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House Cleaning (Spiritual House Series Part I)

  
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?~1 Corinthians 3:16. 

If you are a born again believer, then you are the temple God resides in. He is omnipresent. Meaning God can be in more than one place at the same time. His Spirit resides in those who are born again. He takes up residence in us. 

We are body, soul, spirit:

We see a body. When we look at people we see flesh. Yet we are more than flesh. We are body, spirit, soul (mind, will, and emotions). They are all connected. The Spirit empowers the body. The spirit, our human spirit, is purified at conversion. We are told to be led by the Holy Spirit. 

The body (flesh) is not perfected. The soul is being renewed, transformed, and made more like Christ. Scripture to support this. 

I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will~Romans 12:1-2. 

…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things,~Phillipians 4:8. 

So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls,~James 1:21 (AMP)

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,~Matthew 26:41. 

There are so many verses that tell us to renew our minds, cast down thoughts and vain imaginations, deny the flesh, be even tempered and self controlled, take every thought captive…

It is true there is evil in the world that impacts the soul and body. Yet our mind requires renewal. Our emotions need the work of the Holy Spirit. Our wills need to be submitted to God. We can still choose to sin after being saved. Our bodies still need to be Spirit led as well. 

Why bring up the body, soul, and spirit? Glad you asked. I’ve read so many things that say we can live however we want because our spirit is saved. We can choose sin; God doesn’t force us to obey Him. Yet there are not many people talking about what sinful choices do to the body and soul. You can keep sinning once saved yet it’s detrimental to do so. Just read Matthew 7:21-23. Jesus said many will claim Him and He will say, “Depart from me I never knew you, you who practice lawlessness.” 

The Bible is very clear, sin brings destruction and death. It’s like a cancerous poison. There’s nothing good about it. 

I’m going to give some illustrations so hope it will be fun and interesting (maybe). 

Let’s suppose you have a shack in the woods. It’s pretty beat up and dead looking. One day a man knocks at the door and says, “Can I come in? I’d love to live here with you and turn this shack into a mansion?” You may think, “What’s the cost?” He smiles at you and shows you His credentials. He’s a King! The King of all Kings. After listening and seeing the enthusiasm in His eyes, you agree to join your life with His for life. 

At that moment He looks around and sees there are so many doors, rooms, filled with who you were before. Some are dark. Some are filled with pain. He smiles because His vision is the best vision. The old you disappears and the new you stands before Him. Your shack becomes a new building. You still look the same on the outside. Some of the rooms still look the same. Yet some are gone. Your place is no longer a dead looking shack it has life. He’s there, this King with you. 

I like how C.S Lewis put it. 

  
You notice over time He’s moving stuff around. There’s transformation happening in your mind, emotions, and will. As you spend time with Him you are growing to want to be like the Master Builder. He’s pulling stuff out of the rooms that aren’t like Him. 

If a person had demonic oppression, addictions, emotional problems, ancestral issues, strongholds, soul sickness, etc…at conversion, that does not mean those rooms in their soul are immediately cleaned out. For some people things are broken off instantly; for some they are broken off as they are delivered. I call deliverance house cleaning/inner healing. 

I had someone tell me the soul was saved so it could not be impacted by an evil spirit. This is not true. I will address in another post in more detail about oppression. 

Here’s a testimony from my life. 

I’ve had many traumas in my life. Won’t bore you with them all. I will tell you about my battle with fear. There’s healthy fear (of the Lord, the body’s natural fight or flight to real danger). And there’s a spirit of fear. It’s an evil spirit that comes to torment, harrass, hinder, bind, and constrict. God’s perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). There’s no need to cast out something that’s like God, right? So fear, like all evil spirits, is an intruder. He tries to set up a room in your soul (mind, emotions, and will) to bring turmoil into your life.

