Jacaranda

I am an American, deep-South girl that’s now living in Australia and absolutely in love with Jacaranda trees.  Jacarandas supposedly come from America, but I have never seen them in the South, so I obsess and squeal over them whenever I am in Australia during their blooming season (which happens to be right now).  

I often stare dreamily out the car window, completely in awe of the sea of purple that seems to cover the hillsides in parts of Brisbane.

Last week as I was walking along the side of our home with my dogs, I noticed that there were Jacaranda petals all along the ground under my feet.  I had not noticed any jacaranda trees in our yard, so I took this as a special kiss from heaven or some supernatural encounter from the Father’s heart to mine because He knows just how much I love them.  

After telling my husband about this encounter, I was surprised to find out that there was actually indeed a jacaranda tree just at the fence in the neighbour’s yard!  It was so tall and broad that I had somehow missed seeing it at all.

After a few minutes of staring at this gorgeous tree that has actually been just in front of me all along, heard the Holy Spirit say, “My Blessings are sometimes hidden in plain sight.”

Just as I had access to the beauty of this jacaranda tree at any time, we children of God – by faith – have access to the blessings of God whenever we want.  

Sometimes we get distracted or weary, and we miss that the blessings are right there in our vicinity carrying all the beauty and life that we need.  Sometimes we are just looking in the wrong place.

I also heard the Holy Spirit say that just as I was convinced that I was having a supernatural encounter when I saw the petals on the ground, so too God is delighting to give supernatural encounters to those who have the eyes to see.

Clear as a bell I then heard in my Spirit that all we have to do is LOOK UP.

“My Blessings are sometimes hidden in plain sight.”

I feel that this is an invitation from the Lord to stop, breathe and take time to look around.  We are already seated with Christ in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) so we don’t have to look very far.  We also have a Father who loves to be the “lifter of our heads” (Psalm 3:3) so He is happy to help us see by faith if we need Him to.

He is so faithful to draw near to those who draw near to Him (James 4:8) and He will allow us to find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13).  And when we seek Him first, everything else will fall into place (Matthew 6:33).

It’s also important to note that although He will pour out good blessings upon His children just because He loves us and is a good Father (Matthew 7:9), there is actually nothing in the world like seeking His face and Presence over His blessings.  He certainly delights to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11; James 1:17), but there is nothing that satisfies like just being at the feet of Jesus.

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Washing Feet

I can’t seem to get out of the books of John and 1 John.  Every time I think I can move on to something else in the New Testament, I find myself at those books yet again.  I can’t get enough of them, and I always find new revelation in them even after having read them 5 times in a week.

Recently I was in John 13 again; the part where Jesus washes His disciples’ feet.  I’ve always been blown away by the fact that Jesus chose to wash the feet of Judas, although He knew that Judas would betray Him.  I’m also touched by the end of verse one, which says that Jesus “…loved them to the end.”  So poetic.  But this time, I couldn’t escape how Jesus was serving His friends.  

Back in this time period, the feet of those men were incredibly dirty.  2,000ish years ago, men didn’t have Nike or Kenneth Cole.  There wasn’t a lineup of Van’s at the front door, and even Billabong flip-flops were non-existent. These were the days where men wore sandals and/or walked barefoot.  These guys probably walked A LOT and I’m not entirely sure there was lovely, lush, green grass in that part of the world to be able to rub feet on.

Having noted all of this, we know that there is, of course, a great deal of symbolism and meaning behind what Jesus did and why. I started pondering what feet washing would look like in today’s culture, today’s society and amongst my own friends.  I couldn’t help but feel like there was more meaning to this than what I’ve always been taught.

I’m still seeking Holy Spirit on it (because Jeremiah 33:3 says that if we go to Him, He will answer us and tell us great and mighty things that we do not know), but I believe that He challenged me on a few thoughts on how we can identify with foot washing today in the world of Nike and Jimmy Choo.

