Freedom in Holy Spirit

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17) What is freedom? We talk about it. Sing about it. Preach about it. Yet, I see so many Christians living defeated, discouraged, depressed lives – tossed around by the waves of chaos and confusion that are trying to overtake the world.

Cross of Flowing watersWhere the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. The Holy Spirit is in me. The Spirit leads me. I walk in the Spirit. He is not vague, or mysterious as to only be for those more spiritual looking and sounding.

Holy Spirit is filled with passion and purpose in my life. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, in me and with me, there is freedom flowing out from me. Freedom forms the foundation of my life, the very core of my being. Freedom, not just in a meeting. Not just in times set apart for worship and prayer. Now, always, forever. Holy Spirit lives and moves in my life.

Here’s the deal. We can’t divorce the Trinity into manageable components of only what we like, taking Jesus because He appears to be more understandable . Or wanting the Father because He is all about that love. We have Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is a mystery to many. Yet, this mystery longs to be unveiled, moving in our lives, revealing Christ, giving us direction, igniting our lives with the fire of God………..

Freedom in Holy Spirit brings liberation from the confines of the Law of Moses, an Old Covenant reality, which can veil, restricts and hides the face of Christ in the New Covenant. Maybe the law of Moses, Old Covenant, is not openly preached as such yet wherever there is a performance based structure that thrives on a religion based on law, rules, or performance to draw close to God, there is a mixture of Old Covenant and New Covenant. There is no more veil in Christ. The veil is removed.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Many leaders are afraid of Holy Spirit. They inhibit the movement of the Spirit, trying to legislate God’s glory through control. Many avoid the gifts of the Spirit, or even manipulate the moving of the Spirit to keep it contained according to man-made wisdom and its accompanying action. The Holy Spirit is gentle but at times can be wild – Holy Spirit will not be confined to our agenda.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. This freedom is more than what is exhibited in a typical Charismatic service even with manifestations. Manifestations do not indicate an atmosphere of freedom in the Spirit.

How many times did we, as Charismatics, look down on those who did not appear to walk in the Spirit, speak in tongues, or manifest His presence in some way? Even in a service of this type, there can still be preached a mixture of grace and law where people shake but are not free.

breaking chainsFreedom in the Spirit is also more than the current trend of social justice movements flowing through evangelical churches. Without Christ leading the way and without the Spirit flowing through the movement, revealing Christ, it is still devoid of true freedom. Many may be quick to look down on Charismatics as being shallow, without substance yet these movements can be orchestrated by the law of performance and man’s wisdom, without Jesus being at the center.

This freedom talked about in 2 Corinthians 3:17 is deep and profound, changing and transforming individuals first in a revelation of a New Covenant reality. As individuals are changed, a corporate expression of Christ will soon then flow.

This freedom is the core and everything else flows out from it in accompanying action. Unless we are tuned into what the New Covenant has given us in Christ, we are still walking in mixture of grace and law. In that sense, our eyes may still be veiled from the reality of Christ Jesus.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV)

This freedom does not subvert or downplay the beautiful reality of grace and the finished work of the cross. It is not a spontaneous, do whatever you want when you want it, total disregard for Scripture, I am free so don’t have to do anything but live by my own definition of grace type of freedom. Look at the context of the verses before it.

For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. (2 Corinthians 3:9-11 NKJV)

What came through the Old Covenant in glory? Glory but there is a more excellent way when we see and take hold of the glory that excels in Christ. That is freedom.

Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech — 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:12-16 NKJV)

Paul is talking about the New Covenant in Christ, in Holy Spirit BEING a more excellent way than the way of Moses under the New Covenant.

The veil is removed. There is no obstruction to our seeing the face of Christ. Holy Spirit leads us into greater revelation of Christ.

In Christ, we are going from glory to glory to glory, shining bright with the light and life of Christ in me and in you.

As a Charismatic, I saw manifestations sensationalized in order to qualify the presence of Holy Spirit thereby often downplaying his passion and purpose which is to reveal  Christ in us, the hope of glory. We cried out to God for hours shaking and falling, trying to get His attention, as the veil covered our eyes to the fact that we are in Christ. Being in Christ, the external gyrations were not necessary and did not bring freedom, only a hunger for more manifestations. What a mess we were! Thank God for grace!

