Creative Friday -It’s finished, Moving on

We are free you know……again, it’s not some cliche that we hear and then walk away from without acknowledging the truth of it all. Why is it that we can’t take hold of these powerful words spoken by Paul and realize them deep in our spirits? Meditate on this.

The finished work of the cross purchased our freedom in order that we may EXPRESS an entirely new life. We ARE the creative expression of Christ in the earth NOW reflecting an eternal reality in heaven. 

My expression on this Creative Friday is my photo shot of a cross made of welded nails that I saw at Upper Room Dallas. Follow me on Instagram as Edenoutpost. 

Sharing in His death by our baptism means that we were co-buried and entombed with him, so that when the Father’s glory raised Christ from the dead, we were also RAISED with him. We have been co-resurrected with him so that we could be empowered to EXPRESS an entirely new life. 

CrossCould it be any clearer that our former identity is now and forever deprived of its power? For we were co-crucified with him to dismantle the stronghold of sin within us, so that we would not continue to live one moment longer submitted to sin’s power. 

And we know that since the Anointed One has been raised from the dead to die no more, his resurrection life has vanquished death and its power over him is finished. romans 6:4, 6, 9 The Passion Translation

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

 

Aslan and Me: My Story In This Story – More About C.S. Lewis

Here’s a story from C.S. Lewis that captured my attention yesterday. In its simplicity, there is a depth of revelation.

“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion.
“May I-could I-would you mind going away while I do!” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to-do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and me, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, not as if it was sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.

“They you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer.
“I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
(Lewis, The Silver Chair, 17.)

1093249228_9cfdce9b84_zAt times, I’m like Jill. Are you?

This story resonates with every fiber of my being. Seeking to know Jesus, there are times and seasons that He orchestrates the narrative of my life so intricately to bring me face to face with Him.

I thirst to drink deeply of His presence leading me to His stream of life. There it is – but there He is, seeming to block my way to the very place He leads me. I can’t get to the stream unless I surrender to a greater, larger, deeper, multifaceted revelation of who He is. Up close at this moment, He is quite different. A lion of power, majesty and might, He stirs fear in me on every level.

Why is that? Have I, all this time, imagined Jesus to be something less than who He really is? Does my paradigm of life create a Jesus that is agreeable to my own limited understanding? I know a kind Jesus, a loving Jesus. Yes, He is all those qualities and more. A lamb that was slain, meek and gentle.

But standing before me is not the lamb, but the lion. It is the lion that stirs this fear in me. A lion that presents Himself in an unwavering stance, immovable.

He is not who I expected.

My heart is laid bare as I must choose to trust and surrender to get to the source of my thirst. Is He withholding from me? Playing some great trick on me?

Here goes my back and forth dialogue with Him.

“Can I trust you to be gentle and kind as I draw near? You won’t hurt me, right?” I ask.

His answer is still the same. “I make no promise.”

What kind of God is this?

I want to go forward but I wait a bit in case He changes His mind and opens up another way for me. That doesn’t happen because there is no way around this in this season.

Have I not said that I wanted to know Him? How did I actually think that would work out? Did I believe that He would bend to the imaginings of my own heart? Did I desire a God fashioned in my own image?

I believe I wanted a lamb but at this moment there is a lion.

It is time to get past myself, my own illusions about Jesus, created in my own mind.

What is my choice standing in this place? I am not backed into a corner forced to make a decision. Forced love is really no love. I am free walk forward or free to turn and run. His love for me remains with either choice.

He created this path for me because I cried out for more. I can’t go back now.

He is not a tame lion. If I did not know His love, I may just run or faint but I will do neither. I will enter this path and face this revelation head on.

I will trust, surrender and obey. There is no other way.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry

What If? What Now? What Then?

Ever second-guess yourself? It feels like your focus is cracking right before your eyes. One minute you are so sure, so positive. The next moment, what was so clear suddenly seems distant and a bit fearful to you.

When I initially move out in faith, making a decision to follow God at all costs, I feel as strong as a lion, able to conquer the world. In an atmosphere of faith, I feel strong. I know God will supply. I know He will never leave me or forsake me. I also know that His ways are not our ways. Others may not easily understand the path He chooses for us. I know this. I truly do – in an atmosphere or faith, during prayer or worship.

But then…here comes reality. I walk forth and face the day. Here they come. Disturbing questions filled with doubt and fear, wanting to challenge my decision to walk by faith and not by sight. (Which after all is normal Christianity -walking by faith and all.)

What if?What if?
What now?
What then?

In that moment of decision to go for the gold, boldness rises up in me. What I don’t often see is that a new day will bring accusations to deflect my courage with fear and worry, trying to undermine my faith in Christ.

The next day dawns filled with exhilarating fresh possibilities. A new way, a fresh anointing, new ideas, a new move, a new adventure in Christ. I’m ready.

Suddenly, from the edge of my thought universe, doubt begins to sabotage my faith with penetrating questions. Did I really hear that? What if _____ (Fill in the blanks.) Oh my God, what now? What then? I begin to second-guess myself on every level.

