There’s No There………..There

3294247795_7a63d3d340_zHave you heard the expression – “There’s no there…there”? It captures an image in my mind of someone continually walking, but never arriving at his or her destination.

I see so many people waiting for something or someone to take them out of their current reality to whisk them away to their ‘THERE’. That place where all is settled nicely into place. That next breakthrough. That next prophetic word. That next something or other.

You know that word in Isaiah that says that those who wait upon the Lord will rise up with wings as eagles. Well, I know many who are still waiting and waiting and waiting. I used to be one of them, feeling somewhat self-righteous and smug in my spirituality. No more. It’s time to risk it all to follow the Lord – possibility, faith and obedience being the key words.

Christianity is about life in Christ. He is my life now. So for me there is no ‘there’ to move into to find Him for He is right here within me. That reality has changed how I approach life on a daily basis. How I can walk in adventure and journey, believing that He is all I need now. Jesus is capable of leading me where He wants me to go to do what He wants me to do.

Sound Waves From MouthWhen I prophesy into someone’s life or even write prophetically, I prophesy from the revelation of the finished work of Christ on the cross. I prophesy from a position of breakthrough, of being seated in heavenly places, of being a child of God NOW not somewhere out THERE.

That is who I am and that is who you are in Christ, as a Christian. Our identity is secure in Him, fully settled in His sacrifice. I no longer strive to achieve anything more to add to his finished work but live in rest, His live flowing in and through mine.

Prophecy that causes anyone to strive or to enter into performance to produce anything is not of God. Yet, there are so many words being given that project us into our future, while negating the reality of our now.

Now we are seated in heavenly places.

Now I am complete in Christ.

Now I am loved.

Now I am accepted.

Now all the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ.

Now every spiritual blessing is mine in Christ.

That’s where I begin to write and prophesy. Now is the day of your salvation. What will we do within it?

To constantly tell people breakthrough is coming, revival is coming, and healing is coming negates the reality of what is here for us in Christ. Breakthrough is mine. Revival is mine. Healing is mine. Believe it. That forms the foundation of a prophetic life. The manifestation of healing or breakthrough may not seem apparent right now but they are complete, nonetheless. When we enter into the rest of this reality, we live from a position of our fulfilled life in Christ, not always searching for something more.

I prophesy that Jesus Himself has secured a life of abundance and blessing in Him. In Him is key to our understanding. I don’t strive to get more. I allow Him to live His life through me, which is a promised life of righteousness, peace and joy. It is a life that I will encounter suffering and persecution but in that I am positioned in His blessing and in His abundant life.

There are times of increased warfare in our lives. But, we don’t withdraw from life, waiting for it to pass. We stand, with an intensity to fight off the enemy through declaration of identity, not through shouting and yelling or trying to press harder and harder and harder. Everything is ours in Christ so we walk in that truth– through the ups and downs of life, through all its trials and sufferings.

This reality has changing everything about my prophetic journey. I don’t strive but find peace in Christ to live my life in the Spirit. Rest produces peace and clarity of vision. Rest increases my trust to believe in the promises of God now and to walk in their reality, one step at a time, moving forward in faith.

CrossI prophesy life to each of you reading this, the life of Christ flowing in and through you for victory over any and every circumstance that you encounter. Our relationship with Jesus, with the Father, with Holy Spirit assures us that He will always be with us, in the midst of our life struggles.

For those who struggle with answers nowhere in sight, start by believing that He is a good Father who loves you and only wants what is best for you NOW. When darkness hits and tries to drag you down, remember that He is with you, never leaving or forsaking you NOW. No matter what storm what difficulty, don’t retreat but run to Him and He will see you through…no over or under but through and you will be stronger through it all.

There’s no there…there. He’s right here with everything you need for life.

More in a few days……………..

Debra

 

Living with Passion and Purpose in Christ
Debra

 

 

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.

Hidden In Plain Sight (1)

Green DoorHidden in plain sight. Seems to contradict itself.  How can something be hidden, yet in plain sight? How is that possible?

Well, it happens all around us, every day. Planets were discovered that had been there all along but were actually hidden in plain sight? Voila – one day they were just seen. Been there all along, unseen – then, there they are, found by people whose eyes were opened to SEE at the right time.

How about when you are looking for something, can’t find it, keep looking, don’t find it and get frustrated? Then suddenly, perhaps a few minutes or hours later, it shows up, having been there all along. Where did it go? Or had it been there all along but was hidden because of our inability to actually see what we were looking for?

So, what about Jesus since He is my reality – my way, truth and life.

Jesus came to His own and His own knew Him not. He was hidden in plain sight, until the right time. Then He was seen by those whose eyes were opened.

John 1:9-12 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God

Jesus moved in time, sensitive to the Father’s voice and heaven’s directive, He was in the world but the world, for a time, did not see Him. Along the way, walking in His destiny, some eyes opened to SEE but even in that moment, heaven originated the action.

