Leadership, Godly Submission, and Jesus

Morning Devotion: Leader means servant in God’s eyes, not dictator or boss. Dissecting the leadership model of Jesus and wrong teachings on submission. Submit=Be willing to yield to what honors God (possess humility), not obey or blindly obey people.

I am sometimes confused when people state they are the leader when their function is simply being served and telling others what to do. They are exalted and they have a hierarchy system so their needs, desires, wishes are served or met. Or they define great leadership by the number of people following them; Hitler had lots of followers under his demonic leadership it did not mean God thought he was a great leader.

I have had men tell me and women too that the husband is the leader in the family yet the wife does 80-90% of the serving, helping, loving, getting low in humility to empower her family. It is not the model Jesus laid out nor lived of leadership.

The one laying their life down, sacrificially loving, and serving is imitating Jesus and leading.

The disciples at one point became self important and argued over who would be the greatest among them. The desire to be great in the eyes of man is of the carnal nature (flesh).

Pride does not flow from God, it flows from Satan. Pride, self importance, was the principle sin of Lucifer. He wanted to be worshipped and exalted above God. Lucifer wanted to be served, not serve.

This was the response of Jesus to the arguing disciples:

Jesus, knowing their thoughts, called them to his side and said, “Kings and those with great authority in this world rule oppressively over their subjects, like tyrants. But this is not your calling. You will lead by a completely different model. The greatest one among you will live as the one who is called to serve others, because the greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one with the heart of a servant. For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone, and to give his life in exchange for the salvation of many,”~Matthew 20:25-28.

Jesus came with an upside down model of leadership. He came and served. He came and washed feet. He came and empowered others. He came and died to free others. He came and got low so we could be seated in heavenly places with Him, joint heirs and copartners. The value Jesus placed and places on humanity is high.

Jesus was and is perfect-He is the model for all things Christian. He selected disciples who were not yet enlightened. He walked with them, talked with them, served them, and empowered them to do what they saw Him doing. Great leadership is empowering others to reach their highest potential. Jesus did not show up and say, “Now look here peasants, God created you for Me so let’s get this straight, when I say jump, you say how high. These are my demands, meet them daily or else.”

Jesus had no pride, ego, or what they call male ego. Knowing He was worthy of worship, He got low and served others.

Phillipians tells us the following about following the example of Jesus:

Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.

The Example of Jesus Christ

He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!~Phillipians 2:3-8.

Love is destroyed by pride. Love and pride cannot occupy the same spaces. One will dominate and overpower the other. God commissions and empowers us to love. So when someone says, “I am called to lead you,” if they are following Jesus this means, “I am called to serve you, not seek to be served by you.”

I have met numerous “leaders” and men in my day who told me they were called to lead me. Yet what that meant was they felt empowered to tell me what to do and wanted to be served. This is NOT godly leadership at all, it’s worldly leadership.

I have had single men tell me all the ways I could benefit their lives because to them a wife is servant to meet their needs. They could have cared less about loving me, treating me the way Jesus would. My dreams, calling from God, desires were completely insignificant. They saw someone unmarried and pretty (their words not mine) they wanted to purchase (flash their money, paycheck at) to serve them.

Women are not objects or slaves to be purchased to serve the whims of men then be replaced when she fails to meet a need, cheated on when she cannot meet his pleasures, or used for her body. God did NOT create a system of selfishness nor objectification. God created a family that is supposed to be fueled by love. God says, “Husbands forsake all others and cleave to your one wife. Love her the way Jesus loves the church. He was willing to die for the church. Jesus got low and served. Jesus empowers and leads by love and example. Jesus walks in purity not lust. Jesus cares about every single detail…follow My Son Jesus. Be an imitator of Him.”

The verse that says wives be subject to your husbands as unto the Lord in the original text means be wholly devoted in love-this means she is monogymous and not enganged with other lovers, she has eyes for her husband, single vision. It does NOT mean he becomes her god and she must obey him.

Husband is not the same as God. If it were so, then God is the author of confusion because He plainly says, “You shall have no other god besides me,” and “You are a slave to whomever you obey.” If the texts about husbands and wives meant the husband has the final authority, if he told his wife to betray God she would have to obey her spouse over God. No! She will be held accountable to God for obeying God not man. God is the final authority.

Example:

In inner healing class we had a lady who’s husband was molesting his granddaughter. The wife was submitting to his perverted leadership and holding a pillow over the child’s head during the violation. Was she honoring her husband by submitting to his perversion? Was she a good wife? No! She was a bad wife. She will spend a long time in jail like him for harming this child. The lady who was molested over and over was a testimony of healing in the class, her grandparents were not in the class.

