Mine! We’ve all heard it at some point right? It’s the classic childlike response of a youngster when asked to surrender something of value to them. No way! The child’s little fists tighten as they clench what’s precious to them. The determination to guard their treasure is visible on their furrowed brow. I mean, after all, it is theirs! Or is it?
I’ve been living like a strong-willed toddler for far too long. I’ve been knee-deep in self-induced sin and, frankly, I’ve been way out of bounds with the Lord. Why? Because, in my head and even with my mouth I’ve declared that everything I have is His, but I've lied. I confess that I trust Him to care for me and my family as I surrender my entire life to Him. For the most part it’s true. Except for the one thing. I continue to habitually hold onto my children with clenched fists. I may say with words that I know these kids are really the Lord’s, but, in my heart I proclaim – MINE.
Here’s what I know. I know the Lord love me. And, I know the Lord loves my kids. In fact, He loves us so much that He simply cannot allow me to continue to indulge in habitually trying to play God in my kid's lives. No matter how deeply rooted in love my motives may be, the fact is that sin is sin, and by holding on so tightly to my kids I’m guilty of two things. One, I’m telling God I trust you, but not with them. Two, I’m swirling around in idolatry by placing my kids above God in my heart.
The Lord has really been getting firm with me on this. He’s also been indescribably gracious and kind to me as I desperately attempt to finally get right with Him in this area.
This life lesson rose to crescendo so to speak a week or so ago. I was absolutely wrecked by a revelation the Lord gave me one morning. I read a devotional from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young that entirely rocked my world. It read, “Entrust your loved ones to Me, release them into my protective care. They are much safer with me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one, as well as yourself. Remember the extreme measures used with Abraham and Isaac. I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship. Both Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the father’s undisciplined emotions. I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love. When you release loved ones to me, you are free to cling to my hand. As you entrust others into my care, I am free to shower blessings on them. My presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest. The same presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in me. Watch to see what I will do.”
It was a fall to my knees, jaw on the floor, ugly cry moment for me. One of those moments before the Lord that was simultaneously excruciating as it was soul cleansing.
Do you trust God with everything in your life? I mean, do you really, deep down trust Him? Have you surrendered everything, everyone you hold most dear in your life. Do you live each day fully assured that He will be faithful and is worthy of your trust? How ironic that by holding on too tight, we may actually be endangering the very ones we are so desperately seeking to protect.
So what does all of this self-confession have to do with a Dashing Dish devotional and health? Well, health goes far beyond just food and exercise. True health begins from the inside out. This commitment has everything to do with health stemming from a peaceful and obedient spirit. This is best explained by Proverbs 3:5-8, that tells us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” My heart cries out like David’s in Psalm 38:1-4. Truthfully, it’s an offering. It’s my feeble but authentic attempt to hand over my heart to the Lord. I always say that my kids are just my heart walking around on the outside. This is literally me praying publicly as I open my clenched fists and release my sacred into the Lord’s hands. At a very honest level, this is an invitation to come along as I sojourn my way through the hard things the Lord is asking me to do. I’d love the company!
For the next 31-days, I’m committing to pray beyond my comfort zone for my kids. I’m going beyond simply, “Lord, please (insert panic) protect them!” I am asking the Lord to give me the courage to raise my heart up to him. I’m asking Him to accept it as an offering and a sacrifice. I’m stepping into obedience and declaring once and for all that, “I refuse to put my children at risk because I refuse to entrust them to the only One who can truly defend them.” I am putting my foot down, and my face on the floor asking God to forgive me for trying to play God in their lives. I’ve been entrusted with the tremendous privilege and responsibility of being their mom, not their God. I will fight for them rather than fearfully gripping and grasping to the false belief that I can hold them safe within my own strength. Will you join me?
Friends, I’m begging you. If you don’t have kids of your own, please, please don’t let this devotional pass you by thinking it’s not applicable to you. If you don’t have kids, you know a kid! We all know a child - a niece, a nephew, a neighbor, some child who desperately needs prayer. You could be the catalyst for eternal change in their life. Your prayers could literally alter the trajectory of their lives. This generation of kids needs prayer like never before. You know who’s affected by a generation of kids who are not covered in prayer? Everyone! Everyone. Will you come alongside me as I step into a deeper level of faith praying for my own kids and together impact a generation?
If you are a member Dashing Dish, head over to the Dashing Dish Membership Forum, where I will share a daily prayer based on the scriptures I’m providing below. Not a member? No problem, you can still absolutely participate! I’ve provided 31-days of scriptures to use as a guide to pray the Word over your kids, grandkids, or any child in your life. Here's an example for the first verse for you:
Philippians 4:8 "Lord, I stand against deceit and polluted thoughts in my kid’s lives. Fill their minds Lord with what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Be King of their minds right now Lord to cause excellent and praiseworthy things to be what they think about."
Before we begin, lets anchor our souls through this phenomenal prayer of release from Roy Lessin.
"Heavenly Father, I release to you the burdens I have been carrying, burdens that You never meant for me to carry. I cast all my cares upon You -- all my worries, all my fears. Father, calm my restless spirit, quiet my anxious heart, still my troubling thoughts with the assurance that You are in control. I let go of my grip upon the things I have been hanging onto, with opened hands I come to You. I thank You for Your promise to sustain me, preserve me, and guard all that I have entrusted to Your keeping. Protect my heart and mind with Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Father, may Your will be done in my life, in Your time, and in Your way."