Years ago, God gave me this picture of a spiritually healthy child with two solid legs to stand on. One leg represents the releasing of the Kingdom (identity, destiny, hearing His voice, healing the sick, Bible knowledge, prophesying, etc.). The other leg represents the tools needed to deal effectively with the things from the enemy that cut off the other leg! One without the other makes for an imbalanced and frustrating walk with Jesus. That vision is one of the founding motives for this and is in alignment with John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
STANDING ON TWO SOLID LEGS
When we first arrived in Redding, a friend came over for dinner. He said, “Lisa, you are in an open heaven,” to which I smiled big and said, “I know. That is why we moved here” (for the supernatural and presence of God). His response put chills in my spine, and I have never forgotten this reply. He said, “Act like it.” Don’t just declare it, LIVE in it. Don’t just say it, BE it. Don’t just smile, DIGEST it. Don’t just acknowledge it, EMBRACE it. Don’t withhold it, SHARE it. Don’t just receive it, TEACH it to your children. Friends, if you declare Jesus is your Lord and Savior, YOU live in an open heaven… Act like it!
While fear can be an emotion, more times than not, it is an actual demonic spirit and needs to be addressed. The enemy loves to take an event, even innocent ones, and whispers lies that feel true to the emotions based on circumstances. When we partner with the lie, we activate a demonic spirit of fear to influence us. It looks like this: Mom and Dad go on a much-needed date (normal) and leave the child with a sitter (normal). The child is uncertain about being left (normal), but in that uncertainty, the enemy whispers, “They are never coming back” (lie), and the child partners with that thought as their own, and now fear has a legal right to be there. While the parents return as promised, the lie remains because it opens something in the spiritual realm, not just in their physical minds. The next time date night rolls around, the child is tormented at the thought of being left alone. This is why kids are still afraid of certain things despite telling them the truth over and over. The battle isn’t just in their minds (lie) but is now a spiritual issue. This is why parenting is a verb, and we need to be active in helping our children with their spiritual lives. Lies are resolved through TRUTH. Fear is resolved through AUTHORITY.
A sweet friend who I have known and loved for over 20 years sent me a private message telling me that one of my posts did not bring her peace. My first thought was that I should remove the post out of love for her, as I would never want to be responsible for increasing someone’s fear. But it didn’t sit right with me. I held onto it for a few hours waiting for direction from the Lord. Finally, I heard Him say, “Peace is an inside job,” and I marinated in that truth all day. While we are to test all things according to His Word, the truth is someone’s post, the news, circumstances, and hard trials do not have to rob us of our peace. This is a spiritual muscle that many have been tested in lately. Are you keeping your peace, guarding it at all costs? Flex your muscle that says, “I am unmoved by anything other than the hand of God and remain anchored to His perfect peace!”
Have you ever had a season where you knew God was leading you, but it did not make sense to those around you, and their well-meaning counsel caused you to doubt yourself? It makes sense that their questions and concerns would plant seeds of doubt because part of what you are believing for is IMPOSSIBLE and foolish in the eyes of man. I had a ripped carotid artery that included a high risk of stroke or aneurysm. I was on blood thinners and bruised at the slightest touch. I was on a no-physical contact restriction, which was impossible being a newly single mom of four active small children. A spiritual fire began to grow in my belly, and no one around me understood it. I was so hungry, yet when I would try and explain it to others, I was met with a water hose. I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and did not understand what was happening, but I knew at that moment I was healed. I went to my doctor shortly after, who did a scan and said my artery was still ripped. I came home and cried to my mentor, saying I know that I know that I am healed, and she said these really powerful words to me. She said, “Lisa, no one would judge you for aligning yourself with the doctor given the seriousness of the issue. But you have to pick which one you are going to partner with – the wise doctor or what God showed you – you pick.” I told her there was no choice; I knew that I knew. I went off my blood thinners (If I was wrong, I was literally risking my life). But I had the gift of faith for it. Six months later, I had another scan, and the doctor said, “Hmmm, not only is your artery healed, there is absolutely no sign whatsoever of any past trauma (which is impossible).” It taught me to hold on for dear life to what I know that I know and to bless people for their care and wisdom but to know I am anchored to Him alone.
