Prophets – In Deep Waters

Ocean WaveHere I am in deep waters, far away from any sign of land. Waves surge up and down, settling me briefly into watery valleys that hinder my vision. I hope to see some glimpse of land, some reference point that would lead me up and away from the deep waters into the shallows of what is familiar and comfortable. Yet, each time I rise up, the view is the same – more waves and a vast expanse of sky that causes me to feel a spiritual vertigo. If I look too long without anything to focus on, I feel a bit dizzy in this new place.

How did I get here? Well, I cried out a simple prayer, “More Lord.” When that prayer reached a crescendo, rising into the ears of God, He lifted me up and brought me out into the deep to call me unto Himself.

Despite my disdain for religion and my dislike for the mundane, at least the shallow waters lent themselves to some sort of fellowship and preaching. Out here there’s nothing. No distractions. It’s just the sound of the waves as the wind swirls around me.

To stay afloat, I can tread water but that gets tiring over time. How long will that keep me afloat anyway?

Nothing to lean on. Nowhere to go. It’s just me and the wind and the waves. What purpose does this serve? How does this fit into God’s mighty plan for my life?

I knew it would come to this. After all, when I cried out “More Lord” what did I expect? To be drawn up in the midst of churchianity or to be drawn out into the deep?

For years, a discontent grew within my whole being whenever I entertained the thought of church – business as usual, mundane boring programs, performance driven worship teams or leadership that micromanaged everything down to the last minute. This discontent almost killed me. It was at this point that God whispered into my being. “If you want to go deeper, you have to be drawn into the deep waters.”

Water flowingWhen it first happens, loneliness sets in along with a penchant to stay alive by any means possible. You know what I’m talking about if you are following along with this by the Spirit. Thinking that this won’t last too long or that God will let me go back to the safety of the shoreline. You get that right?

But as the waves come and go, I realize that it’s impossible to have both – sanctimonious religion and God ordained, Spirit led, Jesus loving relationship. It’s impossible for desire and passion to grow in environments self-serving to man’s agenda without any regard to precious Holy Spirit.

When drawn into the deep by the hand of God, there is only one thing to do. Release, let go and allow Him to pull you down into His depths. There is no returning to normalcy after that. When I release myself to the hand of God and He pulls me under, I have only one recourse of action left in my life.

Release everything to Him. Trust Him.

What’s the alternative? Catching a wave back into shore, splashing around in the shallows with those who want nothing more from God than the latest conference or next trendy worship CD. There are no options left for me.

I release myself into the depths of my Lord.

Over time, I discover a new paradigm takes over. What was focused years ago on external Christianity in the realm of performance, agenda and works is now focused on being in union with Christ, so that my life flows in Christ………..as He is, so am I in the world. This reality infuses my life with His life. It is Christ in me. Christ in me.

It is in the depths, the deep waters, that I find truth, the person of Christ in the depths of His love, His grace and His mercy flowing into my life.

God calls prophets into the deep waters for seasons of increased revelation, growth and maturity. It is a pulling aside, going deeper, intimate times with God apart from the routine and ritual that religious Christianity brings.

Prophets in deep waters love God and love His people. The deep is necessary to strengthen the message that will resonate through every fiber of our being. It is a call to love God wholeheartedly with our whole mind, body and soul, forsaking anything the world offers that tries to take the place of God. Our message is fine-tuned here, uncompromised, not conforming to standard or ritual.

What is the message you may ask? Is it some mysterious revelation that sets us apart? Is it some new teaching that will draw others to us, eyes wide open, gazing in admiration at us and our anointing?

It’s quite simple. It is the centrality of Christ; Jesus being all in all with every prophetic utterance issuing forth a revelation of the preeminence and glory, in the person of Christ.

In the deep, He forms the hearts before He fashions the words coming from our lives. Each word has its beginning and ending in the person of Jesus Christ. Our lives are changed. He is our all in all.

The deep brings a reality that forms in us and lives through us in Christ. We may be called back into the shallows and back onto land but the revelation imparted here will be the foundation of our lives. Radical prophets submitted to God, loving people and challenging the very nature of the church, as we know it.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36

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

Debra

Living with Passion and Purpose in Christ,
Debra
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Rivers of Eden Ministry
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The Noisy Now

Sound Waves From MouthThe Noisy Now – demanding, resounding, and LOUD.

