Striving is not Abiding (Abiding & Intimacy with God Part 2)

  
Striving is not abiding. 

I grew up in church. I sat through hundreds of Sunday school lessons. I don’t recall one that taught me how to abide in Christ. They may have taught it; I may not have been paying attention. The main points were: understand what Jesus did for you, repent, receive the gift of salvation through faith and repentance, be baptized, read your bible, go to church, give, use the gifts of the Spirit for others, love God, love people, share the Gospel. 

Doing things for God is supposed to be the fruit of abiding. If we do not learn to receive from God and abide first, doing things for God results in works of the flesh birthed out of striving. 

Abiding is remaining in God. He is the Vine, we are the branches. I’ve never seen a branch produce anything but death when it’s disconnected and cut off from the vine or tree. It’s life source is the vine or tree. It has no life of its own. 

I have vine plants and one that looks like a mini tree. There are times where branches will break off, vines will break off; they wither and die. 

I’ve heard people say, “You need to be in church services. You need to be connected to other believers lest you wither up and die spiritually.” 

I agree we need to fellowship with other believers. Iron sharpens iron. Two are better than one for many reasons; if one falls in a ditch, the other can pull them out. 

I have also encountered some people who do “the stuff” but are not connected to the Source or seek to be fulfilled by the Church instead of by God. 

God is the Source, not people. He will not allow people to fill the void for Him. He alone fulfills the human heart. He completes mankind, not people. We need community; we need God first and most. Anything we place in God’s place will bring disappointment or eventual destruction. 

The Church is not God, people are not God. God is God. Only He can meet our deepest needs. 

Jesus gave us great wisdom on how to live a fruitful life in John 15:1-11 (Amplified version).

Jesus Is the Vine—Followers Are Branches

“I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you]. 

Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. 

If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown out like a (broken off) branch, and withers and dies; and they gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 

If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples.

I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love[and do not doubt My love for you]. If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.

So how do we abide instead of strive? How do we know when we are striving? I will start with question number 2. 

Am I striving?

Striving produces bad stress. “Oh, I have to work hard to bear fruit! I will just try so hard. I can do this! Uggggghhhh…Failure.” 

Let me tell you a little secret, okay it’s not really a secret, we cannot love like God or manifest His character on our own. It’s impossible. Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing!” The definition of nothing is “no thing, nada, zero.” 

When we start trying to make ourselves like Jesus we have slipped into striving. It’s like taking the engine out of your car and trying to start it. “Come on car. You can do this! Oh, if I just had more faith. Maybe I can get out and push the car to it’s destination. I can do this!” It’s futile and funny in an illustration. Or we can say, “God I need You. I can’t do this on my own. I want to rest in what You’ve already done, what You’ve already paid for. I receive what’s done.” God responds, “Awesome! Let’s do this!” 

The engine (God) turns over and off you go. I liken the Holy Spirit to the car’s internal navigation system. Listen to Him; He will get you to where you need to be. 

  • Striving produces bad stress, guilt, shame, condemnation, and burnout. 
  • Abiding produces rest. Abiding flows from a place of rest. Rest is not ceasing all activity, it’s actively relying on God. 

My plants don’t strive to produce leaves or branches. They stay connected to their life source. Our life source is God.
How do we abide instead of strive?

Jesus gave us keys to abiding. 

God reliant:

Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. Meaning He was focused on the Father not Himself. He didn’t walk around saying, “I’m Jesus look at what I can do!” He had a heart attitude of, “What is My Father doing? I will stay in tune with Him.” 

Time alone with the Father: 

Be with God. Jesus regularly retreated from the crowds and the disciples to be alone with the Father. He pursued a heart to heart connection with the Father. He stayed full. His source was intimacy with the Father.

Intimacy with God:

How do we cultivate intimacy with someone? 

There’s first an introduction. The Father draws us to Him and offers an invitation to relationship through His Son, Jesus. 

After the introduction there’s an invitation to be together. We will not know anyone we don’t spend time with and invest time in getting to know. One of my greatest prayers is, “Who are You God? I want to know You for myself.” 

One of my favorite things is mornings with God. He’s my first hour or couple hours of the day. We chat. I start the day with Him. I am not saying this is for everyone. Each relationship with God is unique. I’m a morning person. You may not be. You may connect in different ways. 

Inquiry and listening: 

When we are with someone and getting to know them, we ask questions and we listen. I highly recommend asking God questions and setting your ears to listen. Be expectant. Learning to hear God’s voice isn’t complicated. He said, “My sheep know My voice (John 10:27).” 

