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Solitude and Conversations with God (Intimacy with God Part VI)

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Jesus often retreated from the people to pray. Passage from Luke 5:12-16.

Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

The passage from Luke does not tell us that Jesus sometimes withdrew to lonely places and prayed. It says He did it often. I truly believe if we read of Jesus doing something, we should pay attention because He only did what was in alignment with the Father.

Prayer is simply communication with God. If you’re in a relationship with someone, that relationship requires communication. The foundation for intimacy (into-me-see) is built on fellowship, experience, and communication. Without communication, the other pillars of the relationship begin to crumble. They tumble to the ground.

God invites us to know Him. He offers the invitation for intimacy.

Why do we talk to God?

Because we want to build a relationship with Him. He already knows us. Do we know Him?

Because we love God. We talk to people we love.

Because God enters situations He’s invited into. If we don’t pray, He’s not invited.

Because we need God. He said apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Why do we retreat to lonely places to pray?

So we can hear God more clearly and be free of distractions. Alone time together is more intimate. You can give the other person your undivided attention. Hopefully, they also have yours.

We talk to God and listen to God because we love Him, respect Him, value Him, cherish Him, and we want to know His thoughts.

When was the last time you asked God, “What is your perspective on this situation? God will you give me heaven’s vantage point? God will you show me how to love this person? Will you give me insight into solutions to this world problem? God how do you view me? ”

When we don’t pray (talk to God), we are often leaning on our own understanding. We are worrying and fretting, filled with fear. We are powerless in areas of our lives because we have not yielded to the wisdom of God. We are anxious and insecure. We are not abiding, we are striving.

Effective ways to pray:

Talk to God. He’s listening. You have His undivided attention. The Creator of the Universe has given you His undivided attention. Whoah! That’s enough to pause and say, ” Wow.” He’s more important than any earthly president, King or Queen, or celebrity. He’s our loving Father. You don’t have to have a long, rehearsed prayer. Talk to your Papa.

Listen. One of the ways God speaks is through His word. A verse may pop into your mind or a portion of a sermon. Don’t dismiss it. Ask God for wisdom, insight, and to speak to your heart. Then listen.

Pray God’s word. I’ve been doing this a very long time and was encouraged at a conference last weekend when both teachers encouraged praying God’s word. You can find scripture prayers at the top of this website. God’s word does not return void. It accomplishes all it’s sent out to do (Isaiah 55:11). Seeds of His word are spread to the world as you pray His word. They are watered by Him and bring forth a harvest.

Thank God. Have you ever had a relationship with an ungrateful person? They just continually have their hand out and complain to you with their problems. If so, you know it doesn’t feel good. God likes to be thanked. Yes He does. He is not fond of complaining. Yes, we can air our concerns to God…yet the Bible tells us to continually give thanks.

Intercession. Pray (ask God to help) for other believers all over the world. Talk to God about things outside your realm of influence. Talk to Him about everything.

Jesus told the disciples how to pray with the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6). It’s a great prayer. We are invited into relationship. My prayers may sound different than yours. One of my frequent prayers is, “God what are you saying? Who do you want to bless today? What’s on your heart ?” Another one is “Thank you Papa.”

May we seek God for He is glorious! He is outstanding. And He loves to be with His children. He adores you. He wants the best for you.

Papa God, may we know our inheritance in Christ and come boldly before you. Fill us to overflowing with your wisdom and give us an unquenchable desire for Jesus. May we steal away and grow to know you even more. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

 
 

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Pray for the World (90 Day Initiative)

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Prayer is powerful because the One who hears us is powerful. Unified prayer is powerful.

We see so many problems on the news and I can say with great confidence we need God. If you read the news you know we desperately need miracles and God’s protection all over the world. We can not be sleepy or apathetic. God has solutions. He is the solution.

The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing! It tells us that the prayers of a righteous person availeth much. That God is just, powerful, and moves on behalf of His people. We can make a difference in our world today. Let us pray. Let’s pray God’s Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let’s pray the word of God. His word does not return void. It accomplishes all it is sent out to do.

This prayer initiative has already started, yet I’d love for you to join. It’s not simply for 90 days, yet placing a number on it helps some people to focus. Many won’t commit to years of prayer.

I will post another page with scripture prayers for the world.

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land,”~God (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Love in Christ,

Erin

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Awakening and Harvesting (2015)

These are encouraging words, impressions, visions I felt the Father place on my heart for 2015. I hope they encourage you. Don’t give up on believing God is faithful to fulfill His promises to you. Certainly weigh everything against God’s word and be led by His Holy Spirit. You are deeply loved.