It’s an atmosphere built upon words, and words and more words. People constantly talking, about everything and at the same time about nothing. Spend any amount of time on social media and the Noisy Now demands attention. In fact, not only does it demand attention, it makes me feel that if I don’t listen, or watch, or comment or like………….I WILL MISS OUT, BE LEFT OUT. What then? Is it necessary to always be in the mix? I don’t think so. God IS the mix and wherever I am, He is. So I don’t take my cues by the Noisy Now but from all that I glean in the silence of His presence.

If I let it, the Noisy Now manipulates me into its path intent on capturing my time. Live videos, urgent posts, pictures – before I know it, an hour flies by, then two and three. It tries to imprisons me in the grasp of its insignificant sound.

Social media has overstepped its bounds in my life so I pulled the plug, giving it no attention whatsoever unless it serves my purpose. No more entitled people, bent on arguments and constant streaming of every last thought, coming into my head. Out! Out!

This all started when I looked down my news feed on Facebook and actually got stressed out by all that I was seeing. Whether I agreed with it or not, I was tired of it all. It was as if unless I checked into the Noisy Now each and every day, my life would fade into oblivion  or lack significance. This is a dangerous place to be where I blend into every sound that is coming down the line. I will lose my voice here and I will be nothing more than an echo of all that is going on around me. No! No more!

There’s an undercurrent flowing under this noisy now. It seems that we want to be listened to, for someone to show us that our life matters. When it gets to the point where all the noise distracts me, using up precious time, I retreat into silence, into intimacy with Jesus Christ. I value alone time, silence. This is my message of impartation to those younger than me. Be quiet, get alone with Jesus to find yourself, to find out who you are and why you were born into such a time as this.

The Noisy Now is not something I want to get used to, not at all. I don’t want to be a hermit but I want to treasure silence with as much expectation as when I click on every link or picture in social media, hoping it will take me on a new adventure. It doesn’t do that but Jesus will – in the silence.

img_7240This is a message that I want to get across to a younger generation – to get away, to think. Thinking is good for the soul. As a Christian, meditation builds up and strengthens my spirit. I live in the spirit, not in the noise. Life in the spirit contradicts the noise. How can I get any direction for my life without meditative silence where I can think and hear Him?

Times of intimacy with Jesus preserves my sanity, strengthens me, and builds up my identity and faith. Quiet purges away the distractions, setting me on a path to walk in clarity of mind and strength of spirit.

There are whirlwinds of endless words trying to carry me away into confusion or distraction. In silence I gain wisdom and understanding about my life. To my younger brothers and sisters…….unplug and tune into Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In His presence are wisdom, peace, guidance, and direction.

Jesus calls us away, to come apart to spend time with Him. Be still and know that He is God. Don’t be swept away by the Noisy Now.Be still.

Debra

Living with Passion and Purpose In Christ,
Debra

Please share this – so many need to hear the simplicity of the message of Christ – peace in a noisy world. 

I’d love  to speak at your gathering, conference or home group, please send me a message on the contact page or email me at westbrook.debra@gmail.com Please visit Rivers of Eden Ministry page to find out something About Us.

Moments of Retreat – Silence…Please

ListenYesterday, as I sat in my living room I listened to the silence. It whispered to me.

“Enter into a time of meditation with Christ Jesus.”

Moments of retreat I like to call them. Times of saturation while soaking in His presence. Each day, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes 2 hours, I worship and pray. What’s important here is quality not quantity. This is not a hurried place. It is a place of a deep flow into my spirit.

Soaking – a modern word meaning to just BE with Him, without agenda, without time constraints.

Moment by moment, I am aware that in the silence there is a depth of revelation that is imparted to me just to BE me. In being, I understand my identity in Christ. His revelation to me in moments of retreat radiates into every cell of my being. He holds all things together, and that includes me.

Your (My) old life is dead. Your (My) new life, which is your (My) real life––even though invisible to spectators––is with Christ in God. He is your (My) life. Colossians 3:3 Message

How often are you busy, too busy to spend time with the Lord? No guilt here, none at all. Just a spiritual challenge, which will greatly enhance your life.

