Prophetic Focus in New Covenant Reality

Writing about prophetic transformation and the need for the prophetic to focus on Christ alone. In doing this, I am waiting, meditating and thinking. I took a week ‘blog breather’ to focus on what I sense God is speaking to me. I don’t want my words to come across as self-righteous. I want to speak what God is showing me, even when it cuts across the grain of prophetic words that I see “out there” – on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Even when it cuts across the grain of what established prophetic ministers are currently speaking.

The internal process and tension within me to shed this wineskin that forms my paradigm is becoming apparent to me day by day. I simply can’t go back into the old. At the same time, I feel as a pioneer in grace. Along with many others, I am walking into the new without actually seeing everything. I know that a sure foundation is being laid under our feet in Christ in the reality of the finished work of the cross. I am learning and in process.

This tension will be apparent as I continue to write and blog, mainly speaking to myself and the way I want my life in Christ to flow from this point forward. My heart desires to mentor prophetic people. Through the years, I see that this kind of mentoring is caught more than taught – Jesus being the perfect example with His own disciples.

There is a simplicity of focus needed in the prophetic at-large – the simplicity of Christ. For me to prophesy in the Spirit I feel that I must shift to a grace centered; finished work prophetic language that focuses on present truth in the New Covenant. In other words, I don’t want to hear the same things over and over and over that point to mixture of the two covenants.

For instance, why would I desire the mantle of Elijah when I am a daughter of God, Christ in me, the hope of glory? And, why would I feel the necessity to run to catch an anointing when the Spirit of God in me is all I need to teach, lead and direct me into an ever-expanding revelation of Christ? And, why would I hunger and cry out for an open heaven when the heavens have already been opened, the veil has been rent and I am seated in heavenly places?

I will blog more about this and much else over the next few weeks. My ‘blog breather’ was mainly to call to task the fear I felt of going against the grain and hitting at sacred cows. I should have done this awhile back but there is no better time than the present.

Over the past week, I filled my journal with thoughts that challenged me and filled me with hope and enthusiasm. Despite the current mundane condition of the church at large, God IS moving in ways that cannot be perceived through an old wineskin or through an old lens.

Mantles? New anointing? Open heavens? These, along with many other things are prophesied as entities in and of themselves, often devoid of focus on Christ in New Covenant reality. I am not judging or criticizing the prophetic but I see its need to change its focus and language reflecting this New Covenant reality. Perhaps others have tackled this before but for me, the path is opening for me to walk forward right now. Many prophetic terms are centered on Old Covenant principles, as if they are the focus of we who are now in a New Covenant reality. I want to stress that my own focus is a love of the supernatural gifts of the Spirit. I love the miraculous and life in the Spirit. But, I need to align my focus in Christ alone and prophesy from this position.

I guess the best place to start is to show something about the differences between the Old and New Covenant and then along will come the next blog. Let’s get this foundation right. Here are just a few examples for you to consider.

Law/Grace
Sinners/Saints
Slaves to sin/ Slaves to righteousness
Need to ask forgiveness/ Already forgiven
Self-sacrifice; human work/ Rest in Jesus work and sacrifice
Do Work – have to/ Do work – get to
Crying out for ‘More”/ Have everything we need
Hunger and Thirst for Him/ Satisfied in Him
Go to temples/ Are His temple; perfect union
Searching for open heaven/ Living under an open heaven
Searching for revival/ Live in revival
Destroys sinners on account of sin/ Destroyed sin in the body of Jesus
Follow signs & wonders/ Signs and wonders follow us
Performs these randomly/ Perform through His power in us
God is in a bad mood/ God is outrageously in a good mood

In Christ
Debra Westbrook

Debra NapaRivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to live a prophetic life of creativity, revelation and intimacy in Christ. Marvin and I look forward to hearing from you, allowing us the opportunity to minister in the grace and love of Christ in your gathering, church, home group or conference.  Currently we are planning a trip to Kenya in August in which we are looking forward to establishing new relationships with leaders for a Kingdom purpose. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter for more information if you would like us to minister in grace and glory.

Creative Expression – Without What?

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. What kind of faith? What does that mean? Do I have to work something up within myself to believe something to be pleasing to God? What if tragedy strikes and I simply fall apart and can’t believe? Am I pleasing to God? What if life throws me a curve, out from left field and I am not prepared to handle the stress simply because I am human? What if sorrow or discouragement comes? Does that make me less spiritual? What kind of faith is necessary to please God?

When my sister was murdered in 1980, I fell apart and crashed in the midst of the ‘why’s’ and the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘how come’s.’ I could barely breathe for a few years let alone have faith in God. I felt betrayed. I felt alone. So I hid out in the midst of life, pretending that all was okay. But, inside, I was falling apart. You can say that I had a crisis of faith. That would put it mildly.

I asked God all the right questions. It’s just that He never really gave me a satisfying answer. Why did this happen? It was hard to talk to anyone about this pain. Christians often retreat into cliches and platitudes when questioned about pain or sorrow that can’t be explained or Scriptured-out. The equation kept coming before me. Without faith it is impossible to please God. I had no faith therefore I was not pleasing to God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. There is more to this verse than just that.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJVS)

What is faith? At my lowest, I had none or at least I did not think I had. Yet God says that it is impossible to please Him without it. So what kind of faith is that? I had done everything I knew to do and yet, I simply didn’t have that mountain moving faith to get going and live again. Is there something more to this than meets the eye? It actually is quite simple.

