From the Desks of Steve Shultz and Julie A. Smith:
There is much to CELEBRATE in the first few months of this year... Revival is sparking across our nation, and more and more truth is being revealed, as everything that can be shaken is being shaken.
And, through all of the shakings, we'll continue to see that there is a mighty weapon God wants to remind us of and wants us to use.
Mandy Woodhouse of Australia reminds us of this mighty weapon available to us as she says:
When we celebrate Him, we enthrone Him again as King over EVERY circumstance...I believe that this is another weapon that He is giving us for the upcoming months in 2023. I see that as adoration and celebration of Him become the posture of our hearts, the mouths of demons will be silenced. As we dig deep into His presence, allowing His celebration of us, personally, to wash over us with songs and quietness, we will continue to rise in personal victory.
Who doesn't like celebrating in the Lord? He's leading us to celebrate Him in all circumstances, which leads us to victory.
No matter what you are going through, let celebration be your weapon of choice in this year! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Steve Shultz and Julie A. Smith, Co-Editors
Elijah List Publications
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Steve Shultz, Founder and Publisher
The Elijah List & Breaking Christian News
My friend and I were recently discussing the difference between worship and praise, and she dropped a line straight from the Holy Spirit: "Praise is a heart posture of celebration."
"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1 ESV)
To CELEBRATE simply means to give honor or praise publicly. Sometimes, we "celebrate" publicly through holidays and times of remembrance, such as birthday parties or Christmas. The Hebrews were and are masters at this, as they diligently and intentionally take time to come together to celebrate all that the Lord has done (see Leviticus 23).
As I chatted with the Lord about this concept of praise and celebration, I went into a vision that brought my heart great encouragement.
Fireworks/Party Popper Vision
In the vision, there was a grand celebration and a gathering of many people of God. The skies were lit up with fireworks, and no expense was spared on these extravagant, colorful explosions. I saw that as the people of God celebrated, fireworks went off, and thus each explosion became a dagger that pinned together the lips of demons in the area, and the voice of the enemy could no longer be heard!
I then saw the people of God grab party poppers and begin to pull the little strings on the poppers, causing the streamers and confetti to exit suddenly. The streamers were not made of paper, but made of ABSOLUTE TRUTH and GOD'S GLORY. There were so many party poppers going off under the fireworks that the air was thick with a sound that superseded the soul and emotions of each person at the celebration. The sound of celebration cut through any anxiety or fear in the atmosphere. The ABSOLUTE TRUTH, coming forth from each popper, divided the lies so that the people of God were able to see the external spirits of anxiety and fear that had been assigned to them.
The sound of celebration caused the inner world of these people of God to align with His absolute truth and not be distracted by the external feelings of fear. (Photo via Stockvault)
The Lord then brought me out of this vision and reminded me of a dream I had last year, where some of my personal items had been bugged. It was as if there were surveilling and spying spirits in these personal effects, and I never felt safe; yet the Holy Spirit did not allow me to dispose of these items.
In the dream, my husband and I were aware that our things were bugged, but as we began to praise Yahweh and honor Him loudly, our celebration of our Lord was loud enough to drown out the sounds of everything else. The louder and more child-like we praised, the more we noticed that the "bugs" were leaving. This brought great comfort and peace to my heart.
"Through the praise of children and infants You have established a stronghold against Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." (Psalm 8:2 NIV)
Celebration Is a Weapon
Celebration is a posture of the heart and also a weapon. It is not in the language of the devil, so it brings intimidation to the enemy's camp.
The Lord brought to my remembrance my pre-teen years playing softball. For several years, I was on a team whose coach took the approach of honoring each team member for even the little, personal victories during games. If we won a game or had a personal victory, the coach would award us a little star that we were to iron onto our uniforms.
We were also taught to encourage one another with our words while on the field, which was very different from the chants of intimidation that came from other teams, and we learned to celebrate the wins even before we had actually won the game. This often caused great confusion for the rival teams, as we always came with uniforms covered in stars and a great air of celebration – even when we were up against the best rival team in the league. Our team was taught to celebrate everything, so when a curveball would come at us, we were not rocked. Soon we became undefeated in the league because of our confidence and ability to celebrate!
"God's high and holy praises fill their mouths, for their shouted praises are their weapons of war!" (Psalm 149:6 TPT)
I felt an URGENCY on this word that although you may be thrown curveball after curveball over the next few months, and although it feels counterintuitive, it is imperative that you learn to CELEBRATE. Learn to praise. Learn to remember what the Lord has done, and honor Him publicly if necessary. Come what may, there is victory because of Jesus.
"Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated." (2 Chronicles 20:22 NKJV)
The Lord's Celebration
I also saw the Lord standing over His people like a proud Father, rejoicing over them. I saw Him handing out stars – better than the ones I would have received in softball; I saw walls of captivity and fear in people's minds and emotions crashing down as they celebrated with Him. His love was quieting His people internally, and they were able to shout His praises externally.
"The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV)
"So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city." (Joshua 6:20 NKJV) (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
God Inhabits Our Praises
"Yet You are holy, You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel." (Psalm 22:3 NASB)
God inhabits, abides in, remains in and makes His home upon our praises. "Praise is a heart posture of celebration." When we celebrate Him, we enthrone Him again as King over EVERY circumstance.
I feel the Holy Spirit wants to remind us that this is not just another "breakthrough" word; this is a way of weaponizing His people for the curveballs that will come in the months ahead. Our faith rises when we learn to celebrate Him from the heart. And as we celebrate Him in faith, that faith activates His closeness to us. And it puts Him, once again, as the supreme authority (King) over our lives.
I believe that this is another weapon that He is giving us for the upcoming months in 2023. I see that as adoration and celebration of Him become the posture of our hearts, the mouths of demons will be silenced. As we dig deep into His presence, allowing His celebration of us, personally, to wash over us with songs and quietness, we will continue to rise in personal victory.
We must allow our celebration of who His is and what He has done for us to drown out the intimidation and accusations of the enemy. If we use this weapon well when curveballs come, and we are postured for praise, we will not be held captive to fear!
"But about midnight when Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; suddenly there was a great earthquake, so [powerful] that the very foundations of the prison were shaken and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened." (Acts 16:25-26 AMP)
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Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana and now living in Brisbane, Australia with her amazing Aussie husband and three miniature schnauzers,¬†Mandy Woodhouse¬†runs an itinerant ministry called Outrageous Hope (www.mandywoodhouseoutrageoushope.com), where she runs online courses in identity, prayer, and the prophetic as she burns to see the world awakened to the truth about both personal identity as well as Who Jesus truly is. Mandy is a published author and a prophetic voice to the nations.
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