HOW TO WIN THE BATTLE

HOW TO WIN THE BATTLE

It seemed like my phone was constantly going off with messages from people in the battle. Many of my leader friends were posting to encourage those around them in their battle. A LOT is going on in the spiritual realm. Battle means a sustained fight between large organized armed forces and/or a fight or struggle tenaciously to achieve or resist something. There is a time and place to rest and surrender, and there is a time and place to rise up, stand in your place and engage. If you are feeling that battle, I want to lead you to an exercise on how to do just that. 

First, take what is causing your heart trouble – conflict, disconnection, being misunderstood, injustice, world affairs or current events, finances, etc. Whatever it is, hold it in your hand. Don’t just feel it; identify it. 

Second, you must align your heart with His. The whole purpose of a battle is to defeat something. You are feeling the battle because something has to be defeated. BUT we need to make sure we are on the right side. Sometimes our battle is because something inside of us needs to be defeated, such as partnering with a spirit of fear. I recently went through a massive battle, but there was something inside of me that God wanted to align for my health and increased capacity. So start by asking, “Jesus, what in me do You want to align in this present battle?” 

Third, your battle is the touchpoint where you are called and commissioned (an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people) to be an Ambassador of Christ. In Matthew 6:10, Jesus is teaching us how to pray. It says we are to declare, speak out and usher HEAVEN into a situation. I grew up with a version of the Bible that reads, “May Your Kingdom come soon,” so I was raised with the belief that He is good but that His Kingdom is for later, not now. But if you look at other translations, it says we are to pray, “Heaven COME!” We do not command, dictate, or direct God, but we pray as Jesus did and order His Kingdom to be infused in a situation. This matters deeply because this is where we battle. Perhaps so many people are weary and worn out from the battle because there are no ambassadors of Heaven ushering in His Kingdom into the circumstances. 

Fourth, put your hand on your heart and pray this prayer, “Jesus, thank You for laying down Your life so that I could have a relationship with Your Father and have access to all that is His. I speak to my spirit and say be aligned with His Holy Spirit. I take my eyes off of my battle and circumstances and will rise up as His ambassador on earth. I speak to my situation and say, ‘Heaven come now. May Your will and Kingdom be rulers in this situation.’ In Jesus’ name.” 

Whenever I heard of someone’s battle, I simply said with faith, “Heaven come now into that situation.” Rise up and do your part as His ambassador.

PUT YOUR STAKE IN THE GROUND

I kept hearing this phrase over and over. I finally sat down to explore what God was telling me about it. I had to do some research on it and discovered the authority that is exercised when we put our stakes in the territory God has given us. One example involved Indians when they learned they were going to lose their land. They would put a stake in the ground and tie a rope to someone’s foot making them defend their territory to their death. Their belief was it was better to die defending your territory then be chased away. I camped out with this concept of putting your stake in the ground and felt like we needed to grab ahold of it more. We went on a family outing and picked out our stakes and then came home and wrote down the things that we will not be moved in. The areas, principles or convictions that we will not settle for less in. God has given us land to occupy, and we will not shrink back, be moved or bullied in this space. We wrote them on our stakes and drove them into the ground. We put them in the front yard so that each time we leave the house we are reminded of our territory and would not shrink back from it.

ETCHED ON THEIR HEARTS

My mom was a school teacher and not only had gorgeous penmanship, but she also had a high value for it. Homework wasn’t just supposed to be accomplished in our house; it was also supposed to be done neatly. My writing was never perfected like hers, but even as an adult, whenever I write something sloppy, I have an internal check that I should either slow down or redo it. When we proactively teach our children who they are, we are helping them partner with God’s truth about them, which anchors them through life experiences. Example: God told me early on that my son would be a gentleman, so I have called it out since he was two years old. I have looked for ways he can practice being a gentleman (opening doors, helping with strong things, giving up his chair for an elderly lady, etc.). When my son does not act like a gentleman, something goes off inside of him that feels funny because he is acting in a way that is contrary to his true nature.

