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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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A Heartfelt Apology for the Behavior of Christians 

  
Photo Source: Wordswag, Used with permission. 

I normally do not post this close together. I felt so strongly in my spirit the need to apologize for the church’s behavior to the world and each other. 

I stand in the gap to say, “I am grieved by the behavior of some believers. Please do not judge God by our actions.” 

I pray if you have been deeply wounded by the church, a professing Christian, there would be great healing. You are so deeply loved and valued by God. 

The Body of Christ deeply wounds people sometimes and for this I am sorry. 

If you have been negatively impacted or wounded by Christians, myself included, I am deeply sorry. I ask for forgiveness. We are flawed, imperfect people in need of the same grace, forgiveness, and mercy as everyone else. We are not better than anyone else. Our professed salvation does not negate our responsibility for our actions. We are accountable to others and God for what we do and say. 

We are not demi gods or little saviors on earth. 

I wish I could say look to us to know what God is like, yet you will be disappointed. God is still working on us to look, love, and behave like Him. 

Look to Jesus who perfectly represents the Father. Start there. Jesus! Jesus who gave His very life, while we were yet sinners. Start with Jesus. He is the earthly manifestation of the Father. 

I can say this..

God is not cold hearted, nor ego driven.

God is not a control freak or bully. 

God is not manipulative. 

God is not selfish.

God is not greedy. 

God is not uncompassionate nor lacking love.

God does not use people. 

God does not condone abuse of any form (emotional, verbal, sexual, or spiritual).

God is not racist; He created one race-human. Humans created the boxes for black, white, asian, latino, etc…it is a man made thing that has no validity in heaven. 

God is not sexist; He places high value on women and does not see them as sex objects, servants, or gullible children. He highly esteems women. He made woman and said, “It is very good.” 

God is not a politician or political party. They too are not a part of heaven. Heaven has a King. His reign eternal. 

God is not filled with hatred. 

God is not easily angered. 

God is not impatient. 

God is not rude. 

God does not behave like a lunatic. 

God is not the author of confusion. 

God cares about everyone, not just those who agree with Him. 

God cannot lie. 

God is faithful to His word. 

God is not wishy washy or a flake. 

God is not a sinner. He is holy. 

God is not a hypocrite. 

God is not out to destroy people; He seeks to redeem them. 

God is not a snob; He gets low to lift others higher. 

God is not unjust; He brings righteous justice to every situation. His timing just isn’t the same as ours. 

God is not blind to pain, nor does He pretend He does not see you when you are hurting. 

God is not after your money; He wants your heart. 

God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, he reaps. 

God does not talk about love and do nothing else. He demonstrates love. 
God is good. It is not always our idea of good, yet God works all things together for eventual good for those who love Him. He will correct us, rebuke us, challenge us, and prune us. Yet His ultimate goal is not to control us, demean us, or hurt us…it is to make us more fruitful-the best version of ourselves. 

Once again, may we look to God to know Him. My prayers are His Bride comes into looking more and more like Him. He is glorious. Please forgive us for not loving you like Jesus loves you!

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2016 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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The Father’s Heart (Abiding & Intimacy with God Series Part 5)

  
If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him,~Matthew 7:11 (Amplified). 

God loves His children more than an earthly parent loves their child. I do not have children, yet I have a niece I deeply love. She is pure joy. God has shown me through interactions with her an even deeper revelation of His love for humanity. 

When I have the opportunity to spend time with my niece, I enjoy every moment. I play the games she wants to play. I laugh with her. I watch her figure things out and smile. I celebrate her. I tell my close friends the things she does that are so great. I show off her pictures, drawings. I am impressed by even the little things she does. 

Sometimes she has tantrums, she is a toddler. I do not beat her, scold her, scream at her, nor criticize her. The goal is to help her understand if possible and love her. 

For some strange reason God has been reduced below an earthly parent. He is portrayed as fault finding, critical, full of Himself, cold, stoic, mean spirited, scolding, condemning, and He certainly does not want you celebrated or honored. It is His glory. He must be given all the attention and we are His minions. 

God is a loving Father. He does not wish for us to worship anything other than Him because He alone is worthy; the worship of false gods leads to bondage. He is not a narcissist. He celebrates His children. 