I encourage journaling or writing down and dating what you sense of from God. Why? We learn over time. I can go back 10-15 years and look at what I felt God was saying and say, “Oh yes, this happened. Yes we prayed this together. Yes! He did this. Yes that was God’s voice.” It builds documented history with God. Some things He spoke 10 years ago are just now coming to pass. 

How do I know it’s God and not me or the evil one or my imagination? 

Quick guide: 

  1. God doesn’t violate scripture nor sin. He won’t tell you to rob a bank or cheat on your spouse.
  2. God is good, holy, pure. If it’s perverted, hateful, immoral, leads to shame-it’s not God.
  3. God is love. This is not our world’s version of love that says everything is permissible. See 1 Corinthians 13 for God’s view of love.
  4. God edifies, redeems, protects, corrects to restore, encourages, empowers. God is not controlling, manipulative, or a bully. If the voice is condemning, pushy, or controlling, it’s not God. Love allows you to choose. 

Every day adventures with God (the invitation):

We invite others into our lives to cultivate intimacy. Invite God into your family, workplace, shopping, paying bills, traveling… 

God I love You. I give You this day. I invite You into every situation, every conversation, every thing I’m doing today. What would You like to say? What would You like to do today? I’m listening God. I love You!” 

It’s great to be invited, right?! Have you ever had a close friend throw a party and they didn’t invite you? Then their response was, “You should’ve known you were invited!” Or have you ever been invited and then the person pretended you weren’t there, that you were invisible? I have. It doesn’t feel awesome to be ignored, especially when people act as if they don’t know you then show up later asking for something. God has feelings sweet friends. We can quench or grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30). 

I am not saying you have to get into rituals of doing things to include God in everything or feel condemned. I’m stating we grow to know someone by investing time, being with them, and including them in our lives. 

The more we are with God, the easier it is to abide in Him and what He’s already done. 

Father God thank You for the finished work of the cross. Thank You for all Jesus paid for. Thank You for the invitation into the greatest love story ever written. You are wonderful. How excellent You are. Teach us Your ways. Show us how to abide, rest in You. Help us to receive ALL that Jesus paid for on the cross and through His resurrection. Flood our hearts today with Your love, Your wisdom, Your goodness, Your power. We can do nothing apart from You. Help each one of Your children to cease striving for what’s given in Your Son. In Jesus powerful name, amen! 

Sweet friends, you are loved and prayed for often. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

Glory to Glory (Manifesting Sonship Series Part V)

  
Photo credit: Pinterest 

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit,~2 Corinthians 3:18 (Amplified).

God’s glory is the external manifestation of His being. God’s glory is something that appears ( Exod 16:10), is revealed (Isa 40:5), or can be seen (Num 14:22)-source BibleStudyTools.

Holy Spirit is glorious! He is fully God and marks/seals believers as belonging to God (2 Corinthians 1:22). He works within us to reveal Jesus, righteousness, and to take us from glory to glory. 

I’ve heard some preach that since we are saved by faith and God loves us as we are, that means we are to stay as we are when God encountered us. This isn’t what the Bible teaches. It neglects the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.  When God encountered Paul (formerly Saul), he was persecuting and killing Christians. After his radical encounter with God, Paul became one of the most radical preachers of the Gospel. We see a murder and persecutor completely transformed.  

We worship a God who makes all things new. 

We too are called to transformation. It’s not transformation that is the result of striving. It’s a result of beholding Him and abiding (remaining) in Him (John 15:5).  

Our spirit is made new at conversion. Our soul (mind, will, emotions) and character are being transformed/sanctified. 

The Road to Tranformation…

Faith: It starts with believing God. My thoughts about God will determine what I become. If I believe God is harsh or critical, it will manifest in my behavior and response to Him. 

Believing the revelations of God’s word, nature, and character brings transformation. 

Truths I’d love for us to digest and meditate on today: 

  • God is love. It’s who He is, not simply what He does. It’s not based on our merit, behavior, or performance. 
  • God is truth. He cannot lie! Every word He speaks is truth. Every promise in Him is yes and amen. 
  • God is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of Lights who does not change like shifting shadows. 
  • God is holy. There’s no sin in God, and He will never lead you down a path of sin. We were born into sin; He paid the price to free us from sin. 
  • God is perfect in patience. God has infinite patience. He is not like humans who may toss you aside if you fail. Think of the prodigal son story. The Father was looking for the son! He ran out for his wayward son. If everyone else gives up on you, God will take you back. Come running…if you move an inch He will run miles. 
  • God cares for every detail of our lives. What matters to you, matters to Him. He knows every hair on our heads, every tear we have shed. He knows our thoughts, dreams, desires. He cares more than anyone else.  

