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Moving Past the “To Do List” (Abiding & Intimacy with God Intro)

  
Photo Source: SwordSwag; used with permission. 

Can we talk as if we are old friends? I would love to spend time sharing with you. I love sharing experiences. The next series of posts will be on abiding and cultivating intimacy with God. I will share testimonies and experiences with God. 

The Bible is filled with the experiences of men and women who encountered God; they did life with God. They joined God’s story. God invites us to join His story. Are you excited to know God? I am. 

A peak into my walk with God… 

My mother said my first word was Jesus. She would pray and read the Bible with me beside her as an infant/toddler. I’ve been with God for decades. I gave my life to Jesus when I was a very young child; we’ve been on some glorious adventures and challenges together. 

If I speak to you about a topic, know I’ve either walked through it, I’m walking through it, and it’s been (being) tested in my life. I am not an expert. I, like you, am on a journey of cultivating intimacy with God. 

So to get us started, let’s examine the infamous “To Do List!”

I met with a friend a few weeks ago and we talked about the Christian “To Do List”. 

Are you familiar with the “To Do List”? 

The “To Do List,” contains all of the things we need “to do” to become more like Jesus or be a good Christian. 

We talked about the failures that arise from being told what to do without anyone modeling or showing you how to do something. We also talked about the stress involved with striving and self effort. 

We were told to do the following: 

  • Confess Jesus 
  • Go to Church (worship gatherings)
  • Give 
  • Serve 
  • Read the Bible 
  • Worship 

We discussed how doing these things did not give us all the information needed to cultivate deep intimacy with God. 

It is possible to do the list and still not know God in deep ways. Say what? Yes, you heard me correctly. I did the list for years. I could quote to you all the things I knew about God. I could quote scriptures for you. I could regurgitate what I learned. 

There’s a vast difference between knowing things about someone and knowing them intimately. 

I wrote a book. People who read it or things I write on social media can say they know things about me. They can regurgitate what I say. They do not know me intimately. The people who know me intimately talk to me regularly, have lived with me, or we’ve done missions together; they have suffered with me, or they have walked with me through seasons of life. They have been with me through the good and challenging seasons. 

Intimacy, sweet friends, requires proximity. When we respond to the call of salvation, we are saying, “God come live in me. Abide in me. I am Your dwelling place. Be Lord over my life.” We open the door to our entire lives, and invite God to have access to it all. 

God is after a profound, life-giving, intimate relationship; a deeper and more intimate relationship than a human marriage. He longs to be first. He alone can fulfill the human heart. Jesus did life with the disciples.

Let’s back up to the “To Do List”; those are great disciplines. They are necessary. They do not substitute or replace the need for a personal, one-on-one relationship with God. I can read the Bible and miss God completely if my objective is to check a box instead of engage with the Author. 

How did I start the journey of deeper intimacy with God? I prayed. 

I was in a long term relationship that seemed as though it would lead to marriage. I prayed. I don’t believe in jumping into marriage without prayer, wise counsel, and weighing all aspects of the relationship. In hindsight I wish I had prayed before we started dating. Hindsight is 20/20 right? Lesson learned. 

God and I had the “To Do List,” relationship going. Yet something inside me (Holy Spirit), kept tugging for more of God. There had to be more. 

My focus of prayer initially was, “Should I marry this person?” My prayer wasn’t, “Lord take me deeper.” 

One afternoon I was in my bedroom praying. I was quite serious about this prayer time. I asked God directly, “Should I marry this man?” I was young, still in college, and had never lived on my own. I heard a voice as clear as day say, “No!” It was outside my head. 

I looked around for another source and could find none. You would think the audible voice of God would lead me to break things off. Nope. I kept praying. Why? I did not believe at the time God would speak directly to me. 

I thought God spoke only to pastors or only through His word. He spoke to people in the Bible, not directly to me about every day things. This lie kept me from going deeper in intimacy with God. His word says, “My sheep will know my voice.” 

The more I prayed, the worse things were in the relationship. We’d known each other 8 years, since we were kids. How do you walk away? You choose God. I will save the rest of the story for another day. 

After I ended the relationship, I began to seek God in more purposeful ways. I cried out for “More Lord!” Gosh that was over 12 years ago. I would steal away to be with God for hours and cry out to hear and know His voice. 

After salvation, and years of doing the “To Do List,” I wanted more. God responded in great ways. I prayed the following prayers. 

God I want to know You! 

I want to meet with You face to face; heart to heart. 