I recall when fear entered by life. It was the day I was taken from my adopted parents and placed back with my biological mother. It was one of the most traumatizing moments of my life. Fear came in and set up shop. I became afraid of so many things. Later in life after breaking off a relationship that man threatened my life. I knew he had partnered with a spirit of rage and the fear in me increased. A year after that I was in a car accident trapped under water, the people who saw the accident left me to die. 911 never came for me. Fear increased to the point of panic attacks and the inability to be in enclosed spaces. The room marked fear was taking up more and more space. Add to that being under a program manager and manager who bullied and harassed me for years without help from Human Resources. Church people who turned on me…and well that room was massive. I did not function normally. I continually thought, “Something bad is about to happen.” Did I have the Holy Spirit? Absolutely. Was my soul sick and oppressed by an evil spirit? Yes! 

Holy Spirit is all powerful: 

Much of my life story is God shows up and does the deliverance. I’ve been blown off by a few Christians and some, though well meaning, had zero clue how to help me. But God knew. One day I was crying out to God for relief from panic attacks. He touched me that day. It was like fire ran through my body and I never had another one. For the other things, fear of loss, persecution, rejection, etc…those were all tackled in process. I would soak in God’s love. I asked for belief of His word as unbelief opens the door for torment. I had some inner healing with trusted mature Christians. That room marked fear has been infiltrated by the incredible love of God. He continues to purge out what’s not of Him! He’s so good. 

There are rooms there at conversion and some we open after accepting Christ that bring torment, addiction, or oppression into our lives. 

Ways we open doors (invite guests other than Holy Spirit): 

Unbelief 

Coming into agreement with lies 

(Fear entered my life because I came into agreement with the lie that God would not protect me. The initial trauma of being removed from my home started a snowball effect. Once I believed the lie, circumstances reinforced the lie. A foothold became a stronghold.)

Unforgiveness 

Bitterness 

Jealousy 

Sexual Sins (fornication, pornography, adultery, fantasy lust, sex outside the covenant of a man/woman in marriage)

Judging others (saying something is not right is not judging a person. Judging a person is to pass sentence on them-God judges (determines the eternal fate of a person.))

Gossip/slander/hate speech/complaining 

Rebellion (against God or those in authority)

Unchecked Anger

Idolatry (worshipping anything or anyone other than God).

Gross sin

Occult Practices 

Drug use

Negative vows 

Sins that are committed against us or traumas can also open doors in our lives. 

What’s the solution: God! 

I recommend starting with God. I ask God to work in my foundation and purge what’s not of Him. I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any lies I’ve come into agreement with or to reveal any hidden idols of my heart. I ask so I can renounce lies and confess my sins before the Lord.

Rescources I recommend: 

The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson 

When the Enemy Strikes by Dr. Charles Stanley

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

The teaching series Breaking Free by Beth Moore

Father may we yield our entire lives to You! I pray Your love saturates the heart of each person. May we invite you to clean house. May we surrender every lie we have believed to You! May we renounce partnership with any lie. Forgive us for our unbelief. Replace it with truth and faith. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

You are deeply loved!

Erin 

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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The Spiritual House (Intro)

  
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain,~Psalm 127:1. 

I love Psalm 127:1. God is central in all things; when He’s not placed at the center it leads to all kinds of terrible things.

If you look around the world, you’ll notice that the majority of problems with humanity are rooted in mankind (humans) being central (exalting their desires above God) and God is often an afterthought. 

Adam and Eve were the first humans to choose doing their will above God’s and it brought sin, shame, death, sickness, disease, separation from God, broken identities, and fractured hearts into humanity. You can read about it here. Genesis 3 (The Fall). One act of choosing to live independent of God’s will led to the corruption of humanity. Thank goodness for Jesus who came to redeem humanity! He came to restore. 

Our world is seeking independence from God and His ways…

There are current campaigns that say, “Everything is permissible. I’m okay, you’re okay.”  There’s also a lack of reverence for God and His ways. 

How do followers of Jesus respond? 

How do we respond rightly to the condition of the world today? How do we deal with the pressing questions of “Is this okay? Did God make me this way? Do I have to stay this way?” What is santification? Why does God provide guidelines for living? Why does He say yes to some things and no to others? Why does choosing our own way lead to eventual destruction? How do we love people without compromising the truth and holiness of God? 

It starts with our own understanding of God and who we are in Him. 