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Awakening and Harvesting (2015)

There are many who have been sleeping and those who have been on the front lines feeling alone and defeated. 2014 was a year of sowing and for many it was sowing in tears. For others it was sowing in the secret places with God. For others it was sowing in the marketplace and fields. Daily sowing yet not seeing a harvest. It felt as though the tasks were mundane and unfruitful.

Some wanted to give up hope.
Some gave up hope.
Some dropped dreams in ditches and threw dirt over them.

Truly believe 2015 will be a year of awakening for those lost in slumber. Spiritual awakening for those caught in dead religion. Awakening for those just going through the motions. Supernatural spiritual growth for those who stay connected to Jesus and doors flinging wide open for those who have clung to His promises.

Those who have sown in tears reaping joy.
Those who have sown sacrificially into God’s Kingdom will see harvests springing up all around.
They will reap more than they have sown.

Have a vision of many laying right on the doorway to their destiny and promise, yet they’ve felt so defeated they have no energy to step over. I see there is help on the other side of the door and hear the words, “Don’t faint now! The harvest is plentiful. Don’t lose faith now. You can’t give up now.”

Though you’re weary and tired, God is not. You can rest in God’s arms. He’s refueling those who are worn out. Filling them up to be poured out again. Those who cease striving will sense God’s peace that surpasses understanding. They will stand under the massive shade of His provision. They will stand as oaks of righteousness.

Blessed are the sowers for their harvest is plentiful! God is not unjust to forget the labor of love and the things done for His people. He has not forgotten any promises He has made. He’s faithful to keep every single one.

See trees taking deeper roots to withstand strong winds and storms. They will bear fruit in every season and train up others to understand the ways of God. They will teach others how to thrive in difficulty.

Divine appointments and divine alignments in 2015. Sense God is connecting people who need to be connected for their alliances will prove extremely beneficial. 1 can chase a thousand and 2 ten thousand.

As stated in Dreams and Visions, I continue to see God raising up His Bride, cleansing her, unifying her, calling atrophied parts of the Body to movement, and sending her out to destroy evil in the world.

Stay encouraged. Stay focused on Jesus. Stay in His Word. Stay connected to Him and other like minded believers. Let’s stand firm in faith in 2015. We are deeply loved by God (John 3:16).

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Hearing God’s Voice (Intimacy With God Part V)

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Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one,~John 10:22-30.

I recommend reading John 10 in it’s entirety. Jesus repeats that His sheep know His voice and the voice of another they will not follow. Sheep are not smart animals. They will follow each other off cliffs. They need a shepherd. Through close proximity, relationship, and time there’s a knowing of the shepherd to his sheep.

It’s challenging to know someone we’ve only read about or we only have second hand knowledge.

God speaks. I’ve heard some teach He does not speak, which is opposite to many scriptures. Such as:

Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying,~1 Corinthians 14:5.

It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions,~Joel 2:28.

See also 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

God has spoken to His children since the beginning of time. He spoke to Moses through a burning bush. He sent an angel to speak to Mary. He spoke to Abraham and Sarah. He spoke to Saul, the later to be Apostle Paul on the way to Damascus. Jesus retreated often to be with the Father. People in the old and New Testament prophesied, had dreams, visions, and encounters with God.

We too, through relationship with God have the opportunity to know His voice and communicate with Him.

I had a pastor friend who believed we could not hear from God outside of reading the Bible. God continued to place people in his life who would regularly prophesy over him things he’d only told God. He grew to believe God speaks, though he cautioned we shouldn’t just believe every person who says they are speaking for God or saying, “God told me this.”

The Bible is clear that what we believe we are hearing from God or what others believe they are hearing from God is to be tested against the word of God. God doesn’t violate His Word. He will expand our understanding, yet He won’t violate His Word.

Examples:

God won’t tell you to leave your spouse for that cute person at work who’s nicer to you.

God won’t tell you to gossip or slander people.

God won’t tell you to steal.

God won’t tell you to sleep with that person who’s not your spouse.

God does speak and listening to Him increases our intimacy with Him. I told a friend this story.

Suppose a father narrates stories for his son or daughter to help them through life. He places many words of wisdom in the book. He appoints several people to help his child along and represent him. The child gets the book and the father says, “I’m not going to talk to you anymore. You must find what you need in this book. I no longer want to deal with you, please go find someone I appointed to help you.” We’d call that parent cruel and unloving. Yet we say God is that father.

There are doctrines that make God out to be a deadbeat, lazy, and uninvolved parent. He wants us to memorize the Bible and never speak to us or engage with us outside of the book. Or some believe only “special people” can hear from God. There’s a doctrine that essentially silences the Holy Spirit and anyone’s ability to hear from God themselves.

