God is Unlimited; Raise Your Level of Expectation!

Morning Devotion: Their limitation is not your limitation. God is unlimited. Come up higher to the level of expectation of God.

I believe God is unlimited in His ability. There are two thing that can block the flow of God in our lives, unbelief and agreement with the evil one.

God has not ceased to be God. So, the same God who raised Jesus from the dead is alive and active today. The same God who parted the Red Sea to free His people, fed them manna and quail, is able to provide today. The same God who overshadowed a young girl name Mary to birth the Messiah is able to overshadow your situation and birth the miraculous. The same God who did miracles in the past is still doing miracles today!

Who’s report will we believe and who’s report will we repeat?! I say this to you again because I want it to sink into your spirit. Who’s report will we believe and who’s report will we repeat?!

A supernatural life begins with faith and is maintained through the renewal of the mind. Where the mind goes, the body will follow. A negative and limited mindset will not produce an abundant life.

The Bible says this…

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things,~Phil 4:8.

Think on the things of God. Meditate on the things of God. Focus on the things of God. Abide in Him and allow His thoughts to become your thoughts.

When the ship is sinking, examine what you are thinking. What is your focus? Which report are you rolling around over and over? What report are you repeating? It is not the water that surrounds the boat which causes it to capsize. It is the water that gets into the boat.

Sometimes the unbelief is fueled by a negative audience. Haters or those filled with unbelief/fear do not make great life partners. Why? God has called you to speak life and they speak death.

Death words consist of the following:

1. God is not going to do that for you.

2. Who do you think you are.

3. No one is going to support this.

4. You can’t do this.

5. God did this in the past or for someone else. It’s not for you.

Life words including the following:

1. God is unlimited!

2. God+Nothing=Everything!

3. Put your plans in God’s hands and watch them suceed.

4. It’s not impossible for God.

5. I believe in you!

6. God believes in you!

7. God’s word never fails. It accomplishes all it is sent out to do.

8. God supplies all your needs according to His riches in glory.

9. God is who He says He is and will do evetything He said He would do.

10. God’s got you!

Living an abundant life means agreeing with God. What has God said in His word? Repeat those things. Meditate on those things. Remaining attached to what is negative and limited chokes out life and creativity. Connect with those who speak LIFE! Connect with those who impart life. Saturate your spirit with His words of life.

God is not limited in His ability!

Let’s raise the level of expectation.

Papa God I am expecting you to move mightily on our behalf today. I bind the spirit of unbelief! I bind every negative word spoken over them or me that would come to choke out destiny. Be cancelled and cut off at the root. Bear no more fruit. Papa I ask you would send angels to remove every plot, plan, and scheme of the enemy! Break down demonic communication and cut off every voice that is not yours. Holy Spirit have your way. Come in like a mighty rushing river and clear out all debri. Elevate our thinking. Elevate our expectations. Have your way God. In the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

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

What Is A Life?

Morning Devotion: What is a life?

Last year around the holidays a friend of mine passed away. A man who was not old, still full of life. He woke up one morning feeling a bit off and died before anyone could get to him. I could not attend the funeral because it was out of the country. Yet I had my own memorial with Jesus. I thanked God for a good man, a kind man, an unselfish man, a generous man, and one who made others feel great about themselves.

When young there can be this thought of, “I have forever!” I am in my 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s…I have time. Yet we have this moment.

As I wept over someone I loved, I also thought of what is a life?

Our culture makes life about material things, fame, building our mini kingdoms, family…things that absolutely have no significance when you stand before a Holy God. Everything we have here is a gift, it is not to be the meaning of life. The meaning of my life is to glorify God, not be a scientist, aunt, friend, minister to people. My life is hidden in Christ and my identity is daughter of God. The purpose of my life is to love God, make Him known.

This life is the shortest time we will live yet has the most profound distractions….”Chase this thing that means nothing if you do not know Jesus.

I thought of the people willing to sell their souls for what is fleeting.

I thought of those who did not love thinking they could make amends later.

I thought of those who mistreated and stepped on other people trying to climb an imaginary ladder that leads nowhere past this temporary earth assignment.

I thought of those who wasted their lives chasing temporary things when they would spend eternity either seperated from God in torment or without heavenly rewards because they lived quite selfish lives.

I thought of those who never shared Jesus with anyone.

I thought of the time wasted on what would not matter in the end.

What is a life?