His Word: I truly believe we are to be people of His Word. He gave it to us as food and a blueprint. We read, study, and seek Him with the Holy Spirit. I ask the Holy Spirit to teach me. 

Worship: Loving God, honoring God, celebrating God, and putting Him first in all things leads to such encounters. He inhabits the praises of His people. It takes the focus off who we are, what’s happening around us, and places the focus on Him. 

Intimacy with God: God invites us into relationship with Him. A deep, pure, growing relationship that’s life giving. It’s more than a Sunday morning activity. It’s a daily love relationship, more intimate than marriage.  

Obedience: Scripture tells us we are a slave to whoever we obey (Romans 6:16). We are either obeying God or the evil one. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father. I’m not suggesting perfectionism or striving. I’m stating there’s blessing in obeying God. If we miss the mark, we go to our Father and say sorry. He’s so eager to forgive. No shame and no condemnation (sentencing). 

What If What We See Isn’t Jesus? 

It’s a process. So the focus is God. If I sit down and look at the character of Jesus and my character, I have so far to go. He’s perfect. I am not. The objective isn’t a self help program or to try to make myself like Jesus. The objective is to remain in Him, let Him love me, and keep my eyes on Him. 

It’s not what we see. It’s what God sees and who He says we are. We are His image bearers in the earth!   
Photo credit Pinterest. 

You are so deeply loved friends! Lifting you up. God bless you. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb

You’re Never Too Broken for God (Spiritual House Series Part V)

  
Beautiful friends, I hope this post deposits hope and seeds of faith in your hearts. God loves you with a deep, pure, and everlasting love. 

God’s love is not based on performance or merit. He loves us as we are; while sinners, while broken, while messed up, while self righteous and prideful, while scornful, while we are rejecting Him or trying to use Him, while immature…God is love. 

You and I are never so broken or too broken for God. As we receive His love, we are transformed from the inside out. We are made whole through relationship with Him. 

One of my favorite passages is from Isaiah 61. I taught on this passage Sunday. Why did Jesus come to earth? It wasn’t simply for our forgiveness of sins and to get us into heaven. God longs to get heaven into us so we are restored, renewed, and full of His glory. He came so we could have life, and life abundantly (John 10:10). 

Here are verses 1-3. 

“THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound, [Rom. 10:15.] To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, [Matt. 11:2-6; Luke 4:18, 19; 7:22.] To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion–to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit–that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-3‬ ‭AMP‬‬

http://bible.com/8/isa.61.1-3.amp

What if your life right now is a mess? What if you hurt every day? What if those around you just want you fixed so they don’t have to deal with your brokenness, depression, grief, heartache, or pain? What if people would rather ignore you than walk with you? What if grief is your bedfellow? Well, dear hearts, I know Someone who is close to the broken hearted. No matter the pain, sorrow, grief, or sin…God moves towards not away from the hurting and sinful. 

I’ve been there. Maybe not in the same exact place, yet I understand suffering and prolonged suffering. I recall being sick in my body, losing my hair, being mocked for losing my hair, told by relatives I wasn’t truly sick or I could do more than I could, and I recall hurting day after day-night after night. Some nights the pain was so bad I’d cry out for numbness, to feel nothing. 

I know what it’s like to hurt beyond the capacity to pray. There was no one there but me and God in some dark moments. I can say with confidence God didn’t turn away. He didn’t remove all pain. He did walk me through the pain that wasn’t immediately healed. 

There was excruciating pain and agony in seasons. God was there. He never left. He never said, “You’re too sick to heal. You’re too broken to deal with right now or ever. You’re a mess! You’re not worth my time.” I have had people in Church and family/”friends” do those things, God never has. 

God stayed right with me in hospital rooms. God kept me from dying. God spoke words of encouragement when others were super discouraging. Even when I couldn’t hear His voice, He didn’t let me die. He was and is a miracle worker.

So my encouragement to you is this…

If you’re hurting today, that doesn’t mean your condition is permanent. I never thought I’d have lasting joy or relief from chronic pain. I spent many years waiting for the next bad thing to happen. Yet God gave me joy for mourning. 

