Godly Pursuit vs. Selfish Pursuit

Every Pursuit is Not Rooted in God Love

I have encountered numerous women in my lifetime who felt so special for being pursued. Yet the man pursued them as a game, out of loneliness, selfishness, lust, greed, to check a box, to cause harm. Women can pursue too…women are sometimes taught in culture that having a man increases their value or not being married or having children is a sign of life failure. It’s untrue, yet culture contains many things that simply aren’t true. Stalkers are pursuers too…they simply don’t possess the right motivations.

God tells us to pursue wisdom. God tells us to investigate fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). I have been pursued by people, not just men, for their selfish gain. They were not interested in what God was speaking to me or calling me to do. They saw something they thought they wanted and saught to convince me to go along with the agenda. God tells us not to pursue selfish agendas.

Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself,~Phil 2:3.

God is not selfish. When God pursues us, our best interests are taken into consideration. When God presents a plan or His agenda, our best interests and the best interests of others are taken into consideration. I am going to throw out a radical statement. God does not need our worship or devotion. Angels surround the throne of God and worship God continually (Revelation 7:11, Isaiah 6). God invites us into worship not just because He alone is worthy of it, but because worship impacts us in a powerful way. We become like the gods we worship. God alone is good. Even prayer benefits us more than it does God. God is not ego driven; love is God’s persistent motivation.

It can be affirming to be pursued. Yet ask the question, why is this person pursuing me? What is the fruit of their life? Or why am I pursuing this person? God what are my true intentions? Help me to pursue to love as you love.

This is not just for dating. Think about business relationships, ministry relationships, friendships. Is the person coming to the table to add value or with containers to take away? We love tupperware people, we do not allow them to be consistent consumers in our lives. There needs to be balance. Ministering to people is pouring out expecting nothing in return. Godly love involves some reciprocation. God does expect us to love Him in return. It is a lie God desires nothing from us. You may read this in the following verses: Matthew 22:37, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Luke 6:46, John 14:15.

I am inclined to tell you the story of an old hoarder colleague. She loved to go to buffets. The main purpose was to load up her purse. I kid you not she would have a purse full of egg rolls, and chicken wings. She did not frequent buffets because she liked the restaurant per say. She went to load up her purse, what she considered free food. She was not poor in reality. She suffered from scarcity mentality, hoarding, and greed. The restaurant may think, “Oh she loves this place.” Nope, she loves benefiting from this place. If she truly loved the restaurant and the owners, she would abide by their guidelines of not carry out from the buffet. She would not fill her purse full of items. She would think about what is best for the owners not just herself.

God encourages us and invites us into a lifestyle of love. Love thinks of what is best for everyone, not just one person. Love is not selfish, greedy, one sided, nor pursues under false pretenses. God also commits to who He pursues. There is loyalty there. God is not simply pursuing to ditch you later.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Monday Encouragement

Revelation of God’s Heart Regarding Relationships (Encouraging Word).

Have you ever wondered how God feels about relationships, conflict, betrayal, loss, mistreatment? I have. I was taught that God loves the sinner (He does). There was far less focus on God loving the one sinned against. I was told to forgive (we should), keep giving, keep pouring out, keep investing because love never fails. What I found was a string of bad or one sided relationships. Yes I was loving. Yes I wad attempting lay my life down. Yes I was giving, giving, giving. I was also in a cycle of feeling unloved, used, abused, mistreated, and had no joy in those relationships. Mostly I wanted to escape those people yet felt obligated to stick with them because God is love.

I failed to realize God wants me to be loved in return. God created relationships to be mutually beneficial. He designed family, community, and what we call the church. It was never intended to be one sided, abusive, harmful, nor for people to be consumers. Love gives.

One of the issues present in our culture is things are being loved, and people are being used. God expects us to steward our lives and hearts. We, not God, must set boundaries. Boundaries are healthy and demonstrate love for ourselves. We love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Below are the words I sensed from God yesterday. Certainly weigh and test them. God wants you loved well!

The Lord spoke some profound things to my heart that I hope bless someone else.

“I will never bring someone into your life to abuse you, use you, manipulate you, or hurt you. People have free will and they do not always make the right choices. I desire that you are loved well! I desire that you are treated well, honored, celebrated, and cared for the way My Son loves you.

