Which Jesus Are You Following?

I love Jesus. I hope to follow Him all the days of my life, even if it cost me my life.

Following Jesus has cost me “friendships” and invited persecution. Most of the persecution coming from people who claim to know Him. They have called me names (heretic, demonized, weird, another colorful b-word), slandered my name, a few threatened violence, I was struck once by a woman who called me a liar and I was not lying (she claimed to be a Spirit-filled Christian. I refused to hit her back out of love and she was far older than me/over twice my age), cursed my ministry, cursed me, cussed me out, boycotted things I was doing for Jesus, cursed me from pulpits, mocked me, tried to shame me, publically set me up to be humiliated, talked badly about me, stopped talking to me if I disagreed with their understanding of scripture, tried to turn entire groups against me, posted hateful or disrespectful comments on my blogs or social media, tried to debate me for hours and talked down to me like I was stupid, written me nasty notes, called me a bad Christian and untrustworthy, called my ministry for God illegitimate, etc…all in the name of Jesus.

I don’t know the Jesus who acts like that. Jesus said you will know my true disciples by their agape (sacrificial, unselfish) love. Jesus also stated you would know a tree by its fruit. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlenesses, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law (Gal 5:22-23). Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to its neighbor (Romans 13:10).

Why share these things, and I promise I am not complaining? Because if our picture of Jesus is violent, hateful, nasty, rude, unkind, mean spirited, argumentative, proud, hostile, etc…it’s not Jesus of Nazareth. The spirits behind the behaviors in paragraph one are demons. Mockery is a demon. An accusatory spirit is a demon. Pride is a demon. These are the chief characteristics of Satan. It’s easy to build an image of God that is not God at all. Cursing people is the language of demons. Slander and gossip, are demons.

God invites us to know Him, who He really is. Even in my highest levels of ignorance or rebellion God never responded to me in a hateful way. Never. The conviction of God never pushed my face in the dirt and stepped on my neck. The Pharisees partnered with the devil and wanted to stone people for not following their understanding of the law. Jesus did not.

If you feel compelled to violence or mean-spiritedness against people, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel compelled to send nasty notes, leave rude and hateful comments, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel led to mock people and curse their ministry, that is not the Holy Spirit. A genuine Spirit of God will go gently and speak privately with someone in great love. The Bible tells us to go first privately and to make sure we don’t have a plank in our eye. See Galatians 6:1, Matthew 7:4-5, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Matthew 18:15-17. If you behave in these ways, I encourage repentance.

I truly believe once we (collectively who claim Jesus) get the love thing right, everything else will fall into place. I am not bitter over the behavior of other people. I forgive them, pray, and move forward. I am deeply saddened by the misrepresentation of Jesus. Why? The world is watching those who claim Jesus to find out who God is. If our actions do not align with the heart of God, why on earth would anyone want to know Jesus? The devil never tells people how their actions will impact others. He pushes humanity to pride.

My prayer is we choose the way of Jesus. I am still being refined and having my heart tended by God. I am still learning from Jesus. I am still yielding myself to God. My hopes are no one will be able to say I brutalized them in the name of Jesus or made a mockery of who He is. Why? I love Jesus. How I behave is a reflection of our intimacy.

My greatest prayer this morning is for those who claim Jesus to truly know Him. Jesus said if we abide in Him, we will bear good fruit (John 15:4-5).

I do not desire to worship a Jesus made in mankind’s image. I want Jesus of Nazareth, the humble king who washed feet and chose nails even for His enemies. My urgent plea is seek to know the real Jesus. The Holy Spirit promises to be our teacher and guide. If we ask God, He will reveal Himself to us.

Before I went to sleep last night I deleted a nasty comment off my author page. I wrote about women in ministry which created a firestorm. The defenders of their version of the law came out with Bibles raised to beat me with their level of understanding. What they do not realize is I spent years studying the Bible. I read through it almost every year, and I am not ignorant. I have been pursuing knowing Jesus for most of my life. I do not speak about things I do not study with God. I bless them, forgive them, delete their hatefulness, pray for them, and move along.

