Arise Prophetic Teachers!

Tunnel_Of_Love“Imagination is what enables us to begin to comprehend the invisible God.” Rodger Nishioka

Jesus spoke in parables. They are simple stories used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. As His parables drew people into the story, the kingdom of God touched the heart and mind, along with engaging the imagination to reveal the Father. Heaven manifested on earth.

Images formed in people’s minds as Jesus preached. He spoke of doors, sheep gates, fire, wind, and lights. Jesus is the door, opening wide so that many may enter in and know the Father. Gates were meant to keep people out as well as let people in. There are so many stories peaking the imagination and stirring the heart.

Parables were a superior means of communication. While the Pharisees denounced this method, the people loved it. Images stirred the imagination to connect the heart of the Father to the people.

As a speaker, I see people connect with storytelling. Holy Spirit reveals the Word to me through study. Then Holy Spirit teaches me how to creatively bring it out. Through imagination, I embark on a journey to creatively expound that, which has been deeply stirred in me.

This is a visual generation. I believe as important as it is to preach the word, I also know that it is important to creatively express the Word – through many different methods and means. Prophetic teachers will arise to preach the word, engaging creative expressions alongside artists and musicians. They will arise alongside dancers and drama. What will be seen? A creative expression of the glory of God, orchestrated by Holy Spirit. Over the years, I have stood in this place in churches and conferences, and I can’t get enough.

Storytelling is not an inferior means of preaching the Word. It is a clear invigorating approach that reaches deep into our life, touching our mind and hearts through imagination. Storytelling enables people to enter the narrative and interact within their own heart.

The word is ALIVE. Parables and stories, along with other visual expressions of His glory through the arts, are fresh paths waiting to be explored today.

“Teach people to cultivate and discipline the imagination.” Quote from “Cultivating a Biblical Imagination.”

In the Body of Christ, creativity is springing forth from dry ground. So often, traditional religion is a safe place, being both positive and negative. While it informs and teaches through preaching the word, the Holy Spirit, the very orchestrator of heavenly expression, is left behind in favor of formality. The congregation sits as spectators, passively listening but retaining very little in the process.

Prophetic teachers will arise! Holy Spirit will breathe on the Word, making it come alive into the heart of the teacher in order to be imparted creatively to the listener. Teachers will arise with not only a listening ear but also the creativity to embrace heaven through revelation, dreams and visions, bringing it forth into the earthly realm.

Again, I would like to say that I know in part and I see in part. I write and I grow. I write and I see. Arise prophetic teachers!

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!

What About This “New Thing”?

The prophetic word: “Contend for the new thing!”

My breakdown of the word “contend” is in the previous blog post. Now, what about this ‘new thing?” How many times have you and I heard from the prophetic community that there is a ‘new thing’ coming, already here, on the horizon, ready to break out, etc. etc. etc.???? I mean, let’s get real but not judgmental. But……let’s get real and honest. I can’t accept everything that comes down the wire as truth just because it is said by someone who is ‘in the mix’ or in the ‘prophetic limelight.”

Again, not being sarcastic here, but it is time to mature. And, maturity brings discernment, wisdom, and grace. I simply cringe when I hear people fawn all over leaders because they were prayed over, prophesied over, or slain in the Spirit over. At the risk of being labeled critical, judgmental, or not honoring of God’s appointed leadership, I simply can’t buy into it anymore. Just the sound of ‘reverence’ that comes out of someone’s mouth because they attended such and such a conference by such and such an apostle or prophet makes me cringe inside. Most of the time, I see little if any focus on Jesus Christ. In my humble opinion, I want Jesus and if it does not point to Jesus, then why bother with it?

Back to the ‘new thing’ in a minute okay? Just want to say a few more things here.

When I first heard this word “Contend for the new thing!” I questioned whether I had any right to confront it or challenge it. I see myself, at times, as little, and these guys out there (with a few gals) as big, experienced, iconic, with a following, and more. Who am I to confront it? Will I be labeled rebellious or judgmental? What about honoring leaders?

My self-talk went something like this: “Who are you? Why does your opinion matter? Who will listen anyway? They know more than you. God has appointed them in this position of leadership. Don’t go against them or you may be fighting against God’s anointed.”

After a few days of this, I realized something. I have been talking about finding my ‘sound’ for a long while now. To sound forth what is in my heart, I just need to say it. I used to speak forth consistently until all these years of brokenness, rejection, and persecution came my way. That knocks the life and light out of a person. It did me. Slowly, I am coming back and self-doubt is moving over to concede to a voice of truth in me that can’t be silent anymore or I will fade into oblivion.

