Need Joy? Seek Jesus.

Jesus had more JOY than His companions!

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You above Your companions with the oil of joy,~Hebrews 1:9.

God is not stuffy, stoic, nor boring. God knows how to celebrate and have a good time. Pleasure was God’s idea; sin perverted pleasure and a religious/Pharisee spirit tries to dampen any fun with God. God is fun. There is more pleasure and enjoyment in God than anything He created.

I used to examine people who got so excited about God in wonder…until I got to know God for myself. Knowing God elevated my joy quotient significantly. Knowing God has been the greatest joy of my life. Words do not adequately express the beauty, majesty, and mystery of God.

What if I don’t feel joy?

Joy is not a feeling based on what is happening. It is an overflow of abiding in the One who is joy. Jesus stated plainly that abiding in Him brings forth abounding fruit. That is why we can go through a challenging season and still have joy. Paul wrote many celebratory letters from prison. God is good even when life is not going the way we desire. Focusing on who God is, takes the focus off our momentary sorrows.

Paradise is not just a place. It is a person. God is pure JOY. In His presence as the Psalmist proclaimed is the fullness of joy.

You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand,~Psalm 16:11.

Including part of my devotion this morning. My hopes are that joy bubbles up out of your spirit! God loves you and being with God bring joy.

Devotion Excerpt:

“Go back as far as you can in prerecorded history, back to the dawn of the universe, and there you’ll find joy. The Creation is characterized by celebration (Job 38:6-7; Proverbs 8:22-31). Turning to the time of the New Testament, Christ is characterized by joy (John 8:29; 15:11). In the parable of the lost son, heaven in the present is characterized by joy, feasting, music, and dancing (Luke 15:11-32). Finally, looking forward to the future, John shows us a picture of heaven (Revelation 19:6-9). It will be a feast, where the people shout, “Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give him the glory!” (verse 7).

The story of faith begins and ends in joy. And in between, there is joy. Joy permeated Paul’s life, even in the place you would have least expected it—in prison (see the book of Philippians). For more than twenty centuries, Christians have been exhibiting joy. There have been sad, even morose, Christians, to be sure. But the ones who have inspired us have been marked by joy…

Anyone who gets in touch with God gets in touch with joy. All true joy is derivative. It doesn’t originate from the world. It doesn’t originate from us. It originates from him. And when we get close to him, it rubs off,”~from the Marked by Joy devotion on YouVersion

Are you enjoying God? Enjoying life with God?

Painting: Jesus is joy by Yungsong Kim

Love,

Erin Lamb

When God Love is Unrecognized

Loving People Who Do Not Grasp God’s Love

Have you ever tried to love someone with God love and they either misconstrued it as eros (romantic love), rejected the love, misunderstood the love, did not believe you loved them, tried to use you, or trampled it under foot? I have. It used to bother me greatly, I confess. Then God allowed me to see Jesus loved everyone perfectly, yet some still could accept His love, receive His love, understand Him, nor reciprocate His love.

Jesus, the love of God through Him, was foreign to the religious. His love was not recognized, God was not recognized, He was neither believed nor accepted. The love of God is so lavish, so selfless, and so pure.

The world without knowledge of God cannot recognize what it has no grid for. Love in our culture is often lust (based on selfish gain, fleshly passions, self gratification). It is not holy, pure, nor does it sacrifice anything for another unless there is hopes to gain something.

When you love people without knowing them, it can scare them. If you are too lavish, some think you have ulterior motives. Why? Because our world system is upside down to God’s system. God loves us first and sacrificially. God is not selfish. My point is, and I have to say this to myself, love is not wasted. It may feel that way, yet if it’s for God it’s not.

I served a homeless guy for a bit who ended up off the street and with a job. He rejoiced and thought I was amazing while he was being blessed. Years later I saw him drunk and back on the streets. He cursed me and shooed me away. Did I waste my time for that year I served him and helped him? That hot summer day he cursed me in broad daylight it felt that way. Yet the truth is, Jesus was glorified that year. That man cannot stand before God and say no one ever showed me your love. And guess what, I still keep showing up on the streets.