If you have been beaten up by professing Christians, I am sorry. Jesus is sorry. God is not mean nor cruel. God loves you! God is patient and kind. God is good and merciful. God is not hateful. God is love. I wrote my third book Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse this year because we have way too many Christians in bad shape because of the treatment and abuse of other Christians. If you are hurting, grab it. It has 5 star reviews and has helped numerous people step out of pain and into healing. You can grab off Amazon.com or Empowered-Free.com/shop.

I hope something written here blesses you! Praying for you, me, the global church. Let’s choose love!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Photo Source: Pinterest

The Chef & The Feast (Parable)

The Chef & the Feast (Parable)

There was a local Chef who loved to prepare feasts for those in the town. Daily the Chef would rise and spend hours in preparation for the feast. There was great joy in the Chef’s eyes to share. Years had been spent learning to prepare food. Years where others were able to simply laugh and play, there was due dilligence to study and learn to prepare feasts for others.

The daily feasts were quite the spread. Each detail was thoughtful, with the guest in mind.

Some would come to the feast and enjoy! They were honored to sit with the Chef and enjoy the food and company. They would even place their dishes in the sink when done.

Some would eat and complain, “I don’t like roasted chicken and beef. Why didn’t you prepare what I like?” The Chef would endure their consistent complaining day after day because they were concerned primarily for themselves and not others. They did not recognize they were not paying for the feast. Their selfishness and complaining blocked them from enjoying what was prepared for them.

Some threw their food in the trash or their plate on the floor, because they did not like the Chef. They could not receive because of who was serving. They felt they would be better at cheffing or the Chef needed to be a certain way. They too missed out on enjoying a daily feast and dishonored the Chef.

Some refused to show up to the daily feasts. They were so busy. They could never make time to just rest and enjoy.

Some would come and try to cook for the Chef and they were never asked to cook. They misunderstood their role at the feast.

Some would push their way to the front of the table, “Me first,” they would shout. They did not care who was there, they had to be the first to eat. This disheartened the chef because the intent was a table of family, not a hierarchy of importance.

Sometimes the heart of the Chef would leap with joy because the people were kind and sharing with one another. The Chef loved when they enjoyed the feast. Sometimes the Chef would slip away to the kitchen and cry. The guests would fight over their opinions and beliefs. They would fight to be the first people getting a plate. They would smash plates on the floor, and complain.

There were days were the Chef spent hours cleaning up the messes made. Yet every day, the Chef would rise and prepare a feast. The Chef was never paid for the feast nor the prep time. It was a sacrifice and labor of love.

One day the Chef decided to move to another town and try again. Maybe in another place and with other faces there would be a different experience. The Chef soon realized no matter the town, the people were similar. The faces were different, yet the experiences were similar.

The Chef’s heart sank. Why bother preparing a feast? The Chef closed up the shop and moved into an isolated mountain top. The view was glorious. The Chef still had a passion to create feasts. Therefore, the Chef would rise early in the morning and prepare a mini feast. Dining in solo the Chef would give thanks. Thanks for provision. Thanks for health. Thanks for peace on top of the mountain.

One day there was a knock at the door. An unfamiliar gentleman stood at the door. He said, “I heard you were a Chef and I wondered if a hungry traveler could dine with you. I have traveled a long way and I am famished.” The Chef look puzzled at how the traveler could have found the mountain top home. It was so secluded. He obliged the traveler and let him inside.

The Chef prepared the meal of a lifetime. Oh what a feast. The traveler was in awe of the level of detail and thoughtfulness placed on each dish. The traveler smiled with delight and enjoyed every moment. The traveler asked questions of the Chef and listened. The Chef was amazed because no one had cared about the things on the Chef’s heart before. People came, ate, pleased themselves or complained and dishonored the Chef. The traveler asked, “What can I do for you? You have prepared such a glorious meal for me.” The Chef was startled and taken aback. “I don’t know. No one has ever asked what I desired. I am uncertain of what I want.” The traveler smiled and replied, “If you could have anything, what would it be?”