Firstly – and most obviously – washing someone’s feet is a sign of true humility and service.  To be honest, this thought speaks for itself.  In Jewish culture, as a host, it was a sign of great honor and respect to wash the feet of one’s guest.(see more at the link at the end)

This act took time, energy, and getting on an incredibly dirty floor to touch perhaps even more horribly dirty feet.  Sometimes serving others means getting a little uncomfortable and dirty ourselves, but as we know there is so much power in this prophetic act.  And…it transforms lives (theirs, as well as your own).

Secondly, God really challenged me to see that “washing feet” today looks like washing off the effects of the journey for another person. Raise your hand if you know that LIFE CAN BE HARD!  Sometimes, the residue of trauma and pain can be so difficult to navigate for a person, and the enemy’s greatest tactic is to keep people isolated and in shame.  Yet an understanding of foot washing is an invitation to come alongside others and help them feel clean and free from what they picked up on the journey.  What a powerful testimony for us as believers to be able to do this for one another.

Romans 12:10 in The Passion Translation says the following, “Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another.”  What if outdoing one another in respect and honor looked like constantly SERVING one another, and helping each other clean off the “dust” from the difficult journeys in life?  What if foot washing looks more like being a FRIEND to the lonely and an encouragement to the downhearted?

What would the world – and the Church – look like if we lived a life that was marked by “foot washing” and honor?  

I know what MY sphere of influence could look like…anyone else want to join me?

~ Mandy Woodhouse

 

1. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6051-feet-washing-of

Tunnel Vision

I love this photo.

I actually took this photo a few weeks ago here in sunny, Brisbane, Australia, and I remember thinking to myself, “Gee, I need to write a blog about this photo!”

What began in my head as some sort of “light at the end of the tunnel” type encouragement actually changed when I walked back through the tunnel a few days later on an incredibly hot Australian afternoon.  I actually had to stop for a moment and take in everything I felt the Holy Spirit begin to speak to me about not just this particular tunnel, but tunnels in general.

We tend to see tunnels with “tunnel vision.”  My friend hates tunnels because they are claustrophobic and make her ears pop.  My cousin hates tunnels because he’s seen one too many doomsday movies where people get stuck in tunnels with rushing water (or zombies) coming from all directions.  Most people hate the metaphor of a tunnel because it represents the feeling of being in a dark place where the walls are closing in. Thus, the lovely little saying, “light at the end of the tunnel.”

But on this hot, humid Australian day, here’s what Holy Spirit showed me about HIS heart for tunnels.

This particular tunnel was actually protecting me from the heat.  It was dark and damp, but it was keeping me from the intense temperatures above me and protecting me from too much sun exposure, exhaustion and smog. This tunnel went under the city, giving myself and the joggers a fairly quiet thoroughfare to get where we needed to go quickly.

The tunnel felt a bit lonely, but it was definitely much safer than the heavy traffic dangerously zipping around above me.  Not to mention the fact that when I did see that light at the end, I was filled with fresh hope and a renewed strength to pick up the pace and exit the tunnel to my next location.

A tunnel takes you from point A to point B, avoiding chaos, danger and so much more.  Usually tunnels are quicker and safer than other means of travel, even if they tend to appear dark and lonely.  

2 Chronicles 32 recounts the building of Hezekiah’s tunnel, which the king had built to protect Judah’s water supply – their means of LIFE.  

Check it out, it’s a great read.

What I felt Him say this particular day is that if we can change how we view tunnels, we will notice that they are more of a GIFT than a burden.

In fact, I felt His heart swell at the fact that He can give this precious gift to so many people and He can enjoy the walk with us!  We tend to get so distracted by what is going on around and above us that we neglect to see the beauty in the tunnel when we enter one.  We must not forget that we are not alone in the tunnel – Jesus is with us every step of the way.  He IS the light!  He IS our life-source, and sometimes a tunnel helps to protect our walk with Him.

TUNNELS PROTECT LIFE.  And Jesus is the Light in every dark tunnel.

Then Jesus said, “I am light to the world and those who embrace me will experience life-giving light, and they will never walk in darkness.” (John 8:32, TPT)

 

 ~ Mandy Woodhouse

You Will Not Be Outwitted

“…so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs” (2 Corinthians 2:11)

Do you know that you do not operate in the natural?  2 Peter 1:4 says that you are a partaker of His divine nature.  You have a new nature – HIS nature.  Regardless of what you feel or what you may see with your eyes, you are not a mere human.  You are a supernatural being who is seated with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:4).