You will find if you read the Bible God is more eager to speak to His children than they are to listen. I could write an entirely new series on the ways God speaks. I will say spending time in God’s word is essential for knowing if what we think we are hearing or sensing or seeing (dreams and visions) are from God.

Sweet friends, Jesus died for relationship. God wants to dwell with mankind, hence sending His Son and Holy Spirit. He’s after relationship. Relationship involves intimacy (knowing and being known). Intimacy involves communication. God wants to be known by you. He wants to be the closest One to you and for your relationship to grow. He longs to communicate with you. Prayer isn’t simply talking to God, it’s listening to Him as well.

Father, please reveal to us how much you long to speak to us. Reveal how your love for us surpasses that of an earthly parent. Help us to see you as you really are. Help us to hear clearly from you. Remove any deception, doubt, unbelief, and anything hindering us from hearing from you. May we know clearly your voice, check it against your word and character, and grow in intimacy with you. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Merry Christmas (Celebrating a King!)

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For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever,~Isaiah 9:6-7.

Merry Christmas to you and your families. Christmas is a time to reflect on the greatest gift ever given to humanity, Jesus. A King left Paradise to come and save a sinful world. He humbled Himself to take the lowest place, that of a babe. A child is dependent on others for care, protection, and provision. A babe cannot speak and is helpless in many ways.

The King of the Universe came into the world to bless the world. He wasn’t born into wealth. He left the riches of heaven for the poverty of earth.

Jesus is the gift who continues to give to the world. He’s continuing to bless the world. This glorious King is alive and pursuing the hearts of His people.

If you do not know Him personally, I invite you to get to know Jesus. Relationship with Him begins with the Father drawing us, acknowledging a need for Him, confessing our sins, repenting, and believing that He is the Son of God. He came for love. He came for you! God pursues to love!

If this season brings you stress, strain, pain, or grief, know that Jesus lives to intercede for you. He loves you! You are so deeply loved. Jesus said, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” My prayers are with you as well.

Sweet friends, God loves you. He SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so whosoever will believe in Him will have everlasting life!

Merry Christmas!

Love,

Erin

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Posted by on December 24, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Abiding (Intimacy with God Part IV)

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Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.

I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

John 15:4-5 (Amplified Bible).

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Jesus gave us the key to knowing the Father, through relationship with Him (John 14:6). He gave us the key to eternal life, repentance and faith in Him. He gave us the key to victorious life from sin, the deposit of His Holy Spirit. He also gave us the key to fruitful living, abiding in Him.

One set of my life verses are found in John 15. Intimacy with God produces fruit. The remaining, union, connection, covenant, and relationship with God produces the fruit of His likeness and divine revelation.

Have you ever noticed that best friends and especially married couples will begin to know each other so well that they can finish the other’s sentences or they begin to act in similar ways.

Intimacy (abiding) produces oneness.

God created every human being with the desire to be known and unconditionally loved. He created humans to require intimacy. He’s the only One who can fulfill this need without any flaws, perversion, or creating codependency.

When we are disconnected (not abiding) in God we are relying on our own strength, power, intellect, wisdom, and resources. Or we are relying on someone else’s. Both will fail. Human wisdom is not perfect. Humans are not perfect-infallible. According to Romans 3:23 all (but Jesus) have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

I’ve heard many people state Christians don’t behave like Jesus. Is this because they aren’t saved? I can say the following.

Sanctification (becoming like Jesus) is a process. The Holy Spirit works in us to reveal righteousness, the person of Jesus, to teach, equip, comfort, love, and empower. It’s a journey. Just as a baby learns and grows over time, so do we. Spiritual growth is a process. We learn. We make mistakes. We grow. We rely on God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Christlikeness or bearing fruit results from connection to God. His Holy Spirit produces fruit. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit, there’s no Source to draw from. If you do have the Holy Spirit, you have the ability to quench or grieve Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19 and Ephesians 4:30).

God is in control in the sense nothing happens without Him knowing. He’s Sovereign. God did not make humans robots. He will not force us to obey Him, spend time with Him, love Him, love others, do what’s right, or anything else. We can say no to God. Adam and Eve are prime examples of our ability to choose what’s wrong. We can be believers who choose to sin. Yet those who choose to live independent of Him will face consequences for their actions.

Abiding is about relationship. Jesus repeated Himself: Abide in Me! Remain in Me! Stay connected to Me! We cannot abide or remain in someone we do not talk to unless it’s Sunday morning, or in times of trouble, or when we need something.

Relationships are built on quality time, communication, mutual investment, love, commitment, appreciation, and with God (doing what He asks). He said our love for Him is manifested through obedience.