The Chef pondered for what seemed like an eternity. He finally came up with an idea. “I would love my own garden, to grow my own food and prepare meals from the garden! Yes, a garden. Yet I am on a mountain top and things will not grow here. I travel down the mountain to purchase what I need. I would love to have more travelers like you who understand the feast. The feast is not about the food. It is about fellowship, family, and intimacy. You see, sharing a meal is a time to get to know each other. Yes, those are my dreams.”

The traveler listened intently. “I believe I can help you! I am on my way to another town, yet I will return for you.”

The Chef was excited and they parted ways with a grin. The Chef thought, “Could someone be thinking of me? Oh, will I have my own garden and kind travelers to feast with me?!”

Days turned into weeks, that turned into months. The Chef’s heart sank into disappointment. “The traveler has forgotten me! Yet at least I had a dream.” The Chef continued making feasts for one, watching the sun rise and set in isolation. Though the Chef missed the bustle of the daily feasts in the villiage, the Chef did not miss the behavior of the patrons.

One day, out of the blue, when the dream of a garden had long died there was a knock at the door. The Chef arose thinking, “Who could this be?” The face on the other side was the warm faced traveler. He was smiling from ear to ear. “I told you I would return for you! Can you come with me?” The Chef rubbed the amazement from each eye and packed a bag to go.

The traveler was beyond excited to go on this journey with the Chef. They traveled far from the mountain home to a place where the royals lived. The Chef was flabbergasted at the sights and smells. Aroma of baked bread filled the town square. People were smiling and waving at the traveler. They were bowing and displaying such honor. This perplexed the Chef. Who was this traveler? He (the traveler) looked so ordinary and plain.

The traveler journeyed into the Land where the King lived. The Chef had never seen the King. He only heard stories of the wealthiest King in the world. His heart pounded.

They arrived upon a mansion. The traveler said, “Let’s explore!” The Chef stepped onto the land which was lush and beautiful. The traveler took him on a tour of the mansion and then he said, “I must show you the garden!” He pushed open the double doors and guided the Chef into a garden as far as the eye could see. “This Chef is your garden! Welcome home. I have tasted your food for years and I thank you for every feast. Thank you for all you prepared for me. I am so grateful for you and every feast you prepared for villager after villager. Thank you for feeding the widows and orphans of your town. They had nothing to repay you. I can repay you. Thank you for cleaning up the messes people made, and enduring their complaining and harsh criticisms with grace. Thank you for continuing to make a feast when your heart was breaking. Thank you! This is your garden. This is your mansion. This is your home. I have assigned gardeners to you and other chefs to help you. You will have family and fellowship here. No one will throw your food in the trash or break your plates on the floor. They will come with open hearts to recieve and honor who you are.”

The Chef stood amazed. “How can you say such a thing? How have you tasted my food many times? We just met.”

“Oh I know you Chef. I came every day in a different disguise to meet with you. I would sit at the last place, the last one to be served. I would take my plate to the kitchen and say thank you! I have eaten with you at every daily feast. Even the ones where you were so busy serving you did not recognize me.”

The Chef realized there was always at least one guest who stayed to put their plate away and say thank you. The Chef cried deeply and stood amazed. “How can you offer so much to me? Aren’t you simply a traveler?”

“I am the King! Welcome to my Kingdom. I own everything you see. And you are invited to be my friend, part of my family, and if you are willing-my Chef! We will have feasts and daily bread. I am a rewarder of those who seek to love. Thank you for loving me. I appeared as lowly, sometimes dirty. You treated me like royalty. When I appeared at your mountain top home, you invited me in and treated me like royalty. It’s my turn to repay the favor.”