Your domain and operating system is that of Heaven, NOT earth.  You have great authority and power, and you are able to do even greater things than even Jesus Himself (John 14:12).  YOU ARE POWERFUL, and you have the Spirit of the risen Christ within you (Romans 8:11).  The Holy Spirit marks you.

Now that we are both reminded of who we are and the power that we hold as sons and daughters, I want to remind you also that you have a very real enemy.  He’s very real and he’s fairly powerful, but he’s not even close to being as powerful as you, nor does he have as much authority (thank you Jesus).  Thus, his hatred for you and I and the warfare that often happens especially when we are entering into next level seasons.  

Revelation calls him “the accuser of the brethren,” and Peter says he’s like a lion, “seeking whom he may devour.”  I love John’s description of him the best though.  John calls the devil a liar and the “father of lies.”  He has zero truth in him, so all his power is actually found in his deception and distraction.  

We can never focus on the devil, but we do need to be aware of his schemes.  He will try to creep into every insecurity, every heartache, every lie that we may believe and get his claws in.  He will use offense, anger, resentment and discouragement to poison our thoughts and insides.  His only real trump card over a born-again is engagement and partnering with his lies and causing a cloud of distraction from God’s Presence.

BUT GOD!

“But all the while God has his own fire-tipped arrows!  Suddenly, without warning, they will be pierced and struck down. Staggering backward they will be destroyed by the very ones they spoke against.  All who see this will view them with scorn.  Then all will stand awestruck over what God has done, seeing how he vindicated the victims of these crimes.  The lovers of God will be glad, rejoicing in the Lord.  They will be found in his glorious wrap-around presence, singing songs of praise to God!” (Psalm 64:7-11, TPT)

“And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Romans 16:20).

“No weapon formed against you will prosper” (Isaiah 54:17).

Not only are we aware of his schemes, but so is God.  And He is fighting for you, ready to crush the enemy under YOUR feet.  Jesus crushed sin and death for us, and He will crush Satan UNDER us.  We have the victory!

Do not be ignorant of his schemes, but likewise do not be overwhelmed by them.  

Remember that you are not a mere human, and you have a God that is bigger than death itself seated with you in the Heavenlies.  Be very careful to remember who you are and keep from responding to him or operating in the natural, but also remember that in the end, Jesus wins.  Partner with Holy Spirit to execute the little foxes in your life (Song 2:15), but don’t keep your focus there.  Keep your eyes fixed on things above, not here below on earth (Colossians 3:2) and see what the Lord does!

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Sober Minded

For a few weeks now, I’ve been pondering the phrase “sober-minded” from 1 Peter 4:7 and 5:8 (and several other times in the New Testament).  1 Peter 4:7 says, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers” (ESV).  What a statement to remain sober-minded for the sake of our prayers!

I’m a teacher so I love getting stuck down rabbit trails as I research and learn more about things that stand out to me in scripture.  I found at least 9 other references to being sober-minded, and they are not just talking about not drinking alcohol!

Titus, one example, is full of “sober-minded” challenges: Wives are to be sober-minded to love their husbands and children better.

Young men are to be sober-minded so that they can maintain integrity, dignity and sound speech.  Elders are to be sober-minded to better serve.  Older men are to be sober-minded to better teach sound doctrine.

Looks like perhaps being “sober-minded” is an invitation into something better.  

I looked up 1 Peter 4:7 in the Strongs, and the word for sober-minded is S3525 (nēphō) which means not only to abstain from wine, but also to be calm and collected in spirit, to remain dispassionate and to keep watch.  In fact, the King James Version uses the word “watch” instead of “sober-minded.”  The Passion Translation says to be “intentional and purposeful” when we pray.

How interesting that in 1 Peter 4:7 we are asked to stay calm, collected, even intentional and purposeful, and to keep watch immediately after Peter states that the end of all things is near!

