I came out of adolescence remarkably unscathed (in comparison to some of my best friends stories)... and yet there were STILL experiences & appetites Jesus needed to help me through. The world in which we live is becoming darker and darker by the hour and as a parent, daily I am asking the Lord how to see the desire of my heart come to pass.
My hearts desire is to see my children faithful to the Lord,
captivated by Love all the days of their lives.
If you're anything like me, you are pondering these same things. Let me encourage you and point you in the direction Jesus pointed me!
Isaiah 60 references the time in which we live: "See, darkness covers the earth and thick (gross) darkness is over the peoples," don't stop there and make camp in Discouragement Valley!
"but the LORD rises upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn"!!! The antidote for our children (and our own cold hearts) is encountering Jesus, but not simply the Sunday School, "nice" Jesus... we need to ENCOUNTER THE MAN. When you encounter the man Christ Jesus, He will shake you to your core and all the loose perceptions of passivity, irrelevance and feel-good blah blah blah will fall as though dead.
"You are the most excellent of men
and your lips have been anointed with grace,
since God has blessed you forever.
Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one;
clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in the cause of truth, humility, and justice;
let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.
Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the kings enemies;
let the nations fall beneath your feet.
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
from palaces adorned with ivory
the music of the strings makes you glad.
Daughters of kings are among your honored women;
at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir."
Psalm 45: 2-9 emphasis added
"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
Revelation 19:11-16 emphasis added
When we conceive and give birth to a child, we are handed a blank canvas and we are given the glorious privilege and authority by God to paint upon this canvas. Ask yourself the question:
As a parent, what are you exposing your child to that is feeding their hunger for God. What are you, as a parent doing, to wet their appetite for Jesus? How does every other appetite pale in comparison with the Love for Christ? How does your intimate life exemplify a pursuit after Jesus as the chief obsession?
These pointed questions are not meant to slap you in the face as much as they're meant to shake us awake! Beloved, Wake up to your authority and make purposeful decisions about what you allow to shape your child. I remember a professor in college going off on a Holy Spirit inspired rant,
"Be mindful of your appetites. Be mindful and consider those things your heart and stomach reaches for involuntarily... where your appetites lead, your hand goes to satisfy..."
The Lord deeply impressed me with that thought. I think back to the Lords simple parenting handbook in Deuteronomy 6, "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as a symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.... In the future, when your children ask you, 'What is the meaning of [obeying the Lords commands]?' tell them: [about the Lord and your history with Him. Testify to His unfailing Love & Faithfulness]."
That is obviously my paraphrase. Read Deuteronomy 6, its good.
Put simply: Talk about the Lord, teach your children. Make your love for Jesus visible! Let your kids sneak in on your times of worship and prayer. Kneel down and cry out in intercession at home. Invite your kids into times of prayer at home. Tell them stories about how the Lord has shown up in your life, how he has healed you, been faithful, etc. Give them tastes of the history between you and Jesus. Talk about Jesus and the Bible stories you've been reading together at bed time... talk at the breakfast table, on the car rides, on your walks around the neighborhood, talk about it at bedtime FOR SURE!!! I have had SO MANY jaw-dropping moments at my sons bedside... things he says, observations he makes about the Lord, hearing his imagination about heaven, listening to dreams and visions he's had, and insights he has into the Lords heart for me...
If the Lord is really real. If Jesus is really all we say He is. If the Holy Spirit really resides in every believer, wow, if we really believed half of what we sing about on sunday mornings... IF WE READ THE WORD OF GOD AND TAKE IT AT FACE VALUE... such precious times are ahead of us - especially as parents of children!!!
"Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you...
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn,"
EEKKKKKK!!!! I could cry or scream with JOY at the beautiful expectation and hope Jesus has seeded in my heart. Please read Isaiah 60 and ask Jesus to give you a picture of you & your family in these last days! His plans for you & your family are good!!! To give you a hope and a future!!!
I would love to hear what you thought about this post and comment below some of the things your family does to wet your children's appetites for Jesus!
If you're reading this, and you do not have a history with Jesus, but you want your story to start today, please invite Jesus into your life. Right now, out loud, speak to him as you would a friend, "Jesus, please come into my life. I want to know you and I need wisdom to parent my child in love..." then reach out to me or someone you know who loves the Lord! We would love to pray with you, encourage you and give you the resources you need!
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