I just want to give a word of encouragement to those of you who are feeling the squeeze and tension of being transformed. One of the hardest seasons to steward is what I call seasons of ‘holy dissatisfaction.’ You have the revelation that there is more and can no longer be content with the former but are not yet in the new. It is like taking your foot off of a rock and not yet landing on the next one. This season is uncomfortable because we have eyes to see that our old ways of operating are no longer working, and we want to grab onto anything familiar and secure. Jesus is your anchor in these seasons. Grab onto Him, His Word, and focus on His presence. It is not up to you to figure everything out. Your job is to be humble and keep your eyes on Him. He is faithful to move us where we need to be. Trust Him in the process. Remember to increase your time spent reading the Word, worshiping, and declaring, “Jesus, I trust You!”
STAYING IN THE FRYING PAN
I was raised in the Lutheran church but did not become a believer until I was 24. I loved God, Jesus, and His Word, but I wasn’t so sure about Holy Spirit. I disliked anything that reeked of being ‘charismatic’ and often made sharp remarks about it. It was not that I did not want the Spirit of God, but rather, I was afraid and unsure. I feared it might have been demonic in disguise. I had a mentor who embraced Holy Spirit, which made me uncomfortable. We would have conversations about it, but it usually ended with me telling her I was done. My mom went to a faith healer when she was diagnosed with reoccurring breast cancer and had an ‘encounter,’ as she said, but died two months later. That only increased my dislike and distaste for anything ‘charismatic.’
I am so thankful that God knows our hearts and understands our journey. I am even more grateful that He doesn’t keep us there. On occasion, I will get a message from a parent confessing their unbelief about things regarding Holy Spirit. They share their sincere heart and concerns with me. I listen, but I have learned over the years that they do not need, or really want, for ME to try and convince them one way or another. They need not another opinion but to hear directly from Him. My loving response to them is simply this – it is Holy Spirit’s job to lead you into all truth (not mine or any other pastor/leader/teacher). Mental knowledge is one thing, but the conviction of His truth is another. I encourage you to take what you are cautious and concerned about and bring it to Him directly. Ask Him to teach you and lead you to His truth. Teaching is not what He does; it is who He is (John 16:13).
Picture someone baking a pie for their evening gathering with friends. Could you imagine someone else coming to take the pie out of the oven and running to the corner to consume the whole thing on their own? They would not only develop a stomachache but have robbed themselves of the joy of consuming the pie with friends and family as it was intended. Your child comes with a parenting manual, and His name is Emmanuel – God with us. I say this in love, but some of you need to repent for taking His creation and running away with it. He did not spend nine months knitting them together and ushering them into the world only to have you run away together. He desired all along that you would parent together with Him. God wants you to parent with Him, not for Him.
I was invited to speak in L.A. and checked THREE times to ensure my flight left AFTER my girls flew to Mexico. In my mind, they left at 1 am, and I left at 4 am. A few days before the trip, Emma told me that I was incorrect and that they were leaving after me. I burst into tears when I realized I had made a big error. I pondered canceling the event, and my heart raced to find a suitable solution. I was mortified that I would not be there to send my girls off. After many tears and good counsel, I had peace about moving forward, but I had to grieve it many times. As I sat in the San Francisco airport, I felt deep regret of my error when I heard the Lord say, “I don’t make mistakes.” I agreed but reminded Him that I did. He then said the most tender words that still make my eyes fill up with tears. He said, “Lisa, you DO go before your children. You are returning to one of the largest cities in the U.S. for the eighth time and starting a fire with the Let the Children Fly message. But your girls are going further, carrying the FRUIT of the Let the Children Fly message.” They are the living fruit of what I preach, and it is time to surrender them on a whole new level. This new season feels scary to me as a mom, yet I trust their Father and know that Let the Children Fly was never all about me but rather about them. Go fly, my dear children, fly high!
Too many believers have limited their relationship with God with the written Word (which is very important and must be our anchor of truth), but He wants us to relate to Him, hear Him, feel His love, and experience Him. I liken the difference to wives whose husbands are overseas; while they may exchange beautiful love letters, it is not the same as the wife whose husband is there every night holding her, kissing her, and protecting her. The latter is the kind of love Jesus wants to have with us. We all know no marriage would be healthy or survive without communication. That is how personal God wants our relationship with Him to be. How could anyone find that level of intimacy with someone without talking, listening, and responding to each other? I have often heard people say that they believed God loved them in the “He loves the world” sense but had never fully understood how much He loved THEM personally until they heard Him speaking to them.
Let’s invite Holy Spirit to do what He does best. Pray out loud: “Holy Spirit, I invite You to come and remove everything and anything acting as earmuffs. I want to hear my Father’s voice more and more. I grant You permission to teach me anything You want about my Father’s voice. Come and have Your way with me.” Do we think that after all He went through to get us to come to Him, He suddenly has nothing more to say to us? God wants to speak to YOU!
How many have been raised with the belief that family looks like this: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Dad, Mom, eldest sibling, middle child, baby of the family, and the dog. While it is certainly true that a parent has more authority, experience, wisdom, and money than a child and that a child has more authority than the family pet, this is not God’s design for the family. Family flows in a CIRCLE. Often, the littlest of these bring about the most change in others. God uses the entire family to transform each other. Siblings give us the training ground to become healthy adults. Parents learn childlike joy from their toddlers. The dog teaches us responsibility (caring for them). The goldfish teaches us discipline (feeding them). Dads teach us to be sacrificial. Moms teach us to be kind. Special needs siblings teach us to be patient. And on and on. In God’s family, no one has ‘arrived,’ and all are on a journey learning from each other.
Offense is an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles. John Bevere wrote an incredible book, The Bait of Satan, where he talks about how the enemy uses offense to bait you. Do not fall for it. When you encounter a post, person, or circumstances chomp away at your peace, it is worth exploring if the enemy is baiting you. Do not bite! Nothing gets you off track, out of peace, and listening to the wrong voice than OFFENSE! Matthew 24:10-13 (NKJV) – “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” No, thank you!