From the mouths of babes. A mom was troubled by her daughter’s ongoing anxiety and worry. Every night she would declare how awful she is going to sleep, and it would put her into a bad cycle with so much angst and worry in her voice. I taught her how to teach her daughter to take authority over it and this is what her daughter said, “I like that, filling me with peace. I’m going to sleep well tonight.”
DON’T CURSE YOURSELF
- Authority, Testimonies
I went to get my nails done and took my daughter with me. The salon was quiet, and there were three other workers sitting down at a computer. We talked as best as we could through the language barrier. About halfway into it, this gripping fear came over me, and I felt really nervous. I could not figure it out. The workers began to talk to each other and move about the salon, and it just didn’t settle right with me. I felt bad for feeling that way, but it was growing louder and louder. I began to role-play scenarios and contemplated leaving, even though my nails were only halfway done. I wanted to whisper to my daughter to stay alert but didn’t want to cause her concern. Finally, I realized there was indeed real and present danger, and I needed to move into action. I began to walk in my authority over it by commanding the fear to go in Jesus’ name and canceled any assignments of the enemy. I prayed for protection over my daughter and invited the Holy Spirit to stand on guard. I had no idea what was going on, what could have happened, or what I was sensing, except my spirit felt sexually unsafe, and I have the power and authority in the name of Jesus to do something about it. Ironically, the moment we got in the car, my daughter said, “Mom! Did you feel that? I felt so sexually unprotected in that place.” I asked why she didn’t say anything, and she said, “I just invited Jesus to come and deal with it.” We can introduce our children to their ever-present Bodyguard!
Many gave prophetic words that 2020 was the year of vision, yet others gave words that it was the year of the MOUTH, highlighting the importance not just of what you SEE but what you DECLARE after you have eyes that see. I find it super interesting that one aspect of the coronavirus is that we are required to cover our mouths. The natural realm always mimics what is going on in the spiritual realm. While I see the importance of honoring our leaders who ask us to be wise in wearing masks, I see greater wisdom in making sure we are opening our mouths in our homes and declaring BOLDLY! Your mouth may be covered in the natural, but you are not on a gag order. In fact, now more than ever, it is time to teach your children how to declare God’s truth boldly. May I encourage you to sit as a family and create your declarations? Say them out loud, boldly, and with authority. This virus is defeated! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! No weapon formed against me shall prosper! God, have your way with me! I will know what to do because Jesus lives in me! God always leads me! God sits upon His throne! I am covered and protected! My mind is filled with hope and peace! The virus will bow to Jesus! God knows what He is doing! We will overcome! Jesus’ blood paid for it all! Peace is our strength! The tomb is EMPTY! Jesus is ALIVE – TODAY!
A MOM SHARED – “I work in an emergency room, and one day a very patient and loving mother came in with her toddler. I asked if she was a teacher and commented on how patient and caring she was towards her toddler, as most people in the ER are not that full of grace with their children. She told me about LET THE CHILDREN FLY, so here I am, as she just really modeled the type of mother that I would like to be.”
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.
A mom came to me desperate over her son being bossy to his siblings. She was tired of co-parenting with him and, after a year, had tried everything; spankings, timeouts, yelling, discipline, and reprimands, yet nothing seemed to break through his behavior. I asked her what happened a year ago, and she began to tell me the story of the night the police came and handcuffed the dad and took him away for doing something ‘bad.’ I can only imagine the atmosphere in the home that night with confusion over losing their dad and all the mother’s emotions. Even if the mom hid her visible feelings from her children, they still felt the atmosphere. I asked her if her son was being bossy, as in a negative character trait, or if he was trying to save his siblings from doing something terrible that gets them taken away too. He felt the weight of responsibility and feared that bad behavior equals being removed from the home. Sometimes our child’s ongoing negative, annoying, frustrating behavior is rooted in something else. In this case, the child was believing a lie that it was his job to keep his siblings in line so that they don’t get removed from the family, too. I think he is a hero and a brave brother. As parents, we need to discern how to parent what is really going on with their hearts and not just the outward behavior.
This was the first time I experienced partnering with God to remove the heart splinters in my children. It was glorious and left me hungry to live this as a family lifestyle.