It is a gift from God that is intended to be marked with radical and profound love. We were created by love, to be loved, then to love. God will measure our lives not only by faith in His Son, but by love.

I loved my friend while living, so I had no regrets at the end. I had no times of treating him like he meant nothing. That’s not who I am. I loved him while I had him, knowing that people are on loan to us. We are not owners we are stewards.

I am always shocked by those who invest nothing, do not love well, do not steward relationships well who become outraged or upset when those relationships die (naturally they drift apart or the person dies). Add value while they are living! Send flowers or cards while they are living. Encourage while they can hear you. Reach out and invest while they are living. Be a good friend! Make life about pursuing loving well.

In the end no one will recall how many Facebook or Instagram followers you had. No one will recall your great messages or sermons. No one will care how many platforms you stood on or how much audience applause. They will recall how you loved them. They will recall how you made them feel.

What does it profit a person to gain the world and lose their soul? What does it profit a person to store up treasures on earth where rust and months destroy?

The treasures remain here when we die. If we do not know Jesus, our sins are not atoned for-they stand on our record. Those who’s names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will stand guilty before the Lord. We cannot earn good standing with God through good works. Our self righteousness is as filthy rags before a Holy God. We need a way to have a clean slate. Jesus paid a debt we could not pay, to save a life!

What are you living for? Will it matter on the day you meet your Maker? Will it matter in eternity? Does it impact the world for good? Is it fueled by love? God’s love?

Why are we here? God so loved the world, He created humanity then redeemed humanity through faith and following His Son. We are carved out of the heart of God for a temporary earth assignment that is training for reigning in an eternal assignment. This is the shortest time we will ever live. We are headed for Paradise with God, or Torment with the evil one.

May you and I live with an eternal perspective. May our hearts overflow with the love of God that says, “I am here by love, to be loved, then to love!” May those around us be positively impacted by our lives. May we steward who and what we have well. May we leave a mark of excellence and love for Jesus. May His plans be fulfilled in our lives because they far exceed what we can think up on our own.

My friend marked my life with kindness, joy, encouragement, and friendship. He loved well. May we be those who mark this world with love while we are living! Don’t waste today!!! Love today. Choose love today.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Overcoming with Jesus

Morning Devotion: Walking with Jesus as an overcomer.

Adversity is an opportunity for advancement, a problem is a setup for a miracle, and sometimes you are delivered through instead of delivered from a trial.

I hope to encourage someone this morning! We become overcomers by having something to overcome.

Walking with God does not mean you will live a life free of troubles, struggles, trials, or persecution…Jesus stated very plainly “In this world, you will have troubles, yet take heart, I have overcome the world,”~John 16:33.

I have walked through many things I thought at the time may overtake me; trapped in a car under water, death threats, racism, sabotage, 7 near death experiences, sickness, chronic sickness for a while, persecution, being left to die, lied on, cheated, heartbroken, abandoned by those who cried out, “You are my family. I love you!”, and so much more.

There were times I stood on mega faith and contended for a breakthrough. There were times I pulled in other seasoned believers to stand with me through the valley of the shadow of death. There were seasons of supernatural joy and others of profound grief. I believe every single experience was and is used by God to be a source of hope for someone else. I saw the power of God in profound ways during some of the most challenging moments of my life. Doctors said one thing, God said another. People said and did destructive things, God spoke life. I learned God is my very best friend and nothing on earth compares to Him. Take the world and give me Jesus.

I do not tell you these things for empathy or sympathy. I do not tell you because I am nursing an emotional wound. It is well with my soul. I tell you because overcoming means you will have something to overcome! We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).

We impart hope to others when we take our Christian masks off and say, “This was a challenge and look what God had done! This is what I have walked through and this is the power of God.” I have no time for pretend when there are people living in despair, despondency, and hopelessness because no one is real. Let’s be real. Life will punch you in the face at the times, even if you decree/declare/read the word/fast/etc…the goal is not to stay down. Get back up with Jesus!

If I can walk through many fires with God and come out with mega joy, so can you! With God you can and will overcome! Just like the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years. She did not know how long she would suffer, then along came Jesus. Her heart, I believe lept…If I could just touch the hem of His garment, I will be (not maybe) made whole. Hope flooded the scene when Jesus came. We too can find hope in Jesus.

The strength is not our own, it comes from God. The healing and deliverance is in the person of Jesus. Not by our power or strength, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)!! Hallejuah! Praising my heart out!!

