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  • Mandy Woodhouse

You Were Made for the Difficult Trails

Recently I went for a beautiful nature hike in the Gap Creek Reserve in Brisbane. It was a lovely day, and since it’s been a hard few weeks and I know that God always speaks to me in nature, I went with an expectation of something wonderful happening.


There are many trails in these mountains along Gap Creek. Some are flat paths that stay at the base of the mountain, others are moderate, and some are more difficult than others. As I was feeling slightly unwell that day, I chose the moderate paths that are rocky and on an incline, but not too hard to hike.

I was walking along a main path when I came upon an unexpected trail. This trail ran off to the side of the main path, yet eventually circled back into the mail path at a further location. It as smaller and more overgrown. I had passed many little trails along the way to this point, but there was something about THIS ONE. It called to me. It made my heart burn a little, and I was completely intrigued by what could be down this little trail.


I had the strange desire to get lost down this trail. And that if I did get lost, I'd be more than "ok."


As I started down this trail that seemed to call my name, I happened upon a sign that stated that this trail was a “more difficult” trail than the others. At the moment I was sweating, my legs hurt from the inclines I had just conquered on the main path, and I was incredibly thirsty and without a water bottle. Yet this trail pulled me toward it. I felt like I was made for this “more difficult” trail. My heart longed for the trail, even if it was the “more difficult” trail.


After overcoming heat exhaustion and every excuse under the sun, I decided to surrender to the call to go down this more difficult trail. And it was glorious! Though the inclines were indeed intense on my body and the trail seemed narrower than the others, the wildlife on this trail was unbelievable! Since it was a path less taken, there were more wildflowers and birds than on the main path. I saw hoards of butterflies of all shapes and colors; some I had never before seen in my life. Better yet, they were landing on me! I saw kookaburras and even an eagle overhead, and it was the first time in my life that I saw a koala in the wild (which is a heart’s desire of mine). It almost felt like the Garden of Eden and the Presence of God was so strong on this trail that I thought I’d pass out from the weightiness of it. Because of the beauty I barely noticed the heat or the hurt in my legs as I climbed up and down – it was as if God had given me the GRACE to make it through the difficulty. The trail felt straight, and it was as if I was MADE for it. And I loved how the sunshine lit it up with every step I took.


“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day..” – Proverbs 4:18


Prophetically, I feel the Lord’s invitation to several things:


I feel Him firstly say, “come up higher.” Many have been living less than their created value for far too long and have been content to settle for the flat paths that go around the mountain base instead of the trails that lead up the mountain. I feel the Lord is calling those to “come up higher” and see what He has for them. "STRETCH THOSE MUSCLES AS YOU CLIMB,” I hear Him say. “ARISE AND COME WITH ME! MY VIEWS STRETCH BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN EVEN IMAGINE....COME AND GET LOST WITH ME.”


“….’There is change in the air.’ Arise, my love, my beautiful companion, and run with me to the higher place. For now is the time to arise and come away with me.” – Songs 2:13, TPT


I believe that this is a season where the Body can no longer settle for what is easy and convenient. I feel a great call to the MORE of God’s Presence, even if it appears to be “inconvenient” at the time of invitation. It is an era of GETTING LOST IN GOD, even at the expense of everything else that the natural world would say is "important." He holds the key to EVERYTHING we need, want, desire and seek.


Secondly, I feel Him inviting many onto the “more difficult” trails.

There are those in the Body of Christ that are currently being called to climb and TAKE mountains. To not just influence mountains, but actually take them for the Kingdom, which goes beyond just influence. Holy Spirit showed me the fears of some who have decided to just stay on the moderate mountain trails to avoid difficulty. Some feel like they aren’t “ready” to go down a harder trail, while some feel like they just want to avoid conflict all-together. Some have fallen prey to the "PC" spirit of the age that actually keeps one in bondage and fear.


But this is not what we were made for.


The Lord says, “YOU WERE MADE FOR THE DIFFICULT TRAILS! DON’T FORGET THAT YOU WERE BORN-AGAIN INTO ME, WHICH MEANS YOU HAVE ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY. STRENGTHEN YOUR FEEBLE KNEES, AND JUST TAKE THE FIRST STEP. IN FAITH STEP OUT, AND SEE WHAT I WILL DO! I AM IN YOU, AND I AM GREATER THAN THE FEAR AND POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN THE WORLD!”


“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.” – Isaiah 35:3-7


“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” – Mark 11:23


The beauty on the “more difficult” trails is beyond what one could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). It will meet heart’s desires, and it will not feel like “work.” It will be a path that leads ever upwards, and there will be prophetic promises along the way for those who choose to surrender to its call! There is no reason to fear; the God within US is greater than any spirit of this age.


“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4


Lastly, I felt the Lord say to be aware of the “unexpected paths” that are coming in the next few months. I felt very strongly that many must remain acutely aware of what Holy Spirit is wanting to do over the coming weeks, as there are many “side paths” and trails that will be revealed to those who are looking. Many of these paths will bring restored hope. Some will bring greater alignment to destiny, and though some may appear to be “more difficult” than others, there is an assurance that it will turn out for the best interest of those who choose to journey down it. Other paths will have hidden gifts, and still others will reveal the places in the body that are “out of shape” and need a bit of strengthening.


I heard Him say to those who may fear these unexpected trails, “TAKE MY HAND AND LET US GO DOWN THESE TRAILS TOGETHER. ALLOW MY PEACE AND JOY TO FILL YOUR HEART AS YOU TRUST ME TO GUIDE YOU. MY PRESENCE IS WITH YOU; LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER.”


"For you are my dove, hidden in the split-open rock. It was I who took you and hid you up high

in the secret stairway of the sky. Let me see your radiant face and hear your sweet voice.

How beautiful your eyes of worship and lovely your voice in prayer. You must catch the troubling foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together." – Song of Songs 2:15


"Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!" – Romans 15:13 TPT


“Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.” – Ephesians 3:20 TPT







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