A Time Of…Connecting, Piecing, Focusing

Glory of Zion/Chuck Pierce had a dynamic message on Sunday. He said that it is time for:

Connecting the Dots
Putting the pieces together
Vision becomes clear
Two things becoming one
People see you differently

It is time. Time for seeing the Lord re-integrate our lives into wholeness. Time to re-member our lives into His purpose.

The enemy seeks to fragment us by attacking our identity and scattering our focus. Scripture tells us that he roars around seeking whom he may devour and that his purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. This is still his plan today. And, for many of us, it has been a hard year, filled with attacks on our finances, health, families, marriages and more.

But God…….

God is going to re-integrate, re-member, and restore our lives to standing firm in the reality of our identity in Christ. How will He do this? It will be unique for each one of us. I believe in this word from Glory of Zion.  If you want to hear more of it just go to Glory of Zion and listen to Sunday morning’s message. I can sense that change is in the air. Here is how those points above relate to my life.

Connecting the DotsConnecting the Dots – There were times when I would try to form the picture from the very little I had. It did not work, at all. Many times I felt that my life was built on uncoordinated, out of sync pieces that would come together for a moment in time, never to be heard of again. Relationships that I truly felt were traveling with me into my future fell by the wayside. Ministry opportunities where I gave my all only to be put to the side when something or someone better came along disappeared into a vapor. The dots just drifted in space, each one holding substance but not yet integrally linked to see a picture. God will now connect some of these dots that seemed confusing at the time to show me that He was behind the scenes working in my life for a greater glory. Of course, not all will be revealed this side of heaven but that’s ok. I’ll take what I can get and more.

PuzzlePutting the pieces together – During this past year, in my frustration, I often mentioned to my husband that our lives felt like a puzzle, spread out in pieces on a kitchen table. The problem was that the pieces all appeared to be in the right color and form, ready to be put together but whenI tried, nothing happened. Over and over, I tried. It never worked. Why? Only God can piece it all together. All the mess, all the ups and downs, and all the in-betweens. They really are forming a great picture, called My Life and they all work for good.

EyeVision becomes clear & People see you differently – So much to say about this. This past year I have felt like this:

They arrived at Bethsaida. Some people brought a sightless man and begged Jesus to give him a healing touch. Taking him by the hand, he led him out of the village. He put spit in the man’s eyes, laid hands on him, and asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up. “I see men. They look like walking trees.” So Jesus laid hands on his eyes again. The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty–twenty focus (Mark 8:22-25 Message)

My desire: clear focus again, clear prophecy, clear spiritual vision. It’s happening. As for people seeing me differently, that would take a whole blog post so whey don’t you look at this one? And this one?

Two things becoming one – still thinking about this one so I will focus on just the above for now.

This prophetic word is life to me. How about you? Do any of these points connect with you?

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
Rivers of Eden Ministry
About Me

Borders and Boundaries Needed – I Can Get Lost In that Wide-Open Space!

He stood me up on a wide–open field; I stood there saved––surprised to be loved. (Psalms 18:19 Message)

I stand amazed in a wide-open field of freedom. A thought hits me, “This is a place of unrestricted movement. I can do it all. I can be all.”

This moment brings a revelation of unbridled freedom. At last! For years I languished under internal laws and restrictions brought about by my own deep rejection and insecurities. It just feels good to know that I am free, in Christ.

Freedom in ChristWait! What is that I see?

I look around. What’s that in the distance? Border. Boundaries. Fences.

Even in my freedom, there’s a sense of restriction providing safety, hemming me in on every side. Under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91) He shelters me, protects me, quite often from myself and my own sense of journey into places that are good but not excellent for me.

Unbridled freedom can lead me into confusion and distraction apart from the leading of Holy Spirit. My own sense of entitlement, believing that now that I am free, I can do anything I want, can easily rule and reign. But as I said before, not everything that is good, is good for me. It is only in surrender that true freedom comes to His will and the ways of Holy Spirit.

I arrive in this place in process, restored but still being restored to the wholeness of my salvation. There is still a deep truth, an unfolding revelation of Christ in me needing to be established as I live, move and have my being in Christ. Inside of me, there is still that sense of upholding ‘ME”. Self-preservation brings on a fear of losing myself totally to the unknown. I hold on just a bit to something so I can call it my own.

Could it be that after years of fear on so many levels that I want to control a little part of my life? Just a little bit? Of course that’s it. I try to deny it but the evidence is quite clear. And yet, His grace is sufficient and in the midst of my own self-preservation, He loves me and shows me a better way.

