Good news! God LOVES family! His desire is to heal, and restore families back to Himself.
This has been our pursuit over the last year, the healing of family. When God spoke to us about a Kingdom Shift, He gave us 3 specific strategies.
Contend for the King of Kings to take His rightful place in our hearts and in our nation
Contend for the Ecclesia to rise up and take their position
Contend for family.
As we contended for family, God highlighted the story of Gideon. (Judges 6-8). His first act of obedience to free his nation from the oppression of the Midianites, was to tear down the idols his father had not torn down. (Judges 6:26)
With much humility our team stood before God to do the very same for our families and our nation, understanding the turnaround for family and our nation ultimately starts with us, in our hearts!
Shortly afterward we began to experience pushback with a significant increase in the spiritual battle against family. At one point when we were praying, and feeling alone in the battle, my husband and I rose up with a cry, “We cannot do this alone! We need others to join with us!” You see, God was teaching us how to war for family, not just for our natural but our spiritual family too!
We shared with our friends some of what we were facing, they came to our home, and began to battle with us.
Family was in the making!
It was not being built the way we imagined, but we were being trained to rise up and stand in the "Spirit of Might” (Is 11:2), to trust, to cast off fear and doubt and to come into alignment with God, His Word and His ways TOGETHER.
We cannot live in isolation, or avoidance.
We must come together!
We are not ignoring the reality that here has been great pain caused by people we thought were our brothers and sisters in Christ. We haven’t known how to live together and love one another well. Friends became enemies, void of love, resulting in brokenness and disunity.
Let's face it…the body of Christ has not loved well, nor stood together in the past. We, as a whole, need to take the responsibility because we have come against one another in the wrong spirit with judgement, criticism, as “law” keepers instead of lovers of God and His people.
We have divorced one another instead of working to do whatever it takes to keep the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:1) We haven’t learned how to be family, allowing bitterness and unforgiveness to take root in our hearts.
Bitterness and unforgiveness do not serve well. They are hard task-masters.
Allow Holy Spirit to soften your heart. He will be your comfort!
Our desire when we were pastoring was to develop relationships that would last. But to be honest, we were on the same journey as others, we didn’t know how to do it well. Our hearts were for family, but we were in the process of learning and needed to mature too!
Maturity comes from Holy Spirit. He wants you to ask, seek and knock for His way! (Matt 7:7; 1 Cor 2:9-10)
Ask Him to reveal His heart to you,
Ask Him to give you eyes to see what you haven't seen
Ask for a revelation of His heart for family
Ask for supernatural discernment and wisdom
Ask for the grace to live it out!
Without the heart of the Father you will only see the other person through your natural perspective. But a heart perspective from heaven brings greater understanding and grace. This understanding can only come from intimacy with Holy Spirit.
You may not have always known how to live as family.
BUT NOW, there is a KINGDOM SHIFT for it! Lean in, don't run away.
We need each other like never before!
The war for family is a spiritual battle won in oneness of heart.
WE grow when we are in relationship. We push each other towards righteousness. We are called to “spur one another on to love and good deeds…encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb 10:24-25 NIV
Jesus cry in John 17: 20-22 is our mandate; "And I ask not only for these disciples, but also for all those who will one day believe in me through their message. I pray for them all to be joined together as one even as you and I, Father, are joined together as one. I pray for them to become one with us so that the world will recognize that you sent me. For the very glory you have given to me, I have given to them, so they will be joined together as one and experience the same unity that we enjoy.”
In the NATURAL, government systems are attempting to erode parental authority. In the SPIRITUAL realm, the enemy of the world has been trying to strip family identity.
BUT we know he does not have power, because there is one greater, Jesus!
The name above all other names.
This is that time, where the hearts of the fathers and mothers are turning to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers and mothers.
God has strategies to help use create and sustain family.
He has been teaching us how to BE and RAISE UP FAMILY
• To WORK together. Growing up, our family worked together to create our home. It is the same principle; We are no longer building “team", but family. Therefore, we have to work together. Everyone has a place, everyone has a voice, there is no competition and NO ONE is left out.
• To PRAY together. God gave us a vision that He is now birthing in others as we pray together. It is not something we are pushing but a dream God is putting in our hearts. The saying, “a family that prays together, stays together” has to be fostered. As we do this, He is building unity in hearts.
• To be VULNERABLE with one another. We must say I’m sorry, and be willing to share what is on our hearts. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and authentic. We are hesitant, because we don’t want to be abandoned or betrayed, yet again. However, we cannot live in isolation. We have to start by trusting someone with our hearts. Those who are mature will come to you with grace and love. They will WANT to be part of your life.
• To FEAST and SPEND TIME together. We know the value of time together. So we find ways to connect, outside of prayer. Just like Jesus, we love to fellowship over food! Recently, we were asked to pray with a Young Adult group in our city. (jonfestival.com) The goal for gathering was to mingle, build family and worship together. So we served them food, we worshipped together and the result was, Holy Spirit came with power.
• To LOVE whole - heartedly, without reserve. Loving can only come, as we experience love. We cannot give what we have not experienced. Our loving Father has given us His grace FIRST. He has loved us FIRST, even in our sin and weakness! Take a moment to receive His love. It is transforming.
God IS on the move building family, not just natural, but spiritual.
Will you join the family?
Will you put away your past grievances and hurts?
Will you take down your guards and begin to connect heart to heart, to see victory in the battle for marriages, children and family?
While we were still sinners Christ died for us! (Rom 5:8-9) He embraced us as His family, let’s do the same and embrace one another as family.
It’s time for Kingdom family. The enemy has tried to take out family in our nation and, in the past we have allowed it, knowingly and unknowingly.
BUT NO MORE! This is a day of healing and reconciliation.
There is a shift.
God is saying, "CHANGE AGENTS ARE ARISING!” AND YOU are the change agent!
Come into the heart of the Father.
Come into your healing,
Come into embrace.
Come into family.
We choose family! Love, Mark and Kiwanda Redner