LEADING FROM THE FATHER’S HEART

LEADING FROM THE FATHER’S HEART

As I watched the worship team enter the stage one week, I was captivated by this vision. I saw a leader in pre-service prayer ask point-blank questions regarding their purity. He had those who raised their hand in guilt leave and go into another room. I was confident that the leader would declare since those who had admitted sin had left the room, those remaining would lead worship, but the scene changed when the leader excused them to go and entered the room where the ‘guilty ones’ were. He offered a prayer of repentance and an invitation to get right with the Lord in that area. There was great weeping and true repentance. He then said, “Great, you are now ready to lead us in worship.” Legalism and the spirit of religion say only the perfect can take the stage. The Father’s heart says to lead them to Him, and in that place, they are made fit to serve.

REDEFINING QUIET TIMES

I hear this ALL the time – a person falls radically in love with Jesus and has excellent ‘quiet times.’ They get up early and spend tons of undivided time with Him, and they have a close relationship. The kids come, and soon those quiet moments together give way to sleepless nights and the demands of their new addition. As time passes, the relationship suffers, and they begin to feel exhausted, dry, and burned out. They begin to feel guilty for not investing hours into their relationship with God, which only makes them feel worse. The time we spend with our children in this season is 24/7, but there is a Biblical command to let them leave and cleave to their future mates, meaning our 24/7 relationship will transition into a new way of connecting and relating, yet the love and relationship are still there!

Could it be God intended all along for our time with Him to be transitioned, as well, when the baby comes? Do we not think that God KNEW that our relationship with Him would change when He gave us the gift of our child? Instead of feeling guilty that your former way of relating to Jesus isn’t working, ask Him to show you what the NEW looks like.

“Jesus, I miss our times together. I miss knowing You and feeling Your presence. I miss our deep connection. Will You please show me what our relationship and time together look like in this season?”

Be blessed with the fact that your relationship is growing, changing, and being transformed into something NEW!

LET HIM MOVE

If you want God to move in your family, you have to give Him ROOM to do so. When our agenda, need for control, and schedules are wound up so tightly, it doesn’t give room to depend on Him for what only He can do. Busyness and control are two killers of the supernatural in our families.

LET HIM LEAD!

I was able to score cheap tickets to Florida and decided I would take the kids for some R&R and splashing in the ocean before school started the following week. The following morning I woke at 3 am pondering our trip. While it ‘looked’ fun, I had no joy. I got out of bed and began to process why going to Florida was not bringing any joy whatsoever. The joy turned into NO PEACE. It wasn’t fear, but simply no peace or joy on it. The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy; I have used these as my pillars to lead me. I canceled the trip.  And then I see this… A double hurricane isn’t my idea of joy either, God. Thanks for leading me so well.

Shhhhhhh! LISTEN! HE KNOWS HOW TO LEAD HIS SHEEP.

RELIGION VS. RELATIONSHIP

Some of us come from very religious backgrounds and fear that if we constantly say, “Let’s ask Jesus,” it will push the child away from God, not towards Him. This is where the difference between a religious spirit and a relationship comes into play. When kids are thumped over the head with religion and Scriptures are being used as weapons of control, they resist. When kids talk to their earthly father, they are blessed because the interaction is alive and real and deposits goodies in their hearts. The same is true with Jesus: when they ask and HEAR Him replying, it builds a relationship. That is a good thing and is long-lasting. 

Pray (out loud) – “Jesus, I thank You that (your child’s name) ’s spiritual ears are open and that he/she has the ability to hear their Father clearly today. Teach me, God, to be a good teacher of Your voice to the children You have entrusted me with. Give me creative ways to teach, model, practice, and usher my children into hearing Your voice. Thank You that You have good things to say to my children and that their lives change when they hear Your voice. Thank You that I am not an ill-equipped parent but that I get to partner with You in parenting. You knit them together and know more about them than I ever could. Thank You that I am not alone in this journey but can come to You anytime for answers and truth. Let my home be a home that stands on Your written and spoken Word, and let Your voice be the only voice that is acceptable. Help me lead my children to Your presence through living and tangible encounters with You. Thank You that You are in all things, and in all things, we can involve You.”

CONTROL-BASED PARENTING

I received this message from a mom taking our class. I want you to see how each of these parts are interwoven and connected. God is so good to show her what was the root of her control-based parenting. 

