Creative Expression – Prophecy….. Flowing From His Grace and Goodness!

Rivers of Eden MinistryI prophesied a lot over the past years – over people, churches, nations, situations. One night many years ago, I awoke at 2 am in the morning to a divine encounter with Jesus, calling me to a prophetic life in Him. There is a hunger in me for Holy Spirit, His gifts, His flow, and His creativity. My Christian life is an adventure – walking in the supernatural is my normal.

We are all called to prophesy. It is part of our Christian life. This is not a teaching. This is my heart in the prophetic – how I grew, how I changed, and how I still love Holy Spirit and adventure. It is for you. It is for me.

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14:1 NKJV)

As grace awakened my life in 2013, the lens over my eyes shifted to prophesying with one focus, and only one focus in my heart. Jesus Christ, His finished work, the glories of His unconditional love and acceptance in the beloved, is the source of all prophecy that flows over my lips and from my heart. There is no other way.

Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10 NKJV)

The testimony of Jesus Christ, flowing through my life, is the spirit by which I prophesy. Yet, that was not always evident in the Charismatic movement in which I immersed myself as a Christian. Over the years, I saw a lot and heard a lot. I was part of it all. Sometimes the bulk of the prophecy, at times, seemed to have its focus on everything but Jesus Christ. As I said, in my life, grace shifted my focus.

Grace has not eliminated the desire to prophesy. It has only clarified my intent and purpose in the gifts of prophecy and other gifts of the Spirit. It has ‘rounded me out’, if I can say it that way. To prophesy from the life of Christ flowing through me and not some other focus or agenda.

Now, I want to add some observations if I may. On my Facebook wall, I read a lot from grace teachers. In their posts, I don’t read a lot about prophecy or the gifts of the Spirit or the manifest presence of God. I don’t read anything about five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, etc. yet, Paul specifically talks about this in the epistles. Sometimes, I find some things lacking in these posts.

I do read a lot of words about the finished work of the cross, theological debates and discussions. It’s excellent but often I still find it lacking. Kind of like, running with some great revelation, but how long do you keep running with it? I want to ask this question “What now?” How often do you keep saying, “God loves you unconditionally? You are forgiven.” What movement for me is beyond this revelation? To walk in grace in the fullness of the Spirit flowing through my life.

What happens with the revelation of grace? With me, it fits in and adds fulfillment to many of the other teachings in my Christian life that may have been a bit off but now are full in grace. Grace keeps me centered on the fact that I BE in Christ and He flows through me. Yet, I still hunger for the gifts of the Spirit to add that creative element to my Christian life.

I also wonder how one flows as eyes open to grace if you are considered to be a Baptist or a Charismatic or an Evangelical. Do you maintain your positions of belief to some extent even in grace? Does a grace revelation flow from your foundation in that particular denomination. Let me explain. I have not been in many Baptist churches where Holy Spirit is flowing in tongues or in the gifts with spontaneity. From what little I know, many Evangelicals can also hesitate to take the Charismatic seriously. And, Charismatics can be so experience minded, that they could seem a bit ‘out there’ to others.

Many coming into grace from denominational backgrounds. What now? Grace is the great equalizer to accept the truths in Scripture that the lens of our vision may have disregarded in other seasons of our life. In other words, grace opens the door to the fullness of Scripture, not just an add-on to our belief system.

Grace does not negate the five-fold ministry or the gifts of the Spirit in Christ. It beautifully gives these color and creativity. Grace has moved me into a greater measure of His glory by faith in Christ and His unconditional love for me.

Just some thoughts and way more are coming.

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

Rivers of Eden – our ministry in Christ. Please 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, Twitter, our Rivers of Eden Contact Page, or right here in the comments.

Some Great Posts To Read

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Be Intentional

The Voice, The Vision

Creative Expression – How Wonder……….ful!

As a Christian, I need, must have, a sense of beauty, majesty, wonder, and mystery when I live in Christ. My sense of being in Christ lifts me up above, allows me to walk in eternity now, and enjoy encounters that defy my understanding. That is Christianity – not just getting by each day as if the mundane is the destination on your journey! And, it is a journey in Christ!

This is where I am today. Several thoughts to give to you so that your spirit would be impacted with hope, encouragement and joy, pure wonderful joy. Here’s a word, one word to start this off.

You can’t carry loss, regret, grief or mourning into 2014. Leave it! Leave it! Allow God to heal and touch your life with joy, which gives strength.

The joy of the Lord is my strength. Despite anything life is throwing at you, live in joy, even in the midst of suffering which will come, not maybe, but will come at some points along the journey. Don’t mourn anymore! Cast off the grave-clothes and live! Prophetically, I woke up heavy in my spirit BUT as I prayed, worshipped and prayed in tongues, reading His word, a lightness descended upon me from above and rose up within me from Christ and I started to see.