Here I am in a broad place. I want to get this right this time so as not to be propelled back into a place of restriction and grief, dead ends and false starts.

He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. (Psalms 18:19 NKJVS)

I can dance. I can move. I can live. Is this really true? Yes.

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. (Galatians 5:1 Message)

You know, I can get lost in freedom, endlessly wandering from one thing to the next, going here, going there, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. One more conference. One more book. What am I trying to achieve? Perfection? Why? So that somehow God sees I am worthy on some level? Yuk!

Apart From MeI need restraint in my freedom to point the way, His way. And I definitely need a bit of structure and discipline to set me on a path of destiny. He knows where He is taking me, where He wants me to end up before I go to the next place of glory in faith.

In this place, right here, right now, You Jesus set my feet down on a path of life. You know me through and through, when I stand, when I move, what I feel, how I see. Now that I am here, I must accept that Your way is My way. You are the way for me, a path of light and life, hope and love.

As I wander through this broad place, my imagination runs wild for I know I am a woman who loves creativity, adventure and journey. Things that pop up along the way can distract me, often losing the course of my day. I guess I am both right and left brained for there is this rational side of me alongside this wild creative side. Hmmm.

Wait – what is this I see? In the midst of this broad place, there is a path forming right before my eyes. It is a narrow way in the midst of a broad place.

I see it like this.

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “ Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19 NKJV)

There are many ways in the Way. There are many paths to follow. I believe for me I have to simply listen, trust, obey and move, even if I don’t see the total outcome. If I don’t, I can be wandering in freedom forever accomplishing very little in my life. Focus is not my focus.

The voice of Holy Spirit whispers, “This is the way. Walk in it.”

I follow.

I trust.

I obey.

(These thoughts today spring from my own frustration within my own creativity. I have been easily distracted and wind up easily frustrated. Why? I did not do the one thing that God asked me to do.

“Study imagination.”

I started out good but somehow it was not enough for I could not see the outcome so I added, a bit here and a bit there. Before I knew it, I was on a rabbit trail of so many things I lost my focus. Lesson learned Father.

I forgot the simplicity of the instruction and His grace to lead me along the set path to get me to where He wants me to me.

Why do I do this? It’s quite simple. I feel that I should be excellent and do just a bit more than what God asks and He will be so proud of me. That, my friends, is a lie, a subtle lie of performance. I pulled it all back, reeled it all in. So I sit here in the library to study faith, imagination allowing the Holy Spirit to lead the way. I pray you get the point here. Stay focused on exactly what God tells you to do. In fact, I would challenge many today to forgo trying to be everything to everyone, a jack-of-all-trades master of none. Follow His path. His way.)

In Christ, Debra

A Clear Sound in Christ

TruthIntimidation enslaves us within a prison of fear where we feel threatened, bullied, harasses, and subdued. When words are used as a weapon to silence us, they paralyze and take our breath away. We gasp for air at times, losing our voice, losing our sense of who we are, what we believe. It takes courage to stand up for what we believe in. But, is there any other way? To constantly compromise by appealing to the masses leaves one divided inside, lacking unity and wholeness. To constantly look around before one speaks trying to step in sync with a current sound is not necessarily wisdom but a fear of man.

I am going to reference yesterdays blog – digging a little deeper in what she said in the first paragraph.

Speak the Truth
Frances J. Roberts

“Lo, I say unto thee, be not intimidated by anyone, but speak forth My Word, even as I give it unto thee. Ye have written freely and fearlessly. Now speak in the same way. Thy spoken word must be brought into conformity with the work I have done within thee. This ye need for your own personal sense of unity. This ye need for your own strength. For the house divided against itself cannot stand; neither can ye so long as ye bear one testimony in thine heart and another on thine lips. 

In other words, speak the truth, no matter what it costs. And if you can’t speak the truth, t stay silent, waiting in wisdom for the right time rather than walk in presumption and end up in a war of words. It all goes back to when to speak and when to be silent.

The Truth Will Set You FreeWords frame our life – our own words (For as a man thinks, so he is – Proverbs 23:7) and those of others. Words are meant to build up, even if they are strong words. Wisdom helps us see what to take in, what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. Wisdom will not be silent and looks for those who can handle the heat in order to speak truth in the person of Christ.

Intimidation makes us cower and hold back and in the process, we lose ourselves and our voice. Not a good thing for any of us.

