There is no special spiritual gift of hearing God. It comes with the package of becoming a Son and Daughter. You may need to learn how to strengthen your spiritual muscle of hearing (like worship, reading the Word, and prayer), but your spiritual ears work just fine.
When the children’s demands on me overwhelm my sense of peace, it is MY flag that I need to: #1. Take care of me. #2. Solicit ways to empower my children to help out more. #3. Remind them that while they are important, so am I.
I am intentional to guard against idle busyness. I have no problems saying NO to something when I am in the midst of a battle. I try to lie down at least once daily, even for five minutes. Some days I have to focus on my breathing and be intentional about breathing in peace, breathing out stress and worry.
1,000’s of people have been affected by my life because the forces of darkness were not successful. Death came knocking hard and almost won. Many years ago, I was slipping into a coma enduring 76 long hours alone, slowly dying. It would be another full day before I was found. Hell thought it won that day. The enemy thought he succeeded in killing a life that didn’t appear to matter much to anyone. A heart that hurt more than it loved. A mind that was tormented by lies of utter unworthiness and despair. I took more than I contributed and shared my brokenness with anyone brave enough to try and get close to me. But God… But God saw the value of what He created! But God knew the plans He had for me! But God was confident in His power! But God knew my day of salvation was near! But God decided life was better for me! But God sent His Son to die for ME! But God knew it would be the final blow before I began to rise up like a lioness! But God knew that my ache would turn into my roar! But God knew my future included pulling others out of the pit! But God, He had four precious babies in store for me! But God knew the lies were just that – lies! But God sent people in my path to help me! But God knew my pain would turn into worship! But God was aware of what He was doing in me! But God knew I would be His weapon of destruction against the forces of evil that almost conquered me!
Baby, I do not know what you are facing today, but the same God who moved in my life is MOVING in your life. Keep going, for He is not done with you yet. He trusts Himself with your journey.
Your children are not victims of your journey.
I often hear comments about how ‘easy’ it is for me to partner with God in my parenting, as if somehow I have an easy button in parenting because of it (huh?). Yep! I have pressed into hearing Him for my children. Yep! I have some history with Him. Yep! I have faith that He will show up, reveal, and help me. Yep! I have a partner in parenting. But I STILL have to: Exercise that muscle! Make a choice to go to Him! Intentionally listen to Him! Be uncomfortable in the waiting! Trust that He knows more than I do! Surrender my children! I am in a season now where I feel utterly clueless, do not know what to do, and have Mama Bear emotions over my child’s choices. I, too, can often feel like I am at square one in my parenting. My history serves as evidence that He is faithful, but I still have to choose Him and do my part over and over and over again. That is how we build HIStory and partner with Him.
I feel the need to share that when we started practicing hearing God’s voice ourselves, some kids got it really fast, while others took longer. At times, I started to feel pressured or would believe the lie that they weren’t getting it, but, like reading, once it clicked, they took off. Is it really a tool we want to risk backing off just because it might take them a little longer than we think it should? Also, for Hudson, I kept saying, “What did you HEAR?” and he would say nothing. Finally, I realized that something was going on and asked God to show me what it was. I realized that he wasn’t ‘hearing’ anything but ‘seeing’ pictures. Once I changed my verbiage to, “What did you get?”, he instantly started ‘hearing’. I urge you not to worry or get too caught up in the process, but I do encourage you to keep sowing into it. When a parent laments that their two-year-old isn’t getting it, I smile and encourage them to keep practicing because when they are three, they are going to be further along than most thirty-year-olds.
Children hear without filters and the fear of man, and they are void of a religious spirit or awareness of social etiquette. Their ears are pure, and we need to protect them. They have the ability to hear quickly. We need to trust what they are hearing. The Spirit taught me that if I was going to teach my children to hear Father God, I had to guard against positioning myself as the middleman. This can be a hard place for a mama to rest in, but I do not want to create a dependency upon me whenever my kids hear Holy Spirit whispering to them. If what they hear seems a little fishy or self-motivated, do NOT call that out, as it could squelch their listening ears. Instead, treat it like practicing their ABCs. A lack of perfection doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try it again, nor do you make them feel bad for missing the letter M. It means that they must keep practicing. If it wasn’t the Lord, I promise He will organize the circumstances to reveal that in a teachable moment. The only time I get to test if the word they say is from God is if it truly is out of line with the Scriptures. Tread with grace as they are exercising their spiritual muscles and seek not to shut them down.
If your child is not interested in practicing, I question two things: #1. Have you spent enough time teaching it to them? Kids who feel like Mom/Dad expect something from them (hearing Jesus) but do not understand what you mean will shut down out of fear of disappointing you. #2. Are you making it FUN? The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and JOY and if it isn’t FUN, then you are most likely partnering with a religious spirit of expectation or performance.
Don’t just take my word for it. Listen to what this parent had to say about our online Kingdom parenting class.
“I doubted if it would be worth the money to take another parenting class. This is NOT just another parenting class! If the class only had the first two days in it, it would be worth it already! Thank you for your life of walking close to Holy Spirit and for leading us on how to walk with Him. And THANK YOU, GOD, for walking with us in the process.”
Allow me the opportunity to walk YOU through how to partner with your child’s Creator in your parenting.
Someone recently asked me if I ever think my kids will surpass me in the things of the Spirit. I laughed and said, “They did that a long time ago – and I am okay with that!” You see, I am on a journey of UNlearning things, tearing down strongholds, and experiencing the Father where there is no earthly experience. My children have a very different story. While they surely know heartbreak and pain, they have always had a family, been in connection, been seen and heard, and have been introduced to the real living Jesus in a tangible way since they were very young. Their foundation is different. When they were little, I once watched my child have an angry outburst with their sibling, and I told them that they learned that from me. I modeled that for them, but I could not allow them to walk in the same footsteps. Anger was a stronghold for me as a reaction to staying safe in unhealthy environments, and God was dismantling it. But for them, they were CHOOSING it. There is a difference. You are not being a hypocrite for calling your child to a higher standard in an area you may struggle in. If this is something you are aware of in your parenting, keep going low and keep cleaning up your mess, letting them know that your responses are not in alignment with the Father’s heart.
You are not the potter; He is. We must shift from the parenting mindset of ‘shaping’ and ‘molding’ our children into something and learn how to partner, call forth, and pull out what God has ALREADY created them to be. Isaiah 64:8.
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.