Last week, as I was waiting for the fireworks to begin, I observed all the moms watching their kids. It was hard for them to relax because they kept looking for their little ones - to make sure that they did not stray too far. As it got darker, they ‘circled the wagons’. Meaning - they moved those little ones so that they were sitting in the middle of all the adults - to make sure they did not wander off during the distraction of the fireworks (which were amazing BTW).
As I was observing all of this, a conference came to mind that I attended about 10 years ago. The conference was fascinating, amazing, thought provoking and eye opening at the same time. I took copious notes and, for some reason, this conference hit my radar during my observation of all the moms. I found the notes that I took at the conference and re read them - I found them as impactful today as I did 10 years ago and wanted to share them with you.
These are the notes that I took. I have also created a PDF for you to print out and keep in your library. - click HERE or on the button below -
What is a Mighty Musk Ox Princess?
As a Christian we have hope - hope that does not make any sense. We can walk in the same valley as a non-believer, but we are not alone. We have the ability to react differently.
God has called us to be spiritual warriors but we fight the wrong battles. We -
Fight to prove we are right
Fight to have our own way
Fight for justice or vindication
Fight to make sense of our lives
We live in a porcupine state of mind - A porcupine is a creature with a lot of good points but nobody wants to be around it. A bitter woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.
We allow the heartaches of life to make us helpless. We need to have absolute confidence of God’s loving care. God has our back. In a mission the commander, king, sergeant, or whomever will send the warriors out with a task. The warriors need to stay focused - look straight ahead - knowing that their superiors are behind them. We are in a battle - our mission is to stay focused and God will prepare the way for me - HE has my back.
The secret of forgiveness is peace with God. Peace is a weapon of warfare. Ephesians 6:14-15: ‘Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.’ We are in a war. We need to be prepared and fight.
Our mind is a battleground in this spiritual war. Matthew 11:28: ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’
The devil has different strategies in different areas - He wants to rob me of my peace, have me in a 'porcupine state of mind' - to be too exhausted to be a threat to him.
God wants us to be a 'soul at rest' so that we can be a 'body in motion.' To give up what I want, what I think, what I feel - give all that a rest. And hang onto the truths and hope in Him.
I can be right or I can be well - not both. - Whatever I think is so hopeless - God knows the answer.
God is always speaking but we can't hear Him because there is too much noise in our lives.
We are Christ carriers - not followers. Colossians 1:27: ‘Christ in me, the hope of glory.’ (emphasis mine).
Anxiety is listening to the lies of the enemy. RX for anxiety - use his own weapon against him (his accusations) - Turn his accusations into praises for God.
Fear is listening to our circumstances. Rx for fear - trust. We can walk in trust. Proverbs 3-5: ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not into your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight’.
A meaningful life is rarely easy. An easy life is rarely meaningful.
Prayer - the alternative to occupy my mind. ‘God does nothing in this world except in response to believing prayer’. John Wesley.
Power in a Christian life comes from prayer. We think prayer is giving God an instructional list; pointing at others. 'the eyes of the Lord looked for someone to intercede...." to fill the gap. Isaiah 59:16: ‘He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intercede’.
We are God's spiritual warriors. Ezekiel 22: 30-31
‘I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.’
God is justice and mercy. We want a world that makes sense - where choices have consequences. There are battles breaking out all over the earth: homes, schools, government, business
We need to get in the GAP. He is looking for prayer partners - who invite Him to bring mercy. The Gap is where the action is - The Gap is where God moves.
Matthew 6:8 ‘Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.’
Forget about myself - God has my back
What am I living for? Is it the kingdom?
God wants me to listen - to turn off the noise in my head. He is always speaking. The heart of prayer is listening. HE has the REAL prayer list. Listen and pray what is on God's heart - Get in the GAP.
I don't need to sit there and talk about me - He has my back.
What is my assignment from God? Revelation 3:20: ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.’
Trade my prayer list for God's - here is no shortage of assignments.
Get in the gap - the place where God's agenda prevails. When I am on assignment for God - it's done!!
Stand firm - don't let Satan beat me. Become a 'Mighty Musk Ox Warrior Princess' (a musk ox will surround the prey of the attacker to protect them rather than run to protect themselves).
Do I want to be a Mighty Musk Ox or a porcupine?
We need to prevail. We say ' I'm not being treated right so why should I do the right thing?' David did the right thing when no one was watching. As a shepherd boy he learned to swing his sling shot and kill the lions - when no one was watching. He could have said 'why bother' no one sees me, no one will know. He had NO idea that God was on the move.
God is looking for someone to promote - not punish. He is always watching. Looking for someone who has learned, in the secret place, to prevail.
Everytime God prevails He makes a public spectacle of His enemies!!
We have hope because we have an army of angels and God is on His throne.
The broken places in my heart can become a porcupine - the devil gets in OR God will shine thru the broken place.
We need to be on assignment and be about the Father's business.
Mission - find someone who is held captive and set them free.
Do I want to be a porcupine or a warrior?
The conference speaker was Donna Partow. I don’t know if she has conferences anymore BUT if she does, GO. (If you find one let me know - I live in GA - maybe we can meet?!!) For me, it was life changing. Sometimes I would think - why bother with prayer, God has it all planned out and is going to do what he wants anyway. I learned that I needed to stand in the GAP. I envy the people who have family and friends on both sides of them (older and younger) who pray for them regularly. People who stand in their Gap. So that they can focus on all the others knowing with confidence someone is praying for them. My children have me now as their ‘older’. Making change….one generation at a time.
Who do you need to pray for? Whose GAP is empty? Are you praying for yourself or others? How about setting yourself aside and pray for everything and everyone else?
And to ask again - Would you rather be a Mighty Musk Ox Warrior Princess or a Porcupine? How many bitter old women do you know? We can circle our own wagons and become a prayer warrior - a Princess who is still and stands in the GAP for my family, friends, schools, work and government. And if you are unsure how to even begin - Start here - ‘What Does it Mean to be Still’.
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PPS - A bit more about the mighty musk ox - If a herd of musk oxen must protect itself, it is usually against wolves that will attack them fiercely. When attacked, bull musk oxen move to the outside of the herd and form a boundary surrounding the cows and young. (credit www.alaskakids.org)
PPPS - One last thing before I go. God does not always answer our prayers the way we would like them to be answered. This has nothing to do with a lack of faith or weak prayer. He just wants us in the GAP. To be aware of the needs around us and to pray for those needs - He will take care of the outputs.