To be Positioned to BE Present…….More Thoughts On This Journey

In creative ways, God graciously confirms His word to my spirit. Once He speaks, prophetic words, pictures, music or videos intersect my path. He’s got this all in control even if I don’t entirely see the whole picture.

The previous blog sets the stage for me in all of this. I acknowledge that fear tries to rise up to get me off-focus, to convince me that God can’t be trusted. I can get buried in the what-if’s along with other questions that center on doubt.

I would like to say that I simply released all control and in a quiet contemplative state I whisked through my day along a cloud of knowing.

But I didn’t. What did I do? After so many years of God showing His faithfulness to me, I still decided to make a list. I listed the pros and cons of what life would be like if we moved to various places to ‘settle’ in order to travel out to minister.

Over the course of an hour, I thought it seemed right to me. Notice what I said there – seemed right to me. I should know by now shouldn’t I?

What's next What nowMy lists show my humanness in full force. The lists went in so many different directions that I ended up doing what I usually do. I threw them away and just sat there, eyes closed, heart open. I quit. I won’t establish my path in my own wisdom.

In that moment of just being, God spoke and continued to speak over the whole day.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him… (Psalms 37:5-7 NKJV)

Commit my way to His way in complete trust.

He does what He promises He will do.

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NKJV)

Little Guy With PostitsThen I read this on FB and it seemed to go hand in hand with what I am seeking in this season. Perfection.

Kris Vallotton

One of the difficulties in becoming fully actualized occurs when people find themselves in a community that doesn’t have the capacity or vision to collaborate with their calling. For example, if you want to be an actress it might be good to move to Hollywood. If you are called to be a singer maybe Nashville is the place for you. New York is a great place to become a model, and the Silicone Valley might be the best place for a High Tech start up. But moving to the Silicone Valley to pursue a career in modeling is probably a bad idea. Conversely, it might be tough to start a tech company in Hollywood. Although these examples are in no way absolutes, they serve to paint a picture in our imagination of the collaboration that takes place when we discover our people and find our Promise Land. These examples also help to explain what happens when we try to fulfill our call in the wrong community. Forging Champions

I am seeking a spiritual community of people who live and move in the direction and power of the kingdom, seeking Jesus in radical love. To me that is being positioned to BE present and the dominos just go falling down – connections, opportunities, relationships, creativity, and expansion. It’s a good thing. Where is it? Still looking, still trusting, still hoping, and still focusing on God. No more lists. Just day by day walking in sync with Him one step at a time.

KeyholeThis move seems so crucial for us to settle in order to move out and travel to the nations. What seems so overwhelmingly BIG for me is just part of God’s process for me and in Him there is peace that surpasses understanding. In this peace I will walk, wait and trust.

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:11-12 NKJV)

I want to keep focused on this so more is coming soon.

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!

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!

What If?

whatifWhat if my next step, in faith, is totally unrelated to anything that has brought me to this exact place in which I now stand? What I mean by that is quit simple. Sometimes I find that we are trained to believe to ‘go forth’ or to ‘step out’ or to ‘breakthrough’ somehow are related to what has gone before us. I tend to look for the same signposts that indicate a change is coming or a breakthrough is near. Kind of like going to the store by the same road you usually follow. You pass by one street, then a familiar park, and then perhaps a certain restaurant and before you know it, sometimes without being engaged in the whole process, you arrive at your destination. It can be methodical, day-by-day, moment-by-moment.

Yet what about those moments when God wants to break into the mundane and take me in a totally new direction? Will I accept the signposts in the road that may look different and lead me out on a new path? What if it all seems totally out of sync in the way that I am used to hearing His voice? What then?

You may want to start this journey with me in some previous blogs to gain some understanding here. Or you can read this one.

That is what I believe I am going through right now. Lease is up August 31. Still no place to live. Again, this may sound strange but there are a variety of variables working against us at times in renting something here in the LA area. They are too numerous to mention here. At the risk of making it all sound like some massive spiritual attack, what if it is God? What if He is behind this resistance because I have neglected to see the signposts in the road that indicates a new way to go?

Haven’t I been the one espousing this quote?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

This is my ‘what if’ blog post? If I did not write it, I may not be writing for some time because I don’t have anything to concretely tell you or show you that suddenly, all the pieces just fell into place. We search day by day for a place to live in this hot hot fast-moving LA rental market and turn up empty-handed most of the time or else we are moved out of position by someone who gets there faster than us.

What if our ‘next step’ is actually coming from left field, out of my focused field of vision? What if? What if there is no point of reference, absolutely none, to connect us to this next step other than Holy Spirit saying ‘This is it” or “Go left” or Go right”. What if?

fbe0c2ade21431a88d45790c2bbabffcHere’s what I think God is doing for many of us in some ways – subtle or more overt – but God all the same. As I am going about my day-to-day, I am keyed into hearing God in ways that I am familiar with hearing God. He is not speaking that way. I can say that for sure. Yet all the while I hear this whisper near my ear at times. Sometimes it’s so quiet and so indistinct that I have to wonder if it is me or it is God.

Then sometimes I have this knowing come over me that in the stillness, greater clarity and light will be brought into our position in the natural. You see along with the whisper I see something. Perhaps not so clear, a bit nebulous but I cannot deny its presence and its subtle influences upon my spiritual vision.

I see a door, a door that is hidden, perhaps a bit small, hidden behind foliage or some obstruction. Yet it is a door. I can make it out but I can’t tell you for sure anything more than that. It is a door, that when opened, will lead into a wide-open place, a new vista. But for now it is a bit unseen at times to me. It is before me at some distance. That is all I know in the spirit.

What if I ignore it and proceed along a better-designed path that provides me some comfort and a lot less stress? What if I do that? But I can’t. I can’t ignore the subtle moving of Holy Spirit, teaching me to flow in the reality of Christ in me.

Christ in me.

Sometimes fear creeps in a bit because I wonder, “What if I miss it? What if I don’t hear? Is your grace able to keep me moving forward even when I am unaware of your presence?”

Will His love and grace and mercy keep me moving despite myself and my need for surety and comfort? When I don’t know it, feel it, sense it, hear it, and when silence surrounds me on all sides, will I simply trust and not jump into what is before me? Will I wait in response to the whisper of His voice and the vision that drifts into and out of my spiritual vision?

Aha……….perhaps this is really being led by Holy Spirit – revealing Christ in me, the hope of glory. You see, in times past, I heard more clearly and saw more clearly. Perhaps it was God’s grace teaching me in the midst of my own growth and immaturity. Jesus is now leading me in fresh intimate ways that are contrary to the incessant noise of the world today.

Psalm 46:10
Be STILL and KNOW that I AM God.

Right now, in our search, I would feel out of sync if I just moved on what I sensed was out there in the natural, just picking some place to live that seemed right but is it really? Trust me in this. I would not choose to go this way at this time – so much is unclear, many variables, many loose ends BUT day by day I continually sense there is something I am not fully seeing, not yet. I only have small pieces of the picture and I cannot make any assumptions as to how it will all turn out. What a journey!

Perhaps I feel a bit like this man.

Mark 8:22-26
A Blind Man Healed at Bethsaida – Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “ Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

In Christ,
Debra Westbrook

10511315_794327653940721_886065626280149819_nRivers of Eden is the ministry that God breathed into my life many years ago. Our focus is Jesus Christ, the Tree of Life. We preach His love and grace, moving in His glory wherever God sends us. Holy Spirit flows through us in creative expression – preaching and prophetic flow – seeing people set free to know Him. We go where God leads us, wherever and whenever He wants us to go. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter to minister in your church, home group, or gathering.