If you’re severely broken or struggling, God isn’t looking down His nose at you in disdain or disgust or trying to run from you. He’s longing to heal and restore. He reaches down low and lifts up the broken. 

No matter what is happening in you or around you, God longs to be an Advocate, Comforter, Lover of your soul, and Healer for you.  You are SO deeply loved (John 3:16). 

Please don’t give up!

Please don’t run from God, run towards Him! 

No one loves you more!

Papa God, I ask for the souls of everyone reading this to prosper and be in good health. I ask for healing of the mind, body, soul…restoration and renewal. I ask for freedom from shame, excessive hurt, comfort for grief, and freedom from all sickness, disease, depression, hopelessness, despair, infirmity, and pain. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

Love to you all…you’re continually in my prayers. Yes indeed. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

Do You Know Who You Are? (Book Excerpt)

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It’s been while since I have posted something from the book (I Thought I Knew What Love Was) and thought today this one is a good follow-up to the last post Chosen. God has so many good things to say about His children. He loves us with an everlasting love. It is a love that cannot be earned or lost. We must refuse His love. We must refuse to believe His love.

This poem was written in 2008. So many challenging things were happening in my life at the time. My quiet times with God often led to me writing down what He was speaking to my spirit. Do You Know Who You Are? was a sweet reminder from Him of my secure identity in Him. Our identity in Him is so important. Once we fully believe who we are in Him and how much we mean to Him-fear, pride, insecurity, and the temptations of this world lose their weight.

I hope this post blesses your soul. Don’t forget who you are! A beloved child of the King of the Universe.


Do You Know Who You Are?

Copyright© 2011 Erin Lamb (all rights reserved-may not be reproduced without permission)
Written May 12, 2008

Do you know who you are?
Do you know who you really, truly are,
without the name of your natural father,
or the labels given to you by man?
For I have given you My name,
and I call you, “Chosen.”
If you knew who you were;
the integrity of the kernels of faith
and spiritual gifts I have placed inside you;
you would no longer bow your head in shame.
You would understand that for all your sins I stood in your place.
Do you know who you are?
You are not defined by your past,
or even your present.
Each day is just setting the stage to tell your story;
where you are,
is not where you are going.
I do not define you by what you have done,
what you are doing,
or what you will do.
I have placed My name on you.
Your body is My temple,
and I long to always reside with you.
When you sleep and rest in the night hours,
I am awake.
I am watching over you,
waiting enthusiastically until you awaken.
I am longing to meet with you
and shower you with My love.
My love is constant, steadfast, and as enduring as the sun.
Do you know who you are?
I have set you apart to be holy;
for I am Holy.
You are clothed in My righteousness.
You cannot earn My redemption.
It is freely given by your faith and obedience.
My love for you is not dependent upon what you do,
or what you fail to do.
What I accomplished on the cross is finished.
The veil was torn
and your access granted to the most sacred of all.
When you confess your sins
and forgive others,
you are forgiven.
Your slate is wiped completely clean.
My blood covers each and every sin,
so you no longer have to feel guilt or shame.
Do you know who you are?
If only you could see,
what I see.
I wish you could view yourself through My eyes,
the eyes of love.
I have embraced you in the darkness of the night,
knowing that I wanted you.
My heart’s desire was, and is, to search for you,
to look for you,
to pursue you;
what I have for you is beyond your wildest imaginings.
I long to give you more of Me.
I know that My love can satisfy even your most profound needs.
I created you,
looked upon you,
and smiled on who I had made.
I am shaping and molding you into the person I created you to be.
I want the world to get a glimpse of My glory.
I long to radiate from you,
for all the world to see
My glorious splendor.
I am the One who created everything.
There is not one who can rank above Me.
I am above all,
in all,
and I have the power to change, create, and breathe life into any dead
thing.
Your right now is simply an infinitesimal step along the journey
which leads you closer to Me.
No matter what label the world chooses to place on you,
the only significant one
is the one I have given,
and I have called you, My child.
I call you My friend,
My co-laborer,
My dearly loved one,
My family,
and most of all, I call you redeemed.
Do you know who you are?
If only you could see what I see,
for you were birthed with a purpose;
a story uniquely written for you.
I have the ability to turn even the fine particles of the earth
into something that is living and breathing.
Won’t you surrender your identity to Me?
Trust that I am the One who will make you complete.
You are not to be compared to any other human being.
I made you to be you,
and I have placed on you My fingerprints.
I placed together your DNA,
and there is no one exactly like you.
You are My masterpiece.
Don’t look to this world to define you;
look to Me.
I am the One who designed you.
I know everything about you.
I know every breath you take,
and your life is not in vain.
Into you I breathed life,
so I might use you
to reflect My image.
You are My image bearer.
Do you know who you are?
Do you understand the authority you have been given, in My name?
You were created to be about My business.
You were created to reach out to the least, the last, and the lost.
You were created to worship the Creator
and not created things.
Your life is not your own;
it was purchased with My blood.
I took your lashes.
I carried your infirmities.
I took the nails for you.
I took your shame.
You no longer stand condemned,
but freely can receive My grace.
Do you know who you are?
Chosen one,
you are set apart to bear the image of the King.
You are My child.
You are the one I love.
You are the one I adore,
and I know you personally.
Each breath you take is sweet music to My ears.
It is the sound of the breath I Myself have placed there.
I know you.
I made you for a reason.
Each gift, placed inside you, is to play an integral part
in reflecting My kingdom,
in reflecting My creativity, and My love.
You are not a mistake,
a mishap,
or a blip on the screen of life.
You are not insignificant;
I knew you before the foundations of the earth.
Before your parents knew you,
I called you by name
and said, “This one belongs to Me.”
I know your name,
and I will always know your name.
I cannot forget you.
I know the measure of your days;
I have them numbered,
and your time is written on My hands.
Your end will be better than the beginning,
if you will trust Me,
even with the things you don’t understand.
I am the God of all creation.
If you cannot answer who you are,
look to Me.
Do you know who I am?
I have created you in My image,
and I delight in all that I have made.
I do not make mistakes.
I love you, now,
and I will love you, always.

