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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Thriving in the Wilderness (Abiding & Intimacy with God Series Part 11) 

  
Photo Source: Christi Gee

We can thrive in any season if we surrender to God and seek to understand the process and His timing. The wilderness is a call to intimacy (deeper knowing of God). 

Moses spent 40 years in the desert, unseen by many before he was called by God to return to free his people. Jesus did not enter ministry full-time until He was 30 years old. David was hidden, overlooked, and even rejected by his earthly father before he became king. 

Our culture seeks to bypass process. There are things we can only learn about God in the secret place, the hidden place, the wilderness. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested by the devil for 40 days (Matthew 4:1). The attempt to bypass all testing, trials, challenges is a invitation to perpetual immaturity, and limited authority. We gain authority over what we have overcome. 

Attempting to shortcut the process is an invitation to bypass character development, and intimacy with God. Character is important. Anointing and gifting will take a person places their character can not stand under. Self promotion and self acceleration is a sure fire way to eventually crash and burn. 

God develops our trust in Him alone in the wilderness and unsupported season. 

I used to be discouraged when I could not get any support. People were concerned with their lives. I spent a period of life sad that I was walking through the seven levels of hell while others were frolicking in the promised land. I watched them acquire everything I was praying for and I had to press on with God. 

They had no wilderness, no fierce trials, no Goliath. I on the other hand was walking through 7 years of real persecution, loss, tragedy, near death experiences, periods of physical illness, betrayal, being lied on/slandered, on one occasion left to die (people drove on by), and meeting Goliath after Goliath. As a young person, it certainly was not how I wanted to spend my life. 

I learned some very valuable things. 

1. God + Nothing=Everything. 

These profound lessons are not learned if you go from one red carpet to another. They are not learned if everyone is holding your arms up all the time. It is not learned in the seasons of roses and skipping along the water path. 

Many great lessons are learned in the Garden of Gethsemane. They are learned when no one will help you, they ignore your need, pretend they do not see you. They are learned when God allows you to be placed in the battle with Goliath then ties your arms behind your back and the battle rages on longer than you think your flesh can stand, for me years. You learn God as Best Friend, Victor, Healer, Provider, Strength, Strong Tower…Everything. 

2. Your frailty, weaknesses, and unbelief is exposed and dealt with by the One who is strong in your weakness. 

It is easy to believe God when everything is going your way. When everyone is applauding! When it is good. In the wilderness, times of pressing, persecution, trials what we truly believe is exposed. Do we believe God is good when life is in turmoil? God works out deep faith in the seasons no one sees if we stay connected to Him. 

3. You have chances to fail without casualty. 

I never asked God for a platform or influence. I asked to know Him, be one of His best friends, and to have the character of Jesus. I specifically asked to be held back from any influence that would not bring Him glory. 

In the process, hidden seasons you have the chance to try things, step out in faith, and not have it negatively impact many people. So many people want a platform, yet their character is not developed. They end up hurting people or leading people into mass deception. They bucked correction, accountability, and character development. They know of God, read of God, yet have not experienced Him in every season. They have not been to battle, they have not had their faith tested by fire, and therefore what they offer is not always based on encounter. It is based on what has been read, or heard. 

4. You learn to pray with authority, abide in God. If you do not, you die. 

When God is your Primary, the violent waves and winds are crashing against your boat…well you learn to pray. You learn to cling. You learn His voice. My goodness you learn. Your identity becomes solidified in Him alone. 

5. You let God open and close doors and shift seasons. Who God promotes, no person can demote. 

Seeking the approval of man is futile. Mankind can love you today and hate you tomorrow. Just as they did with Jesus. Trying to push open a door is wasted time. Anyone who pushes their way in front of God in their flesh will need to operate in the flesh to stay there. Who God calls, He equips. God promotes. God demotes. God’s timing is perfect. When God opens a door, you are fully equipped to walk through that door. 

Sweet friends, no matter your season, God is there. The most important question is, “Is God here?” Staying connected to God is the way to thrive in every season. Therefore, we bear fruit in every season. The objective is not to see our names in lights. It is to know God, love God, and establish more of His Kingdom on earth. 

If you are in the wilderness, a season of testing and challenges…please know it is not permanent. Relief does come. May your faith and heart not fail. You are so deeply loved and if you are in Christ, the Spirit of an Overcomer lives in you! Lifting you up before our King in love. 

