Hope For The Watchman

Amidst all the chaos in the world today, I just wanted to ask and get you thinking for yourself – how’s your hope? What perspective are you viewing from? Are you seeing things from the Ephesians 2:6, seated with Christ in Heavenly places mindset…or are you viewing life with an overwhelmed heart?

Can you see the angel armies camped around you during this time?

I’m an intercessor, and I’ll be honest with you – at times I have been quite overwhelmed with what I am seeing. Sometimes I forget that I’m praying from Heavenly realms with Heavenly armies on my side, and I get so tired that I see the bad as being bigger than the good.  But today, the Lord called me higher again, and I feel that I want to do the same for you especially if you are a watchmen intercessor who has been in war over this virus chaos.

I was reading in 1 Samuel 14 about Jonathan and his armor-bearer sneaking into the Philistines’ camp and causing their own chaos.  The Philistines were getting ready to attack Israel, so Jonathon and his friend snuck in, killed a few important men, then snuck out again, causing the Philistines to be in confusion and start to kill one another.  Verse 15 says, “And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.”  The Hebrew actually states that there was a great panic from God.  Verse 16 says that the WATCHMEN saw the chaos in the enemy’s camp…and within few more verses, we see Saul’s army getting to go in and defeat the Philistines as they fled.

Here’s where the Lord stopped me: The watchmen SAW the panic in the enemy’s camp.  It must have been a sight – warriors running to and fro, swords swinging and the earth quaking.  It could have appeared to be something quite frightening to those watching out!  But the watchmen chose to see the HOPE and VICTORY in the chaos, and by verse 23 we see that “So the Lord saved Israel that day.”  Praise God!

The encouragement is this:  As watchmen, especially prophetic intercessors, we can often see the potential battles before anyone else.

The potential is there for us to grow fearful, nervous, even feel a sense of dread or being overwhelmed by what we see with our natural sight.  But if we look a little harder – knowing that we live under the BLOOD of Jesus – we will see that God is for us and not against us.

We will see that there is indeed VICTORY as our brothers go into the enemy’s camp and cause chaos. As watchmen, we get to see the HOPE and the VICTORIES and not just the chaos.  We can rest assured that more are there FOR US than against us.

If you feel weary and overwhelmed as I did this morning, ask the Lord to begin to show you the victory.  Ask Him for His heartbeat in each situation you are praying for, and ask Him for strategy to bring Holy Spirit into everything you are standing in the gap for.  

Continue to go up higher, and you will see a whole new scope of the horizon like never before!  Ask Him so show you the “more” that is for you, then watch and be amazed at the victory of the Lord!

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:15-17)

 ~ Mandy Woodhouse

Hope For The Watchman

Pick Your Eyes Up

I’ve been having issues at home lately with my wi-fi.  Now with so many people working from home during this virus, my internet speed seems much slower than usual!  I run an online ministry, so needless to say I cannot afford to have dodgy internet speeds.

This morning I was meant to do an online teaching over Facebook live, and since I was already out-and-about I figured I’d record the live video from the top of a parking tower at a local shopping center. Not only is the wi-fi strong at this center, but I knew that if I were to record from the top of the tower, I’d also probably have less live interruptions from people and dogs barking (which is a normal thing at my house).

After 45 minutes on top of this tower, I felt like I had downloads from Heaven!  The downloads didn’t come because I was physically higher up, but because God literally changed my perspective while I was there.  I was positioned at a parking spot that overlooked the Brisbane CBD area, as well as the river, as well as some local apartment complexes and parks.  It was a stunning view, and the Lord spoke to me clearly about what I was looking at while up on that high place.

First of all, I could see farther and more clearly than if I had been a few levels down.  Even one more level down and I could not have seen the lovely ferries going back and forth across the Brisbane River.  I could have seen the tall, looming skyscrapers and probably even some of the heavy traffic on the main drive, but I would not have seen the river.

He then showed me a small group of people standing around at the bus stop near the bottom of the parking tower.  They were waiting on a bus, and many of them were anxiously looking at watches and phones every few moments.  If I was down below, even just two levels down, I would have been able to see these anxious people, but I wouldn’t have been able to see that their bus was actually stuck in traffic.  