Here’s what the Holy Spirit challenged me on regarding all this:  I must remain sober-minded.  In the current climate of the world, I cannot afford NOT to.  I am a child of God who carries the authority of Christ, and my words build worlds around me.  

I have the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4) and my NEW NATURE no longer operates in the world’s view of the natural.  I am not a mere human.

The world around me needs me to be sober-minded – clear headed – enough to pray and intercede with power.  Politically correct spirits thrive on perverting people’s passions and twisting them into outrage and anger, so God needs me to remain calm and collected in Spirit so that I can respond like Christ and not out of my flesh.  

False doctrines are flooding society and even infiltrating the Church, thus future generations need me to remain on watch and be clear minded enough to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, without cloudiness or distraction, to be able to teach soundly.

1 Peter 5:8 says it best: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  We don’t want to focus on the devil, EVER, but we cannot be “unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).  He will lie, distract, cause a spirit of heaviness or sickness or whatever he can to keep you from hearing the voice of your Father clearly.  The enemy will keep you from prayer, keep you exhausted, keep you unwell and even keep you battling offense just to keep you from being fully sober-minded.  

We have Jesus, so we have the ability to stay one step ahead of him when we can remain clear-minded and self-controlled.

Friend, you are more powerful than you know.  And eternity needs you to be sober-minded, without distraction.  If that looks like subtracting some things from your life – or adding others – then do it!

Learn to be intentional and purposeful to hear Him clearly.  Start now, so that you can have “20/20 vision” in 2020! You have the backing of Heaven and the grace of God on your side.  

 

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Shaking

For weeks now, I have been thinking about an old friend of mine who had grown up Buddhist. I had shared Jesus with Him, and it actually brought him great confusion as he saw Jesus undeniably at work in my life yet, had grown up with certain family and cultural traditions and a religion that was just comfortable for him.  

One day after a long conversation about the transformation of Christ in a born-again believer’s life, my friend felt God’s Presence but was still unsure of what to do with his Buddha.  He went away to a small Buddhist temple to get his head straight because he felt as if he was betraying his family and his beliefs by accepting Jesus as his Lord.  

I remember him telling me about how he walked into a small, empty temple just outside of Sydney and he laid out on his face in front of the Buddha statue, crying out in frustration.  He remembers saying the very words, “Jesus, if YOU are real and Buddha is not, then you’re going to have to prove it to me!”

I still remember the look on his face as he recounted his story of how, that the very moment he spoke those words aloud, a giant city bus went screaming past the small temple and shook the building to its core.  

Within a second, the shaking was so great it caused the Buddha statue to fall and decapitate itself on the floor just in front of where he was laying.  Needless to say, my friend gave his everything to Jesus that day and I had the privilege of helping to disciple him for sometime after that.

This story has been playing in my head over and over, and I feel like the Lord reminded me of this glorious testimony as an invitation to embrace the SHAKING that is taking place right now.  

As daunting as the shaking can be, it’s actually not to “punish” us but to bring us back to what is best so that we can absolutely shine for His glory.  

When a child does something wrong, a father doesn’t shake him, but lovingly corrects and realigns the child’s thinking back to what is best.  This shaking is a realignment to what is BEST, and it is an invitation to expose and demolish any idols that may be present. It is also a way for Jesus to show up, show off and make Himself known.

Personally, I have been experiencing shaking for a few months now, and although it’s uncomfortable and emotional, I can feel the Father’s heart for me in the process.  

Isaiah 54 speaks of stretching and enlarging the tent; and we know that every time we stretch the tent out further, we have to actually unpeg the tent in order to stretch and repeg it into stability.

Unpegging can be shaky, but it just means the stretch is going to be so much wider and cover so much more territory.

If you are experiencing a shaking right now, don’t fret or fear.  Accept the invitation into greater levels of intimacy with Jesus, and allow Him to cause the things that are not for your BEST to fall off of you.  

He is a safe place (Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 91; Psalm 32:7), and in that safe place you can allow everything that has tried to put itself higher than Jesus to fall into pieces.  

