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Everything God Allows Is Not Necessarily His Will (Wednesday Devotion)

  
Morning Devotion: This was all God’s plan or was it? Everything God allows is not necessarily His will. Everything stated or predicted to be true is not necessarily God. 

God is good (Mark 10:18). Evil exists because of the abuse of free will (Romans 5:12). We can choose evil over good. We can choose our way over God’s way. Why? Because love involves freedom. The desire to control people is demonic. 

Nothing happens outside God’s knowledge. He does not prevent every horrible thing from happening. 

This does not mean the following: 

1. God is cruel or loves to punish people. 

The Bible says He is slow to anger and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8). He is merciful wanting all to come to repentance. 

2. Everything that happens is God’s perfect will. 

God desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), yet we know millions will. 

3. When things happen, God caused it to happen. 

Allowing and causing are two vastly different concepts. To cause something to happen is to have motivations and intentions that pursue that outcome. All the evil we see in the world came from Adam choosing to obey the devil instead of God (Romans 5:12). Did God cause sin? No. Did He give choices? Yes. 

God hates sin. Yet He allows us to choose sin. 

There will not be anyone in heaven who chose the devil over God or chose themselves over God. Why? God will not force anyone to love Him. 

This concept of humans have no personal responsibility due to the sovereignty of God is false. 

God gave both Adam and Eve dominion on the earth (Genesis 1). They were to fill, subdue, reign on earth. They were given authority and dominion. They surrendered it through sin. 

Jesus regained what was lost. Jesus restored what was broken in the Garden. Yet there is still a world in chaos. Why? People can still choose sin. Sin leads to destruction and death. Sin hurts us and others. 

Death, sickness, destruction, brokenness, broken relationships, hurt, sorrow, lust, greed, and all evil were not a part of the Garden pre fall. God knew man would sin, so there was already a plan for redemption. The fall of man happened. It does not mean God caused it to happen. 

God’s sovereignty is also not an excuse for prayerlessness or not doing our part. Saying, “Oh this is just the way it is,” or “God will fix it,” or “I am waiting on God to show up,” or “This is God’s plan or will,” are sometimes excuses to not do our part. God gave us brains, feet, hands, vocal chords, and resources so we could use them. 

I love what Joyce Meyers says. She says, “You know what happens when you do not pray? Nothing. Nothing happens.” 

God enters situations He is invited into. Someone invited God; He revealed His power. 

I want to take you further along this path with the prophetic. Ready? 

Every prophetic word that is true or comes true is not necessarily from God. Say what? Indeed. 

When Jesus walked the earth demons would sometimes cry out, “You are the Son of God.” He would tell them to be quiet because His time had not yet come (Luke 4:41). 

When Paul delivered the woman with the spirit of divination, she was speaking the truth. Her source was not God (Acts 16:16-18). 

Demons and the devil can speak truth. The devil knows the Bible better than most people. Demons also network to understand the workings, patterns, desires, and ways of humans. Just because something true is spoken or predicted does not necessarily mean it was God who inspired the vocalization. 

More examples…Just because it’s spoken and happened, does not mean it was inspired by God. 

I have met several woman over the years who were prophesied to who their spouse would be. I truly believe God speaks and may tell someone. These ladies ended up with men who did not truly love God or them. Two were told, “You will marry this person.” There was no bliss on the other side of “I do.” There was a whole lot of hell; some of those marriages ended in divorce. Some were deeply wounded by the dreams, words, visions that were not reality or did not become reality.

I have had at least a dozen “prophetic” words from people about who my spouse will be, and when he will come. Guess what? None of them match, nor have they come true. Since God is not the author of confusion, what could be the source? 

1. Flesh or soul. 

We have a spirit, a body, and a soul. The soul can sense things too. It does not mean it’s God. 

2. Evil spirits. 

They can interject thoughts, dreams too. Sometimes with people they can insert thoughts that are first person, “I hate my life,” or “I am so ugly.” They can implant words, “You will marry this person.” Hence scripture telling us to test every spirit to see if it is God. 

For relationships, please examine the way the person treats you. Look at the fruit in their life. Look at who they spend their time with and how they treat people who can do nothing for them. Look at how they respond to not getting their way. Look at their life. Is it a hot mess? How well do they love God? Do they truly love Him. How they treat God is how they will treat you. 

God is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of Lights. Gifts from God are good. People are not perfect, yet when God brings a gift there is blessing tied to it. 

I highly recommend with some words, visions, pictures to sit them on the shelf and to also pray, “God I cancel any enemy assignments of deception. I only want to hear Your voice. I want to walk in Your truth. Holy Spirit lead and guide me.” 

There are false Holy Spirits too…will touch on that in a deliverance/freedom post later. They work to hurt and bring deception. You will hear people say, “God told me to do this immoral, harmful thing.” No He did not. Holy Spirit will not violate the word of God. 