Whether people clap, boo, talk about me, slander my name, wrongly judge my intentions, trample love underfoot, I keep waking up to love the world. Yes, use wisdom and set boundaries. But don’t let people not full of God’s love destroy your desire to love. Those who do not love, do not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).

My encouragement is ask for wisdom and keep your love on for Jesus. Sometimes the prayer is, “God help me to love!”

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

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

He is a Lion & a Lamb

Both a Lion & a Lamb (Jesus is roaring over His Bride!) Wakey Wakey!

I have not ever preached so passionately in my life until this year when God started speaking to me about revival and awakening a sleeping bride. I teach. I love to teach. I love to dissect the word of God and take you on a journey. It is not a loud journey. Yet God showed me some things that released the ROAR. So when the microphone hits my hand, it’s like 10,000 lions want to escape from my face. I don’t plan it. I simply told God, you can say whatever you want to say, however you want to say it. My heart is like David. I must worship the Lord and how it looks to everyone else is not my problem. Is God pleased? Then I am satisfied.

God showed me in a vision a field full of sleeping and overfed lions and lionesses. Their bellies were overfull. Meanwhile, behind them far off in the distance there was a pit of sulfur with the dying. Jesus (as the Lion of Judah) was trying to recruit lions and lionesses to go with Him into that black, dark, sulfur pit. The lions were sleeping, grazing, and in their own world of comfort. He began to roar. I mean a fierce, shake the ground roar. Some of them awakened and stood to their feet. Some went back to sleep. They looked at Jesus, ignored the roar, and went back to sleep. The ones who awakened, He pulled them into a line and roared over them. They transformed from fat to lean. He gave them each an assignment. He then led them into the pit of sulfur on a rescue mission!

Jesus came to seek and save the lost, not create fan clubs, cliques, and entertain people. Jesus offended so many people because He did not come in the package they expected. Jesus was crucified and hated because He did not fit the norm. The issue is some people want the God of their comfort zone, of their manmade traditions, and the God who never violates the way they think. If and when God reveals another aspect of His character or nature they reject what does not conform to what they already know.

We can not receive from God or anyone else under the spirit of offense. “Oh their worship is too loud, oh they do things weird.” Maybe God likes loud. Heaven is not quiet. Maybe what God is doing is a new thing to us, but not to Him. He is not weird, our perceptions of what is normal and proper sometimes are cultural and not Kingdom! My point is God cannot be put in a box. I had to learn to stop judging what I did not understand and ask “God is this you?” And if it did not violate scripture and God was on board to set aside my preferences. It’s not about us, it’s about God.

The spirit of religion tries to keep God in a nice little box and open it when needed. God does not fit in any man’s box.

Jesus is a Lion (Fierce/Bold/Confident/Assertive) & a Lamb (Humble/Gentle/Meek). He is not the weak, fraile, lifeless image nailed image on the cross some wear. He came off that cross and rose with ALL power in His hands.

If we only see the Lamb, then we will miss God’s holy anger against injustice, abuse, and things that harm humanity. We may tip toe around things we need to firmly (with love) address. The righteous are as bold as a lion! If we only see the Lion we may attack the wrong things and not operate in love.

I am convinced God is not always represented in His full spectrum. God can be quiet and loud. God can wipe tears and rebuke the devil. God can cradle someone in His arms and also ask another, “Do you want to be made whole?” God can be gentle with the sinner and sternly rebuke the Pharisee, “You are white washed tombs? Why do you clean what is on the outside and not inside? You are bloody vipers (this is in the Bible).” God can invite everyone into His family through His Son and also say, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say? Many will cry out Lord, Lord and I will say, ‘Depart from Me. I never knew you, you who practice lawlessness.’ I would rather you be hot or cold, not lukewarm lest I spit you out. Repent and go back to your first love.”

I strongly believe God wants to move us past our ideas of who we think He is and how we think He should do things and into, “God who are you? Show me who you really are? Break me out of religious mindsets and thinking I know best. You are God. I am not. Help me to move with the momentum of heaven and whatever you want to do Lord, I am willing!! I will look foolish for you. I will not live shackled by fear of man or be limited by offense over what you want to do!

God has revealed Himself in so many different ways in the Bible. God is both a warrior and a humble servant. God is both a lover and a fighter. God is both a mother and a father to His children. God knows which aspect of Himself is needed to be displayed.

