Fun ways for the kids to practice hearing. I STRONGLY encourage you to practice together in fun ways that empower their hearing in times of peace instead of only when they need to seek Jesus over a heart splinter. Also, doing it as a family is super helpful because it gives everyone a chance to learn from each other and takes the pressure off of being the only one. For example, if a child states they don’t hear anything, I simply ask them to listen again, and we come back to them after everyone else has shared. When you send out a birthday card, have the kids ask God what He wants to say to that person and then draw a picture (you can caption it based on what they heard). When you have extra time on your hands, have the kids ask God what you should do with your time. When you can’t find something, have the kids ask Jesus to show them a picture of where it is. When they are upset about something, have the kids ask God to show them what is bothering them. When you come up against something ‘different,’ ask Papa what He wants them to do about it. When you see a homeless man, have the kids ask God what He wants you to know about that person. When they are behaving poorly, have them ask God to show them what they did wrong (instead of YOU telling them). The ideas are endless! You can’t practice strengthening their ears enough.
Do children hear from the enemy? Yes! Who of us didn’t have encounters with paralyzing fear, nightmares, or recurring horrible thoughts as a child? First, the more the children are connected to GOD’S voice, the easier it will be for them to spot the enemy’s voice. I never taught my kids when they were small the words ‘devil’, ‘demon’, ‘evil’, ‘hell’, etc. I said that God has an enemy who works against Him. Enough said! Because the enemy is fear-based, I didn’t want my children to be educated about him. I just focused on the goodness of God, so when the enemy came, there was such a drastic difference that they could spot it. The more they grew, the more I increased the teaching as it related to their world. What does the Word say to do when we are faced with the enemy? Resist him, and he will flee. Children can do this! THE ENEMY IS ALREADY DEFEATED. Children must know that God and the devil are not at war. God has already won, and the enemy is always at the bottom!
CATCH AND RELEASE
Kids who walk in their authority need to have a healthy view of how big God is and how defeated the enemy is, but when we believe lies, we are actually partnering with the wrong kingdom. Teach children by playing a game of catch and calling out truth/lie statements. When they catch the ball, have them discern if that was a truth or a lie. Such as, “You shouldn’t steal that cookie. That is not honest.” Then I would ask, “Which voice was that?” Then I would say things like, “You are stupid. No one likes you,” and ask which voice that was. Later, when they were playing, I would often call out, “Hey, which voice do you think you are partnering with right now?” or “Is that something that would come from God’s Kingdom?” Don’t just focus on the negative stuff. Ask these questions when they are being kind and loving, too. Growing in discernment over lies is vital to their spiritual health. I had a mentor who really made my spiritual ears come to life. I remember going to her with my ‘issues,’ and she would always say, “Can we ask Jesus about that?” It was odd to me that we could ask Him about the ordinary, everyday life stuff. We don’t have to keep Him reserved for just the big spiritual stuff; He wants in on the little things that concern and matters to us, too. Get in the habit of simply asking often, “Jesus, what do YOU think about that?”