When God Shifted ME Instead of the Mountain…
My husband and I recently transitioned our lives from a little town in South Carolina all the way to Brisbane, Australia. We sold our house and all of our belongings, sold off our vehicles and flew across the world with six suitcases and two little dogs.
God spoke, we heard Him clearly, and with wise counsel and radical abandonment we counted the cost and took off on perhaps the greatest faith adventure of our lives.
The transition has been one of the smoothest, most amazing God-stories that we have ever known. The Lord ordered each and every single step and surrounded us with great favor. We got to Australia a few weeks ago and it felt like an Ephesians 3:20 dream (better than we could have asked for or imagined). Unlike many other times that I have traveled, there was not one single glitch – until, that is, we had to get the dogs from quarantine.
To be fair, the mix-up in dates was entirely our fault. We got excited and neglected to read the email correctly, so we drove nearly nine hours to collect our precious fur babies an entire 24 hours early. Thankfully we had accommodation and the rental car sorted, so our mistake did not cost us what it could have. But not having seen our puppies for 14 days was wearing on our hearts, and the idea of not collecting them on the day that we planned was gut wrenching.
And just like God…this turned out to be a significant lesson for me on so many levels.
When the government officer from the post-entry quarantine department gently explained that we could not see our dogs on that day, I went to war in my Spirit and with my words. I know that I have the power of life or death in my tongue (Proverbs 18:21), and I know that I can speak to mountains and see them move in the Name of Jesus (Mark 11:23), so I began to declare, decree, and believe that I would see this mountain move and hold my puppies that very day. I know that I am seated with Christ in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and can therefore push Heaven down to earth over my circumstances (which I boldly did, and with great authority).
As I sat in the car while my husband was out trying to make sense of it all, I remained calm and confident that I would see my dogs and be driving off with them within moments.
Now allow me to be honest… in the past, I would have been riddled with anxiety. I would have worried about their little hearts, and would have driven my husband crazy with my fancy ideas and suggestions on how to solve the situation (*cough cough* control is actually a better word). I would have allowed fear to come and make me act irrationally, and I would have most likely cried my eyes out with anger and worry. But this time was different.
As I continued to declare and decree the promises of God over our lives, our situation and our dogs, something shifted for me. I seemed to press into the whole situation with a new confidence in God, and I gracefully kept my calm in every way. I was convinced that as the officer walked off to triple check our details that he would return and open those giant, official gates and let us drive in to collect our babies. After all, “Surely GOODNESS and MERCY follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6, ESV).
Yet the official man very kindly and humbly denied our request. We had mistakenly come several hours before the quarantine period was to end, so we had to return tomorrow as per government rules. I had decreed, declared and believed with great faith, yet the mountain did not move.
But you know what? It was actually ME that shifted. Something in me changed, and instead of feeling anger, frustration, anxiety or worse – I actually felt a sense of expectation.
Here’s what happened the more I verbally declared aloud God’s written word over my circumstances: Peace began to flood my heart, and the nervous heat in my chest disappeared. My brain got quiet...super quiet! I began to feel fully awake, as if I was more aware than before of the atmosphere around me. I could even sense angelic activity! I began to feel super bold and confident as I prayed with authority, and what would have been a once all-consuming fear actually did not exist at all in my mind or body.
I shifted gears into complete and utter trust in God and His perfect plan for this situation. Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 became alive to me (the living word!). And this all caused me to be more excited and expectant than ever!
“If the mountain didn’t move, then God must be up to something better than I could have imagined for myself” is what loudly rang in my Spirit. You see it’s up to me to keep trusting my Father and to keep hold of my own spirit in the waiting. He who rules his spirit is better than one who conquers a city (Proverbs 16:32).
And you know what?! We got to spend time with friends that night that we would not have been able to see if we had the dogs with us. God used us to bless others and minister deeply to a friend, which we would not have done had we been doting on our sweet furry friends. There were so many other little factors that played out which made us see that God saw what was best all along. And when we finally got to see our puppies the next day it was a most wonderful experience with full attention all on them.
Sometimes it may not make sense to our natural minds WHY things don’t work out the way that we expected or declared, especially when we feel that we have done “everything right.” But that does not mean that we are to stop declaring! Daniel 10 records the account of Daniel praying, and the angelic help being held up for 21 days by things going on in the unseen spiritual realms.
Sometimes things are held up because of the enemy, sometimes things are just meant for an appointed time…but God is never late. And we are not to ever stop telling the mountains to move!
My advice? Don’t give up. But likewise, don’t despise the shift that could actually take place in YOU instead.
~ Mandy Woodhouse