Why ask “Why?” There are better questions to ask God.

Why on Red Wall“Are you asking questions grounded in faith or fear?”

This is what I heard the Lord ask me. I quickly realized what great wisdom Ezekiel had to answer the way he did.

And He said to me, “ Son of man, can these bones live?” so I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Ezekiel 37:3

When the Lord asks me questions, I never assume that I know the answer.

God already knows the answer to the question that He’s asking me. And in wisdom, I know that this question is loaded with revelation if I submit to God and say, “Okay God you know the answer to this so help me see and understand what You want to show me today.”

His question is an open door into relationship and intimacy with the Father. As I enter into a process of discovery and conversation, I see His answer. He brings me into an awareness of something He wants to see worked out within me. God’s ready to talk. I set my agenda aside and give Him undivided attention. Revelation then flows.

“Stop asking WHY, My daughter. There are better questions to ask.”

My ‘why’ questions always seem to be fear based, narrowing my spiritual vision and cultivating unbelief. They move me into the realm of doubt and mistrust of Father God.

Why on Yellow PaperIn His presence, I soon see that most of my questions to God have come out of times of fear, feeling insignificant or forgotten. They proceeded from the same lie the enemy used in the garden of Eden “Has God indeed said?”

 

 

Why?
Why is this happening?
Why are You letting this happen?
Why is my life going this way?
Why have Your forgotten me?
Why?

Asking ‘why’ is a loaded question. And, God is not obligated to answer my ‘why’ questions.

Over these past years, I asked ‘why’ so many times, I was bored with hearing myself. His answer to these questions? Silence. I came to understand that silence speaks louder than words at times. Especially God’s silence.

He answered at some point with another questions and it was not what I wanted to hear.

“I’m not answering your ‘whys’. Why don’t you try another question?”

To always question ‘why’ paralyzed me with fear often leading to regret, shame or guilt.

It’s only been recently that I decided to change my questions to God in another form.

How?
When?
Where?
Who?

This simple turning increased faith in me to believe in some foundational truth that the enemy was trying to erode through my ‘why’ questions. My foundation restored in faith helps me to see:

  • He desires that I trust His ways, which are greater and more mysterious than mine.
  • To trust that my life is being worked out for His eternal purpose to bring Him glory.
  • That He is my Father who loves and works it all for good.
  • And…that life does not go the way I planned.

Asking questions that are filled with faith in His goodness gives God the opportunity to speak within unlimited possibilities that open my eyes to see and to believe.

Rather than ‘why’ all the time, I stand on a firm foundation of His promises (no matter how long they seem to be delayed in coming). I ask from a faith filled perspective of trust. It’s as simple as that……..I made it complicated by always looking for the ‘why’ answer.

I take His promises and believe no matter what I see.

This assumes that you know your promises. If you don’t, some alone time with God is necessary. Get your journal, a pen or a computer and sit and pray and worship, trusting your Father to speak to YOU.

Consider that today is the day to  change your questions to God.

His promises unfold with the right questions. Try some new ones.

How do you want me to walk out this vision step by step every day?
What are the daily acts of obedience that You want me to do so that I walk towards its fulfillment?
Where do you want me to go or to travel to receive impartation, inspiration, and creative ideas?
Who are you bringing to walk alongside me?
What type of creative people?
Can I see them through your eyes?

TrustThese are just a few open-ended questions that I now ask God but they are all grounded in a foundation of His faithfulness. He answers these questions because I choose to walk into a realm of faith where I now see differently.

Seeing the Invisible

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

My Christian life is a journey, an adventure and is filled with open-ended questions that I am still learning to ask.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

Creating Beauty While Living In A World of Chaos

I live in the world, but as a Christian, I am not of the world. My identity is formed in Christ in me. I am seated in heavenly places. I am a new creation in Christ. There are many verses to substantiate these claims in previous blogs. So let’s rest on this sure foundation – we are in Christ in the world.

Walking towards the lightThis world thrives in the midst of tension and chaos. Unsettling on every front, current events drive us either into a sense a fear or subtle escapism. In Christ, I choose to bow my knee to neither.

Perfect love casts out fear. As the love of Christ flows into my life, fear evaporates in the glory of His presence.

Escapism is also not an option. I am a creative realist – taking what life seemingly throws at me, I keep on moving. Life is too precious in Christ to admit defeat AND if there are days that get me down, I rise up and stay strong as soon as possible.

So many of my thoughts are flowing from an excellent article written by NT Wright, The Bible and Christian Imagination.