Heavenly PlacesHere’s another word. I enrolled in a ‘goal setting’ class. Haha! Never thought I would do that. Even thought I was ‘above it.” Yet, I enrolled in it and this class is changing my life. In this class, He identifies having a ‘push goal” – one goal that acts like a catalyst to set in motion everything else. One goal to get you going and moving. When I sat and thought about it for a while, I could not actually figure out what that ‘push goal’ would be for me. Then I had this aha moment and I knew. And over the past few days, it is proving to be so true. Rather I should say, He, Holy Spirit, is proving Himself to be so awesome.

My ‘push goal’ – to start my mornings early and to spend my mornings with the Lord.

That is not religious exercise. That is glorious. I wake up; get my journal, praise, worship and listen. I even pray in tongues at times for a half-hour while I BE in the Lord. He fails me not. There comes a word, a vision, and a revelation into my spirit that reveals His beauty, His splendor, and His kingdom being worked out in me and through my life. He is faithful to BE with me as I BE in Him. ☺ You see, that ‘push goal’ catalyzes everything else around me. It fires up my hope, my faith, and my vision to see. Despite everything life throws at me, He is with me.

So here are my thoughts from this morning.

I am seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6)

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. (Colossians 3:1-3 NKJV)

Do you see how often we are pulled down? Just spend time on Facebook and it can and does often drag you down into the mundane, into confusion and more. Wordy debates in Christianity – grace, faith, love, and joy hope – everyone has an equal and opposing opinion. I am sick of it all. No one actually has it all right so I leave it behind, totally behind. Creativity is birthed in greater ways through my life when I spend my time with Him and my focus on Holy Spirit. There’s my way!

My grace awakening did wonders for me. It is healing all performance to DO for God in order to BE for God. Yet, I am now hungry again for the prophetic and the supernatural moving of the Spirit. My life is built on movement in the Spirit, going to nations, speaking prophetically into people’s lives, and more. Years ago, I woke up at 2 am in the morning to encounter an angelic presence at my bed, calling me forth in the prophetic. It has been a long hard journey.

Rivers of Eden in Marvin and I is alive. I did not think it was. I said it could not be after all the years of defeat and failure. It is alive. Not outside of me, but inside of me right here and right now. What does that mean? Well, only that Holy Spirit will open His doors in the coming year into nations, cities, and even coffee shops – one on one and to many. I simply trust in that AND that is enough for me right now. Let’s see where this journey starts!

Life is alive again because I washed up on the shore of my destiny, beaten, bruised, wounded, tired, empty, ohhhhhhh so empty! I know nothing except Christ and Him crucified. I desire to speak His words again over nations and into people. I was not ready before this. I thought I was but I was not ready. Deborah, the bee, is me…………..in Christ.

What about you? Are your dreams dormant? Or even dead? Trust me when I say that I have been there and know. How I know! I am not into religious or spiritual clichés. I love the reality of the Living Word of God weaving His dreams through my life.

Comments? Give me one word that describes what you want for 2014. (Haha – I actually got that idea from Chuck Pierce but I have also used it before too.) What is that one word?

Creative Expression – Restrained Vision

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was. (Luke 24:13-16 Message)

As I walk on the road of my own preconceived notions or my sublime presumptions, Jesus often draws near to me, in the midst of it all. When life’s events have placed more questions in my mind than answers, Jesus draws near – just to walk with me and talk with me.

Light on a PathThese two men were walking towards Emmaus, talking about Jesus’ crucifixion. Their minds were ablaze with questions. Their hopes– what could have been, should have been, and yet was not- seemed dashed to pieces as they faced the reality of His death. What now? What exactly happened?

Jesus enters into the midst of it all, just like He does for me. When He draws near, I often find myself in the midst of thinking, a process of questions. Why did this happen? What now? He walks besides me and sees my limited restrained vision, just as these two men on the road that day. Vision that is restrained by the power of presumption or assumption inhibits me from truly seeing, just like these two guys. Vision that is held in the power of its own process limits and restrains me from truly seeing.

He draws alongside, never forcing His way into my process, at least not at first. Like these men, I may continue to explain the events taking place through my ‘restrained vision’. He probably can’t help but shake His head as He listens to my words, just as He listened to the words of these men that day. At the right moment, in my own tension, He speaks. Here is how He spoke to these men that day. And sometimes, this is how He speaks to me.

