God has given us authority over anything that is out of alignment with the heavens, such as fear, strife, unbelief, anger, anxiety, or doubt. If it is not in heaven, you have authority over it. Rise up, speak to the anger, fear, and unbelief, and say, “NO MORE.” Break up with those nagging thoughts that are like flies swarming around us when we are worn out, tired, or weary. You don’t have to put up with them – deal with them. My bathroom mirror reads, “Stop the nonsense,” meaning I do not cross the mental line and partner with those words. I live by faith, not circumstances.
GET UP AND FIGHT – AUTHORITY
- Activities/Teachings, Authority
When the virus broke out, people freaked emotionally, and it was confusing to so many people why they ‘couldn’t handle it.’ Their minds told them it was not that big of a deal, but their emotions told them otherwise. I kept telling people, “The reason why this is affecting you so much is not because of the virus but because you are FEELING THE SPIRIT BEHIND IT.” So many things have come out in the past months, and I just want to zoom in on the fact many of you were feeling in the spirit but did not know it. It was overwhelming to you because, yes, you were feeling it, but it was NOT you. It was the atmosphere. This is a spiritual muscle to be strengthened. For those of you who felt ‘something’ intensely, take a moment and thank God for allowing you to feel in the spirit realm. Second, ask Him to increase the gift of DISCERNING what you are feeling. God does not allow us to feel things just to overwhelm us. He allows us to feel it SO THAT we can partner with Him and be agents of heaven on earth in the midst of it. More than ever, this is the hour to walk in discernment.
I had an encounter with Jesus, where He showed me a wall. I could not for the life of me discern whether this was a good or negative wall. Was it keeping things in or preventing something from going in? The lack of clarity perplexed me. I heard Jesus say the wall needed to come down, so I asked what tool I should use (because even in the natural, anytime you remove something, you use a specific tool based on the wall). I saw a hedge trimmer that was so logical and obvious, but it felt wrong. I asked again and saw the trimmers, yet this overwhelming feeling of ‘this isn’t right’ came over me.
The kids were all splashing in the pool when I got on my raft and asked them to give me a moment so I could continue to process this revelation with the Lord. I needed greater clarity, but I KNEW He was showing me something. Something caught my eye, and finally, I removed my sunglasses and sat on my raft to look. He was highlighting the shrub hedge on the other side of the pool when I heard Him say, “Lisa, if your job was to remove that hedge (wall), would you use a hedge trimmer?” No way, it would not only take forever, but every time I would trim it down, the branches would grow back as pruning is a form of growth. I would wrap a chain around the base and yank it out with my car roots and all. BINGO!
God was showing me that I was laboring (well, I might add) to trim the hedge (wall) when He was actually calling me to YANK IT OUT BY THE ROOT. Oh, the flood of fruit that came with this revelation. What if we REBUKED the spirit of strife behind it instead of just resolving conflict? What if instead of feeling drained, we sat in His PRESENCE to be refreshed? What if instead of battling fear, we used our AUTHORITY against it? What if instead of coming under intimidation, we DECLARED 2 Timothy 1:7 (and believed it)? What if instead of shadowboxing the enemy, we WORSHIPED the Lord? What if, instead of feeling dread every morning, we spoke to the spirit behind it and commanded it to FLEE? What if instead of taking aspirin daily for the pain, we HEALED the body? What if instead of managing attitudes, we ENCOUNTERED the Father’s love? What if instead of stewarding the lack of peace, we COMMANDED the chaos to flee? What if instead of continually disciplining a child, we TAUGHT them who they are in Christ?
You do not always have to deal with the ‘fruit’ of new branches. God has given us tools and power in Jesus’ name to deal with the root and have it removed. What about you? What negative cycle do you repeat over and over in your home? Are you continually trimming the branches? Is it time to YANK IT OUT once and for all?
Your child is hungry to learn and hear your personal stories. Your journey will shape them significantly, and your story’s chapters will be valuable to them. Share with them your experiences as it relates to their world. Tell them about a time you dealt with or struggled with the same thing they are walking through. Share with them what you have learned through your own mistakes. Tell them about your God encounters and what Jesus has said to you. You are not their royal emperor dictating from a throne. You are their parent – empowering, equipping, and leading them face-to-face.
I am going to give you some great exercises to do with your children to go after IDENTITY.
