. Hmmm.

HeartWork – Do you have an area of your life where you feel like you get cattle prodded out of the blue, and it takes you days or weeks to find your footing again? Ask Jesus to show you what He wants you to see. Maybe this isn’t so much about you but about the enemy using past experiences to shock you into old cycles. Ask Holy Spirit to bring healing to the area you keep getting poked in and for Him to break the power of the cattle prod. You are not a heifer. You are His sheep!

JUST SAY NO!

Years ago, I had my second lump removed from my breast. I scheduled my follow-up surgery on the same day my insurance expired. My doctor ran the test and told me I had a 65% chance of getting the most aggressive form of breast cancer within five years and suggested I go on a low-dose cancer drug. I told her my insurance ended that day, and she said, “Well, you better hurry up then and make a decision,” assuring me she could give me an extended prescription to cover me for a while. I was barely 40 years old, a single mom, and had four little babies at home under five. Flashbacks of losing my mom to breast cancer poured out of my eyes as I wept, sitting in my car in the parking lot. My ability to think and make rational decisions became paralyzed in fear. I was gambling with my life, and it was not something to take flippantly. I called some friends who had their journey with cancer and strongly suggested I take the drug. I cried out to God (literally), telling Him how scared I was (not just for me, but how this would affect my children), and asked what I should do. Suddenly, I got this overwhelming thought, “Why would I treat a cancer I do not have?” The doctor said I had a higher percentage that I COULD get it, but I currently did not have cancer. The tornado of chaos and emotions gave way to deep peace. I attempted to clean up the streaks of black mascara that stained my face and, with bold confidence, went back up to my doctor’s office to tell her, “Thank you, but no thank you.” I was fully aware that fear would knock, wanting me to play the What-If game.

I made an agreement with God that day. I reminded Him that He is my great Physician (years earlier, I was scheduled for a double transplant – until God stepped in). I already had faith in what He can do through my body, so I turned the issue over to Him and told Him, “I am not going to pay attention to this report. This one is on You, and You can alert me if something is wrong, but I will not let fear talk to me.” Over the years, I have had to remind myself of that agreement on a few occasions, and when fear knocks, I answer by blessing my body and cursing cancer.

Fast forward to one summer. We have always spent our summers on the road doing family ministry. That summer, we had our trip all planned down to the details, but the more things came together, the louder my lack of peace became. I finally laid it all down as I no longer wanted to fight for peace. A week later, I found a mass in my breast. Between swinging from one doctor appointment to the next and waiting for appointment day to arrive, we spent our summer walking out the reality that a tumor was found. I got the call while standing in the swimsuit section of Target and would be lying if I said the room didn’t spin a bit when I hung up the phone. But I asked God, “Is this my time?” and clearly, I heard, “NO!” My mind never played the What-If game, and I kept my peace all summer.

It doesn’t make it true just because someone speaks a word over you. Just because the odds are against you doesn’t mean you have lost. Just because a doctor says so doesn’t mean you have to partner with it. Just because fear speaks to you doesn’t mean you have to listen. I am happy to report that I am okay, and we are on the other side of this journey.

NOTHING IS WRONG WITH YOU

Maybe we should stop asking, “What is wrong with me?” and begin to ask, “What is going on that You are allowing me to feel?” God allows His children to feel the atmosphere so they can be agents of change on earth. I went away for 24 hours alone and felt great. I was beaming with excitement and joy, but I felt heavy and super sad when I walked into my room. I went to sleep and had a strange dream about death. I woke up, unable to shake this heaviness. Finally, I got the sense, “this is not me, but the atmosphere.” I prayed for the OPPOSITE to come and fill the place, and immediately it shifted.

We do not need to understand every detail of what is going on for God to use us. Heaviness is not His Kingdom, and I had authority in Jesus to release it to go and invite His peace, joy, and comfort.

GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY

So many issues with children can be resolved with parents using their God-given authority both in the natural and spiritual realm. You have lost half the battle if you fear the devil or your child’s response. RISE UP and use your God-given authority over that sickness, fear, conflict, disunity, tension, strife, anxiety, stress, etc. Satan is defeated, not you, your situation, or your child.