He took us while we were yet sinners and invited us into deep fellowship with Him. He chose us, without merit, to become joint heirs with His Son. He clothed us in His righteousness and heaven rejoiced when we repented. 

God did not say, “You are nothing. You are worthless. I pitied you, so kneel peasants.” He said, “Come join My family.” 

I was talking to a close friend last evening and I gave her a compliment. She replied, “All glory to God.” It is a Christian thing to deflect everything that brings honor to us. I heard Pastor Bill Johnson say something that stuck with me. He said, “God said He would not give His glory to another. You are not another, you are His child.” So we thank people for choosing to honor us and then praise God for the gifts or whatever they gave us because of Him. 

I taught my niece a dance. When she began to do the dance, people liked the dance. It was cute what she did. I loved the smile on her face as she noticed people admiring her dance. I did not jump in to say, “Don’t applaud her. I taught her that dance. All glory to me.” I simply smiled. I loved that she was having fun. 

God said apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5). We are to thank Him and praise Him. Yet He delights in celebrating His children. He does not have an ego problem. Jesus perfectly represented the Father; He empowered others. He got low to wash feet. He served. 

God models leadership through sacrificial love and service. 

I listen to parents brag on their children often. It is all over social media. Yet for some reason God only celebrates Himself. Untrue. He loves, honors, cherishes, delights in, sees the best in, encourages, and gently leads His children. He is a far better parent than an earthly parent. He loves infinitely more. 

Oh to know His heart. 

My niece does not love vegetables. If she eats one, there is a celebration. Sometimes there is creativity for getting her to eat some. There is not a scolding, “You never eat vegetables. If you ate more we wouldnt have to do this!” It is, “Yeah you ate one!!!” There is a celebration of progress. 

God celebrates the small steps, the progress. He celebrates the work of His hands, us. He speaks life. 

I truly long for false humility,hyper  criticism, and religious antics to be thrown out of Christian community. Someone says, “You are a gifted painter,” and the reply is , “Oh no it was Jesus!” Was it? He is perfect, I would expect a painting with no flaws. Or is the truth Jesus provided the gift, the person had to pick up a paint brush?

There is such fear of accepting what God says is true. Low self esteem and low self worth is celebrated as humility when it is reality the sin of unbelief. We are called to agree with God, that is faith and humility. 

God loves us and longs for our deep understanding of His heart. He loves so powerfully! 

God bless, 

Erin Lamb 

 
 

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Releasing What You Carry (Manifesting Sonship Series Part VI)

  
Blessed and worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight,~Ephesians 1:3-4 (Amplified).  

“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. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned.”~Jesus. ‭‭John‬ ‭15:4-6‬ ‭(Amplified).‬‬

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,~Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV).

How do we manifest what God is like to the world? How do we walk in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, and continually bear good fruit? How do we release what He’s deposited?

It Starts with Saving Faith

We are saved by faith in Jesus, by grace, as a gift of God through repentance (confessing our sins and changing our mind about sin). If you have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, check out How to Know Jesus

It Continues on with Relationship…

Fruit bearing is a manifestation of connection and relationship. How do we cultivate relationship with God? We can only release what we carry. 

For each person it may look a bit different. I am not suggesting you follow a formula or feel bound. There’s so much holy freedom in Christ. These are simply some things I do. 

  • Worship God. Worship is more than singing songs. Worship is a posture of the heart that says, “God You are greater than all things. You are worthy. All that I am is in awe of all You! I give you thanks, praise, adoration, my entire life! It’s all Yours!!
  • Make time with God a priority. I have worship parties with God. It’s just us and sometimes there’s singing, dancing, laughing (lots of laughing), praising, or face down on the floor time. 
  • Study the word with God. God and I have study dates. Normally these are Sunday afternoons in the war room (prayer room). I study with His input. I learn the Bible with God. It’s our time. 
  • Talk to God daily. He loves to be with us. 
  • Listen to God and jot down what you believe He’s saying. I carry a prayer journal with me everywhere with documented prayers, words, impressions, etcetera…I have some that are over 10 years old. Wait 15 years old. I can go back and reference our time together and answered prayers, prophetic words fulfilled, and encouraging words He has spoken. 
  • Ask God for deeper revelations of His love, His Presence, and His care. He loves to answer this prayer.
  • Ask God what His agenda is for the day. Who does He want to bless? If we pay attention He will highlight someone or multiple people each day.
  • Obey God. Some have taught that obedience is legalism. It is not. Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father and I dare anyone to call Him legalistic. Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22) and a manifestation of our love for God (John 14:15). We are a slave to whoever we obey (Romans 16:6). We are not saved by obedience. We are saved by faith. However to claim Christ and practice lawlessness is not something God celebrates or approves of. See Matthew 7:21-23. God hates what damages us. Sin is damaging.