Are you on the go, prioritizing things in your busy life that will have no eternal significance…none at all? Consider taking time to retreat each day. Let Holy Spirit lead the way.

Before He called me apart yesterday, I felt frazzled and hurried. Questions assaulted my mind, trying to create distraction and confusion about my life.

“Where is this all going?”

“What’s next?”

“Where do I go from here?’

Tension seemed to rise in me like a wave that wanted to draw me down into its power. I felt insignificant in light of what I saw others doing. In comparing myself to others, I lost a sense of purpose in those moments and fear set in. This can often happen after an anointed, awesome time of ministry as we had in Poland last week.

My observation? I see so many trying to make themselves be seen, or heard, or noticed. Lives flowing in their own strength, trying to be in the mix and out there so as not to be forgotten. Post after post on social media. Constant interaction to affirm their identity to be someone in someplace doing something to boost their own sense of being.

But what about the silence? That’s the place of testing and trust. Can I be still in the silence, knowing that God Himself is orchestrating my life while I seemingly do nothing but worship? Yes, He does work on our behalf. There’s the beauty of it all. His ways are not our ways.

It is in these moments of retreat, I realize that I am known by the One who calls me to come apart. He knows me yet I don’t always know “Me” in Christ. To come away in times of quiet and prayer, I find myself in Christ. My life settles into worship and that constant tension within me that pulls me, trying to form me into the image of the world is silenced.

In Christ, there is an exchanged life. Unless I soak in that reality, I am tossed here and there upon the waves of the world’s chaos. This exchanged life is Christ in me, me in Christ…………my life hidden in Christ Jesus. My identity, my purpose and my destiny are in Christ. He draws us away to call us to Himself to BE ourselves.

Just BeI am brought into time by the hand of God, placed in my mother’s womb significantly and specifically. Think about that when chaos rules your life or worry is your default. If you feel out of sync with your own life, I call you into the deep away from shallow waters.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.. Jeremiah 1:5 Message

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God––you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration––what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit-by-bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. Psalms 139:13-16 Message

Enter into a time of silence. All else fades in comparison to the clarity you will encounter when you spend time alone with Jesus.

Look around. There is so much excessive movement among followers of Christ. Seeking validation in so many things and in so many ways.

This is what stirred in me yesterday so I want to encourage each of you today. Sitting alone in the silence, He knows me, knows everything about me. My life is in His hands. There is fullness in being still. The enemy knows this and tries every trick up his sleeve to keep me busy. Avoid that trap. More can be settled or apprehended in one hour with Jesus that most people can do in one full day.

Stillness imparts deep revelation of significance to the inner life. That is desperately needed among this young generation of Jesus followers. I challenge you to unplug and spend time with Jesus. He waits for you in that secret place.

It’s the stillness that births identity. Remember that. Take some time to BE with Him.

Debra

 

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

 

Can Your Unique Sound Be Released Right Where You Are?

I’m speaking – no one seems to be listening. It’s as if the sound is going into a void that diffuses it, sending it into oblivion, lost forever in nothingness.

Sound Waves From Mouth

As this happens over and over again, I begin to sense that my words aren’t hitting the mark. I watch this happening right as I am speaking. Here it comes, a sense of disconnect. That sense of no one really hooking into what you are saying –deep detachment from the conversation. Words seem to vaporize in the atmosphere.

What’s worse than feeling like you’re not being heard? What’s the outcome here? I can disconnect from everything with the attitude of ‘Why bother?” That leaves me a passive observer, no longer engaging with the atmosphere or environment I am in. I shut down. I’m quiet. There’s nothing coming out even though the well deep inside is full and flowing with ideas and creativity. Frustration builds and builds inside of me.

In contrast to this, I determine that nothing will stop me from being heard. I speak. And I speak. And I speak some more. My intent is to be heard, no matter what. Ever been around people like that? I have and I believe I was someone like that in past seasons. In this type of situation, it seems that everyone sees your insecurity but you. It’s best to quit while you’re ahead when you see people disengaged from what you’re saying and making every excuse to get away from you.

What’s the problem here? Let me give you something to think about. It may be best to read the blog that came before this one to get a feel for where I am going in this series of blog posts. I want to say again that this particular post is a journey in this topic. I throw out the thoughts and you run with them in your own creative way in Christ. That is essentially the heart of the true prophetic – to stir life inside of you so that you seek the Lord for yourself, hearing His voice.