Knowing God and our identity is where it starts. God loves us! Adam and Eve were already like God (created in His image). They didn’t need to eat the fruit. If they had believed 1. God is good and withholds nothing good from us. 2. God’s given us everything we need. 3. We can trust God. 4. God loves us and wants the best for us…then maybe they would’ve made a different choice. 

We are the house God built.  

God handcrafted Adam and Eve. We were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). We are a spiritual house. Yes, you and I are spirits inhabiting bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 tells us that those in Christ are blood bought children of God. God breathed life into man. Our lives are no longer our own. We are called temples of the Holy Spirit. 

Before we accept Jesus the Bible tells us we are dead in trespasses and sins (Colossians 2:13, Ephesians 2:1-2). Without relationship with God, there’s no Holy Spirit and the human spirit has not been forgiven, cleansed, renewed, awakened, or made new. After Christ, we are transformed and being transformed into the image of the Son. God intended for us to reflect Him. 

So what happens when our house is filled with what’s not of God or society says, “You were born this way you must stay this way?” My response, “There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.” 

Our spiritual house is meant to be filled with love, light, joy, hope, faith, truth, purity, goodness, kindness, and the character of Jesus. I wish this process was instant. Some of it is and some of it takes time. We are transformed and being transformed. 

I know many people, myself included, who have had their spiritual house cleansed and rebuilt by God. 

Names changed to protect people… 

There’s John who was addicted to pornography. This brought great pain to his wife and family. Though he did these things in secret, it affected his ability to truly represent Jesus. His heart was divided. God broke the addiction and lust off his life. God restored his marriage. Though He was a born again believer, he had opened a door in his life for demonic oppression, lust, addiction, and self gratification. 

There’s Mary who spent a good portion of her life living as a man. She dated women, lived with women, and had no desire to be who God created her to be. Mary had a radical encounter with Jesus. Mary now lives as a woman and is a radical worshipper. She said coming to know Jesus she regretted her time living as a man. It brought confusion, loneliness, and pain in her life. 

There’s Mark who had told his parents he sold his soul to satan and was threatening to kill others. He was a rageaholic, and his family feared him. Mark had a radical encounter with Holy Spirit and he’s now an evangelist. He’s kind, and last I know representing Jesus well. 

There’s Todd who was a drug addict and dated men. He too had a radical encounter with God and was delivered of drug addiction and no longer dates men. 

There are more stories that I will share throughout this series, including some of my own.

I will say God comes into a house to inhabit it, not leave it the same. At conversion the old man is crucified with Christ. The new man has come. The Holy Spirit then works within to reveal the love, righteousness, holiness, and goodness of God. We come to God as we are. He loves us purely as we are. He loves us so much He works within so we are transformed into original design, pre-fall. 

I hope you stay tuned for this series! I hope it gives you hope that God loves you and there are no hopeless cases

When God is invited into every area of our lives and we yield to His leading there are so many good things that take place…May we receive His great love, believe Him, believe who we are in Him, pray to Him (He responds to “God help”-I pray this prayer), and yield to His leading. 

You are deeply loved and prayed for. 

Love in Christ, 
Erin 

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Gifts from Heaven

 

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless,~Psalm 84:11. 

I normally don’t post back to back. No worries, I’m not starting a new trend. I won’t be posting this upcoming week or weekend. Or next week. Busy days ahead…mostly filled with fun. 

I did want to encourage you before I take a break…yes. I wanted you to be on the lookout for surprises from heaven. God is so generous. He blows me away! I’m praying miracles and tremendous blessings your way. 

If God gives good gifts, where are mine? Is that what you’re thinking? 

I used to think God was blessing everyone but me. I had some time in the wilderness. I like to call it the 7 levels of hell. It was no fun. During that season I watched others celebrating life. Some of those days I was either sick, watching my mum die, helping my family sustain through many challenges, etc…and well the verse above didn’t seem to apply. I had days where I’d say, “God I know you’re good. I can’t see much good in today.” I didn’t see much goodness. Pain has a way of clouding perspective. I saw a string of trials, challenges, tragedies, tears, sorrow, disappointment…Hindsight is 20/20 eh? 