I want to be best friends. 

I want to know Your voice. 

I want to love like You love. 

I want the character of Jesus manifested in my life. 

I’m hungry for more of You…

He responded to those prayers in ways I cannot express in one blog post. I can say, if you pray these prayers, expect God to show up. He did not and has not answered these prayers in ways I thought He would. He did show up and invite me on this journey into the most glorious places of His heart. 

So stay tuned. I am praying for you, for us, to continually encounter the perpetual goodness and greatness of God. 

Key note: there’s always more to learn about God. There’s always more! 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

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

 

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Divine Knowledge, Insight, & Wisdom (Miracle Series)

  

What does God know? Everything. God knows everything about everything. He’s beyond genius. He’s not limited by time or space. He knows the heart of mankind. He knows every hair on your head. He knows the coding of your DNA. He knows every thought that’s ever been birthed in every human being that’s ever lived. His memory is unlimited. Check out Psalm 139. He’s SO awesome. Don’t you agree? 

Can we take a pause to celebrate Him? 👏🏼

Today I wanted to talk to you about revelation from God. It’s all through the Bible and ministry of Jesus. 

I love what Pastor Bill Johnson said, “No one counterfeits what’s fake.” Our world is filled with “spiritual gurus, people who claim they can read your life or future.” If information and knowledge does not come from God it is from the flesh, or is counterfeit for the Holy Spirit; gifts of prophecy, and divine insight from Him. If the orgin is not God, it’s from our flesh or a demonic source. 

The spiritual world is real. We are spirits taking up residence in a body. 

The Bible tells us: 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,~Ephesians 6:12. 

A born again believer with the Holy Spirit has access to the wisdom, insight, and knowledge of God. 

Real Life Stories: 

Recognizing wolves in sheep’s clothing

When I was a little kid there were certain people I immediately took a liking to and others that made the hair on my neck stand up. My mum said I just knew people. I truly believe the Holy Spirit gave me supernatural insight into the hearts of people. Not to judge them, but I’d learn later so I’d be an intercessor for them. The priority is love even if the revelation is, “This person’s intentions are not good.” You set boundaries, love, and pray. 

There was a man who lived down the street from our farm who always tried to talk to us and be friendly. I didn’t know him well, yet I sensed evil in his heart. This man later shot and killed my dog. He did plenty of other evil things. We will leave it at that. He’s loved, yet I knew to stay out of his yard no matter how friendly he was. 

Almost every betrayal I’ve faced in life God has warned me. I didn’t stop praying or loving people. I just knew a blow was coming. Since I keep record of what I believe is from God, I can go back and say, “Yes, you told me this would happen.” It did not lessen the pain, it did help me grow in trusting God. 

God is especially good at warnings with friendships or potential mates. One of the only times I’ve heard the audible voice of God was in relation to marriage. There was this man pursuing me for marriage. I prayed. I had others championing the relationship. Yet God knows everything. I remember so vividly, I said, “God is this is a good idea? Should I marry this person?” And as clear as someone in the room speaking I heard “NO!” I looked around. No one was in my bedroom with me. I was freaked out actually. So I kept praying. Needless to say, that relationship did not end in marriage. Thank God. He became quite hostile when I ended it. If I had listened to Holy Spirit early on, it could’ve been avoided altogether. There’s plenty of pressure on young people to be married. If you’re single, please…please…pray and ask God to show you who the person really is. Do they love God? Are they truly following Jesus? The wheat and tare grow up together. Can anyone vouch for their walk with God? Is this God’s best for you and your destiny with God? I’m unmarried because I want God more than anyone else and refuse to join my life to someone He wouldn’t join it to. So prayer and divine insight are a priority. My destiny with God is too important to be forfeited. So is yours.

I have known several people who chose mates that God illuminated it would be a bad idea up front. In all those cases they are now divorced. One woman resented me greatly for telling her. So now I just pray unless God tells me to say something. 

Inner Promptings 

Before that horrible day of September 11th we had planned a trip to Disney World. There was this hesitation inside me to leave that day. Everyone else wanted to fly on that day. I didn’t. I was adamant about leaving days earlier. The people who didn’t change their flights ended up stranded. I just couldn’t fly that day.

Two of three car accidents I’ve had I had an inner prompting to stay home. I didn’t. I don’t live in fear. I just know to pray when I feel this way.

Warning Dreams

Before the school shooting in Conneticut I had this dream that I was in a school with sister and mom and this young man came in and shot up the school. Days before the school shooting I kept waking up at 4 am disturbed. I’ve learned to pray when this happens. 

