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Weekend Devotion: God is Our Peace

Weekend Devotion: Peace in the storm. Navigating through extreme challenges with God. Prayer at the end. 

How many of you have had a wilderness experience with God? How many have had a series of challenges that seemed overwhelmingly hard? I have. 

I lived in the wilderness. I had a tent there, a water pail, a tear stained pillow, and it got to the point where I would not answer the phone because it was simply bad news after bad news. If people knew my story, they would understand why God is my best friend, why being with God trumps being with them, why worship and intercession are crucial parts of my life, why intimacy with God is the highest priority, and they would understand the intensity of my current joy. 

I would love to tell you God immediately takes away every challenge, pain, trial, or Judas experience. This is false. Every warrior, including Jesus, I have studied in the Bible went through a series of tests and challenges. James, who’s real name was Jacob, tell us the following…

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing,~James 1:2-4 (AMP). 

Before you want to slap Jacob. I want you to change vantage points. Can you take a moment to look not from earth’s point of view, but heaven’s point of view? 

Earth is a temporary place. Heaven is eternal, forever, does not change, has no pain or suffering. We may live 100 years on earth. There is no end to heaven. 

Our loved ones who leave us far too soon, we will grieve. This I have walked through. The pain some days was almost unbearable. Yet I know for those in Christ, I will see them again. And we will be together forever, without end. Oh praise Jesus. 

Our hearts that end up broken by those who are void of God love, they can heal. This too I know all too well. God reminds me over and over, “The love you receive from people is directly proportional to the love they have received from me. They can not give what they do not possess.” So you pray as Paul prayed that people would know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love. You forgive and allow God to love you to wholeness. 

Our disappointments are nothing compared to the glory of God. God withholds nothing good. Our idea of good often varies from God’s. God sees what is coming. We see today. We see earth, the physical realm. We do not see fully what God sees. Maybe that relationship or job would have brought hell on earth. Maybe that friendship ended to protect someone. Maybe destiny was on the line. Maybe something better is coming. Maybe that person left earth because they wanted to go home to Jesus. We do not see all. Therefore, our best bet is to climb up into the arms of God. 

No matter what happens, God is so good He can bring something good from the situation for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes and plans. 

What did I learn from the wilderness I could impart to you: 

1. It is temporary. 

Life in the wilderness is not the intention of God. Our mindset, murmuring, or complaining can prolong a short stay into a long one (read about the Israelites). 

2. It is often a call to intimacy or spiritual bootcamp. 

I am not saying God causes bad things to happen to get our attention. I am saying God does not prevent every challenge. Sometimes God does not immediately deliver us from, we are delivered through. I see prime examples of this in the life of Daniel, Jesus. God did not prevent all adversity. He did bring forth Kingdom advancement through adversity. 

3. We can learn more about God and our own beliefs in the wilderness. 

It’s easy to proclaim God is good when life is skipping through rose gardens, and every person prayed for is healed, when there is breakthrough after breakthrough. Is God still good when life feels like a massive storm? 

Our faith is revealed in the wilderness. Unbelief is exposed. Our true ideas of God are put on display. If we take our thoughts, pain, and disappointments to God, we can grow! Oh my, we can grow stronger in faith. 

4. We gather testimony of overcoming! There is power in being an overcomer. 

I love the quote, “Smooth seas do not produce skilled sailors.” If I were placed on the front lines of battle, I would not want my commander to be someone afraid or unable to withstand adversity. You want someone who has overcome and keeps on overcoming. There is power in facing adversity and refusing to let the storm kill you! 

We have authority in the storm where we maintain peace. Peace, dear ones, is a weapon. Tenacity and refusal to succumb to circumstances is powerful. It’s hard to beat someone who will not move or give up or give up ground. 

5. Our character is refined in trials and challenges, if we yield to God. 

The weakest person is the one who refuses to face challenges. They do not grow. They never allow their faith to be stretched. They shrink back, retreating from the next spiritual promotion. 

Character matters. Jesus was promoted (grew in favor with God and man) by overcoming tests. What if Jesus just threw in the towel? What if He said yes to Satan just like Adam? We would all be lost. He overcame. He turns to us and says, “In the world you will have trouble. Take heart, I have already overcome the world!” He overcame demonstrating we can overcome! Jesus maintained peace in storms because He knew the heart of the Father and the intentions of God are always good. Always! Not sometimes, always. Even when we do not see it or feel it or understand, God is good. 