What if you say, “My tree does not have abundant good fruit! Or I don’t have anything good to offer the world. I am barely making it.”

 
If I go out to an orange tree and it has no good fruit. I don’t curse the tree. I look at the root system. Only a tree planted in good soil, watered, receiving light from the sun will produce good fruit. Only a tree free of disease will produce good fruit. 

If I am not producing the good fruit of God’s likeness, it’s because I’ve disconnected from the Vine (God), forsaken intimacy (watering (Holy Spirit) and His Presence (Light)), forsaken fellowship (community), and chosen to live by my flesh instead of being led by His Spirit. If I’m still not producing good fruit, there are wounds/hurts (disease) in my soul that need healed. The spirit is saved, new at conversion. The soul is being sanctified (changed, cleansed, purified over time with God). 

God can and does heal the wounded soul. I will post more about that later. Our pride and rebellion can also block the flow of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to confess those things to God and get the flow moving freely again. 

Releasing What You Carry…

Possession proceeds releasing. We can only give what we have first obtained from God. We receive by faith. 

  • We can only release by doing something. 
  • Faith requires activation. 

A couple years ago I was talking to God about wanting to see more sick people healed. He responded, “Go pray for more sick people.” I’ve seen God heal more sick people in the past 12 months than I have in  my entire walk with God. Mainly because when someone is ill, I jump to pray. 

Want more, release more! Find people to encourage, pray for, share the Gospel with, teach, mentor, disciple…pay it forward. 

God is a wise investor. If we use what’s given to bless others, He adds more. So, we stay connected and share what’s given. We love God for who He is, not to gain things from Him. If we spend time with Him, we will overflow with more than enough to share. 

Final Notes: 

There’s no fear in love. If I’m not producing good fruit in an area, I go to the Source (God). I abide in Him. I submit myself to Him and allow God to work in my soul that which is pleasing to Him. I deepen our connection. Good fruit is not produced by striving. It comes only through intimacy with God, abiding. 

Papa God, You are incredible and holy. I ask for all of us to be saturated with Your steadfast love, power, wisdom, and thoughts. Heal any wounds in our soul. Uproot unbelief, fear, pride, rebellion, insecurity. Plant us in good soil. Help us to stay under the waterfall of Your unfailing love. Keep our eyes on You! In Jesus mighty name. Amen. 

You are deeply loved and prayed for often. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

Orange tree photo courtesy of Pinterest. 

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Gifts from Heaven

 

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless,~Psalm 84:11. 

I normally don’t post back to back. No worries, I’m not starting a new trend. I won’t be posting this upcoming week or weekend. Or next week. Busy days ahead…mostly filled with fun. 

I did want to encourage you before I take a break…yes. I wanted you to be on the lookout for surprises from heaven. God is so generous. He blows me away! I’m praying miracles and tremendous blessings your way. 

If God gives good gifts, where are mine? Is that what you’re thinking? 

I used to think God was blessing everyone but me. I had some time in the wilderness. I like to call it the 7 levels of hell. It was no fun. During that season I watched others celebrating life. Some of those days I was either sick, watching my mum die, helping my family sustain through many challenges, etc…and well the verse above didn’t seem to apply. I had days where I’d say, “God I know you’re good. I can’t see much good in today.” I didn’t see much goodness. Pain has a way of clouding perspective. I saw a string of trials, challenges, tragedies, tears, sorrow, disappointment…Hindsight is 20/20 eh? 

Here’s what I learned about God’s gifts. You ready? 