Gosh we love you and we are so honored to know you and call you beloved. I desire for your dreams to be fulfilled and EXCEEDED. I do not delight when people mistreat you. It brings great sorrow to My heart. People think because I can turn bad situations into good ones that I am the source of the bad things. Some believe I am an unloving Father, that I want the very least for them, that I enjoy struggle, pain, betrayal and loss. They do not understand My heart.

I LOVE My children MORE than anyone could love them. I want the VERY BEST for them. I want them to have JOY. I want them to see My heart for them through others whether that is through a spouse or friend or family.

I am deeply grieved when My children hurt each other, out of their brokenness, pride, insecurity, and lack of receiving My love. It is not My will that My children are abused, wounded, put down, rejected, abandoned, or left to suffer. I run towards the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.

Understand that I am for you. I will expose and move people away from you who seek to destroy your heart or life. I love them the same as I love you. I am also a protective Dad. I come to stand as an Advocate and the Lover of your soul.

I will remove you from people and situations where I gave you as a gift and they trampled that gift under foot. Just as I took the one talent from the unwise servant and gave it to the one with ten, I will remove you from unwise stewards of your heart and plant you in fertile, healthy soil. I will connect you with those who see your value, know their value, and will steward you as I intend.

I love you! I love you! I am for you!! You are a gift, My gift. You were carved out of My heart and bear the seal of My Son. You are our workmanship, created by Love, to be loved and then to love!

I want you to thrive in EVERY area of life! Love Dad.”

I believe this applies to each of us. God is a really good Father! God loves His children MORE than we could ever love ours. If we ask for bread, He will not give us a stone. If we who are sinful know how to give good gifts to our children, how much MORE will our heavenly Father who is perfect in love give us.

Love,

Erin Lamb

The Beauty of Honor

Morning Notes: When Familiarity Leads to Dishonor and Disrespect. Pride Breeds Dishonor, Disrespect, Rebellion, and Lack of Genuine Appreciation.

I believe every person is worthy of honor because they were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Honor does not mean complete agreement, nor worship. It is the ability to see the worth of a human being and treat them as though they matter. Honor is also seeing through the lenses of God and having the ability to assess someone by the spirit.

There is a proverb that states familiarity can breed contempt. I believe familiarity can breed dishonor, or lack of value for someone or something. When Jesus began ministry, some of the people around him stated, “Isn’t that Joseph’s son?” They had no grid for Jesus as Messiah. So they treated him with dishonor, disrespect, and disdain. They could not see who Jesus was because they had their own ideas and concepts.

Pride breeds dishonor. Why? Because pride is an elevation of our opinions above God’s. Pride is not just puffing our chest out and being cocky. Pride is an exaltation of self above of God. Dishonor says, “I know who this person is and I will treat them according to my assessment.” The problem with this thinking is that God values everyone and often has a different opinion that we do. Jesus stated, “Whatever you have done to the least of them, you have done unto me.”

Dishonor can also be a manifestation of an inward lack of value for self. We can only give away what we possess. If I view myself as royalty in the eyes of God, then I will honor others as deeply cherished by God. If I view myself as a bottom feeder, possess insecurity, then I may struggle with seeing the value of others because I do not value myself.

Pride pretends to be a friend, yet it is our greatest foe. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. God works on behalf of the yielded and surrendered to bring forth even greater honor. It is the person who elevates God’s opinion above theirs who receives more honor.

We see in part and know in part. God sees everything fully. God knows our end from our beginning. God knows who we really are. God knows who our neighbor is and the gifts/talents He placed inside of them. God sees clearly.

It can also be quite easy to not value what is familiar. Oh that is just Susie, she will always be here. It is possible to lose value for someone or something that is steady, constant, and available. Sometimes the best way to appreciate something or someone is to go without it for awhile. Sometimes our greatest appreciation comes in hindsight.

Regardless of how we feel, a Kingdom principle is honor. The bible says the following.

Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another,~Romans 12:10.