A heart of freedom in Holy Spirit grows within an individual who is awakened to their life in Christ and God’s unconditional love for them giving the Spirit to navigate this life with a divine connection to heaven.

As we are awakened to grace and our freedom in Christ, the overflow of that freedom brings a life of unveiled intimacy with the Lord in Holy Spirit. In this, there is desire and passion, which awakens within to live, move and have your being in the unconditional life and love of Christ. The overflow of this life, first individually and corporately, is an overflow of everything else – gifts, manifestation, and justice. We are in sync with God, abiding in Him doing what He is doing in the world today. We are at rest in His moving in our lives. At rest in peace in a time of war and chaos.

Freedom begins within – knowing Christ in me, Christ in you. That is a good place to start. I love you Holy Spirit.

Debra 2In 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!

Prophecy in the Way called “It Is Finished!”

To repent is to change your way of thinking. There is a barrage of noise out there that continually prompts us to repent to produce right action in our lives to be more acceptable to God. The focus is on the right action as opposed to what we already have in Christ – right being. To strive to be better in order to receive God’s approval negates the finished work of the cross.

How does one repent to be better? Do I run to altar calls consistently challenging me to cry out, to pray more, to work more, to study harder in order to present myself approved before God? That is a way and that way is called “never enough.” I used to walk that way. I prophesied from that way – into people’s lives, into churches, into nations, into everything around me. Why? Because my own path was forged on a way called “never enough” – never coming into the revelation of God’s grace in Christ in the finished work of the cross. My journey is changing day by day in Christ’s unfolding revelation to me and through me.

To repent is to change your way of thinking, not to produce moral action or improved behavior but first and foremost to change my way of thinking about Christ Jesus. Who He is. What He does. How He moves. How He lives. The reality of God’s love in Christ that flows in my life in Holy Spirit. A glorious salvation – my life in Christ. To repent, to change my way of thinking in Christ will bring transformation into my life.

I can only prophecy from this way called “It is finished.” Jesus is the Way. This way is the person of Christ, the way of life in Christ and He Himself is the path that is every expanding day by day. This way does not look for more to do, greater ways to achieve, and more ways to be accepted. This way walks in the unforced rhythms of His grace.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me––watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill–fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)

On my pathway out of religion into an awakening to know Christ, I see a pattern. I don’t want to know about Him or what denominations say He is through ascribing to selective doctrines. Not to even know Him through a constant mixture of grace and law, which dominates the prophetic on many fronts. First, I eschew all the notions of becoming or striving, which propels me into a constant whirlwind of receiving based upon my performance. I simply walk in seeing Him, Christ Jesus and in knowing Him through a revelation of 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)

In this reality of grace and glory, I then begin to see and take hold of purpose, plan, passion and path for my life. I am created to BE in Christ and to flow in His workmanship for my life, in that order.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)

My prophetic voice is changing. I prophesy while walking in the Way of the person of Christ. It is a way called “It is finished.” That is the Good News. How am I starting to walk in this, sloughing off all religious mixture of law and grace? I simply focus on Jesus and filter all I hear, read and see through Him.

I am personally mediating on God’s eternal purpose in Christ, and therefore in me. Where do I flow from that eternal purpose in time? How do I prophesy that life into other people, aligning their life with this reality? How do I walk this out as I manifest His grace and glory through my life?

Let me give you a simple example. Hopefully it will not be askew or off course but this is how my mind thinks. I think of Apple – my MAC, my iPad, and my iPhone – all in sync. Apple soars into the realm of impossibility and hopefully will continue to do that. Its employees, for the most part, seek to be involved and integrated into something bigger than themselves. They have passion and purpose and direction. Why then, if this is possible for Apple, do Christians get earth-bound, needs based, bogged down into religion rather than walking in the reality of someone infinitely greater than any earthly kingdom can build? As Christians we must dream and launch out into risks and live in the Spirit. There is eternal purpose in Christ but how do I see it when I am bogged down by the mundane that is currently pervasive in Western Christianity?

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. (Ephesians 3:8-13 NKJV)

Prophecy will flow from within me as I walk in the reality of the expanding revelation of God’s eternal purpose in Christ Jesus. I am just getting started here. Isn’t it time we look outside of our circumstances, our situations, our own earthly lives and gaze upon Him who will give meaning to it all? I am moving out of prophetic mixture into grace and glory. Consumed with Christ. Still moving, still processing, enjoying the journey.