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God Sets You Up to Be Blessed (Saturday Devotion) 

  
Image Credit: WordSwag, used with permission. 

Saturday Devotion: Divine Alignments and Assignments. 
Don’t miss yours. Ask God, “Why did I meet this person? What are You teaching me? How do I know You more through this situation?” 

I love how God works, most of the time. Sometimes (many times) I am utterly clueless, clinging to faith, and holding His hand through raging seas or uncharted territory. What about you? 

God loves relationship, connection, and He partners with and operates through people; broken people, flawed people, imperfect people. He has a plan and strategy to bless the world.

God is always looking for ways to bring about the greater good. What does not look good or feel good to us does not mean it will not be good. 

Example. One of my old hobbies was ceramics. I love creating. Well, you start out with a slab of not so attractive clay. Then it gets pressed, rolled, twisted…get the air pockets out. If you do not get the air pockets out, your vessel will crack in the fire. Once all the air pockets are out, the vessel shaped and formed, it goes into the fire. Hot! 🔥 

  

The clay needs cured so it hardens. Otherwise, it will never be able to hold liquid or maintain it’s shape. Once out of the fire, it is painted and set on display. It brings recognition to the artist for their handiwork. We are the clay. God is the Artist. 

I do not believe there are accidents. I believe there are divine appointments, divine strategies to take us from glory to glory, and lessons we are to learn along the way. 

Everything and everyone is not blessing. Some things and people teach us profound lessons. We learn to rely fully on God. We learn His comfort in tragedy, loss, heartbreak. We learn His healing touch in times of sickness or sorrow. We learn who God is if we stay attached to the Vine. And if we remain attached to the Vine, we grow and thrive. Even in the most challenging seasons we can produce abounding fruit. 

So the questions are: 

God who are You? Help us to connect with You. Heart to heart. Spirit to spirit. We desire to truly know You and be one with You. 

God what lessons am I set up to learn through this experience? What truths are you depositing or reaffirming?

God why was this person brought into my life? Why did our paths cross? We can miss a key part of our destiny by simply not paying attention. 

God works through people. I repeat. God works through people. I have met numerous people in my life who prayed for something. God sent me to give it to them and they rejected it because they were expecting an angel to bring it or they were operating in pride, “I do not need this from you,” or fear, “I do not know you, stay back.” Their loss. God shifted and sent me to someone else. 

Who in your life is a divine alignment? A divine connection? A divine circumstance? That person or situation brought you closer to God and His glorious destiny. They were and are an answer to prayer. I would love to hear from you.

You are so deeply loved! 

Xx, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God’s Love Is Deeper, Higher, and Better.

  

Photo Credit: WordSwag, used with permission. 

Midweek Devotion: The love of God (agape) is greater, higher, better, and far exceeds human love. 

God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever shall believe in Him (join in covenant with Him) would not perish but have everlasting life…adaptation of John 3:16. The Son so loved the Father and the world that He gave His life. He left Paradise and a place of no sin, sickness, or despair to become our sin. The innocent Lamb of God took on our punishment. What manner of love is this? It is agape; unconditional, radical, unselfish, generous, lavish, sacrificial, poured out love. 

Jesus told His disciples, “As I have (agape) loved you, (agape) love one another. They will know you are My disciples by your (agape) love,” (John 13:34-35). 

Agape is not about niceness (people pleasing). Agape is not eros (romantic/sexual love). It is not philia (friend love). It is above storage (family love). It is the highest form of love and it is costly. It comes from God to us, then it is to flow through us. We freely receive, then we freely give to God and others. Agape love is void of selfishness, self centeredness, and this love is transformative when fully received. 

Agape love is not codependent nor does it enable. It will speak truth in love and cease helping when the help is hurting instead of helping. It is holy, pure, true, and always good. It is the highest form of love. God is agape love and whosoever abides in Him will begin to produce this kind of love. 

When humans say I love you, I am not always certain what it means. It can mean: 

  • I like you. 
  • I value you. 
  • I like what you do. 
  • I love what you do.
  • I enjoy spending time with you. 
  • Being with you makes me feel better. 
  • I am attracted to you (from males).
  • I desire you (from males).
  • I need you (people need God, not me). 
  • I benefit from connection with you.

