Fears Thrives in a Realm of Distraction

Fear is a liarFear thrives in a realm of distraction. Looking every which way, I can focus on all the peripheral stuff in my life, which then only enhances the debilitating effects of fear. Fear is like a cancer that creeps up on us, relentless and invasive. As it tries to set up its throne, it seeks to ultimately destroy my life and yours. That is its purpose. It is evil and only seeks to kill and destroy.

Jesus says it like this: ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 NKJVS)

Peter says it like this: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NKJVS)

Simply ignoring this truth won’t make it go away for the enemy is relentless in his pursuit of getting our eyes off of Jesus Christ. Fear is one tactic enemy uses to try to destroy our life and peace in Christ.

While I don’t continually focus on spiritual warfare, preferring to keep my focus on Christ, I do accept this reality of it in my life. Fear is a liar. And, it does not give up that easily. Look around. How many do you and I see each day bound by fear? It is a killer of life. Anxiety, worry, depression – they are all the overflow of fear in so many lives all around us.

Benicia CrossRather then giving a quick shallow cliché or even attempt to provide an easy solution, I want to say to each of us today: “Focus on Jesus Christ.” I turn my eyes away from anything that easily distracts me. This is life, ongoing for me. I pull my focus back to Christ continually throughout my day and in my life.

I would like to say that the world will get better and we can anticipate a utopian paradise rising up soon. The world will live in peace and harmony, joining hands and singing Kumbaya. Nations will coexist peacefully alongside other nations. Wars, both internally and externally, will cease to exist because of the nobility and honor of people all across the globe. That won’t happen.

In transparency and honesty, I can only say “Focus.” There is way more chaos, confusion, and destruction coming our way. As a Christian, I am called to live in the world but not be of the world. I am affected in situations because I am human but I am not entangled in this life with overwhelming fear, anxiety and depression.

Fear must be faced head on so that it does not gain any hold in our lives. Running from it or denying it will not stop its invasive demands on our lives. To confront the enemy one must call out the enemy and then face the enemy. Strength and courage must rise up within us to know our lives are hidden in Christ.

My life is Christ. Whether I live or die is not the problem, I have already died and my life is hidden in Christ, now. Now I choose to live in Christ.

Fear kills – creativity, life, adventure, journey, process and more. I want to focus on some foundational realities in the coming days here on this blog. And it all starts now by acknowledging that the enemy will resist us on every turn as we try to live our lives in Christ. Here are some verses that are coming your way in future blog posts. The river is flowing. Enjoy the journey as I flow in this direction. True creativity in Christ arises within us as we set our minds on Christ, knowing our life is hid in Him. As chaos and confusion, disease, destruction or whatever else surrounds us on all sides, our life is hid in Christ Jesus. This is reality.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20 NKJVS)

Then He said to them all, “ If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. (Luke 9:23-24 NKJVS)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things, which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 NKJVS)

Debra 2In Christ,

I would love to speak at your conference, gathering, church or home group. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our life!

Creative Expression – Words of Spirit, Words of Life

Here’s a post I read on Facebook. “When believers face discouragement and problems, they are not staying close to the Word of God.” Add that to my list of religious sayings. Or at least I believe it has some religious undertones behind the words. I might have said this years ago. Okay, I probably would have said this years ago with great religious fervor.

SeeDo I believe this statement above?  I do not believe that the Word of God can be used as some sort of mantra without the living Spirit of God flowing through the Word. When one is in the depth of pain, discouragement, or depression, just reading the Word of God may or may not help. Yet, when one is in this depth of pain, and goes to the Word, to have the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ, revealed to them by the Spirit of God, then it heals.

If I am in a depth of pain and discouragement and pick up my Bible to read, where does it lead me? It is words on a page that may be no different from reading a self-help book. The Book is not life. The Living Word, Jesus Christ, is life. He speaks words of spirit and life. What I am saying is that to say something like that with religious undertones puts a person under bondage, indicating that they are not reading enough, or praying enough or worshipping enough. That is ridiculous.

There are times in a person’s life when pain is evident and real. Weariness settles on a person, the best of Christians, the most studied of Christians, the most church attending Christians. There are times when the weariness settles in and what is one to do? Those are the times when rituals and traditions don’t cut it. Those are the times when you need the tangible presence of the Lord Jesus Christ to reach down and touch you, manifesting the beauty of His presence right where you are, right there.

It is at those times when love conquers your heart and you know that all will be okay. The Living Word of God speaks to you. He could say:

“Be still my child and know I am God.”

It is at those moments when love conquers your heart and you just know. Running to a book without a revelation of the person, the Living Word, and without the Spirit of God is ridiculous. I am learning, as a Christian for over 30 years, that I actually know nothing to very little at times when facing the complexity of the human condition. I just know Christ, and Him crucified. I am still in process and learning, so I am watching my own words very carefully when I speak. My way of doing things is often blown out of the water. I learn that my pat answers for the questions that humans are facing in this day and age often do not serve to penetrate the depths of their heart tensions. I know Jesus.

What am I saying? Not to read the Bible? No I am not saying that. Not to trust the Word of God? No I am not saying that either. Well, I guess at this point Jesus said it better than me.

“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want (John 5:39-40 Message)

Words do not heal. They are just words. Jesus heals, the Living word, who speaks words that are spirit and they are life. Words that flow through our lives, one to another, when they are spirit and when they are life, heal and set free from Christ in us the hope of glory. I am learning that I detest pat religious answers. It just shows me that the person giving these pat answers may be ministering for the Lord, ministering around the world, have seminary degrees, read the Word inside and out and yet…perhaps they need an encounter with the Living Christ. Just some random thoughts today. Any comments? I just want to keep asking. I sense some of you have things to say.

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraPlease pray and consider having Rivers of Eden minister in your gathering, home group, conference or church in 2014. This is our year of release wherever and whenever God opens His doors bringing His grace and His glory through us to those to whom we are called in this season. You can contact us on Facebook or Twitter or right here in the comments.

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