1. God is the greatest gift, relationship with Him. Some of the sweetest, most intimate moments were in the most intense trials of my life. We are best friends for life. When you’ve been in the fire with God, no one can convince you He’s not real. God kept my mind during things I know I would not have made it through without Him. 

2. Unbelief, murmuring, and complaining block many blessings. God doesn’t delight in complaining. Unbelief blocks the flow of heaven. Everything in the Kingdom works by faith. When I started saying what He was saying, giving thanks for what I did  have, I saw such a radiant light shine in the darkness. I saw gifts I had never seen before. 

3. Gifts don’t always come in the packages you expect or how you expect them. I prayed for a long time for kindred spirits, covenant friends, intercessors. God provided them in the most mysterious ways. Divine appointments with strangers and for some instant love/friendship. Some are old enough to be my parents or grandparents. Age doesn’t matter. Distance doesn’t matter. They are knit in my heart. I love them with my heart and spirit. 

4. God goes for the wow factor. It’s exceedingly and abundantly above all you could ask or imagine. I’ve heard people say, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not for real.” Well…not so with God. He longs to bless your socks off. He’s not offering crumbs off the table. He gives custom gifts. It’s perfect for you or the need you’ve expressed. He is beyond lavish. 

5. He will wait until you’re ready. Some gifts are weighty and require maturity. You wouldn’t give your 2yr old the keys to your car. They wouldn’t know what to do with them. He also won’t give us things or relationships to replace Him or for us to find our identity in them or things we can’t handle.

I stopped praying, “Please give me,” and started praying, “God prepare me. Refine my character.” I want to be an excellent steward and representative of heaven. 

6. Some things God places in front of us to be pursued. Not every gift is FedEx’d with instructions. An easy way to find out is to ask, “God is this for me?”  

I have a guy associate who wants to be married. He will not pursue getting to know anyone. I asked him, “How will you ever get married if you avoid getting to know women?” He had no response. I’m not sure who told singles that angels would sing over their future mate or they’d hear the audible voice of God…I truly think if God places someone on your path it’s okay to have coffee. Coffee is not a marriage proposal, last I checked. Though Chiptole may be (it’s a funny story of a nice man who invited me to dinner then proceeded through his wife must haves checklist. Yep…Chiptole may be a bad choice (insert laugh here)). 

7. If you ask and are being led by the Spirit, He will let you know if it’s not for you. Not everything is to be pursued. If it’s not for you, God is so awesome He will tell you or show you. I pray, “God is this from you? If not, let it pass on through.” Or “Show me who this person really is.” He’s so faithful to answer. Yes! It saved me from getting married to the wrong person in my early twenties and from taking many assignments that weren’t mine to take or even recently from continuing on in a relationship where God said, “This isn’t the right man for you.” He’s great, yet our lives are headed in two different directions. I’m called to international ministry. He wants to be local and is starting med school. We are good as friends, not as two that would become one. How can two be joined together lest they agree? Two visions leads to division. Truly believe God connects people who are better together than apart, they build together. They have similar vision. 

8. God doesn’t forget promises. Some things He spoke 10 years ago are just now starting to surface. He’s faithful. 

9. Say what God says until you see what God says. Our words matter. Decree and declare His words. 

I hope you’re on the lookout for great things from above. God gives awesome gifts. He’s the greatest gift. He’s the center of it all…so worthy!

I bless you. Seeking Him first is the best. He’s outstanding.

You are SO loved and lifted up continually. Write to you in a few weeks!!! 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Love the Story, Not Always the Process

  

Photo Credit: Pinterest 

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us,~Phillipians 3:14. 

There are so many stories of miracles in the Bible. They all started with a problem. Abraham and Sarah had no children. Hannah desired a son. The Isrealites needed a way out of Egypt. The woman with the issue of blood, who suffered for over a decade, needed healing. Jesus died for our sins and was then resurrected because the world needed a Savior….

Everyone loves a great story of miracles and overcoming. Yet many forget the process. Not every miracle or promise is instant. The Messiah was prophesied of many, many years before He set foot in the synagogue to proclaim Isaiah 61. Abraham waited 15 years for Issac. Though people mock Sarah for laughing, I might have laughed too. After her youth is gone, her body is tired, she’s watched other women nurse and love their babies…Let’s be honest, that’s a long time to wait and watch others get what you’re begging God for. 