Go deeper with Him when you feel the shake and let Him love on you until you feel the freedom.

Hebrews 12:27 (TPT):  Now this phrase “once and for all” clearly indicates the final removal of things that are shaking, that is, the old order, so only what is unshakeable will remain.

 

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Cast Off That Spirit Of Despair

“…to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord , that he may be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3 (ESV)

“to strengthen those crushed by despair who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful bouquet in the place of ashes, the oil of bliss instead of tears, and the mantle of joyous praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. Because of this, they will be known as Mighty Oaks of Righteousness, planted by Yahweh as a living display of his glory.” (TPT)

I was feeling a little disheartened the other day. For absolutely no reason at all, I felt down in the dumps and ready to just give up. I knew I was not believing lies about myself or my situation (I had indeed spent about an hour taking every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:2-6), but my feelings of HEAVY were so intense I just wanted to crawl back into bed!  I could not understand for the life of me what the heck was going on.

I had worship music on and I prayed in tongues for what seemed like forever.  Of course these things lifted the heaviness a bit, but something still felt “off.”  I made declarations and thanked God for everything I could think of, and the heaviness dissipated for a moment, but seemed to return later with a vengeance. So I did what I tend to do whenever I can’t fight my way out – I asked my husband to pray for me.

While praying he began to speak Isaiah 61 over me, that God would give me a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. And that’s when it hit us: Sometimes, heaviness is a SPIRIT!!!!

All it took was rebuking that nasty spirit of heaviness off of me and within a moment I was my happy, joyful self again.  What a crazy revelation.

I love words and digging into THE Word, so I did a word study on the words “spirit” and “heaviness/faint” from Isaiah 61:3.  Ruwach is the Hebrew word for “spirit” in this verse.  And yes, it means exactly what I thought – it’s a SPIRIT.

 “Fainting” or “heaviness” is the word keheh, which means dim, dull, colourless, be dark, faint.  The Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says that it represents “a spirit that is broken down.”  A broken, dark spirit that brings heaviness and feelings of weakness.  Sounds like the devil’s minions to me!

The Bible says that the devil roams the Earth like a lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). I am convinced that he knows that he is defeated and thus he is bitter, twisted and angry. If he can do anything to distract a born-again Christian from everything they are called to, he will indeed do it – and that includes assigning spirits of heaviness.  

So what do you do with a spirit of heaviness?  I’m so glad you asked.

If you are feeling heavy today for no reason and you have done everything to stand (you have prayed, you have worshipped, you have declared life over yourself, you have taken every thought captive, etc), I encourage you to just tell that spirit of heaviness to leave in the name of Jesus!

Remember that you are seated with Christ in Heavenly places and have been given all authority (Ephesians 2).  That heaviness has no legal right to be on you or around you at all, and as an ambassador for Christ and a child of the King, you can tell it to get out of your domain.

The JOY of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and in His Presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) so do not allow a sinister spirit of heaviness keep you from the fullness of His Presence! Go deep with Him, and break off that heavy spirit.  God promises a garment of praise instead.  And nothing is powerful enough hold you back from all the promises of God over your life, should you choose to accept them!

Isaiah 54:17: No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Drop It All

Matthew 4:19-20:  “And He said to them, ‘follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”

Have you ever asked yourself what it was about Jesus that caused these fishermen to drop everything and follow Jesus?  At that point, no one knew Who Jesus was.  There were not yet any recorded miracles, signs or wonders.  No hashtags on social media to make Him famous, no news or media coverage and no hot gossip going around.  What was it about Jesus that made a bunch of ordinary men just drop everything to follow?