Can we worship God? Can we say with utter honesty, “This is challenging, but you are good?” Through it all God is still God. These earthly afflictions are so temporary, God is eternal. God never ceases to be good.

I look to those who walked before us…

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”~Daniel 3:16-20.

They chose not to base their devotion to God on their deliverance. They chose God despite the outcome. This is love.

I am healed, whole, and full of joy because of God! This is for you too. It does not matter how long the storm has raged on or the diagnosis or prognosis. What matters is the presence of God. Is God there? Has God been invited into the storm? He can with one word calm the storm. If He does not, He will see us through it all.

When I look at Jesus, I see perfect theology. He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He was not speaking of His maleness for God is Spirit, those who worship God must worship in Spirit and in truth. He was speaking of His heart, His compassion, His character, His desires for the least/last/lost, His purity.

When I look at Jesus I see someone who was betrayed, mocked, abandoned, sabotaged, whipped, assaulted for His faith, rejected, had His heartbroken. He was lied on, humiliated, disappointed, and gave His very life for the ones who yelled, “Crucify Him!!” I am no better than Jesus. He had no sin and faced many challenges. We have hope in someone who already defeated our worst enemy, death. What He overcame, I can overcome and you can too by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God does not ask us to overcome in our strength. God does not expect us to be the superheroes of the story, He is the Savior/Deliverer/Healer. God invites us to abide in Him and overcome in His strength.

If we cannot run, we walk. If we cannot walk, we crawl. If we cannot crawl, we reach up into the arms of God. We cling to who God is and all He has done before. God is a way maker and a sustainer of life. I am living, walking additional evidence that nothing is impossible for God.

The odds may seem against you, you may feel alone in the storm. The doctor report may be grim…the circumstances beyond hope. Yet I know a man. A man who raised from the dead and walks in resurrection power. His name is Jesus. I know a man who opened blind eyes and deaf ears and set the captives free! I know a God who has done what mankind could not do. The same God who saved my life over and over is calling out to you! Speak life to the dead situations God told you should live!! Say what God says until you see what God has said.

We stand on an unshakable God and in an unshakable Kingdom!! Most of all we can have bold confidence that in the end, God wins!!

Let hope arise…hope in the only one who cannot ultimately fail.

Love in Him,

Erin Lamb

Growing in Love (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part V)

Holy Spirit is the greatest teacher. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. Once He dwells in us, Holy Spirit seeks to develop godly character in our lives.

One of the greatest works of Holy Spirit is to reveal the love of God to us and the nature of God. God is love.

Agape love is pure, sacrificial, unselfish. It thinks of what is best for others, not just self. It is the love God has for the world (John 3:16).

There is no selfishness in God; His love is pure. His love is sacrificial.

Love came down and invaded a sinful world. Love left paradise and was born in humble circumstances.

Love laid His life down for sinful humanity. He gave His very best for humanity; He is God with us. He is Emmanuel. Love has a name; Jesus. The Father revealed His steadfast love for humanity through His Son. What an act of pure, unselfish love.

This is the same love Jesus tells us will mark His followers. “They will know you are my followers by your agape (unselfish, sacrificial) love,”~Jesus (John 13:35).

Though culture may say being a Christian is simply a cultural or political marker, a profession of faith, a church attendance card…Jesus marked His followers with great love. “You will know who follows Me by their pure, unselfish, sacrificial love.

This love flows from the Vine to us. He (Jesus) is the Vine and we are the branches. If we abide in Him (remain, are intimate with Him), there will be abundant fruit. The greatest fruit that flows from the Vine is love. The fruit of God’s Spirit is love.

…the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law,~Galatians 5:22-23.

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love,~1 Corinthians 13:13.

If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing,~1 Corinthians 13:2.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,~Jesus (John 13:34-35).

Love is a marker of one who knows God, abides in God, and follows Jesus (1 John 4:8). It is not like the love of the world that only loves those who love in return. It is not like the love of the world that focuses on pleasing self. It is a laid down life of honoring God, loving God, and loving others. One receives God’s love, basks in His love, then what flows out is God love.

We can not give away love we have not received. A bankrupt person cannot love like God. One must be rooted in the Vine and yielded to God. One may be saved and unyielded. God still allows us to choose sin after being saved.

Love involves choice. We can buck Holy Spirit and simply live to love ourselves. Holy Spirit will allow certain situations and circumstances to teach us to love like God.

