I trained and showed Quarter Horses as a teenager. When I moved back home to Missouri from New York I started riding again. After being out of the saddle for fifteen years my technique had become rusty, and I was having trouble with one of Dad's horses. This gelding was doing some things I didn't like, but I wasn't sure what I should control and what I should just accept.
I asked a friend what now seems to be a silly question: “How do I know what behavior to correct and what behavior to tolerate.” I still remember his simple response: “If your horse is doing something you don't like, then make him stop.”
If you have the right equipment, knowledge, and attitude you can completely control the horse you are riding. But you don't have that kind of control over anybody else's horse.
- If the guy right next to you in the arena is having trouble with his horse, you can talk him through some of his trouble. But you don't have near the control over his horse as you do with the horse you're sitting on.
- If your sister calls you on her cell phone and is having trouble getting her horse settled down before the next event, you can still talk her through some of her trouble. And she can use your help to better control her horse, but you have no direct control of her horse in this situation.
- If you happen to be watching a competition on television and see somebody having trouble with his horse, you cannot help him at all.
If it's just me and the devil, with no other human involved, I've been on a consistent winning streak for a quite a while. Oh… occasionally I get roughed up some until I figure out what's going on. But it doesn't usually take me too long before the Lord shows me how to shove the Word down the devil's throat—shutting him up.
But when other people are involved, my record is not as good. While I may not always exercise it, I have total authority over my own will. But I don't have total authority over the will of anybody else. And the more people involved the more difficult it becomes to eliminate threats, because I start to quickly get outnumbered.
After last Tuesday night's class, we gave a homeless couple a ride to the Motel 6 here in Joplin. The man had a severe limp as he walked. He told me he'd been in an accident as a child which caused a temporary paralysis. His recovery left him with one leg shorter than the other, a limp, and a lot of pain. On the trip to the motel I asked if could pray for him, and he agreed. I opened the door on his side and asked him to extend his legs. I prayed for his legs to be the same length; I don't know if there was any change because he had on bulky coveralls and boots. I then asked him to stand and I prayed over his back. Then I asked him to walk down and back on the sidewalk. There was no change in his limp. I asked him if he felt any different and he told me his pain was completely gone. I prayed against the limp but there was still no change. He didn't seem concerned about the limp, though; he was enjoying having no pain. So we all thanked Jesus, and Sherrel and I drove home.
He was my child for that brief period of time. He had no one else to look after him. Obviously, the devil was roughing him up pretty good. I was able to stop his pain, but I wasn't able to eliminate all the threats coming against him. Could I have helped him more with more time? I don't know. It wasn't me dealing with just the devil. It was me against the devil and all the permissions to operate in his life that the man had unwittingly given the devil over the years.
I haven't seen the man since, but it's highly likely the pain came back because I didn't show him how to control it. I regret not spending more time with him but it didn't seem appropriate that night. He probably thinks I have some kind of special gift for healing—not knowing he has the same authority over the threats coming against him.
This is what you deal with when you eliminate threats coming against your children. You are not just dealing with your own will; you are dealing with the combined wills of your children and all the other people involved—with the devil jumping in and influencing each person's will whenever and wherever possible.
If it's other people coming directly against your children, blessing those people is the most effective way to eliminate their threats. (Please go back and study day three of this series for a more in-depth study of God's blessing.)
I can't think of anything more difficult than to bless somebody who is hurting your child; destroy… yes… bless… no…! But it will help you if you think of God's blessing as a weapon. Use God's blessing as a weapon to bless the “hell” out of those people who are coming against your children.
When you speak God's blessing over your children's enemies, you are pouring “all that is God” over “all that is not God.” You are turning on a light that transforms the darkness in their lives.
As a practical matter, God gave you human wisdom as well. Use friends in high places, use the legal system, use whatever God brings to your attention. But God's blessing is the most damaging weapon to eliminate threats.
Here is a sample prayer we use against our enemies (if you know the devil's specific strategies against the person, you can add those details):
“Lord, we command Your blessing over (name), that your blessing will confound and confuse every strategy the devil is using against (name) this day. In Jesus' Name.”
We'll finish the series tomorrow.
Have a good day,