DECLARE THIS PRAYER OUT LOUD. Put your hands on your eyes and pray, “Holy Spirit, I give You permission to remove the scales from my eyes. Let me see what You want me to see with my children.” This also works for adult relationships, conflict, world events, leaders, and heart issues. We want our eyes to see what He sees.
LET ME SEE WHAT YOU WANT ME TO SEE
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.”
How many people would like to have coffee with Jesus in the flesh for just for one hour? Could you imagine how that encounter would change your life? I am not sure I would do much talking but would be ALL ears to whatever He had to say. But listen to what Jesus Himself says in John 16:4-7 – “I didn’t tell you this earlier because I was with you every day. But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, ‘Where are you going?’ Instead, the longer I’ve talked, the sadder you’ve become. So let me say it again, this truth: It’s better for you that I leave. If I don’t leave, the Friend won’t come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you.” Jesus is saying someone is coming that is BETTER than being able to sit with Him 1:1. The Friend, the Holy Spirit of God, comes to and for us.
Look what is stated in Matthew 13:16-17 – “But you have God-blessed eyes – eyes that see! And God-blessed ears – ears that hear! A lot of people, prophets and humble believers among them, would have given anything to see what you are seeing, to hear what you are hearing, but never had the chance.” They never had the chance because the Friend, the Helper, the Holy Spirit had not yet come.
I just assumed that all believers heard God speaking the way I did; after all, that IS what the Word says – “His sheep will know His voice.” I vividly recall talking to a friend one day about hearing God, and while she loved the Lord, she said she had never heard Him speak. That blew me away. It opened my eyes to the fact that so few children hear their Father’s voice. I started teaching classes, and it has been a life mission of mine to help connect young and old to hearing their Father’s voice. Jesus says He loves us, and we are to bank our entire being around that; but how can we really know that love unless we experience and hear it?
John 15:5 (MSG) says, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relationship is intimate and organic, and the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing that will last. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is – when you produce grapes when you mature as my disciples.”
Did you catch that? When you make room to hear what HE has to say, the harvest is abundant. It doesn’t say when you labor hard or do umpteen good things. It says when you listen to what HE has to say! Do you want your works to fall away someday or last forever in eternity? The key is doing what you hear the Father telling you to do, not what religion, the Jones’, or fear of your mother-in-law tells you to do.
Romans 8:14 shares, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” The goal isn’t to be FILLED with the Spirit; the goal is to be LED by His Spirit.
Mind vs. Spirit – All the wisdom in the world doesn’t change a person’s heart. When I speak wisdom, it goes from my mind to your mind. But when Holy Spirit speaks, it goes into your spirit, and that is where the real transformation occurs. One word from Jesus can change more than a 12-week course. This is why it is so crucial that we are often bringing our children to the Lord’s presence to ask Him what HE thinks. This is creating an encounter for our children. Instead of ‘wisdom’ alone guiding them, they are learning they have a relationship with the living God who wants to help them in all situations.
Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Why does the Creator of the universe speak to us? Because He sent His Son to die so that we could have connection with His heart because He wants to fulfill His assignments on earth through us because we are no longer orphans, but Sons and Daughters. He speaks to comfort, lead, reveal, heal, redeem, lavish, provide and love us.
Think about what life would be like if you went mute and had to try to teach, train, and love on your children without words. Seriously, think about how many times a day you use your words to guide your children to teach and train them, encourage them, cheer them on and help them. How often do you use your words to lavish love all over them and tell them how precious and beautiful they are to you? Now, how many times a day do you let your Father speak to you?
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.”
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.
Be kind to the first child God gave you – yourself. You will be accountable for how you treat, accept, reject, love, scold, champion, deny, uphold, tear down, believe in, deny or embrace that child. God is fiercely protective and crazy in love with that child; you should be too!
I have tears as I type this. God knows the safest place for His children is in His will, close to His heart, and following His voice. He has been so tender and good with us to remove the things that stand in our way. He has been patient and kind, but we all have our own choice of how we are going to respond. Are you willing to stay in the frying pan until He declares you ‘well done’? Are you willing to have a season of dying and death to the things you have held onto for so long? Are you willing to praise Him even when circumstances scream otherwise? Are you willing to surrender it all? Are you willing to say yes and follow even when His ways are not your own? He knows the future, the next chapter, and what’s coming, and He knows how to lead His children into the safety of His wing. There are so many stories of many of you saying YES and seeing Him in the land of the living like never before. May we not count the cost but count the reward of saying YES to Him.
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.
Do you ever have those situations where everything lines up perfectly, and you are convinced your child is guilty? I did the other week, and my son was adamant he was innocent. I took him at his word, but it still felt fishy to me. He carried this pressure and tension with him everywhere for a week. He was snippy, and I often felt like I just needed to not be in the same room with him for long. Sometimes you just need to let teenagers be teens, but I didn’t like it. He came into my room to drop off laundry, and his eyes were red. I asked if he was okay, and he said NO. Questioning who he had a conflict with, he says, “YOU,” and begins to tell me what it has been like all week, being falsely accused of something he didn’t do and then brought up numerous things I had said during the week that communicated to him that he is untrustworthy. The truth is nothing I said meant what he thought it did. He had the lens of being falsely accused, and anything after that felt like a judgment. Poor kid was really beaten up over the belief that I charged him with a crime he didn’t commit. I assured him that I knew he was innocent because nobody shows that much emotion and care when they are guilty. I apologized for not believing the best AND for failing to see his heart all week. He walked out of my room feeling better, and I was doing some major high-fives with the Lord. I am THRILLED he cares not only about his integrity but our connection that much. Sometimes moms blow it too! And that’s okay because our children are learning, even through our mistakes, how to use their voice and process their heart.
God spoke to me years ago and said, “The same spirit you are encountering in the church is the same spirit that was in operation in your childhood. The reason it is so painful is that you endured it in childhood but did not overcome it.” It was so true. When my mom passed away, I no longer encountered that spirit with her and never learned how to defeat it. When I was faced with it again in the church, God was teaching me not to endure it, as I did as a little girl, but to rise up and defeat it. While I have no authority over someone else’s free will, I had all of the authority given to me by Jesus to demolish that spirit from operation in my life and coming under it. After God spoke this to me, this is how I responded: I had to first discern that it was a spirit and not me. Then I had to discern what was the spirit in operation. I asked Jesus to give me the strategy to defeat and overcome that spirit. I am intentional about releasing the opposite spirit. Where I wanted God to save me from it, He wanted to teach me my authority in Him.