TRUTH NOTES – I often get a fun package of sticky notes (fun shapes, cool colors, cute animals) and then write words of truth to each child and stick them in their underwear drawer, between their folded shirts, in their lunch box, on the mirror, in their shoes – the ideas are endless. If they have a test, I will write, “You can do this!” and place it in their book or “Remember, you are never alone,” in their lunch bag. If my kids spend the night elsewhere or when they go to camp, they are armed with TRUTH notes from mom!
THE REAL YOU – When your child is feeling bad, believing a lie about themselves or just need some love, ask them, “What does Jesus say about you?” We cannot teach our children enough about the truth of their identity and what God says about them. The rest of their lives, they will get messages from others – their boss, friends, magazines, movies, and even unintentionally from us as parents – that communicate that they aren’t good enough or worthy. Taking the time in moments of peace to speak the truth will profit your child’s ability to become spiritually strong and fit for the long haul.
WHO AM I? – Take an index card and write words that fit your child: “smart”, “loving”, “kind”, “secure”, “special”, etc. Wrap up that card inside tissue paper and place it deep within a gift bag (or brown paper bag). Do this before you bring it to the children. Now have a stack of Kleenex or tissue paper, and one by one as you wad it up call out lies: “stupid”, “mean”, “ugly”, “useless”, etc. As you call out each lie, place the wad in the bag. Do 8-10 lies/wads of paper. It’s okay to get crazy and have fun with this (they don’t know what’s coming, and the more they participate, the better the ah-ha moment will be). One mom taped a chocolate kiss to the index card to give them a visual of how sweet the treasure is inside of us. Explain to the child that the gift bag represents the heart that is in each person on earth. Remind them of the mean lies that were deposited into that heart. If a person hears that they are ugly, mean, unwanted, gross, etc., ask them how they think that person will act. Keep going until they take out each lie one-by-one until they get to the truth card. Ask them to open it up and read the card. Explain that each person on earth has something of value written on their heart FROM GOD, who made them. We are to go around FINDING that nugget of gold in each person. When they walk by someone at Wal-Mart and say, “You have beautiful eyes,” they are calling out the TRUTH about that person. When they speak life over someone, they are calling out the good!
CELEBRATE – I look for ways I celebrate their identity. My son was going through the highs and lows of being a teenager and frankly some days he baffles my mind. Since I am aware the changes are actually about him becoming a man, I will often go to him and put my hand on his heart and just say, “I bless your journey into manhood.” I am always calling out WHO my children are. We can’t put the entire focus on WHAT they do, or we will be teaching them that approval is attached to performance, but we can call out WHO they are despite what they do.
TINY BABY – Go to a craft store and in the baby shower section, you will find a package of really tiny babies (to be used for games and on cupcakes). Place the baby in the palm of your hand and just focus on it for a moment. This is a great visual for children (and you!) of how big the Father’s hands are. No matter what we are going through, Papa is always bigger. He’s got us and we are safe and secure.
WHITE HEART – Take a piece of paper and draw a huge heart. Spend some time being quiet before the Lord and then ask Him to show you what HE has written on the heart of your child (do this separately for each child). What are the passions, dreams, desires, and strengths HE has put deep inside of them? Write down whatever you hear and then deliberately partner with God to call that out in them.
HELLO, MY NAME IS… – Go to the store and get a label/sticker and write things like “loving”, “kind”, “helpful”, “worthy”, etc. on it. Throughout the day, call out your child’s identity and remind them who they are. Ask Holy Spirit to make your ears sensitive to hear when your children call out a lie about themselves. Things like, “I am not good at this”, “I can’t”, “I am not smart”, “I am stupid”, “No one cares”, and show them their name tag and ask, “Is that who you are?” Show them it is a LIE from the enemy, and they can easily toss that lie out. It is so important that children get practice in hearing GOD’S words about them and learn how to toss out the lies. They will use this tool for the rest of their lives!
TREASURE BOX – Get a small box or wooden treasure box and place a mirror on the inside. Really build it up and tell them that inside this box is what God treasures the most, what He sent His son to die for, what makes Him smile the biggest, and what He is most passionate about – then have them slowly open the box and see for themselves. For Christmas one year, I did this and wrapped the kids a mirror with a ribbon super glued for the hook. We hang them on the tree every year as a reminder that we are the gifts God enjoys the most.
“Identity” is a very big word rich in meaning. This is just a tiny sampling of what we can teach our children about identity, but the most important thing is that they realize that there are two opposing views – what God says about us and the lies the enemy whispers. We need to choose which one we will believe and which one we will kick out the door.