Matthew 16:15-16 He said to them, “ But who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter answered and said, “ You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

SpiralJesus walked in an acute sense of timing. Why? He was in time and totally obedient to the Father’s directive, submitted to His way and His destiny, never hurried or rushed. Time was on His side and even though hidden while in plain sight, He was not hidden from the Father in heaven. He knew that to walk in time contrary to the sound of heaven would not be wise for the Father’s purpose and plan for His life.

Jesus knew that to be revealed in time was very important. His life started with a divine placement in time:

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

When His disciples tried to convince Him that there was no time like the present and to just go ahead and move out, He rebuked them:

John 7:2-9 Now the Jews ’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “ Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.6 Then Jesus said to them, “ My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

When I started concentrating on the beauty of time in Christ, I realized that I, along with you, are placed in time for such a time as this. This revelation is beginning to overwhelm me so I best take it slow and follow Holy Spirit as it is revealed before my spiritual eyes.

Now about me. I have experienced a divine hiddenness over the past years, many years to be exact. I denied it, tried to force my way out of it, got discouraged when people ignored me or rejected me and even fell into depression when I discerned that in this hiddenness I was useless and without purpose. I took the reality of my life being hidden but in plain sight, very disconcerting and deeply disturbing, often feeling rejected and useless. No matter how much I tried, I could not make myself seen. I wish I knew then, what I know now. Things may have gone a bit smoother. But, great lessons are learned from great failures. So life goes on and I am much wiser for the experience.

My focus on this series of blogs: time, hiddenness, being revealed, being in time yet hearing the call of heaven, walking in sync with the sound of heaven, and more. I intend to learn along the way so hope you follow me and share some comments with me as I go forth.

Why focus on this now? Well, Holy Spirit whispered to me the other day:

“Time is not working against you. Time is on My Side. Follow Me.”

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

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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.

Creative Expression – Revelation on the Beach

Ventura Beach Hi Everyone! I took 10 days off so that I could just chill and be in God’s presence. I let go of any expectation that I had to be ‘in the mix’ or a ‘need to know’ on social media. This brief season of rest was for the sole purpose of connecting intimately with Jesus Christ. I want to keep this blog fresh with thoughts that Holy Spirit brings into my heart. I don’t want to be compelled to deliver anything and yet, I do want to bring life to those of you who are reading this. Thanks for being here!

While sitting on the beach in Ventura CA (yes, I know it’s hard to sit at the beach facing the beauty of the Pacific Ocean but someone has to do it so I gladly obeyed the Lord that day) I realized (smiling) that God was speaking to me about His goodness. Do you ever feel second-rate, passed over or left behind? There are days when I feel totally accepted in the beloved and then there are other days when I feel like a step-child. Truth has to make its way from my head to my heart on those days and God is faithful to make that happen as His love touches my heart.

Do we realize that God’s goodness to us is NOW? So often I am pressing in to see the manifestation of a promise, or some future goodness that I fail to know that His present goodness to me is glorious and real. He is good – NOW! It is in His goodness NOW that I walk, step by step into the future. His goodness to us IS…….wonderful, awesome, marvelous and more – not dependent on how I feel or even circumstances that are flying around me causing me to lose my focus. His goodness is NOW.

Yet, what if I or you or anyone can’t see His goodness NOW, the NOW clouded by frustration, illness, financial difficulties, divorce, depression, anxiety, family pressure or any number of things that seem to surround many of us, in fact, many many of us.

We can become distracted by the NOW only looking to the past or straining to reach the future.

Ventura BeachHis goodness is NOW for God is good, whether our circumstances dictate that or not. He is good. So I cannot stand in judgement on God regarding His ways, which often are quite higher than our own understanding. He is good.

The expanding revelation of His goodness NOW carries me forward, step by step, one day at a time. The NOW is a safe place to realize that He is good and His goodness does endure forever.

This may be a bit obscure but the NOW is always moving forward into a new NOW. One day my eyes open to see the future promise that I hoped for, believed in are right there, manifest before me in the NOW. Yet, what if I neglected to see the beauty of NOW because it did not come as I expected? What if the NOW is causing me to lose faith in God? What if the NOW is trying to abort my future through discouragement or disillusionment?

I am realizing that God IS good right NOW and forever and He does work all things for good. At this time in my life, I see that in His goodness I am living in His presence and every promise will come to pass as long as I move in the NOW in intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. That is why I had to take some time off. My focus became a bit distorted, little by little every day. I started seeing my past as a hindrance to my future. I also started seeing discouragement block my vision of my future. But, He changed all that in one simple trip to the beach in Ventura, CA. I love Cali! I absolutely love Cali! It is my home even though my heart is to travel to the nations, only to come back to that place I call home. Cali – My revelation location which allows me to breathe a long deep breath today and say with simplicity of heart – God is good……..and His mercy endures forever.

Debra and ChloeRivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to a life of creativity, revelation and intimacy in Christ. Marvin and I look forward to hearing from you, allowing us the opportunity to minister in the grace and love of Christ in your gathering, church, home group or conference.  Currently we are planning a trip to Kenya in July in which we are looking forward to establishing new relationships with leaders for a Kingdom purpose. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter for more information.