I finally ordered my son to his room to give us all a break from the constant strife. Moments later, as I walked down to his room, I vividly remember saying, “Holy Spirit, I have no idea if I am going to yell at him, spank him, hug him or play with him when I get there, but You do!” And then I remember adding a little, “… And you better show up quick!” The moment I entered his room, it was like I could ‘see’ pain in him. I got this impression to grab a stack of paper. I sat on the floor with my (then) 5-year-old son and had him wad up a piece of paper and throw it, but while he was throwing it, he had to call out how he felt about his dad leaving. “I am mad he can’t play ball with me” (throws the paper ball and makes a new one), “I am mad I am the only boy in the family” (throws the ball and makes a new one), “I am sad he can’t tuck me in at night.” This hurting child threw nearly 50 paper balls, and by the end, he was weeping. It was one of the most painful moments for me as a mom to watch this pain seep out of him, but it had to get out. In the end, I scooped him in my arms and just held him. I called forth his worth and value and that he was fiercely loved and wanted. From that moment on, the ‘sting’ was gone from being fatherless (not that there wasn’t more to process, but the splinter was gone). There are adult men and women all over the world who are dealing with the trauma of being fatherless, but as parents, we CAN partner with Holy Spirit to give us creative ways to deal with the hurt, lies, and offenses of childhood IN childhood!
The other night my daughter was ANGRY and lashing out at everyone for the smallest things. Clearly, this was not her, as she is normally sweet as chocolate. The following morning, I asked her to do the dishes, which should have been a four-minute gig, and 1.5 hours later, she was still there. It was time to go, and she still hadn’t finished. I came to her and put my hand on her heart and said, “Babe, I do not know what is going on, but you were not wired to hold onto sin, and something is clearly coming out crooked. When you are ready to talk, I am here.” I didn’t know there was sin, but those were the words that came out of my mouth. She asked to talk hours later and, with tears, began to tell me that she was invited by her friends to vape at school. She declined the offer, but the realization that she had to stand alone was overwhelming to her. I wanted to assure her that it wouldn’t happen again, but the truth is she will have to stand alone and make choices against the pressure of the crowd for the rest of her life. It was a beautiful and tender conversation about what it really means to be a follower of Jesus in today’s world. We talked about the ‘high’ of popularity and the joy of obedience. The next morning at Church, worship began, and I leaned over to her and said, “Sweetheart, focus on this song with your situation in mind. Is He worthy of following, even if it means not vaping with your friends?” I HATE that she was asked by her friends to vape, but I am SO glad it agitated her soul to the point of being exposed and that God used it to be yet another building block in her story with Him. He IS worthy of it all!
There is the natural realm with our flesh – all things on earth. There is the heavenly realm which is all things in heaven. There is more to what we see and hear. There is an atmosphere of things unseen all around us. Have you ever walked into a room or house and felt so much love? Someone is releasing that into the atmosphere, and you are coming into that presence. Have you ever gone somewhere, and fear met you at the door? Again, it is an atmosphere that has been released. We have power and authority over all things (Matt 28:18) and can flip anything in His name! The key to shifting atmospheres is: Realizing what is being released (and not assuming it is just you) and releasing the opposite spirit. We do not need to go around rebuking demonic spirits. Chances are, others have opened the door and have a legal right to be there, but they must submit to your authority when you are present. This is a lifestyle for my family. We know our authority and use it everywhere we go: school, church, grocery store, library, friend’s house, etc. If I walk into a room and suddenly feel super angry, but know it isn’t ME, then I know I have come under an atmosphere. I simply say a prayer/declaration like this, “Anger, I see you and forbid you from influencing me and those around me. I release JOY, happiness, and PEACE right now in the Name of Jesus.” That’s it! It’s like being a police officer and walking into a room and saying, “Hey you, bad guy, get out,” They have to obey because you have authority as a law enforcement officer in the name of Jesus. We are heaven’s law enforcement officers! This is one of my all-time favorite teachings to share with parents.
POLICE BADGE – Talk to the kids about the authority a police officer has. The law and courts back up an officer operating within their proper training. We are just like police officers when we do as Jesus did, and all of heaven backs us up. We get to tie up the bad and then unleash all the good stuff. Do not skip over this teaching. Make it FUN, and make sure your child knows they are powerful in the name of Jesus and things shift when they speak.