The Chef remained in the land of King, enjoying daily feasts with people who smiled, laughed, and honored the feast. There was so much joy in the heart of the Chef. The daily feasts took on a new meaning. The King was always there and the King’s opinion of the feast mattered most. Despite how the Chef was treated by villagers in the past, the Chef was storing up treasures for the true cheffing assignment. The Chef was always cooking and preparing a feast for the King.

Moral of the Story: It’s all for the King (Jesus). He shows up daily and our actions are not for people primarily, they serve a great King. He rewards us for our love, sacrifices, and service. Some may trample your efforts under foot, complain, under value, dishonor, or treat with disdain. It does not matter too much. What matters is the King saying, “Well done! Well done! Enter into my Kingdom.”

Photos: Feast (Pinterest)

Lovingly,

Erin Lamb

Grief is Like a Ninja

Grief is Like a Ninja!

I realized Thursday night that I had not grieved the death of a friend this year, nor my aunt who died, nor anyone who died really the past 12 months. It may sound strange, yet with so many challenging things going on at once, you learn to press forward and not process everything.

I sat in an empty office with tears filling my eyes. As I wicked them away, I thought, “Why now?!” Grief has a way of showing up at unexpected times.

I had this thought while sitting there, grief is like a ninja. It shows up at these unexpectant moments. The tears flow, the truth of the situation sinks in and you face grief. It’s standing right in front of you declaring, “I will not be ignored.” Your attempts to bury grief, focus on other things, just keep going, is stalled by moments where reality sets in, “I will not see you again until eternity. Oh how I miss those moments with you!”

We do not wallow in grief, we unpack it. We process it. We come to terms with loss, betrayals, and so much this side of eternity. There is an understanding that God walks with us through the seasons. Through it all, God is with us. We are never forsaken. God does not scream at us to “Get it together, suck it up!” There is no harshness in God. God comes alongside us and whispers, “I love you; I bring comfort.”

The love of God is so deep! Vast beyond measure. Jesus comes along to unpack the pain, mend the ouchies, and deposit even greater love.

If the ninja has snuck up on you, it’s okay to process the loss. It’s okay to be fully human. It’s okay to be still and let the tears flow. It’s okay to process and heal. It’s okay to gracefully walk with Jesus and take it one day at a time. The ninja eventually visits less often. You may even find yourself dancing through a memory of a loved one, instead of tears. In the meantime, be gracious to yourself.

You are forever loved!

Love,

Erin Lamb

You Will Make It!

I am studying for an important exam, yet this morning I was inspired to write this post reflecting on the past 16 months. I won’t go into great detail over what has transpired. I will say there has been great loss, a few betrayals, multiple deaths in my family, partial blindness for me (healed now), health issues with people I love, being stalked (I had to report someone to the police last spring), sabotage of some of my efforts, gross disappointments, and so much more. There have also been incredible triumphs and joys. I believe we can learn from anything!

Here is my post from the morning and I hope it blesses you.

There is a promise attached to the pain; we must seek God for a revelation of the promise(s) (Lessons Learned the Past 16 Months). ❤️👩🏽‍💻💯

I don’t share all my business online because I recognize levels of intimacy. My closest friends know my business. Everyone else is on a need to know basis. It’s just how I roll. I share my heart fully with people who know how to steward it well. Those who know my full journey and challenges the past 16 months may get more out of this. Everyone else, I hope you find a sliver of hope. No matter your season, the valley or the mountain top, there is a God who loves you and though He does not prevent every challenge, He will walk you through them.

Some sweet things learned the past 16 months…

Even in hard seasons you can find beauty if you LOOK for it! I started journaling each day and counting blessings. I list good things that happen and express gratitude to God. I look for at least one person daily to bless. Why? Introspection will rob you of opportunities to be a blessing and enjoy God.

Even in my hardest moments, I can still love and serve others without expecting them to take care of me. I have a choice, as do you, to be a victim or a victor! It does not mean breaking your back nor forgoing rest, it does mean choosing love. Waking up each day to choose love provides focus and greater dependency on God…God who needs your love today?

