IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT HIM

IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT HIM

In preparation for a speaking engagement I sensed Holy Spirit wanted me to ask the kids, “What would your life be like if you loved Jesus, but couldn’t hear His voice?” This list surprised me just as much as it will you. This is in their own words and behind every word is a testimony and story of them hearing His voice.

“Life would be… hard, hurts in my heart, stay offended, bitter, very fearful, unkind, unconnected, lonely, lack of favor, unforgiveness, anger, aggression, scared, broken relationships, pressure, controlled, orphan spirit, more sickness, less creativity, bored, less adventures, hopeless, discouraged, rejected, struggle in school, trapped, believing lies, embarrassed, ashamed, forget things, nightmares, no honor, bullied, lack of confidence, difficulties, no hidden treasures, sad, heartbroken, exposed to bad things, lack of protection, lack of wisdom, no encounters with His presence, unsafe, lack of provision, couldn’t be used, powerless believers, lack of peace…”

GOD IS NOT ON TRIAL

Get out of the courtroom! Some of you have been hammered with accusations from the enemy that your God is not a good Father. God is moving in a way many have not experienced before, and His ways are not always ours. We have to leave room for Him to be just that – GOD! If you hear a barrage of accusations against Him, LEAVE THE COURTROOM! You do not need to listen to evidence against Him. The evidence is tainted; the accusations are lies. The trial is a mock trial. It is not your job to defend the Creator of the universe! It is your job to silence the enemy with your praise! It is your job to know and stand on the Word of God! It is your job to be a witness of love to others! There is no case to be won – we live in a place of victory now! 

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!

LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR

Isn’t this a beautiful testimony from a father?

“Our family went on a family hike, and our eldest daughter was having fun running around. We got to the falls and took some pictures, but on the way back, she started whining about wanting to be carried and kept her whining and crying all the way back to the car. I told her if she kept it up, I would give her a spanking, and I could see the fear come into her eyes. She started trying to force herself to stop crying, and it was like something had switched inside me. I asked if she needed to be held, and she gave a huge nod with obvious relief, so I took her out of the car and held her on a nearby rock. I felt prompted by Holy Spirit to ask if she liked the waterfall, and she said no, that it was too loud. I asked if the noise and force of the waterfall scared her, and she said yes. I told her I was sorry for not realizing she was scared and asked if she would forgive me. She did, and I walked around holding her a little longer, and we ended up having a nice time again. This wouldn’t have happened before taking the mentoring class. When we were at the critical moment right when we got back to the car, I felt God cut in and remind me (gently, but in a way that couldn’t be ignored) that my connection to her heart was more important than her outward behavior, and it just froze me. I just wanted to share how the things you shared with us continue to bear fruit in our lives.”

LET’S ASK JESUS

Ask, “Jesus, if You were here in the flesh, how would You handle my children?” (You may be surprised by the answer).

TEACHING CHILDREN TO HEAR

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.

GOD WANTS TO SPEAK TO YOU!

Too many believers have limited their relationship with God with the written Word (which is very important and must be our anchor of truth), but He wants us to relate to Him, hear Him, feel His love, and experience Him. I liken the difference to wives whose husbands are overseas; while they may exchange beautiful love letters, it is not the same as the wife whose husband is there every night holding her, kissing her, and protecting her. The latter is the kind of love Jesus wants to have with us. We all know no marriage would be healthy or survive without communication. That is how personal God wants our relationship with Him to be. How could anyone find that level of intimacy with someone without talking, listening, and responding to each other? I have often heard people say that they believed God loved them in the “He loves the world” sense but had never fully understood how much He loved THEM personally until they heard Him speaking to them. 

Let’s invite Holy Spirit to do what He does best. Pray out loud: “Holy Spirit, I invite You to come and remove everything and anything acting as earmuffs. I want to hear my Father’s voice more and more. I grant You permission to teach me anything You want about my Father’s voice. Come and have Your way with me.” Do we think that after all He went through to get us to come to Him, He suddenly has nothing more to say to us? God wants to speak to YOU!

OWN IT!

I have always wanted my twin daughters to share a room, but God told me to separate them and give them their own space. We had so much fun talking about designing their new spaces. Lauren turned her closet into a desk area, and it was gorgeous. Emma walked into Lauren’s room and saw the hours of work, and said, “Oh man, your room looks better than mine,” She went back to her room and undid all of her work, trying to copy what Lauren did with her space. It didn’t work! She was frustrated and struggling a bit. I realized that was such a prophetic word for what God is doing in them. I told her that Lauren’s space was perfect for her, but that Emma needed to own hers and that copying or comparing herself to her twin would only leave her feeling short, frustrated, and defeated. She quickly turned her room back the way she first had it and LOVED it. Isn’t that true in life? We can’t slap someone else’s success on us and assume it fits. Thank You, Jesus, for the way You are parenting with me and aligning their hearts daily to the path YOU have for them.

A TOUCH FROM HIM

One of the things I love about traveling and speaking is the ministry time. One touch of God can change a life in a moment. I often spend a great deal of time with God before asking how I can partner with what He is already doing in a particular community, as I never want to come in and just do my thing. At one place over the summer, He said to do ministry time totally different than I was used to (love that!). The Presence was so sweet and tangible. As a minister, you want people to encounter and receive all they can, but there was something that wouldn’t let me move forward. I had to process what He was doing and how I could partner with it while standing on stage in silence. He said, “I don’t want to come in as Fire tonight. I want to come in as a Gentleman. There are people in the room who need to know I am safe.” People encountered a safe Father, and it was breathtaking. It was the simplest yet most profound ministry time I have ever led.