Sometimes we have been exposed to things that need to be dealt with. The number one response from parents worldwide is childhood ‘reoccurring nightmares.’ The nightmares stemmed from kids being exposed to ghost stories, scary movies that Mom and Dad thought were cool, shows about violence, news shows that walk through murder, rape, or abuse stories, the COPS show, etc. I want to advocate that even if your child isn’t watching these shows, you can still be inviting fear into your home when you are entertained by what the enemy does! Parents, you are the spiritual gatekeeper in your home, and what you allow in will greatly impact your child. Which Kingdom are you partnering with? The greater point is that children need to be intentionally TAUGHT tools to use when fear comes. They do not need to be harassed day and night endlessly with fear. Jesus trumps fear… ALWAYS!
EXPOSURE TO FEAR
- Authority, Fear
Many of you are feeling waves, and I want to validate that it is okay to be processing this season in waves. Many of us have to wade through the wave of fear, anxiety, and worry. I am used to feeling something, processing it, and having a breakthrough. It is odd to have the wave come, walk in peace, and then have it come again when I least expect it. I reached out to my team and asked how they were doing. One mom said, “If you were to ask me last night, I would have said AWESOME, but this morning I am a mess.” How many can relate? One minute you feel like Mother of the Year, and the next wave, you feel like a massive failure. One minute you have the faith of a haystack, and the next, you can’t seem to find the mustard seed. One minute you feel energized and confident, and the next, you feel so defeated. This is OKAY, but what you do with it is significant. You either use those waves to make you stronger or let them pulverize you.
Each time the wave comes, may I encourage you to pause and process your heart by asking yourself: #1. Is this wave in my mind, body, or spirit? **Our MINDS are dealing with many facts which aren’t always true. **Our BODY has had to switch gears significantly from busyness to rest (which can be extremely challenging physically). Others are worn out from having the busyness of children 24/7. **Our SPIRITS are experiencing so much right now, and not all of it is the right Kingdom. #2. What does my mind/body/spirit need right now? Each time you STOP and process your heart and meet the need, your CAPACITY to handle the situation increases. The next time the wave comes, you will be STRONGER. Enjoy the peace, process the weight, and allow this to increase your capacity to become stronger in the midst of hardship.
I melted into my bed and was asleep within moments. About 20 moments later, I woke up with a gross X-rated picture racing through my mind. I quickly took the thought captive as I knew it wasn’t me (all I wanted was sleep!). It came back again and again. But a sense of genuine danger came with it. In my mind, I could tell this woman was overpowering a man with demonic seduction. The same image repeatedly played in my mind, no matter how hard I tried to take it captive. Finally, I realized God was allowing me to see something so that I could pray. My spirit was gripped with the realization someone was in trouble and needed help, but I couldn’t figure out who. Who is it, Lord? Who is in danger right now? He never did allow me to see or know, but my spirit felt so protective of this person. I sat up in bed and went into warfare prayers against the spirit behind the woman and to release the man from this trap of the enemy. I have revisited this event countless times, so in awe over the way God alerts our spirits to become a part of His movement on earth. It is an honor to be woken and given an assignment from God to stand with someone in need. We don’t need a platform, stage, or microphone to change the world. We need to be willing to obey at all costs when He gives us an assignment. Being faithful in the ‘little’ assignments is what proves us faithful for bigger ones. Look for the God assignments being released to you TODAY!
Someone needs to break up with this false ‘protector’ as this mom shares: “I feel like I always used fear to protect me. Like it’s a deceptive tool the enemy used against me. Instead of me putting my trust in God, I put it in fear to keep me safe. As I’ve grown, I’ve seen how fear is actually a form of witchcraft because it is a form of control. Control is the absence of trust and faith in God.”
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!
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!
A mom from class shares: “I was not supposed to be able to carry a baby to full term due to medical issues. My whole first pregnancy was bathed in fear of a miscarriage. The doctors continually warned me not to get my hopes up for a baby (even up until I was 30 weeks along!). Then, I noticed my son was very fearful and wouldn’t talk when we were out of the house. He was chatty at home but would freeze up at church, the park, or wherever. Then God showed me the connection of fear and my pregnancy with my son. I repented of the fear I partnered with (although I didn’t know that term at the time), and my husband and I prayed over him as he slept and commanded the spirit of fear to leave in Jesus’ name. The next day we went to the park with friends, and he was his usual chatty self. I didn’t see the spirit of fear in operation at all! He was free! It was amazingly simple. We are teaching him that fear is a liar, and he wants him to believe things that aren’t true. And now we are teaching him to cast fear out when he feels it. It’s amazing.”
