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 MOVE
I was talking with a mom about others using the tools of control and disempowerment in parenting, and she burst into tears. She realized she was guilty of using them with one of her children and her heart ached, realizing how she had been negatively affecting her child. This is my WHOLE point in doing these posts on disempowerment. The issue rarely lies with the one being disempowered but the one doing it. Parents/leaders use these tools because something else is going on inside of them that makes them feel like they need to protect themselves. Nothing controls and pushes back someone further than disempowering them because it renders them powerless. It is a faulty coping mechanism for something greater going on. Here is the deal – God isn’t mad at the parent/leader who uses these tools because He understands WHY they do it. He sees their fear, anxiety, and insecurity that causes them to feel the need to self-protect. God doesn’t want them to stay that way, but He isn’t mad at them.
Rest is not being inactive. Rest is the position of our heart after we have released something over to God and left it in His care. We cease taking matters into our own hands and operating in self-sufficiency. We hand over the transaction to Him, and at that moment, we are in restful confidence He can act on our behalf. We rest in the assurance that He is able, capable, mighty, willing, powerful, and active in our lives. Simply put, spiritual orphans can NOT find rest because the world’s weight is on them to self-provide, self-protect, self-defend, and self-secure. But as Sons and Daughters, we have a Father who is alive and well and wants to help us. Have you ever sat on an aircraft and watched people attempt to put their luggage in the overhead compartment? They struggle to lift the weight of their carry-on above their head while juggling their coffee, trying hard not to hit the person in front of them. Along comes a flight attendant in full confidence in their ability to help lighten the load and get them situated. Have you ever watched a child struggle to tie their shoes or fasten their pant button? They get frustrated easily with their lack of ability. A loving parent comes alongside them and, with ease, eagerly helps them. The Father is like the flight attendant wanting to carry your load. The Father is like a loving parent wanting to help in your time of need. Rest is not simply doing nothing. Rest is releasing your burdens for Him to do something.
HeartWork: “Jesus, I surrender and hand to You my burden of _____.”
This is perhaps one of the most fascinating things about God and mankind. He knows what parents/leaders need and lack, so He sends children/people who carry it better than they do. Yet often times parents/leaders use their authority to protect that part of them that needs to come into alignment instead of allowing God to yield their heart through that person. They build walls, shut doors and disempower the very person God sent to BLESS them. The nature of conflict does not disqualify a person. Often times the conflict is just revealing something isn’t in alignment, and God wants to parent the area the conflict is revealing. It is what you do with the conflict that is God’s desire and plan for your life. Your areas of greatest conflict with a child/person could very well be the area God sent that person to touch in you so that it can come into alignment. Disempowerment and control kill the process for all parties.
I was so struck while reading Psalm 119:143 – “In my distress and anguish your commandments comfort me.” I was reading commands as in obedience, but as I sat with this longer, the revelation came. What does God command us to do? To praise, not fear, rejoice, and give thanks. Whoa!
Praise – gets our eyes off our circumstances and on Him. We become whatever we set our gaze to.
Not fear – fear sabotages our faith.
Rejoice – means to partner with.
JOY – joy releases a natural chemical in our brain that restores our passion and fight.
Give thanks – focuses on what He has already done (and is capable of doing again).
The nature of distress is extreme anxiety. The nature of anguish is server suffering. God’s COMMANDS bring us back to the reality that He sees. He is in control; He is able; He has done it before and can do it again. Yes, His commands comfort me.
I love Holy Spirit – like crazy, crazy love Him. But we didn’t start out that way. In fact, we have come a long way to get here. I was raised in the church and loved Jesus, but I was never introduced to Holy Spirit as a person. Years later, my mom was dying of cancer and went to a known faith healer. She came back glowing from her experience. She was so convinced of her experience that she stopped taking medication. I later woke up from being in a coma for three months to the news that she had died. A deep-seated judgment came over me against faith healers and the charismatic movement. I seethed in anger, blaming Him for taking my mom. I once found a worship tape from this man and ripped out the ribbon in disgust. I spent 15 years pursuing God passionately while rejecting Holy Spirit. It wasn’t really that I didn’t like the Spirit of God. It was that I adamantly did not like the people who fell into the charismatic camp and ‘went after’ the things of the Spirit. It bothered me. I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t understand it. And more so, I concluded it didn’t work because my mom still died. Underneath my resentment was a deep sadness that, despite her attempts to get healed, it didn’t work, and I was left motherless. God, in His mercy, brought me into a season of such deep hunger. I was consumed with the need for more of Him. It is impossible to embrace all the Father has for us without also embracing Holy Spirit. I had to forgive this man for my judgments against him, and suddenly the Lord started showing me how precious and sweet it was that my mom pioneered with Holy Spirit and had a massive encounter with Him before she passed. Judgments towards the things we don’t yet understand blind our ability to receive!
The goal is not to be airlifted and dropped in the middle of the ocean just to say you have arrived in the depths. The goal is to do the journey with Him every step of the way. He is much more interested in your JOURNEY with Him than He is with your destination. So, what do you have going on today? Do it WITH Him.
Anger/anxiety/criticism/fear etc., is your invitation to encounter Him! Many believe you have to be free of such things to encounter God, but the truth is some of the greatest intimacy comes when we invite Him into those messy places.
We can teach our children that Jesus is a 1st Responder who we can go to with our highs, lows, and everything in between.
I just want to give a word of encouragement to those of you who are feeling the squeeze and tension of being transformed. One of the hardest seasons to steward is what I call seasons of ‘holy dissatisfaction.’ You have the revelation that there is more and can no longer be content with the former but are not yet in the new. It is like taking your foot off of a rock and not yet landing on the next one. This season is uncomfortable because we have eyes to see that our old ways of operating are no longer working, and we want to grab onto anything familiar and secure. Jesus is your anchor in these seasons. Grab onto Him, His Word, and focus on His presence. It is not up to you to figure everything out. Your job is to be humble and keep your eyes on Him. He is faithful to move us where we need to be. Trust Him in the process. Remember to increase your time spent reading the Word, worshiping, and declaring, “Jesus, I trust You!”
Do you ever hear of a great testimony and say, “I want that?” While the heart of sharing testimonies is the confidence God wants to do it again in your life, the focus has to be on HIM, not the fruit. We can’t just say, “I want that fruit”; it has to be, “I want HIM.” So, when you see God move mountains in someone’s life, let it encourage you that He is able, but ask Him for the keys in your own life and follow whatever He tells you in your situation.