In Christ,
Debra Westbrook

Debra NapaThis expanding revelation is what Marvin and I are bringing to the table of the Lord. Will we gather a people? Will we bring truth and healing to the nations? Yes, to it all. Rivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to live a prophetic life of creativity, revelation and intimacy in Christ. 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.

Creative Expression – Holy Spirit – Leading, Directing, Guiding – Out And About

SparkHoly Spirit is quite controversial to most Christians. I hear little if anything spoken about Holy Spirit these days. Praying in tongues, prophesying, laying on of hands, true prophetic worship and definitely creative expression is omitted from most gatherings. John quite succinctly tells us that Jesus was quite specific when He says:

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)

To paraphrase His words, Jesus is saying to us that If you want to know Him, then allow Holy Spirit to reveal Him to you – His ways, His Truth, His life AND to continue to walk in the Spirit as He continues to open up and reveal the person of Christ to us.

Yet, I continue to say and will keep saying that going into most Christian gatherings, I leave, sensing that I have not been touched with a revelation of the mystery of Christ. I leave thinking that I have been in a good gathering, but one that does not leave me breathless and awestruck in the beauty and glory of Christ. What is happening? It’s quite simple. All of us will have to give up control and enter into the beauty of intimacy with Christ and then walk in obedience to His wisdom in His clear directives. Holy Spirit requires that I put aside my agenda for His. I assure you that once I put aside this intense need to control and micromanage and ‘jump into’ the Spirit’s flow, this flow will lead us to Christ Jesus – His beauty, His glory, His magnificence.

The first year in my salvation, I simply believed that Holy Spirit would guide me into the truth of His way. My simplicity of belief and the beauty of intimate times of personal worship and prayer revealed His way in my life. His way, for me, led me into nations such as Italy and Ireland to pray. His way in Christ led me on a 10-day journey into Detroit where each day, a friend and I waited and prayed, and then moved out in Holy Spirit.

Is that possible? Yes of course. It is not only possible but it is the beauty of Christianity. But what if someone gets off base, you may say? What if someone thinks it is God leading the way but it isn’t? What if this is pure lunacy? What if? What if? Well, keep asking yourself these questions and you will live in the reality of the ‘what if’ and never walk on a foundation of faith and the glories of an expanding Christian walk in Christ.

Here’s another example of how a string of Holy Spirit led directives led me into and through a nation. I can’t be afraid of looking ridiculous for Christ. I believe in prophetic acts. Years ago, after a week of prayer, the Lord directed me to travel to Rome to pray throughout the city. I hardly needed any time to simply say ‘yes’ and before you know it, I was on my way. I also believe 100% that when God is ‘in’ the act, the finances are provided to lead the way.

Fingers TouchingOkay so here comes truth as to what I actually did there. Each day, two friends and I would pray in our hotel room. Then we set out for the day into the city. I had 7 smooth stones, upon which I wrote one of the 7 “I AM” statements from the book of John on a stone. Here they are:

“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger.” John 6:35

“I am the light of the world; he who fallows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“I am the gate; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for His sheep.” John 10:11

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” John 11:25

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1

7 stones………with 7 “I AM” statements written on them placed at the Arch of Constantine, the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s, the Catacombs, along the via Castro Pretorio, at the Jewish Synagogue near the Jewish Ghetto, and finally in the Termini Station. With each stone came intercession with defined Scripture verses that God gave us for each stone and each place. We did not openly gather to pray to draw attention to ourselves in any kind of loud manner. We were not led to do that by the Lord in any way on this trip. It was a hidden mission just to declare the goodness and grandeur of our God. And that we did!

I am  ready for adventure and risk. In fact, Marvin and I are both ready to venture forth again in Christ as pioneers. Perhaps, in reading this, you can’t see yourself doing what I have described above. That’s okay. This is my journey and God will give you one of your own. The point of the matter is simply to live and move and have your being in Christ, allowing Holy Spirit to break you out of a box of confinement into His glory and grace.

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraPlease pray and consider having Rivers of Eden minister in your gathering, home group, conference or church in 2014. This is our year of release wherever and whenever God opens His doors bringing His grace and His glory through us to those to whom we are called in this season. You can contact us on Facebook or Twitter.