Here we have the world at large – both beautiful and ugly.

“Seeing one does not defy the existence of the other.” NT Wright

PaintbrushSo, it seemingly depends upon my spiritual vision more than my natural vision to live creativity, manifesting beauty through my life. If I gaze upon the reality of ugliness, which abounds on every side, beauty is hidden from me. Beauty does exist and it is beauty that I must gaze upon. It is beauty and truth that capture writers. It is beauty and wonder that excites the artist. We live by gazing upon the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ and reflecting His glory through our life and our creativity. I move in an opposing spirit to that which tries to weigh me down in chaos, death and destruction. It is beauty that astonishes the eye. Beauty grabs the heart to dream. Eternity calls us to come into its reality, here and now.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NKJV)

I struggle. I suffer. Yet all things are working in Christ to display an exceeding weight of glory in my life, now and forever. I choose to look at the reality of eternity to interject beauty and truth into people that are downcast, distraught, abandoned or feeling insignificant and small. In Christ, I am light in the midst of darkness. Eternity is my reality. I am passing through all of this as a Christian. I keep my eyes focused on Christ and keep walking, being sure that I am called and chosen for such a time as this. Of that I am quite sure.

Imagination flows through an informed study and meditation of Scripture. That brings eternity right into the midst. It does not yet take me out of the world but opens my eyes to see by faith. I walk in my sanctified imagination to bring creativity into the earth.

While ministering in the poor areas of Eldoret, Kenya many years ago, the Lord specifically told me to preach on beauty. This astounded me and left me somewhat bewildered. As I looked around, I saw only poverty and lack. Many people living there hardly thought about beauty. Their concentration was on daily subsistence and living one day at a time. At least that is what I thought.

Deep inside I realized how wrong I actually was. Despite poverty and lack, people hold dreams and visions within their hearts. They often don’t realize it. They don’t feel the freedom to even accept the fact that they can dream in the midst of life’s trials. To preach on beauty seemed irrelevant and superfluous. Yet God kept telling me to preach on beauty so I did, off the cuff, which means flowing in Holy Spirit. I preached on gazing on His beauty. I preached on ascending in worship. I preached on displaying His glory right where they lived.

We are called to co-create with God and in God through revelation, ideas, and directions given to us in Holy Spirit.

To create beauty in the midst of tension, poverty, or lack.

To dream in the midst of encroaching darkness.

To engage with reality right where we are, living, moving and having our being in Christ.

To take our little corner of the world and to manifest heaven on earth, stirring up hope and possibility everywhere we are.

No one is beyond manifesting beauty and truth right now. No one. No matter how deep the inner and outer poverty we live in, we are called to gaze upon His beauty and reflect His glory. To show forth His beauty through the creative expression of Christ in us, the hope of glory.

Rise up today from fear! Creativity takes courage to rise up and to actually create! Start right where you are in Christ. One idea may challenge us to move out in a Holy Spirit faith direction. Lacking money or time does not divert our sense of purpose. Rejection does not hinder us. We live by faith in the Son of God who consistently tells us to dream big. He whispers that nothing is impossible in Him.

I write to inspire today. This subject is part of my DNA in Christ so I can’t shut it off or turn it down. Each time I write, I give small pieces and ask you to run with it. To finish this story within yourself through your own life. I always desire closure when I get close to the end of a blog post. I almost never get it for it is bigger than me right now. Creativity is my passion, my life. Enjoy! Think. Meditate. Dream.

Debra

In Christ, Debra

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!

Warfare Precedes Promotion

WARFARE PRECEDES PROMOTION
Verna Brown

Many of you have felt a vehement wind of accusation come against you. Some of you have felt like you’re suffocating, or drowning.

Satan is familiar with your fears and weaknesses and he is trying to breathe his lies of death to your dreams and destiny. Don’t let him play on your fears or weaknesses.

Run into the presence of God. His strength is made perfect in your weaknesses. This will be your strongest season!

Satan will always try to suffocate the word God gave you with doubt, unbelief, and a myriad of cares and troubles. He wants the pain and sorrow to choke out the truth of what God has said.

Psalm 91He’ll always try to cause you to get stuck at a place of pain, instead of coming into a healed place. PRESS FORWARD.

He’ll always try to get you to rehearse your pain over and over until any memories of the victories God has given you are erased from your heart and mind. Don’t rehearse your pain, start rehearsing your victories, and declaring the TRUTH of what God has promised, regardless of what you’re currently seeing or feeling!