Let me ask you this as well – what made you drop everything to follow Jesus?  Do you even remember? This is such a challenging question for so many, including myself.  Was it a message that you heard in a Church or religious meeting?  Was it a man on a street corner?  Was it an overwhelming encounter with a loving God?  Was it a feeling that came over you that brought a deep conviction and a sudden understanding of scripture?  I love knowing how others came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

I recently participated in an evangelism training course that taught us skills and tools to share our faith without fear.  One of my favorite tools was something called the “15 Second Testimony.”  Basically, you share what Jesus did in a form something like this:  “I once was insecure and angry , battling depression and addiction…but then I repented of my sins, gave my heart to Jesus and now He has made me secure in Him, full of joy and peace and I am walking in freedom.”  What I love about this tool is that it makes you really remember what Jesus has done.  It was a challenge at first to recollect everything that I was before I met Him or even just before I had a revelation of just how free I am in Him as His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:17-21), but it made me have to engage with the transformation that actually has taken place in my life.  

I definitely walked away with not only a new tool for sharing my faith, but also a fresh perspective and appreciation for my beautiful Savior.  My times with Him have thus gone deeper, and my soul is more awake than ever to Who He is and what He has truly done in me!

I’d like to issue a challenge to you this week:  WHAT HAS JESUS DONE in YOU?  If you had to share your “15 Second Testimony” with a friend, what would you say?  What is it about Jesus that you can convey from your own life that would make another want to drop everything and follow Him?  Do you remember?  

I dare you to get alone with Him, grab your journal and really dig deep into everything that He has done.  Ask Holy Spirit to remind you of the amazing transformation that God has done in you, and then challenge yourself to share it with someone else.  

You are a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

 

“So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, ‘Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.’ He answered, ‘Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see’” (John 9:24-25).

~ Mandy Woodhouse

 

The King Is In The Field

HOLINESS

The Lord has been speaking to me, like many others, about holiness coming to the Church.  I have been sensing from Holy Spirit – and watching with my own eyes – that the Lord is moving on the hearts of His Bride to begin to let things just “drop off” in the current season.

 People are beginning to feel a nudge to separate themselves from anything that is not beneficial to their intimacy with Abba.  It has not been a legalistic or highly “religious” decision for those who have chosen this road; it has actually been a divine agreement with Heaven to walk in greater degrees of being fully alive and awake in the Spirit. This is a holiness that is not to appease an angry God or make Him approve of us, but a separation into hearing the Father’s voice at full volume.

HAPPY ELUL

I was in Melbourne the first weekend of September, and my bedroom had one whole wall of windows that overlooked a beautiful meadow with lush, green grass and mountains in the background.  It was such an incredibly breathtaking view, which of course I had to post on social media.  Someone replied to the photo with the phrase “Happy Elul,” which made my Spirit leap.  I took some time to dig into what this Elul actually means since I know so little about the Hebraic calendar, and what I found was remarkably prophetic.  

I am in no way claiming to be a scholar on these things and my heart is not to dishonor or disrespect the depths of what this means for the Jewish people, but the very little bits that I read up on sparked something in my Spirit for the Church during this time of Elul.

Elul runs from mid-August to mid-September, and is the last season before the Jewish New Year begins.  It is a time of great reflection and repentance, and letting go.  The word “Elul” is actually a Hebrew acronym for “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine,” and represents an intense love and intimacy that comes between God and His people during this time.

THE KING IS IN THE FIELD

Jewish culture also refers to the month of Elul as “the King is in the field.”  In ancient days, when Kings wanted to come into a city in their kingdom, they wouldn’t just invade the city with grandeur.  They would find a lovely field or meadow just outside the city, and they would grant permission for their people to approach them.  A grain field was usually the location of choice, since it represented growth.  It was man’s initiative to approach. The Kings would greet their people, “smile” on them, and give them the pleasure of actually receiving him into the city themselves.  Where the time of Yom Kippur represents a king in a palace in all of his majesty, Elul represents a king in a field with his people, fully accessible.

Looking at this from our New Covenant perspective, we know that we already have full access to our King and we can meet with Him in our own meadows and fields anytime we want (Hebrews 4:16; 10:22-23)!  He truly is our Beloved and we are His (Song 6:3).  Hosea 2:16 says that “In that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘Ishi’ (my Husband) and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal’ (my master).”  