The key to honor is abiding (remaining) in Jesus and receiving the love and honor God has for us. We give away what we possess. If we have not received the honor God gives us, we cannot give that away. May we know how much God loves us and then honor/love others.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Hidden in Jesus

Enjoy being hidden. Find home in God’s heart. ❤️

I love my cave. I actually prefer being in hidden seasons with Jesus. I never prayed to be seen nor to have a platform. My prayer was to be one of God’s very best friends. I think He is the greatest gift to humanity.

In hidden seasons you can simply enjoy God. No one is looking at you nor looking for you. You have an intimacy no one asks about and often they don’t even see you. Yet God sees you.

His eyes are the only ones that matter and He is the best thing.

Oh my, I could go on for days about God. Don’t forget to ENJOY God. Don’t forget to find yourself lost in His gaze. There is more pleasure in God than anything He created. There is more joy in God than any human.

He is worth knowing and pursuing…to say, “I want you God. I desire you. Here I am, laying all I am before your feet, to be swept up in love and intimacy. You are who my heart longs for…more of you.”

May we pursue Him. If no one on earth is looking at you, God is. Look back into those eyes of fire and let the intensity of that love wreck you!!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Becoming Like Jesus

Happy Transformed Through Worship Sunday!

Worship is more than singing songs, it is a heart posture of yieldedness to God. It is a surrender in intimacy of all that we are to all that He is. Worship is not about us and what we like. It’s about loving a King! He is worthy of the worship that causes His heart to dance. Lord may we love you, who you really are, not a “god” made in our own image-created in our imagination to suit our needs and wants.

We become like the gods or God we worship.

We will imitate the God we know. It is quite simple to worship a “god” created in our own image instead of the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. Traditions of men, our own ideals, and things we have been taught can replace intimacy/abiding relationship with God. The gods we worship write their names on our faces, and our rhetoric will sound like the one or ones we worship. Our mouths speak what our hearts are full of and only unity with God’s heart produces agape (sacrificial, unselfish, compassionate love). We will smell like where we have been. The aroma of heaven invades true worship. Only the true worship of God for who He is will reproduce disciples who love, live, and behave like Jesus (John 15:4-5).

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-free.com

Facebook.com/erinlambauthor

OperationGodisLove.org

The Ministry of Jesus

Morning Thoughts: The Ministry of Jesus & Heart of God (Isaiah 61 Reflection). Comforting those who mourn is just as important to God as physical healing.

Certainly still on Cambodia time. That’s okay, I will get back to my time zone eventually.

Awakened an hour ago thinking about the example of Jesus. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing and only said what He heard Him speaking. Jesus did not feel the need to prove His diety. “Come watch how many miracles I can perform to show you how great I am!” Yes His ministry demonstrated the great love and power of God, yet His motivation was not to gain the applause of people nor boost His ego. His motivation was to honor the Father, bring glory to the Father, and demonstrate compassion. Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the sick.

Jesus did more than heal the sick in body. Jesus healed the souls of people, comforted those who mourned, gave hope to the hopeless, ministered to the outcasts and displaced of society, spoke life, delivered the oppressed, spoke truth in love, and everything else aligned with Isaiah 61.

Our culture can be hyper focused on one aspect of God’s nature, and ignore equally as important parts of His attributes.

I love the ministry of Jesus was and is focused on loving people in whatever capacity is needed at the moment. He comes in with love to heal the body, love to heal the soul, love to comfort those who mourn, love to wipe tears, love to give the perfect gift, love to provide family and blessings, love to demonstrate radical generosity, love to hold a hurting person, love to befriend a lonely person, love to impart courage, love to sacrifice even when we have a need, love to get low instead of position ourselves high, love to work behind the scenes, love to elevate instead of diminish, love to pursue what is best for another.

I love that Jesus lived out of this place of extreme security in His identity. He knew when to be bold and when to be quiet. He knew when to lead and when to submit and follow. He knew when to be with the crowds and when to steal away with the Father. He knew when to step forward and when to pull back. Jesus, beautiful Jesus, operated out of radical confidence. He knew His true identity was approval already given by the Father. He walked in boldness and great humility. He could speak with great authority and profound gentleness.

Jesus is my role model and best friend. If I am to emulate anyone, may it be Jesus. I see through Isaiah 61 the multifaceted heart of God. Comforting those who mourn was and is just as important as sharing the Gospel.