All rights reserved. No part of the material may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the written permission of the Publisher, Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), or Author, Erin Lamb. The only exception is in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

You can purchase right here on the site there’s a link entitled Get Your Copy or you may purchase through these wonderful sites: http://www.westbowpress.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com. and http://www.amazon.com or iTunes store.

What Children Have Taught Me About The Father

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If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! ~Matthew 7:11.

I am not a mother. I am an older sister. I have spent years volunteering off and on in children’s ministry. I adore children. I love their candor. I love their sense of adventure and creativity. No one has told them to stop dreaming yet. They are for the most part carefree, full of energy and life! In interacting with children here are some things they have taught me about our heavenly Father.

1. The Father is patient. We know from scripture that God is perfect in patience. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, ~Psalm 103:8. Children make messes. They are curious. They can be selfish and self-centered. When I see a child acting as child I don’t scream at them, “Get it together, you are so awful and selfish.” There’s a part of you that knows the level of understanding a child has is far different from an adult. The goal in dealing with a child is teach them. God knows what we know and what we don’t know. He knows whether we are acting out of pure rebellion or ignorance. God is patient and wants to teach us. He knows we do not understand everything. He longs to lead us to maturity. He parents out of love. The goal is to help us not hurt us.

2. The Father delights in us. I love to watch kids be who they are. If they paint, it’s fun to paint with them. If they like a movie, it’s fun to sit down and watch one with them. If they have a school event or sport, you go to cheer for them. Their interests and success brings you great joy. You are their biggest cheerleader. How can we who fail to love perfectly, expect anything less from a perfect Father? God is excited when you win that game, achieve that goal. He is cheering from the heaven’s “That’s my kid!” He delights in us.

3. The Father loves quality time. I babysit sometimes for friends and it’s such a joy to spend time with kids. God loves to spend time with us!

4. The Father forgives. Children do things that are unwise. A loving parent says, “I love you because you are mine.” When we confess our sins to God, He is faithful to forgive our sins. He does not keep bringing up our forgiven sins. He says, “It’s over, get back out there and play.” We don’t abuse His forgiving nature by continuing to do what’s wrong because of His kindness. We seek to align our lives with His will for He is perfect, holy, and just.

5. The Father hates what destroys us. Sin is not only a big deal because God is holy. Sin is a big deal because sin destroys who and what God loves. Sin destroys us, it destroys relationships, it destroys families. Sin causes sickness, death, destruction, wars, affairs, and wages war like cancer in our souls. God hates sin; sin is aimed at killing us. The wages of sin is death (eternal separation from God); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,~Romans 6:23.