Papa God, I thank you that these momentary afflictions are nothing compared to your glory which will be revealed within us. Change our vantage point so we live from heaven down. Help us to abide in your truth even when what we see is vastly different from your truth. You are always good. I declare peace into every storm. I ask for the anointing of your peace to flood every heart, soul, spirit, body of each reader. Take us higher, above the storms. You are greater. We can trust you. You will work it all for a greater good, even if we do not see it until heaven. We are going from glory to glory! May our faith not fail. In Jesus powerful name.

Love, 

Erin L. Lamb

 
 

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Weekend Encouragement! 

Photo source: Pinterest 

Morning Devotion: Strengthening yourself in the Lord. 

Peace is not the absence of challenges or pain. Peace is the presence of Jesus.” 

David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God,”~1 Samuel 30:6. 

The greatest weapon we have against disappointment, despair, unrest, distress, and spiritual attacks is relationship with God and reception of His word, love, comfort. 

There are dark nights in this life where no one will answer the phone to pray, no one will come sit with us, and no human being has the answer. These moments can be strengthening if we choose to use the tools God gave us. 

A person can drown in a small amount of water if they panic. Jesus responds to every storm, “Peace be still.” God did not say, “You will have no troubles, no pain, no heartache this side of heaven.” He did say, “In this world you will have trouble, yet take heart-I have overcome the world.” 

Learning to know God and cultivate intimacy with God in every day life prepares us for fierce storms with God. Having God’s word in us gives us a deep well to pull from when facing great challenges. What does His word say? What is true of God? Feelings try to hijack truth. Yet feelings are in no way an indication of truth. Feelings are fickle, unstable, and not to guide our lives. Feelings are indicators, not actual truth. 

Rather than jumping on the phone, our greatest weapon is going to God’s throne. “Here I am God. Life has presented some incredible challenges. I need you.” People can provide some relief yet none can do what God does. None can provide the solutions and wisdom or comfort of God. God is the strongest being on the planet. Our greatest strength lies in intimacy with God. 

Some, not all, of the most profound miracles in my life and encounters happened with just me and God. No one came to hold me, sit with me, love on me, care for me, pour out wisdom, or help me. It was me and God. Those moments taught me so much about who God is. I am thankful for community, my tribe, framily (friend family), and some support-yet they are not God. They are not all knowing, always present, their love is not perfect (nor is mine). God is God. He is our strength and our portion forever. 

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever,”~Psalm 73:26. 

Favor is not a feeling. Sometimes favor looks like being thrown into a pit by your siblings, sold into slavery, thrown into prison, and being lied on like Joseph. Sometimes it looks like facing Goliath or being outnumbered like David. Sometimes it looks like the Garden of Gethsemane, betrayed by your people/closest friends like Jesus. 

Favor does not always look or feel good. It cannot be measured by the chapter we walk in on or are currently experiencing. Favor comes from God and He fulfills His word to work ALL things together for a greater good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Hold fast to truth over feelings or circumstances. 

Joseph, David, and Jesus gained Kingdoms! Do not give up in a temporary situation. Life here is temporary; heaven is eternal!

Papa for every hurting or discouraged person I ask for your incredible love, comfort, peace, and joy to saturate each heart. I ask for time alone with you and deeper intimacy with you. Any unhealthy emotions and thoughts to come into alignment with your truth. Lord may we find our strength in you and you alone. In Jesus powerful name. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Weekend Devotion (The Good News of Jesus)

Photo source: Pinterest 

I had the desire to start the Holy Spirit University (HSU) series today. I have not forgotten. 

There was such a strong stirring in my heart to share the Gospel today. Why? Well, one of my ministry outlets is called Operation God is Love. I go out on a monthly basis to do street ministry/street evangelism with the unchurched. We also serve as prayer teams for the poor at the free clinic. 

People are so hungry for love. God is love. Some have never been exposed to the Good News or demonstrations of God’s agape love. 

We are His hands, feet, mouthpeice in a hurting world. 

