God Sees – People Don’t

With Brave Wings, She FliesHow can I be hidden in plain sight? Isn’t that a contradiction? God sees all and knows all. Yet, people don’t. I am not hidden from God. I am hidden in God in Christ.

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3 NKJVS)

His hand hides me in the midst of people. Strange but true. The ways of the kingdom are contrary to the wisdom of man. In other words, God seems to do things that we don’t always understand. That’s a good thing. I am never hidden from God’s sight. He knows me intimately through and through.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well (Psalms 139:13-14 NKJVS)

Knowing that God sees me makes it a bit difficult to reconcile why a God that loves me beyond measure would set me in a hidden place. It does not make sense does it? Yet, I see so many gifted, anointed people just sitting and waiting while the chosen few seem to get ahead, pass us by, get lifted higher and higher in being seen, build bigger ministry platforms, and have great favor among the people. Many followers run here, there and everywhere wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves and they see that they can receive that from these ministries. This all seems to be a bit askew to me. This story comes to mind.

The story is told of an occasion where St. Thomas Aquinas was walking with a prelate through one of the grand cathedrals of his day. Referring to a coffer filled with precious coins, the prelate remarked, “Behold, Master Thomas, the church can no longer say, as St. Peter, ‘Silver and gold have I none!’” St. Thomas was apparently quick with his retort, “Alas, neither can we say what follows, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.’”

My father, raised during the depression of the 1920’s, used to tell me. “Honey, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” So what about today in the world at large and in western Christianity? The middle class gets smaller and smaller and smaller. The rich are getting richer and richer and richer. The poor are getting poorer and poorer. One calls it income inequality or an unfair distribution of wealth. Confirming this reality is a book I am reading called, Plutocrats. The rich are building their own kingdoms amidst the reality of increasing poverty, holding numerous passports AND paying homage to no country. In fact, they create their own countries among themselves. For whatever it is worth, I can see some similarities in what is happening in the world  and in the church at large. Why don’t you give it some thought? It seems to me that these iconic ministries, formidable church structures are creating their own kingdoms, enjoying the wealth, prosperity and fame it brings to them. They create a kingdom among themselves. There is so much to say about this. Let me go on. 

Amidst the grandeur of what is around us in Christianity, it seems good to get back to simplicity in Christ. In this transition before those who are hidden are pulled out into leadership, many stay hidden in plain sight. What does that really mean for me? I am choosing to submit to God’s way for me in this season. I can tell you that I tried to get out of this hidden state but no matter what I tried or did not try, I stayed hidden in plain sight.

Over and over, the gifts in me, any talent within me, the anointing of Holy Spirit, purpose, and passion was passed over in a myriad of ways. Choices had to be made. I could cry from the rooftops, hand out resumes to every conceivable ministry or church,  and force people to see me. Tried some of that. Didn’t work so I was more frustrated

So I did the opposite. I sat back and served. I was a good girl not rocking the boat. Again, despite my best efforts to conform to the church’s standard at large, I stayed hidden.

Perhaps you are wondering: What’s the difference? Why all the tension? Aren’t you making this harder than what it really is? What’s the big deal? Just get out there and do something.

Do we realize that as we mature in Christ, that this is NOT an option? In the process of maturing in Christ,  it is no longer an option to choose our way, whatever that looks like and however we can get it to work. Maturity brings with it a conforming to the image and the hand of God for my life. I don’t want just anything. In this season of my life, I want ME, the best me in Christ for this next step of the journey. What is God up to?

Well, it is twofold. He is teaching me to walk in the simplicity of Christ in complete trust so that His glory will be seen in my life, not me. He is teaching me to trust Him for His timing and purpose. And, at the same time, He is preparing his church at large, the Body of Christ, to look past the externals, the big names, etc. to open their eyes to see that there are many filled to abundance being passed over right in their midst. He is working on the church or the Body of Christ (whatever you want to call it – Christendom)  to accept ME and YOU for who we are, not trying to conform us to the current Christian standard or trend so that community and authentic Christianity can be built true to form and fashion in Christ.

