We were on a ministry trip and my son could not shake his attitude. After days of it wearing us all down, I sent him to retire early that night. I heard him crying in his bed and went to him. He began to say, “Mom, I am so angry, but I don’t know why.” At that moment, I knew what was going on. A well-known Christian leader said earlier that day that they could barely sleep at night because of all of the anger in the church (over a particular issue). I led him through a prayer to take authority over the anger and to release the opposite (peace, unity, clarity), and instantly his little body shifted. If you have a child who can ‘flip like a switch’ out of nowhere, it could be that they are very sensitive to the atmospheres around them. I was this way as a child, and it brought about a lot of conflicts because no one, including myself, understood why I could be perfectly fine one moment and angry or filled with anxiety the next. In my mind, nothing was bothering me, but it was like something had come over me. Once I realized I was coming into an atmosphere of ‘stuff,’ I began to learn how to take authority over it and flip it.
- Atmospheres, Authority
I was once at the prayer house, and the worship song captivated me the moment I walked in. I nestled into my chair, closed my eyes, and felt so engulfed in His Presence. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a weed wacker appeared so loud it crowded out the music. The atmosphere shifted in the room. Grrrrr. Grrrrr. Grrrrr. Suddenly it stopped, and again I found that sweet spot with the Lord. Grrrrr. Grrrrr. Grrrrr. Once again, its presence dominated. This went on for several moments. Going from the peace of His Presence to the annoying revving of a machine. I was growing agitated when I heard the Lord say, “Get up, open the door, and command that they stop.” I realized at that moment the Grrrrr was being used by God to show me something. He continued to say, “There are things crowding out your worship and focus on Me. You have authority over the noise.” Instantly I knew what He meant, and I took authority over the mental noise that I was choosing to listen to. If your thought life doesn’t produce peace, joy, love, and acceptance, then it is nothing more than a Grrrrr in the spirit realm. You have the authority to command it to cease.
I believe this statement includes our children on the playground, in the classroom and with friends!
“As Christians we should be the best atmosphere shifters on the planet.”
The definition of empowerment is to give (someone) the authority or power to do something. This means you can’t empower yourself. It is something that is given or denied by someone else. This is why God puts us in families and churches with mothers and fathers who have authority over us, see the value in us, and champion what God has placed inside of us. I am not talking about when people are using their God-given authority in a healthy way. There is an appropriate time for a parent, leader, teacher, or pastor to protect those in their care by not allowing them to do something. This is healthy and a protective covering. Nor am I talking about entitlement and that people should just be able to do whatever they want when they want it and that no one can tell them “No.” I am talking about when people in authority use the tool of disempowerment to protect something in them that needs to come into alignment. I hope to bring perspective to the dynamics of what happens when parents/leaders use disempowerment as a tool to control those under them.
Orphan – Disempowerment removes parents/leaders from being true mothers and fathers the way God intended homes and churches to operate and therefore opens them up to the demonic simply by creating a culture that isn’t in alignment with His Kingdom. Being disempowered pulls them back into an orphan mentality.
Double-Mindedness – Disempowerment can throw a person into double-mindedness. They want to honor it, but it doesn’t feel right. They talk their mind out of their emotions and their emotions out of their mind. It creates a cycle that is so inner focus that it consumes them. “I love them,” “I can’t understand why they don’t believe in me,” “I see how powerful they are,” “What’s wrong with me?” They have a very hard time reconciling their mind and heart because they are both screaming two different things. The Bible says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. It is hard for someone to be confident and full of courage when your mind and heart are not in alignment with each other.
Covering – Disempowering someone puts the wrong kingdom covering over that child/person. The nature of empowerment is authority. When someone (falsely) takes it from you, it leaves you vulnerable to the enemy because it is by Christ’s work on the Cross that we are all empowered with authority to walk who He has called us to be.
Stunts Growth – Being disempowerment removes the protective covering that allows for mistakes and messes while maturing. There is no learning curve and without it, children/people are crippled in making choices because they know they can’t do it perfectly so they shy away from trying.
Shame – Disempowerment isn’t God’s tool so it will never make sense to the human mind and heart, but they attempt to reconcile the question “what is wrong with me?” (when in fact, there is nothing wrong with them). Some can spend a lifetime attempting to answer this question.
Introspection – Disempowerment hands the person a mirror and forces them to be critical of themselves, not knowing where they went wrong or how to make it better. An awkward awareness of self follows you around unsure if you will make the same mistake again with others, yet you aren’t fully aware of what mistake you made in the first place.
Rejection – The greatest form of rejection is when someone dismisses the gifts inside of you because it is the very reason why you were created.
Idol – Disempowerment puts the focus on the one in authority in an idol state and is always unhealthy for all parties. It makes their stamp of approval the goal rather than what God is doing and saying in that person’s life. The more it is withheld, the more the person craves it, and the idol grows. It is a vicious cycle and trap of the enemy to get one’s eyes off Jesus. Idol worship is empty and lacks the ability to produce fruit.
