Moments of Retreat – Silence…Please

ListenYesterday, as I sat in my living room I listened to the silence. It whispered to me.

“Enter into a time of meditation with Christ Jesus.”

Moments of retreat I like to call them. Times of saturation while soaking in His presence. Each day, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes 2 hours, I worship and pray. What’s important here is quality not quantity. This is not a hurried place. It is a place of a deep flow into my spirit.

Soaking – a modern word meaning to just BE with Him, without agenda, without time constraints.

Moment by moment, I am aware that in the silence there is a depth of revelation that is imparted to me just to BE me. In being, I understand my identity in Christ. His revelation to me in moments of retreat radiates into every cell of my being. He holds all things together, and that includes me.

Your (My) old life is dead. Your (My) new life, which is your (My) real life––even though invisible to spectators––is with Christ in God. He is your (My) life. Colossians 3:3 Message

How often are you busy, too busy to spend time with the Lord? No guilt here, none at all. Just a spiritual challenge, which will greatly enhance your life.

Are you on the go, prioritizing things in your busy life that will have no eternal significance…none at all? Consider taking time to retreat each day. Let Holy Spirit lead the way.

Before He called me apart yesterday, I felt frazzled and hurried. Questions assaulted my mind, trying to create distraction and confusion about my life.

“Where is this all going?”

“What’s next?”

“Where do I go from here?’

Tension seemed to rise in me like a wave that wanted to draw me down into its power. I felt insignificant in light of what I saw others doing. In comparing myself to others, I lost a sense of purpose in those moments and fear set in. This can often happen after an anointed, awesome time of ministry as we had in Poland last week.

My observation? I see so many trying to make themselves be seen, or heard, or noticed. Lives flowing in their own strength, trying to be in the mix and out there so as not to be forgotten. Post after post on social media. Constant interaction to affirm their identity to be someone in someplace doing something to boost their own sense of being.

But what about the silence? That’s the place of testing and trust. Can I be still in the silence, knowing that God Himself is orchestrating my life while I seemingly do nothing but worship? Yes, He does work on our behalf. There’s the beauty of it all. His ways are not our ways.

It is in these moments of retreat, I realize that I am known by the One who calls me to come apart. He knows me yet I don’t always know “Me” in Christ. To come away in times of quiet and prayer, I find myself in Christ. My life settles into worship and that constant tension within me that pulls me, trying to form me into the image of the world is silenced.

In Christ, there is an exchanged life. Unless I soak in that reality, I am tossed here and there upon the waves of the world’s chaos. This exchanged life is Christ in me, me in Christ…………my life hidden in Christ Jesus. My identity, my purpose and my destiny are in Christ. He draws us away to call us to Himself to BE ourselves.

Just BeI am brought into time by the hand of God, placed in my mother’s womb significantly and specifically. Think about that when chaos rules your life or worry is your default. If you feel out of sync with your own life, I call you into the deep away from shallow waters.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.. Jeremiah 1:5 Message

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God––you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration––what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit-by-bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. Psalms 139:13-16 Message

Enter into a time of silence. All else fades in comparison to the clarity you will encounter when you spend time alone with Jesus.

Look around. There is so much excessive movement among followers of Christ. Seeking validation in so many things and in so many ways.

This is what stirred in me yesterday so I want to encourage each of you today. Sitting alone in the silence, He knows me, knows everything about me. My life is in His hands. There is fullness in being still. The enemy knows this and tries every trick up his sleeve to keep me busy. Avoid that trap. More can be settled or apprehended in one hour with Jesus that most people can do in one full day.

Stillness imparts deep revelation of significance to the inner life. That is desperately needed among this young generation of Jesus followers. I challenge you to unplug and spend time with Jesus. He waits for you in that secret place.

It’s the stillness that births identity. Remember that. Take some time to BE with Him.

Debra

 

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

 

Sit Down, Relax, Do Nothing!

VenturaFor my own well-being, I need to consistently unplug from people, computers, and TV. It’s good to be out of the mix. Noise rattles the thinking process into its submission of overload and distraction. Chatter is the subliminal sound of constant chaos as I spend excess time on social media. I can lose myself and not even know it. That is a scary thought.

Another quote by Austin Kleon from Steal Like An Artist:

“Creative people need time to sit around and do nothing!”

I need to be alone at times doing nothing. My friends often think of me as an extrovert. I definitely can be outgoing. I engage in conversation easily. Yet, if I spend too much time extroverting with people, I lose focus, get tired, start getting antsy and look for a door to get out. My life is somewhere between introvert and extrovert. I believe it’s called ambivert. Excessive prolonged exposure to being in the mix makes me tired. I consistently need time to sit around and do nothing.

Me, a pen, my journal or tablet, the ocean, my office, or Starbucks – I dial down in time and find stillness. God knows I need this.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)

 “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything (Psalms 46:10 Message)

Busyness – the current buzzword of so many people:

I’m busy.
I’m too busy.
I am so busy.
Busy, busy, busy.
Can’t – too busy.
Can’t possibly – too busy.
No time! Too busy.