Here’s what I learned about God’s gifts. You ready? 

1. God is the greatest gift, relationship with Him. Some of the sweetest, most intimate moments were in the most intense trials of my life. We are best friends for life. When you’ve been in the fire with God, no one can convince you He’s not real. God kept my mind during things I know I would not have made it through without Him. 

2. Unbelief, murmuring, and complaining block many blessings. God doesn’t delight in complaining. Unbelief blocks the flow of heaven. Everything in the Kingdom works by faith. When I started saying what He was saying, giving thanks for what I did  have, I saw such a radiant light shine in the darkness. I saw gifts I had never seen before. 

3. Gifts don’t always come in the packages you expect or how you expect them. I prayed for a long time for kindred spirits, covenant friends, intercessors. God provided them in the most mysterious ways. Divine appointments with strangers and for some instant love/friendship. Some are old enough to be my parents or grandparents. Age doesn’t matter. Distance doesn’t matter. They are knit in my heart. I love them with my heart and spirit. 

4. God goes for the wow factor. It’s exceedingly and abundantly above all you could ask or imagine. I’ve heard people say, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not for real.” Well…not so with God. He longs to bless your socks off. He’s not offering crumbs off the table. He gives custom gifts. It’s perfect for you or the need you’ve expressed. He is beyond lavish. 

5. He will wait until you’re ready. Some gifts are weighty and require maturity. You wouldn’t give your 2yr old the keys to your car. They wouldn’t know what to do with them. He also won’t give us things or relationships to replace Him or for us to find our identity in them or things we can’t handle.

I stopped praying, “Please give me,” and started praying, “God prepare me. Refine my character.” I want to be an excellent steward and representative of heaven. 

6. Some things God places in front of us to be pursued. Not every gift is FedEx’d with instructions. An easy way to find out is to ask, “God is this for me?”  

I have a guy associate who wants to be married. He will not pursue getting to know anyone. I asked him, “How will you ever get married if you avoid getting to know women?” He had no response. I’m not sure who told singles that angels would sing over their future mate or they’d hear the audible voice of God…I truly think if God places someone on your path it’s okay to have coffee. Coffee is not a marriage proposal, last I checked. Though Chiptole may be (it’s a funny story of a nice man who invited me to dinner then proceeded through his wife must haves checklist. Yep…Chiptole may be a bad choice (insert laugh here)). 

7. If you ask and are being led by the Spirit, He will let you know if it’s not for you. Not everything is to be pursued. If it’s not for you, God is so awesome He will tell you or show you. I pray, “God is this from you? If not, let it pass on through.” Or “Show me who this person really is.” He’s so faithful to answer. Yes! It saved me from getting married to the wrong person in my early twenties and from taking many assignments that weren’t mine to take or even recently from continuing on in a relationship where God said, “This isn’t the right man for you.” He’s great, yet our lives are headed in two different directions. I’m called to international ministry. He wants to be local and is starting med school. We are good as friends, not as two that would become one. How can two be joined together lest they agree? Two visions leads to division. Truly believe God connects people who are better together than apart, they build together. They have similar vision. 

8. God doesn’t forget promises. Some things He spoke 10 years ago are just now starting to surface. He’s faithful. 

9. Say what God says until you see what God says. Our words matter. Decree and declare His words. 

I hope you’re on the lookout for great things from above. God gives awesome gifts. He’s the greatest gift. He’s the center of it all…so worthy!

I bless you. Seeking Him first is the best. He’s outstanding.

You are SO loved and lifted up continually. Write to you in a few weeks!!! 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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A Good Father

  

Happy Father’s Day! 

Thank you to all the men in the world who have been great examples to their children, loved well, inspired, disciplined and corrected well, led by example, and have deposited identity and life into their children. You are appreciated. 

The only perfect Father I know is our Heavenly Father. Don’t get me wrong, my earthly father is super stellar. He’s also human, he also only represents half of the nature of God. You see God is Spirit. We call Him Father rightly so, yet out of Himself He created male and female (Genesis 1:27). Our Heavenly Father is able to do what we traditionally consider what a father and mother would do and without sin. Therefore, He’s the perfect Father. 