We love the story of those who overcome or have a radical encounter with God. We don’t always love the process of walking in their shoes or walking out our own journey of facing problems or challenges with God. 

Maybe you’re waiting on a miracle or promise; praying for a miracle, desiring a miracle and every day the hope in you seems to die a little. You watch others celebrate their healing, their financial breakthrough, their promotion, their engagement or wedding, the birth of their children…and you face the harsh resounding discouragement in your heart that tells you that your dream may not come true. 

Maybe during the process you have given up. Buried that dream. Let it die in your heart. Maybe you’ve grieved silently because you can’t take another person throwing scripture at your grief and pain. So, you cry in silence. You scream silent screams that only you and God can hear. You shed tears only God can see and you dust yourself off and keep running your race. 

If that’s you, I can so relate. When the Lord spoke to me many years ago that my life would be filled with miracles, I wish He’d have also said, “This means lots of problems and challenges, persecution, some betrayals, your heart will be broken many times, estimating over a half dozen near death experiences, you’ll lose friends, your health will be attacked, during sickness you’re going to lose your hair, you’ll be mocked and cussed out in public places, and in many cases there won’t be a single soul willing to help you.” If He had, well I might have had a different reaction. However, clueless, I said, “Yes sign me up for a life of miracles.” God delivered me through every single situation and provided so many miracles. There was still heartache and suffering in the process. 

Please don’t think God delights in suffering or sickness. I am not stating He caused all kinds of problems. He didn’t prevent every problem. Some things He delivered me from and others He delivered me through. He doesn’t prevent all suffering or sickness. I still know Him as Healer. God heals, restores, and works miracles. I also have seen people who lived upright Iives before God and have suffered greatly; loss, sickness, heartache, pain. We can’t ignore there’s trouble this side of heaven. 

Easy or deep…

I wouldn’t trade God for an easy life. Yet there are days I wish for less situations that required a miracle. There are days my flesh is tired even when my spirit is not. Some would say in those moments, “Trust God. God is good. He will work this for good.” He is good. He truly is. Yet even Jesus had His Gethsemane moment where He asked the Father, “Please take this cup from Me, nevertheless, not My will…Your will be done.” 

Jesus suffered greatly for humanity. While we love the story, I can’t name one person willing to go through the same process for sinful humanity. So we love the story…not always the process. 

Without the process, going through the trials, challenges, and hard things with God, there’s no great story. There’s also no great character and intimacy with God built either. I’m not stating sickness builds character or intimacy, trials and challenges do if we let them. 

Smooth seas don’t make skilled sailors.” 

I’d love to tell you to hang on, to keep declaring the word, to never lose hope. Yet I won’t if you’re grieving today. I will tell you to climb up into the arms of God, and let Him love you. As someone who’s laid many dreams to rest, had my heart broken many times, and been to the Garden of Gethsemane more times than I’d like…I think my name is etched in a rock there (Erin was here! Erin was here again!!!)…more than anything in those moments I wanted to know my Father’s love. What I needed was love, not a pep talk or inspirational speech. I just needed love. It would’ve also been nice to have someone willing to pray and stand in the gap. You don’t have to be strong, let God be strong for you! 

There’s a time to contend and a time to rest in God’s sweet embrace. 

So, if that’s you, I’m praying for you! I can’t promise you immediate relief. I can say God is the Comforter. If you’re not delivered from, there’s deliverance through. May His love overwhelm you. May your love story with God inspire others and generations to come! May you be flooded with love and comfort in the process. You are deeply loved. You will always be loved! ♥️💯

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Know the Author (God)

  

Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near,~Jeremiah 55:6.

The platform and foundation of my life is intimacy with God. Intimacy with God is so crucial to understanding the Word of God and living an abundant life. 

One of my life verses is John 15:5. Jesus said, “I am the Vine and you are the branches. Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one, in perfect communion, unity. If we are to know God, we must abide in Him. 