May you and I pursue the depths of who God is. It will take all of eternity to know Him completely. May we pursue knowing God. He is both a Lion and a Lamb. Please don’t reject a move of God simply because God wants to present a side of Himself that goes against “This is how we do things or this is how things should be done.” What does God want? Who does God need to be for us in the moment?

Last note. The Shack movie offended so many religious people because God was presented as female and African American. The Holy Spirit as an Asian woman. God can take on what we need. God is Spirit and those who worship God worship in spirit and in truth. God has certainly mothered me. I am grateful for the attributes of a mom wrapped up in God. Mothers, women were made in the image of God. Yet I saw so many ugly statements about that part of the film. What if we miss out on knowing God simply because we refuse to let Him be who He is instead of who we want God to be? We, humans, can desire our preferences just like the Pharisees.

Love,

Erin

When the Message is Ignored (The Shaking)

Certainly weigh & test this (Prophetic Word on the Shaking). I believe God does give us insight into what is coming. If we listen and pay attention, God helps us not to be blindsighted. I have warning dreams quite a bit or warning impressions. I have heard people say God only speaks happy, shiny things. I disagree. I am alive today because God warns of things to come so we can prepare or move out of the way.

When God sends a message or messenger we ignore…

I continue to inquire of God why He sends messengers to people He knows will not listen. Is it so they have no excuse? To give them a chance knowing they will ignore it? God knows their hearts will be hard and refuse to listen. “Oh, that’s just Joseph’s son.”

Years ago I had this impression to do 90 straight days of truly focused prayer for the world. A shaking was coming. I tried to get others to join in with me. Only one or two people would. We also had several burn events 8-12 hours of straight prayer and worship and only a handful would come. It was not to glorify me, it was because an alarm had been sounded. I was essentially ignored by quite a few people. Who is this person to send a warning? Who wants to give up their time? Who wants to push away a plate? 90 days is a long time to go without certain things-that’s 40 times over 2.

Shaking did come, has come, and continues (scandals revealed, crazy weather, mass shootings, insane weather events, metoo and churchtoo movement, church leaders exposed, celebrities exposed, churches exposed, and so much more). God is not causing the bad things to happen, part of the prayer warning was “Prepare for what’s coming.”

There are people who believe God only speaks through His already written word, and others who believe God only speaks happy, shiny, bless them, encouraging words. So there is an ignoring of anything that talks about prepare for a shaking, prepare for disaster, this is going to head south…any warning is ignored.

People ignored Noah, they ignored Jesus…I ask God why not just send a message to those who will listen?

God gave Joseph an interpretation to a dream to save nations. What if Pharaoh had not listened and refused to store up grain for 7 years. Seven years of feasting, then 7 years of famine. Well, everyone would have starved to death.

I love happy, shiny, encouraging words. Who doesn’t like to walk away thinking roses and skipping through the park? Yet the reality is God will warn His friends, “A famine is coming. Watch out. This is not safe. Don’t link arms with this person. This is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t go there. You need to save. Don’t get on that plane.”

Before 9/11 we were supposed to be flying on that day. I did not want to. I could not explain why. I simply knew I did not want to be in the air during that time. I am glad someone listened. We ended up flying days before to Disney World.

The shaking will continue. Certainly weigh it, test it, and talk to God yourself…This is just what I sense…

False prophets and false preachers will be exposed. God’s next wave will move through the pure in heart not the ministers who care nothing about the sheep; they only care about themselves, only care about their platform, only care about their ministry. What has been done in the dark (injustices, abuse, gross sin) will continue to bubble to the surface and be brought into the light. If you are living a double life, repent. Those who worship false gods will find their false gods cannot save them. Churches that refuse the work and leading of the Holy Spirit will notice God is moving powerfully in places where God is allowed to do as He pleases-even street corners. God will continue to recruit harvesters to go after those who need to know Him. Pillars of strength and prophetic pillars will rise from out of obscurity to be frontline leaders in His movement. The sleepy, passive, it’s only about me and mine, being comfortable, lukewarm church will be left to slumber while Jesus partners with those willing to do whatever it takes to love a lost, broken, and hurting world. Those who cry out for revival yet are unwilling to do anything God asks are wasting precious time. Those unwilling to do anything not led by their local church or clique will notice God is moving powerfully outside their bubble. God does not have numerous separate and disconnected bodies; God has one church, one Body, and Jesus is king. Those who worship themselves will be given opportunities to repent and refocus on the true agenda; Jesus. Love will be pivotal and instrumental; unity across boundary lines. Sense God longing for churches to work together for a common good and not just the pastors and leaders they want to support because that’s their buddy or in their network or stream. God’s vision is higher and His agenda is not division. Jesus is returning for a Bride who is radiant. Instead of critical finger pointing at someone else, sense the encouragement to invite the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts. Are we lukewarm? Are we only interested in our agenda? Are we abiding in Jesus and learning to love like God?

