Story Week – Part 3/5 A Young Man with an Ear to Hear – Discordant Sounds

Subliminal sound strikes deep and prides itself on its consistency to wear a person down. That is exactly what the universal sound intended to do in the young man.

Constantly hearing a mantra of hopelessness, the young man would often repeat to himself exactly what the universal sound was saying. “It is what it is.” In the young man’s mind, thoughts of acceptance and escapism worked side by side to keep him from hearing the voice of the I AM. Rather than confront the universal sound head on, he simply retreated from it, yet did not bother to try to defeat it. He was tired and weary. So, in his retreat he disengaged from its reality and escaped into another reality that was more tolerable to him, but equally subversive.

Light TextureThere was a source to the sound that played out in words pummeling the mind of the young man to get his focus off centered from Christ and onto the enemy’s lies and deceptions. It is demonic in nature. It is discordant in essence.

The discordant sound of the enemy lacks harmony and unity. It sustains an atmosphere of conflict, divergence, and confliction. That is what the enemy wanted to draw the young man into – a discordant sound. A spirit of death masks this sound. It will kill dreams in a life filled with promise and hope. It will abort destinies that can change history. It is not compliant but forceful in its own right.

It is illusive in nature and captures the minds and hearts of young men everywhere on the planet. Lyrics of death, visual media that entangles the heart in violence or worse yet, apathy. Rage and anger that lie dormant waiting to be healed in Christ but instead fueled by the discordant sound, finding its expression in the young man’s life. These sounds pull on him with a tight grip. These subversive sounds attempt to kill destiny and purpose in Christ.

God, the great I AM, in Christ Jesus by the power of Holy Spirit takes no heed to subliminal sounds. Truth and perfection in Christ orchestrates and ordains all the sounds on earth. He does not retreat from discordance. By His hand, He lets them play out until that perfect moment when He interjects the sound above all sounds. The sound of goodness, purity, wholeness and healing. The sound of love, destiny and purpose.

Walking towards the lightGod Himself waits in the midst His revelation of light, life and truth – ready to pour forth into the young man’s heart when all other sounds bring him to the point of intimate extraction. Extraction into what? Extraction into the discordant sound itself. This evil sound is not willing to just come in the young man’s life to exploit and divert. This evil source waits to conquer and pronounce itself lord.

God draws young men out who are willing to look at the source of the sound and be willing to move into another way, a more excellent way. This comes at a crucial point in the young man’s life when all seems out of reach, without reason and purpose. Only truth can lead Him away and only light can bring a young man into its presence.

There is indeed a clashing of sounds issuing forth in this day. Make no mistake to think it is cultural, environmental or sourced in the natural. It is a clashing of kingdoms to capture a generation of young men who are destined to do mighty exploits for Jesus Christ. This is indeed truth and truth is absolute – absolutely engaging, absolutely life changing and absolutely able despite all of hell trying to block its path.

Jesus declares loud and strong into the heart of a generation held captive by the discordant sound of chaos. He speaks with simplicity and grace. He speaks in the midst of light, love and life. He speaks.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4-5 NKJV)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63 NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6 NKJV)

The clear sound of Christ coming forth in the midst of darkness. There is no reason for any who are concerned about the condition of young men everywhere to be dismayed or in despair for Christ is alive and speaks forth in clarity and truth. Even though at this point in his life, the young man does not appear to be listening, yet the words of life pierce through the darkness, intent on reaching his heart. Do we underestimate the power of light in Christ to overcome and be victorious in a generation that seems in many ways to be held captive by a discordant sound? Christ has triumphed over principalities and darkness. We only need recognize that the battle we fight has already been won even in the midst of knowing that the darkness does not concede that easily.

More to come…..

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraRivers 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.

The Voice: The City of the Silent Majority

LoveAs I have said in previous posts in this series, we speak Christ, the person of Christ flowing through us to impart life and truth into a people languishing in chaos and confusion. Our assignment is to speak with wisdom and grace. We speak whom we know, not what we know.

I am setting a visual picture in this series where Voices of Truth walk in a valley, continually confronted with a variety of challenging belief systems.  We have turned from the City of Coexist and now, before us, we see another city. One can barely see it clearly. A heavy cloud cover over it makes it look grey and filled with shadows. No light shines forth from it.