Part of intimate relationship is revealing the righteousness of God to those connected to us. Her role as his wife and sister in Christ was to point her husband to righteousness. We do not yield to what is ungodly. No no no no! Ephesians 5:21 tells all followers of Jesus to be willing to yield (submit, possess humility) in reverence for the Lord. Being willing to yield is NOT the same word as obey.

Culture focuses on the wife submitting while ignoring the verse before it that says men and women, all believers submit to each other and choose humility. Culture also ignores the verses that tell husbands to go even further than that to love their wives the way Jesus loves the church (die to selfishness, pride, ego, immorality). Point highlighted again, we are NOT to yield to what is ungodly and violates our relationship with God. Nor are we puppets to be led on strings by whims of others.

Those led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. If your boss at work, pastor, mentor, parent, spouse or anyone claiming authority over you tells you to do something wicked, say no. That is not rebellion, it is honoring God. Godly leaders point to what honors the Lord and people. God will not lead anyone into sin, nor is God a slave driver who does not care about the needs, desires, or dreams of those He leads.

May we lead like Jesus which is counter cultural to this world. The greatest in the Kingdom of God has a heart of a servant, it is one who loves and looks out for the best interests of others.

Papa God help us to see leadership through the lenses of Jesus. You gave us a perfect model in your Son. Jesus was not a bully, dictator, abuser, nor did He use His status to Lord over people. He got low and served. He took the lowest place and you exalted Him to the highest place. Jesus is perfect theology. Jesus is the perfect spouse model. Jesus is the perfect leader; He seeks to look out for the best interests of those connected to Him. Jesus perfectly loves. Jesus does not use people He partners with them. Jesus, beautiful Jesus. May we abide in Jesus and lead like Jesus. In Your powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Who’s Your Daddy? (Manifesting Sonship Part I)

  
We act out of our identity- who we believe we are and who we believe we belong to. 

One of my favorite stories is about a member of royalty who is separated from her family at childhood. She doesn’t realize who she is, yet there’s a longing inside of her for more. She’s been made to believe her place is to stay secluded in this tower away from civilization. Yet every year she sees lights floating through the sky and it intrigues her to long for more. 

Our world is filled with people who don’t realize who their Father is. They live in towers of fear and insecurity. Some in cages of poverty, self hatred, anger, rage, hatred of others, perversion, lies, lost or misplaced identity, or abuse. 

We teach children in schools they evolved from apes and then wonder why they behave like wild animals. We removed the Creation story that taught children they were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Their father became an animal instead of the Creater of the Universe. 

If my identity is a wild animal instead of a child of God, then my behavior will model that of a wild animal. It’s no wonder we see story after story of people taking the lives of others. Wild animals don’t value life. God values life. 

Studies have shown father or daddy issues attribute to so many societal problems. Why? Because our fathers establish identity. Women can help shape and mold the identity of a child, yet God created the family to have a father and a mother. 

Fathers have a specific role. They give their name. The name ties back to origin. Where did you come from? When the Bible speaks of man being the head of woman, that word “head” speaks to the source or origin, like the head of a river. God pulled Eve out of Adam. She is wo-man. Her name reveals to you her origin. It was not a statement of male domination or to say Eve was inferior. God let us know where she came from. Both were created in the image of God. Children coming from Eve carried the DNA of their mother and father.  

You will notice in the Bible genealogy (God telling you where people originated from). 

When I visit my dad, the people in the town say, “That’s Mr. Lamb’s daughter.” What does it mean to be a Lamb? What are we known for? Well in my fathers case the Lamb’s are known for: 

  • Loving God 
  • Radical generosity 
  • Praying for the sick 
  • Preaching the Gospel 
  • Reaching the lost 
  • Caring for widows and orphans
  • Faith 
  • Hope 
  • Love
  • Mercy 
  • Extravagant forgiveness
  • Hospitality 
  • Gift giving 
  • Feeding people (naturally and spiritually)
  • Loving strangers and outcasts

Growing up, my father established through his words and actions what it meant to be a Lamb. As his daughter, I learned my identity as God’s child, as his child. When people call my name, they are expressing the name of my father- Lamb. My name tells the world my identity-who I came from. The people in my dad’s town sometimes say, “You’re so much like your parents.” It may seem silly but there are certain things that became the Lamb thing to do, like loving strangers. I saw my dad doing it and believed I was to do the same. 

Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. If we are sons and daughters of God, then we will begin to do what we see God doing. It becomes a Kingdom of God thing to do. It happens through intimacy (knowing, proximity, abiding) with God.

So what if your earthly father was not around, unsaved, abandoned you, didn’t set a good example, or didn’t give you his name? What if he never affirmed you, didn’t encourage you, and did not or does not love you with the unconditional love of Christ? There’s good news. Really good news! You ready? 