I wanted to thank and applaud the great men out there. I also wanted to encourage those who have earthly fathers who abandoned, were absent, abusive, unkind, unloving, neglectful, addicts, or never encouraged them. You are deeply loved! God is your father. You are not defined by your earthly fathers sin. If you’re in Christ, you’ve been adopted into a Royal family. Adopted children are special. They are no mistake; they are chosen and wanted. So, if that’s you…let me speak into your spirit right now…

Papa I speak life, love, and acceptance into every person without a Godly earthly father. I bind the orphan spirit. I release the spirit of adoption. I bind fear and insecurity and loose healing and love. I ask for identities rooted, deeply rooted in Christ. I bind every generational sin that may try to plague them. Holy Spirit come and break every chain! May they know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of Your love. Overwhelm them today with love! Heal and restore. I loose a freedom to forgive every hurt and disappointment, in Jesus powerful name…amen. 

For those who’s fathers have passed away, lifting you up today. Our Heavenly Father never leaves or forsakes. He’s with you! He brings such comfort! I speak peace over your day. 

For the men without children, soon to be dads, or existing fathers, these are some things my Heavenly Father and earthly father taught me about this vital role in the family. 

A father loves well. It’s unconditional love that seeks what is best for the other person. It’s selfless love. It’s agape love. 

A father protects. He prays. His spiritual protection is so valuable. He doesn’t have to be the strongest man physically, he is strong in seeking the Lord for the protection of his family. My dad rises early every day to pray…like clockwork. 

A father provides. He provides a home free of control, bullying, strife, and chaos. He leads by being a servant. His wife and children know they have an advocate. He provides a place for God to be glorified. He places God at the center and provides a great example for his family by the way he lives and treats people. We didn’t grow up wealthy. My dad did make sure he provided a safe and stable place for us. He worked. He volunteered. He served. He cooked. He cleaned. He helped my mum. He took care of her when she was sick. He combed my hair (we shall burn some of those photos. Nice try dad). He provided a place where we knew he was for us. 

More than financial provision which society says is a man’s main contribution, I believe being present, contributing, providing leadership through serving, and investing in your family is one of the greatest gifts you can provide. Many kids have fathers who work non stop and have money, yet their children and wives don’t have them. 

A father provides identity. Our Heavenly Father gave us His name. There’s so much in a name. If you look around, the lack of identity has caused so many issues in our society. Mothers are so amazing. So are fathers. Fathers help establish identity in ways mothers cannot. Please don’t be upset with the messanger. God created men to express His attributes. This is one of those ways. If you’re a single mum, teach your son about God. Give him examples of Godly men if you can. Heavenly Father can do what humans cannot do. 

A good father has integrity and noble character. I cannot overstate this enough. He’s someone his son will imitate and his daughters will seek out men like him. 

A good father admits his faults and takes responsibility for his actions. He says, “How can I make this right?” 

He’s honest and faithful to keep his word. He’s dependable. 

A good father uses his words to build up, not tear down. He speaks life and blessing over his children. So many blessings are in scripture. Bless your wife and children. Words are powerful. Speak God’s words over them. 

A good father loves his wife! He’s faithful to her and the vows he made before God. She is his equal partner in Kingdom leadership. They may serve different roles at times, yet he does not treat her as a sidekick or inferior partner. He loves her as he loves himself. 

A good father is generous. Our Heavenly Father is so generous! It’s beyond comprehensible at times. Fathers love to give. I’ve seen this in my heavenly and earthly father. 

A good father corrects his children. He points them to truth and disciplines in love when they deviate off that path. 

If you’re a man and you’re saying, “Gosh those are big shoes to fill,” it’s true. Yet I’ve seen several men in my life get this right and their secret is they abide in Christ. They let the love of God flow through them and they allow the Holy Spirit to guide them. It’s not about perfection. It’s about abiding (John 15:5) and submitting to God. He has the Fathering thing down perfectly. He provides assistance to anyone who asks. 