He’ll always lie to you and tell you God doesn’t care about you or your circumstances. He is a liar!

He’ll always try to get you to blame God for your circumstances, instead of thank God IN your circumstances, knowing that He is going to use it for your good!

He’ll always try to get you to believe God has abandoned you. That His promises cannot be counted on, or they’re not for you because you are struggling. He is a liar!

If he can’t get you to turn away from God and blame Him, he’ll always accuse you of sin, magnify your mistakes, and tell you that you deserve to be sick, bound, oppressed, because you’re such a sorry Christian. You’re not worthy to be used, or to go to the next level.

He’ll always tell you that your problems are to big for God to solve, or to small and that you’re wasting God’s time. He has bigger and better things to do than help you. He is a liar!

He’ll always tell you that your prayers are not heard, won’t be answered, and that you’re wasting your time praying, being persistent, and waiting around for God’s timing. He is a liar!

What he fears most is when you say, “devil you’re a liar. What He said is true. I trust God. I may not be able to avoid your fiery darts, but I have a shield of faith and I WILL EXTINGUISH THEM WITH IT. I’m not quitting. I’m not giving up. I’m going for the gold. I embrace His fiery trials and I’m coming out pure gold.

“Quit” is not in my vocabulary. See, He gave me a finisher spirit. He gave me HIS SPIRIT! He disarmed you at the cross, defeated and overcame you, and gave that same power to me. I’m not waiting for the victory, I’ve already got it.

Devil, just the fact that I’ve got your attention, proves that I’m a threat to you. You can’t stop me, you can’t block me, and you can’t keep me from what God has for me. I bind you, render you impotent, and command you to flee in the name of Jesus!”

My loves, God loves you, and satan hates and fears what God loves. God is watching over His word to perform what He has spoken. Don’t waiver in unbelief.

Your promotion is at hand! Gird up the loins of your mind, put on your helmet, breastplate, and belt of truth. Pick up your sword, and shield of faith. Stand up in your shoes of peace and FIGHT! You’re a victor and not a victim. You’re not overcome, you’re an overcomer.

The greatest battles always come before the greatest blessings! You’re about to be blessed and promoted! ONLY BELIEVE!

Verna Brown
https://www.facebook.com/verna.brown.165

DebraIn Christ, Debra

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!

Revival Myths? Let’s Get Our Focus Right

While reading Normal Christianity by Jonathan Welton, Chapter 2, Revival Myths opened my eyes in marvelous ways. Every point was spot on but it was Myth #2 that grabbed me wholeheartedly, opening my eyes to a glorious revelation for my life.

Myth #2 -God will sovereignly move when He is ready.

Seeing God as relational and responsive is a major key to living as a Normal Christian. This is the difference between waiting for a sovereign distant God to finally fulfill His prophetic words, versus a relational God who comes upon hearts that are turned toward Him.

I remember going to conference after conference, crying out, waiting for some prophetic word to be fulfilled to give me the go-ahead to move out, to do something, to be something. Attending 2-3 conferences per year were the norm for me. I needed the impartation, the direction, and the prophetic word. So often, the underlying imparted focus was sovereignty, the supreme and ultimate power of God, His self-governing essence over the universe. In other words, God was going to move when He wanted to move and until then, we should consider waiting to get in His flow. Don’t move. Not yet. Wait for God to give the go-ahead. Listen to more prophetic words, more times of crying out, more waiting.

AwakeSo what then? What happens until that ultimate moment? Attend more conferences to get more impartation to discern greater focus. And the circle goes round and round, never-ending, never arriving. All of this seeking denied the simple reality of an awakening of grace in me to focus on Christ in me, now, at this moment directing my life to move each day in His Spirit. Now.

In previous times, I felt so out of the mix, sensing something lacking in me because I believed I needed someone or something to endorse God’s moving in the earth in order for me to do what God called me to do. Looking outside myself, I consistently sought to glean the next impartation or the next prophetic word.

I was waiting, always waiting. I needed some type of external impartation or prophetic word for God to speak and say, “Ok Debra, it’s time.”

Now, let me put in a small qualifier here. I believe there are God ordained times of preparation and waiting but these are seasons of intimacy and depth where Christ Jesus is revealed to us in Holy Spirit taking us from glory to glory in maturity in grace. They are not seasons where we are to be dependent on a current movement or ministry to pave the way. Jesus is the way; Holy Spirit leads me in Him in the way my life moves in Christ.

Some great excerpts from this book:

God is first relational, not first sovereign.

The heroes of the faith have interacted with God on the basis of relationship before sovereignty.