The extreme power of grace; God’s supernatural ability to do what we could not do before. Wowed by grace. It is a frequent prayer to say, “God give me grace for today. Today God I receive grace.”

When I think I cannot take another step because I am exhausted physically or emotionally, how God’s super invades my natural. God will infuse you with His strength. You learn a level of God’s POWER in weakness that cannot be learned in any other season.

Who loves me for me, and who was connected for their own personal gain or to benefit from ministry. It is unfortunate, yet trials not only reveal who you truly are on the inside, they reveal who is truly for you! Bypass offense and understand you must not expect a consumer to act like a true friend. A consumer comes to take. A friend comes to give. I don’t expect a cat to be a dog. A cat will behave like a cat.

The great lengths some people will go through to help you or encourage you in their own storm has been revealed. I wrote out a thank letter this week. I was weeping as I typed out thank you to all the people willing to be obedient to God and help in some way. Don’t focus your energy on who is not for you. Focus that energy on who is for you! Mostly God is for you!!! He will put you on the heart of perfect strangers to be a blessing.

How deep the Father’s love is, vast beyond measure. I won’t even start typing out the revelations of God’s love, provision, care, comfort, goodness, beauty, and hope because I will be here all day. It just gets richer in revelation. Oh my, is God better than what humans represent or speak about Him.

I learned not to expect people who have not walked it out to understand. There is a complete and utter disconnect. #BlankStare. You release the expectation for compassion from people and talk to God. I used to be bothered by unkind people. I recognize I too can be insensitive if I lack understanding. You forgive easier and move on. You learn who to talk to and get really raw with and who to tell, “God is good,” and keep on moving.

How deep the roots and love go in my Ignite Reborn community!! They have loved me well and I thank God they are not looking for a super hero in a leader. I am only human; I am there to serve, not be a Savior. There is power in safe, loving, and mutually giving community. If you find a safe, loving tribe-cherish them, invest in them, give thanks for them, show up and do your part.

Learn to completely ignore the haters online and in real life. Unhappy people try to make others miserable. You become quicker to block, ignore, say, “Take that garbage somewhere else. I love you, but I am not your trash can.” You start to monitor your energy. It’s not proper English but, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I stopped trying to figure it out or explain myself.

I stopped answering the phone for energy vampires. Some days I only had strength to do one or two things (being honest), I refused to waste it on selfish people. Please go to voicemail. Protect your energy and schedule. Some people are simply distractions. Lovingly set boundaries. They want their problem to be your highest priority when you have a pile of your own.

You listen to the voice of Jesus on an even deeper level because He is close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. He whispers and you lean in closer and closer….your friendship with God goes to a whole notha level! If you are being challenged in your health, your finances, your family…Jesus is right there. Lean in. Lean on Him. Ask Jesus for heaven’s vantage point. “God show me your truth and give me wisdom in this season.”

Understanding with every problem, every pain-there is a promise. A promise of God’s steadfast love. A promise of God’s healing. A promise of God’s protection. A promise of God’s presence-“Never will I leave you or forsake you!” A promise of beauty for ashes and joy for mourning! A promise of glory. A promise of His unwavering friendship.

Grief is temporary. Yes, it comes in waves. Some days like tidal waves, yet there are days of calm, great joy, and peace. Walk through the process of grieving without bypassing the hard parts. Don’t let religious acting Christians try to convince you that you should not grieve nor how to grieve. If they have not walked through what you have walked through they can keep their scripture one liners. Find healthy people to walk with you who possess wisdom in their speech.

Give yourself grace to be human. I love laughing with God and being positive. I also recognize my humanity and when I went through months of unexplained blindness I had human moments. It was not a fun time. Grace! Trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman is crazy. Yes, lean into God and seek His strength. Also understand you are human.

Oh the depths of desperation…I gained a greater understanding of how desperate people feel. The compassion in my heart has gone from maybe level 7 to off the charts. Pain changes the way we see things. I hope I don’t forget the trials that broke my heart and some that sought to crush my spirit. I pray my heart remains soft towards God and humanity.