It does not look very inviting and appears from a distance to be deserted because there are no sounds coming forth. How strange! As we draw closer to this city, the silence itself is deafening. We keep walking to get a closer view of what is actually going on here. What we begin to see is quite astounding but a bit confusing.

There are actually thousands of people walking around this city, silent and withdrawn. They seem to blend in with the grey atmosphere. It seems as if they are each in their own world. Hiding behind walls of protection, they walk along, occasionally lifting their heads to say “Hi! How’s it going?” or “Good morning.” Others just nod their head and keep walking. This is the city of the Silent Majority. Voices of Truth look around, dismayed and saddened. What do we say here? How do we help?

In the city of the Silent Majority, people don’t actually live, they exist. Days are filled with hopelessness, discouragement and disillusionment. They truly believe God is nowhere to be found. Feeling rejected and abandoned by God, they hide behind thick walls of self-preservation, each day going through the motions of life but not actually living. They are the by-products of dead religion.

How do we speak to them? You speak from your heart not from your head. You BE Christ to them. You never assume you understand the depth of their pain. Partner with Holy Spirit to touch them and love them. Listen to them. Cry with them.  Please don’t give pat answers that you learned in some seminar or conference. You give Christ. In this city, Voices of Truth, you will learn compassion and be humbled by it.

ImageThe Silent Majority fills the Church of Jesus Christ. Years of performance-based religion have created the Walking Dead, unable to truly believe or trust again. You are the answer, Voices of Truth, not in what you say but in what you don’t say. Just BE in Christ and follow Holy Spirit.  They grieve and mourn their own vacant lives daily. Hopelessness from delayed promises form the foundation of their life.

Are you called to minister Truth to these glorious ones? Be wise, ever so wise. Be transparent and open, choosing your words carefully. You will be transformed alongside them in this interchange of life. Speak forth love! Whisper hope! You will see God do amazing things right in your midst IF you let the Holy Spirit lead the way. Let Him do it His way. Voices of Truth, this is a journey with Holy Spirit and there is no prescribed path. Each person unique! Each situation different! Enjoy the journey!

The Voice: “Who Says?” in Coexist City

ImageRemember the valley? The castle and the guardians of self-righteousness? Read riverofeden1 if you need to review the last post. But for now, let’s look at who else will challenge Truth in the Valley of Declaration.

Stand in the valley, look to the left and see a city without borders. It’s called Coexist City. This is a place where tolerance is king and a myriad of belief systems coexist, side by side. Unlike those in the castle, there are no specific rules in Coexist City. Everything is accepted in the name of tolerance. To be tolerant is to be open-minded, accepting, liberal and indulgent.

All ideas are valued and discussed here. Truth is relative to each person’s life. Gods are fashioned from a variety of beliefs. Be careful here! Anything that even remotely hints of absolute truth presented too forcefully will banish you to the remote areas of town never to be seen or listened to again. You must walk in wisdom and grace among the people of Coexist City if you plan on speaking in Truth in Christ.

Their mantra flows through everything they say.  “Who says? My truth is my truth. Who says there is only one God? That is a bit narrow minded don’t you think? There are many ways to god.” Their talk is often nebulous and vague. You will notice that very quickly if you stay on a bit. But remember, you are presenting truth in the person of Christ, not a doctrine, an ideology, or a philosophy but a person.

ImageWhen speaking truth in Coexist City, please disarm yourself. Put away your stun gun of truth, aimed to paralyze. Just relax and breathe. Walk amongst them, have a glass of wine (Did I lose the religious here? J), and stay focused on the One who called you here. Speak with wisdom and grace. Listen and be patient. Your call here is to untangle a network of lies around the heart that prevent many from seeing the reality of the person of Christ.

Be slow to speak and quick to listen. Many of them already think that Christians are intolerant, self-righteous, and totally unaware of reality. You have nothing to prove here so actually you have nothing to lose. Breathe again. Christ in you will speak through you as you interject truth by the spirit into just the right places, dismantling lies and tearing down strongholds. And, you did it all without that stun gun.

