My husband and I have a dear friend who received a prophetic picture for us the other week of a ball of string that was being tugged on continuously. The string represented something personal for myself and my husband, but as I took this to the Lord throughout the week, the Father began to expound on this picture in new ways. I feel that it will be an encouragement to the Body of Christ as a whole.
While some say this feeling of being "unpicked" is a judgment from the Lord or a great exposure of weakness in the Church, or even some religious way of making us adequate ministers for the coming great awakening, I believe that it is foundationally the kindness of a good Father who just wants us to walk in freedom in all areas.
"Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4)
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)
Many of us are feeling unpicked, unraveled and a little bit messy emotionally. I am wanting to encourage you the way that the Lord encouraged me â€“ THIS IS NOT A BAD THING. I break off the lie that this is punishment or harsh discipline for anything that you have done! He is a GOOD Father, and even if it was your own doing, He promises beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3), and to work it out for YOUR good (Romans 8:28). More than anything, He wants us FREE. If He didn't, He wouldn't have ALL things work out for OUR good. His discipline is loving, not harsh.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11)
Let Him Unravel You
Although many will say that this "unraveling" is preparation for the glory that He wants us to carry (and I do not disagree with this), I think that we do a disservice to ourselves and the Lord if we stop at this one thought only. Of course, His desire is for us to carry EVERYTHING He has for us, and all for His glory. But as a GOOD FATHER who only gives good gifts to His children, I also see that He desires His Bride to walk in the freedom and wholeness that Jesus paid for us to have. It is all for His glory, but it is also for OUR freedom â€“ for our ability to run without hindrances, for us to continue having a wild love affair with our King, without anything holding us back.
"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in Heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11) (Photo via Pixahive)
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17)
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." (Hebrews 12:1)
Freedom in the Surrender
Last month, after leading an amazing week-long mission trip where I saw God move in ways I had never seen before, I was undone by His kindness and the things I saw. A few days later, I was in the car driving alone and processing with the Lord. I was meditating on the scripture in Revelation of the elders casting their crowns at the feet of Jesus (Revelation 4:10).
In all earnestness, my heart did not want to take credit for anything I had seen the previous week but wanted God to get every ounce of glory that He could! Suddenly, the Spirit of the Lord spoke loudly to me: "It's not for 'My glory' that I want you to cast your crowns at Me, Mandy. It's so that YOU can run free..."
At that moment, I understood something deeply that I had always missed in the past. YES, God deserves all glory and all honor and all praise! YES, He is to be exalted amongst all nations! YES, He is worthy of all glory. However, His desire as a GOOD FATHER is to see His children run without hindrances, without the burdens of the world, but also without the burden of accolades or "credit." It's not that He is jealous for accolades; it is that He is longing to see His kids running completely UNHINDERED â€“ unhindered by anything.
There is a surrender that must take place as the strings of our hearts and lives are pulled upon in this season. The unraveling of our hearts and old mindsets is not comfortable, but the Holy Spirit can give us courage and strength in the process as we surrender fully to it, knowing that He has our BEST in mind, and He has our FREEDOM at heart. We MUST surrender to our good Father, to allow Him to do what He wants in the process, so that we are free to RUN. We can trust Him, and He is with us.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
Running Into the Promise
Our promises ARE COMING. I believe that in order to enjoy our promised lands to the fullness of what is in the Father's heart for us, we cannot leave anything inside of us in a huge, tangled ball. He wants us to run into our lands and to jump heartily into everything He has for us, without anything keeping us from moving at full speed. I see pictures of children running and diving into their Father's arms, or jumping into swimming pools of refreshing water. The faith of a child holds a sense of undignified trust and surrender.
"He called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And He said: 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.'" (Matthew 18:2-4)
To run hard with faith like a child, there must not be any pebbles in our shoes. There can be no old backpacks full of junk from the last season â€“ no little foxes that we are feeding (Song of Songs 2:15). There can only be the freedom and wide-eyed wonder of someone who fully trusts their Father. (Photo via Pexels)
We cannot allow the one little pebble in our shoe to trip us up from jumping into our promises fully.
Connecting with His Wrap-around Presence Is the Answer
For those reading this who may be in agreement with what the Lord is saying but have no idea HOW to allow the unpicking, or how to empty their shoes of pebbles, I want to encourage you that the Father is near. Because of what Jesus has done, you can come boldly to Him to ask for help in times of need.
The invitation is here to go deeper into the Father's heart than ever before. Chase after Him with all your heart and ask for His Holy Spirit to help you experience His love. Ask for His joy. Ask for Him to show you how to draw near. Ask for His help in removing the pebbles, trashing the backpack and running freely into His arms again. You don't have to do it in your own strength; ask for HIS and He will give it to you. As you trust Him as your Lord, you will see that even the pressure you feel will not crush you, but only serve to set you free to love Him like never before.
"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
"Because I set You, Yahweh, always close to me, my confidence will never be weakened, for I experience Your wraparound presence every moment. My heart and soul explode with joy â€“ full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure. For You will not abandon me to the realm of death, nor will You allow Your Faithful One to experience corruption. Because of You, I know the path of life, as I taste the fullness of joy in Your presence. At Your right side I experience divine pleasures forevermore!" (Psalm 16:8-11)
Final Encouragement â€“ The New Flame
Prophetically, I saw a new flame being set in the hearts of those who will allow the unraveling â€“ the unpicking â€“ to take place. Where you thought you were "on fire" for the Lord in the past, I hear Him say, "You haven't seen ANYTHING yet!" Let Him do what needs to be done, because you can trust that He is FOR YOU and that nothing will separate you from His great love.
Let the fire rage...
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, 'For Your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39)
"Rivers of pain and persecution will never extinguish this flame. Endless floods will be unable to quench this raging fire that burns within you. Everything will be consumed. It will stop at nothing as you yield everything to this furious fire until it won't even seem to you like a sacrifice anymore." (Song of Songs 8:7)
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Mandy Woodhouse is a wife, a published author, a speaker, an evangelist and a teacher. Originally from Louisiana, she is now located in Brisbane, Australia. She and her husband both teach and disciple new Believers at their Church, and sit on the Queensland Prophetic Council. Mandy has a strong gift of exhortation and a love for the Word of God. She lives to use her prophetic voice, creative teaching style and her writing skills to impart HOPE and to awaken true, righteous IDENTITY in the Body of Christ across the globe, while always pointing to JESUS.
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