Papa God, help us to colabor with You. Help us to be people of wisdom, prayer, and doing what we see Jesus doing. Help us to have heavenly vision, ears that hear Your truth above the noise, and discernment to know what is You, what is our flesh, what is the devil/his minions, and what is coming from our souls. Anything not of You, please uproot it. Replace it with Your love, truth, and power. In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

God bless you! You are in my thoughts and continual prayers. You are so deeply loved. 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Receiving and Abiding in Love (Intimacy with God Part IX)

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Our greatest strength comes from abiding (remaining) in God.

John 15: 1, 4-17.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

Culture vs. the Kingdom of Heaven

Our culture promotes self. If you want something, you go for it in your own strength. You make it happen. You persist. You press harder or push harder. The central character is us, the created ones. Our culture celebrates the “self-made” person.

The Bible teaches us that we can do nothing apart from God. Nothing means no thing. He is the Source of human life, even for the wicked and unbelieving. We exist because of Him. The central character of God’s story is God. The Kingdom of heaven celebrates the person dependent on God.

It hurts the pride and bruises the ego to realize that God is above all. He is above us. We are not God or demigods, though some teach this. God doesn’t force us to obey Him or comply, He’s still God and there are consequences for our choices. We are never truly independent from His Sovereignty.

If we are in Christ, then it’s good to recall that we are to rely on His strength. Our striving produces stress. Abiding produces abundant fruit. He is the Source of love, peace, joy, hope, faith, goodness, life, patience, meekness, gentleness, and self control. He’s the Vine. If we remain in Him, there’s flourishing life.

Example from Gardening…

I had a plant with vines. I noticed it would grow towards the light. Any parts of the vine that fell off, died. It was disconnected from its life source. The root system of that plant was supplying nutrients. The branches produced no life on their own. If I forgot to water or fertilize the soil, it died.

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We need intimacy (relationship) with God more than anything else. We need the Light (God). We need water (His Spirit). We need fertilizer and food (His Word). When we place other things in front of Him, we suffer. God doesn’t cease loving us, we cease producing fruit.

Fruit is the result of fellowship and intimacy (abiding, remaining). We will always see fruit of our fellowship. If we fellowship with fear, the fruits are worry, anxiety, insecurity, suspicion, unhealthy stress, people pleasing, jealousy…

God knew and knows that we will suffer if He’s not first. We can’t produce Light and His Love without Him. He is Light; He is love.

Our first step in intimacy with God is salvation. The second is abiding. We receive first, then we give.

The highest priority isn’t doing for God, it’s being with God.

So beautiful friends, may we seek Him first. May we meet with Him, talk with Him, listen to Him…

What is God doing? What is He saying? What does His word say? What is God teaching us at this moment?

May we soak in His Presence and allow God to heal, restore, saturate us, and minister to us. God can do more in a moment than we can in a lifetime. He contains solutions to all the world’s problems.

Father, Abba Pai, help us to first receive from You and abide in You as Jesus did. Teach us to rest in Your love and the finished work of the Cross. May we have a deeper revelation of what’s already been paid for in Your Son. May we know heart, mind, and spirit the height, depth, and vast expanse of Your love for us. May we rely on Your strength and Your Spirit. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.

Praying for you! You are deeply loved (John 3:16).

Erin

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Photo credit: Pinterest

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Hearing God’s Voice (Intimacy With God Part V)

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Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one,~John 10:22-30.

I recommend reading John 10 in it’s entirety. Jesus repeats that His sheep know His voice and the voice of another they will not follow. Sheep are not smart animals. They will follow each other off cliffs. They need a shepherd. Through close proximity, relationship, and time there’s a knowing of the shepherd to his sheep.

It’s challenging to know someone we’ve only read about or we only have second hand knowledge.

God speaks. I’ve heard some teach He does not speak, which is opposite to many scriptures. Such as:

Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying,~1 Corinthians 14:5.

It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions,~Joel 2:28.

See also 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

God has spoken to His children since the beginning of time. He spoke to Moses through a burning bush. He sent an angel to speak to Mary. He spoke to Abraham and Sarah. He spoke to Saul, the later to be Apostle Paul on the way to Damascus. Jesus retreated often to be with the Father. People in the old and New Testament prophesied, had dreams, visions, and encounters with God.

We too, through relationship with God have the opportunity to know His voice and communicate with Him.

I had a pastor friend who believed we could not hear from God outside of reading the Bible. God continued to place people in his life who would regularly prophesy over him things he’d only told God. He grew to believe God speaks, though he cautioned we shouldn’t just believe every person who says they are speaking for God or saying, “God told me this.”

The Bible is clear that what we believe we are hearing from God or what others believe they are hearing from God is to be tested against the word of God. God doesn’t violate His Word. He will expand our understanding, yet He won’t violate His Word.

Examples:

God won’t tell you to leave your spouse for that cute person at work who’s nicer to you.

God won’t tell you to gossip or slander people.

God won’t tell you to steal.