Walk around. Get the lay of the land. Watch, listen and learn. To dismantle deception, you must learn to flow with Holy Spirit. Through words of love, wisdom and grace you will establish borders in the spirit of truth. Through prophecy, words of wisdom and revelation, you will speak the truth of Christ into their lives. The absolute truth of Christ Jesus will draw people into the borders of His love and His grace. You are just the go-between giving them a hands up to come out of darkness into the light. 

The Voice: The Journey Begins In The Valley

ImageWhen we pass through the birth canal of the transitional waters (Read vision in previous post), we will be qualified to speak the Truth. We are qualified to speak, not because we are eloquent but because we have learned humility in our brokenness. A continuing flow of grace reveals to us two distinct revelations that beautifully form as one. One is simple. You can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength. The other is also simple. You can do nothing apart from Him. He is the center of our lives. He is Truth. We look to Him in all ways and at all times.

When speaking forth what God desires you to say, the opposition strikes in many various and diverse ways. Let me give you a picture so you can see this the way that I am seeing it now. You walk out into a beautiful valley one day, filled with passion and purpose for God. You begin to speak that which has been ingrained into your being over the past few years, thinking that many will see the truth in what you are saying. Suddenly, you are facing opposition that has been there all along, but now you are their target, for your words hit them straight on. And, they don’t like it. Continue seeing yourself in this valley for over the next few blogs, as we will clearly describe the opposition that rises up against truth. 

Looking out across the valley, you suddenly notice people in a castle on top of a high mountain. They are secure in their position and simply don’t like what you are saying. When you speak, whatever you speak, they challenge you right back. Their questions sound something like this; “Excuse me, but where is that in Scripture? And who is your covering that you can come into this valley and speak? What church do you go to? What seminary did you attend? Do you have a resume? Who endorses you?”

You almost can’t believe your ears. Your immediate response would be to justify or qualify your position. But wait! That is a big mistake. To do that would only add fuel to the fire of their opposition. You have no endorsements from anyone famous. You can’t exactly show them the exact verse in Scripture. The only covering you have is Jesus Christ. And your resume is filled with trying to keep from sucking in water during your time in the transitional waters.

I would like to tell you that self-righteous people go away, but they don’t. They are always there. They have been always there. Your purpose is to flow despite what they say. Why? Because your focus is clear on the One who has sent you to speak. 

The End – Part 13 – Living In A Hut

ImageA life lived in rest is simply a matter of trust. Those simple words – I trust You transitioned the woman that day into a new place of hope. No one even knew that there was this significant change within her. But, she knew it for she felt alive. It felt as if a weight had been lifted from her life and she could live and move again.

As she walked away from the Palace, she turned one more time to look back. She then looked at the Lord and asked But what about them? The Lord looked at her and said, Its not for you to know. Follow Me. There was great satisfaction in those words that He spoke to her. He knew it all and most importantly, He knew her. She rested in that revelation of being known by Him. She was greatly loved by Him. With that sense of perfect peace, she walked towards the door of the hut.

Opening the door, she walked into the hut to find that everything was just as she left it. Nothing had changed. It was still a bit dark, without color or beauty. The flowers she had put in the vase had faded and wilted in her absence.

She turned and walked over to the window, looking out at the Palace. Still, she rested in perfect peace even in the midst of that which had caused her so much pain in times past. There was no grief or no regret.

ImageShe smiled as she thought of those words I trust You. Trust extended an invitation to the woman to stand in the NOW, leaving the past behind and believing the path into her future was safe and secure in God. NOW is a place of peace and rest in which anxiety and worry vanish in the beauty of God’s love for you. That day in the hut, the woman was content to rest in the moment. It was enough for her. He was enough for her.

She walked over to a large comfortable chair in the middle of the room and she sat down.  She felt a bit tired after the emotional upheaval of the day. In a few moments she drifted off to sleep, a deep sleep in which she began to dream. 

Walking along the seashore, she suddenly turned to see that Jesus was walking with her. For a few moments, they did not speak. The waves filled the air with nature’s gracious sounds. Then He turned to her, looked her straight in the eyes and said, What is it you want My child?

She was taken back by this question. She thought, You mean I can actually answer this? Looking at her again, the Lord said, Yes. She realized that He knew exactly what she thought before she even uttered any words. She smiled. I want to live. I want a life that is free, moving in creativity and grace. I want each day to be a journey, an adventure with you. The most important thing Lord is quite simple. I want to be me. That is the cry of my heart.