Okay, with that being said, now what about that word ‘new’? What is this new thing we keep hearing about over and over and over? I will get to the crux of the matter in the next blog but let me process here with a few questions.

What is ‘new’? How do I understand the word ‘new’ in this word? As I said, the word ‘contend’ implies that I must strive, grapple, and go head to head with procuring the new thing?

I am not a theologian but I do study Scripture. There are several meanings to the word ‘new’ in Scripture. Neos or kainos. Neos indicates new in time such as an upgrade to a new car or a new computer, indicating a time frame. Kainos indicates new in substance, a different kind, novel, unprecedented, never seen before. So which one is it? Is something new coming in time such as a new move or revival OR is the new already here, within us in Christ?

I will make an observation here based upon years as a Charismatic, prophetic person. Here is what I believe many people would think about this word. The ‘new’ that is coming is something in the realm of a new movement, a new stream, a new revival, a new atmosphere, etc. For many, based upon the prophetic grid of interpretation, this word indicates that the ‘new’ is something ‘out there’ that is going to hit all around and we need to prepare for it.

Whatever the ‘new’ is often refers to something ‘out there’ coming because that is often what prophetic words today tend to focus on. What is ‘out there’? Well, here’s a few examples.

A new revival
The rising up of apostles and prophets
Healing, signs, wonders
Extreme manifestations
Financial breakthroughs
Angelic armies

Are you getting the picture? I am all in for all of the above. I am all in for the prophetic. I am all in but……………………..

Don’t OUTSOURCE the word ‘new’ to something external to the reality of Jesus Christ who is all in all. This then takes the focus off of Christ and puts the focus on the ‘new’. Are you seeing this? I am not downplaying the prophetic. It just needs a new language to align us in the reality of Christ in me as the main thing. More tomorrow about this ‘new’ thing. Focus on Jesus Christ and Him alone. He is the center of it all.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:15-18 NKJV)

In Christ,
Debra Westbrook

Debra NapaRivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to a 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 July 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.

Story Week – Part 3/5 A Young Man with an Ear to Hear – Discordant Sounds

Subliminal sound strikes deep and prides itself on its consistency to wear a person down. That is exactly what the universal sound intended to do in the young man.

Constantly hearing a mantra of hopelessness, the young man would often repeat to himself exactly what the universal sound was saying. “It is what it is.” In the young man’s mind, thoughts of acceptance and escapism worked side by side to keep him from hearing the voice of the I AM. Rather than confront the universal sound head on, he simply retreated from it, yet did not bother to try to defeat it. He was tired and weary. So, in his retreat he disengaged from its reality and escaped into another reality that was more tolerable to him, but equally subversive.

Light TextureThere was a source to the sound that played out in words pummeling the mind of the young man to get his focus off centered from Christ and onto the enemy’s lies and deceptions. It is demonic in nature. It is discordant in essence.

The discordant sound of the enemy lacks harmony and unity. It sustains an atmosphere of conflict, divergence, and confliction. That is what the enemy wanted to draw the young man into – a discordant sound. A spirit of death masks this sound. It will kill dreams in a life filled with promise and hope. It will abort destinies that can change history. It is not compliant but forceful in its own right.

It is illusive in nature and captures the minds and hearts of young men everywhere on the planet. Lyrics of death, visual media that entangles the heart in violence or worse yet, apathy. Rage and anger that lie dormant waiting to be healed in Christ but instead fueled by the discordant sound, finding its expression in the young man’s life. These sounds pull on him with a tight grip. These subversive sounds attempt to kill destiny and purpose in Christ.

God, the great I AM, in Christ Jesus by the power of Holy Spirit takes no heed to subliminal sounds. Truth and perfection in Christ orchestrates and ordains all the sounds on earth. He does not retreat from discordance. By His hand, He lets them play out until that perfect moment when He interjects the sound above all sounds. The sound of goodness, purity, wholeness and healing. The sound of love, destiny and purpose.

Walking towards the lightGod Himself waits in the midst His revelation of light, life and truth – ready to pour forth into the young man’s heart when all other sounds bring him to the point of intimate extraction. Extraction into what? Extraction into the discordant sound itself. This evil sound is not willing to just come in the young man’s life to exploit and divert. This evil source waits to conquer and pronounce itself lord.

God draws young men out who are willing to look at the source of the sound and be willing to move into another way, a more excellent way. This comes at a crucial point in the young man’s life when all seems out of reach, without reason and purpose. Only truth can lead Him away and only light can bring a young man into its presence.