Sometimes what we call an annoyance or annoying person is a love lesson. That family member that does not love us, that fellow believer who disappoints us, that coworker who behaves in ungodly ways…they are often tools to teach us how to love like God.

Love matters greatly to God. Revealing to us the love of God is vital. We thrive when we know we are loved well. We, as stated before, will not love others if we do not first receive love from God. We will not love ourselves if we do not first receive love from God. It all starts with God. We love because He first loves us (1 John 4:19) and Holy Spirit reveals the love of God to and through us.

May you and I learn from the one who is love. The courses on love are lifetime courses. God fully intends to return for a Bride (body of believers in Jesus) who love like Jesus. Love is paramount. It is not just so we can love Him. God longs for the entire world to know Him and our love shows them who He is.

Christians are some of the greatest causes for the world rejecting Jesus-our behavior and lifestyles demonstrate what we truly believe. Why follow a God who produces disciples that are nothing like Jesus?

Our lives are no longer our own, they were purchased with His life. Therefore, may our lives be marked with radical love. May the world see Jesus in us. May our love lessons teach us the deep love of God and may that love be seen in us.

Papa God, deepen our love walk and help us to love by your Holy Spirit. Help us to submit and yield to your love lessons. Help us to be vessels of profound love and show the world who you truly are. Enhance our love walk and increase our capacity to love. May we know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your great love! Thank you for your great love. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Happy Holidays!

Erin L. Lamb

Character Development (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part IV)

One of the roles of Holy Spirit is to reveal the Son of God and help us know Jesus. Holy Spirit is also a wealth of wisdom, love, joy, peace, power and helps to develop our character.

We, if we are believers in Jesus as Lord, are invited to live by the Spirit and not after the flesh.

The flesh represents the carnal nature of mankind. The flesh tends to be selfish and self focused. The mind of the flesh wars against God. The character of the flesh, carnal nature, is quite immature and self centered.

One of the ongoing classes in Holy Spirit University is character development. Though God loves us as we are, the intention is not to leave us the way He found us.

The invitation to salvation is more than keeping us from hell, it is an invitation for heaven to live in us and transform us from the inside out.

God knows exactly what is needed to develop our character so we grow to look like Jesus.

Character Counts:

Why does it matter that we grow to possess godly character? One, we are called to be God’s Ambassadors of heaven on earth; two, godly character brings God glory.

Have you ever met someone who is anti-God because they have had horrible experiences with Christians? I have. I went through a season in my own life where I dreaded church. I loved Jesus, His Bride was scary, judgmental, rude, and unloving at times.

Advertising for Heaven:

Our love and character is a billboard for Jesus! He stated His disciples would be recognizable by their great love.

What does our billboard say? Does it say, “God loves you. I love you!” Or does it say, “I can’t be trusted, your fears about trusting God are justified.”

The devil does not mind a body of believers who’s character is so questionable it resembles more of his kingdom than God’s. Carnal (flesh driven, selfish, rude, and unloving) Christians are some of the most effective tools to drive people away from God.

Growing Into Maturity with God:

God does not force us to grow up. He does provide His Spirit. He does place us in situations to grow and learn to rely on Him. He does invite us to listen, abide, know Him, and yield to Him.

As we yield to God, good fruit emerges (John 15:4-5). It does not happen by our striving, or extensive self help.

Good fruit and character development are a byproduct of abiding (relationship with God), intimacy (knowing God), yielding to God, and listening to Holy Spirit and following Him.

Romans 8 tells us the following:

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:5-11 (AMP)).

If we are in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come. We are invited to live out our new identity as sons and daughters of God.

As we walk with God we begin to resemble God. We become like the God’s we worship. Our lives begin to manifest the fruit of our deepest intimacy.

We can have Holy Spirit and He does not have us. Yielding is an exceptional way see the character of God manifest in our lives.

Papa God, help us to yield to you and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Help us to abide and cultivate intimacy with you. You love us, may we abide in that love, and manifest that love in the world. Grow us up in you. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

The Parable of the Bride

The Parable of the Bride

The wealthiest king in the Province wanted a Bride. His intention was for someone to love, to cherish, to add significant value to her life. He and His Father were willing to take a commoner, someone not of Royal blood and graft her into their lineage. She would have access to His entire kingdom, her name written on the royal register, her every need would be taken care of, and she would be fully loved forever.