On the top of the tower I was positioned to see the situation “on the ground,” so to speak, but I could also see the cause and effect of the situations as well as the solution.  In this case, the solution was a broken-down car that needed to be pushed out of the road so that the traffic could flow freely and the bus would be on time – yet the people at the bus stop could only see that their bus was running behind.  I could see everything happening because where I stood on the tall tower.

You can easily pull the analogies and prophetic metaphors out so I won’t explain it further.  However, I wanted to share one part of this experience “up high” that really stuck with me.  I believe it will also stick with you, especially in this particular time of history.

God drew my attention to the fact that I was up high and could see so much.  He then reminded me of the watchmen on the walls, which are found all throughout scripture (see Isaiah 62:6; Ezekiel 3:17; Psalm 130; Habakkuk 2:1, just to name a few).  The watchmen are up high and can see the full landscape. 

They, just like me in that moment, could see the situation on the ground as well as the reasons for hold-ups, for the “traffic” and for all the noise.  They could also see the enemy’s camp and what he was up to.  

When we are up high and can see the landscape before us, the temptation is always to keep our focus on the enemy’s camp.  Yet the Lord has actually called us high for a reason, and our assignment goes beyond just eye-balling what the enemy is doing.  He also calls us to look to the horizon, to see the sun rising upon the earth.  

We get the honor of being up high and seeing not only what the enemy is doing, but especially what GOD is doing!  We don’t focus on the broken-down car or the traffic it causes – we focus on JESUS, who we are already seated with in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).

We get to call forth the Light to drive away the darkness, and we get to remain high above the chaos below.

There will always be an invitation to go up higher.  This time period in history, however, needs us to actually accept that invitation.  The Lord has been reminding me to not be distracted by the darkness, but to keep my eyes on the horizon.

May we continue to keep our eyes up HIGH and on what God is doing, and not focused on the darkness.

May Jesus SHINE brighter than ever!

And if you’re having wi-fi issues, I suggest you find a tall parking tower.  I promise, God will meet you there (smile)!

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Hope Roars

How does the world define HOPE?

Hope –  to cherish a desire with anticipation : to want something to happen or be true; to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment; archaic : trust, reliance (Merriam-Webster online).

The Bible is the REALITY of every born-again child of God, and it defines and refers to HOPE as SO MUCH MORE than what the world suggests.  Any roaring voice who truly speaks the heart of the Father and lives under the New Covenant of Jesus will understand that we are carriers of HOPE because we are carriers of Jesus Himself.  As citizens of Heaven (Philippians 3:20) and as those who are seated with Christ Himself (Ephesians 2:6), we actually carry the authority and the ability to remain far ABOVE fear and hopelessness.  Our reality is a greater one because of who we are in Christ.  We must not completely hide ourselves away from what is happening in this Earthly reality, but we have the absolute privilege of ROARING HOPE over Earth, even if it means standing in the face of a spirit of fear.

I heard the Lord say recently that it’s time for us to ROAR with HOPE again.  Especially during this hour where so many are afraid.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind”

– 2 Timothy 1:7

“…for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” – 1 John 4:4

I love that truth, that you and I get the absolute honor of getting to ROAR HOPE over the Earth.

WHY HOPE

In prayer, the Lord gave me the following points and scriptures to build a case for HOPE to stir up the ROAR within each voice of HOPE that reads this.

1. There is a great AWAKENING happening across the globe at the moment.  The Bride is getting into position for the greatest harvest of souls and the most Heavenly outpouring of the Holy Ghost that we have ever known! True to his usual character, the backlash of the enemy is fear and intimidation.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” (Proverbs 13:12).  The Lord showed me that His will for the Bride involved hearts that are FULLY ALIVE, FULLY AWAKE, and FULL OF RESURRECTION LIFE!  

The enemy will always twist and try to do the opposite of God’s will, which in this case means causing hearts to grow “sick” rather than fully awake and alive with promise.

The voices of HOPE must arise in this hour to ROAR HOPE and LIFE over the fearful, sick hearts.  We ROAR “no more delay,” and we say NO to the spirit of fear!

