By Accident or Intelligent Design?

cross“By accident or by intelligent design?”

When I awoke out of sleep the other night, I heard this question resounding in my spirit. I love questions from God. He also loves questioning me. I am never too quick to answer or lean into my own wisdom. Nighttime is perfect for this. I am not quite awake yet with my own thoughts.

There are always layers to questions. They are not always quite what they appear to be. What does this one mean?

This question summoned me to come apart to spend time with Him. At first I tossed and turned. I started to get up and lay back down. I tossed and turned some more. Finally, I went into my office, began to pray and waited on God with a journal close by.

Do I believe that I was born and placed in time by accident or intelligent design? It makes a difference in how I live my life. I believe I was born into time for such a time as this. I believe in my salvation in Christ, my eternal life in Christ now.

Yet, if that is true, and it is, then why am I so out of sync with life at times and even with myself – my feelings, my desires, my promises? Why do words such as breakthrough and destiny flow from my lips even when I feel out of sync saying them for I know inside of me are fears of all kinds? Why do I feel as if I wander at times, randomly waiting for life to take hold of me and suddenly push me in the right direction of my promise or breakthrough?

As a human being, I can feel fragmented and separated from my authentic self. Who exactly is my authentic self? It’s quite simple and the older I get, the simpler it becomes. I look no further than He who lives His life in and through me.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NKJVS)

I am in Christ. His life is in me. I died and now live in resurrection power in Christ. Some days that plays out better than other days when life sends its challenges and I surely forget this. When that happens, I run back into truth to recapture the revelation of the finished work of the cross of Christ. I stand in that place as I remember and Christ re-members me in His truth.

Every time that life seems to pull me in many different directions to where I don’t even know myself, He is there, reminding me that I am whole in Him. Nothing overpowers me. He is my life. I have died in Christ to live in the purity of resurrection life. That is truth – a truth that is imparted to me over and over again. In the worst of situations, His grace is sufficient for me. In my weakness, He is strong.

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection. (Romans 6:4-5 NKJVS)

Soaring EagleI am joined to Christ in the power of the cross and the power of the resurrection. That is the glory of intelligent design. I live in Christ. Nothing can separate me from that – not fear, not worry, not depression, not anxiety…not anything. I am not an accident randomly placed in time to wander amidst uncertainty and apprehension, separated from my authentic self, drowning in a false image that the world at large tries to shove down my throat. I am made by His intelligent design. The breath of God courses through my life.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them (Psalms 139:14-16 NKJVS)

How can anything separate me from the love of Christ? How can anything separate me from Christ in me, my union in Christ? It can’t but it does try to create an illusion or a fog that causes me to look outside myself at circumstances, situations or any life challenge.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39 NKJVS)

I am not randomly moving in time, wandering, and wondering. My life is in Christ and in Christ there is grace to empower me to live as a child of God. Wandering through life, without rhyme or reason, is not my lifestyle. To randomly wander in life is to be separate from this truth. I am not here by accident. I am created by intelligent design, the God of the universe who sent His Son, Jesus Christ for me so that I may live life in Him through the power of Holy Spirit.

I will end with this. There is a pressure to have answers, tie up loose ends, get to the heart of the matter and provide a solution. So many people want a way out and it is simply not possible. Again, life is about process and every step along the way; it is in the journey that we discover the heart of God. This Christian life is all about relationship and we don’t take our cues from the world in how to walk this out and how to live our life. Our life is in Christ, not the world. There is so very much to say on this as time goes on.

Debra 2In Christ,

I would love to speak at your conference, gathering, church or home group. We arrange our own traveling expenses. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our Life!

My New Normal: Looking At The Horizon In The Midst Of The Now

SeeKeep in sync with me – read some of the previous blogs. No Room at the Inn. And, of course, Wandering and Waiting. After going back and forth to San Diego, we found no peace to settle there, at least for now. I thought it was the place, but each time I go, we look everywhere, and come up short.

The journey sounds like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears – the porridge is too hot, too cold, too big, too small……….finally, she finds one that is just right, perfect to taste. I want the just right – not the almost or the next best thing or the good enough.

