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May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Testimony

Bridget and I were asked to speak at church on Sunday about the power of a Mother's prayer.  Here is the text of what the Holy Spirit led me to say:

I once was what our Edgewood friends call necia. A busybody—a very controlling, manipulative person, who's always up in other people's business. As a result, I was more concerned with what my “heathen” family members were doing that what I was doing. One day while in my aquatic prayer closet, what you call a shower, I was complaining to the Lord about my recalcitrant family when He spoke to me as clearly as I'm speaking to you. He said “you take care of you and let ME take care of them”. Basically He told me to mind my own business—to stop being so necia! 

What he revealed to me bit by bit is that my children and my husband already have a Holy Spirit and it's NOT me. It's HIS job to convict them of their sin or inspire them to read their bibles or pray or sacrifice their time—not mine It's not my job to harass and cajole them into doing what I want them to do when I want them to do it how I want them to do it. 

He pointed me to Matthew 7:1-5 in the Message which says 
 “Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on another's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say “let me wash your face for you” when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” 

God showed me that every single person including my children must make a decision as to who is the Lord of their life. Is it God or themselves? In Deuteronomy 11:26 the Lord says to us all “Today, I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse. You will be blessed if you obey My commands and you will be cursed if you reject Me and turn away to worship other gods.” We must all choose. My children and husband must decide for themselves—are they going to choose a blessing or a curse? 

Later, he led me to so that just like way back in the Garden, Satan's favorite trick is to get us to question God's goodness. As parents, we have to make some other decisions. We have to be resolved of a few things: 
Either God is Sovereign......or He's not. 
Either God loves our children more than we do.....or He doesn't.
Either He has a plan for your child....or He doesn't. 
Either He knows what's best for your child—what rough edges need to be smoothed, what testimony must be developed....or He doesn't. 

We must CHOOSE to believe that what God says about Himself is true. That's what faith is. Choosing to believe that the Lord values, loves and provides for my child far better than I ever can. We may not like the choices that child is making, the path they are going down, but we have to trust—have to have faith—that whatever is happening to our child will be used by God for HIS glory.

I'm not saying we mothers won't worry. But worry can cross the line into obsession. We start imagining all sorts of terrible things and then we begin to try to control and make decision for our child to protect them and prevent these terrible things from happening. We set up our children as idols and strongholds in our lives. 2 Corinthians 10:4&5 says that the weapons we fight with to tear down strongholds are not of this world. That we must take captive every thought that sets itself up against the kingdom of God. And trying to manipulate our child's life sets us against the kingdom of God. 

How do we tear down these strongholds? PRAYER!! Our weapon is the Sword of Truth—the Word. Pray and fast for your child. Ask your lifegroup or a trusted friend to join you in praying for your child. Ask the Lord for scripture to pray for your child. Turn it into a weapon. Write it on a 3x5 card and insert their name; carry it with you so that whenever Satan tries to get you to run down the worry rabbit trail you can pull it out and use the Sword of Truth. Right now, I'm praying Ephesians 3:16-19. That is my weapon. Dragging them to church, making them go to Ablaze, quoting scripture to them, sending them email devotionals, lecturing them, trying to control them—none of it works. Love them, show them grace, show them mercy, and above all be on your knees banging on the gates of Heaven for them! Don't give up! Galatians 6:9 says that we should not grow weary for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don't give up. Phillipians 4:4-7 tells us to be joyful always—not just when our child does what we want. It tells us to let our gentleness be evident to all—even our stubborn child. It tells us to not be anxious for anything—even our child who says he doesn't know if there is a God. It tells us to present EVERY prayer to God with thanksgiving and in exchange He will fill us with HIS peace which surpasses all understanding—even when it's 2 AM and you don't know where your sweet baby is! 

As I was preparing for this morning, the Lord reminded me of a story that's become a legend in our family. My great grandfather, John Hardin Boatman, was a rough young man. He'd been raised in the church but turned to a life of drinking, gambling and horse thievery. Obviously he lacked any sense of God in his life, but what he did have was a praying mama. She was on her knees daily interceding for the life of her son and all 10 of her other children. One day he was at a bar with his buddies when he suddenly stood up, told his friends that he heard his mama praying --calling him home-- and that he had to go. He left the bar and went to a tent revival that evening. On that day her years and years of prayer were rewarded when he gave his life to Jesus. He later married Dora Mae Rutledge and they spent their lives on their knees praying for every generation of their family. What a legacy!

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