Getting the Gospel Out…

Serving is something that is challenging to get people to committ to and do. It is stated 20% of the people claiming Jesus do 90% of the work. 

Evangelism, sharing our faith, is something Jesus told us to do. He said go into all the world and make disciples. He commissioned all of the church to disciple Nations. Yet alarmingly sharing about Jesus is low on the list of priorities. I want to share some stats I ran across last night, and then jump into the devotion for today. 

Some stats from Street Level Evangelism, Where is the Space for the Local Evangelist, by Michael Parrot, Acts Evangelism. 

  • 95% of born again believers have never been involved with another person coming to know Jesus. 
  • 80% of believers do not regularly tell others about Jesus. 
  • Less than 2% of the Body of Christ is involved in the ministry of evangelism. 
  • 71% do not give towards missionaries or evangelistic efforts. 
  • 49% of leadership ministries spend zero time in an average week ministering outside of the church building.
  • 89% of the leadership ministries have zero time reserved on their weekly priorities for going out to evangelize. 
  • 99% of leaders surveyed believe every Christian is to share the Gospel with the world. 
  • 97% believed those not in leadership would follow leaders who shared their faith outside church. 
  • 96% believe the church would grow faster if more people were involved in evangelism. 

Sharing our faith is easier today than it was in the time of Jesus. We have less persecution, in certain parts of the world-especially America. Technology gives us access to people all over the world. This blog reaches 145 countries and dozens of people each day. We have Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, texting, email, and so many others. 

Sharing the Gospel does not have to be an expensive crusade or even leaving our house. It can be one post that is shared dozens of times. It can be one video that is watched by millions. 

The Gospel is Good News and it is a love message all of the world needs to hear. 

May followers of Jesus be active in sharing our faith with others. Eternity is a long time to live without knowing God. 

Yes, some may hate us for proclaiming Jesus. Are we living for man’s approval or God’s? Thankful for Jesus and the early apostles willing to die to get the Good News across the world. 

The Good News! 

Jesus loves you! God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so whosoever will place their faith in Him would have eternal life (John 3:16). 

Good people do not make it into heaven, forgiven people do. All have sinned except God and fallen short of His glory. One sin is enough for penalty for sin is actually agreement with the devil. God is holy (without sin). Sin brings forth death because it is agreement with Satan; the devil is the prince of death and destruction. Jesus came to bring forth abundant life and freedom from the shackles of sin and death. 

The Good News is, Jesus paid a price we could not pay. He stood before the Father as a sacrifice for all our shortcomings. We stood guilty. He said, “Take Me instead. Anyone who turns towards Me, places their faith in Me, let the sacrifice of My sinless life pay for theirs so they may stand before You (Father) not guilty.” 

The Good News is repentance and faith in Jesus brings forth new life. It gives every believer a regenerated spirit, full access to God, cleansing of all former sins from heaven’s ledger, relationship with God, a spiritual global family, our name’s written in the Lamb’s book of Life, wisdom, a linkage to Holy Spirit the Helper, a spiritual inheritance of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, and so much more!! 

God is after relationship, a holy covenant stronger and more important than marriage to an earthly person. He comes to agape love and give life. Do not look at politics or the behavior of Christians as a marker for what God is like. He is 100% good. Get to know God for yourself. Imperfect people do not perfectly represent a perfect God. 

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Is He Lord in your life? If not, will you pray with me. 

Father God, I confess I have broken Your guidance and lived my own way. I have sinned. I am sorry for my transgressions, each and every one. I want to be free. I ask for Your forgiveness. I receive Your forgiveness, mercy, and love. I turn my heart, mind, and life towards You. I renounce all partnership with the evil one. I desire for Jesus to be Lord over my life. I believe He is Your Son, born of the Holy Spirit, sacrificed for my sins, and He rose with all power in His hands. He defeated spiritual death for me. I fully accept Him as my Savior, and invite Him into my heart and every part of my life. I want to know You and be with You today and in Paradise. I place my faith in Jesus. 

If you prayed this prayer, I would love to connect with you and send you some information. Just comment below (if you wish). Know you are prayed for and loved! You have nothing to loose and everything to gain. 

You are so deeply loved! 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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Weekend Devotion (Repentance)

Weekend Devotion: Study of Repentance. Repentance is a gift. 