My opinion: God doesn’t want to be in heaven without you so He sent His Son to redeem you. It cost Him greatly to pay for our sins. If I saw a child eating poison, I would run and do all that I could to stop them. God isn’t trying to ruin our fun. God is trying to save us from death. He also cares when things hurt us or we are suffering from living in a sinful world. He sent His Spirit to comfort, heal, and restore. You hurt, God hurts. He collects your tears.

6. The Father disciplines His own. Children need correction and direction. We don’t abuse them, hurt them, or mistreat them. We do point them in the direction they need to go; we lead them. God knows what works for every child. His parenting is tailored for every person. He does and will correct us if we are headed in the wrong direction, this normally starts with conviction (a nudging in the spirit that something is not right). He gives us the opportunity to repent. If we don’t listen, He continues to nudge us. God is perfect in knowing what to do. If we refuse His correction, He can and does let us jump head first off the cliff. If we turn around, He receives us with open arms (ex. Prodigal Son) and seeks to restore us. He does not seek to control or manipulate us. He seeks to lead and guide us.

Final Notes:

The Father loves you more than any parent could love a child. More than any person could or ever will love you. He wants to be with you more than you could ever want to be with Him. He cares about every single detail of your life. You were worth dying for. You are an extension of His heart. You were God’s idea. You are wanted, cherished, and cared for. I pray you bask in the Father’s love.

God will always love you!

God will always love you!

When Heaven Comes Down (from the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was)

Lovely friends, here is an excerpt from I Thought I Knew What Love Was. I hope it blesses your heart. You are deeply loved.

Image from are-you-going.com

Image from are-you-going.com

When Heaven Comes Down

Written by Erin Lamb Copyright © 2011, all rights reserved.

When heaven comes down,

there is light that pierces through every level of darkness;

a ray of pulsating light

breaks off all the chains of the captive.

His presence,

a full cloud of glory,

saturates the ground,

leaving pools of His splendor that are heavenly and holy.

One touch from Him,

and the heart and the soul are transformed;

no longer does it remain vacant,

cold,

or broken.

When heaven comes down,

every knee must bow,

for He is majestic;

no one can stand upright in His presence.

The body shakes and

the earth quakes,

for He is a rolling thunder.

His voice drowns out

the noise,

the chatter,

and He silences all of man’s agenda.

He stands in full authority,

speaking to the wind;

He commands it to obey.

He brings with Him

justice and mercy,

setting wrong things right.

He is establishing a Kingdom that diminishes all darkness with

immense light.

When heaven comes down,

there is a healing rain;

it heals the heart,

heals the soul,

and builds up the spirit.

There is a downpour of love

that reaches down, even to the human cellular level.

It moves through and

navigates through,

every cell,

every tissue,

and every vein.

It brings life-giving oxygen

to a depleted heart.

He brings His love, His comfort, and His saving power to those who

are lost.

When heaven comes down,

we begin to understand

He has a great purpose.

He has always had a great plan.

Darkness trembles

and bows its head,

for in the presence of His light

even darkness must acknowledge He is good, and He is divine.

When heaven comes down,

the soul begins to weep;

it knows it has encountered the King above all Kings.

The heart may race

and pulse increase,

for He is so incredible;

our eyes can barely see.

We can barely take Him in.

We are captivated,

elated,

and motivated

to seek more and more of Him.

His goodness

is so alluring;

we want nothing more.

When heaven comes down,

we see ourselves as we were meant to be;

loved,

esteemed,

highly thought of,

and part of a divine family.

He washes away our insecurities.

He clothes us in His acceptance;

He declares, “I made you for Me.”

When heaven comes down,

our lives will change,

our world will change,

and our perspectives will change.

There in His presence,

wisdom is imparted into the mind of man;

not human wisdom,

but Godly wisdom.

His ways are drastically different from ours.

His thoughts are not the same as our thoughts.

An encounter with Him

brings our high thoughts low.

We are humbled by His presence;

overwhelmed by His grace.

How could someone so holy

want to stand with us, face to face?

When heaven comes down,

the conflict between the already, and the not yet, ceases to be,

for He stands loaded with His promises;

He holds all the elements of time and space in His hands.

He proves to be the miraculous working God,

time and time again.

Copyright © 2011 Erin Lamb. Excerpt from,  “I Thought I Knew What Love Was.”

All rights reserved. No part of the material may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the written permission of the Publisher, Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), or Author, Erin Lamb. The only exception is in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Book available: http://www.westbowpress.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com and http://www.amazon.com