THE TREASURE IN THE FIELD

The Lord led me to Matthew 13:44, which tells the parable of a man who found a treasure in a field.  “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

Many have sold everything for Jesus.  I saw a vision of the laid down lovers of Jesus across the globe, and things were dropping off of them as they remembered their first love.  Many are going back to a time where they remember when they found the treasure in the field, and they are compelled again to sell everything just to catch more of the Father’s heartbeat.  As if they are returning to their first love (Revelation 2:4), these sons and daughters are sacrificing to push in deeper to hear what their “King in the Field” wants to speak over them.

ENTERING 5780

Toward the end of September, we enter the year 5780, which is the year of “pey” or the year of “the mouth.”  I have been careful to not read much on what Prophetic voices are saying for the year 5780 so that I can hear for myself what Abba wants to say, and I have yet to hear clearly a word for the New Year 5780.  I have, however, heard His heartbeat during this time of Elul, and it is beautiful indeed!  I believe that Elul is setting us up for something powerful in the year 5780 – something unlike we have ever seen.

GOD’S HEARTBEAT DURING ELUL

While studying Elul, I heard the Spirit of God say that these last few weeks of September are a time of preparation for the New Year 5780.  I heard Him say that we – as sons and daughters, prophets and intercessors – must pursue this kind of holiness.  This is an invitation to meet with our King in the field!  This is an invitation into greater levels of intimacy with the Father in our own meadows (Secret Place).  He is fully accessible and just waiting to smile on us.  

I felt the Lord say that as the year 5780 is the year of the mouth, it is a time that His people will be called and commissioned to use their mouths wisely.  I believe that God wants to begin using His people like never before to be “clear-minded and self-controlled…[to] pray…” and “to speak the very oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:7, 11).  

He is inviting us to hear His heartbeat fully so as to use our words (HIS words) to pull down strongholds and carry breaker anointings.  He wants to destroy territorial spirits through our mouths, as well as spirits of addiction and injustice.  

He wants the Name of JESUS shouted from the mountaintops, as His heart is that none should perish but all would come to repentance and know Him (2 Peter 3:9).

Even as I type this, I tremble under the fear of God over these coming months.  There is such an enormous, weighty glory coming on the words spoken by God’s people.  As we lay aside all distractions and meet with our King in the field, we will hear what He hears, speak the language of Heaven and see what He sees.  I am reminded of Jeremiah 1:9-12: “ Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.  See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”  And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF MEETING THE KING IN THE FIELD

In order to speak and see the things of the Lord, we must be “clear-minded and self-controlled so that [we] can pray” (1 Peter 4:7).  We cannot afford to speak or hear anything that has influence which is not from the Father’s heart.  To use our mouths well in the year 5780, we MUST “sell everything” – add and subtract distractions and hinderances in our lives – and meet with the King in the field for longer periods, even if we have to fight for it. We need an aggressive resolve that will avoid anything that is not directly tuned-in to what the Father wants to speak!  

I heard Him say, let the Caleb’s arise!  The men and women who report the truth aligned with Heaven’s promises and not those who judge and speak by the giants that they see (Numbers 13).  

Prophets and those who teach and speak:  We must pursue holiness at all costs during this season.  During Elul, as we meet regularly and intentionally with the King in the field, let us stay deeply rooted in His Word.  Let us continue to reflect and repent where necessary.  Let us dig deep to be able to speak the very oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).  

May there not be one worldly distraction that keeps us from being able to fully engage with the Spirit of God and tune-into His heartbeat.  This is an invitation, not a religious act.  The pushback may appear great at first, but the reward and the victory is SO MUCH GREATER.  “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (Hebrews 10:39).

CLARITY FOR 2020

If you are one who has already had distraction, habits and things just fall off you, be encouraged!  Dig dip into His Presence.  This is an invitation to hear the voice of the Lord so much clearer.  I heard someone recently say that He is giving us 20/20 vision for 2020, and I believe that this season of Elul is a Holy God setup for the kind of clarity the Father is calling us to operate in.  Do not take it lightly!  There is so much He wants to share with His loved ones.  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).  Keep watch over what you put in your heart, and you will start to see Him in His transforming glory!

 

 

 ~ Mandy Woodhouse

The King Is In The Field

Image taken by Mandy in Trafalgar Victoria Australia