2. HOPE does not disappoint. We can hold onto it with all our strength because of the love of God poured out into our hearts.  HOPE BRINGS LIFE, and we can rejoice in hard times because the HOPE of the Holy Spirit that was given to us.

Romans 5:3-5: “And not only this, but]we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

3. HOPE anchors the soul to God’s Word!  Anchor – a reliable or principal support; something that serves to hold an object firmly (Merriam-Webster online).  It keeps our emotions and thoughts firmly supported and held in TRUTH.  Hebrews 6:19: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil…”

4. HOPE keeps us safely tethered to God, our stronghold. Zechariah 9:12: “Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope;This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.”  The word HOPE here in the Hebrew is the word tiqvah (S8615), which literally means a cord that tethers you to something (also refers to an expectation).  The word stronghold is bitstsarown (S1225), which means a fortress or a fortified place.  Psalm 18:2 calls GOD our fortress and deliverer, and Psalm 46:1-3 also calls God our stronghold.  

5. We have HOPE because our lives are now HIDDEN with Christ.  We can fix our thoughts on higher realities of VICTORY and RESURRECTION because we are hidden.  

Colossians 3:1-4: “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

NO MORE FEAR

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

You are made perfect in love because of Love Himself.  May you begin to press deeper and deeper into His perfect Love, so that all fear is cast out.  May you see His face in new ways, and be delivered from all fears and shame as you begin to shine with His radiance (Psalm 34:4-5).

I pray that the living and active Word of God begins to take deeper root within you (Hebrews 4:12), and that you join me in ROARING HOPE over the nations.  This is the hour for the HOPE VOICES to arise and ROAR! Greater is He who lives in us than he that is in the world, and we know that the Spirit of God has empowered us and given us love and a sound mind.  

Regardless of the darkness we may see in the world, “a Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” – John 1:5

AND DON’T FORGET TO ROAR!

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Hope Roars

What If ?

Do you ever have “what if’s” pop into your mind?

Recently the devil tried his hardest to keep me from the Father’s loving embrace by causing feelings of insecurity and inferiority to come at me. “What if I don’t fit in when we get to Australia? What if I’m left out? What if…what if…what if….

UUUUUGH. What a punk.

I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me that these thoughts were indeed incorrect, but the devil took it one step further by trying to convince me that something was indeed wrong with me for feeling anxious, insecure and nervous about the future.

Read more Here

Intimacy, Hunger And Fire

What if I told you that Holy Spirit is stirring up hunger in His Body, even as I type this?  

Would you believe it if I told you that there is a great fire in the Spirit that is spreading across nations and generations, causing people to be set aflame again for His Name?!  

My insides quiver at this thought.  I hope I can articulate well the weight of what the Lord is saying to me through this.  

Let me share a vision I had to help:

A few weekends ago I was running late to a worship service at my Church.  Worship had already started, and I saw with my waking eyes a cloud of thick smoke in the back of the room, pouring out from the sanctuary where people were deep in worship.  It was so thick and heavy I could barely see.  I looked around frantically to see if anyone else was seeing this or responding, and I realized that the cloud was not something to be concerned with, but a manifestation of God’s Presence that was descending upon the service.

Once I found my seat and began to worship, I kept seeing a picture of a building that had burnt down – only the solid foundation and some structural pillars remained. It wasn’t sad or traumatizing though. There was a PURITY and a PEACE and even EXPECTATION attached to it.

When I opened my eyes, I saw with my eyes FIRE across the entire room.  Fire was either inside hearts or over heads; even the walls of the Church were aflame! I then saw a giant angel standing on stage right, with a pitcher of oil and fuel. He was waiting for his invitation to pour more fuel into hungry, passionate hearts. He was at the ready, and I had a feeling he was going to burst with excitement at getting to pour more “fuel to the fire” of what was happening in that room.  

I found out later that week that I was not the only one who saw fire and passion in that service.

Now I realize that this is an encouraging vision for my specific Church family.  However, when praying into this vision, I also felt the Lord say that it is a word of encouragement for the Body of Christ at large, as well.  

The hunger and passion that we all felt in that room was the catalyst for the manifestations and visions of fire – and this is a hunger and passion that belongs to the ENTIRE body of Christ, not just a few hundred people in a Church in Australia.