Over the years I’ve met so many people who can quote me verses of the Bible and miss the heart of God. Even some who can defend their prejudice or sexism based on passages of the Bible. People defended slavery with the Bible. People still defend sexism with the Bible or the oppression of women. I began to investigate why so many people had an image of God that did not match up with the whole of scripture or the heart of God. 

We are trained to memorize the Bible instead of allow the Bible to lead us into an encounter with the One who inspired it. 

I grew up in church. We went several times a week. My dad is a pastor and evangelist. My mum was my Sunday school teacher. I heard the Bible over and over and over. I watched my parents live it. Yet it wasn’t until later in life that I truly began to get to know God on an intimate level. What changed? This burning desire grew inside of me to know His voice and know Him on a deeper level. I read in the Bible that God showed up and revealed Himself to His people. He wanted relationship. 

The foundation for growing relationship is communication and it is also built on experience. 

God longs to connect with us. Talking to God is great. Hearing His voice and listening to Jesus pray, that’s life giving. Living life with God instead of Him being a Sunday morning activity is the best. 

I wrote a book. I write Standard Operating Procedures. If you simply read what I write, talk to me about your problems, visit me once a week, and never inquire of me or listen to me, you will not know me. If you only spend time with me in the same setting, you won’t truly know me. The people who have camped in the jungle with me on missions know more about me than those who meet with me for coffee every so often. We forged intimacy through proximity and life experiences, some of them quite challenging. Those who have done missions with me don’t know me like those who have been roommates. I’m not extroverted. I spend lots of time reading and being alone with God. Those who live with me know I’m not a social butterfly. I’ve learned and by the help of the Holy Spirit how to engage with large groups, be outgoing. He’s teaching and helping me continually. Also intimacy (knowing, oneness) with God leads me to want to love and connect with people. 

The Bible is to lead us into an encounter with God, not replace relationship with God. 

His word reveals Him, it does not contain Him,~Kris Vallotton. 

There’s also a level of intimacy that is forged in challenging seasons. Those who attempt to bypass all challenges in life forgo the opportunity to know the power, sustaining power, comfort, healing, and miraculous works of God. During the hardest seasons of my life, a best friendship was forged with God. I learned He’d sing me to sleep when I was crying tears no one saw but me and Him. I learned He’d feed me when I was working three jobs trying to complete two degrees. I learned God would defend me when I suffered under 7 years of persecution (some at work and some through Christians). I learned God was stronger than death as I faced near death experience after another! 7 of those too…if I count right. I learned the sustaining comfort of God when I had to bury my mum. I learned the provision of God as He sent people to send checks in the mail during times of crisis. I learned the love of God (still learning) through all the peaks and valleys we’ve been through together! Don’t bypass the process of getting to know God in every season.

So, for you and I…I pray we seek God and have continual dialogue with Him. One associate joked that all I do is pray (like I’m locked in a closet somewhere all day). Nope. I have continual dialogue with God (that’s prayer). At the grocery, at the park, at work, in the car, working out, playing guitar…all day my heart and spirit is open to His. 

I leave you with these keys that have been deposited along this journey.

1. God wants an intimate (knowing, oneness) relationship, to be the closest person to us. 

2. God speaks. 

3. God will not violate His Word, He will challenge and expand our understanding of His Word. To truly understand His Word, we need to know the Author and be led by the Holy Spirit. 

4. God is love and He is holy. There’s a love movement that forsakes holiness and it’s not of God, nor is it grace. God will never condone sin because He is holy and Jesus died to free us from slavery to sin. 

5. God is good. If what I’m experiencing now isn’t good, I can trust God will work it for eventual good. My definition of good may not match God’s. He never ceases to be good. 

6. Asking God for wisdom is wisdom. 

7. Humility leads to greater understanding. He is God. I am not.

8. God is infinite. He continues to reveal another aspect of who He is. He doesn’t fit or belong in a box. The beauty is getting to know Him over time. He’s an abounding treasure! 

9. God wants to be known by us. More than we want Him, He wants us. 

10. When we seek Him, we find Him. Intimacy with God is worth pursuing. 

Love you dear ones. Lifting you up! Have a blessed week. May it overflow with God encounters and intimacy with God. You are SO deeply loved (John 3:16). 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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