Yesterday, I stood in an atmosphere infused with faith. Today? I doubt. Natural sight takes over and spiritual sight seems nebulous and vague. The very thought of what I heard the day before seems strange, out-of-place, unattainable. It sounds crazy to me. If I speak this out to anyone, they will think I have lost my mind.

Right now, I stand in the midst of a crossroads. Moving is upon us again, at some point in the near future. Our choices may be to go back overseas or conveniently move just a few hours down the road ALONG with every conceivable option in between. We don’t know but we sense change is upon us….soon.

This is not new to me. God keeps Marvin and I on the edge, trusting Him with our lives on every level. Yet, side by side with each renewed commitment of faith, to risk and adventure, comes questions of accusations from the enemy.

What if I move and nothing happens? Isn’t it safer to stay here and at least I know what I have here? But, what do I have here? What if money runs out? What if I heard wrong? (That’s a biggie!) What if this sets me on a course of no return? (Yes, it can get that ominous and bleak after a moment of an intense faith decision.)

If in any way, I bow to the ‘what if’ I then run head on into the next level of doubt, the ‘what now.’ This next level of challenge constructs a scenario of impending doom.

“This will cost you. What will you do when your retirement is gone? Settle in. Look for a job. Have a nice life. Play a little golf. Read some good books. Go see some movies. Soon you can even get the senior price. Don’t think so big at this point.”

If that is not enough, here comes another one as I continue to create scenarios based on fear, worry and doubt. Here comes the ‘what then?” After all is said and done, the ‘what then’ keeps implying that after my step of so-called faith, I am stuck, with no way out of the mess I created by presuming to hear the voice of God and actually trusting Him through it all.

“You have made your bed, now lie in it. Are you crazy? What do you think you are doing?”

Embrace the MysteryIn other words, once we walk out on this limb we are on our own. Don’t look for God to bail you out. What then? This decision can really cost you. After all, who steps out on an uncharted adventure after 55? Don’t I know that I should settle down and settle in to what the rules say at my age…………..retire, don’t take chances – so many lies, so very many lies.

Yet, there is a generation of adults like me that will not settle for anything less than what the younger generation wants – adventure and journey in Christ, living in the supernatural each day of our lives. Responding to the sound of heaven. Listening the beat of a different sound in Christ.

No, the young generation is not going it alone, thinking they can conquer the world because of their youth. (Even though prophecy after prophecy seems to say that.) I dispute that on every level. New levels of faith are challenging every age to move out in Christ into uncharted waters trusting Him with our lives.

The enemy uses doubt, anxiety, fear and worry to try to forge a path right in front of me. These accusatory questions try to accuse God – of His love for me and His great grace that empowers me to walk by faith, not by sight.

Our lives seems to be charted on a course of faith, led by Holy Spirit in unique ways and in diverse paths. We knew our time in Southern California was temporary. And, we knew that at some time, directed by God, He was calling us out to walk by faith in a new way. He is our resource on every level of our lives. Will we move back to Finland? Will we move to Texas? Or is there another direction coming that we don’t see right now? Time will tell BUT we refuse to listen to a fear-based scenario rising up side by side to our commitment to lay our lives down for His purpose.

Don’t second-guess what you believe you have heard from the Lord. Of course, there is a path of wisdom to walk out and test the waters that what you are hearing is indeed from God. I am not advocating moving out in emotions, presumption, assumption, sin, passion, lust or control.

His sheep hear His voice. It’s time to start trusting in His voice that leads us in His way. And that way may be off the beaten path of normality. Take it anyway.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)

Debra 2In Christ,
Debra

I would love to speak at your conference, gathering, church or home group, or women’s retreat. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our Life!

Quotes about Journey, Transition and Adventure in Christ

To follow Jesus is not to demand road signs but to respond to the voice of the Spirit along the way. When we do that, we discover that life is not a blueprint but a blue sky of possibility – filled not only with order and ordinances but also with over-the-rainbow potential. When we embrace the wings of the Spirit, we can soar to unlimited heights. When we try to capture or tie those wings down and paste them into our rulebooks and strategic planners, all we get are dead butterflies in a glass.

These quotes are  from “I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth and Life of Following Jesus” by Leonard Sweet.

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
Martin Buber

“Church culture has fashioned an addiction to safety and security. If we cannot plot a future path with visible surety, then we cannot imagine God would call us or lead us down it. But the way of the cross is one of trust, and it is trust that leads us to obedience in following the Master wherever He leads.”

Embrace the Mystery“Travel with Jesus. Journey on. You don’t get the answers before the questions. You get the answers, or you learn to live with the questions as you go with Jesus.”

“To journey with Jesus is to be in forward motion.”

“Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown?
Will you let my name be known?
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?”
John L. Bell: “The Summons”

“The true meaning of any person’s life story is not found in the destinations but in the transitions.”

“Faith is the acceptance of an invitation to join Jesus on His journey and to live life in the mystery of God made flesh.”

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!