Hunger has been a hot topic amidst many of my Christian friends lately, both at my own Church and across the globe. My good friend, Ps. Mark Greenwood, says that “intimacy is the anchor” for hunger. We need this anchor to keep us hungry so that we are not hungry just for hunger’s sake, or just to experience manifestations of fire in worship services. We are hungry because we know the Lord intimately – which means we not only know HIS heart for hunger, but we also know that He is SO worthy of our hunger. And we burn for Him like never before when we see His face.

As a prophet, I feel that there is such a call to a readiness for a move of His Spirit. A readiness that adds, subtracts and realigns us to anything that anchors us deeper to intimacy and at the same time grows our hunger. This readiness moves beyond the point of convenience. It sees everything else as a distraction to ushering in revival in our communities. Staying hungry is imperative to staying undistracted.

In my vision, I had seen a building who had been burnt up and had only a strong foundation and some structural pillars remaining.  I believe that this is what’s currently happening to many in the Body of Christ.

 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.  If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

Jesus is obviously the firm foundation, and for many in the Body He truly is their firm foundation.  However, for those who have started to build on top of this foundation things that do not last, these things are being burned up for the purpose of rebuilding something that will hold and steward the measures of revival that God has promised in the last days.  Even things as beautiful as good works will not stand if the Lord did not lead the builder to it.

 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the workers build in vain” (Psalm 127:1).  

Sometimes people build in vain because they are not driven by hunger or passion, but by religion or obligation.  And sometimes people build too quickly, forgetting that they must wait for God’s GO and for His leading into the perfect timing.

To use my friend Helen’s phrase, we must learn to “hold for maximum impact,” and the best way to do that is that anchor of intimacy.

I believe that there are indeed Heavenly host who wait with eager expectation to pour out fuel over those who burn for Him.  We know that those who hunger SHALL be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).  

I also see that there is a great fire that is sweeping across the Body at the moment, that is burning up anything that has been built either in vain or that will not be conducive to ushering in and stewarding the glorious, weighty Presence of God that is coming to the Bride. There is also a fire that is beginning to burn deeply in those who have continued to pursue intimacy at all costs. More than anything, I pray that we all burn and hunger for INTIMACY above anything else.

All of these things are signs of the times – the God of revival is on the move!  

—Mandy Woodhouse

Intimacy, Hunger And Fire

Tormenting Thoughts

I feel the Father’s heart today for those who are experiencing TORMENT IN THE MIND.

There are two types of torment that I speak of.  For some, there are indeed strongholds that have built up over years of agreeing with the devil’s lies.  Sometimes just partnering with Holy Spirit to speak truth and tear down these strongholds is enough since the weapons of our warfare are divinely powerful for pulling down the fortresses in our minds (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).  Sometimes, we need someone we trust, who also partners with Holy Spirit, to help point out lies we are believing and “blind spots” that we cannot see.  If you are speaking to a counselor, pastor, therapist or trusted friend, WAY TO GO!  We all need people to help us realign to God’s truths.  But there are also those who are struggling with a specific spirit of torment who has been attacking thoughts, dreams, even emotions in this last few months.

I am one of the latter.

While praying in the Spirit recently, I was going back and forth between tongues and making declarations of LIFE and TRUTH over myself and the circumstances that had caused a bit of torment for me. I had a waking vision…while praying and then declaring identity truths over myself…of a beat-up looking scarecrow on a post. The scarecrow had a handful of crows sitting on it, pecking at the stuffing in its head. As soon as I would pray in tongues, the birds became greatly agitated and started to peck harder. But then as I continued to push through the torment of lies that were coming at my mind, I spoke LIFE and God’s Biblical truths over myself, and I saw the scarecrow come to life and hop off the pole! He looked like a real person. I then saw the dirty birds scatter and never return to that scarecrow.

As I came out of the vision, still praying in tongues and declaring truth, I felt that my mind was FREE from the chatter and noise. I knew the Lord had shown me something of great encouragement and importance – a new weapon to pray the tormenting lies away!