Children will exercise their flesh and act out; it is the nature of a child, but having the truth written in them helps guide them to become the person they are created to be. When children are not told who they are, they are influenced to become the things God never designed them to be.

JESUS IS MY DEFENDER

I am so undone by the goodness of Jesus. I was processing some deep things as my daughter was walking through one of her biggest breakthroughs. It was breathtaking to watch her walk this out on her own. While spending time with Jesus, I kept hearing the story about the woman caught in adultery. There are many thoughts about what Jesus was writing in the sand, so I asked Him to show me. He answered my question by showing me the position of His eyes. While the men of the day, who deemed themselves mighty important and superior to the rest, dragged a naked woman before the courts (the shame and humiliation must have been brutal), Jesus looked away. Could it be He knew His presence alone was convicting, and He didn’t want to stare at her nakedness? Then I heard Him say, “I didn’t defend her sin, but I did defend the JUDGMENTS against her.” I wept! Jesus isn’t about shaming you publicly for your weaknesses, sins, or messy places. He is there to defend the part of your heart that is in need of a Savior. Read John 8!

TOUGHER VS. STRONGER

Going through a crisis in and of itself does not make one stronger. In fact, in the natural, tragedy has the recipe to make one hardened, full of fear, and erect walls around their heart to keep it safe. How does a crisis make you stronger, then? By allowing God to purify those areas that are coming up while you are enduring the crisis. If we don’t allow God access to those places (the fear, poverty mindsets, lack, smallness in thinking, lack of faith, feeling unsafe, etc.), we will gain endurance in the crisis, not strength. We will be able to say, “I went through a divorce/disaster/death,” but you carry the same weight with you. Others allow God to purify them in their crisis, taking whatever is coming up to the surface to Him. They are the ones who say, “I went through a divorce/disaster/death and am a stronger person for it.” The choice in a crisis is to either medicate your flesh with things that make you feel temporarily safe (food, shopping, porn, denial, social media, avoidance, anger outbursts, etc.) or to steward the uncomfortable emotions and give God room to purify you. You may not be able to stop the crisis, but you do have a choice in either partnering with God’s redemptive work in you in the midst or resisting it. Tough has to do with endurance and how much you can go through. Strong has to do with strength. We don’t just want to say we endured hard things. We want to allow it to build our faith, emotional, relational, and spiritual muscles, which makes us stronger. Whatever the weight that is in your heart/mind is the very thing that, when given to God, makes you stronger!

PUTTING THE DISCOMFORT BACK ON THEM

Once past the elementary years, a great parenting tool has been to simply partner with Holy Spirit to see how the discomfort can be placed on the child, not me. A child will step up to the plate when they feel the pressure and discomfort of their choices. When my kids transitioned from homeschool to formal school, I showered them with grace as they were learning so many new things involving lockers, tests, new classroom rules, eating lunch in a certain time frame, and so on. Months into it, I still found myself asking in the morning, “Did you brush your teeth? Did you make your bed? Did you…?” My mind was going to explode as I tried not only to get myself ready and out the door but to remember who did and didn’t do what! I sat on the kitchen counter lamenting to Holy Spirit that I felt like I was going to lose it. The kids came down only to confirm they had not done what was expected, and back up they went. I stayed on the counter, trying to keep my cool. This continued for nearly 20 minutes. We finally got in the car, when I calmly said, “Thanks for choosing to get all of your stuff done this morning. Great job. I just want you to know that the bell rang 20 minutes ago.” They begged me with tears not to make them go to school late, but I had to be tough to let them feel the discomfort of their choices. Upon entering the school office, I was asked the purpose of the tardy. I simply said, “My kids were learning to take responsibility this morning.” The office clerk winked at me and told the kids it would be unexcused and handed them their slips to enter their classrooms… late. Guess how many times they failed to do their morning routine after that?

**Toddlers need the training established so that you can use tools like this down the road. I would not attempt to do this with a toddler who is still learning right/wrong.