God won’t tell you to sleep with that person who’s not your spouse.

God does speak and listening to Him increases our intimacy with Him. I told a friend this story.

Suppose a father narrates stories for his son or daughter to help them through life. He places many words of wisdom in the book. He appoints several people to help his child along and represent him. The child gets the book and the father says, “I’m not going to talk to you anymore. You must find what you need in this book. I no longer want to deal with you, please go find someone I appointed to help you.” We’d call that parent cruel and unloving. Yet we say God is that father.

There are doctrines that make God out to be a deadbeat, lazy, and uninvolved parent. He wants us to memorize the Bible and never speak to us or engage with us outside of the book. Or some believe only “special people” can hear from God. There’s a doctrine that essentially silences the Holy Spirit and anyone’s ability to hear from God themselves.

You will find if you read the Bible God is more eager to speak to His children than they are to listen. I could write an entirely new series on the ways God speaks. I will say spending time in God’s word is essential for knowing if what we think we are hearing or sensing or seeing (dreams and visions) are from God.

Sweet friends, Jesus died for relationship. God wants to dwell with mankind, hence sending His Son and Holy Spirit. He’s after relationship. Relationship involves intimacy (knowing and being known). Intimacy involves communication. God wants to be known by you. He wants to be the closest One to you and for your relationship to grow. He longs to communicate with you. Prayer isn’t simply talking to God, it’s listening to Him as well.

Father, please reveal to us how much you long to speak to us. Reveal how your love for us surpasses that of an earthly parent. Help us to see you as you really are. Help us to hear clearly from you. Remove any deception, doubt, unbelief, and anything hindering us from hearing from you. May we know clearly your voice, check it against your word and character, and grow in intimacy with you. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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I Love You More

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All the world seems to be looking for love. We were created to desire love, affection, affirmation, relationship, and the void in us is not easily filled. God set it up so no person on this planet has to be alone. People are born into families. Not only are we born into families, we are birthed with a great opportunity to know the Creator of the Universe.

I am often amazed that God, as perfect as He is, wants to be friends with us. He wants us to be recipients of His great love, forgiveness, and to adopt us as His children. I mean seriously, He can do whatever He wants. He could create the world’s perfect best friend or person. Yet, He chose and chooses to dwell with sinful man. God was not lonely before creating man. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all existed long before we did. God did not need us, He wanted us. 

There’s something to be said about being wanted. No matter how awful we are or have been, we are here because God loves us. We are here because He cares for us. We are here because He had and has a great plan for our lives. We are no mistake!

He created us to be recipients of His great love. We were made to be loved by Him.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding, Ephesians 1:2-7.

No matter who we meet on this journey, there will not be anyone who loves us more than God. There will not be a person who will sacrifice all that they are for our best interests. It’s not going to happen. My earthly father is wonderful. I have no doubt he would do all in his power to protect, provide, and be there for me. However, I do not believe he can or would do all that God has done for me. While I was a sinner, Christ died for me. No greater love in the entire world, than the love God has lavished on us.

We may not always feel His love. We may not always see His love. We may not always believe in His love, but the truth is, God is love. Every day He pours out His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, and wisdom on a world that rejects Him, denies Him, abuses His name, and blames Him for all that goes wrong. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. I as a human, I grow tired of loving people who I know will never love me. I grow weary in turning the other cheek and responding in kindness to people who are cruel. God, however, is infinite in patience and love. Love is who God is.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, Psalm 103:8.

You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you, Psalm 86:5.

I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us–yes, the many good things He has done for the house of Israel, according to His compassion and many kindnesses, Isaiah 63:7.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you, Isaiah 54:10.

God’s after relationship…with us.

Some don’t hear God’s voice; it’s challenging to be in a relationship with someone you can’t hear. I will say if you are a born again believer, you can hear from God. Pray and ask God for the ability to hear from Him. You can have a relationship with Him that is as close and intimate as you would like it be. As Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me,” John 10:27. Even if you don’t hear from God directly speaking to your spirit, you can hear from Him through His Word (which is the best place to start and He does not violate His Word. He increases our understanding, but does not violate His Word). God also speaks through dreams, visions, others, and sometimes our circumstances.

Lastly, here are the words God deposited in my heart today.

I love you more…I love you more than you can imagine. You are My workmanship, created for My glory. I chose you. I wanted you. I have never left you, and I will never leave you. You are an extension of My heart. Where you are, there I am. You are a part of Me. There is nothing that can separate you from My love. There’s nothing you can do to make Me love you less or more. My love for you extends from before the world was made into eternity. It is a love that cannot be broken. Your name is written on My heart. You name graven on My hands. I move heaven and earth to care for you. You are My beloved. You will always be My beloved.

Sweet friends, these words apply to you as well. God loves you. He is for you. His heart cries out again and again, I Love You More….Praying God blesses you richly and abundantly this year, above all you could ask or imagine. Love, Erin.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in From the Author

 

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