I share more about the police badge teaching and authority in this video. Watch it with your children: Teaching Children Their Authority – YouTube
If you take it to extremes, do we want our children playing with darkness by dressing up pretending to be devils and witches? On the flip side, do we want them to hide in the basement with the lights off on Halloween in fear of the night? Both are a little extreme. I personally chose to guard my children’s mental chalkboards when they were younger. I explained that some people think pretending to be a witch is fun, while we do not. I explained why. I also told them that GOD made the seasons and the harvest, and that is what we celebrate. We carve pumpkins, eat way too much candy corn, and love to dress up, but our heart is celebrating God’s creation, not partnering with the demonic. My kids have not chosen to go Trick-or-Treating in the past, even when given the chance. I believe they made that choice because they know by experience that God’s Kingdom is life-giving and fun, and the other kingdom doesn’t feel so good. It is so important to walk in balance with our beliefs. If we teach our children to fear the junk we see this time of year, we are falling into the trap of the enemy. The demonic likes to go on joy rides and see who they can taunt. If we teach our children to fear it, then it becomes a fun game for the darkness to watch your child jump. I take the game out of it by simply teaching them and equipping them with TRUTH. I am super sensitive to atmospheres, and there is junk hanging around that stuff in the spiritual realm – that is why it is there! BUT I have power and authority over that. When they were younger, this was the time of year when the nightmares would increase. Instead of coming to me all upset in the middle of the night, they would wake me up and say, “Mommy, will you pray for my chalkboard? I saw something at the store, and it is scaring me.” They knew the fear they were feeling was from something they were exposed to and saw with their eyes. If we were to walk by something and my child began to partner with fear or made comments about it, I would stop and address it. I would make sure they had a proper understanding of it and not allow it to create fear for them. It isn’t the decoration of bloody body parts that is bad – it’s just plastic! A big part of this is simply addressing the principle behind it as ‘not of God’ and asking, “Is that what you want to partner with?” Skeletons can be scary, but I would tell the kids, “It’s just bones, and God made bones. We all have bones, but what makes them not good in this situation is that people interact with and focus on death, and we believe God wants us to focus on that which is alive.” When you decorate your house with demonic junk or let your children dress up as devils and witches, you are inviting spirits in, and it will take whatever small window of opportunity and use it. Have you seen America’s Funniest videos where a parent dresses the child up in a witch or devil outfit and then turns the camera on where they see themselves for the first time in the mirror? They aren’t afraid, they are terrorized. Or the videos of dads dressing up like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the young boy nearly wet his pants. There is fun joking around, and then there is fear-based junk that is not something I want to introduce my child to.
I do not want to give the enemy a foothold anywhere in my home. As for me and my home, we serve the Lord – His power, His Spirit, His love, His Kingdom! I wonder what people would think of me if I allowed my children to see all of the photos going around Facebook or the news. Don’t child psychologists warn against children being exposed to that? And yet a trip down the aisle of Michael’s is loaded with beheading, body parts, grandma holding up two decapitated heads with a smile on her face and half mangled bodies. Oh yeah, it’s ‘just’ Halloween! Don’t get me wrong, I am not a party pooper, but that is a little extreme, even for my adult eyes. I will also note that we baffle with our mouths wide open at how people can do such horrible acts and then go home and eat dinner. They are capable of doing it because it isn’t their first experience. They are desensitized to it. They have been inundated with images as part of their training so that it isn’t a shock or big deal when the real thing happens. That is the seduction and grooming process of the enemy. Be led by the Spirit and then walk in freedom!
When I travel, I intentionally spend time with the Lord once I get to the hotel to be in His presence and allow Him to align my heart to whatever He wants to do. While I know my message enough to do it in my sleep, I want HIM to show up, interrupt me and feed the people through me in whatever way He chooses.
As I was sitting with Him, I sensed strongly that I was to ask my daughter (then 9), who was with me, “Jesus, is there anything we need to confess before ministering this weekend?” The question felt out of the blue, but I trusted He was doing something. As we asked, my daughter became agitated. She was wringing her hands together and didn’t want to talk. Oh my. I told her that she could have some time to process it, but that Jesus was highlighting something for a reason. An hour later, she was still upset and shut down. I felt conflicted about what to do as a ministry leader and also as her mother. I heard God say, “How would you respond if she was a team member,” and I knew immediately if a team member was struggling with unconfessed sin, I would allow them time and freedom to work through it but would not invite them to minister. Why? Because while we all fall short of the glory of God, Jesus was highlighting something specific that He wanted to deal with BEFORE we ministered. It would not be loving of me as a leader or mother to allow someone to walk on a platform if they had something the enemy could use against them.
I told her, “Baby, you can take all the time you need to gain the courage to work this issue out with Jesus, but I love you too much to have you minister with me tonight. There is no pressure to be anywhere other than where you are right now, but as your mom, I need to cover you.” It was hours later that she finally, with great effort, came to me and told me why she was struggling. Whenever she goes to bed at night, she gets these sexual thoughts in her mind. At first, she knew she should take them captive, but they kept coming at her. She stopped taking them captive and allowed her mind to ‘see’ things. She was very emotional. I asked her what she thought she had done wrong, and she replied, “Mom, I wasn’t pure.” Oh, no, no, no, baby. You were being tempted by the enemy and needed some help, but you didn’t do anything wrong. The enemy was using it against her even though he was the one doing it, not her. There is a world of difference between something coming from within and something coming on you. I helped her walk through forgiveness for the things her eyes saw, and we asked Jesus if He forgave her. We then asked what lie she was believing because of it, and she heard, “Something is wrong with me.” We asked Jesus how He felt about her.
Hours later, we were on stage together ministering, and guess what God did during ministry time? He had me go after sexual purity. Jesus was showing us there was something in her that needed to come into alignment BEFORE we could go out and fully be His instruments. Could you imagine me calling that out when it was an area she was walking in shame? The enemy would have used it against her. Jesus is so smart, and we can trust Him to lead us.