God will deal with your enemies! He is longsuffering and gives each person time to repent. When God has had enough, He moves in with His right arm outstretched to execute judgement on your enemies. People play with fire thinking they will not be burned. Yet God has shown me on an even greater level the past 16 months that anyone who raises a weapon, tries to work evil, or places their tongue in a malicious way on His children will have consequences. God is merciful and kind. God is also a fierce warrior who will and does cast down Jezebel from her throne. God defends and avenges His own. He prepares a table before you in the PRESENCE of your enemies. Even when the devil thinks he’s winning, he loses in the end.

Don’t let people pressure you into more than you can do. I cannot tell you how many people try to pressure me into meeting their ministry or personal need. “Count it all joy! Trust the Lord!! God is just testing you. See how much more like Jesus you are becoming…yada yada yada..” Attached to that is normally some expectation I can do something for them. Well, no. I have grace to complete God’s assignments for me, not everyone else’s. I cannot tell you how many people have approached me with “God said to contact you or your were the one to do this.” If God did speak directly to me, I am not doing anything. Nope. Nada.

Lastly, your latter shall be GREATER than your former. If you sink into God, there is no limit to what can happen. It can be painful in the process, yet you must not give up on His beautiful vision. You may need to reject the visions of others, or their dreams for your life…yet keep pressing into His! God is good, and God LOVES you. Keep being a seeker of God because He is seeking you. He is seeking you in the good times and challenging seasons.

Signed…someone linked to Jesus to hopefully always overcome! Back to studying for exams I go. Have a great weekend.

God loves you! You can make it! With God you will make it. That’s what my dad says to me often. I love my earthly dad and heavenly Father. Be blessed! Praying for you to make it!! For real praying. You are loved!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

God is Not the Problem. God=Love. People Misrepresenting God is the Problem.

Some people are angry with God or Christianity. They have their horror stories that normally fall back on 1. Someone who claimed to know God treated them horribly or 2. God did not perform the way they wanted or agree with their line of thinking.

They did not get their way or the miracle they wanted, so obviously God is bad. I cannot explain why God does not prevent every disappointment or hurt. I do know God gave humanity the ability to choose and some people choose unwisely.

I talk about God’s heart towards humanity in all my books. I hope they help people see God is not the monster hiding in the dark with lightening bolts to strike them.

God is not the problem, sin is and misunderstanding the Bible or the character of God. We must understand that the God of Christianity is love. The greatest commandment Jesus gave His followers was, “Love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Love fulfills God’s law because it seeks to do no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

God love is not like human love that is based on feelings or agreement. There are people who believe that love is giving them everything they desire even if it us harmful. There are people who believe that love means absolute agreement. It does not. God is holy, without sin. Therefore, God can love us deeply and not agree with our poor choices that fall outside His boundaries. Disagreement is not hatred. God hates sin because sin destroys people. God loves people.

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son (1 John 3:16). God loves the entire world, even those who do not love in return. It does not mean that God agrees with everything humanity does. Nor does it mean God accepts everything. God cannot agree with or accept sin because it is opposite of His nature. As stated before, God is holy (without any sin).

What about all these nasty Christians online or in your life. If God is love, why are you encountering hateful or bigoted/racist/sexist/prejudice/angry/hostile/mean/hurtful/abusive/selfish/unkind professing Christians? People can claim God all day long yet the Bible state plainly a tree can be known by it’s fruit. Jesus stated those who knew Him would love as He loves. The Bible also states that those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8).

This agape love is a byproduct of intimacy (knowing) with God. We imitate the God we know. There are people who are immature (immaturity is marked by selfishness), carnal (also marked by selfishness), or who struggle greatly with insecurity (insecure people can cause great damage because they need someone to be inferior to feel superior). Unfortunately there are some “Christians” who suffer from self righteousness or a holier than though complex.