I had a friend’s sister who moved across country to be with this guy. I kept hearing their names and the word, “split.” I didn’t think much of it. Then I had a dream she was in a funeral home putting up wedding flowers. Felt the Lord saying, “This is not the right relationship.” I prayed. They kept dating. Six months later they were engaged. I thought, “must not have been God.” Then, after a few more months, they were calling it quits. He married someone else. 

Words on people

I see words on or over people sometimes. I’m a word person. Can’t you tell? My blog posts are long, hope to shorten them one day. 🙂 

There are too many stories to post on this topic. So here’s one. 

There was a lady at church who was super happy. She was standing behind me at church. There’s a point where they asked us to greet each other. I turned to greet her and saw the word HOPE across her chest. I thought, “she’s happy. Happy people don’t need hope.” After church I asked if I could pray for her. I told her the word I saw. I spoke to her the things God imprinted on my heart for her. She started crying. The words from God cut right into her heart. I didn’t know this woman, God did. There’s no way I could’ve known her life story or heart condition. 

I felt led to give her a set of pearls one Sunday. I like giving gifts, yet get nervous giving gifts where people know it’s coming from me. I found out later she had told God that she wanted a sign from Him that involved pearls. She had confirmation that she should give her heart even more fully to Jesus. 

Visions of the future 

When I was in college there was a point I was beyond overwhelmed. I had three jobs and a double engineering major. Life seemed so heavy. While driving one day I had an open vision of me with the Father. He picked me up and sat me on His knee. He then lit up all these movie screens in front of us. On them were scenes from my life. I watched my birth, parts of my childhood, some painful things, and the last three screens I recall most vividly. One was my graduation from college (which seemed impossible at the time. I was so tired), the other a white coffin with a single red rose on top (my mum died the year I graduated college), and the last scene…well you just have to wait and see…;)

God imparted hope through that vision. A confirmation of His word, “Never will I leave or forsake you!”

Light more powerful than darkness

A friend invited me to go to a New Age convention to pray for people. In walking around I stopped to talk to a fortune teller. She asked if she could read my palm. I said, “No that’s okay. You’ve been having trouble sleeping at night.” She looked startled. Her outward appearance did not indicate fatigue. She responded, “Yes, the spirits keep me up at night.” I told her she could be free of all those tormenting spirits. Jesus came to set the captives free. 

Some people are afraid of darkness. Yet if you light a candle, darkness scatters. Many people were healed that day, one man gave his life to Christ, and many said their encounters with the Holy Spirit that day surpassed any experiences with drugs, fortune tellers, etc…God knows the heart and how to reach people. There’s no parallel to His wisdom or power. 

So what’s the purpose of divine revelation, insight, and wisdom? 

1. Reveal Jesus and the heart of the Father. 

2. Deepen intimacy (knowing God) with God.

3. Prayer/intercession (standing in the gap, preventing harm, distaster).

4. To build up, edify, encourage, help, love people. Sometimes to warn people too…

5. Bring God glory!

The Source of revelation is God, anything else is from the flesh or demonic sources. If we want to know His voice, we must feast on God’s word and walk in humility. He’s the Vine, we are the branches. Apart from God, we can do nothing. And it’s not about our wisdom, it’s about His. 

Testing what you see, hear, sense…

Words, impressions, visions, pictures, revelations need tested. Is it in line with God’s character and nature? Is is modeled in the Bible? Does it violate scripture?

I’ve heard many teach peace and confirmation are the best tests for knowing if something is from God. Yet God spoke to many people in the Bible and their immediate response was not peace.  When God spoke to Moses it brought fear. Angels were often sent to reassure people, “Do not be afraid.” Joseph didn’t have peace when he found out Mary was pregnant. God sent an angel to confirm His word. Sometimes what God says does not bring immediate peace. There’s also false peace when we are not aligned with the will of God. So we pray and seek wise counsel. I’ve met many people who had peace about cheating on a spouse or abandoning a spouse, etc…the word of God trumps our sense of peace. If the Bible says do not steal, God is not going to tell you to steal. 

As for confirmation, demons know the word of God and have ears too. When Paul met the woman with the spirit of divination, she was speaking the truth…yet her source was not God. So there are various things to consider and evaluate when receiving divine revelation. 