Repentance: In the New Testament, the key term for repentance is metanoia [metavnoia]. It has two usual senses: a “change of mind” and “regret/remorse.” In the Synoptic Gospels metanoia [metavnoia] indicated “turning away from sin” ( Mark 1:4)-Source Baker’s Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 

The ability to know God’s truth and turn from darkness to light is a gift. 

There is not as much talk about repentance today as there was in the time of Jesus and early apostles. There is a teaching of “You just do you, God must accept whatever you do and approve because He loves you.” This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said, “Repent or you will perish (Luke 13:3, Luke 13:5). Stop sinning lest something worse comes on you (John 5:14).” The bible clearly states the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). It also says those who live according to the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-6). 

Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance [not fully aware of what you were doing], just as your rulers did also. And so God has fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (Messiah, Anointed) would suffer. So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day];”~Acts 3:17-19. 

Grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense) empowers righteousness, not lawlessness. Holy Spirit reveals truth and empowers believers to walk in truth. If being saved was just about professing Jesus then living like the devil, well that means Jesus died for nothing. Part of His death was to atone for our sins so we could be free of the bondage of sin and shame. He gave His life to FREE us from bondage, not leave us in bondage. 

Think about the ridiculousness of these statements: 

I know I beat my wife during the week and scream at my kids, yet Jesus loves me. I am clothed in His righteousness. There is no condemnation for me. You can’t judge me.” 

Oh yes, I have many sexual partners and live with one of them. I am so glad Jesus set me free to be me. Grace, amazing grace.” 

Both these people have misguided beliefs as to what it means to be in relationship with Jesus. Jesus never, ever clapped when someone sinned. He never placed nor places a stamp of approval on immorality, abuse, or partnership with satan. He told people, “Go and sin no more.” 

Love and approval are not the same. God loves everyone. God does not approve of everything humans do. If He did, God would cease to be holy and just. God is 100% love. God is also 100% holy.

Thinking we are not responsible for our choices blocks repentance. It keeps us in a state of perpetual immaturity and we do not grow to look/behave/love like Jesus. We stay in the shallow kiddie pool eating our mud pies, shouting, “You can’t judge me! No condemnation for me,” playing in the devil’s field Monday through Saturday…jumping up for a quickie date with Jesus on Sunday. 

Let us not mistake conviction for condemnation. 

Conviction: an awareness something is not right and needs corrected. A warning signal to turn around. 

Condemnation: sentencing someone, a final judgement. If you stand condemned before God it is a sentence to eternal life separated from him. “Go to hell,” is a condemning statement. 

People quote there is no condemnation for those in Christ without reading/quoting the rest of that passage (Romans 8) which says, “God did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit (Romans 8:4).” Paul states after there is no condemnation verse 4 which is above…we who no longer follow our sinful nature but follow the Spirit. A person who proclaims Jesus then lives completely independent of Him is not the objective of salvation. Screaming, “I am in Christ,” to bypass responsibility for my choices or to live a sin filled life is ungodly. 

True believers are not condemned if they are in Christ because their eternal fate is wrapped up in Jesus. This does not mean their poor actions are excusable, they are no longer accountable for bad choices, repentance is not required, or God approves of their sin. If so, the New Testament letters to churches would be meaningless. Why address sin within the church which Paul and others did if God pretends believers are perfect? 

God does not pretend we do not need repentance. God encourages renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), making amends when we mess up (Matthew 5:24), humility (1 Peter 5:5), loving one another (John 13:34-35), sexual purity (Ephesians 5:3), and seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Most of all Jesus invites us into intimate relationship with Him. Knowing Him, abiding in Him, is transformative. It becomes, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me and through me (Galatians 2:20).”

It is not about striving to be good. It about abiding in the One who is good. Union with God, through relationship, leads to good fruit (John 15:4-5). 

It not about legalism-trying to obtain right standing with God through works. It is about abiding in Jesus and receiving grace-Jesus paid for my freedom. Since I am free in Him, I will not become a slave again to bondage. Sin will not be my master. I am empowered by God to follow Jesus. I abide in His truth. Believing His truth sets me free.