The true Church, God, nor Jesus hurt you. A sinful person claiming to know God hurt you. One of the steps to healing is understanding people are NOT God and many falsely represent God and some grossly misunderstand or misinterpret the Bible. Some are immature or insecure Christians. Some are carnal. Some simply slipped out of abiding in the love of God.

God is good. God is holy. God loves people. If our view of the Bible does not align with the character of God then most likely we are wrong in our interpretation of the Bible or our definition of love/goodness. Some view love as agreeing on everything, no consequences for their actions, and approval-that is not the same as love. God love is unselfish, holy, pure, involves accountability, and is full of truth.

I repeat God is love-sacrificial, unselfish love. God is not petty, mean, selfish, flakey, rude, racist, prejudice, sexist, bigoted, harmful, nor awful. God is not the problem. People claiming to know God without full surrender to God are the issue. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. He lived a surrendered life!

I pray we heal from awful acting Christians. Forgive them. Release them to God. People can only give away the love they possess. Pray God gives them a good dunking in His love. If your heart is still hurting or wounded, I want you to get your soul healed! It is possible to heal from being grossly mistreated or abused by Christians or clergy.

I hope you surrender all the pain to God and get to know Him for yourself. God loves you deeply and profoundly.

Join the Get Your Soul Healed Tribe:

If you wish for help to process through the pain, you can join my 8 week study and freedom group. It’s no cost to join. You simply need to grab a copy of the new book and the study guide. The study guide is only $6.99. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book and Study Guide. Once you grab the study guide, I will add you to the closed and private group. Sessions start August 1! At 7pm EST this Thursday night I will kick off the study! I hope to see you there. Soul healing activations are a part of the group.

If you do not join the group, I hope to see you at one of the upcoming book signings in Ohio! Come say hello and enter to win some great prizes!!

You are so deeply loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

People Are Not Against You; They Are Primarily For Themselves

Happy Look Out For Someone Besides Ourselves Wednesday!

The Bible tells us to love one another and part of love is demonstrating the heart of the Father to others. I recognized years ago in my own walk in ministry that I grew to believe God loved the people I was ministering to more than me. It is untrue. Yet the lie grew from experiences with Christians. I was expected to give, to love, to pour out, to lay my life down, to be available in every crisis, to forgive, to show up even when I was overwhelmed or in my own crisis, to put myself last, to endure gross mistreatment with a smile, to be perfect, and they were not expected to do much.

I was expected to be Jesus. They on the other hand were not. I was to offer grace and mercy and give others unlimited access to my time and life.

The reciprocation of God love was low and sometimes non existent. I was expected to get love from God and show up again to pour out. I recognized I had to set limits with people. Say no to extra ministry tasks.

I found reciprocal relationships in the marketplace and through hobbies/outside the church activities. I thank God today there are a few reciprocal relationships with believers.

It is not true God desires one sided relationships for us. It is NOT true that God desires for us to love Him, then others, and ourselves last. Every time I see those bumper stickers, I want to rip them off. The Bible states we love because He first loves us. Then we are called to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Step 1. God loves us. Step 2. We RECEIVE God’s love for ourselves (we cannot give what we do not receive). Step 3. We give back to God and others the love we have first received from God.

Unselfish love-loving others without strings attatched and desire for selfish gain comes ONLY from God. It is agape love-the highest form of love. It’s the love Jesus invites us into so we represent His heart to the world. It is the love that marks His followers.

Pain and disillusionment can come when we expect agape from Christians who are incapable of returning agape. We can only give what we first possess. May we abide in agape (Jesus) so we demonstrate agape (Jesus) to others.

Love is not selfish.

I noticed people would and will ask things of me that they absolutely would be unwilling to do in return. I have heard more than one person tell me I was supposed to help their ministry or business, but God was not calling them to help me. Not that I asked them for help. I tend to ask God and ask Him who to ask for help. It saves me time.

At the root of all sin is selfishness and hyper concern for self. Self is the idol to be worshipped instead of God. What about me? Is the theme song.