Isaiah 61:1-9

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Aliens shall stand [ready] and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

But you shall be called the priests of the Lord; people will speak of you as the ministers of our God. You shall eat the wealth of the nations, and the glory [once that of your captors] shall be yours.

Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs.

For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong with violence or a burnt offering. And I will faithfully give them their recompense in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with them.

And their offspring shall be known among the nations and their descendants among the peoples. All who see them [in their prosperity] will recognize and acknowledge that they are the people whom the Lord has blessed.

God cares about every detail of a person’s life, it all matters. I love that Jesus knew and understands love is the highest aim of the Kingdom!

Once I gain my bearings, I will share with you some of the amazing things God did in Cambodia. God is so good!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Founder of Operation God is Love

Owner and CEO of Lamb Enterprises LLC

Love God; Love People!

The mission is love. The mission is Jesus.

Miracles Are to Flow From Love

Morning Notes on Power, Miracles, Signs, and Wonders. Jesus Performed Miracles Through Love. He Did Not Flow Through Pride, Ego, Show, or Selfish Gain.

Power without love is not God. Yes the gifts of God are irrevocable. The fruit of the Spirit manifests the fruit of God; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Apostle Paul stated without love we are making noise, we are nothing, and have nothing (1 Corinthians 13). The Bible also states that between faith, hope, and love, the greatest is love. God is love (1 John 4:8).

It is so easy to look at the outward things and gifts and neglect character and fruit. Jesus said the world would know His disciples by their agape love (sacrificial, unselfish love)-John 13:35. The gifts of the Spirit were not meant to operate outside the work of the Holy Spirit. All the gifts are to flow through the beautiful Holy Spirit who is pure love. Apostle Paul placed the chapter on love 1 Corinthians 13 in between two chapters on the gifts of the Spirit. He did not write in chapters, he wrote letters.

Mankind is impressed by miracles, signs, and wonders. God is impressed by the hearts of man. God looks right past the outward to the inward parts of mankind. Jesus even states in Matthew 25 His great attention on the love of humanity.

“I was hungry and you did not feed Me.”

“I was naked and you did not clothe Me.”

“I was in sick and prison and you did not visit Me.”

“I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink.”

“I was a stranger and you did not invite Me into your home.”

“I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me,” Jesus (from Matthew 25).

There is no part of His statement that focuses on demonstrations of power. Yes, we want to walk in God’s power. Jesus operated in love and the manifestation of love was the miraculous. He was moved with compassion and healed the sick. The root source of His miraculous power was love. His life source was love. His motivation was love.

Sometimes the very act of loving people brings about a miracle. I have held people, hugged them and just loved them and seen the overflow of love produce a miracle in their lives. It was not me. It was His love flowing through me to them. The reception of the love of God brought about transformation.

Mama Heidi Baker tells the story of a demonized girl she just held and loved. She rocked the girl and loved her. Those spirits could not stand in the love. They vacated the little girl.

My point is this. Love, God love, is our superpower. All of the gifts of the Spirit are to flow through the fruit of the Spirit. If we get the love part right, we will see Jesus. The world needs Jesus. The world needs fruit of His Spirit. The world needs to know and feel the heartbeat of God.

Papa God, help us to live out of the overflow of your great love. Take us deeper than we have ever been before. Take us deeper into the corridor of your heart and help us dwell there. Remove everything blocking us from receiving your great love. Soak us in your love today. More than the soul can hold. Push out any darkness. Infuse us with your light.

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Image: Art of Kleyn

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

We Become Like The Gods We Worship

Morning Devotion: Knowing God is the Key to Thriving. We Can Be Stuck Worshipping The God Made in Our Own Image. We Become Like the gods We Worship. Let’s Know The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob for Who He truly Is.

I strongly desire for every person to know God intimately for themselves, and not the “God” they think they know. There are things over the years I thought I knew about God yet the more time I spent with Him the greater the revelation. I am still learning.

My first book is entitled I Thought I Knew What Love Was. It is so easy to gather thoughts about God from other people, from skimming the Bible, and not dive into personal intimacy. It is also possible to allow the things we have been taught about God to keep us from learning more. I want to know God for myself, not second hand knowledge.

