Category Archives: Fight For the Family

Cease Striving

Posted on Dec 2, 2020 | Download

I’m a runner, not a walker. I like to get everything done as fast as I can and all at once. I’m not good at waiting or doing things slow. I want to know the task at hand and then figure out the steps to get it done FAST. This shows up in parenting, in housework, in being a wife, and most definitely in my relationship with God. I’m a striver. I can look at the path before me and the goal at the end of the path and instead of slowing down enough to figure out how I’m going to get there, I run full speed ahead, praying that God will help me get there. I shout my prayers at Him, all the while running as fast as I can, where God is a blur and I can barely hear His voice. In these moments, when I’ve gone before him without his directions and I can’t hear God’s voice, I get mad and wonder, “why doesn’t God ever speak to me?” Here’s what I’ve been learning... All of my striving is fruitless. In the end I am more worn out than if I would just slow down and do things steadily with God’s help. God is not in a hurry and He never will be. I have believed a lie that God is only okay with me when I’m working - and not just slowly working - but hustling. Couple that lie with the comparison of what I am doing with my life vs. what someone else is doing with theirs. This sort of comparison is a fresh log on the fire of fruitless striving that leaves me worn out. Recently, I had a friend share a verse with me that spoke to the struggle of striving in life. It was Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.” Did you see that? He said walk, not run, not strive, not spend every ounce of energy you have, he said walk. I love the picture that God paints of just walking. It takes such faith to be patient enough to just walk, especially if I believe I have the ability to run. This verse points out that God will tell me exactly where I need to go and when, so there's no need for striving. I can let go of the lie that says if I'm not hustling then I'm not growing or working for God. (Psalm 46:10). When the desire to hustle arises, I need to remember the hammock of rest God provides. I need to climb inside and let God do His work instead of my striving. This is so hard for me to do, but I know deep down inside that it is the right thing and the only way to see God work fully in my life. I have to remember I am a part of a counter-culture; a counterintuitive way of living, where I slow down to get ahead. I surrender all control to see prayers answered. I give up all my fruitless ways to see God accomplish the dreams in my heart. I let go to get back. This is the beauty of God's kingdom.

Not Enough

Posted on Nov 24, 2020 | Download

I’m not a person that likes help. Never have. Not sure why... If I were to analyze it a little bit further and dig a little deeper, I know I’d be able to spot some of the lies and some of the hurt that might be at play. We all have baggage, right?! Either way, it is very hard for me to ask for help. The reality as a man that I am not enough  is pretty sobering thought when I consider all of the hats that I wear and roles I hold. Here lies the tension -  because if I am not enough, then that means I have to ask for help. Which we’ve already established - It’s really hard for me to do. If I don’t like asking for help in the physical - whether it’s help on a house project, in my job or even in my marriage, then that almost certainly means that I don’t like asking for help in the spiritual. Am I robbing myself of the ministry of the Holy Spirit by walling off and going it on my own? Have I forgotten that the Holy Spirit is literally called the helper!? (John 14:26). I don’t think my situation is uncommon among men. Whether it’s from a point of pride, a point of insecurity or a little bit of both, a mentality of “I’ve got this” or “I can do it on my own” are all things that the enemy would love us to believe as we steer closer to isolation and further from freedom. (Ecclesiastes 4, 1 Peter 5:8). Ladies, this is not a situation owned exclusively by men either. We all need help! WE are not enough. The reality that we are not enough leads us to understand that we are not whole in and of ourselves. It is wrong and it is impossible for us to expect to be completed by anyone or anything outside of the gift of Salvation available to us by the blood of Jesus Christ and the power, work and ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. (Ephesian 1:13-14). I am not enough. I will not suddenly become enough by achieving something in my marriage, my parenting or my profession that I muscle through on my own. It certainly won’t be in my own strength. Remember Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9? Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. Rather than fight and fight and fight to be enough, rest in the truth that Jesus is enough. And the truth is that he left us The Helper. So, how often do you ask for help? If you’re going to ask anyone for help, it’s the Holy Spirit! Invite the Holy Spirit into every situation, scenario and circumstance – no matter how small. He will guide us into all truth. (John 16:13)   For more teaching from The Fight for The Family  Click Here.