We broadened our search to Huntington Beach, Redondo Beach, Long Beach – townhouses and homes. Nothing felt right. What’s going on here? I am not sure – not at all. Yet, I am not confused. I feel that God is walking with us, revealing a different side to Himself with each new day. I will keep you posted.

What am I waiting for? I wait for Holy Spirit to show us, “This is it.” I will know it when I see it. So wandering here there and everywhere, looking, watching and waiting is my new normal, at least for a while. I expect a lot from where I settle for a season, both spiritually and physically. There should BE community, unity, intertwining lives where one life is involved with another life, centered preaching on God’s grace, the finished work of the cross, reality, authenticity, a place of concern and love and care. Am I asking too much?

I don’t want to just ‘live’ in a place, I want to be “living” in the place where I settle.

Perhaps many of you wonder or think, “Why doesn’t she just find a place to live and be done with it?” Ah, then you don’t know my life. I don’t do it that way.

Over the years, Holy Spirit, consistently in grace, reveals to me, through dreams, visions, revelation and words of knowledge where to go, where to live, where to stay. Let me explain it this way. It’s like a ‘domino effect’. I am positioned in Christ in the right place, at the right time, and one domino sets off another domino and they all fall down. I trust. I believe. I walk one step at a time, following the leading of Holy Spirit. That ‘way’ has led us around the world, with perfect provision in perfect grace. I don’t know how else to live. If there is a different way, God will reveal that to me.

Now, in the dense urban jungle of LA, we seem to wander. It’s so BIG, so VAST, so SPREAD OUT – options, choices abound without limitations. The only constraint for most people is money and time. You get what you pay for here. You see, the closer to the beach, rents go up and up and up. Yesterday, 800 square foot house in Redondo Beach – $2400. I walked away and cringed inside. Can I believe that God will place me, position me in the right place, regardless of what the external circumstances and constraints say?

I am constrained by the voice of God to find that place to settle, not looking at the outward constraints but listening to the voice of Holy Spirit. I listen, wait and then act.

In the meantime, we pray and worship in the Spirit. In the natural realm, we wander and look at places to settle. It’s all good. Not everyone can live this way but it is our life. We always sense this quiet assurance that God is with us, does not forsake or fail us, and that a keen adventure lies right ahead of us. Just follow Him.

Remember, this is my prophetic process right now. Each of us goes our own way – thank God – in creative flow. Or, at least we should all be open to something new, something fresh. I pray your journey is well.

Why all of this? Why am I going here there and everywhere, sometimes with Chloe, our bulldog in tow? Well, I believe we are to be divinely positioned in time and space to discover divine connections, divine opportunities and divine moment that open up to us in time when we are in the right place. Every place is good, but not every place is good for me. These opportunities are heaven-sent, right smack down into the midst of time – like Peter and Cornelius, or Saul on the Road to Damascus, or Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the wall. Our life is not dull, but neither is it filled with the extravagance of riches. We walk in the simplicity of His voice. This is ‘me’.

In Christ,
Debra Westbrook

10511315_794327653940721_886065626280149819_nGod breathed Rivers of Eden Ministry into my life many years ago. I have tried to define it with the typical Christianese language. I can’t. All I know is that our heart’s cry is to focus on Christ, the Tree of Life – to show forth His grace and flow in His glory wherever we are sent. Holy Spirit flows through us (Marvin and I), in creative expression, through preaching, teaching, prophetic flow – people are healed and set free. Divine connections are the norm for us. We go where God leads us – wherever and whenever He wants us to go. The reality of Christ in me, the hope of glory, is alive and well. Now, I am ready to move out again. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter. God may want to lead us your way – to your home group, church, gathering.

My New Normal: Wandering and Waiting

479731_10151387670278930_1741421622_nWhere do I settle to bring forth the reality of the revelation – Christ in me, the hope of glory? I invite you to read the previous blog – There’s No Room At The Inn. I invite you in on this prophetic journey, step by step by step. Oh, in case you don’t know the story of Mary and Joseph, just google Luke, Chapters 1 & 2.

