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By Janet L. Parker
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I saw an interesting vision a few weeks ago. I saw a vision of children dressed in armor, and they were standing in formation, eyes facing forward and intent on their target. I heard a sound arising from the children, "You cannot have us. We belong to God." It was only a moment, but I saw it plain as day. In the moment that I saw this vision, I was pondering on the little children coming to Jesus and what I want my daughter to understand even now at a young age. One thing that grieves me in the body of Christ is the shortchanging of children and the call of God upon their lives at their current age. I fully believe that we place great limitations on children when it comes to the things of the Spirit. We underestimate what children can do or should do with regards to their role in the body of Christ.
I believe what I saw was what the enemy perceives in the spirit about children. They are a threat to the perverted powers of darkness. It is not the adult stature that is foreboding to the devil, but He who is within us. This includes children. Yet we have disarmed our children by occupying them with cookies and games and isolating them to back rooms, away from the "deep" things of the Spirit, while reading them nice Bible stories. We create doctrines that a child cannot be expected to lay hands on the sick, cast out devils or speak with tongues. We inadvertently tell our children that they must be this tall and this age before they can run their race with endurance and be taken seriously. That is what we teach our children, and this is crippling a generation, and the enemy is devouring them. Our children do not need entertaining but equipping. We must train them up in the way they should go. We must teach them to war.
Arrows in the Quiver
It is no coincidence that the enemy targets the younger generation. There is nothing new under the sun. His tactics simply change in verbiage and presentation, but make no mistake, the plan is the same. He sets out to bring a fatal blow to identity, and when identity is lost or killed, purpose is abandoned. The devil does not want a mighty generation to arise with holy fire in their eyes. When your life is hidden with Christ in God, the windows to your soul cannot deny the presence of His all-consuming fire. Our children are not exempt from carrying His fiery gaze.
I was reminded of the passage in Psalm 127 regarding children,
Behold, children are a heritage and gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed (happy, fortunate) is the man whose quiver is filled with them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies (in gatherings) at the city gate (Ps. 127:3-5, AMP).
Children are compared to arrows in the hand of a warrior. Our children are meant to be fully equipped so that they can release the kingdom of God. Yet we make them arrows without tips, and then we wonder why the enemy comes and mocks when all he sees is a stick instead of an arrow. The devil is not to blame for all of this complacency regarding our children. We have desired our own personal encounters with God while denying them theirs. The truth is our children need not only to see us lying prostrate before the Lord, but they must hear us invite them to do the same. They need to be in the room when we are praying and worshiping God in an undone state. They need to be commissioned to go and to minister as unto the Lord in their schools and in their communities. This is how the tip is fashioned in the Spirit upon these mighty arrows.
I sense this so strongly that our children need to be awakened and called to action. I heard the Lord speak these words to me following this time alone with Him, "Raise up the children. Awaken the children. Pull them out of the quiver and release an onslaught on the powers of darkness. Reclaim their birthright before there is ever a chance to make them prodigals. Teach them to stay close to Me. Introduce them to Abba. Help them to know that they are a holy habitation now!"
If you know a child or have children, I have news for you; you are officially in children's ministry. Ministry to children begins at home and not in a corporate building. Children do not need babysitters at church. They need fellow warriors around them to sharpen their points so that they can be arrows unto the Lord. They need to know who they are in Christ so that their identity is sealed. I believe that we will see very young children prophesying and fulfilling the mandate in Mark 16:15-18 alongside other generations, but it all happens when we begin to see them not as a hindrance, but an inheritance. Send out the arrows! Send the enemy fleeing in terror at the sight of God's children of war.