Papa I ask any place in our minds not aligned with Your truth be set right today. Help us to renounce lies and turn from darkness to light. Help us to abide in You. Saturate our minds with Your truth. Anything not like Jesus, may it be laid before You. Thank You for the gift of repentance. 
Love, 

Erin Lamb 

📷: Pinterest, Repentance

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Holy Spirit Series Coming Soon! 


There is a new series coming and it’s about one of my favorite members of the Godhead. Gosh, love them all. We will talk about Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit is incredible. I want to spend some time discussing what I call Holy Spirit University. When were you enrolled? You and I become students of HSU upon conversion. Repentance and accepting Jesus as Savior opened the door for enrollment in HSU. 

Holy Spirit works to teach, train, and empower believers. Holy Spirit also comforts, encourages, convicts, reveals truth, loves deeply, provides insight, and reveals Jesus. 

Holy Spirit is so vital to an empowered life! 

Without Holy Spirit we will not grow into the likeness of the Son (Jesus), grow to know the heart of the Father, nor produce the fruit of the Spirit in abundance. 

I am quite excited to embark on this study and exploration of the work, purposes, and life of Holy Spirit. I hope you are excited too! 

Let’s settle into the word of God, feast there for awhile, and invite God to teach us more. There is always more to learn about God. 

Papa thank You for the opportunity to know You and enjoy You. Teach us all about glorious Holy Spirit. Thank You for all You are and all You have done. We are want to know You more. In Jesus powerful name, amen! 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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A Day on the Streets (Operation God is Love) 


One of the joys of my life is going out into the city to share the Gospel with the unchurched, broken, and people living on the streets. 

Honestly, sometimes I am tired. Getting up early, loading up my car with supplies, and spending a Saturday on the streets can be tiring. Yet the people I meet, I do not forget their faces nor their stories. They are etched into my heart, similar to initials carved into a tree. 


On the streets I see people God loves, yet many are considered the invisible people. 

It would require quite a bit of time to stop for every single person we see with a sign or hurting. It is not about stopping for everyone, it’s about stopping for the one God highlights. He will highlight someone and some days many people. He is so faithful, if we ask God to place someone on our path who needs an encounter with His love He will. 

On the streets and in the free clinic, I see Jesus. I sense His strong love for people. I confess, sometimes I weep. Sometimes I weep with them. I am not a feeler personality so weeping with strangers is a big deal. My heart is overcome with compassion and love for people God loves. How He loves the world. 

Today we met people with various stories; some young, some old, some male, some female. They were each looking for food on this cold, blistery, 20F day. Some had no gloves. Some were happy to get beef jerky, sandwiches, blankets, water, supplies, and clean socks. 


One man had tucked himself away in the Port o Jon in the park. Concerned he was in there too long, we knocked on the door. He was in there to keep warm and eat his chips. What joy was on his face to find out food was waiting on him. 

One man stood, solemn faced, shaking his cup while people walked by overlooking him. He just kept shaking his empty cup. He stood in the blistery cold, just looking for something to eat. One of my teammates is a 65 year old grandma. I said, “I am not sure we are going to get to him and not miss the light,” (we were driving). She replied, “Watch me!” She hopped out of the car, shuffled over to the man, handed him a bag of food and supplies, and ran back chasing the car. She has a bad back, yet did not desire to miss someone God wanted to feed today. 

Another elderly lady was begging for food outside the bars. People passed her, though her sign was simply asking for food. We will call her Faith. Faith has a smile you would not forget. 

Why tell you stories? Because you can make a difference in someone’s life in one small act of kindness. Some say, “Why give someone a hand out. You are not helping anyone.” Yet they are not the people who get up early, wipe tears of people on the street so happy to be seen. They do not hug the drunk or drug addict or person who smells of urine or vomit. They are not close to the pain, so they are not aware of what God can do in one moment. 

One moment of, “Tell me your story,” can lead to radical encounters with God. One moment of touching that person no one will look in the eye can bring healing. One moment of filling a hungry belly can birth a big grin. One moment of putting gloves on frozen hands can lead to a, “Thank You God.” One moment of God loves you; God sees you, can lead someone into an encounter with God’s heart. 

