What I’m going to share with you in this blog today is perhaps one of the most powerful ways God has transformed my heart and made me into the mother my children needed to grow up as more than conquerors.
The Galatians Gauge:
Whenever you feel something negative outside of the love, joy, peace and all the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), get alone with God and ask Him where that comes from, so He can transform you.
You see, whenever we feel anxious, depressed, angry, defensive, or anything else negative outside the fruit of the Spirit, a lie is usually involved—something the enemy planted in your heart, usually through a traumatic or otherwise difficult experience, to draw you away from intimacy with God and others. John 8:42-47, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Matthew 22:37-40. Those lies and negative experiences become the building blocks for strongholds like depression, anger, selfishness, etc.
What you need to topple those prison walls is a close encounter with the One Whose name is Truth. John 8:32; 14:6, 15-17.
- Whenever anxiety, self-defense, anger, doubt, stress, or anything else negative outside the fruit of the Spirit comes up in your heart, excuse yourself from the situation as soon as you can, and get alone with God. Ask the Lord to shield and guide that time with Him, and keep away distractions.
- Then ask Him, “Lord, when did that reaction first enter my life? Where do those thoughts (fear, vengeance, disappointment, etc.) come from? Take me anywhere You want to take me and show me anything You want to show me.”
- He will usually take you to an earlier memory (But just follow His lead if He takes you somewhere else.). Allow yourself to feel what you felt when that happened. You’re looking for the lies, like, “Nobody cares about me,” “I’m all alone,” “I can’t do anything right,” etc.
- Now, while you’re still in that memory, pray, “Jesus, What do You say to that? You were there when that happened. What were You doing or saying?”
- Then look around for Him in your memory, or listen for His still, small voice reminding you of a verse or telling you how much He loves you. Jeremiah 29:13. This is the truth that sets you free.
Such a Truth Encounter usually takes only a few minutes, but the heart transformation is eternal! When I’m bound by a stronghold, thoughts of judgment, envy, or whatever my issue is, control my reactions rather than the Holy Spirit. But once Truth knocks down those lie-walls, I am free! The enemy may come back again with the same old temptations to react, but now that Truth has set me free, I’m not overwhelmed by those lie-thoughts anymore. I can choose to walk in the Spirit’s leading instead.
If I want to make sure that what I feel God showing me is from Him, I run it through the Three-Fold Sieve in Part 6: 1) Does it agree with God’s Word—all of it, not just a portion? 2) Does it agree with God’s character, especially His love and grace? 3) Does it draw me (and others) closer to Him?
For example, someone with a stronghold of failure may have done or said something wrong as a child. His father or someone else he looked up to might have said, “You can’t do anything right!” Then after several failed tests, relationships, and job attempts, he agrees, “I can’t do anything right!”
That’s a lie because of Philippians 4:13, Romans 8:28, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 5:19, 1 John 1:9, and so many more passages that speak of how we live in God’s strength doing what He leads us to do and we are more than conquerors through His love.
But the enemy loves to confirm his lies, so he brings many more circumstances into our lives to punctuate them and strengthen the strongholds he’s building in our hearts. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:10-20, John 8:42-47.
Head knowledge and sheer will aren’t strong enough to break free from such negative thought habits and sins that have a “strong hold” on us. We need Someone stronger. John 8:31-32.
So, how do we help our children to freedom, then?
That’s actually much simpler. Because children don’t have all the barriers adults have against experiencing God and believing His Word.
Whenever our kids were upset about something, we would pray together with them, “Lord, You see our hearts. You know why we’re hurting and what we feel. Take us anywhere You want to take us. Show us anything You want to show us. Do anything You want to do.” Immediately, He would show them just what their little hearts needed, and the crisis was over!
For example, my son was upset one time because I had just gotten home from leading a women’s retreat, and the house was filled with those who had helped me (We were about to debrief.). At the same time, my husband left on a trip. (We work in a dark corner of the world where few have heard Jesus’ name.) Our son, who was nine at the time, was crying because he wanted time in-between trips to just be a family. (He was right, actually. We never did that again!)
I excused myself from my guests, closed the door to my son’s room, and prayed with him as he asked Jesus to “Take me anywhere You want to take me and show me anything You want to show me.” Immediately, the eyes of his heart saw the image of a peaceful forest, with the sunlight streaming through the trees and a beautiful waterfall. Jesus stepped through the light and said to him, “Don’t worry. It’ll be all right. Your father will be home soon.”
Immediately, his heart was calm and he fell asleep! From tears to sleep in just under two minutes! Nothing I could have said to him would have had those results, even if I had said the same thing!
Because I’m not Jesus. My son needed Truth Himself to set him free.
For more help in leading your children to listen to God, try the tips for parents in the back of Out You Go, Fear!