How far would you go to empower your child’s faith? A dear brother mentioned they were coming to Redding for a quick trip. I could feel something so strong on this trip but he did not communicate the purpose. The night before they came I asked a friend if he would be willing to get a word for the family. But in the morning as we were getting ready for church, I felt like God said to focus on the eldest daughter. I called my friend and asked if he would seek God’s heart for her specifically. After the service, they remained in their chairs as the Lord was touching the daughter deeply. We connected with my friend who gave her a very powerful word. Hours later, back at my house, I asked him what made him feel led to come out. He shared that during their church planting summer in Spain, God began to speak to him about truly preparing his children for the call of mission. That it wasn’t just about taking them along but truly preparing the next generation. Shortly after their return from Spain his eldest daughter said, “I think God told me that we are supposed to go to Bethel.” This father booked round trip tickets for five, two hotel rooms and a rental car for a less than 24-hour trip JUST to sow into his daughter hearing from God and empower her in that area. He wanted to strengthen her own faith and get behind what God was doing in her life. Jesus, bless this father for having eyes to see that his daughter was learning how to hear you and getting behind it. Give us eyes to see how we can strengthen our children’s spiritual muscles.
One of the things I love about traveling and speaking is the ministry time. One touch of God can change a life in a moment. I often spend a great deal of time with God before asking how I can partner with what He is already doing in a particular community, as I never want to come in and just do my thing. At one place over the summer, He said to do ministry time totally different than I was used to (love that!). The Presence was so sweet and tangible. As a minister, you want people to encounter and receive all they can, but there was something that wouldn’t let me move forward. I had to process what He was doing and how I could partner with it while standing on stage in silence. He said, “I don’t want to come in as Fire tonight. I want to come in as a Gentleman. There are people in the room who need to know I am safe.” People encountered a safe Father, and it was breathtaking. It was the simplest yet most profound ministry time I have ever led.
…and then forgive AGAIN!
“I make the choice of my will to forgive _______ for _______ so that satan has no hooks in me that he can use to influence my mind, emotions, confidence, identity, calling, or blessings! I release the offense and turn it over to God to judge and deal with accordingly.”
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.
THANK YOU to everyone who prayed and invited their children into praying for my concussion. My pain level was at a 7/8 when I asked for prayer two days ago. I felt led to stop taking the pain meds in an act of faith as so many were praying and have not had any in two days. My pain/pressure has gone down to a 3/4. For those of you who had your children pray, it is essential to follow back up with them and let them know the progress as this builds their faith. I would often say to my children something like, “Hey guys, remember when you prayed for Miss Amy? She is feeling much better. You guys are rock stars and so powerful. Look at what you did.” And they would respond, “No, JESUS did it.” This is very important. Often we empower our children to walk in healing the sick and powerful things happen, but we do not highlight that it is 100% the work of the Cross and the power of Jesus through us. If we fail to focus on this aspect, we are raising children to be prideful and taking credit for God’s glory. I have seen this happen, and it does not produce long-lasting fruit. Yes, children are very powerful. Yes, things happen when we pray. But it must be anchored in the truth that Jesus is the One who heals through us, not us.
My daughter was so excited to meet a sweet girl on the first day of school. It made her transition moving out to CA so much easier knowing she had made a friend, but as the days rolled on, another girl seemed to have a real problem with her and was making life difficult. She would come home and talk about what the ‘mean girl’ was doing to her. Finally, I asked Lauren if she was willing to forgive the girl for not being loving. After she let go of the offense, Jesus showed her the girl was scared my daughter would take away her friend and that she would be left alone. Then I had her ask Jesus what HE wanted her to do about it. Instantly, she heard she was to ‘kill her with kindness’ (which is a verse in the Bible that she has never read). The next day, Lauren pulled her aside, apologized for any way she may have made her mad or upset, and then blessed her with a sweet treat. It broke that girl’s wall down, and she immediately began accepting her. The following day, she presented my daughter with a handmade thank-you note for being so kind to her. THAT is how we teach our children to be the head and not the tail, how to flip situations for God’s glory and how to release heaven in worldly situations on earth.