Smith Wigglesworth was known to say, “If God is not moving, I will move Him.” A statement like that may sound presumptuous or arrogant to those who have overemphasized the sovereignty of God. But seen correctly, Smith Wigglesworth was referring to the fact that the depth of his relationship with God would cause Him to respond and act because Smith had moved His heart.

This is incredible to me. This is probably why I kept thinking in my last blog that the time is now in Christ, enough waiting, just move.

Jeremiah 29:11In prophetically being motivated to look ahead, to wait, to pray, to seek, to enter into that perfect flow at that right moment, I lost focus of Christ in me, now. My process in life is the unfolding of the reality of Christ in me in Holy Spirit. The outflow of this expanding revelation moves me in process in my creative calling, glory to glory to glory. The unfolding of my creative calling does not magically or mystically happen in one day for me – it grows, evolves and moves each and every moment.

I realize that apart from Him, I can do nothing but in Him, each day is a new adventure. Old lies and myths are exposed to bring a greater sense of freedom.

I will admit that each time I write about something like this, I sense that I am only scratching the service, leaving out parts, skimming over others but I pray that you get the picture. The prophetic, apostolic and everyone else are being aligned into a revelation of Christ Jesus, away from the peripherals and into the center of who He is and the way He is constantly moving throughout the earth.

Our intimate relationship in Christ moves us right into God’s sovereign flow. In this place of intimacy,  I find myself living, moving and having my being in Christ. Each day is a day of glory for those in Christ Jesus.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

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!

Open the door! Pull back the Curtains! Let the Light In!

Freedom in ChristThe darkened areas of our lives, those places filled with fear, memories of abuse, sexual addictions, emotional destruction, substance abuse, alcoholism – all those places are like rooms yet to be opened in a house where Christ dwells. He sees them. We see them. We know they are there but we won’t confront their reality, let alone open the door to let the light of Christ into these dark areas.

Even as Christians, there are these dark areas or internal rooms that need the confrontation of divine love to be healed and to be set free. Yet, we avoid pain at all costs. We worry about what others will think.  We wonder if God can be trusted. We don’t like suffering. We want what is easy and we love what is fast and doable. But that is not authentic Christianity. That type of Christianity is tailored to a Western mindset.

There is increasing chaos and darkness in the world. At the same time, the glory of the Lord will rise in His people. It is essential that as Christians, we face our own darkened areas, submit to the Lord, and receive healing and deliverance  in order to shine brightly in the earth. Receive His love and allow Him to deal with our lives, to reveal and heal those areas that are hidden in those darkened rooms.

In those dark areas the curtains are drawn tight, held in place by shame, guilt and condemnation. The truth of God’s grace and mercy in Christ wants to flood the room with light but we won’t open those doors. Therefore, we remain in the shadows of half-truths and subtle lies perpetrated by the enemy, keeping us bound, not trusting God.

CrossJesus Himself calls you out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. He calls you to be habitations of His glory, shining bright in His presence.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJVS)

There is a simplicity in Christ that is missing in the church today. It is hidden underneath layers of cultural add-ons that work in the world, fueled by man’s wisdom, but have no power in the church. We thrive on process – the unending path of needing more than Jesus – more conferences, more books, more seminars. In all of this, the Body of Christ is still immature and lacking in supernatural power and authority.

What would happen if we actually believed in the Gospel message, walk out the truth revealed in the Epistles, allow the Holy Spirit to lead and believe all that God gives to us in Christ? The church would rise up to BE in Christ instead of some other form and template.

To confront the evil outside of us with the authority and supernatural power of God, we must confront any evil within.  It time to grow up and allow God to change us from within. Going deep, not wide.

Keyhole

As Christ confronts us in love at our deepest level, there is pain. We will suffer in the flesh, which always tries to maintain its position, avoiding any pain or suffering, but we will be alive in Christ, free and filled with greater measure of light and life.  Submit to His way. It’s worth it. Walk in the light, as He is in the light and the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us, empowers us and sets us free. Open the doors to the closed rooms. Let Him in and He will heal.

Quiet down. Get a journal, a Bible, a pen, a computer, the beach, the couch…wherever…just be still, know that He is God and the simplicity of the reality of Christ Jesus is real. I am not trying to oversimplify this in any way, but there is only so much I can say in a blog. I know pain is real. Yet nothing is greater than Jesus Christ. He is all in all. He is faithful in all things.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

I would love to bring life and light in Christ Jesus to your gathering, your church or home group. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our Life!