In my salvation there is wholeness, a unity in Christ, the life of Christ forming my life, my thoughts, my being. The Living Word  forms me in His image, imparts to me mind of Christ and transforms me in His divine nature. The truth (the person of Christ) sets me free. I am not a parrot and neither are you. His creative expression is to flow freely through our lives. Yet, look around? There is continual opposition to silence Christ in me, the hope of glory. So, what to do? Speak the truth despite the cost. Truth is in the person of  Christ. It is not vague and nebulous but contradicts the prevailing sound of the world, in true love, empowered in abundant grace.

Today, one’s voice can be silenced completely or lost amidst an ocean of information and social media noise. I believe that the sound of the Kingdom, moving contrary to the world while being in the world, will sound forth through many in this time. It is and will be a sound that will not cower when confronted by lies or deception. Truth is moving right through the lies and deception to forge a clear path in the midst of darkness. Truth in the person of Christ, the reality of His salvation and the message of the Kingdom is clear, filled with the fresh breath of the Spirit, and so contrary to the confusion today.  The world waits for a clear sound and many will be drawn to this clarity of conviction. But, we have to speak, know when to speak, how to say it and ultimately pay the price for our words. Many simply don’t want to hear it but who can resist speaking forth the glory of Jesus Christ.

Words overflow around us. Information increases in leaps and bounds. Opinions escalate and force their way in to be heard. Yet, truth is in the person of Jesus Christ – this sound will never be silences and can never be extinguished no matter what kind of opposition comes against it.

Speak the truth – not in quantity, but in quality of life that flows through us in Christ. This sound change nations, revitalize cities, transform people and raise up a standard of life in a death culture.

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!

Creative Expression – It’s Been A Long Time Coming!

NowPeter denied Christ. Paul persecuted Christians. Yet, there is marvelous restoration in Christ for everyone who receives Him.

And then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9 Message)

Before Peter or Paul captured the beauty of their life in Christ, they saw their own glaring frailties and complete failures. They each failed miserably. Then they encountered the reality of Christ. In their weakness, He came into their lives with awesome encounters. It was at this point – their point of absolute weakness – that they are awakened to their absolute need of Christ to make them whole. Things have not changed much for us today. In fact, it has not changed at all.

About an hour later, someone else spoke up, really adamant: “He’s got to have been with him! He’s got ‘Galilean’ written all over him.” Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him:” Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried. (Luke 22:59-62 Message)

The piercing eyes of Jesus, eyes filled with absolute love and mercy for Peter. Peter looks and is suddenly accosted by regret, guilt, and condemnation.

That set off a terrific persecution of the church in Jerusalem. The believers were all scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. All, that is, but the apostles. Good and brave men buried Stephen, giving him a solemn funeral––not many dry eyes that day! And Saul just went wild, devastating the church, entering house after house after house, dragging men and women off to jail (Acts 8:1-3 Message)

Paul brazenly defended his religion, without mercy and without regret.

Both of these men soon hit rock bottom. It was at that point that Jesus reveals Himself to each of them. His grace is made perfect in their absolute weakness.

Transformation comes with confrontation.

Peter’s revelatory moment.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Master!” When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he threw on some clothes, for he was stripped for work, and dove into the sea. (John 21:7 Message)

Then he said it a third time:” Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. (John 21:17 Message)

Paul’s revelatory moment.

He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?” He said, “Who are you, Master?” “I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. (Acts 9:3-5 Message)

Restoration flows through each life in the wake of revelation – the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. His mercy. His grace. Jesus comes to restore and make whole, anointing men and women for His purpose, not in their relevant strengths but in their blatant weaknesses.

That’s when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency:” Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight (Acts 2:14 Message)

He said, “Who are you, Master?” “I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. 6 I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city you’ll be told what to do next. (Acts 9:5-6 Message)

One day as they were worshiping God––they were also fasting as they waited for guidance––the Holy Spirit spoke: “Take Barnabas and Saul and commission them for the work I have called them to do. (Acts 13:2 Message)

There it is for me to see. Failure, utter failure, discouragement, regret and wholehearted restoration in Christ. This past year, in my own self-indulgence, always thinking about me, I discounted His love and mercy, His grace and forgiveness in my life. I often hurled accusations at my God for being absent, uncaring or an unloving Father. Over the past year, my faith in crisis, often felt like Peter standing close to the fire, blatantly saying, “I don’t know You.” I discounted all those past years when He met me supernaturally and loved me unconditionally.

Yet, today, after some God ordained supernatural days, transformation is flowing into my life. I did not ordain the time. I did not ordain the season. It is God.