Creative Expression – Invisible Women – To Be Seen Or Not To Be Seen, That’s The Question

Do you ever feel invisible? Seriously. Do you ever feel that you can be in the midst of a crowd, your family, your friends and suddenly you realize that not only do they not see you, but they don’t even know they don’t see you? Ever been there? My own life is taking a turn this year. In the midst of this growing transition and inner frustration I heard this condescending remark, “You should just get a hobby.” Not a good time to say that to me.

Several months ago, I kept telling my husband that I felt invisible. A recurring picture flashed before my eyes. Parts of my body were disappearing as I looked in the mirror. About 3 weeks ago, I saw a book on Amazon. Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray. I was not even looking for a book like this. I did not even know a book was written with such clear and astute humor to address this phenomenon and to assure me that I was not alone.

Jeanne Ray wrote this at 60 years old. What can I say? It is great. It should be mandatory reading for families, churches, leaders, and friends of women over 50. It’s awesome. It’s fiction, filled with subtleties that make one burst out laughing and realities that make one cry. This book is a Godsend to me.

I relate to her in every way. It is real. It is very real. In my particular situation, a woman minister, over 50, and over 55 and almost 60, I sense that older women are the ‘new lepers’ in the church at large. Heck why not let me say that it is a reality for women of my age in general. End of sentence.

You know, I (or we) can do something about this.  Instead of shrinking back as a fading wallflower roaming the aisles of Walmart or  worse, becoming a dissatisfied, angry gritch charging forth with offense and sarcasm, we can make ourselves seen. Seen – not by force, or pride or a rotten attitude. It’s more than that. How? By being ourselves and seeing ourselves before we expect others to see us. They may never change. I can’t do anything about that. But, I can focus on me, the ‘me’ inside that is still alive in every way. The ‘me’ that walks in grace and humility, responding to condescension with a smile (most of the time). Or how about the ‘me’ that won’t get angry each time I am looked over and around but not at?

Here’s just a quick ‘aside’ for a moment. See the cover of People this month? Wow, look at Christy Brinkley at 60 after 4 marriages and 3 kids. They exalt her ability to look good ‘at her age’. There it is. That subtle comparison to what? A 40-year-old? A 30-year-old? A 20-year-old? How contrived and manipulative.

Maybe it’s just me? I have nothing against looking good but come on – there’s got to be a better way. So now my goal in life is to avoid being ‘me’ and somehow to strive to be just as good, fit, healthy, youthful, or ______ (fill in the blanks) as someone else defined by the media. Just as good – a comparison in and of itself. They don’t say it. They never say it but implication is evident by just looking at the cover. What if I want to be as good as ME? If you want affirmation, don’t look to the media. Please don’t.

Thank God for God. God, the ultimate emancipator, the consummate lover of women, proclaims, “Be free. Be released. Just BE!!!!”

And, He is saying, “Enough is enough.” I may not stop this invasive onslaught to annihilate my God-given identity as a woman of God over the great age of 50, no 55, no……okay, almost 60. But, I can ride the wave of speaking life and release to myself in Christ and to those wonderful gals coming after me.

Here is a great Facebook posts.

And another.

Just one more.

Let’s confront the heart attitude that must accompany this release. When I feel invisible, I feed into the norms of the culture at large that dictate my identity based upon my age or gender. It’s a double whammy. Age and gender – over 50 and a woman. So much condescension has been leveled at me over the years of being in Christian ministry. Yes, there were many men and women that supported me but there were more that tried to shut me down at times.

Invisibility permeates a woman’s life because culture at large, in many places around the globe, simply disdain women leading to everything from sex trafficking to prostitution to inner wounds of depression, anxiety and fear.

God has been teaching me a lot over these past few years regarding this subject. To actually be seen, I had to see what it was really like to be invisible. I had experience after experience in life, showing me that no matter what I did or said, people were not listening to me. I lost my voice. I lost confidence. I lost ‘me’. I did not even know why. In fact, at this conference that I just attended, a woman got up, came over to me, put her arms around me and said, “You have lost your voice. The enemy has tried to shut you down for many years. But, God is restoring your voice, sending you to the nations to speak and declare His words.” That one came from left field like a hurricane force wind through a woman of grace and glory. It was at this moment that scales dropped off my eyes.

So what do you think? Any comments?

I will leave you with a quote from the back cover of the book.

A mom in her early fifties, Clover knows she no longer turns heads the way she used to and she’s only really missed when dinner isn’t on time. Then Clover wakes up one morning to discover she’s invisible – truly invisible. She panics even more when her family doesn’t even notice a thing. Her best friend immediately observes the change, which relieves Clover immensely – she’s not losing her mind after all! – but she’s crushed by the realization that neither her husband nor her children ever truly look at her. She was invisible even before she knew it.

Clover discovers that there are others like her, women of a certain age who seem to have disappeared. As she used her invisibility to get to know her family and town better, Clover leads the way in helping invisible women become recognized and appreciated, no matter what they role. Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray

In Christ

Debra Westbrook

Please 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 me on Facebook or Twitter.