John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

TRUTH is what sets you free. I heard Holy Spirit say to not allow the enemy to distract you with the “what did I do wrong” thoughts, but to partner with Him to stand in victory. Keep your eyes and heart turned toward Jesus, and stay surrendered to Holy Spirit’s leading. Begin to declare LIFE and TRUTH and allow Holy Spirit to work you will soon find yourself waking up to Heaven’s truth and the tormentors will have no choice but to fly away. You are NOT an old scarecrow stuck to a pole, you are a new creation that is coming ALIVE to everything that God has for you!

Isaiah 26:3 (AMP), “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].”

Peace is a promise.  It is a gift to those who are born-again and who keep their minds fixed upon Him. The tactic of the enemy is to get your mind EVERYWHERE ELSE BUT ON JESUS.  Psalm 84:11 says “No good thing does He withhold from those who love Him.”  God does not withhold peace from a born-again Christian.  It’s the enemy of your soul who tries to steal it.  Jesus has promised abundant life (John 10:10).

I’ve felt for some time now that God is issuing an invitation to give more attention to the “helmet of salvation” mentioned in Ephesians 6.  A helmet protects your head, and many scholars say that the helmet mentioned in this chapter of Ephesians helps to keep your thoughts protected.  I believe that the helmet is also a WEAPON that has gone overlooked.  It protects your mind, yes, but it’s not just any old helmet – it’s the HELMET OF SALVATION.  

As the Church grows in her understanding of the true substance of her salvation, I see that this helmet will be used more often and seen to be as powerful a tool as the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith. In conjunction with the rest of the armor of God, the Helmet of Salvation will be one of the greatest weapons we have against the tormentors of our minds because we truly are awakened to WHAT JESUS DID, in full, on the cross and beyond. The fact that we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and that we actually partake in the same divine nature that Jesus has (2 Peter 1:4), and even that we are actually dead to sin (Romans 6).

I am convinced that if we let it, the Helmet of Salvation will protect our minds from the outside, and keep our thoughts turned toward TRUTH from the inside.  And as we know, TRUTH is what sets us free.

I have continued interceding for those who have battled with tormenting thoughts.  

If that’s you, I rebuke shame and isolation off you! I call out TRUTH over you, in the Name of Jesus! John 8:36 says, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” I declare FREEDOM OVER YOU, in the Mighty Name of Jesus! YOU ARE FREE INDEED. I speak over you the supernatural ability to RISE UP, CHILD OF GOD, and pray in tongues and DELARE TRUTH over yourself!!!

Hear me when I say, if you are born-again, you are a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST (2 Corinthians 5:17) and these tormenting thoughts are NOT WHO YOU ARE.  I encourage you to partner with Holy Spirit and prophesy over yourself today.  

I see those tormentors who peck at your brain FLEEING NOW.  As a body, we stand together.  We speak the blood of Jesus over ourselves today, Lord.  We take a stand, place the Helmet of Salvation over our heads, grab a hold of the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God), putting on the whole armor – every important piece – and we say NO MORE to torment!  We reject you torment, rebuke you torment, and bind you up in the Name of Jesus!  We release the peace of God and the LOVE OF THE FATHER over ourselves.  We receive, by faith, YOUR TRUTH about who we are in Christ.  We choose to AGREE WITH WHAT YOU SAY about us.  And we remind those tormenting spirits that “The God of peace will soon crush satan under OUR feet” (Romans 16:20), in Jesus Name!

I believe that the vision that God gave me was a tool that will help others through mental torment.  Pray in the Spirit, speak truth over yourself and the circumstances (even if you struggle to believe it right away), and watch how the tormentors leave as you come alive again!  Prophesy over yourself!  Partner with Holy Spirit to find the Biblical truths that pertain to your situation and slay those giants of torment with your sword while remembering who you are as the Helmet of Salvation protects you.    

“Speak tenderly to ‘Jerusalem’ [instead of Jerusalem, insert your name here], and tell her that her season of warfare [on the mind] has ENDED….and that she has received DOUBLE from the Lord…” (taken from Isaiah 40:2).