I sense the shaking will continue. Encouragement to pray those shaken do not lose hope or fall away; compromise and throw in the towel. Pray those who claim Jesus have a deep revelation of who Jesus really is and follow Him (not traditions of man, not ego, not personal agenda). Please pray we listen to the Holy Spirit. I am not asking people to listen to me or follow what I sense, but to earnestly seek God. “God what are you saying? I want to listen. My ears are open. Show me how to pray. Please don’t allow me to be passive, lukewarm, or miss what you desire to do on this earth. It’s not my kingdom come. It’s your Kingdom come. People are dying without knowing you. Help me to listen and partner with you.”

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Behold A New Thing (Refocus on Jesus-the Centrality of the Gospel)-Prophetic Encouragement.

I don’t share prophetic impressions on this page often, yet felt promoted to today. It’s long, yet hope it encourages/inspires someone to seek Jesus, not “That’s how we have always done things or my pastor told me this.”

Behold I am doing a new thing (prophetic encouragement)

Certainly weigh this and test it. These were impressions on my heart and in my spirit from Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the Father.

From the Father:

“I am shifting from the old into the new. I look upon the earth and see billions of people disconnected from My heart and disconnected from the church. While My church may be pointing her finger at the world, ‘Look how sinful you are,’ My heart has been grieved by the lack of My love and compassion for the lost. Yes, they are blind and deaf to truth because they are dead in tresspasses and sin. The dead cannot see. The dead cannot hear. There is a powerful language that even the dead can see and hear, that is My love. I invite My church to not only speak truth, but to love and to serve. Love is your superpower.

My Spirit is hovering over the earth looking for laborers, partners-someone willing to take up the mantle of love and go for My mission of love. My Spirit is looking for those willing to go into the dark places. Gone are the days of just waiting for the world to come inside.

You must go. You must go where the people are, where the broken and hurting are, and you must love. You are not going to the happy, shiny, together people. You are going to the sick, hurting, dying, addicted, broken, immoral, demonized, and abused. They need My love and My power. It is not by your strength, your wisdom, your intellect, nor your religious rituals. It is by My Spirit.

I am looking for those willing to abide in My Spirit and go where I lead. No more business as usual-this is the way we have always done church, the way we have always done conferences, the way we have always done worship, the way we have always taught people…get into the secret place and seek Me for the new.

I am doing something NEW! I am doing something new to bring millions into My family. I want to teach you an upgraded way to relate to the world. It involves no compromise; it is pure/holy as I am pure/holy. It will stretch you outside your comfort zone. It will break people out of sitting and waiting, sitting and praying for Me to do what I have empowered My church to do.

I am cleaning My house. Yes, your spirits are made completely new in My Son. The soul of man is continually sanctified by My Spirit. I am clearing out those abusing My sheep, allowing exposure of those who do not love My sheep, closing doors to those only interested in their agenda and titles, I am removing favor from those using the gifts for selfish gain. I am doing these things out of great love because I need a safe place for the harvest. Not only do I need laborers, I need safe havens and families for My children. My babies need spiritual families, not to be led to pray a prayer and then left alone without any guidance, without genuine love, without true shepherding. I am building family systems that are safe.

Seek Me for the new. Seek Me for My agenda for your services and conferences. It’s about establishing My Kingdom on earth, not mankind building their own shrines on earth nor entertaining people without helping them to truly know Me. I watch as millions are entertained and they go home with the very same demons they came with and they remain in great bondage. My Son set the captives free.

