Now You See Him, Now You Don’t – Faith and Imagination

7711866066_9ffdaf3078_zFaith infused with imagination is essential to my life in Christ. How do I engage with Scripture in a deeper way? Faith and Imagination.

I remember one time being so frustrated while reading the Bible that I literally threw it on the floor, laid out flat, and put my forehead right on top of the verse that I was reading. I not only wanted to read the word, I wanted to live and experience the word. I am still that way. I want to live, move and have by being in the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.

I personally engage with Scripture on many levels.

When I study, I learn context, word meanings, and cultural background. This is a solid foundation.

When I meditate, it’s an entirely different thing. I enter an open door of faith with imagination empowered by Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit opens a door to revelation, vision, and experience. I see, hear, and experience the Word in unique ways.

The Bible is not irrelevant, archaic and obscure. As a preacher/speaker I choose words of spirit and life to stir the heart and touch the imagination so that my listeners want more and more and more. From what I can see about my life, this is true for when we minister in prophetic preaching, I see lives touched and transformed.

That is my journey, to creatively express the depth and beauty of the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

Let me give you an example as quickly as I can. Please don’t opt out. Follow me in this okay?

This morning, as I was in prayer and worship, God dealt with some issues of shame in my life. At the end of this session of praying in tongues and listening to Holy Spirit, I entered a new place of freedom. God loosed my heart after years of struggling with this. Then God spoke to my heart.

“Much of who you ARE is still tied to the past. I will reveal what was lost as to redeem the time NOW and in the FUTURE. We will walk together out of this past into the future. I am going to reveal a new way of walking with Me.”

During this time, I immediately thought of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus.

I Drove A Lonely RoadThe Road to Emmaus

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?” They just stood there, long–faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?”

He said, “What has happened?” They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.”

Then he said to them, “So thick–headed! So slow–hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open–eyed, wide–eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us (Luke 24:13-32 Message)

Like these guys, I am out walking my life, believing in things through a faulty paradigm. Then Jesus shows up and proceeds to walk with me. Rather than force Himself on me, He is the master of intriguing questions. “What’s up?” He says.

Looking at Him quizzically, I think, “Is this guy out to lunch? Where has He been?” Then I begin to tell it to Him straight from how I perceive it all.

Then He begins to tell it to me straight, destroying my false narrative of defeat, fear and shame. He then expounds Himself to me in the power of Holy Spirit. Speaking words of truth and life, He confronts me with my own misinterpretation of who I believe He really is.

Then we come to a point in the road where it seems He is going to go on but I grab Him and ask Him to stay and eat.

“Let’s sit at the table.” I say. That’s all it takes. A few moments of intimacy and the word comes alive to heal and restore. The Word is alive. My eyes are opened to see and my heart burns within me. His word to me is confirmed.

“I am going to reveal a new walk of walking with me.” Faith infused with informed imagination heals, restores and sets free.

I get it.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry

Borders and Boundaries Needed – I Can Get Lost In that Wide-Open Space!

He stood me up on a wide–open field; I stood there saved––surprised to be loved. (Psalms 18:19 Message)

I stand amazed in a wide-open field of freedom. A thought hits me, “This is a place of unrestricted movement. I can do it all. I can be all.”

This moment brings a revelation of unbridled freedom. At last! For years I languished under internal laws and restrictions brought about by my own deep rejection and insecurities. It just feels good to know that I am free, in Christ.

Freedom in ChristWait! What is that I see?

I look around. What’s that in the distance? Border. Boundaries. Fences.

Even in my freedom, there’s a sense of restriction providing safety, hemming me in on every side. Under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91) He shelters me, protects me, quite often from myself and my own sense of journey into places that are good but not excellent for me.

Unbridled freedom can lead me into confusion and distraction apart from the leading of Holy Spirit. My own sense of entitlement, believing that now that I am free, I can do anything I want, can easily rule and reign. But as I said before, not everything that is good, is good for me. It is only in surrender that true freedom comes to His will and the ways of Holy Spirit.

I arrive in this place in process, restored but still being restored to the wholeness of my salvation. There is still a deep truth, an unfolding revelation of Christ in me needing to be established as I live, move and have my being in Christ. Inside of me, there is still that sense of upholding ‘ME”. Self-preservation brings on a fear of losing myself totally to the unknown. I hold on just a bit to something so I can call it my own.

Could it be that after years of fear on so many levels that I want to control a little part of my life? Just a little bit? Of course that’s it. I try to deny it but the evidence is quite clear. And yet, His grace is sufficient and in the midst of my own self-preservation, He loves me and shows me a better way.

Here I am in a broad place. I want to get this right this time so as not to be propelled back into a place of restriction and grief, dead ends and false starts.

He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. (Psalms 18:19 NKJVS)

I can dance. I can move. I can live. Is this really true? Yes.