Note: Many have used the word legalism to promote lawlessness. Legalism is trying to obtain righteousness or God’s love through rule keeping. Obedience to God is an act of love. We don’t obey to gain favor, love, or righteousness. Righteousness comes by faith. Favor and love are gifts from God. Obedience is a fruit of our love for Him.

So how do we abide?

1. Salvation. If you are not saved (in relationship with God through repentance and faith) you cannot abide in Him. No one comes to the Father unless they come through the Son.

2. Make God the highest priority. This doesn’t necessarily mean lock yourself on a room with a Bible 24/7. It means God is invited to be the central focus of life.

3. Cultivate relationship. Think of God as the closest family member. Talk to Him. Listen. Spend time with Him. Get to know Him. Rely on Him. Be with Him. Thank Him. Focus on Him. Worship (love, adore) Him. Ask Him to deepen your awareness of His Presence. Meditate on His word and goodness. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you.

I’m a list person, yet my relationship with God isn’t a formula. He’s my best friend. I wake up thinking about Him. I spend the day talking and listening to Him. I end the day with Him. He’s the closest to me. I take time to steal away with Him. In trouble, I look to Him. In good times, I look to Him. He has my attention and focus.

Sweet friends, there’s always more with God. God invites us into the secret places of His heart. He unites us to Himself. He doesn’t need us. He wants us. The Creator of the Universe and galaxies calls us by name. He wants to know us and be with us. He doesn’t need anything. Even the angels worship around His throne. Yet He delights in our love for Him.

May we grow in intimacy with God! He loves and adores us.

You’re continually in my thoughts and prayers.

In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Image Bearers (Intimacy with God Part III)

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…you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit,~Ephesians 2:19-22.

God invites us into relationship with Him. It is a covenant relationship. His connection with us is Spirit to spirit. He imparts Himself to us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. It’s not simply a visitation with God on Sunday mornings. It’s intended to be a habitation.

What is a habitation? (Source Dictionary.com)

1. The act of inhabiting or the state of being inhabited.
2. A natural environment or locality.
3. A residence.

God abides in born again believers. The purpose of habitation is not simply to get us into heaven. It’s so we are transformed into the image of His Son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit resides in us and continually points to truth, righteousness, and reveals Jesus. Day by day, moment by moment, He’s revealing the Son and we (if we are submitted to God) are being transformed into His likeness. This is a powerful work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot strive to be like God. Our attempts will fail.

Our outward expressions will always manifest our internal reality. Just as an apple tree continues to produce apples. You can chop off the fruit, but it will continue to produce fruit.

We are called to have the fruit of God’s Spirit and be His image bearers in the earth. It brings Him glory when we act like Him, that is the truest form of who we are. Genesis 1 states in His image God created them. We were created by Him, in His image, to represent Him.

How do we become like Jesus?

1. It starts with relationship (see previous post Intimacy with God Part II). If you’re not saved, you will not become like Jesus because the Holy Spirit is not in you. Human efforts are futile.

2. We abide.

I will talk more about abiding in the next post.

Jesus stated in John 15:5, “I am the Vine and you are the branches. Those who remain in Me will bear much fruit. Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”

3. We submit.

Submission sounds horrible when we are self willed and do not understand how much God loves us.

Submission is beautiful when you realize the One you are saying yes to has your best interests at heart. God wants the best for us. So when He says, “Don’t go there. Don’t do this. This is a bad idea. You should go this way,” it’s because He can see all things and knows that the penalty for doing things sinful is death.

We do not become like Jesus by being rebellious, stubborn, disobedient, and living life our own way.

Jesus was obedient even to the cross. What if He decided He was not going to do the Father’s will? You and I would be in a bad place as He’s the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Lastly, God didn’t just save us so we could ride off into the sunset just as broken and messed up as He found us. He saved us out of love. He restores broken things and makes them brand new. He loves us as we are, yet out of that great love-never intends to leave us the way He found us. No parent would want their adult child wearing diapers. He loves us as is, yet the Holy Spirit works in us to grow us up in love, truth, maturity, and wisdom.

Our response to that great love is submission. We are transformed into our true identity.

As we become like Him in character, we become the greatest blessing to the world. We are salt and light. We reflect Him and bring His beautiful fragrance to the world. We will not impact the world by acting like the world. Our lives are meant to be beacons of light!

We reflect the nature, character, and goodness of God. We represent Him and heaven.

I want to stay connected to God and submitted to Him so when people encounter me, they encounter Him. I desire the pure essence of Jesus to be manifest in my life, for His glory.

Will you join me on this quest to know Him intimately?

I hope so!

Praying you are overwhelmed by His goodness, grace, love, and mercy! You are deeply loved.

Love,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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