I live, move and have my being in Christ Jesus. At this time, there is this sense of destiny and purpose deep within me to BE at the right place IN the right time. This should not come with pressure since Holy Spirit is able in all ways to lead us in grace and glory. Yet, there are days where I rant, days where I am frustrated, and days where I find inner peace – it’s life. Perfection in my emotional states often elude me since I am a passionate person of outward expression. I know my rest is in Christ alone. But, there are days where I find myself out of sync internally. I then return to the secret place in Christ, breathe and keep on walking, in peace and rest.

“I don’t have to figure it out.” I keep saying to myself each day. “I just have to BE and the flow will move me in the direction I am to go. But, Lord, what about the now? There does not appear to be direction today.”

This is my now – transition, of a good kind. Walking the walk, in sync with my verbal message. A prophetic journey, step by step. I am letting you all in on it, too. A new day dawns with increasing hope and promise. Why? Haha! Time comes with limitations. In our case, our lease is extended to mid-August, giving us a bit more time. So, there is hope that today IS the day. It may prove to be the same old day as yesterday. In any case, the day is coming where we have to pick up and go so I hope in the passing of time.

There is no room at the inn for us – prophetically speaking. It is my new normal and actually has been for some time. It is difficult to find a place to BE right now, a place of acceptance, love and community. A place where there is a gathering, a coming together, one with another for Jesus Christ and Him alone.

(Here’s a bit of an aside. Many times, when I speak about my life in this way, people say “Oh Debra….what about the “one”? There is plenty to do. Just look around. You are over spiritualizing this.” Those spiritual clichés and many more abound and even though there is truth in those statements, they do not apply to me at this time. We (Marvin and I) have always stopped for the ‘one’. This time is different. There is something greater that is coming, that I have waited for and longed for in my life. I press.)

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

When we go into different spiritual environments (churches, gatherings), we experience a variety of things – acceptance based upon the prevailing norm, hype, rejection, conformity stressed in subtle ways, works, performance, etc. We can’t seem to find that place to settle where it all just comes together in community for us. I look for a place to birth Rivers of Eden. This involves people of grace, vision, and purpose in Christ alone. In other words, a place to BE me, who Christ is in me. I want that for me and I want that for each of you reading. (Stretching out in total honesty now – risking.)

At this time, we can’t seem to settle, to find other people, outside of the internet, who seem to be going our way. I want the face to face with people, not just online.

Often, going into different places, as we passionately speak of Christ, many seem to disregard what we say or even disdain our grace awakening to His goodness and glory. Many have a set path, following some iconic minister or ministry, speaking the God-talk, preconfigured and templated. There seems to be no room at the inn for what is out of the box, still in process, or not totally aligned with the prevailing vision. This season is hand-tailored by God, for us, for His purpose. So, we wander and we wait.

Today, there is no time for self-pity, discouragement – birthing pangs increase in my life each day. Where to go? My focus – find a place to birth. Birthing spiritually and settling down in the natural, physical realm as to location. They both go hand in hand right now.

Geesh – I pray I am not losing some of you. Follow along by the Spirit – I am trying to speak spiritual thoughts with spiritual language, doing the best I can, without constantly explaining or qualifying my statements.

More coming…..wanting to keep this a bit shorter for each of us to digest a bit at a time. Do you find yourself in any of this? Maybe, maybe not. I know some of you do. I can feel it as I write, or I would not be writing this. In any case, process is good and writing in process is really good.

In Christ
Debra Westbrook

10511315_794327653940721_886065626280149819_nGod breathed Rivers of Eden Ministry into my life many years ago. I have tried to define it with the typical Christianese language. I can’t. All I know is that our heart’s cry is to focus on Christ, the Tree of Life – to show forth His grace and flow in His glory wherever we are sent. Holy Spirit flows through us (Marvin and I), in creative expression, through preaching, teaching, prophetic flow – people are healed and set free. Divine connections are the norm for us. We go where God leads us – wherever and whenever He wants us to go. The reality of Christ in me, the hope of glory, is alive and well. Now, I am ready to move out again. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter. God may want to lead us your way – to your home group, church, gathering.