What declarations are you making today? “I am afraid something bad will happen, and I won’t be able to keep my kids safe.” “This is the worst thing ever; we will never recover.” “This is terrible!” OR “God is in control.” “Jesus is alive.” “I am a child of God.” “He loves me and has my back.” “Fear is not from Him.” “I will know what to do because He lives inside of me.” “He gives me peace and rests in the storm.” “I trust His-story.” “I am loved.” “My emotions matter but do not lead me.” “I don’t know how God is going to work this out, but He always does.”
So be intentional about writing out three declarations and put them up on your mirror, in the car, and on your phone, and recite them often today. We become what we focus on and want to be anchored to the TRUTH (not facts).
I was a part of an amazing single group in my 20s. One of the guys talked about spanking his (future) children and how his parents modeled it in such an honoring way. I argued that it was wrong, and we had an hour-long debate. He opened me up to a world where parents can actually spank in love without losing their temper. It wasn’t to harm the child; it was to help guide them. I want to take a moment and talk to those who were like me and argued that it was wrong. When someone brings up spanking, what is happening in your heart? Are you anxious? Nervous? Scared? I want to circle that place and zoom in on it. My goal isn’t to get you to spank. My goal is for you to see the unrest in your heart because it will affect your ability to walk in the authority you are given. For me, it wasn’t about the actual act of spanking as much as it was the fear of hurting my child and fear that my child would resent me like I did my parents for their harsh parenting. Unless and until that is resolved, I will be unbalanced in my ability to parent my children well. I would be parenting them out of fear rather than authority. When children learn they are the ones with the power, it leaves them feeling insecure, which only increases their need to be strong. It does not matter how strong they appear; they are not orphans. The safest place for their mind, body, and spirit is under your authority and covering. Yes, many of you have strong-willed children. It is your responsibility as a parent to help them submit their will to your authority, but if you have an ongoing fear about using authority, you will only lead your family to the other side of the pendulum. Let’s find Jesus in the middle and walk in alignment with Him. Go back to the place of anxiety and unrest and ask, “Jesus, will You please show me what I am afraid of in disciplining my child?” Sit with Him for a moment and allow Him to minister to that part of your heart.
The thing about fear is that we can strongly dislike something so much that we actually open the door to a spirit of fear. Think about that for a moment – we don’t want something to happen, but in the process, we are welcoming it in. When we allow the spirit of fear in, it will wreak havoc on our thoughts and emotions, making us partner with it more. A silly cycle that ends up producing the very thing we didn’t want. 2 Timothy 1:7 is our weapon. “For GOD did NOT give me a spirit of fear (plug in what you fear), but of POWER, LOVE, and SOUND MIND (meaning your heart and mind are both in unity and at peace).” If God didn’t give you that fear/worry, then who did? Is that who you want to partner with?
Pray: “Fear, I see you and no longer partner with you. I declare that my GOD has equipped me with power, love, and a sound mind, and I will no longer bite the bait to open the door. In Jesus’ name.”
Since the enemy is fear-based, I never wanted to teach my children in a way that educated them so much they were afraid of being afraid. I simply explained that God has an enemy who is jealous of Him and wants to be like Him (enough said). It is wrong to think that God is on one side and the enemy on the other, battling it out. The enemy is ALWAYS on the bottom because he is already defeated. Children need to have an accurate view of the ‘battle.’ The battle isn’t of random wins and loses like a football game, but that we are always victorious over the enemy and his ways always! While it feels true at times that the enemy is winning, the truth is that God is unmoved from His throne as ruler over A-L-L things. Read together 1 John 4:4.
Teach the children – Take out a sheet of paper and fold it down the center bringing the left side of the paper to the right side. Write God on one side and enemy on the next. Under God write out the things associated in their life with Him right now (provision, peace, safety, joy, covering). Under ‘enemy’ write out the things associated with him (fear, worry, doubt). Rip up the paper and tell them that this is not the truth about what is going on. Grab another sheet of paper and fold it in the middle (fold the top part of the paper down) and write God on top teaching them that God has no equal. Read Isaiah 40:12-31 together. Then take a pen and draw a line an inch from the bottom edge and show them the truth is the enemy is Jesus’ footstool. Romans 16:20.