I realized I would push myself almost to the point of breaking to keep my word, to be there for people who would not even pull their own weight or bother to show up. It taught me something. It taught me boundaries. It taught me to expect Jesus to be Jesus, and people to be people.

Expecting people to be like Jesus leads to disillusionment. I am still a work in progress, so is everyone else. Expectations can lead to unnecessary discomfort.

We, humans, can also have flawed visions of ourselves. I have met those who believe they are representing the heart of God, yet their primary focus is self: making sure their voice is heard, their ministry is supported, their needs are met, their political agenda pushed forward.

We imitate the God we know and at times treat people similar to the way we treat God. If God is only pursued to meet a needs list, then people treat other people like slaves too. Abiding in God love, which is not selfish, is the only way we manifest unselfish love.

When we can connect with people and love them NOT for what we can gain from them, that is real love God. Love fulfills the law because love does NO purposeful harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

We can only give away what we receive first from God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their unselfish, sacrificial love (John 13:34-35). May we abide in His love, and love others not for our gain but for their blessing!

Look for someone to love today!!

God love wins!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

P.S If you like this devotion, don’t forget to check out our 4th of July sale which is 40% off through July 5th. The Confident & Free 30 day devotional is on sale. The new book study guide is on sale (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book). We want you to save. Go to https://www.empowered-free.com/shop and use the code July4.

It’s Time to Live Victorious! (New Book Coming Soon)

We are almost across the finish line! I am finishing up the supplemental study guide for the Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse book today.

This book was birthed out of conversations with clients from deep inner healing sessions and a friend who said, “We need a book to address abuse in the church.” It was not in my queue of books to write. I was working on a manuscript called Killing Insecurity. It’s still a work in progress. 🙂

In the past few years we have heard and seen the stories of #metoo and #churchtoo. Unfortunately, communities of faith are not immune from abuse, gross misconduct, or ungodly behavior. Every person can still choose sin. Abuse is sin. It is unfortunate when abuse happens in places that were intended to be safe, like family, and a place of healing.

I noticed abuse can slip under the rug because of wrong teachings about forgiveness, wrong teachings about submission and headship, and wrong beliefs about God. For many, it is far more detrimental to be abused by clergy. Then they are told to simply forgive and magically it will be like nothing happened. This is false. There are ways to restore/help both the abused and the the abuser.

Aren’t Christians supposed to be loving and perfect? Ha! I am not perfect, are you? Only God is perfect. I am a work in progress.

So, what are we to do about the abuse, control, manipulation, and gross mistreatment? What do we do when the people who claim to love God are failing in loving people? I highly recommend addressing it head on instead of ignoring abuse or telling people to forgive, build a bridge and get over the trauma or mistreatment they suffered.

We must cease sweeping things under the rug and deal with issues that violate God’s heart. It’s a part of justice. God loves to help the oppressed. The greatest commandment revolves around loving God and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse unpacks:

  • Why abuse happens.
  • How people who claim Jesus can be so cruel and unloving.
  • How to spot the red flags of abuse.
  • Wrong uses of scripture.
  • Why forgiveness alone is not removing all your negative feelings or pain.
  • How to get your soul healed!
  • How to keep your children and heart safe.
  • Setting boundaries and dealing with people who do not respect boundaries.
  • Moving from victim to victor.
  • Where was God and why didn’t He stop the abuse?
  • And so much more!

I hope you grab a copy of Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse when it’s released next month and you share it with any person who has been physically, sexually, emotionally, verbally or in any way grossly mistreated by professing Christians.

I also recommend this book for those who have not been abused. I have never been sexually abused, yet I have learned so much and how to speak compassionately from working with abuse victims. Sometimes Christians say the wrong things. This book provides insight into the thoughts of an abuse victim.

I hope many are set free from deep rooted wounds. The first editor stated she experienced healing from reading the manuscript.

It’s time to heal.

It’s time to SOAR!

It’s time to move out of the land of being victimized and into the land of victors.

You may watch a short book trailer here: https://youtu.be/jlexF1HRpFA

Warmly,

Erin Lamb