Prophetic Soundings – Deep Deep Water

flowing blue waterIn my vision, I saw prophets in deep water, resting in its movements, not treading water or trying to resist the continual flow. These men and women knew God Himself brought them out to the deep. Ridiculed, persecuted, and many times labeled rebellious because they would not follow prophetic protocol laid down by the current trend of prophetic networks, they flowed out to the deep, guided by the hand of God. These prophets obeyed, risking rejection, facing loneliness and most of the time being misunderstood, labeled independent or not wanting to submit to the proper authority. Over time, humility worked its way deep within the heart of the prophet. Silence permeated their lives because God’s hand restrained them from speaking or even justifying why they found themselves alone in deep waters.

“You are mine!” says the Lord.

It was a time of diving into the depths of the ocean. Where else was there to go? With no land around, there was nowhere else to go but down, down, down into the depth of His being. Flowing within the currents of the Lord’s voice, it was a time of being set apart.

After a considerable length of time, words began to form close to the surface of the prophet’s life and one by one, many began to speak. Deep words of the reality of Christ Jesus, being in Christ. This message flowed from substance, flowed from transformation within the prophet’s being. This message is one that is released in the deep waters. To hear it, one must choose to come out into the deep, away from the shore. These are words of transformation engaging with the spirit of the listener. These are words of Spirit, life and truth. These are words of Christ, being in Christ flowing out in creative expression through the prophets of the deep that are learning to live, move and have their being in the person of Christ.

“I am yours and you are mine!”

I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine (Song of Songs 6:3 NKJV)

Wait, what is this that I see now? I look back towards the shoreline and see so many people splashing in the waves. From a distance, they seem to like the excitement of it all, lots of shouting, declarations and laughter. Lots of noise.

Visual representation of a soundwaveI listen closely and suddenly through the noise, I can make out distinct words like revival, breakthrough, acceleration, and so much more. Lots of prophetic catch words and phrases that sound like a remix of what has been said over and over through the years. Yet, it seems that the people really like it.

“I’ve heard it all before.”

The same promises, and the same sound for years on end. They sound out and because it’s so shallow at the shore, the sounds hit the bottom and rise up quickly, appealing to the soul and the emotions to those content to dwell at the shoreline. Individual lives, ministries, and churches rest in the shallows, hearing the sound of the shallow waters. These words seem to ebb and flow like the tide – going in, going out. I have heard these same words being spoken year after year after year.

For Christians to mature, we must respond to a sound declared from the deep. And that requires leaving the safety of the shore to listen and venture out by the hand of God.

SpeakingI will speak from the deep to the substance of Christ within people. I will speak to the spirit within a person. Words of truth and life – something that the church at large seems unable to receive or understand in its current state, where preaching to emotion and need transcends everything else.

Where do you find yourself today and in what kind of spiritual atmosphere? Something to think about. There is so much to say about this that I will just keep writing. I know some of you are thinking some deep thoughts so please feel free to comment. This path that I am now in while writing this is long and expansive. Lots to say. Our journey in Christ in the deep waters. Hear what I am saying by the Spirit okay? Find yourself in these posts.

Debra And Chloe

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!

Mantles??? Why? Christ in us – Reality!

Prophetic words often speak about mantles falling, mantles being imparted, and Elijah mantles ready to receive. I  read about mantles that were given to people in past seasons, now available for us. I also read about mantles that were never actually appropriated in a person’s life, being available to us right now to finish what they did not or could not These are just a few examples that I find in current prophetic words.

How can I stand in judgment when I probably prophesied about mantles too in years past while preaching? It was the prophetic way to follow and I followed wholeheartedly in it. Now I am seeing differently. The lens in my life is seeing through the finished work of the cross of Christ. It has radically shaped and transformed my life, even my prophetic life and prophecies that flow from deep within me.

So what about mantles? I recently went through the hundreds of messages that I had on my computer, preached in days gone by. I tossed many of them because of the mixture of Old Covenant and New Covenant reality that I found in their context. How did I preach that stuff?