This journey to intimacy with God moves us being being poly parrots to living out of the very heartbeat of God. Our understanding of God will determine who we become. We become like the gods we worship, they write their names on our faces.

If I do not believe God is good, I will be less inclined to be good to people. If I believe God is harsh, hyper critical, unmerciful or cruel, then I would be more prone to be that way. The grid or lenses by which we view God determine what we become.

Some worship a god of religion, some traditions of men, some a god of their denomination, some a racist god, some a sexist god, some a greedy god, some an unloving god, some an indifferent god, some a god that only lives to serve them.

Over the years I have met hundreds of people who claim to speak for God or know God with some quite backwards ideas, unloving speech, and questionable behavior.

God is not rude. Rudeness is a weak person’s attempt at strength and power. God is all powerful and all knowing. Knowing all our faults, God chooses to move in love and compassion. He could blast all of us to dust with one word, yet instead chooses to send His Son to wash feet and serve humanity.

God is not racist or sexist. I get the most feedback when I talk about equality. Humans desire a hierarchy system due to insecurity, pride, misunderstanding how God works, religious spirits, and misunderstanding the bible. Jesus is supposed to be the standard and we do not see racism or sexism in Jesus. Some misunderstand Paul’s letters and refuse to change their mind about his true meaning.

God is after relationship, not religion. The goal was never to just fill buildings with people who do not engage with God outside of those meetings. The goal was and is to cultivate family with humanity. He said, “I have grafted you into my family through my Son. You have been adopted.” He did not say, “I have signed you up for a program or network.” Family functions differently than an organization. A body functions differently than an organization. The place God longs to gather is in our hearts. God longs for daily communing and a habitation-not visitation. God cultivates family, interdependent community.

God does not live in the land of speaking death and limitations of our abilities. When Moses told God he did not speak well, God replied to Moses, “Who made the mouth?” God did not say to Moses, “Well you suck, I can’t do anything with you…what on earth am I to do. Let me replace you with someone better.” God sees our weakness or perceived limitations as an opportunity to showcase His strength. God has no weakness. I have had loads of people try to word curse me with their death words. God does not speak death over me nor limitations. God speaks life and endless possibilities to His children. Those who ultimately suffer are those not in union with Jesus.

God is not into celebrity status and political agendas. God thinks highly of every human being and demonstrated this on the cross. In heaven there are no elections, no Christian celebrity sections, roped off areas for the VIP, etc…God looks at the heart. God examines fruit. A person can gain all the applause on earth and miss the applause of heaven. God pursues all of humanity for good, not just popular people or those on a certain side of a political fence. I have seen people grossly mistreat those who are not platform ministers or popular and think it’s okay. It’s not okay. It’s sin and ungodly. Jesus stated, “What you have done to the least of them, you have done to me.”

God actually cares how we treat people and talk about them or to them. “I’m just telling it like it is,” that damages people is not the heart of God. Jesus spoke truth in love. If we don’t want it said to us, or about us, it may be a good thing to refrain from doing or saying. When God reveals someone in my sphere is struggling, I pray. I do not use the information to beat them to death with it. Discernment is a key to intercession not a springboard for embarrassing people or humiliating them.

God does not seek to humiliate people or publicly embarrass them. I have seen ministers do this and say God led them to, well no! God tells us to go privately to a brother or sister if we have an issue with them. Only if necessary do we need to involve other people.

God is not double minded, confused, nor crazy. “God told me to go left,” then “God changed His mind and told me turn around He did not mean what He said the first time.” Well, often when people are wishy washy and claim “God said,” they have yet to distinguish the voice of God from a demon, or their flesh or soul. God is accurate and not double minded. Sometimes when people want something they will say, “God told me.” And if they no longer want something, “God told me.” The voice that guides is not Holy Spirit. Yet God’s name gets attached to their desires or feelings.

God is not mean, cruel, or hateful. If we are, we either don’t know God or have stepped out of abiding in God.