There is indeed a clashing of sounds issuing forth in this day. Make no mistake to think it is cultural, environmental or sourced in the natural. It is a clashing of kingdoms to capture a generation of young men who are destined to do mighty exploits for Jesus Christ. This is indeed truth and truth is absolute – absolutely engaging, absolutely life changing and absolutely able despite all of hell trying to block its path.

Jesus declares loud and strong into the heart of a generation held captive by the discordant sound of chaos. He speaks with simplicity and grace. He speaks in the midst of light, love and life. He speaks.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4-5 NKJV)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63 NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6 NKJV)

The clear sound of Christ coming forth in the midst of darkness. There is no reason for any who are concerned about the condition of young men everywhere to be dismayed or in despair for Christ is alive and speaks forth in clarity and truth. Even though at this point in his life, the young man does not appear to be listening, yet the words of life pierce through the darkness, intent on reaching his heart. Do we underestimate the power of light in Christ to overcome and be victorious in a generation that seems in many ways to be held captive by a discordant sound? Christ has triumphed over principalities and darkness. We only need recognize that the battle we fight has already been won even in the midst of knowing that the darkness does not concede that easily.

More to come…..

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraRivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to a 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 July 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.

Creative Expression – Soundproof Rooms – A Vision, A Lesson

Words Words WordsSoundproof rooms – sounds a bit strange to me, or so I thought, but during worship, I actually had a distinct vision of this type of room. It goes something like this:

I was in a soundproof room. I began to speak – words of promise, words of destiny, words filled with faith. Over time, I realized that this room’s energy tried to contain and restrain my voice. The words seemed to be crashing against the ceiling, bouncing off of the walls, and clashing into each other. My initial response was to speak louder and louder but it did not seem to help. The louder I spoke, the more tired I became. I realized that I was expending a lot of energy. So, I stopped. I was silent, staring around at words that were life to me, yet they were going nowhere.

The silence itself then came to life, if that makes any sense to you. It does to me so try to see this in Holy Spirit. The silence itself came to life. It was deafening and somewhat accusatory in its depth. It seemed to be laughing at me, taunting me to try again, to speak louder. Trapped in this place, there seemed to be breakthrough. I was in a constrained and conflicted place with no way out except through the Lord Himself.

The words continued to move around when suddenly it was as if they turned to look at me. As I sat there awhile, I began to see that the very words that were life to me actually became my accusers as they taunted me.  It was if they were talking to me saying things like this:

“So where is your God? Doesn’t He see you know? Traveling to the nations right? From where, this room? He’s a liar. He deceived you. He never meant to fulfill these promises. Has God really said? Can He be trusted? You are a fool.”

The room became a cacophony of sound that assaulted me on all sides. At times it became almost unbearable. What do I do? Suddenly I heard these words crash into my spirit amidst the noise, words of truth and life.

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NKJV)

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “ With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NKJV)

This was a demonic attack to silence me and to kill my voice. This vision confirmed that which my heart already knew but was unable to truly see. To defeat this requires authority in Holy Spirit, to believe that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. So instead of shouting excessive words, trying to prove to myself and to whatever was trying to keep me there that I had authority, I simply waited.

Instead of speaking, I began to worship God. In time, faith filled my heart to know that this place of confinement was demonically induced and demonically empowered through deception and lies. The power of Christ in me is the key to breakthrough. Sometimes as crazy as it seems, I forget that simple truth. I opened my mouth and said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to go, to leave.”

SoundwaveSimple words. I actually believed what I was saying. I did not cringe in hopelessness or doubt or unbelief. I believed He is able and willing and gracious and kind and loving to release me from this place. And He did.

The roof lifted off. Not quietly but with a loud ‘swoosh’ as when air rushes into a place that is like a vacuum or a void. The air of Holy Spirit rushed in and His life breathed into me again with a rush of air full and free. Something broke. I know it.

That is the end of my vision. I won’t explain it because if you are in a place like this, I truly believe you get the point. You may ask or wonder why I did not see this earlier or why I could not have done this sooner. Why wait so long in this position? I am not sure. I don’t have an answer for that. I only know that God’s ways are perfect and so is His timing. For all I know, He may have been ready a long time ago to do this but I was not. I became bogged down in disillusionment and discouragement, dulling my spiritual senses. But, today is a different story.