Write it down…

Holy Spirit started speaking scriptures to me. I started prayer and prophecy journals. I document dreams and visions. I date and document all I think is from God. Some journals are 16 years old. I pray over them. I learned to practice in safe places speaking into people’s lives and sharing. Still learning! Wow, so much to learn. Never stop learning. Pray about what to share. Some things God reveals just for you to pray about not share with others. I’d have saved plenty of heartache if I’d learned this earlier. Yet I encourage you not to live in fear. There’s so much grace in God! God loves you and longs to speak to you and through you. It’s all about building relationship and His Kingdom. Listen. Document. Build rapport with God. 

God is the Source of true wisdom, knowledge, and insight. if we ask for wisdom, He provides. He doesn’t tell me everything. He tells me what I need to know. He also answers prayers for wisdom. 

God is longing to speak to you! 

Closing prayer…

Father I ask for Your Spirit of wisdom and revelation to flood those reading the miracle series. Holy Spirit let Your love remove all fear. You said Your sheep know Your voice. Fine tune our hearing. Help us to know Your voice. Use us to bring light, healing, hope, encouragement, and the love of Jesus to others. In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

Love, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Solitude and Conversations with God (Intimacy with God Part VI)

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Jesus often retreated from the people to pray. Passage from Luke 5:12-16.

Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

The passage from Luke does not tell us that Jesus sometimes withdrew to lonely places and prayed. It says He did it often. I truly believe if we read of Jesus doing something, we should pay attention because He only did what was in alignment with the Father.

Prayer is simply communication with God. If you’re in a relationship with someone, that relationship requires communication. The foundation for intimacy (into-me-see) is built on fellowship, experience, and communication. Without communication, the other pillars of the relationship begin to crumble. They tumble to the ground.

God invites us to know Him. He offers the invitation for intimacy.

Why do we talk to God?

Because we want to build a relationship with Him. He already knows us. Do we know Him?

Because we love God. We talk to people we love.

Because God enters situations He’s invited into. If we don’t pray, He’s not invited.

Because we need God. He said apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Why do we retreat to lonely places to pray?

So we can hear God more clearly and be free of distractions. Alone time together is more intimate. You can give the other person your undivided attention. Hopefully, they also have yours.

We talk to God and listen to God because we love Him, respect Him, value Him, cherish Him, and we want to know His thoughts.

When was the last time you asked God, “What is your perspective on this situation? God will you give me heaven’s vantage point? God will you show me how to love this person? Will you give me insight into solutions to this world problem? God how do you view me? ”

When we don’t pray (talk to God), we are often leaning on our own understanding. We are worrying and fretting, filled with fear. We are powerless in areas of our lives because we have not yielded to the wisdom of God. We are anxious and insecure. We are not abiding, we are striving.

Effective ways to pray:

Talk to God. He’s listening. You have His undivided attention. The Creator of the Universe has given you His undivided attention. Whoah! That’s enough to pause and say, ” Wow.” He’s more important than any earthly president, King or Queen, or celebrity. He’s our loving Father. You don’t have to have a long, rehearsed prayer. Talk to your Papa.

Listen. One of the ways God speaks is through His word. A verse may pop into your mind or a portion of a sermon. Don’t dismiss it. Ask God for wisdom, insight, and to speak to your heart. Then listen.

Pray God’s word. I’ve been doing this a very long time and was encouraged at a conference last weekend when both teachers encouraged praying God’s word. You can find scripture prayers at the top of this website. God’s word does not return void. It accomplishes all it’s sent out to do (Isaiah 55:11). Seeds of His word are spread to the world as you pray His word. They are watered by Him and bring forth a harvest.

Thank God. Have you ever had a relationship with an ungrateful person? They just continually have their hand out and complain to you with their problems. If so, you know it doesn’t feel good. God likes to be thanked. Yes He does. He is not fond of complaining. Yes, we can air our concerns to God…yet the Bible tells us to continually give thanks.

Intercession. Pray (ask God to help) for other believers all over the world. Talk to God about things outside your realm of influence. Talk to Him about everything.

Jesus told the disciples how to pray with the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6). It’s a great prayer. We are invited into relationship. My prayers may sound different than yours. One of my frequent prayers is, “God what are you saying? Who do you want to bless today? What’s on your heart ?” Another one is “Thank you Papa.”

May we seek God for He is glorious! He is outstanding. And He loves to be with His children. He adores you. He wants the best for you.

Papa God, may we know our inheritance in Christ and come boldly before you. Fill us to overflowing with your wisdom and give us an unquenchable desire for Jesus. May we steal away and grow to know you even more. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

 
 

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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.

 
 

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