God is not selfish nor lustful. Lust is seeking pleasure outside God’s design or boundaries for our selfish means. God loves. Love seeks to give and operate inside of the boundaries of God. Heaven does not have a “you are not accountable” pass for “boys will be boys,” or “raging hormones.” Heaven has the same standard, holiness and purity. Grace empowers righteousness not lawlessness. The bible also states where you have jealousy and selfish ambition you find every evil work. Selfishness is sin. It is using people just to meet our needs. Only caring about ourselves. We are told to not just look out for our own best interests, but the interests of others.

God is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of lights. God continually pursues our good. There is no evil in God. God dod not create evil. God created angelic and human beings with an ability to choose. Some choose to operate outside of God’s will. Evil is the abuse of free will.

God is not insecure. God is bold, confident, courageous, and full of hope. God is aware that He is God.

God is a Spirit and those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit and truth. God is not like a human male. God made both male and female in His image. Females are not some sub creature that has nothing in common with God. Some of the attributes we call feminine exist in God; compassion, deep love, nurturing, mothering, cultivating, wiping tears, teaching, move mountains to help their kids, etc…when God is only viewed through a human male lens, so much is missed about God’s heart and nature.

My encouragement is we daily pursue God. God is worth knowing. It is a journey worth pursuing.

You may pick up your copy of I Thought I Knew What Love Was; The Journey to Intimacy with God and Confident & Free (30 Day Devotional; Grow in Godly Confidence Through Intimacy with God) at Empowered & Free Store (USA & Canada). Or stop by Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble to grab copies.

God invites is to know Him. Join the journey with me into His heart.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Sunday Devotion (Know God’s Heart)

Shorter Sunday Note: We Need to Know God’s Heart to Understand His Word Properly and Intimately Know His Person. Remove the Heart and It is Not a True Picture of God.

Truly, I think (could be wrong), one of the biggest missing pieces sometimes in Christianity is understanding the heart of God. One can know the bible well, be anointed, and quote God and miss His heart.

The Pharisees knew the Torah, they lacked intimacy with God. Their interpretation of God was WAY OFF because they lacked true knowledge of God. They were religious and harmful. They cared more about being right by their eyes and looking pious than doing what was right by God. They neglected the most important things and focused on religious things.

Throughout history you can trace the misinterpretation of the bible back to a lack of understanding the heart of God and who He is and how He operates. There is no part of God that is not love. His love simply does not always match our understanding of love.

Knowing the very heartbeat of God and living out of abiding in His heart is what Jesus did. He stated His life source was living out of the Father’s love. This is one of the reasons Jesus was and is the most effective representation of heaven on earth.

Those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8).

A person can preach and teach and not know God.

A person can pastor and prophesy and not know God. I have met some pretty mean spirited pastors and prophets. And while they claim to just tell it like it is, many miss the true voice of God because the purpose of being a messenger for God is to connect people with His heart, not just relay information.

Those who do not know God will not accurately represent God nor release heaven on earth. Jesus was not rude, mean spirited, reckless, selfish, religious, hateful, political, sexist, racist, unfeeling, lacking compassion, disinterested with the poor, orphan or widow, interested in just filling meeting and not stopping for the one.

May we know God, and not the God of our traditions. May we know the real God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. The God whose heart beats passionately for ALL of humanity. The God who loves better than anyone on this planet.

Our world needs Ambassadors of heaven, not replicates of the Pharisee.

Lord help us (including myself) to know you, and know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your love. Help us to be like Jesus and live out of that love. Knowing your heart and living out of your heart is how the world will see Jesus through us. He said His disciples would be known for great love.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered & Free Website

Get Wisdom!

Morning Devotion: Gaining wisdom is vital to thriving. Let’s talk about relationships-great ones set you up to go further, draining ones sabotage efforts. God desires we have mutual and life giving relationships.

I had a very bad habit of giving people too much; too much access to me, too much availability, too much sacrificing for their benefit. They say you can never give too much-this is a lie.

Giving without wisdom is just as bad as not giving at all.

Giving in the wrong places, sowing into the wrong soil is just as bad as not sowing.

Let me break it down with examples. If I had a million dollars and gave it to someone who flushed it down the toilet, was that a good investment? No! They put the million dollars in the toilet and flushed it. They had no value for what was given to them. So they wasted it. Say they come back a few weeks later and asked for another million. It would be utter foolishness to give them another million. Yet let’s say you did and they flushed it down the toilet. They come back another time and ask for a million dollars. If you keep giving it to them, it’s pure foolishness.