~ Mandy Woodhouse

There’s Power in the Name of Jesus

I’ve been thinking so much lately about the Name of Jesus.  The very Name above all names (Philippians 2:9).  The very Name that causes everything and everyone to one day bow to Him and confess Him as Lord (Romans 14:12).  The Name that causes demons to come out (Mark 16:7).  The beautiful Name – the ONLY Name – that brings salvation (Acts 4:12).

We had a worship service at my Church this past Friday night, and every song we sang was explicitly about Jesus.  The Spirit fell so heavy for a few moments, I could barely sit up.  People were physically healed instantly, saved, and even emotionally healed.  It was GLORIOUS.  I love lifting up Jesus in that way because He always meets us there.

I felt a challenge from the Lord early 2018 to always bring it back to Jesus.  And that challenge still stands.  Regardless of whether I am writing, preaching, teaching or even just chatting with a friend, I felt the weightiness of keeping Jesus FIRST in everything I do or say.  And not in the cliché, “Sunday School,” trying-not-to-sin kind of keeping Jesus first.  I am talking about a sincere AWAKENING to the POWER and PURPOSE in the Name of Jesus, and all that He is in this world.

Jesus – above hype, above inspiration, about self-help philosophies.  My Jesus.

Anyone who has read my writings or heard me teach knows that my heart is strongly to equip the saints for the work of the ministry by teaching them about their IDENTITY in Christ.  But He has been speaking me lately about the fact that it’s identity in CHRIST – we’d be nothing without Him.  

Knowing our identity is not just about us walking in freedom and shining a bolder light in this world (though that is indeed part of it); knowing our identity glorifies JESUS because our identity is actually JESUS living resurrected INSIDE OF US (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).  

How often I have forgotten that I carry my Jesus within.  As He is, so am I in this world (1 John 4:17), and how can I walk in my identity as Jesus when I am distracted by everything but Jesus?

I’m definitely not taking a jab at the Church or ministry or even the world, but I am finding that a tactic of the enemy in these days is to get us to focus on everything else, taking our eyes off of Jesus.  

Many times, we forget to USE His POWERFUL NAME!  Personally, I have found myself many times chasing after breakthrough instead of  chasing after Jesus (Who IS breakthrough).  I have caught myself praying for wisdom while I try to find a way quickly through sickness instead of declaring the healing truth of JESUS over my body, when it was by the stripes of Jesus that I was actually already healed (Isaiah 53:5).  

At times I see how easy it is to turn to worldly philosophies and ways of doing things when we have the most POWERFUL NAME EVER CREATED living inside of us, just waiting for us to step out in faith and do even greater things than even He did (John 14:12-14).

In a world that is so full of little gods and big problems, let us not forget the POWER in the Name of JESUS.  

Let us remember that only Jesus is the WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE (John 14:6). Let’s stand against the spirit of the age who works overtime trying to get lovers of Jesus to become so busy and overwhelmed by the world that they forget that they are now living ABOVE the world, thanks to JESUS (Ephesians 2:6).  Put that glorious Name on your lips, and DON’T STOP SPEAKING IT!  

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His word; Just to rest upon His promise; Just to know, Thus saith the Lord.

Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him, How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er, Jesus, Jesus,

Precious Jesus!  O for grace to trust Him more.

– Louisa M.R. Stead 1882

 

 

Pressing Produces Oil

For many including myself, this is a season of pressing.  A season of crushing and rebuilding, rebranding and realigning to the heart of God and His plans and purposes.  It’s a beautiful season, but boy does it hurt.

I don’t know about you, but I have at times felt like a wildflower being pressed.  The Lord gave me a picture of myself recently as a flower that was being pressed and crushed to make essential oil.  From the little I know about essential oils, they have healing properties.  They tend to be highly concentrated and therefore more potent.  These types of oils are so strong that, with one small drop, they can fragrance an entire home.

Holy Spirit showed me that though it hurts, I MUST stay with Him to see the oil produced.  He said it would be more glorious than anything I could have imagined for myself.

I was reading in John 15 today, about abiding in Jesus.  He states in John 15:14 that we are His friends if we obey Him.  He no longer calls us SLAVES, but FRIENDS.  Reading this, I was convicted of the fact that we cannot obey fully if we still believe lies.  