“Wow, I had my late night turn out so different than planned. I have followed the LTCF Facebook page and have been trying to emulate the connection parenting versus my normal controlling/disciplining parenting. I have realized how much I operate under a religious spirit and definitely want freedom from that! That revelation in itself has been so eye-opening and humbling. After I went through some forgiveness with my parents for not emulating connection (something my father still doesn’t grasp), I asked Jesus what He wanted to give me in return. As I gave my jar to Jesus, I waited in expectation for a sweet, tangible picture to come about. And the waiting got a little long for my comfort zone, so I asked again what He was showing me! Immediately I heard COMPANIONSHIP as I looked at Jesus standing close, smiling at me. I heard, ‘You are not alone, Tiffany. Let’s play.’ Immediately my stomach filled with this gaping grief, and I began to wail as a deep pain I had not known was there surfaced. The more I allowed myself to cry, the more I got clarity of a deep sense of loneliness that I believe had been there all my life and I was totally unaware of! I sat in this place for a while and felt some revelation come. I have been struggling with a wall that comes up between my oldest son (6 years old) and me these last two years. I have not been able to pinpoint it, and it has grieved my heart so much. Its presence had gotten stronger over the past year with the birth of our second son, a definite ‘world changer’ personality. I have never known how to address ‘loneliness,’ and I am so encouraged that the Lord surfaced it in my heart because I believe He revealed to me that it is something that has burdened my oldest son’s heart and has driven a wedge between his and I’s attempts at connection. I am not fully certain what’s next, but I am hungry to seek that out.”

HE IS HERE

God is not standing over you, watching you parent, or keeping track of your every wrong move. He is geared up, ready to jump in the moment you invite Him. So, give it a try today. Having a hard mommy moment? Frustrated over a child’s behavior? Hit with big news? Invite Him in and watch and see how He encounters you IN the moment.

SHIFTING YOUR FOCUS

Learning to shift my focus is what really helps me in times of earthly stress. Say it is a money issue. I do not focus on the need for money to come in (which would seem the proper response). Instead, I focus on His goodness as my Husband. When I need something, my eyes and faith aren’t on the end result, but on HIM. Instead of praying, “Jesus, I need x-amount of money by Thursday. Please send the money.” I focus on, pray, and declare, “God, YOU alone are MY Provider.” See the difference? One keeps our eyes on the lack/need, while the other keeps our eyes on Him. The latter is the place of FAITH and REST. God whispered to me years ago to “enroll them” (meaning my kids at a Christian school in CA). That is all He said. Nine months of fear and doubt followed. Worry was on one side, and God’s gentle whisper on the other – I had to choose which one I was going to partner with. After I sold our house in Colorado, said my goodbyes, and drove four children across the country, the school called to say there wasn’t any room for them and asked what my plan B was. At that moment, my entire world could have crashed. I thought about the question and realized there was NO plan B because I wasn’t striving to make plans happen. I only had what God told me. My eyes weren’t on them getting into the school or not; my eyes were on GOD’S GOODNESS. He told me what to do, I did it, and whatever He had for us would be good because He is a good Father, Husband, and Provider. A week later, the school called back to say there was room for the children. Of course, there was; God told me to enroll them. Do we have a plan B when circumstances squeeze us? Either God is good, or He isn’t. Either He is our Provider, or He isn’t. Either He is love, or He isn’t. We can’t pick and choose when we want to take Him off the shelf and when we want to put Him back on it.

LOUD VOICES

I believe in honoring my leaders and being part of the solution instead of just opening my mouth to tear people down. HOWEVER, there are some public people who are not making me feel very safe or relaxed. Their words are fear-producing. My go-to in this process has been whenever I read, see or hear something that ignites worry or fear to STOP, take that thought captive and begin to declare who God is over that person. I have a mental picture of certain public figures who feel big and scary, but they are like two-year-olds to God. I declare over this person that while they may be really LOUD right now, God is not moved by their need to control. 

Psalm 118:6 – “The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” 

Psalm 146:3 – “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.” 

Give it a try. Instead of picturing certain voices as BIG, picture them in relation to GOD!

RAGING ANGER

The orphan spirit has anger and fits of rage, which makes sense when the weight of the world rests on your shoulders. However, for many people, it isn’t an anger issue – it is an orphan issue. They have not yet had the full revelation that Christ died to rescue us from the orphanage and bring us into the Father’s palace. We don’t need to operate as spiritual orphans anymore and can truly rest while He manages the world around us for our good.