Often, the last thing I feel like doing when I feel heavy is worship, but there is something so powerful about opening your mouth and flexing those weak muscles. Worship ushers in His presence, aligns our thoughts with His, and, most importantly, gets our eyes off of ourselves and our weaknesses and back onto Him and His power, strength, and ability. I have my go-to songs for when I feel tired and weary.
GET UP AND FIGHT – WORSHIP
Some of you are battling things that are consuming you and causing you to be so weary. While we live in a fallen world with a real enemy, many of you are losing the battle simply because you are not armed with heaven’s tools. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, becoming equipped and empowered is not only available to every believer, but it is God’s mandate on your life. It is the honor and privilege as a Son/Daughter to walk in strength, radical love, and a clear mind. Whatever you are dealing with today does not need to defeat you. Heaven has tools and strategies to help you overcome, come out from under it, and bear fruit. There is hope!
Be kind to the first child God gave you – yourself. You will be accountable for how you treat, accept, reject, love, scold, champion, deny, uphold, tear down, believe in, deny or embrace that child. God is fiercely protective and crazy in love with that child; you should be too!
Years ago, I was in Kiev, Ukraine on a mission trip and the leader had us declare John 11:40 over and over. He said, “When the eyes of your heart see, stand up,” and one by one the revelation moved from our minds to our hearts. Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” I encourage you to read that over and over and over until your heart can see.
I want you to look back for a moment. Do you have siblings? How was your connection with them as a child? Were you taught to respect and love each other? Were strife, conflict, and physical violence tolerated? Did you feel like you belonged? Were you accepted? What things did your parents do that cultivated your relationship with them? Looking back, what things do you wish your parents would have done to help with your relationships with your siblings? This is important because you are deciding what things you want to keep in your generational line and what things you want to change. Siblings matter because they are part of God’s plan for family. God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are ONE, yet they all have different characteristics to them. Such as, my son is one human, but he is a son, brother, and friend. He relates differently as a son than he does as a friend. Family is so dear to God because the earthly family mimics the nature of Himself, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Our earthly father is where we get our sense of identity (who we are), being provided for, and protection, which is a reflection of the character of God, our Provider, and Father. Our earthly mother is whom we get our comfort, nurture, and learn about life from, which is a reflection of the character of Holy Spirit, our Helper, Teacher, and Comforter. It is through siblings that we get our sense of BELONGING, which is a reflection of the character of Jesus, our Companion, and Friend. When siblings are not taught, trained, and expected to get along, it affects their deep sense of belonging in the world. There is great insecurity inside of them when those closest to them are allowed to reject them. The fact that there is conflict isn’t the issue (and is not a reflection of you being a bad parent). The conflict in itself is actually quite normal. Children have flesh that is selfish and self-seeking. Part of parenting is equipping our children with the tools to GROW. The conflict isn’t a reflection of anything ‘wrong’ but rather highlighting areas in which you, the parent, have some work to do to teach and equip them.
I feel a strong stirring in my spirit that we all need to do our part to ‘clear the air’ in the spiritual realm. Who do you need to forgive? Make things right with? Let go of offense? Believe the best? Ask for forgiveness? Repent of judgments? Confess slander? Call a family meeting and walk this out together.
In doing this, we begin to clear the spiritual air and allow ourselves to get the fresh air our spirit needs to be healthy.
Proverbs 22:6 – “Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.”
Teach – verb 1. show or explain to (someone) how to do something. There is a difference between dictating laws and teaching them. Instructions can turn into rules/laws, which is legalism. Teaching is the verb of Jesus! Ex. A child steals something from the store. We can instruct our children that we don’t steal, or we can teach them WHY a loving Father doesn’t desire for His children to steal from others. Ex. A child hits his sister. We can discipline and reprimand the child for his behavior, or we can teach them HOW hitting affects others. Ex. A child doesn’t listen to you. We can pull out parenting tools of control and fear, or we can teach them WHAT obedience looks like. Are you instructing or teaching your children?
We can teach our children that Jesus is a 1st Responder who we can go to with our highs, lows, and everything in between.
People all around us are waiting for heaven to come to earth. God is waiting for us to bring heaven to earth. We have the privilege and honor of changing the world for the people around us TODAY. What we declare and pray makes a difference! I challenge every family to go for a walk around their neighborhood today and pray over each house they pass. Command fear and anxiety to go and release the peace of Jesus, the love of God, and the joy of heaven to flood each home. The times we have done this, the Lord has given us great compassion and His heart for our neighbors. This is a great way to be part of the solution and not just a victim of circumstances. It is impossible for nothing to happen when we pray. So be the light in your neighborhood by doing a walk-by-prayer-mission.
Turn family devotions into a time of character training and making memories by having each child take a turn picking a subject and then teaching it. One morning, Ellie (then 6) asked Jesus what He wanted to say to each of us and then drew them in picture form on a sticky note and hid them in the living room. She was so cute as she called us in for a ‘family meeting’ and then began to play the hot/cold game to find them. I love this because they are learning leadership, how to teach others, and how to come up with creative ways of releasing the Kingdom. There were no yawns doing family devotions that morning!