Busyness – the hard taskmaster who leads us as a slave in the midst of excessive demands. Our lives hunger for meaning. Internal forces drive us forward to find this as external forces create a path of endless distraction where we never quite arrive at what we are seeking.

Busyness sounds admirable, important, and essential in life. Yet, busyness aborts creative thinking for those who need quiet times to come apart. It is in stillness and just doing nothing that creativity thrives. Creativity abounds here! In the midst of dialing down, creativity is forming – an image, ideas, revelation in Christ.

MalibuI spend time each day in the stillness, being with Jesus Christ. He is my source of creativity. My creativity is enhanced and encouraged as my identity is formed in Christ. That takes time and relationship, being with Him, in His presence.

Since I was a child, God wired me to come apart, unplug and learn to be in order to find ME. I remember times of being alone and loving it.

Growing up on the northwest side of Chicago, beautiful cherry trees stood tall and strong in my yard. Their branches joyfully carved out seats just for me to sit and read. With a book and some snacks in hand, I hoisted myself up into a new world, spending hours reading and thinking. I was a bit quirky, but I needed this time alone. Is your child wired this way? Parent them into times of quiet.

On dark winter nights as snow sparkled in the moonlight, I ran outside into the yard to make snow angels. For hours, I raced around, falling down, getting up. I would often look up into the sky, just being, thinking. I needed these times to flow in creativity of thought and action.

My memories of childhood remind me that God wired me to BE unique and creative in His Son, Jesus Christ. In childhood, creativity flourishes. As a child, I flowed beautifully in awe and wonder. Perhaps many of us need to get back to being childlike again in our faith, in our creativity, in our lives. Playing with God in the beauty of His holiness, learning His creative ways in relationship will do wonders for our lives.

At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me. (Matthew 18:1-5 Message)

Children are creative, playful, innovative, spontaneous, joyful, adventurous, contemplative, risk takers, and more. As creativity is resurrected in Christ, childlike faith will arise to create again. Let’s face it. Christianity is rarely innovative or creative. Why is that? Perhaps we are taking our cues from the world in all its busyness, trying new programs, mimicking or copying what the world is doing to succeed. Jesus is simply telling us to come apart with Him to BE and just do nothing.

There are so many creative thoughts that flow from this reality. Many more blogs to write with more creative encouragement and challenges to come.

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

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One Way

TruthThis is all so much bigger than me. This thing called life and the working out of it all. It’s best to walk in humility and grace as I apprehend truth and revelation. Trying to defend my corner of the world, I can find myself upended when God reveals Himself to me in a way that I don’t expect or even comprehend. Life as I know it, walk it, and see it is so much bigger than me. Life is breathtaking, awesome, magnificent and majestic in Christ. I need some awesome again.

There are seasons of life where my foundational beliefs flow in life again, not just lodged in the area of my heart on a shelf called “What I should Know by this Time”. Foundational beliefs are easily challenged in the realm of social media, tolerance at all costs, new trends, opinions, arguments, images and input from every diverse opinion on the planet easily flows. Facebook can crack my foundations and try to get me to believe that what I believe is not quite right, not quite open-minded enough, not quite true.

I deactivated Facebook for now. How long? Long enough for me to get my personal bearings in Christ and His simplicity right on target again. Long enough to see the course that Jesus has charted for my life without the distraction of constant noise that subliminally unnerves me on Facebook.

talking headsIt’s easy to move in the ebb and flow of Facebook, in the transitional waters that try to take me down into various currents. The grace current, the political current, the prophetic current, left-wing, right-wing, constant images, atheists, agnostics, progressives, liberals, evangelicals, new age and more. I unplug or I will lose myself in the process. It’s true, you know. And, that is what I did – at least for a while.

Facebook is a never-ending series of words and images that seem to be going nowhere for me. For me, maybe not for you. The waters are always moving to the next trend of belief and they are always trying to shift people. At this time in my life, I want to stand secure on the rock of Christ Jesus. Him alone. My voice sounds forth as I stand on a sure foundation, not one that is rocky, shaky or moving erratically with the times. There is no safety or security outside of Christ.

The foundation of my life:

Way Truth LifeJohn 14:6
Jesus said to him, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus is the way. He is the name above all names and the way to Father God. He is the way – not Allah, Buddha, not Confucius. He is my way, my truth, my life.

To make this claim, as He did, is either lunacy or the simplicity of truth. I believe He is truth, in its ultimate simplicity that makes a person believe or walk away.

He is love.
He is light.
He is life.

I am fully committing myself to this reality again in my life. Now, don’t get me wrong. I never stopped believing this. He is the way. Yet, amidst the constant noise of social media and the world at large, it’s easy to get lost in its flow. My voice sounds forth with clarity, despite any opposition. His way flowing through my life – no other way. No other life, outside of Christ. This truth being revived in my heart opens up a door into which I walk, again. Where do I find myself? In a broad place of life and light. In Christ. In Him I live and move and have my being.

Future posts will flow from this reality – with challenge, confrontation, love, simplicity, life. My life reached a point where I must affirm this reality in my writing. It never is popular. One can easily see that. But, I never was popular anyway. Why start now? It’s easy to lose your life and voice if you’re not careful.

DebraIn Christ
Debra

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