God longs to be your Father. Even though all creation is created in His image, those not in fellowship with Him through His Son Jesus are not considered sons and daughters of God. They are yet to be grafted into His family. 

For you [who are born-again have been reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified and] are all children of God [set apart for His purpose with full rights and privileges] through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union with the Christ, the Anointed] have clothed yourselves with Christ [that is, you have taken on His characteristics and values]. There is [now no distinction in regard to salvation] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you [who believe] are all one in Christ Jesus [no one can claim a spiritual superiority],~Galatians 3:26-28 (Amplified). Recommend reading all of Galatians 3. 

God longs for all of us to be reconciled to Him through His Son and also to know Him intimately as a loving Father. He longs to deposit His life, give us His name, redefine our identity, and help us to see who we truly are. Only He knows why each person was created. See Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5

When we know who our Father is, cultivate intimacy with Him, the following begins to manifest in our lives: 

  • Confidence in who we are. Insecurity melts away when we fully believe we were carved out of the heart of God. We are His image bearers, His workmanship. 
  • Confidence He hears us. When we believe we are God’s child and truly have His backing, we don’t beg. We ask and believe He will answer. 
  • Confidence in His abilities. Worry and fear are manifestations of unbelief; God will not take care of this. Trust me I know what it’s like to deal with fear, doubt, worry, and have to repent for unbelief. 
  • We treat ourselves with respect, honor, and dignity. God doesn’t make junk so we begin to care for ourselves better when we see who He is. 
  • We treat others with respect, honor, and dignity. We place tremendous value on what’s created in His image. 
  • We long for the Light, to walk in the Light. He is holy. As we behold our Father, we begin to crave holiness. Sin doesn’t taste as sweet. 
  • We begin to walk out our destiny. Being is always to proceed doing. Jesus was with the Father for 30 years learning obedience before He stepped into ministry. 

I leave us with this prayer. 

Papa God I ask for all of us to know You! To truly know who You are and have our beliefs align with heaven. I ask for hearts, minds, spirits, and bodies to be restored to Sonship. May we live out what Jesus paid for. Every father wound be healed in Jesus name. Every orphan spirit be bound in Jesus name. I loose the Spirit of adoption over every person. Every lie placed to inflict wounds of inferiority, rejection, or hurt be uprooted and replaced with God’s truth. I declare you are wanted, pursued, cherished, adored, celebrated, desired, significant, important, God’s workmanship, created for Glory, and God is proud to call you His own! In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Love & hugs, 

Erin Lamb 

You’re not an Orphan

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Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine,~Isaiah 43:1b.

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows,~Luke 12:6-7.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.“~Jeremiah 1:5.

I will start out by saying you cannot know who you are and your purpose in life without knowing God. He is the Creator of all things. Nothing we see would exist without Him. He holds it all together. Though He gives humans the right to choose, He is still Sovereign. You are here because God allowed you to be here.

“Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name–and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!” Proverbs 30:4.

God knows why you were born, and He has a great plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). You are not an orphan (without a father or parent). You are an extension of His heart and His plan. Even if your earthly mother or father forsake you, God never will (Psalm 27:10). You must forsake Him. He doesn’t send anyone to hell, if we end up there, we chose to live life without Him. Without holiness (salvation) no person can enter heaven. He’s a loving Father who says, “I made you for Me. Come be with Me. You are invited to enter into My Royal Family. Everything I have, I want to share with you. I want you to be united with Me. I gave My Son so you can be set free. I want to give you life abundantly.

You are invited to belong to Someone great. I heard someone say, “When God looks at the earth He sees two groups of people, repentant and unrepentant. He loves them both. He, like the Prodigal son’s father, is working to bring lost sons and daughters home.” It’s true. God wants you! You were created to be united with Him for eternity. He longs for you. Many are deceived or willingly reject Him, which I am sure hurts His heart. No parent likes to see their child headed for destruction.

God hates what’s aimed at destroying us, sin is aimed at destroying us. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The devil wants to take as many people as he can to hell with him. His fate is sealed, there is no redemption for him. He will burn in the lake of fire being tortured for eternity. He hates people, for humans can be redeemed. Humans can be saved. Humans can worship and love God. Humans are the recipients of God’s grace, love, and made in His image.

So, dear friends, if you want to know who you are, why you were born, who your Father is, go to God. If you want to know your purpose, go to God. He knows all, sees all, and has a great plan for your life. If we want to know the purpose of something, we ask the One who made it. You are of Divine Design. Don’t allow the world or even your own thoughts to define who you are. God is perfect and I am certain His thoughts towards you and your life will exceed your expectations. You are and will always be, deeply loved.