The sound I carry within me, the voice deep inside, cannot be released in the spiritual atmosphere in which I find myself. Therefore, I become frustrated when it appears that I am ignored passed over and somewhat out of sync with everything and everyone around me. Be careful. That can lead to anger. How can they hear when their spiritual ears are closed to your sound? Remember Jesus?

You can relate this to a physical environment you find yourself in, but right now I am talking about my God ordained sound, my voice which flows out of the depths of my being, bringing forth the message that God has placed inside of me within the spiritual atmosphere. My bent. My being.

Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 AMP

God raises up His children in the ‘bent’ into which He fashions them. Each of us has this bent, the way He makes us, forms us in His image, unique, creative and gifted. He wants us to be who we are in Christ. Within that bent, we each have a unique verbal expression. That’s a bit hard to see in the world today where words are devalued all around us. We repeat what others say. We mimic what others say. But how much do we actually spend time with the One who created us to find out our inner voice that expresses His life through us.

A radical sound is not necessarily the choice of words that we use. It is the sound that emanates deep from within our being, the flows like a river from our inner substance, formed in Christ.

I actually heard Holy Spirit whisper this to me.

“Your sound can’t be released here.”

That set me on a journey that will define these blog posts. I realize that the place where I now find myself in a spiritual climate of believers is not the place where I can release my sound until I get a clear directive from Holy Spirit. That saves me a lot of frustration. The enemy can get into this frustration by making me feel that I am being rejected. For me, when I heard the Lord say this,  I relaxed. I quieted inside. Why fight it?

This is not compromise on my part. It is submission to Holy Spirit. And it comes with peace. Deep peace. We are not entitled to speak in every situation, to have the right answer, to prove that we are cutting edge with a current word of prophecy or to rely on an outflow of words to keep people focused on us.

Perhaps I am on a path here which started in me a long, long time ago. It was at that time when I asked the Lord to anoint me with words of power, purpose, truth, life and healing. He asked me “Do you want to be a voice of truth in a world of chaos?’

I said, “Yes.”

This seems to my training process here. It starts with learning  when to be silent, not so much when to speak. I know that I know there are prophetic people reading this that can say a hearty “Amen” in agreement with this. For others starting out on how to flow in Holy Spirit, lots of wisdom will flow in life lessons in the days ahead in order to help you grow and mature in prophetic wisdom and grace. More definitely coming on this topic.

Debra

 

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

No More Regrets – Great Video!

FaithSomeone posted this video on Facebook today and I immediately knew it is my message of the day. I learn to see in Holy Spirit what the Father is saying to His children. God speaks in a variety of ways and creative outlets. He is speaking through this video. I am simply making the connection between the regret that people sense in their lives and the ONE who heals and restores and makes new. Jesus Christ.

No more regrets – for any of us. So many, as you will see when you watch this, are dealing with lost vision, opportunities, dreams, etc. etc. etc.

Regret leaves us standing in a prison behind a locked door. Feeling trapped and isolated, unable to see any possible way from fulfilling what is deep in our heart, we feel dead inside, going through the motions, limited and dormant. Eyes well up with tears simply because deep inside we know that we know we are created for more……….the more being a deep passion to fulfill a purpose inside that is from eternity and bathed in creativity.

Jesus comes and gives us a clean slate – day by day, moment by moment. In the midst of our mistakes, our failures and our losses, our hearts turn and repent (to think differently, to change one’s mind for the better, to reconsider).

We stand and gaze upon His beauty, see His glory and see ourselves in Christ. His mercies are new every morning. His goodness abounds to us in our weakness.

We not only stand in the imparted revelation of His goodness and grace, we move in faith to start today with new vision, birthed from the throne of God. In other words, it is NEVER too late, unless you make it so. Believe this is so for it is not cliché but reality in Christ.

He wipes the slate clean. Every good and perfect thing comes down from the Father of lights. Knowing each of us before we were even born, our lives are hidden in Christ as He is Lord of our lives. He forms us, knows us and empowers us to live a renewed, holy life through the power of His resurrection. Enjoy!

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry