Sunday, March 11, 2012
Fighting Discouragement-Listening to the Right Voice
I am going back and reading and reposting some of these devotions I wrote before I went through the most painful trial so far that I've experienced in my life. I am astounded at the prayers that I have prayed and how God has answered them in His way, not my own. I wrote this last year. Looking back now, these trials were tiny compared to what we are going through now. But God was preparing me and teaching me through them. Thank you, God!
These past few months the enemy has tried discouraging me in my mothering. He has attacked me on so many different levels. I've been thoroughly pressed down, but I have to say, I have not been destroyed.
As trial after trial has come, I have found myself on my knees more and more. As my confidence in being a “good” parent has been shaken to the core, I have asked God to restore me from the ground up. I have been humbled to say the least.
I came across a very comforting passage in a book called, Good and Angry by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.
“As parents, we mainly discipline in response to behavior, not in response to the heart. We all wish our children would want to choose righteousness, delight in humility, and embrace a life of grace, but they don’t. We may pray with and for our kids, have fun family devotion times, and take them to church, but still be met with a bad attitude when we ask for the least bit of cooperation…
The way you discipline and the routines you develop in family life till the soil for a deeper work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Your day-to-day parenting can build a framework of character within children so that someday the Spirit of God will breathe life into that framework and create a responsive heart on the deeper level.”
Oh, let me say that again! “Someday the Spirit of God will breathe life into that framework and create a responsive heart on the deeper level.” You cannot fathom the hope that God gave me after reading that. I cannot breath the spiritual life into my children, that is God’s job. In His own time, my children will have responsive hearts to all I have taught them. I may not see it in the day to day. I see glimpses. I see bits and pieces of unselfishness and watch and pray for them as they fight their sin nature. I see them forgive a friend that has hurt them. I see them thinking about how Jesus would respond to a situation. I see them learning obedience. If they learn to obey me, then they will hopefully learn to obey their Heavenly Father.
The enemy likes to attack us with general terms. Things like, “You are a failure as a mother” or “No matter how much you teach them the Word of God they will rebel.” But I have learned that if we need to change, the Holy Spirit does not bring a spirit of condemnation. He convicts us of specific things and He does it lovingly. If we are not careful as mothers, we end up listening to the wrong voice, which in turn gives us a spirit of defeat. If we listen to the right voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit, we listen to a gentle voice who prompts us to do right and gives us hope.
Whose voice are you listening to? When trials come and you start to despair, remember that if you are in Christ Jesus, there is always hope. Get on your knees and ask what you can change and then do it, no matter how hard it is. Embrace the sacrifice of it. It will only bring you closer to your goal. My goal is to raise godly children for the Lord and warriors for His Kingdom. Imagine the child testing you to your absolute limit as being an effective member of the Church! And you, as a mother, had a part in that. Glory to God!
Fight discouragement! The only thing the enemy should be able to do is to drive you to your knees. And that my friends, is the safest place to be.
From One Mom to Another,