FULLY AND COMPLETELY

When I would tell the four kids to do something, they would obey right away, but only partially. So, I would call them back, and they would obey right away again, but still not finish. I was asking them FOUR times to complete the dishwasher, FIVE times to clean the bathroom all the way, THREE times for the floor, and I was about to go mad! I realized it was an issue of taking responsibility, so I asked Holy Spirit for a creative teaching tool. Ha! Do you know one of the names of Holy Spirit? TEACHER! He rocks at teaching the kids and loves to do it in a fun way. I called all the kids back and gave them a piece of paper to wad up. I then told them they had to put the paper in the bathroom (the furthest room from the living room). They were all like, “Okay, easy peasy.” Then I said, “But… you can only drop it, stoop down to get it, stand up, drop it again, stoop down to get it, stand up, drop it…” It was super funny about four times, but after that, they wanted to cry. They were clueless about why they were doing this; it was NOT fun. I called them all back into the living room and explained that that is how I feel when I ask them to do something and then have to call them back again and again to finish it. When they are instructed to do something, they must stick with it until it is done fully and completely.

MY CEILING

Someone recently asked me if I ever think my kids will surpass me in the things of the Spirit. I laughed and said, “They did that a long time ago – and I am okay with that!” You see, I am on a journey of UNlearning things, tearing down strongholds, and experiencing the Father where there is no earthly experience. My children have a very different story. While they surely know heartbreak and pain, they have always had a family, been in connection, been seen and heard, and have been introduced to the real living Jesus in a tangible way since they were very young. Their foundation is different. When they were little, I once watched my child have an angry outburst with their sibling, and I told them that they learned that from me. I modeled that for them, but I could not allow them to walk in the same footsteps. Anger was a stronghold for me as a reaction to staying safe in unhealthy environments, and God was dismantling it. But for them, they were CHOOSING it. There is a difference. You are not being a hypocrite for calling your child to a higher standard in an area you may struggle in. If this is something you are aware of in your parenting, keep going low and keep cleaning up your mess, letting them know that your responses are not in alignment with the Father’s heart.

LET IT MOVE YOU

If current events are causing your heart grief, please know there is an action that is demanded in response. Your mama’s heart was not designed to carry this weight, but He is allowing your heart to feel His heart SO THAT you rise up and release the burden back to the One who can move. I encourage you to intentionally spend some time carrying your mama’s heart into the Throne Room and interceding on behalf of those involved in the situation. Your voice is powerful!

LET IT HURT

Sometimes life just HURTS. I always tell my spiritual daughters, “If you are going to walk as a Daughter, you are going to have to learn how to feel hard emotions.” Orphans run to things that numb their hearts like a shot of novocaine (porn, shopping, anger, social media, gossip, busyness, checking out, denial, eating, rage, etc.)  As Daughters, we need to learn that pain is okay. It reflects our hearts and how we experience life. We need to practice feeling the pain and, in the midst of it, running into HIS arms, crying out to Him. We can tell Him: “It hurts,” “I am sad,” “I feel lonely,” “I am disappointed,” “I am scared,” “I feel anxious,” “I need help,” and then WAIT and rest in His ability to not only care for your heart and wipe your tears but to move on your behalf. 

Psalm 56:8 (MSG) – “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.”

BREWING EXCITEMENT

In the natural, things have been hard, overwhelming, scary, and filled with many uncertainties. We all have had to walk that out. But deeper in the spiritual realm, there is a brewing excitement about what God is doing, how He is using this for our good, and what He is doing deep in the hearts of many. This is a season that will shape generations to come. 

I am looking for parents who feel a hunger for more. Who wants to go deeper still? Who feels a stirring for more in their families? I invite you to join me for our online parenting JOURNEY class, where we will go deeper, empower you on how to model your home after His, and give you the tools needed for connection, sibling conflict, resolving hurts, and changing the world around you. You can register here: Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly