SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

When my kids come home with stories about how someone was unkind, rude, or disrespectful, we walk through forgiveness and then release the opposite back to them in the spiritual realm. You can’t be a victim when you are partnering with the Creator of the universe.

Homework – 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. 

GET UP AND FIGHT – JOY

Finding pockets of joy is a deal-breaker in the midst of the battle because it increases a chemical in our brain that gives us the will to endure hard things. Laughing when you are heavy is hard, but it is one of the greatest muscles you can utilize in the midst of a battle. Make a list of 3-5 things that would bring your heart a smile – DO IT!

CURSING MOMS

Mamas, are you cursing your body? It is hard to raise daughters with healthy self-esteem when you model cursing your own body. My mom had four kids close in age and didn’t like the way it affected her body. I was secure and confident growing up with my body; however, the moment I had kids (also four close in age, including twins), I immediately turned against my body and felt like it was ‘ruined.’ I was intentional about building up my daughters and their self-image. God began to show me that what my mom taught me, by cursing her own body, is that motherhood ‘ruins’ your body. I was simply modeling that belief onto my children. I entered a season of greater self-love and acceptance for my body, which has miraculously produced life. I want my daughters to feel beautiful now AND after they become a mom. It isn’t about praising them but modeling acceptance for myself.

***This isn’t just for daughters. When moms curse their own bodies in front of their sons, they are teaching them that there is something wrong with a woman’s body, which we surely don’t want him to transfer to his wife someday.

BLACK & WHITE – PART ONE

I want to share a perspective with you. People often ask me what my highlight of being a part of Azusa Now in LA was. My answer is easy. It was when they showed the video of all the awful things people have done to other humans (school shootings, Holocaust, 9/11, American Indians, etc.) and we began to declare louder and louder, “Father, forgive them! Father, forgive them!” I saw an older African American couple a few rows in front of me, and all I could say was, “I am sorry. I am so so sorry.” They received those healing words with gratitude. It still creates tears in my eyes. It was a highlight for me because the Father was highlighting something to me. I believe God was releasing an anointing to make things right with those who have been hurt.

Fast forward to our first hotel stay when we began our 2-month journey on the road. Every single channel the kids wanted to watch had to do with slavery. As we feasted on this ‘entertainment’ my stomach became sick. I could feel the control, the madness, the loss, the betrayal, the paralyzing fear, the lack of safety, the lack of belonging, the condemnation, and the anger. Humans were treated like animals, only worth their labor and performance, and their hearts were ripped out over and over. Tears poured down my cheeks as I told the kids to turn off the TV. I believe God was awakening this part of our history in me. God has been speaking to me a lot about the spirit of control. We are not wired to be controlled by anyone or anything; rather, we were created to operate out of our free will. It is how He designed us. When we are controlled, especially when it is ongoing, we respond by partnering with a spirit of rejection or a spirit of rebellion. Here we are with the great divide between whites and blacks being highlighted… once again. Could it be that the Lord is allowing pressure so that the heart splinter could be removed once and for all? Could it be that all those years of being controlled by the color of their skin have produced a generational line of rebellion or rejection? Could it be that here we are 100 some years later with a mess we didn’t create but still reaping the fruit of? Could it be that there are strongholds in the atmosphere who enjoy watching humans quarrel based on their skin color? Could it be that while we all have choices, there is a lot more going on in the spiritual realm than we are giving credit to? Could it be that the issue isn’t the color of our skin but more so the doors that have been opened for the enemy to continue to influence? Could it be that the answer isn’t just outward ‘unity’ but more so breaking agreements with the spirit of control, rebellion, and rejection? Could it be that those acting out the rebellion or rejection are actually crying out to be free from the spirit of control that has been in operation in their family line for so long? Could it be that we, white Americans, haven’t yet cleaned up our mess in the spiritual realm our ancestors have made? Could it be that the involvement of police officers is a prophetic statement of the authority we have been given and need to be using, not over humans, but the spiritual realm? 

Could we be a generation that changes the world of so many lives that matter by releasing freedom, acceptance, and belonging over them? I think so!

Be sure to check out PART TWO which will give you steps to take in your own home.

ARREST IT

A mom shares: “My oldest daughter (6) has been having nightmares every single night for months, and last night I used your illustration about the police officer and taking authority to tell fear to leave. Holy Spirit prompted me to tell jealousy to leave. And I saw my daughter get triggered and start to cringe. She couldn’t keep it together. I told her she could do it, and it was a long process of telling her that jealousy has been a bad friend to her since she was 3 (all from Holy Spirit!), and she just nodded in agreement but couldn’t speak it with her mouth. There were tears and frustration and agony from her. It was so deep. We ended the night with her finally repeating after me to break her friendship with jealousy and declaring that her new friend was thankfulness. It was such a powerful moment. That night, she had no nightmares and slept through the night!! My daughter is not a ‘jealous’ type of girl. One would not look at her actions and think that’s what she struggles with. She is thoughtful, sweet, and kind. But God knows what’s going on!”

PRINCIPLES VS. RULES

My definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over without any fruit. I am motivated by cause and effect. I like to know what I am sowing into it, actually creating or changing something. Is anyone else like me? Parenting is no different. If you want to spend the next 18 years on ‘repeat’ saying the same thing over and over and over and over again, then parent a child’s behavior. If you want lasting fruit that will carry on and spill over into other situations, then parent the principle behind their behavior. Ex. If a child hits their brother, do not just parent the incident, but parent the principles behind it, which could be a lack of self-control, kindness, or impatience. If a child fails to complete a task you have asked of them, the principle behind it could be a lack of self-control, irresponsibility, or disrespect to authority. Parenting based on principles will create a lifestyle vs. rule-based living.

SHARE YOUR STORY

 Many parents ask me what the best resources for raising children in the faith are. While there are a lot of things we can do to nurture their relationship with God, I firmly believe one of the most significant ways to impact them is merely sharing your own journey with them. I often tell the kids what God is doing in my heart, revealing the things He has spoken to me, or how verses have come alive for me. I am taking what is inside of me and getting it out for them to see, hear, and feel. It is one thing to talk about it; it is another to witness and experience it. This is one of the glorious things about family and living with such a deep connection to those around us. If we get hit with something hard, I make sure the children aren’t just seeing the struggle but also the journey of God showing up in the process. Have you shared your childhood stories about life with/without Jesus and how it has impacted you? Have you told them when and how you first met Jesus? Do they know about your recent revelations and encounters? Your journey with Jesus is powerful – share it!

FEAR IS NOT A WEAPON

Fear is not a weapon that will keep children safe. Whatever area ignites fear is a landing place for you to rise up in your authority and partner with the God of the universe.

INSTRUCTING VS. TEACHING

Proverbs 22:6 – “Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.”

Teach – verb 1. show or explain to (someone) how to do something. There is a difference between dictating laws and teaching them. Instructions can turn into rules/laws, which is legalism. Teaching is the verb of Jesus! Ex. A child steals something from the store. We can instruct our children that we don’t steal, or we can teach them WHY a loving Father doesn’t desire for His children to steal from others. Ex. A child hits his sister. We can discipline and reprimand the child for his behavior, or we can teach them HOW hitting affects others. Ex. A child doesn’t listen to you. We can pull out parenting tools of control and fear, or we can teach them WHAT obedience looks like. Are you instructing or teaching your children?

STRENGTHEN THEIR HEARING MUSCLES

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.

BLOW IT OUT

From 2018 when wildfires broke out in Redding, CA:

Friends, around noon today, a fire that could be seen all around broke out. It is fast-moving as we have high winds today. Our land is dry, and we need this fire to be out. They have already evacuated some and moved the previous evacuation center (which is down the road from us). Grab your kids, tell them there is a fire that needs to be blown out, and prophetically have them blow and declare that this fire will be stopped in Jesus’ name.