The faith that God finds pleasing is faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Faith = a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.

The simplicity of faith in Christ for salvation is wholeness- healing – physically, emotionally and spiritually. The faith of the Son of God, who gave His life for me, is the faith that God finds pleasing. I enter into that reality. Faith in Christ when life is impossible. Faith in Christ when questions are not answered. Faith in Christ when I am so low that I can’t rise up. When I am weak, then He is strong in me. It is not my faith but His faith. I believe in Him and that is where the journey starts.

I can breathe and rest in Him. I stood in the simplicity of that revelation, trusting Christ with my life. I relinquished my ‘right to know’ or even understand to just BE in Him. If anger, fear or grief rose up, I stood in His grace and mercy and love. That is hard for us as humans to swallow at times. Life is not packaged into manageable components. Life is filled with unanswered questions. Life also gives us the opportunity to disdain God simply because there are these unanswered questions. Years have gone by since my sister died. My faith is active and alive and moving again. Why is that? My life still has it extremes and its trials.

My faith rests in the finished work of Christ Jesus, not in me. I live and move and have my being in Him. That’s not an easy way out. It’s the only way. Life moves and I move with it. I don’t cope. I live. I don’t strive. I rest. I don’t control. I abide. Christ is the way, the truth and the life.

When I write these blog posts, I usually want to come to a bit of closure. Then, I realize that is very unrealistic. My life is a journey. If, through my experiences, I can stir questions up in you, that is a good thing. I have always believed the purpose of the prophetic is not so much giving answers as it is stirring up questions.

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.

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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.

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Creative Expression – Guilty As Charged!

Justice is the sound of a judge, pounding the gavel down in a courtroom. The pronouncement comes across loud and clear. “Guilty!” she says. To the one seeking justice, those words are the ultimate sound of vindication for wrongs done or crimes committed.

I have a strong sense of justice that beats in my heart. I get terribly upset by anything that is not fair or right. I love the underdog, the one that goes through hell and keeps on going, despite everything to shut them down. “Justice!” is the cry of heart. I want things just. I love closure.  But, what happens when closure never comes? What happens when you have to walk forward with a perpetuating sense of justice that pervades your life without any clear answers? Have you been there? I have.

justiceRead the dream blog. That is when God nailed it for me. Looking at that house in the dream, wanting to run back in and shout at the top of my lungs “Who are you to think that you can treat me that way? I am somebody. And……..I matter.” Yet, I could not go in. As far as I could tell, there was no justice or vindication in that dream for wrongs done to me in life. I had to turn, face the other direction and move out from that position, without closure of any kind.

Over the past few days, I have come to see that justice for any wrongs done to me can become quite self-indulgent, as I keep looking to the past to get closure and see things made right. This is a biggie for me. These moments of self-discovery usually come with life-changing lessons from the Lord that impact my life. I don’t want to live with a sense of entitlement anymore. That thing that makes you feel someone, at sometime, somewhere owes you something. Considering that life is filled with injustice at every turn, would keep me constantly looking for that sense that all is just right. But, life does not work that way. Life is not fair. Life is not always just. Yet, I see the cross of Christ.

The cross, the beautiful awesome finished work of Christ. There is my vindication and my restoration for a life that is not quite as I expected it to be. There is that place where Jesus Christ died so that I can live my life in Him, in union with Him. In fact, it is such a perfect sacrifice, such a glorious vindication that I can live knowing the reality that all things work together for my good for I am in Christ.

Before you think I have entered a religious utopia built on self-denial and a continual Jesus smile, I would like to inform each of you that there are days when I would like to hold someone’s future in my hands for just one second. Or how about being responsible for the verdict for wrongs done to me? Give me that gavel. “Guilty!” I would cry. Or better yet, “Off with their heads.” I still have this strong sense of justice within me. So what to do with it? How do I work this out in my life so that I live outside a western mantra that drones with words like “You owe me. I am entitled to that. It is my right.” I am tired of selfishness, self-centeredness, and entitlement. So what now?

Benicia CrossThe cross. I live with eyes open to see outside myself. Ears that hear the cry of the oppressed. Ways to impact my word with life, love and truth. My deep sense of justice has been concentrated on me and my life when I sense that it is time to pour out my life as an offering unto the Lord in worship to walk in His will and His ways. Life will always be unfair, unjust, filled with violence, chaos abounding, bad things happening to good people – should I say more? Now what to do living in Christ – extend grace, mercy, forgiveness, hope and love. How to do this? Well, the dream says it best. I am walking into a new future feeling as though I have been awakened to live again, like Lazarus coming out of the tomb hearing the voice of Jesus.

You know, this is all a journey. If you have stumbled upon this blog by chance, you may want to read more of this journey of my life. This path is truly taking me places that are new and fresh in 2014. Why don’t you join me?

So what about you? Do you have a deep sense of justice or are you able to walk forward, forgetting what is behind you? Either way, we are all on this journey of life in Christ together. Not one of us has arrived……..yet.