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. (Galatians 5:1 Message)

You know, I can get lost in freedom, endlessly wandering from one thing to the next, going here, going there, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. One more conference. One more book. What am I trying to achieve? Perfection? Why? So that somehow God sees I am worthy on some level? Yuk!

Apart From MeI need restraint in my freedom to point the way, His way. And I definitely need a bit of structure and discipline to set me on a path of destiny. He knows where He is taking me, where He wants me to end up before I go to the next place of glory in faith.

In this place, right here, right now, You Jesus set my feet down on a path of life. You know me through and through, when I stand, when I move, what I feel, how I see. Now that I am here, I must accept that Your way is My way. You are the way for me, a path of light and life, hope and love.

As I wander through this broad place, my imagination runs wild for I know I am a woman who loves creativity, adventure and journey. Things that pop up along the way can distract me, often losing the course of my day. I guess I am both right and left brained for there is this rational side of me alongside this wild creative side. Hmmm.

Wait – what is this I see? In the midst of this broad place, there is a path forming right before my eyes. It is a narrow way in the midst of a broad place.

I see it like this.

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “ Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19 NKJV)

There are many ways in the Way. There are many paths to follow. I believe for me I have to simply listen, trust, obey and move, even if I don’t see the total outcome. If I don’t, I can be wandering in freedom forever accomplishing very little in my life. Focus is not my focus.

The voice of Holy Spirit whispers, “This is the way. Walk in it.”

I follow.

I trust.

I obey.

(These thoughts today spring from my own frustration within my own creativity. I have been easily distracted and wind up easily frustrated. Why? I did not do the one thing that God asked me to do.

“Study imagination.”

I started out good but somehow it was not enough for I could not see the outcome so I added, a bit here and a bit there. Before I knew it, I was on a rabbit trail of so many things I lost my focus. Lesson learned Father.

I forgot the simplicity of the instruction and His grace to lead me along the set path to get me to where He wants me to me.

Why do I do this? It’s quite simple. I feel that I should be excellent and do just a bit more than what God asks and He will be so proud of me. That, my friends, is a lie, a subtle lie of performance. I pulled it all back, reeled it all in. So I sit here in the library to study faith, imagination allowing the Holy Spirit to lead the way. I pray you get the point here. Stay focused on exactly what God tells you to do. In fact, I would challenge many today to forgo trying to be everything to everyone, a jack-of-all-trades master of none. Follow His path. His way.)

In Christ, Debra

The Cycle of Self-Pity

The Cycle of Self Pity (From God’s Now TIme by Chuck Pierce)

There is a lot of warfare in the atmosphere right now. Don’t fall into “self pity” this season!

Visual representation of a soundwaveProphecy unlocks our future. But once we get wounded or experience loss, we can lose sight of our future. The biggest demonic force that we have to contend with is self-pity. Self-pity draws attention to our loss and keeps us from seeing God’s glory manifested in our life. Instead of our loss directing us to God’s continued perfect plan for our life, our self rises up and causes us to say, “Pity me for what I have lost.” Any time we experience loss, trauma, wounding or injustice, we can either choose to live with a belief system that God can heal and forgive or we can allow our mind-set to form rejection, self-defense and self-pity.

During times of loss and wounding, we have a tendency to accuse God for the trauma that we are experiencing. The power of this accusation leads to a type of fatherlessness. Instead of experiencing the spirit of adoption, we feel abandoned and lost. From our self-defense, we actually form a rebellion to authority. We also become unteachable. We have a mind-set that says, “No one understands me or what I am going through.”

Heart MonitorWe also begin to think that there is no solution to our problem. We wake up thinking, There is no way out. We fall into apathy because we have no hope of healing or restoration. Since we know that we should be living a godly life, religious mechanisms become a solace to us. We may even gain a martyr complex and say, “O woe is me. This is my cross to bear. Look how heavy is my cross.” This type of thinking causes us to not fight when we need to fight. Instead of fighting and advancing, we become a slave to comfort and the status quo. We forget that we are called to fellowship with Christ’s sufferings—a type of fellowship that leads to His resurrection power manifesting in us.

Losing sight of the love of God causes us to turn to self. God’s love forces us to deal with these thoughts born of our self-pity. I have experienced enough freedom in my own life to know when I am not free. Faith works by love. Once we experience God’s liberty and love, we will be able to resist that call from self to be pitied and be able to overthrow hope deferred. Chuck Pierce

DebraIn 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!

I will be heading to Kenya soon, expecting a great and glorious journey in revelation in preaching and teaching God’s people along with some great experiences and growth in Christ.