How many times in Christian relationships is there a push to just give, give, and give with no wisdom? There is this push to give money, volunteer everywhere, give people-even toxic ones full access to your life, and just keep enduring abuse and mistreatment.

Jesus was not foolish. God is not foolish. God is a wise investor. Yes God allows His goodness to flow over the just and the unjust. God also invests wisely. God knows before He pursues us who we will become. God knew though Peter denied Jesus who he would become. God is purposeful, not aimless. There is a divine purpose behind everything God does and everything God allows. Even God has a boundary on who has full access to Him. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father unless they come through the Son.” God also has an expectation on His love. God tells us He expects to be loved in return. He freely gives us love. Love given relationship with God IS expected to be returned.

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

Jesus answered him, “‘Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.’ This is the great and supreme commandment. And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.’ Contained within these commandments to love you will find all the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:36-40.

We are actually told the greatest commandment is to love God. God anticipates mutual love. I know this is not always taught, yet it’s biblical. God loves without our love. He does not cease loving if we do. God still expects mutual love in relationship. I truly believe one of the reasons humans struggle with loving other people is due to a lack of understanding of how to love God. God is their Mr. Fix it, or trunk monkey. He is not someone they engage with just because they love Him. Therefore they do not know how to just love other people.

We are invited to be good to people, even our enemies. This does not mean we become unwise and foolish. Get wisdom the bible says.

A prudent person with insight foresees danger coming and prepares himself for it.

But the senseless rush blindly forward

and suffer the consequences,~Proverbs 22:3.

Say goodbye to a troublemaker and you’ll say goodbye to quarrels, strife, tension, and arguments, for a troublemaker traffics in shame,~Proverbs 22:10.

Walk away from an angry man or you’ll embrace a snare in your soul by becoming bad-tempered just like him,~Proverbs 22:24-25.

So stop fooling yourselves! Evil companions will corrupt good morals and character.[c]~1 Corinthians 15:32.

[c] 1 Corinthians 15:33 This is likely a quotation from the Athenian poet Menander (Thras. 218). Paul is using this quote to encourage the believers to stay away from those who deny the resurrection.

Some Examples:

If Suzie only calls you to download her issues and problems, when she is bored, and sucks up hours of your time needed elsewhere, why are you answering the phone? Suzie is responsible for her own life and you yours. Yes we pray for people. Yes we love people. We also set boundaries.

I have sent people to ministries that have 24/7 prayer support, told then to pursue a counselor or life coach or soul healing or told them I could no longer be their stand in crisis person. Why? I am not God. I don’t want to be Jehovah Jr. I have limited time, tons of obligations, my own issues, and limited emotional capacity. God has no limits. I can not do all things. I can do all things God purposes me to do. Everything and everyone is not my assignment, nor yours.

If we are not careful, people will put us into the God spot. We do not belong there. Only God can be God. We have some limitations.

If Lucy has a bad temper and goes off on you regularly, and you have addressed this behavior with her and she never apologies and continues to verbally abuse you, why are you hanging out with Lucy? Why? Lucy has demonstrated with her actions that she does not care about you. Continuing to pursue closeness with Lucy is not helping Lucy become a better person. Lucy knows no matter how poorly she treats you, you will be back for her to verbally beat up again.

I am going to say something that may be shocking. Love sets boundaries! I repeat, “Love sets boundaries.”

What are boundaries? This is where someone else’s freedom ends where ours begins. It is self care, not selfishness. It is saying, “I value myself and I value you.” It is also wise stewardship. God expects us to love ourselves. We are told to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Boundaries examine what God has placed inside us and around us that needs guarded from just anyone and everyone having access.

I love the phrase, “Build a fence, not a wall around your heart. People can see its beauty, yet not everyone has access.”