If you have not accepted the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, I invite you to come find life. God longs to bless you. He says, “No matter where you have been or what you have done. I paid for it all.” If that’s you and you want to know God, follow along in this prayer with me.

Prayer for salvation:

God I confess that I am a sinner. I have done things to grieve Your heart and sought to live life my own way. I believe that you sent Your Son Jesus to pay the price for all my sins. I place my faith and trust in You. I ask for Your forgiveness for all my sins, and I invite You into My life. I want to commit my life to You and turn from the life I’ve been living. In Jesus name.

If you sincerely prayed that prayer, know heaven is rejoicing. Heaven celebrates every single time we repent (say God is right and decide we don’t want sin in our lives). If you sincerely prayed this prayer, expect life changes. Find a Gospel centered church and get connected. Pick up a Bible and start reading it. I recommend starting in the New Testament and  asking God to speak to you through His word. Start praying, talking to God. You can comment here if you want more information. Know that being in God’s family is a tremendous blessing. God LOVES you!

You can find more resources and teachings on what it means to be in Christ on my devotional blog (http://morena242.wordpress.com). Whatever you choose in life, I hope you choose Jesus! He is the way, the truth, and the life. God bless you.

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Your Real Enemy (Part II)

I normally don’t write two posts back to back, but I hope this post will be a blessing. I recommend reading yesterday’s post, Your Real Enemy, as well. I wanted to write about people today. People have been tagged as our enemies for years. If I were to ask you who your enemies were, I bet you could name a few people. It may be a leader, family member, boss, sibling, parent, co-worker, or ex-friend/spouse. I want to tell you once again, people are not our real enemies. People can be used by God or the devil. At any given moment a person can be used to bless or curse. Even people who go to your church can be used by the evil one, if they are not walking under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Here is an example from my own life.

My first job out of college I encountered a manager who hated me for no reason. This person started out by telling me how I would not be successful. This person then spent the next 4 years sabotaging small things on my programs, bad mouthing me to our boss, trying to get me fired, yelling at me in public, and basically making life at work unbearable. I did tell this person on numerous occasions they could not treat me poorly, but they feared no consequences from management. I prayed a lot during that time. Honestly, I prayed this person would be terminated or quit for they not only harassed me, but others. Some of us banded together to speak with human resources to no avail. In my mind this person was an enemy. I did not hate this person, but I could not see past their actions. I saw an evil person instead of a person God loved who did not know how much they were loved.

As a young person who loved Jesus the only things I knew to do were 1. Pray 2. Try to never retaliate 3. Seek help from God and within our organization.

Fast forward, after extensive prayer, I was removed from under this person. There was a battle to be moved, and I lost all the programs where I had invested time and energy. I went from overseeing 9 programs to 1. I had to prove my worth and competency. At first I was angry because my clients loved me; I worked non stop. I was not doing anything wrong. I had great reviews from everyone except this one person, but this one person was able to plant a seed of doubt in my boss’s mind even with over a dozen other people complaining. Let’s get to the good part of the story. This person after years of harassment approached me one day to tell me they knew I was a Christian because I never retaliated against them. They are now a born again believer. Yeah Jesus! Forgiving them wasn’t easy, but it was necessary. We can’t hang on to the things people do to us. Holding on only leads to our detriment.

When we want to retaliate against people, the thing to remember is that the person attacking us is someone God deeply loves. When people attack, harass, slander, hurt, persecute others, are unloving; they have not fully received the fullness of God’s love. A person who is filled with the love of God normally won’t knowingly harm another person. A person walking in the Spirit normally won’t either. Does that mean a person filled with God’s love and Spirit won’t ever hurt others? No. As humans we stumble. We are not perfect. We can hurt people without even knowing it. If we’re listening, God will let us know if we have strayed from the path of love.

Also, there are times when we are hurt and others are hurt and it’s because of our sin or perceptions.

Our Role in Loving People

The goal is to point people to God. The goal is be an instrument of truth and grace. It is not unloving to tell another person they cannot speak hatefully to you, especially if it’s someone you’re connected to (friend, family, spouse, co-worker, child). The goal isn’t to be the world’s doormat, but to show the world that evil does not have to lead to evil. Good conquerors evil. If it’s someone close to you, you may have to set boundaries with them. Check out Dr. Cloud and Dr, Townsend’s books on Boundaries. We are called to point people to the truth.

I hope and pray that we can see people as God does. I am still praying this for myself. We may not be able to be the best of friends with everyone, but we are called to live at peace with everyone as far as it is up to us. We are called to pray for our enemies, bless and not curse, to not do harm to others. May we live loved and love others.