Judgement – I found this part very interesting. When there is idol worship there will be a lack of peace. The enemy often hands a person the tool of judgment to fight it off with. I have seen this countless times as people have battled disempowerment and then become seduced with judgment. Their minds try hard to slap it back into honor and love, but eventually, they give away and push back the disempowerment with judgment. The very person they so deeply wanted to know who believed in them suddenly becomes the worst person on earth, and judgments are made about who they are, their intentions, and credibility. This is so sad because they move from being disempowered to judgmental, which continues to hinder them.
You can’t steward the position of disempowerment well enough because it is not your identity or God-given place. There is only ONE way out of disempowerment. Forgiveness. Forgive the parent/leader who told you they didn’t believe in you, who didn’t value your gifts, and who didn’t find you worth investing in. For many, there is great grief and sadness as the person in authority is generally someone you care a great deal about (parent/leader). Give your heart a voice in walking this out and allowing God to restore your authority!
When I hear a child speak a lie about themselves (I am not smart enough, I am slow, I can never figure this out, etc.), I simply tell them that they are partnering with something from God’s enemy. Do they want to continue to partner with that (they do have free will), or do they want to throw that one out? Then, I told them they could kick out or throw out whatever thoughts came to their mind that wasn’t of God. Hudson, who was only four then, literally went to the front door and motioned like he was kicking something out before slamming the door. Yeah, like that! Kids need to be taught that not every thought that crosses their mind is theirs, and they can be empowered to say NO!
The Kingdom of GOD is righteousness, peace, and joy. I can still remember when the eyes of my heart first understood this verse, which was mind-blowing.
Righteousness – the quality of being morally right or justifiable. Peace – freedom from disturbance; tranquility. Joy – a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
Here are the OPPOSITE meanings of the words.
Righteousness – wickedness/lawlessness. Peace – noise/irritation/conflict. Joy – misery/tribulation/despair.
Which kingdom are you ushering in? If others partner with lawlessness, noise, conflict, misery, and wickedness, the only way to bring the Kingdom of God is to partner with and release RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, AND JOY!
Righteousness – doing what is right even when no one else is looking, walking in the fruit of the Spirit, and not repaying evil.
Peace – being in His presence through worship, prayer, and soaking in His Word so that we release what is saturated inside of us – declaring peace to hostile situations.
Joy – Coming out from under the orphan spirit and aligning our thoughts with the FAVOR He gives us. Having dance parties, singing in the rain, and choosing to be joyful.
Deuteronomy 30:19 – “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Which kingdom are you ushering in?
I loved receiving this testimony!!! Crawl into the world of this little boy and how his mom responded to his real heart.
“Hi Lisa, I’m not sure you’ll get this, I know you receive a lot of messages but I just finished your JOURNEY course and had to share something that happened today. My three-year-old has been struggling in Sunday school for the last month or so. When I signed him in he immediately cried and clung to me. I told the teacher I would keep him for worship and try again in a bit. We went in and started singing and he just hugged me and snuggled through two songs. I brought it up that I would take him after singing and he started fussing again. The band started singing Jeremy Camp “Same Power” right then and it hit me – your authority lesson! I asked him if he wanted to not be afraid and then I said, ‘Fear, I see you,’ and commanded it to leave and then ushered in peace. After the song I asked if he was ready and he was a completely different kid!! He walked to the room holding my hand and didn’t look back after saying bye to me. I am embarrassed to say I’m shocked, I shouldn’t be, because this is our God, but I just can’t recall ever feeling this powerful before in my parenting. I’m just so excited to have done this class and learn things I can use to help my kids through life! Thank you, thank you!!!”
Sometimes we have been exposed to things that need to be dealt with. The number one response from parents worldwide is childhood ‘reoccurring nightmares.’ The nightmares stemmed from kids being exposed to ghost stories, scary movies that Mom and Dad thought were cool, shows about violence, news shows that walk through murder, rape, or abuse stories, the COPS show, etc. I want to advocate that even if your child isn’t watching these shows, you can still be inviting fear into your home when you are entertained by what the enemy does! Parents, you are the spiritual gatekeeper in your home, and what you allow in will greatly impact your child. Which Kingdom are you partnering with? The greater point is that children need to be intentionally TAUGHT tools to use when fear comes. They do not need to be harassed day and night endlessly with fear. Jesus trumps fear… ALWAYS!
Call a family meeting and ask your children what would happen if you walked into the middle of a busy street and held up your hand. Nothing would probably happen. Next, ask what would happen if a police officer walked in the middle of a busy street and put up his hand. Because of his badge, he has authority. Not only that, but all of the courts back him up. We get to be police officers in the spiritual realm because of the badge of Jesus, and all of heaven backs us up. We get to tie up the bad and then unleash all the good stuff!
I teach a lesson to parents on being spiritually clean. 9/10 adults say they were introduced to a demonic spirit of fear through the TV shows their parents allowed in the home. Even if children didn’t ‘see’ the show, they felt the atmosphere down the hallway and came under the spirit of fear in their bedroom, which is still affecting them today. What you allow in your home today will reap a harvest down the road. It isn’t a matter of if you can handle it or not; it is a matter of whether it is in line with righteousness. If not, it will not produce the fruit of the Kingdom. We can’t feed our children with horror, fear, watching murder, violence, swearing, and unhealthy relationships and foresee it to reap a harvest of righteousness, peace, and joy.