You are so loved men! You are celebrated and appreciated!!! 🎉🙌🏼 Praying for and wishing for more great men in the world. Praying for you! You can not be replaced. You have a significant role in the Kingdom. We ladies want to see you succeed. We are cheering for you! I am cheering for you! 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
 

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Love the Story, Not Always the Process

  

Photo Credit: Pinterest 

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us,~Phillipians 3:14. 

There are so many stories of miracles in the Bible. They all started with a problem. Abraham and Sarah had no children. Hannah desired a son. The Isrealites needed a way out of Egypt. The woman with the issue of blood, who suffered for over a decade, needed healing. Jesus died for our sins and was then resurrected because the world needed a Savior….

Everyone loves a great story of miracles and overcoming. Yet many forget the process. Not every miracle or promise is instant. The Messiah was prophesied of many, many years before He set foot in the synagogue to proclaim Isaiah 61. Abraham waited 15 years for Issac. Though people mock Sarah for laughing, I might have laughed too. After her youth is gone, her body is tired, she’s watched other women nurse and love their babies…Let’s be honest, that’s a long time to wait and watch others get what you’re begging God for. 

We love the story of those who overcome or have a radical encounter with God. We don’t always love the process of walking in their shoes or walking out our own journey of facing problems or challenges with God. 

Maybe you’re waiting on a miracle or promise; praying for a miracle, desiring a miracle and every day the hope in you seems to die a little. You watch others celebrate their healing, their financial breakthrough, their promotion, their engagement or wedding, the birth of their children…and you face the harsh resounding discouragement in your heart that tells you that your dream may not come true. 

Maybe during the process you have given up. Buried that dream. Let it die in your heart. Maybe you’ve grieved silently because you can’t take another person throwing scripture at your grief and pain. So, you cry in silence. You scream silent screams that only you and God can hear. You shed tears only God can see and you dust yourself off and keep running your race. 

If that’s you, I can so relate. When the Lord spoke to me many years ago that my life would be filled with miracles, I wish He’d have also said, “This means lots of problems and challenges, persecution, some betrayals, your heart will be broken many times, estimating over a half dozen near death experiences, you’ll lose friends, your health will be attacked, during sickness you’re going to lose your hair, you’ll be mocked and cussed out in public places, and in many cases there won’t be a single soul willing to help you.” If He had, well I might have had a different reaction. However, clueless, I said, “Yes sign me up for a life of miracles.” God delivered me through every single situation and provided so many miracles. There was still heartache and suffering in the process. 

Please don’t think God delights in suffering or sickness. I am not stating He caused all kinds of problems. He didn’t prevent every problem. Some things He delivered me from and others He delivered me through. He doesn’t prevent all suffering or sickness. I still know Him as Healer. God heals, restores, and works miracles. I also have seen people who lived upright Iives before God and have suffered greatly; loss, sickness, heartache, pain. We can’t ignore there’s trouble this side of heaven. 

Easy or deep…

I wouldn’t trade God for an easy life. Yet there are days I wish for less situations that required a miracle. There are days my flesh is tired even when my spirit is not. Some would say in those moments, “Trust God. God is good. He will work this for good.” He is good. He truly is. Yet even Jesus had His Gethsemane moment where He asked the Father, “Please take this cup from Me, nevertheless, not My will…Your will be done.” 

Jesus suffered greatly for humanity. While we love the story, I can’t name one person willing to go through the same process for sinful humanity. So we love the story…not always the process. 

Without the process, going through the trials, challenges, and hard things with God, there’s no great story. There’s also no great character and intimacy with God built either. I’m not stating sickness builds character or intimacy, trials and challenges do if we let them. 

Smooth seas don’t make skilled sailors.” 

I’d love to tell you to hang on, to keep declaring the word, to never lose hope. Yet I won’t if you’re grieving today. I will tell you to climb up into the arms of God, and let Him love you. As someone who’s laid many dreams to rest, had my heart broken many times, and been to the Garden of Gethsemane more times than I’d like…I think my name is etched in a rock there (Erin was here! Erin was here again!!!)…more than anything in those moments I wanted to know my Father’s love. What I needed was love, not a pep talk or inspirational speech. I just needed love. It would’ve also been nice to have someone willing to pray and stand in the gap. You don’t have to be strong, let God be strong for you! 