The naysayers are not there to see the spirit of suicide leave people, to see the crippled walk, the lost give their hearts to Jesus (that’s a soul that was snatched from hell). They do not see the smiles, nor hear the laughter. They are not there. They judge from a distance.

I am telling you one moment with God can transform someone’s life. I told you of Bob (name changed) who in 6 weeks was off the street and with a job. He refused prayer when I met him. He said, “I do not believe in that healing crap. God heals…no I do not want prayer. My life is a mess.” I told him he could not stop me from praying for him. God turned his life completely around. In the end, Bob was praising God for loving him. He said, “No one had ever loved him so much.” Each time we would find him and love him. 

Love looks like Someone; love looks like Jesus. 

We can all gather together in clumps of salt and light each week, or we can take that salt and light out into the market place, the grocer, the gas station, our workplace, the street corners, our schools. The mission does not need to be oversees. The mission is love. The mission is Jesus. The mission is right in front of us. 

What can we do? Maybe you are not called to city streets like me. Yet you have a sphere of influence. Who are you loving for Jesus? Who are you serving for Jesus? You see, I am aware we are saved by faith not works. Yet truly knowing Jesus compels us to love our neighbor. Someone needs what we carry. Christ in us (if we are believers) is the hope of glory. If you do not know Jesus, click here. How to Know Jesus

I tell you these stories so maybe, just maybe when you see a broken, hurting, hungry person there may be a thought that arises, “I can not do everything, I can do something.” 

In the very words of Jesus…”Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to Me.” May we ask God on a regular basis to show us someone who needs His profound love! 

The world is hungry for His love. 

Sincerely, 

Erin Lamb

Founder/Overseer of Operation God is Love

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Thriving with God 


Weekend Devotion: Stay connected to the Vine and thrive baby thrive. Spiritual growth is a byproduct of intimacy with God, not self effort and striving. 

I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you remain in Me you will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing,”~Jesus (from John 15:4-5). 

The miracle plants that have thrived in my house focus on their source. They grow towards the light, they respond to being watered/fed, they stay connected to their source. Any vine that disconnects, shrivels up and dies. Why? It has no source of it’s own. We each have a body. If you cut off part of your body from the blood supply, your beating heart, and your nerve ends are depleted of oxygen-guess what? That part of you will decay, die, rot, atrophy. 

Spiritual growth is similar. God is the Source. We are pretty special to God. We are not God. He is the all sufficient One. He knows exactly what is needed to grow us up into tall thriving vines. We can yield and grow or buck Him and stay the same size. 

God loves multiplication and growth. Stagnation is not His speciality. You read in the parable of the talents God likes to reproduce what has been given. Why? If we are blessed, displaying His glory, then more people can be blessed. We can pray for God to bless people, yet He empowers us to be a blessing. 

How do we grow….

1. Stay connected to God. 

One of my morning routines is, “Morning Papa, Jesus, Holy Spirit. Love You. Thank You for everything. What do You want to do today? What’s on Your heart. I invite You into my day.” It’s not every day or I feel bad. It’s a habit of letting God know He is welcome in my life. 

God is always there. He is not always invited to participate. He is sometimes relegated to the back seat. He is spoken to for needs, complaints, everyone else is busy, boredom, obligation, or never. God likes to be included. Not for control purposes, because He loves connection with humans (This I do not fully understand). 

Growth occurs through relationship. 

2. Eat 

God’s Word is food for the spirit and soul. His presence is living water. Digesting the Word with God (key word is with God) is life giving. I am not talking about obligatory reading. I am talking about inviting God in to feast on His Word together. It is great to go to a local assembly and be spoon fed the Word. It is far better to eat on a regular basis with God. You can live eating once a week, yet strength comes in daily feasts with God. “Lord here I am, speak to me through Your Word.” 

3. Listen 

God speaks. Sometimes His voice is missed due to unbelief, “God does not speak, those people are crazy.” 

The unbelieving will continue to miss God. For everything in the Kingdom works by faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Sometimes His voice is missed because we are too busy. “Lord I will be right back, I got this, I know what to do.” 

I LOVE consultations with God. Why? He sees everything. He sees the heart, motives, past, future, impact, everything. God’s view is not tainted nor one sided. He sees it all. 