If we do not gain wisdom in relationships, we can end up in toxic, abusive, one sided, life sucking relationships. How can I say this? I have walked it out. I just wanted to love people and love lavishly gives without expectation of return (in my mind). Like Oprah’s giveaways, I was going around to any and everyone, “You get love, you get love, you get love.” I would befriend anyone and drop my priorities to help other people. I would take vacation to help other people. I learned the following:

1. Without boundaries people treat you like a doormat or worse; you are something to wipe their muddy feet on and they do not respect you. Lack of boundaries leads to mistreatment, being used, and sometimes even abuse.

2. God did not ask me or you to be the sacrificial lamb for everyone. We are to follow the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit. Yes give, yes love people, and also LISTEN to the Holy Spirit. I had an instance with street ministry where the Holy Spirit told me not to stop for this man begging. I did anyway thinking, “This could not be God. This man is in need.” That man was super nasty squared! God was trying to save me from wasting time, I refused to listen.

3. Some people and things are a distraction! Hear me again. They are a distraction. They come and suck up time and resources when God has other things for us to do or other assignments. Put some prayer on it. God do you want me connected to this? Everything that sounds good or looks good is not God. Learning to set limits and say no is vital.

“Thank you for your offer, I am unable to do that at this time.”

“Thank you so much for thinking of me. I am not able to participate.”

We can lovingly say no.

4. Lack of boundaries is a lack of love for self. I have always hated the love God, love your neighbor, then love yourself last. It is wrong. The true order is receive love from God, love ourselves and God, then love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. God expects us to love ourselves. How do we want to be treated? Why are we tolerating less than that?

5. Lack of boundaries fuels entitlement. Entitlement says, “This is owed to me.” Believe it or not, I have had people demand I be in relationship with them. Or they were quite toxic in choices, behavior and expected close friendship or tried to manipulate me into friendship. Ummmm no. Friendship and relationships are gifts, not obligations. We give thanks for relationships and try to steward them with love. They do not owe us relationship. If we are a poor steward, we may lose relationships.

There are people I love and pray for that do not have full access to me; their access is limited. They have shown repeadily that they are mean spirited, unrepentant, some hostile, and grossly selfish. If they were hungry, I would feed them. Naked, try to get them an outfit. I pray for them. I do not invite them to hang out and talk about my deep inner world. Why? They are going to trample it under foot or go flush it down the toilet. I do not drop my schedule anymore to help others unless God tells me too. I have priorities, obligations, and assignments from God.

This does not mean if someone needs 911 I ignore it. It does mean if I have project work to do and someone needs a ride they can call Uber. It does mean some calls can go to voicemail. It does mean I give people tools to see their own personal breakthrough. It does mean I don’t drop what I am doing for everyone. If I did, I would be driven by people not the Holt Spirit. It does mean I now take a year or so to assess people before I share my inner world-call them a friend.

I have offered way too many people friendship who came into the garden of my heart, poured gasoline, and lit it on fire. They were destructive. I am not wounded nor jaded. I learned something.

I stopped initiating with people who never ever initiated with me or only contacted me if I first contacted them or gave them something or they need something. I learned. Oh baby did I learn.

When people show us who they are, I believe them. I believe what people show me. I am not criticizing nor putting them down. I am assessing a situation based on the evidence. I then set boundaries based on who they are, not what they say. People can chant, “I love you all day,” yet their actions scream indifferent, just here for what I can get, or hostile. Yes we look for the gold, we also gain wisdom! We also function with discernment. We learn to hear and follow the Holy Spirit.

Finally, God wants us connected to people who will steward our hearts, time, and resources like He would. God takes NO delight in toxic relationship. Would we want our children mistreated? Hopefully no. God’s heart is far bigger than ours. God loves His children FAR more than we do.

Activation:

1. If you have children or had a child, what kind of friends would you want them to have? Write it out. Do your friends match that list? Are you that type of friend?

2. Assess who gets most of your time or resources? How are they stewarding what is given? You can waste time with those who have no value for what you offer. How can you better steward the time and resources?

-I have pulled back from super investing as a mentor in people who do absolutely nothing with what is given to them. Why? There are other people who will steward it well.

Bless you! Have an amazing Saturday!

Love,

Erin Lamb

P.S Be sure to check out my latest book Confident & Free Paperback and Confident & Free ebook. If you wish for a signed copy and love in the USA or Canada, please stop by my business website Lamb Enterprises LLC (Live Empowered & Free).