There’s a time to contend and a time to rest in God’s sweet embrace. 

So, if that’s you, I’m praying for you! I can’t promise you immediate relief. I can say God is the Comforter. If you’re not delivered from, there’s deliverance through. May His love overwhelm you. May your love story with God inspire others and generations to come! May you be flooded with love and comfort in the process. You are deeply loved. You will always be loved! ♥️💯

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Know the Author (God)

  

Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near,~Jeremiah 55:6.

The platform and foundation of my life is intimacy with God. Intimacy with God is so crucial to understanding the Word of God and living an abundant life. 

One of my life verses is John 15:5. Jesus said, “I am the Vine and you are the branches. Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one, in perfect communion, unity. If we are to know God, we must abide in Him. 

Over the years I’ve met so many people who can quote me verses of the Bible and miss the heart of God. Even some who can defend their prejudice or sexism based on passages of the Bible. People defended slavery with the Bible. People still defend sexism with the Bible or the oppression of women. I began to investigate why so many people had an image of God that did not match up with the whole of scripture or the heart of God. 

We are trained to memorize the Bible instead of allow the Bible to lead us into an encounter with the One who inspired it. 

I grew up in church. We went several times a week. My dad is a pastor and evangelist. My mum was my Sunday school teacher. I heard the Bible over and over and over. I watched my parents live it. Yet it wasn’t until later in life that I truly began to get to know God on an intimate level. What changed? This burning desire grew inside of me to know His voice and know Him on a deeper level. I read in the Bible that God showed up and revealed Himself to His people. He wanted relationship. 

The foundation for growing relationship is communication and it is also built on experience. 

God longs to connect with us. Talking to God is great. Hearing His voice and listening to Jesus pray, that’s life giving. Living life with God instead of Him being a Sunday morning activity is the best. 

I wrote a book. I write Standard Operating Procedures. If you simply read what I write, talk to me about your problems, visit me once a week, and never inquire of me or listen to me, you will not know me. If you only spend time with me in the same setting, you won’t truly know me. The people who have camped in the jungle with me on missions know more about me than those who meet with me for coffee every so often. We forged intimacy through proximity and life experiences, some of them quite challenging. Those who have done missions with me don’t know me like those who have been roommates. I’m not extroverted. I spend lots of time reading and being alone with God. Those who live with me know I’m not a social butterfly. I’ve learned and by the help of the Holy Spirit how to engage with large groups, be outgoing. He’s teaching and helping me continually. Also intimacy (knowing, oneness) with God leads me to want to love and connect with people. 

The Bible is to lead us into an encounter with God, not replace relationship with God. 

His word reveals Him, it does not contain Him,~Kris Vallotton. 

There’s also a level of intimacy that is forged in challenging seasons. Those who attempt to bypass all challenges in life forgo the opportunity to know the power, sustaining power, comfort, healing, and miraculous works of God. During the hardest seasons of my life, a best friendship was forged with God. I learned He’d sing me to sleep when I was crying tears no one saw but me and Him. I learned He’d feed me when I was working three jobs trying to complete two degrees. I learned God would defend me when I suffered under 7 years of persecution (some at work and some through Christians). I learned God was stronger than death as I faced near death experience after another! 7 of those too…if I count right. I learned the sustaining comfort of God when I had to bury my mum. I learned the provision of God as He sent people to send checks in the mail during times of crisis. I learned the love of God (still learning) through all the peaks and valleys we’ve been through together! Don’t bypass the process of getting to know God in every season.

So, for you and I…I pray we seek God and have continual dialogue with Him. One associate joked that all I do is pray (like I’m locked in a closet somewhere all day). Nope. I have continual dialogue with God (that’s prayer). At the grocery, at the park, at work, in the car, working out, playing guitar…all day my heart and spirit is open to His. 

I leave you with these keys that have been deposited along this journey.

1. God wants an intimate (knowing, oneness) relationship, to be the closest person to us. 

2. God speaks. 

3. God will not violate His Word, He will challenge and expand our understanding of His Word. To truly understand His Word, we need to know the Author and be led by the Holy Spirit. 