Some lies cause us to make wrong choices that lead to sin, and this is why we actually NEED the pruning and pressing.  Not because we are terrible sinners but because as new creations in Christ, we need those lies to be exposed and crushed to bits in order to release a beautiful aroma of Christ.  We need the pruning in order to be fruitful to the extent that God has called us to.

His version of fruitful is so much greater than our own!  And He is so very near to us when the pruning happens.  In fact, I believe that John 15 is actually an invitation into intimacy, not a burdensome passage to MAKE us obey.

If you’re being pressed, pruned or crushed – don’t pull away from Him or abort the process.  From the crushing and pressing comes the finest of oils.  And when we begin to have the lies crushed away, we begin to walk in obedience that causes Him to reveal His secrets to us (John 15:15).  Verse 16 says that we have been CHOSEN to bear fruit, so we must allow Him to complete the process of realignment, rebranding and rebuilding what He needs to in our lives.  

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” – Romans 8:18

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Pressing Produces Oil

Grieving Unmet Expectations

Entering into new seasons of life, you will always have expectations.  No matter how hard you try in the natural, it’s just in you to expect certain things to take place or be a certain way.  As a faith-filled believer, it is actually truly in our new nature in Christ to be expectant.  Expectation for a believer can be a most beautiful, glorious thing!

But what do you do when you have unmet expectations?  As a faith-filled believer, how do you navigate when someone’s free-will choices affect your faith and what you thought you’d see?  How, as a person of faith, are you allowed to grieve the disappointment of what you had hoped things might look like?

Welcome to a small piece of my life in the past few months.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 says that we are not to grieve like others who have no hope.  So please do not mishear me or hear what I am not saying:  It is important to grieve the old season, if necessary.  It’s ok to grieve the disappointment of unmet expectations in the new.  It is not ok to stay in that grief, without hope and with an orphan mentality, because that is not who you are.  It is now Christ living in you, and He is our very own Hope of glory.

Here are some steps the Lord has given me to push through this strange season.  If you have had to face the pain of disappointment through expectations not quite turning out the way you had wished for, these steps are definitely for you.

1. Take this as an opportunity to learn more about God’s character.  During times like these, false beliefs about God may be exposed, which is a great thing!  Work through the process with Him, and replace lies with truth.  It’s also a great time to find out more beautiful aspects of His character that you never knew existed or that you’ve never before experienced.
2. Learn to fight with your sword.  Learn to declare truth in the process.  Dive into the Bible like never before!  “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  The Bible says that our weapons are not like the world’s weapons.  Learn to use your weapons and pray the promises of God aloud, attaching your faith to the truth in His word.
3. Don’t compare.  Don’t compare your life to someone else’s.  Don’t compare your pain to another’s.  Don’t compare your grief to your friend’s.  Don’t compare your current situation to your old one.  “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
4. Invite others into your process.  Galatians 6:2 says that we should bear one another’s burdens.  Don’t let the enemy isolate you!  Isolation is the petri dish of lies.  “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against All sound judgment” (Proverbs 18:1).
5. Keep a right perspective.  Romans says that hope does not disappoint.  God promises to work out ALL THINGS for the GOOD of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).  “…But take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
6. Remind yourself of God’s kindness.  Surely out of everything you’ve experienced, you could write a list of all the ways that God has shown kindness to you in the midst of disappointment.  Anything from seeing a rainbow or a stunning sunset, to that friend who took you for coffee, to the guy that held the door opened for you that day you were about to burst into tears.  If we look carefully, there are MANY kisses from the Father along the way.
7. Surrender the unmet expectations.  Surrender them.  Let them go.  Don’t allow yourself to never expect anything every again – you are NOT a victim – just surrender it.  Sow it back to Jesus in your tears, and reap a harvest of joy and peace in return.  And then get up and start hoping again.

The scripture that has helped me most is from Psalm 23:6 – Surely goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever.  

May goodness and mercy chase you down in this season.  Our Father is so KIND…ask Him to remind you of His kindness toward you and don’t give up hope.  If you must grieve, then grieve.  And then pick yourself up and jump back into a place of expectation of good.  He will not fail you.

~ Mandy Woodhouse