Don’t feel pressured to do these exercises all at once. Instead, be committed to being intentional about teaching your kids what God says about them throughout your journey.
HeartWork – Did you have a mom/dad who saw the treasure in you? How would your childhood have been different if you would have had a parent who consistently called out the truth about who you are? What kind of parent do you want your children to have?
Rejection means to dismiss. Dismiss means to push or send away.
A spirit of rejection is at play against this generation like never before through abortion, sexual exploitation, and gender identity. But there is a subtle form of this same spirit in operation in many homes, including Christians, that I want to expose. Scores of parents are dealing with profound feelings of disgust toward their children. They repel them and long to ‘get away from them.’ This is a very vulnerable thing for a parent to admit, yet I want to suggest something. I do not believe this is always coming from WITHIN the parent but rather ON them. It is the same spirit of rejection seducing parents to turn on their children at this hour. Why? Because parents are gatekeepers over their children both physically and spiritually. When they forgo their post, children are vulnerable. When parents are alert, awake, and active, they are like a lion with their eyes locked on the predator.
If this is you, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to GO LOW and repent for partnering with this demonic spirit. Command the spirit of rejection to GO in Jesus’ name. Invite the Holy Spirit to come and rebuild your heart connection with your child and fill you both with power, love, and peace. This spirit aims to break the connection and covering over your child and lead them into emotional and mental isolation. No to hell on my watch! I declare my children are wanted, loved, and seen. I declare I have what it takes to parent them well in this season. I declare my children are a joy (if not, I will train them to be honoring and respectful). I declare the blood of Jesus covers my children. I declare my love for my child is unconditional and secure. I declare _____ (add your own)!
In January 1936, the King of England died. Following royal protocol, his eldest son assumed the throne, becoming King Edward the Eighth. But in December of that same year, only months into his reign, King Edward stunned the nation when he formally abdicated the country’s throne and the many benefits of royalty. What is especially alarming is the phrasing of the official decree, which ended in these haunting words: “I, Edward the Eighth … renounce the Throne for Myself and for My descendants.” Imagine. With one stroke of the pen, this man sealed his fate and the fate of his children and grandchildren for generations into the future.
As parents, we, too, occupy a throne in the sense that God has given us a position of authority in our kids’ lives. We mustn’t renounce that influence. Children don’t need us to be their friends – someone telling them what they want to hear. They need a parent – an authority figure willing to speak the truth into their lives. Of course, we should listen to our children and consider their views carefully, but our kids should not be allowed to run the home. That’s our God-given responsibility. So, take the lesson of King Edward to heart. Abdicating your authority could risk your kids’ future for generations to come.
Sometimes when parents set the bar high for standards and kids don’t measure up, they partner with the lie that they aren’t good enough. This is not about parents doing it wrong for setting high standards, but about the wrong message sinking into their heart. Children need to be called to a high standard AND experience grace for missing it. This is called childhood, which is the training ground to becoming whole, healthy, fruitful adults. Children are a work in progress and grace must be a part of that process. When a child fails to meet expectations, it becomes a great opportunity to discuss ways they can grow in their capacity to achieve different results next time and become better.
I have three teen girls – do you know what that means? It means that I often get a headache from their discovery of perfume. We go to a store and walk out, smelling like a symphony of competing smells demanding my senses. The actual perfume bottle was left sitting on a counter miles away from us, but the smell traveled with us. During family devotions, we talked about our authority and how it doesn’t always feel like we are in the light or powerful. In fact, some days, it feels like there is little hope to cling to and like the enemy has scored too many touchdowns to turn the game around. Regardless of what it feels like, that is NOT what the world’s Creator has stated in His word. It says, “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you’” (Luke 10:17-19).
I got this word picture of the perfume and shared it with the kids. The perfume bottle represents the enemy, and the bottle IS under my feet, but the smell rises to my nose, making me feel overpowered by it. We cannot alter God’s Word just because of what we feel, smell, or experience. Over means extending directly upward from and at a higher level or layer than. Under means at a lower level than. Do not mistake who is OVER and who is UNDER.
It is time for many to stop letting their noses be their guide. If God says the enemy is under your feet, then that means he is under your feet TODAY! Now go teach this word picture to your children!
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.
The biggest war the next generation will face in their lifetime is the battle over their identity! Parents, teaching your child who they are – who God says they are – the parts that cannot be changed – the areas that aren’t moved or reduced based on circumstances – is a LIFELINE in today’s culture.