Look Around – Some People Are Not Walking With You Into Your Future

Open RoadIt’s a sad fact but some people, no matter what we do, will not walk with us into our future. We may want them to with all of our heart, knowing that the fit seems perfect, at least to us. Yet, they stand resolute in the now, seeing us as we were but not as we are. Everyone and I mean everyone is capable of change and restoration in God’s grace. In Hm there is hope and restoration.

Our heart is still linked with their heart. We ask forgiveness, seek reconciliation, a second chance – and all the while time goes by without the slightest indication that the situation will change. They still stand and won’t move any closer to where we are.

Open DoorA choice has to be made, a sad choice but a true one. It is time to settle things within our hearts, look one more time, and move on. We have done all we know to do.

Reconcile this fact within yourself, focusing on the good in the situation, at least one good thing. All of us can find at least one good thing if not more in life’s difficult circumstances. It is time to reconcile with our self, our dreams, and our vision. Time to be restored and move ahead.

There may be a measure of grief in the parting- loss on many different levels. We can’t keep holding on. Standing too long in this place develops an inner hopelessness – a river of regret constantly flowing, looking back at possibilities that never came about over time.

PaintbrushThe future holds hope. Let’s walk. We don’t walk alone. Jesus walks with us in sync with our steps, healing, restoring in His  great abundant grace. He walks slowly at first as we come to terms with this loss that grips our heart. Filled with grace, He knows our pain and our sorrow.

He walks in sync with us for a bit but at some point down the road He picks up the pace and says, “Let’s go! You’ve spent too much time in introspection, deep reflection….let’s move. It’s going to be alright.”

This is truth, no matter how deep the pain there are only a few choices to be made – walk on or stand still. Don’t stand still focused on the now which links itself to the past in constant memories of regret.

Those people standing around us, whether in real life or in our constant memories – they’re not going with us into our future. We can’t make them go. It’s their decision now and perhaps one day they will meet us down the road but we can’t wait. Time is moving on and so must we. Be encouraged.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

Open the door! Pull back the Curtains! Let the Light In!

Freedom in ChristThe darkened areas of our lives, those places filled with fear, memories of abuse, sexual addictions, emotional destruction, substance abuse, alcoholism – all those places are like rooms yet to be opened in a house where Christ dwells. He sees them. We see them. We know they are there but we won’t confront their reality, let alone open the door to let the light of Christ into these dark areas.

Even as Christians, there are these dark areas or internal rooms that need the confrontation of divine love to be healed and to be set free. Yet, we avoid pain at all costs. We worry about what others will think.  We wonder if God can be trusted. We don’t like suffering. We want what is easy and we love what is fast and doable. But that is not authentic Christianity. That type of Christianity is tailored to a Western mindset.

There is increasing chaos and darkness in the world. At the same time, the glory of the Lord will rise in His people. It is essential that as Christians, we face our own darkened areas, submit to the Lord, and receive healing and deliverance  in order to shine brightly in the earth. Receive His love and allow Him to deal with our lives, to reveal and heal those areas that are hidden in those darkened rooms.

In those dark areas the curtains are drawn tight, held in place by shame, guilt and condemnation. The truth of God’s grace and mercy in Christ wants to flood the room with light but we won’t open those doors. Therefore, we remain in the shadows of half-truths and subtle lies perpetrated by the enemy, keeping us bound, not trusting God.

CrossJesus Himself calls you out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. He calls you to be habitations of His glory, shining bright in His presence.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJVS)

There is a simplicity in Christ that is missing in the church today. It is hidden underneath layers of cultural add-ons that work in the world, fueled by man’s wisdom, but have no power in the church. We thrive on process – the unending path of needing more than Jesus – more conferences, more books, more seminars. In all of this, the Body of Christ is still immature and lacking in supernatural power and authority.

What would happen if we actually believed in the Gospel message, walk out the truth revealed in the Epistles, allow the Holy Spirit to lead and believe all that God gives to us in Christ? The church would rise up to BE in Christ instead of some other form and template.

To confront the evil outside of us with the authority and supernatural power of God, we must confront any evil within.  It time to grow up and allow God to change us from within. Going deep, not wide.

Keyhole

As Christ confronts us in love at our deepest level, there is pain. We will suffer in the flesh, which always tries to maintain its position, avoiding any pain or suffering, but we will be alive in Christ, free and filled with greater measure of light and life.  Submit to His way. It’s worth it. Walk in the light, as He is in the light and the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us, empowers us and sets us free. Open the doors to the closed rooms. Let Him in and He will heal.

Quiet down. Get a journal, a Bible, a pen, a computer, the beach, the couch…wherever…just be still, know that He is God and the simplicity of the reality of Christ Jesus is real. I am not trying to oversimplify this in any way, but there is only so much I can say in a blog. I know pain is real. Yet nothing is greater than Jesus Christ. He is all in all. He is faithful in all things.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

I would love to bring life and light in Christ Jesus to your gathering, your church or home group. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our Life!