His family was the most prominent family on the earth. She would join the Royal guardians and have her name engraved on His crest.

The Bride once found, was playing in the dirt. She was not noble. She had boyfriends who led her into bondage. She was wounded. She was broken. She was not anyone who would be considered nobility.

The Groom said to her, “I want you. I choose you. I have so many incredible thoughts about you. Will you marry me? Will you forsake all others and join me?” She pondered the offer of the Groom. His eyes were filled with pure love. He did not come to consume as others had done. He came to invest and sow into her life. She fell for His love and said yes to His proposal.

With one yes, the Groom offered her a ring and new Royal garment signifying of her new identity. She was now part of the Royal family. Her name was added to the register of nobles. The Groom even offered to acquire her family and friends if they wanted to be a part of His kingdom.

The Bride was elated. She went from poverty to royalty with one yes. She was cared for, loved, accepted, given Royal authority and assignments (all the nobles had royal assignments including the Groom), her old identity was transformed, she was given a room with the Groom in the royal palace. She even had full access to the courts and the Royal Judge. She could go before the courts pleading the cause of the poor, oppressed, and even her own causes. She had access to the treasury. She was no longer poor.

The Bride at first enjoyed her luxury, yet her love for the Groom grew cold. Though she had everything she needed, she began to sneak out of the royal palace to seek out the old boyfriends. She knew the Groom would never betray His vows so she partied in the dark streets most of the week and visits the Groom for an hour or so on Sundays. Sundays were festival days in the kingdom. She found hobbies and friends that took up all her time and spent less and less time with the Groom. She did make time when she needed something. She would bake the Groom bread or give Him gifts with lists of things she wanted attatched to them. She mostly gave to the Groom with an expectation that He would give even more back to her.

Anytime the Groom asked for her partnership on a palace project, to join on a project of the nobles, or to help Him love the orphans or misfortunate near the kingdom, the Bride said no, “That’s not my duty. Please ask someone else. I am too busy to be a part of your projects.”

The Groom loved the Bride. He paid the highest price to include her in His lineage. He listened to her long lists of desires, He worked to make her life blessed. He was generous, loving, kind, pure, and the most respected and honored Kings of all time. Yet the Bride was more interested in what she could gain, than loving the Groom. She lived part time in the kingdom and part time in the land of the dead.

She and some others even built their own mini kingdom with the Groom’s name on it, yet their focus was primarily what they wanted to do. Sometimes they would give the Groom their agenda and tell Him to get on board with their plans.

They used the Groom’s name to manipulate others in the Province to gather funds to build their own towers, gardens, and villas. They robbed the poor and refused to feed the poor or care for others in the kingdom. They built their own celebrity circle and would perform for the commoners yet not allow the commoners to get close to them. They spent hours trying to build their kingdom, when everything they needed was in the Royal kingdom. The commoners worshipped the mini deities not realizing they were not truly representing the Groom’s heart for the people.

The Groom’s heart was grieved. He and his Father were grieved. They did not have a Bride who loved the King and his Kingdom. They had a Bride who loved herself, the world she came from, and her mini kingdom. The King tore His robe and wept. He loved the Bride. She knew His love was unwavering so she treated Him poorly knowing He would not abandon her. The heart of the Groom kept pursuing good hoping the Bride would reciprocate His incredible love.

The Groom is Jesus. The Bride is His church. Though this parable does not reflect all of the Bride, it is a picture to hopefully bring us into greater understanding of what God is offering and asking of us. He gave His life for love. If we look at the ways we love God, would we want to be loved that way? If we had a spouse who treated us that way, would we enjoy it?

God is after our hearts, all of our hearts. Jesus is not returning for a girlfriend, sleeping beauty, or a Bride with all her other lovers. Even a human spouse or family are not to take priority over God. He is not our genie in a bottle, slot machine, or cuddly Santa. God is the King of the Universe. The invitation has always been, “forsake all others and follow Me.” God wants it all. He desires our full devotion.

Papa God, thank you for offering us your righteousness for our wickedness. Thank you for offering us nobility, royalty, a kingdom, new garments, priestly robes, royal assignments, and most of all the King. Thank you! Help us to receive your love. Help us to return that love. Help us to be a Bride who loves the King more than anything. Forgive us for loving anything and anyone more than you. Forgive us for forsaking our heavenly assignments for our earthly ones. Forgive us for mistreating you. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin L. Lamb