Isn’t that a bit extreme – tossing it all away? Can’t I just save a few? Well, yes and no. Yes, I can save some, if they point to Christ and Christ alone, I can rewrite them with Christ in focus. No, they can’t be saved, if they continue to be preached from an Old Covenant reality. For me it is freedom to see with growing clarity and conviction that I am in the reality of a New Covenant given in Christ where Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the open door revealing to us mysteries and revelation of the Kingdom. As I said before, as for me, I love the Old Testament but I am not under an Old Covenant. I love the Old Testament when it points to the reality of Christ. From that point of revelation, I can learn, glean and receive wisdom and revelation from God.

Mantles – garments, glory, anointing; a large over garment such as Elijah’s mantle; to gather over and form a cover; represents spiritual covering; Mantle passed from Elijah to Elisha; significant of spiritual authority, covering and power

In the context of many prophetic words that I read, the mantle seems to be prophesied as a covering or something that we need to seek for and hunger for in order to gain something greater in our lives. The focus of the mantle in many prophetic words is ‘outsourced’ to something or someone other than the reality of Christ in us. What do I mean by that? The focus of the mantle in many prophecies that I read seems to imply that I should desire or seek a mantle to gain greater authority or power such as the anointing of Elijah or Elisha. Why? This focus is outsourced to something that is outside of us. So many prophesied from the reality of this verse. Altar calls were given based upon receiving a mantle or double portion.

Elijah went straight out and found Elisha son of Shaphat in a field where there were twelve pairs of yoked oxen at work plowing; Elisha was in charge of the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak over him. I Kings 19:19

I have been in conferences in seasons past where the focus was on the mantle/anointing of Elijah, Elisha, Deborah, Esther, and John the Baptist Forerunner Anointing, just to name a few. Again I want to say that all of this is inferior to the excellence of Christ Jesus in me in a New Covenant reality. I am in union with Christ. Why a mantle or a covering when I have Christ or rather, He has me.

“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you; therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.” Colossians 1:26-29 The Message

Why seek a mantle, something that is implied as needed and is in contradiction to the reality of Christ and Holy Spirit?

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. John 16:13-15 NKJV

Why did I and many others run to the altar to receive an impartation for a mantle or anointing? What did we think we were going to receive when all has been given to us in Christ? Prophecy seemed to extend the invitation for us to gain more, seek more, and hunger more rather than rest in the excellence of Christ in us. He has given us Holy Spirit. Why would we need a mantle or greater anointing?

There is great transformation needed in our prophetic language. How will this come about? Our language reflects the inner workings of our heart. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. We will prophesy that which we see, comprehend and understand. If we see and hear a mixture of an Old Covenant reality preached to us or prophesied to us, we prophesy or speak from that position in our own lives.

When our vision lifts us up to see Christ in a New Covenant reality of grace, we prophesy from the position of being seated in heavenly places. What is that reality? Our total security in Christ, unconditional love and acceptance – without striving to receive more to complete us. We are complete in Christ and from that revelation, we move in grace and the faith of the Son of God moves us in action.

From that position, our perspective changes as we reflect on the eternal purposes of God in Christ to be manifest in the earth today through believers of Jesus. We mature and grow beyond the elementary teachings. This is a process that is taking place right now. We are in the tension of that process. That is why so many prophetic words are falling flat, without life. They are still prophesying breakthrough, revival, more anointing so that people get emotionally intoxicated but inevitably time goes by and we often see, little if any change. There is a lot to say on this. I am in process, learning day by day writing one step at a time.

We need no covering. We have Christ. We need no mantle. We have Christ. He is our all in all. When we gaze upon His beauty, we will be transformed by that which we gaze upon in our lives. My focus: I have said it many times. To see the preeminence of Christ restored as our only focus. From that, the river does indeed flow.

Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 2:16-18

In Christ,
Debra Westbrook

cropped-10177248_755497004490453_3881209406351311543_n.jpgRivers 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.

Some Great Quotes

QuoteHere are some great quotes challenging my growth in Christ. They comfort and assure me, challenge and confront me, and most of all let me know God is in control, even if I don’t understand it all at this time.

“You can’t have authority over what you don’t love.” Shawn Bolz

“Become a safe place for the supernatural to happen in people’s lives.” Shawn Bolz

“2014 – Restoration of the method, the message and the messenger.” James Goll

“Prophecy is high-tech love.” Shawn Bolz

“Faith and hope work together. Hope is the seed bed that faith grows in.”  Kris Vallotton

“Hope feels, faith sees.” Kris Vallotton

And here’s mine:

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. Feel Free to contact us on Facebook, Twitter.