Seek Me for your ministry. Seek Me for your family. Seek Me for your business. I do not encourage to control. I encourage because I am strategically connecting people in this season to be a great net for the masses. I am pursuing a mature Bride. No more their church vs. your church, their ministry vs. your ministry…competition is not a fruit of My heart. The evil one loves division, jealousy, and single/selfish focus.

If My people who are called by My name would humble themselves and help each other fulfill the great commission, revival would have already come.

The world is looking at how My professing children love and support each other. If they do not see what My Son proclaimed, their desire to come inside is even more diminished.

I will be glorified in the earth. If those I have chosen refuse to follow the leading of My Spirit, I will and can go and appoint one from outside to lead My movements. My Son will get His full reward.”

From Jesus:

“Oh how I love My Bride and long to partner with her to see the fullness of My Kingdom on earth. The encouragement is to continually abide in Me, to crawl into My arms, and listen to My voice. I lead by great love. The love I have for you is the same intense, passionate love I have for your neighbor, the lost, and even those who present themselves as your enemies. So many do not know Me in your weekend services and in the world. Sharing and demonstrating who I am is needed everywhere.

My heart weeps over those who believe they know Me yet, they harm, abuse, or deceive My sheep. Like the Pharisees, they have their rules, rituals, and religion, yet they miss My heart. They have a form of righteousness, yet, it is void of My love, void of My compassion, and void of godly mercy. Yes, I am truth. Yes, I am power. I am also love. I know the proper words to speak to turn a heart, prick a heart for the Father. Ministering outside of My heart and Spirit can lead to harm instead of blessing.

I have watched millions of My children wounded by those claiming Me, yet their hearts are far from Me. I reserve My final judgement until the appointed time. I did not come to condemn, pass final judgement, but to lead people to repentance. I am standing in a position of invitation for repentance for those who do not love yet continue to attempt to minister in My name. Come away with Me and soak in My love. Let Me love you! Let My love invigorate you so you may love like Me.

I am looking for lovers, those willing to abide in My love and willing to go love the world! I am so eager to partner with you!”

From Holy Spirit:

“I am so excited. Can you sense My excitement as I think on the waves of love, glory, and passion that will sweep over the earth?!

I am hovering. I am moving. Sons and daughters will prophesy. I will speak through the babes/youth all the way up to the 100 year olds. I am blowing a breath of refreshing. I am blowing the dust off those who have been sidelined.

I love unity and partnership. I love community and family. I love to see people working together to fulfill the Father’s will. Oh, how He loves the world. We are in unison in our heart for the world.

I am beyond eager to fill the empty and broken, to revitalize the weary, and comfort the mourning. I am speaking, singing, teaching, and on the edge of My seat for those who hunger and thirst for Me.

Invite Me into what you are doing. I am not asking to seek to control. I am asking you to invite Me because I desire to give you My power to complete the task.

I do not force Myself on you, nor push My agenda on you. When you ask, when you invite, I manifest My power and love!! I love to assist you. I love to abide in you. I love to connect with you!

Let’s partner together. I long to empower, encourage, and give you My strength. You are not alone in your journey. I am here. I am strong where you are weak. I long to connect spirit to spirit with you. Invite Me into your day. I am overjoyed to be with you.

I want to teach you more of who I am and show you the depths of our heart. I am refreshing you and longing to break you out of the old and into the new.

Old mindsets must be removed and I long to wash your mind with My word. Invite Me into your bible study. I long to deepen your understanding of My word and who I am. Do not lean onto your own understanding, seek My understanding. Study with Me.

I am excited to adventure with you and for the entire world to know who Jesus is and what the Father paid for regarding humanity. Let’s partner together!! I LOVE you.”

My Thoughts:

I truly believe God is calling us into something great, Himself. I highly encourage people to get to know God for themselves instead of simply relying on second hand information. I also encourage inviting God into every day, into Bible study, and to ask God to reveal Himself.

I have met so many people in my lifetime who claim to know God and represent God; they absolutely violate His heart. They repeat what they have been taught without revelation of who God is. We need Jesus, the real Jesus of Nazareth. We need to pursue God for ourselves and learn His voice. The early apostles had relationship. The New Testament was not even written yet and they knew Jesus. God is after relationship, not rituals and memorization of text. It is great to know the Bible. One can know the Bible and not know God. The Pharisees knew the Torah, they did not know God.

My hope is this post encourages someone to go deeper into intimacy with God. Don’t just take my word for it, invite God into your heart and life. Invite the Holy Spirit to teach and guide, even to weed out thoughts or ideas that have been taught that are not properly aligned with the heart of God.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Our Reactions to Evil Matter (Pursuing Authentic Christianity)

Today I want to tackle reactions to evil in the world. When Jesus walked the earth there was evil, injustice, mistreatment of people groups, and he faced hatred/mockery/mistreatment.

We see Jesus responding in sternness to the self righteous (Pharisees) and the disciples. We see compassion for those who were lost and not claiming to be right with God.

Jesus also has a one up on us. He was sinless. Jesus was willing to die for the same people He rebuked sternly. He was willing to be mocked, beaten, and even killed for the UNGODLY! Jesus died for His enemies. If Jesus rebukes someone sternly, He is perfect in His assessment and without any sin.

We can sin in our attempts to deal with people and be puffed up in ourselves while doing so. “Oh, I think sister Susie is wrong, let me grab my bible and go point it out to her.” Is it wrong to try to help someone? No. Yet the bible tells us to make sure we don’t have a big mega plank in our eye before we go trying to pull a splinter out of someone’s eye. We are also told to be gentle. We can be gentle, direct, and not nasty. Is it wrong as a leader to address people? No. Yet if we do not love them, our words can be correct and in the wrong spirit.

It is a trap of the evil one to convince us that we are the Holy Spirit or Jesus. We point to God. We do not become God.

It is a trap of the evil one to respond in the same spirit as the evil of this age. We overcome evil with good. If someone comes at us crazy, it does not mean God gives us permission to act crazy.

God has tested this in my life over and over. It appears as weakness to some people. Yet I do not need to yell or act crazy because someone approaches me with ignorance, hatred, evil, or nonsense. We can rebuke and address in great love understanding that the spirits of this age blind people to the truth of who God is.

They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God,~2 Corinthians 4:4 (GNT).

Imagine going into a house and the lights are off and everyone is blind. Your method to help is to scream at them, “You are blind. You are in the dark!!!” Guess what, your screaming will not make them see. You can scream all day and it adds no value.

Imagine going to a graveyard and everyone is dead. You walk around screaming the Gospel at them. They can’t hear you! Dead people do not hear or see. The only reason a believer in Jesus can see or hear is because God opened blind eyes, deaf ears, and revealed Himself.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins,~Colossians 2:13 (NLT).

One of the ways we can help the world is by actually living a life that is a living testimony of the goodness, love, and power of God. I had several coworkers who were atheists, agnostic, or other faiths inquire about Jesus because of the way I acted at work. I did not bully them with the bible, point out everything they did that violated scripture, nor look down on them. I looked for ways to serve them, love them, and the topic of Jesus would just come up. One went to church because he said he could not figure out why I had so much joy. My Muslim neighbor said I was the only Christian he had encountered that did not mistreat him. One of my atheist coworkers hurt her back and because I did not mistreat her, she let me pray. God took all her pain away.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children,~Ephesians 5:1 (NLT).

The world has heard our sermons. Have they seen Jesus through us?

Do we respond to evil with the Spirit of Jesus? Do we see people God loves and desires to redeem? Or are we like the Pharisees, our hands are full of heavy stones and we are crying out to God to punish them? I will tell you sin alone is great punishment. Without Jesus, people will have ledgers marked with every sin. Do we care about their souls or just the way they treat us?

We also don’t need to beat people up with the bible. I saw this old movie years ago called Saved. It basically mocked Christians for hypocrisy and improper methods of evangelism. I have included a very short clip of the groups attempt to lead Mary back to Jesus. This involves beating her with an actual bible. The Gospel is Not A Weapon . It’s worth watching! It is about 5 minutes long.

I am not stating we condone sin.

I am not stating we condone immorality.

I am stating the way we deal with people can be part of the determining factors on whether they turn to Jesus or run from Him.

I am stating if we don’t live what we claim to believe it impacts the world. All of creation is groaning for sons and daughters of God to rise up and shine bright (Romans 8:19-23)!

