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Look At the Fruit (Character Matters)

Photo: Devon Franklin

Morning Thoughts: A tree produces fruit of it’s roots. Look at fruit, not just the words people speak or the title they carry.

The bible talks about wolves in sheeps clothing (Matthew 7:15) and we are to test things (1 John 4:1) and examine fruit (Matthew 7:18). Yet over the years I have seen countless people become enamored with people with poor character. Yes they may be gifted, talented, they may even preach well or see miracles. Yet they are not even remotely like Jesus in their treatment of people, character, lifestyle.

We are not to put people on pedestals and worship them. No matter their title or clout or what they say, we are to worship God and God alone. We are to examine character and test fruit. We are to look at how that person lives, treats others, behaves. It’s not passing judgement; it’s exercising wisdom.

We are also to test prophetic words, sermons, counsel and the things people speak into our lives or the lives of others. Does it align with scripture? Does it align with the character of God? In order to test something against the word and character of God we must study the bible with God and pursue knowing God for ourselves.

Discernment is more than knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

The purpose of examining fruit is not to throw stones nor develop a superiority complex. It provides wisdom so you know who to invite into deeper fellowship, who needs to sit at the inner table, and who’s counsel is valid.

It is also beneficial to invite God to examine our hearts and lives. What is the fruit coming off our tree? Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, meekness (strength under control), and self control. What is our character? Are we trustworthy, faithful, loving, truthful, compassionate, unselfish, a servant, good to people, honoring, righteous, full of integrity?

No person is perfect, perfection is not the goal, yet we can save ourselves loads of heartache if we pay attention to fruit. We can also grow in maturity if we invite God to deal with us so we look, behave, and love more like Jesus.

Love in Christ,

Erin L. Lamb

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Everything God Allows Is Not Necessarily His Will (Wednesday Devotion)

  
Morning Devotion: This was all God’s plan or was it? Everything God allows is not necessarily His will. Everything stated or predicted to be true is not necessarily God. 

God is good (Mark 10:18). Evil exists because of the abuse of free will (Romans 5:12). We can choose evil over good. We can choose our way over God’s way. Why? Because love involves freedom. The desire to control people is demonic. 

Nothing happens outside God’s knowledge. He does not prevent every horrible thing from happening. 

This does not mean the following: 

1. God is cruel or loves to punish people. 

The Bible says He is slow to anger and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8). He is merciful wanting all to come to repentance. 

2. Everything that happens is God’s perfect will. 

God desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), yet we know millions will. 

3. When things happen, God caused it to happen. 

Allowing and causing are two vastly different concepts. To cause something to happen is to have motivations and intentions that pursue that outcome. All the evil we see in the world came from Adam choosing to obey the devil instead of God (Romans 5:12). Did God cause sin? No. Did He give choices? Yes. 

God hates sin. Yet He allows us to choose sin. 

There will not be anyone in heaven who chose the devil over God or chose themselves over God. Why? God will not force anyone to love Him. 

This concept of humans have no personal responsibility due to the sovereignty of God is false. 

God gave both Adam and Eve dominion on the earth (Genesis 1). They were to fill, subdue, reign on earth. They were given authority and dominion. They surrendered it through sin. 

Jesus regained what was lost. Jesus restored what was broken in the Garden. Yet there is still a world in chaos. Why? People can still choose sin. Sin leads to destruction and death. Sin hurts us and others. 

Death, sickness, destruction, brokenness, broken relationships, hurt, sorrow, lust, greed, and all evil were not a part of the Garden pre fall. God knew man would sin, so there was already a plan for redemption. The fall of man happened. It does not mean God caused it to happen. 

God’s sovereignty is also not an excuse for prayerlessness or not doing our part. Saying, “Oh this is just the way it is,” or “God will fix it,” or “I am waiting on God to show up,” or “This is God’s plan or will,” are sometimes excuses to not do our part. God gave us brains, feet, hands, vocal chords, and resources so we could use them. 

I love what Joyce Meyers says. She says, “You know what happens when you do not pray? Nothing. Nothing happens.” 

God enters situations He is invited into. Someone invited God; He revealed His power. 

I want to take you further along this path with the prophetic. Ready? 

Every prophetic word that is true or comes true is not necessarily from God. Say what? Indeed. 

When Jesus walked the earth demons would sometimes cry out, “You are the Son of God.” He would tell them to be quiet because His time had not yet come (Luke 4:41). 

When Paul delivered the woman with the spirit of divination, she was speaking the truth. Her source was not God (Acts 16:16-18). 

Demons and the devil can speak truth. The devil knows the Bible better than most people. Demons also network to understand the workings, patterns, desires, and ways of humans. Just because something true is spoken or predicted does not necessarily mean it was God who inspired the vocalization. 

More examples…Just because it’s spoken and happened, does not mean it was inspired by God. 

I have met several woman over the years who were prophesied to who their spouse would be. I truly believe God speaks and may tell someone. These ladies ended up with men who did not truly love God or them. Two were told, “You will marry this person.” There was no bliss on the other side of “I do.” There was a whole lot of hell; some of those marriages ended in divorce. Some were deeply wounded by the dreams, words, visions that were not reality or did not become reality.

I have had at least a dozen “prophetic” words from people about who my spouse will be, and when he will come. Guess what? None of them match, nor have they come true. Since God is not the author of confusion, what could be the source? 

1. Flesh or soul. 

We have a spirit, a body, and a soul. The soul can sense things too. It does not mean it’s God. 

2. Evil spirits. 

They can interject thoughts, dreams too. Sometimes with people they can insert thoughts that are first person, “I hate my life,” or “I am so ugly.” They can implant words, “You will marry this person.” Hence scripture telling us to test every spirit to see if it is God. 

For relationships, please examine the way the person treats you. Look at the fruit in their life. Look at who they spend their time with and how they treat people who can do nothing for them. Look at how they respond to not getting their way. Look at their life. Is it a hot mess? How well do they love God? Do they truly love Him. How they treat God is how they will treat you. 

God is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of Lights. Gifts from God are good. People are not perfect, yet when God brings a gift there is blessing tied to it. 

I highly recommend with some words, visions, pictures to sit them on the shelf and to also pray, “God I cancel any enemy assignments of deception. I only want to hear Your voice. I want to walk in Your truth. Holy Spirit lead and guide me.” 

There are false Holy Spirits too…will touch on that in a deliverance/freedom post later. They work to hurt and bring deception. You will hear people say, “God told me to do this immoral, harmful thing.” No He did not. Holy Spirit will not violate the word of God. 

Papa God, help us to colabor with You. Help us to be people of wisdom, prayer, and doing what we see Jesus doing. Help us to have heavenly vision, ears that hear Your truth above the noise, and discernment to know what is You, what is our flesh, what is the devil/his minions, and what is coming from our souls. Anything not of You, please uproot it. Replace it with Your love, truth, and power. In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

God bless you! You are in my thoughts and continual prayers. You are so deeply loved. 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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