None of those things are agape. When I say I love you it means the following…

  • I am proactively looking for ways to bless, encourage, or give to you. 
  • I will tell you the truth, even if it cost me greatly or you hate me for being honest. 
  • I will sacrifice for you (within the boundaries of what is healthy, safe, and led by the Holy Spirit). 
  • I pray and intercede for you. 
  • If you can not eat, I will feed you. 
  • If you are naked, I will clothe you. 
  • I will forgive you, extend mercy. 
  • I will do my best to guard your reputation. 
  • I keep your secrets and confidences. 
  • I will look for the gold/treasure in you and call it out. 
  • Your name in safe in my mouth. 
  • I will set boundaries that protect others, not promote selfishness. 
  • I will look out for you. 
  • I will seek to protect your heart and what you hold dear. 
  • I will pursue kindness. 
  • I will care about you, and what matters to you. 
  • If you hurt (and I know), I will seek to comfort you. 
  • I will celebrate you, not compete with you. 
  • I will admit when I am wrong, and seek repentance. 
  • I will honor and respect you. 

Love to me looks like my Father, my Best Friend Jesus, and the sweet, glorious Holy Spirit. He is far above what I have listed. Yet the more I receive of His love, the more I love others the way He loves me. God love is higher. It is way higher! God love is better, far better! It comes from abiding in Him and His love. It is not manufactured in the flesh, for this love extends even towards His enemies. Do we love our enemies the way God loves us? 

When we say I love you, may we reflect back to the words of Jesus, the life of Jesus. May we reflect on 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. I leave you with those words. 

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love (agape) never fails.”

We are so deeply loved. God bless you today and always.
Love in Christ, 

Erin L Lamb 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Identity Matters (Saturday Devotion)

  
Photo source: Pinterest
Morning Devotion: Identity matters. As a man or woman thinks, so are they. 

If you want to destroy a person or people group, convince them they are nothing, less than, not valuable, inferior, not intelligent, like wild animals, and not capable. Convince them to disagree with God. Convince them they are superior to others (racism/sexism). Lead them into pride (insecurity/inferiority or arrogance/superiority). That is the tactic Satan used with Eve. She was already made in God’s image, yet he sowed doubt to who she was in God. We must know who we are. 

People say Eve was targeted because she was weaker. I disagree. I believe Eve was targeted because she was the one chosen to give birth to life. Anything sown in a woman has the potential to be multiplied, bring forth life. The devil loves death. So target the one chosen to birth life and multiply what is given. If you turn the one chosen to protect life against the one chosen to birth life, you can destroy humanity. Since then women have been some of the greatest targets of abuse, sexual abuse, male violence. Every 30 seconds a woman is trafficked, every 9 seconds a woman is beaten, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined (Domestic Violence Stats Org). 

If you can convince someone they are not who God says they are, they will rise to the level of their thinking. They will act out what they believe. 

Our words are powerful. They are more powerful than we understand. Our agreement is powerful as well. When we agree with God, we empower His work in our lives. When we agree with what is not God, we empower a disempowered devil. 

I hate verbal abuse, harsh sarcasm, and put downs. Why? Because each word is sowing a seed for hell. If not rebuked, refuted, uprooted, rejected, that word places a target on that person for destruction. 

The power of life and death is in the tongue,~Proverbs 18:21. 

It is no wonder we have generations of people okay with killing, murder, hatred, slander…we were taught in school we evolved from apes. Not we were created in the image of God (Genesis 1). 

Animals are not like God (created in His image). They lack the identical capabilities for reasoning, morality, and so much more. Animals will kill to get their way, “Survival of the fittest.” They will mark their territory and attack anyone who crosses. They will (some) kill their young. We were created higher than the animals. Yet if we believe we are just like the animals at the zoo, we will behave not much better than zoo animals. 

Who do you believe you are? What voice rings the loudest? Does it align with what God says? 

When you ask most people who they are, they respond with what they do or what they have or their martial status/children? Yet we are human beings, not just human doings. 

Who we are is children of God (if we are in Christ), created in the image of God, ALL deeply loved. When we operate out of this identity our behaviors begin to look similar to our Heavenly Father. We thrive when we agree with God. 

You are deeply loved sweet friends. Praying you and I live out of who God says we are. We are nothing more and nothing less. God bless you! 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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