Then he said to them, “So thick–headed! So slow–hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him. (Luke 24:25-27 Message)

listen.520In other words, His words silence me, just as it did for these two guys, catapulting me into a greater reality, past my restrained vision and limited understanding. I find His confrontations into my life as wonderful as His gently flowing words of affirmation and love. Both show me His intense love for me. Both ways open my eyes to see past the nose on my own fact. My pain often restrains my vision. I need a shaking down some days that forces me to rise above my own self-pity and introspection. It’s good for me. He’s always good for me.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open–eyed, wide–eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us. (Luke 24:28-32 Message)

Jesus stops me in the midst of my forward momentum many times. My eyes open to see, to truly see things that have been hidden from me. I get so excited at times at the revelation of truth, which lifts my spirit, that I want to detain Him at that point of revelation to sit with me, talk more with me, dine with me at my table. Yet, I have noticed, that just like these men, at the point of received revelation, sitting at a table of intimacy, He often is quickly up and away. Why is this?

There is more to say, more to see, and greater things to encounter. Being totally human, I may self-centeredly keep Him at that place at my table, receiving and receiving and receiving. Yet, He is up and away and now my choice is to follow Him with all that He has revealed to me, moving and living and having my being in Him. I can’t stay at this place of comfort. I now move in what I have received and take it out.

Yes, there will come another time when my presumptions will get the best of me again. That is only human. And on that day, He will draw near again to show me my shortcomings in truly understanding His greatness, His majesty and His being. That is called life. I go from glory to glory to glory, from faith to faith to faith. I walk on the road of life, wondering, asking questions, and thinking. He draws near, listens and even brings correction to me.

Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27 NKJV)

Christ in me is still revealing Himself to me as I live my life in union with Him. I am enjoying the journey.

Creativity – Expressed

Creativity-quotes51Creativity has expression through people in art, music, dance, prophetic words, visions, dreams, revelation, and on and on. The Holy Spirit is endless, varied, and multifaceted in His forms of expression in our lives or in a meeting. This post is about Holy Spirit expression in our meetings in Rivers of Eden. The Holy Spirit moves and we interpret what He is doing or saying.  I can often see the direction that He desires to move, the picture He wants to paint, and the story He wants to tell. Holy Spirit is like the master conductor that says, “Follow Me as I lead the way!”

While ministering in a service in Dubai, I was preaching  when I suddenly saw a flight of stairs arise in the midst of the sanctuary. I saw this in the Holy Spirit. There they were. What to do? I heard the Lord say “Tell them to climb the stairs!” God wanted to take them to another place of greater vision and revelation, to see His heart and plans for them in that season. The stairs were a moving up to see from a different position, with a faith in Christ to believe and know that He is able to finish all that He started in them. Once I see, then I know and it is settled. I then just flow with the Spirit to prophesy to individuals what is already settled in the heavenly realm. But, unless one is open to allow the Holy Spirit to move creatively, and then interpret and act on the vision, the vision just stays a vision without manifestation.

While ministering in Nairobi, I began to see silver swords suspended in the spiritual atmosphere during a time of worship. There they were right in the meeting. What to do? How to interpret the atmosphere by the Spirit? This was a sign of what the Lord was doing in the meetings that very day. Silver often represents redemption and the sword is the authority and power of the living word. As we began to minister, we stepped into a place in the Spirit to encourage each person to believe in the power of their redemption, the reality of Christ in them, the hope of glory. We encouraged them in this reality. Then as we called each person forth, we symbolically placed a sword in their hand to remind them that the living word of God cuts, exposes, heals, delivers, sets free in Christ. The outcome? The room was filled with expectancy and revelation because of the obedience to interpret the vision and to move creatively out in the vision. Prophesy flowed as if a river was right in our midst.

images-16One more example now. (If you have never experienced this, I hope you are excited to know that the Holy Spirit is creative and alive. And for those who have experienced this and even more, walk in that realm again to ignite passion in your heart.) During a meeting in Finland, right before I got up to preach about light and sound challenging the darkness, a bright, clear, radiant light shot into the midst of the sanctuary. It just shot in and hit the center mark of the sanctuary. In that vision, God was confirming the preaching of the word through us. Power accompanied the shaft of light, encouraging us to know that all was already accomplished in Christ, the light of the world. We only had to follow in the flow and see heaven manifest in the earthly realm that night. As we began to preach, there was light in the room challenging the darkness in the lives of people. What followed were healings and deliverances. Freedom filled the room. Our responsibility was simply to take what God was showing in His creative expression and allow it to flow by the Holy Spirit.

These are just a few of many examples in the ministry of Rivers of Eden. Now you know why it is dear to my heart. We are supernatural with eyes to see in vision and ears to hear revelation. As Christians, we don’t try to be people of the Spirit. We are people of the Spirit. It is all a matter of walking in wisdom and grace to discern and learn the ways of God and His expression to walk in the reality of it right here, right now.