February is a turning month for me. God spoke that to me, yet hope deferred blinded my eyes from seeing its truth and reality. Healing touches my heart. Hope is restored and faith gives me eyes to see what I could not see even 2 weeks ago. My encounter, my reality.

I failed miserably in many ways in my life. Yet, His grace is sufficient. I have stumbled and offended. I have allowed anger to rule my emotions. Yet, His grace is sufficient for me, in my weakness.

It’s been a long time coming. It seems as if scales are falling off my eyes to love and be loved. My spiritual voice is being restored with authenticity and honesty flowing forth. If you are reading this and have followed my journey, I would not be saying this just to have a good blog. God shows no favorites. He loves His children. What He does for me, He can and will do for you.

There are still good and bad days to come but here’s the difference. There were cracks in my foundation, blatant cracks in my life. I often felt like I have destroyed so many things – relationships and more – that there was no hope. Then while walking a few days ago, I kept thinking about Peter and about Paul. Jesus’ strength made perfect in blatant weakness. This strength is for me, right now in my life. Christ in me, the hope of glory. Seeing the reality of my life without Him. Seeing that I cannot go further in my own strength, I fall headlong into my own life. Then, He comes at that point and restores and renews and refreshes.

How did this happen? Well as I said, it is God’s unique timing and purpose. He led me to a conference where I encountered an anointing in the Holy Spirit. Hands were laid on me and freedom came. God’s timing. God’s way. Out of the cave, one step forward – in my weakness, He is strong. It could have come another way, but it did not. It could have come years ago, but it did not. It could have but His timing is perfect, NOW.

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraPlease pray and consider having Rivers of Eden minister in your gathering, home group, conference or church in 2014. This is our year of release wherever and whenever God opens His doors bringing His grace and His glory through us to those to whom we are called in this season. Feel free to contact us on Facebook, or Twitter.

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Creative Expression – The Basics – Believe and Receive

Christ in YouI am going to write a series of posts that I will refer to as ‘The Basics.” Just a few, to put on Riversofeden1 so as to be in sync with the focus and purpose of my life and ministry in Christ. It is always good to rehash some things at times to know why I believe what I do in my Christianity.

They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live––and everyone in your house included (Acts 16:31 Message)

So they said, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. (Acts 16:31 NKJV)

  • To believe: to have faith in Christ; to entrust one’s spiritual being to Jesus Christ; to trust; to be persuaded; to place confidence in
  • To be saved: deliver, protect, heal, preserve; make whole; to preserve one who is in danger of destruction; to save; to rescue

I believe in Jesus Christ. On good days and bad days in my life, I believe in Christ Jesus. Believing in Him means that I am persuaded that He is God and is able to keep my life hidden in Him in my salvation, my wholeness, body, soul and spirit. I do not fluctuate in this. I believe because I am persuaded that He is who He says He is to me. This is not dependent on whether I feel it but I am persuaded in Him as the way, truth and life.

TrustIn saying this, I can navigate through life’s ups and downs, and ins and outs by being anchored in Christ, His perfection and His salvation, a gift freely given to me in grace through faith in the Son of God. Whose faith? Well, my faith can be weak some days and also hindered other days when life throws a curve ball. So, I lean into what He is and what He has done for me in the finished work of the cross. His faith, His life, His way – Christ in me, the hope of glory. I live my life in Christ.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 KJV)

Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 Message)

Salvation is not a one-time occurrence but also an ongoing journey in Christ. It is an ongoing process in the sense that I am secure in the reality of the person of Christ, while at the same time walking out and in my salvation. I am saved. Not a cliché but a reality. Salvation means so much more to me than culture makes it to be. Salvation is wholeness.

May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together––spirit, soul, and body––and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23 Message)

23 May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together––spirit, soul, and body––and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 Message)

So, my salvation is real, established in my life, while flowing through my life – body, soul and spirit. I am saved to BE whole, not fragmented and segregated in life. Salvation re-members me into my life hidden in Christ, wherein I find my identity and purpose in life. I lose my life to find that I have a new life in Christ. This is a simple reality.

Truth Will Set You FreeSo if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ––that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life––even though invisible to spectators––is with Christ in God. He is your life. (Colossians 3:1-3 Message)

With all of this being said, I wanted to gently remind myself that I am in this time for such a time as this. Salvation gives my life meaning and depth in Christ. Christianity is a glorious adventure in Christ, in His love, His grace and His mercy. Selah.