Fight for the Family with Humility

Posted on Nov 18, 2020 | Download

"I think you need to take a walk. Leave your phone and go talk to Jesus!" I didn't say it nicely. It wasn't a suggestion. Standing in the middle of our living room, I faced my husband sitting on the couch. I fumed. I could feel my hands start to shake as I panicked. There was no 'yes' in his body posture or eyes. Just sheer...I don't know...who knows what he is thinking?! I balled my fists. Desperately needing to see that my husband had absorbed the sermon we had both just heard. I needed to see him choose health and wholeness. I looked in his angry eyes and saw my life pool out before me with no changes, no hope. The pool suddenly felt like an ocean and I could only see the wind and waves (Matt 14:31). "I am not going to just go put the groceries away and pretend I am fine. I am going for a walk if you won't. I need Jesus to help me survive this." I am sure I shouted it all, but I don't remember. I was drowning in sorrow and fear (Phil 4:6). I had stepped out in hope. Where was my help (Ps 18:30)? On the blacktop, in my church clothes, I vented to God. "How God? How can I have hope? What am I supposed to do? How can I raise kids if he does not change? How can I be anything You've called me to be, when I don't have support? Why God? Why do I have to fight so hard? Why is it so hard for him to admit what he is thinking? Or see that he directly affects us with his attitudes and reactions? God, I don't know. I can't do it. I feel so...alone. Help me.” (John 16:7,13). I stomped down two streets speaking aloud like a crazy person. I was too angry to care if anyone heard and too stubborn to turn back. As I word vomited my struggle, I started to register a loud barking in my future path. As I walked closer the angrier the bark sounded. How annoying! I walked forward wanting so badly to prove my dominance. He wasn't a threat to me. I get to choose where I walk! But deep down, I felt, fear. I stopped and looked at the dog. He was just protecting his property. I shrugged and turned back, finding another route. My desire to go that way was not worth riling up this dog. The new street brought new thoughts. I started thinking of my sister who is battling to protect her son from the consequences and choices of others. I prayed for her. I hadn't responded to a text earlier in the day, so I did. I turned worship music and prayed for others who I knew were fighting for healing, truth, and hope in their own lives. Turning back toward the house I looked up and saw hope in the sky. Directly above me the sky was dark blue but in the future distance, it was a lighter shade. Isn't that the way it goes, huh? Taking a photo I send it to those whom I'd just been praying. Reminding them, and myself, that though it may look dark now, there is hope for a brighter future (Ps 84:11-12). "Ohhhhh!" I stopped suddenly. "Oh. Okay. This is the answer."  I cannot change my husband. I cannot force him to surrender to God. I cannot control his walk with God. And while the Holy Spirt dwells in me, I am NOT the Holy Spirit. For anyone in my home to change, including myself, it will be because of the Father's forgiveness and grace through Jesus' sacrifice and the power of the Holy Spirit. Not me (Gal 2:20). In the eyes of that defensive dog, I was a trespasser. I might have thought I had claim to the road but who gave me that authority? I do not own the road. I am a trespasser everywhere I go that I have not first surrendered to the power of the Holy Spirit. But I am also not rendered ineffective by the choices of my spouse. The people God has placed around me are not by accident. They are my ministry. Uplifting and encouraging others by extending grace, hope, and truth through scripture is available for me to share no matter the what is happening. "Forgive me God. I lost track. You are right. Love people like You loved me…Like You love me." While I wait for growth in another, I can choose to grow myself (Ps 143:8). While I wait for surrender of another, I can surrender myself. My ability, given by God, to be valuable in His kingdom is not disabled by who is around me but by my own lack of humility (1 Peter 5:6). Surrendering the path we are on, even if we think we are strong enough, smart enough, or right enough may be what is exactly needed for the Spirit to move. How can the Holy Spirit be heard if I am yelling? Changing course because of a territorial dog, defensive husband, or stubborn child takes recognition of Authority. Choosing this humility is choosing to be like Jesus. Choosing to make way for the Holy Spirit is choosing to be like Jesus. Choosing to be like Jesus is choosing to trust God is Who He says He is (Num 23:19). --- I opened the front door and saw my husband, guitar in hand, in the same place I left him. I leaned over the back of the couch, kissed him on the cheek, then walked to put away the groceries. No words, He was busy working stuff out with Jesus, the way that works for him. For more teaching from The Fight for The Family  Click Here.