We do have a small role to play. If we are hypocrites, hateful, only love people who are a certain way, then we demonstrate to the world that our God is that way. It misrepresents Jesus to the world.

Let’s look at what Jesus said (Luke 6:32-36 (AMP)

If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your[heavenly] Father is merciful.

Expecting people who don’t know Jesus to act like Jesus, is like asking a person who cannot swim to compete in Olympic swimming. They can not. We cannot. Unless we have the Spirit of God we will not manifest the likeness of His character.

Honestly, I have met numerous people in my lifetime in churches who claim Jesus and look and act nothing like Jesus. I have had some of them yell at me, leave my fellowships, act hateful and nasty because I actually taught them what Jesus said. I could write a mega book on mistreatment from professing believers. Shouting “Praise the Lord,” on Sunday and gossiping about you on Monday. I will not even unpack the prejudice, jealousy, competing, pettiness, sexism, sabotage, and racism that I have encountered with professing Christians.

My point is as follows, to expect the world or people who do not know Jesus to flow in tune with God is unreasonable. It is also unfair if we (Christians) are not willing to submit to God to act in ways that actually look like God and then tell others they need God. It confuses the world when the Gospel we teach is not the Gospel we live.

How we react to evil is important. We do not condone it. We do not agree with it. We also do not stoop to low levels of conduct and act in ways unbecoming of Jesus to deal with it. If we were committing evil or out of line, how would we want to be treated? Would we want to be cussed out and condemned? Or would we want someone to say, “I love you and there is a better way?”

I love that even the rebukes of Jesus come because He longs for us to be right with God. Sometimes I think in culture its about us being right and not about the person being right with God.

Love is who God is and how He operates. I appreciate every rebuke and correction of God. Mainly because when God corrects it is to restore. When people do it, sometimes (not always), it is simply a critical spirit or pride. It lacks love, lacks compassion, and lacks tact. A critical spirit can seem like discernment, yet it’s not. God reveals to heal and so we can intercede or help. A critical spirit is rooted in pride and loves pointing out the flaws of others while rarely seeing it’s own flaws.

I am praying I walk in authentic Christianity. Rather than pointing the finger at others, I am asking God to help me walk out authentic faith. When people encounter me, I hope they walk away saying, “I want to know the God you worship,” not “Oh my gosh, get this person away from me. Whoever they worship must be a flake or a freak.”

I actually had a conversation with God Sunday about the way the church represents Him. I put myself in the shoes of someone completely unchurched. Would I desire Jesus just based on my encounters with believers over the years? Other than my parents and a handful of people, well, probably not. Yes, I have met some amazing people, yet as a whole (the summary of my life in Christiandom) have seen a culture that loves those who are already on the path better than the sinner. I would not feel comfortable as a way out there sinner coming into a community of faith. I would not feel comfortable as someone who was labeled liberal or alternative. I would not feel safe. How can I say this? Because I have spent my life in churches and seen the way “outsiders” are treated by a good chunk of people. The person can be a “get them saved project” or “be nice to them only at worship gatherings-ignore otherwise.” Gosh, I have encountered people who withhold love from other Christians because they go to another church or align with another political party. I have seen some pretty amazing believers too, yet as a summary-just my thoughts, we can do better.

I think we (I) can do better by abiding in Jesus (John 15:4-5). We can pray for revival all day, yet if we are not revived internally and begin to actually manifest Jesus, I do not think we will positively impact the world. I hear people chant, “They just need to get saved and come to the church.” Yet, how are we going to treat them when they get there? Is anyone going to mentor or disciple them? Is anyone going to genuinely love, invest, and treat them like Jesus would? We want these millions of souls to come to know Jesus and join our churches, yet have we learned to love the people already right in front of us?

Love is the highest standard. God speaks truth in love. The devil will tell the truth in the wrong spirit to hurt people or inappropriate times to create issues. If you don’t believe demons and the devil can speak truth, read the passages where demons cried out Jesus was the Son of God and He silenced them because it was not His time (Luke 4:41), or the slave girl who followed Paul around speaking truth from the wrong source (Acts 16).

Bottom line-we overcome evil with good.

Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good,~Romans 12:21 (CSB).

Love,

Erin Lamb