ImageThe Lord looked at he with this wonderful smile and then spoke, All along you have had that open door of freedom, My child. It was you that continued to live within the confines of the hut. The hut was simply the outer reflection of a life that had lost passion and purpose.  This mundane hut, as you called it, He said with a smile. lacked beauty because you lived in a life of hopelessness and dread, fear and disillusionment. There is no color in a life lived like that when all along I have promised you life in abundance. Am I a God that lies? Before she said a word, He smiled and said,  Let me answer that. No Im not.

She was silent for some time as they continued to walk along the shore. She did not speak but she thought. When I took my eyes off of Him, I lost vision and focus. I lived in that reality that I created myself. The confusion, the pain they decorated the walls of my life. Hopelessness formed my days in sorrow and grief. The hut so lackluster, so dark. That was my choice when I stopped worshipping.  My pain, my fears they were my life and had me bound in staring at the Palace each day. I did not live. I existed.

Suddenly she reached out and grabbed both of His hands so hard that she almost fell over. Lord I want to live. I want to be Me. I want to be the woman that you created. There was so much passion in her voice, that she felt a bit taken back by her boldness and courage in the presence of her Lord. Can I be this bold? Can I?

She looked at Him, half expecting Him to rebuke her for her presumption, but He didn’t. He threw His head back and laughed. How odd! thought the woman. Shouldnt He be a bit more serious? This is my life you know. Then suddenly, she looked at Him, smiled and also began to laugh – very hard. He had it all worked out. He was enough. In Him she lived and moved and had her being. There were the two of them on the beach that day laughing. She laughed. She ran. She danced. And she shouted.

Psalm 30:11-12 11 You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers.12 I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough. The Message Bible

ImageAs she awoke from the dream, she was filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Feeling energized, she jumped up from the chair and threw open the windows to let the fresh wind blow unhindered through the hut. She raced around moving furniture in new places in creative ways. Throwing the wilted flowers away, she ran outside to pick a fresh bouquet for her table. She cleaned and cleaned and cleaned for hours. The day was a whirlwind of activity as she moved into the NOW of His presence. At the end of the day, she sat in the chair and looked around, quite satisfied and peaceful. The beauty of who she was flowed through her that day and all comparison and hopelessness left, never to come back again. Her creativity was alive because of His great love for her.  There was nothing left to do that day but to sleep and to dream and that is what she did. And, perhaps that will be another story. J

The Author’s Note

I will leave you with this picture of a woman falling asleep in her chair in perfect peace. Able to dream again and to live again because of Jesus Christ, there are more stories to come and great creativity to flow.

I will let you imagine more chapters in this story if you choose. If I gave you anything more, you would start to emulate her or her journey and then you would not live your own life in Christ, just as you are.  This is just a starting point for you to find out about yourself. Look around. Take off the grave clothes my friends.

Throw out the past, forgive and dance and move in the NOW. You have not been promised tomorrow and the past is gone. You have today and today is the day where lives are lived and choices are made. Make them in Christ, not looking at outward circumstances or situations.

He who has called you is faithful and He will do it. Life has ups and downs, sadness and joy, good days and bad days and he is always faithful. He is our assurance in a world of chaos. Live your life with passion and purpose outside of the confines of what your mind tells you that you can and cannot do. Live without comparison. Do not look to the left or the right but live the life that God has created you to live. Dream again in possibilities that God has planned for your future right where you are. He has placed you on the earth for such a time as this.

For me, there are many more stories for many more days to come. I never quite want to figure life out or to make it robotic or cloned. I don’t want to live in a template that someone has designed for me. I don’t want to be normal, mundane or boring. I am alive in Christ. He is enough. He has answered the desire of my heart to live and to be me. There is no greater joy in life than to BE who He has created you to BE.

So, look around your hut. Find your answer in Christ. Live. Dream. Love.

Over the next month I will try to create a PDF file at Http://www.riversofeden.com so that this may be a mini-book able to be downloaded. I will edit and go deeper into some parts and who knows where it will go right? I love all who have taken the time to read.