Seeking God grows us up in wisdom. The counsel of God is unparalleled. I highly value godly counsel from wise Christians, yet they never trump God. I take what they say to God. “Hey Papa, what are we keeping? What are we throwing in the garbage?” 

4. Worship 

We become like the gods we worship,~Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

Worship is more than singing songs. Worship is a lifestyle of adoration. Worship is love. Who or what do we love? Where is our identity rooted? Only God is worthy of worship. Why? He alone is 100% good. Worship pleasure, become an addict. Worship beauty, become vain. Worship food, become glutton. Worship money, become greedy. Worship power, become a dictator/tyrant. Worship self, become grossly selfish. Worship people, become a people pleaser. 

Worship of God takes our eyes off ourselves and places them on God. Looking inward, navel gazing, leads to self defeating behaviors and pride. We are either looking inward and seeing all that is wrong or looking inward and patting ourselves on the back for how awesome we are. The truth is we are not the source of light, God is. Our true growth comes by basking in His light, not looking for our own. 

One of the greatest tools of the enemy is getting humans to turn their gaze away from God. He will even use good things like relationships, family, ministry, serving. If he can replace activity for intimacy, then he knows eventually that person will run out of steam. 

The power and growth is not in self, it is in God. Look up. Look at Jesus. Focus on who God is. Focus on what God has done. The devil since the beginning has been trying to put a wedge between God and humanity. He knows God is good. He is also jealous of the connection between mankind and God. He wants to be worshipped, if not directly he will settle for false gods. Anything to keep people from knowing God and loving Him. 

5. Yield to pruning 

Plants need pruned. Our hearts do too. Weeds can sprout and grow…weeds such as bitterness, fear, unforgiveness, selfishness, lust, pride,…they come to choke out love. We were created by Love (God), to be loved, then to love others. 

Trials come sometimes as tools of pruning. We need more patience so God allows some challenges. Every challenge or storm is not the devil. God allows some things because we need to grow up. Let me give you an example. I am the “Let’s get this done, we have plan A, B, C. What is our contigency plan? Early is better than late. I will do what I said. Let’s be efficient, excellent,” type personality. God allows me to be connected with others who have no plan, are not organized, everything is last minute, oh I forgot-was that today, always late, no concerns about efficiency-what’s that?, just go with it…type people. At first it caused frustration. Then I learned to yield to the challenge. 

I learned to set boundaries, invite tardy people earlier than they needed to be there, cast vision, inspire planning, and go with the flow when it’s unnecessary to map it all out. I learned to love those very different from me and appreciate their personality. They are looking to have fun. I am normally seeking to build, develop strategies, multiply, and be efficient/excellent. I have fun. I also like building. 

That challenging person may be God’s way of producing greater patience or love. That season of waiting is not God is doing nothing. If we yield we see a seed is hidden in the dirt a long time before it pops through the soil. I baby is in the womb 9 months. We prefer trees over a field of seeds, and fully developed babies over fetuses. 

Yielding to correction is also a way to grow. 

The, “You can not tell me anything,” attitude leads to immaturity…it leads to a plant covered with weeds, not producing good fruit. Even correction in the wrong spirit can cause growth. Over my life I have been exposed to lots of Holy Spirit polices. They feel it is their job to police everyone and their issues. God did not give them a badge. They are self appointed officers of the law, like the Pharisees. One can be angry with the Pharisee or take their verbal lashing to God. “Is any of this true? If so, help me. If not, garbage.” 

People who buck correction fail to grow. Feedback can be such a helpful tool. Pride says, “I know it all, you cannot correct me. I do not need any help.” Humility says, “What can I learn from you?” 

God created us to be fruitful. Being fruitful is more than having children. Being fruitful is taking the seeds God has sown, the gifts, talents, skills, and putting them to use for His glory. Being fruitful is yielding to God so the fruit of the Spirit is on display for the world to see Him. Being fruitful is being faithful to whatever and whoever God placed in front of us. Being fruitful is abiding in God so we are a loving blessing. 

Lord help us to stay connected to You, to live out of Your heart, and thrive through the work of the Holy Spirit. Help us to cease trying to be our own light or looking for others to be our source. You are our Source. Deepen our connection with You in 2017. Take the focus off insignificant things. Help our gaze be fully on You! In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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