Some Christian leaders can have people sitting in their midst, precious, creative, full of wisdom and grace AND what do they do? Nothing, Absolutely nothing. They proceed to take the same path that they always have, not willing to change or to see. Christians seem to want to grab hold of a sure thing, be part of some existing ministry or movement, rather than move into something creative and new and fresh. OR others want to stay in the same rut, the same way that they have been doing it for many years. There are problems to numerous to focus on. One thing is clear. Great shifting is taking place, great change is upon us and God is moving in our midst, His way. For that I am grateful for all that is happening and will happen in my life.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry would love to speak at your next conference, home group of gathering. Contact me on our Contact Page. Get to know me on Twitter, and by going to Our Timeline of 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.

Christ All In All Flowing through the Prophetic

Though she be littleAgain, I want to reiterate that my purpose in writing this is quite simple. The Message says it so beautifully.

Colossians 1:15-20
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels––everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

He was supreme in the beginning and––leading the resurrection parade––he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe––people and things, animals and atoms––get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross

To this end, I labor in writing this blog – so that Christ alone is glorified. It is quite evident to me that a birthing is taking place in my life. Without writing this, I could stay pregnant forever in my silence. That is something I simply will not and cannot do. So, I write and process as best as I can.

The simplicity of Christ and the preeminence of Christ are essential now and in the days ahead. Many can and do talk about God with nebulous words and phrases. Yet, God made it all real in Christ and joins us to Him in our salvation. It is to that end that we prophesy – to glorify the Son. So, let’s begin to set our sights on God’s eternal purpose in Christ and let prophecy flow from that reality.

On this journey writing about prophetic transformation, let’s talk about the word ‘revival’. This quote below pretty much sums it all up for me. All I can add to it is simply ‘Selah’.

What we have called revival, the New Testament calls Christianity. Jonathan Welton

How many times must I continue to hear that God is moving, God is shaking, and revival is stirring in specific locations and locales? Over the years I have frequently heard that THE hot-spot for revival will be Texas, California (south to north and south again), New York’s tidal wave tsunami flowing over the States, Florida, Alabama, Colorado, etc, etc. etc.

Why is it necessary to quantify the word ‘revival’ to add to its credibility? We feel we must name ‘names’ and speak of how many are flocking to these places, conveniently placing pictures on Facebook or Instagram of people slain in the spirit lying at altars.

Then, we additionally mention more iconic names that spark revival fever. In addition, we relay information about upcoming conference venues seeking to maintain this move of God. We just need to quantify a spiritual reality. Does anyone else think this is immature on our parts? It seems like a group of children showing off their new toys.

But we don’t stop there. We may even further quantify our statements by speaking in superlative tones, which exalt the manifestations of gold dust, angelic appearances, fire or wind. We again then quantify the number of healings and salvation. This leads me to believe that we think more is better, grander, highly favored. The masses then respond with awe and reverence at the event, the people, and the conference.

I can’t be silent. I want to write about a need for prophetic transformation – transformed in His glory, gazing upon the face of Christ and then speaking forth. In wisdom, I believe subtlety is better and displays wisdom in our Christianity. Why do we feel we need to always prove something when we have SOMEONE? Where two of three are gathered, He is in the midst and there is power, authority and even this thing call revival. I believe ‘revival’ has been almost deified in and of itself, taking the focus off of Christ. Not always, of course, but I am determined that we focus on Christ and Christ alone so that we may encounter the days ahead with authenticity, honor, grace and glory.

Let’s change our foundational belief. Revival is not ‘out there’. Revival is normal Christianity flowing through my life in the power of the Spirit. Christ is in me. What more do I need? I live, move and have my being in Him.

Then, let’s get rid of any quantitative, superlative language that seeks to hype up the emotions and lead people to believe something is the end all, be all – something they need and can’t live without. So in essence, we do not need revival outsourced and tied to our emotions to respond to some iconic ministry or conference. We simply need to believe what the quote says above.

Revival is New Testament Christianity, Christ in me, and my union with Christ – that is a consistent flowing of life from my belly in the power of the Spirit. All of us. Selah.

Though she be littleThere is so much more flowing from me regarding prophetic transformation. I am a little voice, as I heard someone so aptly say on Facebook the other day. Yet I remember what the jockey said in the movie Seabiscuit, one of my favorite movies. It’s a quote from Shakespeare.

 

 

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.

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.

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.