4. God is love and He is holy. There’s a love movement that forsakes holiness and it’s not of God, nor is it grace. God will never condone sin because He is holy and Jesus died to free us from slavery to sin. 

5. God is good. If what I’m experiencing now isn’t good, I can trust God will work it for eventual good. My definition of good may not match God’s. He never ceases to be good. 

6. Asking God for wisdom is wisdom. 

7. Humility leads to greater understanding. He is God. I am not.

8. God is infinite. He continues to reveal another aspect of who He is. He doesn’t fit or belong in a box. The beauty is getting to know Him over time. He’s an abounding treasure! 

9. God wants to be known by us. More than we want Him, He wants us. 

10. When we seek Him, we find Him. Intimacy with God is worth pursuing. 

Love you dear ones. Lifting you up! Have a blessed week. May it overflow with God encounters and intimacy with God. You are SO deeply loved (John 3:16). 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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We Teach People What God is Like 

    
…be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma,~Ephesians 5:1-2.

The only way we can imitate Christ is to abide in Him. It starts with relationship. We accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are saved by faith, not works. So none can boast. Once we are saved, we begin this process of sanctification. God is working in us through the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of His Son. 

God loves us as we are. He loves us too much to want to see us stay the same. 

I have met so many people who don’t know God’s love or they are opposed to knowing God. I asked God why? There’s head knowledge, yet for some not heart knowledge. 

BTW…I don’t have this love thing all figured out, it’s a journey. I am learning as I go; learning from Holy Spirit and intimacy with God. 

Tonight I will tackle just one potential answer. 

We (followers of Jesus) are called to demonstrate to the world the character and love of God. We are called to love everyone, not just those who love us, like us, agree with us, go to our church, come from our family, or are in our social circle.

As stated in the word, God’s love (agape) and imitating Jesus comes through abiding (John 15:5). Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. We are called to do what we see the Father doing; we are called to follow and abide in Jesus. 

If we don’t love the world, some may never know the Father’s heart. God works through people. Ordinary people like me and you are called to demonstrate to the world the great love and power of God. 

My earthly father made Jesus, following Jesus, very attractive. It’s one of the things that’s has helped me in my walk with Jesus. God gave me someone who demonstrated what He’s like. He’s not the only example, he’s one. He’s not perfect, yet I’ve learned so much from him. And his birthday is this week so honoring him. 

All I have belongs to God,~W. Lamb (my dad).

If you ever meet my dad, he’ll probably offer you something. I’ve never met a more generous person outside of God. Here are some things he taught me about God by the way he lived and lives his life. 

1. God is good and always worthy of worship (love, adoration, thanks, and praise). 

2. Love strangers, they are people Jesus gave His life for. 

3. Love and care for the poor and widows. 

4. Keep your word. 

5. Love your enemies. 

6. Do good to all because God is good to you. 

7. Share the Gospel. 

8. Live the Gospel. 

9. Put God first. 

10. Live a life of radical generosity.

11. It’s not about titles, money, fame, or clout…it’s about loving well. 

12. Let God refine your character. 

13. Trust God. He does not fail. 

14. Leave situations you can’t solve in the hands of God. 

15. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. 😜

16. Forgive! Forgive!! Forgive!!! No one is worth putting a wedge between you and God. 

17. Pray…be a person of prayer. My dad rises early every day to pray and be with God.

18. Read and study the Bible. Be a person of the Word. 

19. God still performs miracles! He’s a Healer, Deliverer, Restorer. 

20. You can overcome the worst obstacles with God! Nothing is too hard for God. 

I don’t know about you, but I want people to see Jesus in me…Not so I’m glorified or people think well of me, so He’s glorified. Hopefully, I live a life so people have a growing hunger for God and knowing Him intimately. 

You and I have this awesome privilege of showing the world how AWESOME our heavenly Papa is. We are Ambassadors of hope, love, peace, and power. Some won’t know His love or power unless believers engage and choose to demonstrate it for them. May we know God intimately and show others how good He is. 

You are loved and continually prayed for! 

❤️

Erin 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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