If you find yourself in a similar place, perhaps you may want to add a comment below. There are many in these days that the enemy is trying to silence. I talk to many people day by day who feel invisible, ignored, and lost. What was the greatest lesson for me in all of this? It’s quite simple. My words are simply words without my source being in Christ, with my belief in Christ. The words of Jesus are spirit, life and truth. They bring light into all situations to set the captives free. In this case, it was me who was the captive. And, it can be you. I could not say any words, but the right words empowered by light, love, light, and truth. And, I had to believe He is able to do this through me.

I can expound a lot on this but I am learning that the prophetic shines brightly when I leave you with room to think, room for you to fill in the blanks in your own story. There will be more battles to come in the future. For now, this is a victory.

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

Debra and ChloeRivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to a 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 July 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.

 

Creative Expression – Revelation Locations – What Do You Think?

San PanchoMarvin and I spent the last week in San Pancho, Mexico, a wonderful village about 40 minutes out of the ‘mega-tourist’ destination called Puerto Vallarta. I love the ‘out of the way’ places and find myself thriving in these locations. I feel dull in Valencia, hence I sense our move out of here soon, very soon. I felt alive in San Pancho.

This led me to start thinking about some things, thoughts that I have written about before and preached about in years past. Revelation locations. Sounds a bit strange but that is the word that I came up with as I thought about my trip this past week. We rented a beautiful house (quite cheaply) and had almost what would be considered a private beach. Each day I sank deeper and deeper into a settled peace which allowed me to take my mind off of what I considered inevitable chaos while in SoCal.  I found myself dreaming of the impossible. The what-if’s faded into oblivion and the possibilities starting moving into view. I loved it. This became my revelation location in which Jesus downloaded some amazing things into my heart. Where will there creative thoughts take me? Well, writing for one thing. Moving for another thing. And adventure is a sure thing. Marvin and I are surely up to it, most surely.

Have you noticed something in Scripture? Have you seen that people were in distinct locations when a heavenly download took place? I know that this may not always be the case but I am looking for some extraordinary exceptions in my life right now and not the same ole same ole.

John on the island of Patmos – vision after vision after vision – we call it the book of Revelation.

Paul on the road to Damascus – struck down by God, which then led to blindness and finally eyes opening on a street called Straight.

The Ethiopian on the road at a particular time and place and then along comes Philip. Go figure what happens next. The heavens opened.

The Samaritan woman – life changing encounter.

There are more that I can find but I will limit myself to just these few above. My point?

Well, for me the point is that sometimes a change of physical location lends itself to some incredible revelation.

Sometimes getting up and moving out from a boring complacent position opens a window in heaven. And, sometimes, as I can well attest to, staying too long in one place for too long, leaves one empty, drained and without vision. Thank God for restoration in this sense.

I am not saying that we should always look ‘out there’ to receive, but I am saying that God makes it pretty clear that I should obey His directives in Holy Spirit when given. Why? Because ‘out there’ there is something waiting to be poured out that may not happen where I currently find myself standing.

San PanchoFor me, it was San Pancho. Something shifted in me, again. These months of turning are quite excellent indeed. That shift followed me home to LA where I realized that this place, Valencia, is not where we are supposed to be. Sometimes in order for that first domino to fall, you have to move out, find yourself positioned in the place that God has for you and suddenly, things start falling down in a forward progression in time. Perhaps I may call it breakthrough. Perhaps I may call it progression. In any case, it works for me in my life and perhaps you may want to consider if where you are is where you are supposed to be.

Now meditating on this may require incredible leaps of faith in which you throw caution to the wind and launch out into the deep led by Holy Spirit but He who calls you is faithful and He will do it. He will do it. Surely and truly.

Now based upon what I have just written, how do I put this into practice in the physical realm right now? Well, there is something intense stirring in me. Yet, i can’t interpret it with natural senses for it is a spiritual shift that will cause me to move out in faith. So, I realize that God is faithful and will speak forth words of wisdom to me one step at a time. How does that work?

The dream lies before me in which I long to travel out to the nations more frequently. It does all begin with one step. What do I mean? Well usually when I am seeking direction and the necessary download of wisdom, I pray and worship from a position of rest and I wait and He is faithful to always answer and direct.

I will talk more about this in the next blog. What about you in all this? Any thoughts?

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraRivers of Eden Ministry is called to prophetically minister into the nations, challenging people to a life of creativity in Christ. We (Marvin and I) travel into gatherings, home groups or churches as led by Holy Spirit. in your gathering, home group, conference or church in 2014. We look forward to hearing from you if you sense that Rivers of Eden is called to minister in your area. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter.