I encourage you to set an alarm on your phone, and every time it goes off, no matter where you are and what you are doing, ask yourself, “Jesus, how do You feel about me right now?” You will be surprised by what He has to say at that very moment.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT ME RIGHT NOW?
- Encountering the Father, Hearing God's Voice
Someone needs to ask this question. Ask, “Jesus, how are You defending me in this season?”
Psalm 62:5-8 – “I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector and shelter. So trust in God at all times, my people. Tell him all your troubles, for He is our refuge.”
Years ago, as a homeschool mom of four, we went to the library weekly. I cared deeply about what their little minds were feasting on and had a high guard against witchcraft, sexual material, and language. They would bombard me with, “Mom, can I rent this one?” I finally said one day, “Ask your Father!” They asked Jesus, and 9 out of 10 times, He said NO. The amazing thing about children hearing their Father is that their spirit knows it is the truth and can be trusted. I was filled with joy to receive this testimony.
“We’ve been slowly learning to hear His voice. My nine-year-old just came to me with a book on cd from the library and said that God told him not to listen to that one. He put it back on our library shelf. I’m so thankful for your teachings that have helped me connect my kids directly to Him, as I do not have time to pre-read every book they want to read.”
I encourage you to teach it as I have done with my children but by adding, subtracting, and editing according to your own creativity and family. Before I start, I have to remind you that you have 18 years with your children to influence them to hear their Father’s voice. Please do not (in your utter excitement) teach it to them and then get frustrated if they do not rattle off a million things they heard the Lord say. If your child’s ears aren’t immediately hearing perfectly, you have two choices – keep going or quit. You have to resolve that equipping them to hear His voice is a core value for your family, and you will keep at it until it is a family lifestyle for all.
I had the advantage of being a home-school teacher and teaching my kids about our body – the hands, eyes, and nose – and the goodies inside us – brain, tonsils, and spleen. My kids never argued or doubted that we have lungs just because they had never seen one. They simply believed. I would suggest starting by pointing this out to your child. God gave us hands to touch and legs to walk. We have lungs to breathe and a brain to think. But inside our brains, God gave us each a chalkboard (or whiteboard). You can even get a real chalkboard to help give them a visual of what God put inside us. He put this board inside of us for HIS use. Be creative with this. Children love visuals and hands-on learning. The more you make the teaching FUN, the more they will want to be a part of it. Host a family meeting and get everyone involved via role-playing, laughing, and connecting. Tell your kids who are into games that their chalkboard is like God’s PlayStation, or for those who like superheroes, explain that the chalkboard is the command center. For the child who enjoys reading, explain that it is our reading manual. It doesn’t matter how you teach it, but kids need to know that they have a part of their bodies created for God’s voice.
Come up with a list of all the ways God speaks to us (nature, colors, signs, people, etc.). When children are taught that God speaks to them through nature, they spot it often. The heart-shaped leaf, the wildlife He plants in their path to enjoy, or the fun cloud shapes – God loves communicating with those who have a child-like faith! Have them close their eyes and ask if they can picture their bed. What about what they had for dinner last night? How about Grandma, can they picture her? Have them open their eyes and explain that they weren’t in their room or with Grandma, but they could ‘see’ her on their chalkboard. That is where and how God speaks to us.
Again, using these spiritual muscles takes practice, so keeping it lighthearted and fun while they are learning is key. Children love drawing, so this is a great non-threatening way to help them practice using their spiritual muscles. Complete the teaching above and have them close their eyes and ask, “Jesus, will You please show me a picture of how You feel about my family?” and then have them draw it out.
What is something you struggle with the most with God? His presence? Going to Him in the day-to-day? Feeling His love? Talking to Him? Believing He cares about your world? This is a super FUN exercise. Put a reminder on your phone to go off every day. When it goes off, simply stop whatever you are doing at that moment and ask Him a specific question as it pertains to your struggle.
“Will You please show me where You are right now?” “What do You want me to know?” “How do You love me at this moment?” “Will You please help me with _____?” “What do You care most about me right now?”
We strengthen our spiritual muscles by using them. Go after the area that feels weak and allow Him to strengthen you in His truth. This is a GREAT thing to do with the kiddos too. Wherever you are when the alarm goes off, STOP and ask Jesus.
I got this really strong impression on my heart, and I believe it is for some of your children. We can be together 24/7 and still feel alone. I sensed there was a child in the family feeling lonely and really needing the gift of being seen.
Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me which family member needs to be seen today?” and then gather the rest of the family members and say something like, “Jesus told me that _____ really needs to know we see him/her today. Let’s ask Him what we can do to celebrate them,” and then listen together. Do not underestimate mission work in your own home.
The Bible says we love others because He FIRST loved us. It is out of that place of deep security that we are loved, enabling us to go forth and love others well. To have that in reverse leads us to hardship and pain. Encounter Him by #1. Sit for a moment and focus on your love for Jesus. Take a moment and admire Him with your thoughts. Dwell on His goodness (do this before reading on). #2. Now reverse the flow and focus on His love for you. The radical love of God that released His Son to die so that you could know Him. Soak in His fierce affection for you. People generally do not have a problem with loving God; their issue lies in receiving love from Him.
Focus on intentionally saturating your mind, body, and spirit with His lavish love. Now lead your children through this same exercise. When children are taught that God loves them and they know how to walk securely in His love, they will be empowered to walk in who they are called to be. Love matters! Teach them, and in the days ahead, when they are upset, hurting, or discouraged, remind them of His love and ask if they want to re-encounter His love.
“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
I want to lead YOU into an encounter with your Creator. First, picture yourself on the day you were born. Then listen to this song, not for your children, but for YOU. My sweet friend, history is waiting for YOU!
“Father, You say I am the apple of Your eye. What do You love most about me?”
Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or at bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is so empowering for children because they get to witness how God communicates with you, which increases their faith, and together you get to encounter Him. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened by worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.
Ask, “Jesus, if You could write a letter to my dad, what would it say?”
How many of you feel lost without corporate worship, weekly gatherings, and deeper interaction? How many long to pass the Communion plate and enter His presence together? With the lack of church meetings, have you found Him on your own? Have you opened your Bible? Hosted your own worship time? Prayed? Taken Communion? Or has no church left you empty? We need to change the language from NO church to KNOW church. YOU are the church as He dwells inside of you. If we can only find His presence, hear Him, and enjoy Him in the company of others, perhaps we know church more than we know HIM! It’s time to buy your own oil by learning how to go after Him in the secret times when no one else is around. When you starve yourself, your body will eventually stop giving you hunger pangs as a way of survival. When you eat, you become hungry. It doesn’t matter if you FEEL like feeding your spirit; we do it anyway SO THAT it creates a hunger for more. We read our Bible, pray, worship, and take Communion, which increases our desire for more. If you are waiting for the hunger to kick in, you could be waiting for a long time. Dive in today and start eating.
HERE’S THE KEY – When corporate gatherings start happening again, there will be an explosion of His Spirit because you will have oil in you to burn! Don’t wait for the church to start again so that you can enjoy someone else’s fire – get your own – today!