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Clearing away the Rocks

March 22, 20248 min read

Is. 57:14 “God says, ‘Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones so my people can return from captivity.”

Is. 62:10 Go out through the gates! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see.”

John 1:23 “John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: ‘I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the LORD’s coming!’”

I love this imagery and feel that it is an apt description of the process of helping your child heal/get delivered. We are, in essence, making their paths smooth, pulling out the boulders, rebuilding the road. It is appropriate too, in that it takes into account free will. You are removing the hindrances, the rocks which could make your child stumble, and making the path straight for him. You’re not however, forcing him to walk on it. That is a choice he still has to make.That’s the balance of having spiritual authority over your children. You have the authority to banish the unclean spirits and to release your child from captivity in Jesus’ Name. He has the freedom to choose that path or a different one. For example, if your child is trying to walk to school, but there is a big bully on the way trying to trip him up and stop him, you would want to remove that bully from his path. The child still has to walk to school (has to make that choice and put forth that effort), but it will be much safer and easier for him. In other words, this is not about “controlling” your child or overriding his/her free will. It’s about doing the spiritual warfare for him to “clear his path.” 

What does clearing away the rocks, pulling out the boulders, making the path smooth and straight look like? I believe it is a process of removing the Enemy’s lies; clearing away temptations; banishing unclean spirits, and making the path smooth by walking on it repeatedly yourself.

1)  Remove Enemy lies. To do this, you must first discover what the lies are that your child is believing.  Some kids will freely talk about what’s going on in their heads. Many others (especially traumatized ones) will not. My daughter is quite extroverted so we pretty much never have to guess what's going in her head. She was almost 5 when we got her. Our family does not participate in the Santa Claus myth.  For approximately the whole 1st year that we had her, we had almost daily conversations about how “Santa Claus does not exist. Jesus exists - and is quite a bit better and different than Santa Claus.” She wanted so badly to believe in Santa Claus (her love language is gifts), so it was hard for her to let go of that lie. She finally accepted, though, that Jesus gives wonderful gifts, and not only does He not give coal for sins, He actually died for our sins and offers forgiveness. After that first year, she told me, “I never knew God before, but now I know Him”. Hallelujah!

Our (adopted) son was an entirely different story. He was terribly wounded and felt very out of control. That made him scared of being vulnerable, so would never admit or talk about what was bothering him. Holy Spirit gave me the idea to have him draw 5 pictures. They could be of anything - even vulgar things that we wouldn’t allow him to speak - but they had to be real pictures, not just scribbles. After initial reluctance, he would get into it and almost always ended up turning over the papers and drawing 5 more pictures! Once he was done, I would sit with him and ask him about each picture (this was a simple - not complex or long - process). I’d ask, for example, what is that person feeling? What is that cat thinking? What is that tree doing?  He’d answer quickly and we would move on. Typically, with the 1st couple of pictures his answers would all be “happy happy happy”. By the time we got into the 3rd-4th pictures, the truth would start leaking out. I would finally know what was bugging him and we could discuss it - and usually dispel the lies or distortions that the Enemy had been telling him. We had so many breakthroughs this way! He would go from being an absolute terror to a happy peaceful child in a matter of the 30 minutes or so it would take us to do this exercise.

Ask Holy Spirit to “guide you into all truth” regarding your child so that together, you can dispel the lies of the Enemy - removing those boulders from his/her path. Also, of course Holy Spirit is able to do this without your help or involvement, and many times it will happen that way - in answer to your prayers, but without your direct intervention.

2)  Banishing unclean spirits. (See other posts regarding deliverance, setting captives free, and using the keys to the Kingdom, etc). If you see something that is hindering your child, you can bind that, and then you can loose God’s provision for that issue. For example, you can bind the spirit of sexual immorality from your child’s life and release the spirit of purity; another example is binding the spirit of procrastination off your child and releasing a spirit of joy in completing tasks. Sometimes I’ve had no direct knowledge of what was going on spiritually, I have just sensed something was wrong or dangerous, etc. and acted accordingly. Then I have discovered later what the Enemy’s plot had been and was so grateful that the Lord thwarted it. We all have different gifts and ways that the Lord leads us.The important thing is to seek the Lord and pray pray pray! Then trust Him and rest.

3) Making the path smooth by walking on it ourselves. The more that a path is traveled, the smoother it becomes. This process has 2 different main aspects.

a)  “Lead us not into temptation.” Besides being careful to “child proof” your home, many adults take the opportunity that having children presents to deal with the on-going sins in their lives. Ie. Smokers decide that this is the time to quit, because they don’t want their children to become smokers.  Gossipers or those prone to foul language (myself included - ugh) all of the sudden become much more conscious of how they use their tongues when they have kids. Whatever sin it is in your life that you have been indulging, now is a great time to get free from it so as to not lead your child into the same thing. Of course we are all human and no one other than Jesus ever lived a perfect life. It is also important to demonstrate grace, forgiveness and humility to your child by admitting your failures and repenting when you mess up.

b) Jesus gave us the example with His disciples of alternating between walking with them, and sometimes leaving them alone to practice what they had learned.  That is how Jesus taught His disciples.  He walked with them, taught them things verbally, demonstrated the Kingdom of Heaven to them, and then sent them out to do it on their own.  They then returned, regrouped, and processed together what they had experienced and learned. Then on to the next lesson until they reached enough maturity that He could leave them and send the Holy Spirit to continue the discipleship process. Jesus made the Disciples path smooth for them by walking it with them, and then allowing them to walk it on their own.

Don’t become discouraged if you are still seeing your child make bad choices, etc. Continuing on in Isaiah 57, we come to where God makes this glorious promise:  vs 18-19 “I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them all.”  The Word also famously says, “Teach your child in the way he should go. When he is old, he will not depart from it.”


Personal note:  This post was the hardest one for me to write because it’s the area I feel that I have failed the most in with raising my children (so far). I was tempted to not post it at all - feeling a bit hypocritical. But these are truths that the Lord has shown me and taught me - a lot by trial and error - so I felt it was important to include them. And that leads me to a word about grace. Very briefly, one of the treasures I gained from going through “the dark night of the soul” (before marriage and kids) was an acute awareness of God’s grace and how incredibly strong it is. It was so real to me that I felt like I could physically touch it. That has been a tremendous gift to me in raising my traumatized children, and I’m not sure I could do it without that. I fail a lot, but I do depend on God’s grace and He is absolutely Faithful. As my kids are getting older, I am learning more about their past rebellions of which I was previously unaware. It’s super painful to hear (and highlights my failures, in my mind), but the amazing upshot to me is that while I was unaware of these issues, I was also unaware that God was delivering my children from them - which brings me to tears of gratitude. It really is all about Him, and if I could give only one piece of advice to parents, it would be this:  Trust God more, trust in your own abilities, wisdom, love, etc less.

Lorraine Martinson

Christ-follower, Married mother of 3 children, 2 of whom were adopted from foster care, with passion for the younger generation to come into healing and fullness.

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