October Sale!

Aloha friends,

I love Autumn; crisp/cool air, bonfires, blanket scarves, apple cider, knee boots, lighting the fire place, and curling up with a good book! Cozy. 🍁🍂

In honor of Autumn, we are having a sale October 01, 2018. All items in the Empowered & Free shop will be 10% off.

Promo Code: October.

We have been receiving incredible reviews of Confident & Free, our recently released book! People are saying it is drawing them closer to God, enriching their esteem, and inspiring healthy risks taking!!

Check out some of the reviews from readers on Amazon (see photo).

Are you tired of being mistreated, overlooked, pushed aside? Are you tired of attracting bad relationships? Are you over feelings of rejection and hurts of the past? Are you desiring increased confidence? Then get your copy of Confident & Free today!

Studies show confidence is a greater measure of success than skill. Confident people do live better lives because they can take healthy risks, aim high, believe they can, and don’t allow setbacks or negative people to stop them.

A more confident life awaits you! Confident & Free will build you up from a biblical perspective. It will help heal those pesky soul wounds from rejection, trauma, and covers confidence when facing adversity, death, rejection, and the fierce trials of life! There are also fun chapters on dreaming with God, and freedoms God gives.

Purchase Confident & Free: Empowered & Free Shop.

We also premiered our Limited Edition jewelry collection. Supplies are limited on many of the pieces. Once they sell out, they are gone!

We hope to see you at our shops Monday! This sale is one day only.

  • Promo Code: October
  • Sale Day: October 1rst 2018

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Owner & CEO of Lamb Enterprises LLC

https://www.empowered-free.com

Author FB Page

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.

For More Devotions Pick Up Confident & Free the Devotional Book:Empowered & Free Shop , Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

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

The Power of Love

Photo: Me & Mama Heidi Baker (Iris Ministries)

Morning Notes & Stories: The Power of Love and Honor.

Some people will only honor or recognize your value when someone they admire honors you. Yet honor is a pillar of God’s character, nature, and Kingdom.

Heaven flows on honor and there is no VIP section or segregation (the haves and have nots; the elite and the paupers). In heaven every person is considered royalty and a joint heir with Jesus. Every tribe, tongue, and Nation will be represented.

The orphan spirit desires that someone be inferior and a hierarchy system. Kings and queens understand their tremendous value and therefore bestow honor on everyone. They seek to honor, elevate, celebrate, and assist others to see their greatest potential.

Sons and daughters of God who truly see themselves as God does, can also see others as God does. They are not jealous, envious, competitive, nor do they operate in dishonor.

It is imperative to know who we are from the perspective of God. God has such deep and profound for ALL of humanity. This love moves Him to get low and serve, bless, encourage, help, empower, and propel others forward. Jesus said we (those who follow Him) would do even greater things because we would have His Spirit (John 14:12). Jesus is a champion for all of humanity. Jesus has no ego, no spirit of “be beneath me peasants.”

Loving people, honoring them, and asking God to show us their standing in His heart is so powerful!! When I started researching on the topic of insecurity, one of the top reasons people felt insecure was a lack of support/encouragement which could translate to lack of honor.

I truly believe there is a misconception that we are just to be loved by God, honored by Him, and that is enough. Yes, God+Nothing=Everything. God also designed us to connect with other human beings. We can survive and thrive with God’s love. We will suffer if other people do not love us. Why? We are surrounded by people all day and for the duration of our lives. God gave Adam and Eve each other so they could have a family. The bible says He places the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). We are supposed to have some people in our lives who value us and want the best for us.

Actor Robin Williams stated, “Sometimes the lonliest feeling is being surrounded by people who do not care about you.” He took his own life. Some people have no one personally invested in their lives. No one checks in on them or asks how they are doing. No one supports them. No one hugs them. No one speaks life. No one loves them. We can tell those people to go find God. Yet what is better is if we walk in love and ask God to love others through us. We do not become God for the person, nor become codependent. We do listen to God and follow His prompting.

I will share a few short stories from my own life.

There was this happy lady at my church who always sat behind me. One day I turned and looked her in the eyes, I said, “Good morning. God loves you.” As I looked at her, I saw the word HOPE in white letters on her chest. I said, “Sometimes God speaks to me and I see words on people or over people. I see hope on you. God longs to infuse you with His hope.” I just spoke out encouragement and this woman began to break down. I mean she cried and cried. I thought, “Oh boy.” Yet our conversation ended with God healing some brokenheartedness.

I kept praying for this sweet lady. I wanted to give her a gift, something beautiful. I had these real pearls I felt led to give her. I packaged them for a queen and presented them to her the next Sunday. She read the card and opened the gift with great tears. She kept saying, “You don’t understand what you have done.” I was clueless. Oh so clueless. Later she told me that a non Christian clairvoyant person (she was not saved yet when this happened) told her she would marry the one who gave her pearls. I had told her in the card the pearls were from Jesus, not me. God was saying to her that the love she was looking for was found in Jesus.

This woman told so many people how Jesus gave her a set of real pearls. She held her head so much higher after that.

Love and honor are so powerful. We can pray all day for people to feel the love of God. Or we can participate and see God transform their life.

My primary love language is not physical touch. Yet on more than one occasion God has asked me to hug someone, place a gentle hand on their shoulder, and on one occasion to hold someone and just pray over them and love them. Why? God is love and ministers in the love language of the other person. We see with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died, Jesus responded to each of them differently. Why? Jesus met them where they were and ministered to them in ways they could understand His love.

With each person God told me to hug or hold, their primary language was touch. It meant something amazing to them. It ministered God’s love to them in a profound way. Ministry and love is supposed to be about what is best for the other person. Honor looks for what will best bless the other person.

Hugging also releases oxytocin which sends a message to the brain that says, “You are loved.” It is the bonding hormone. Babies and mommies release it during cuddling times. A deficit of this hormone creates incredible issues in the lives of infants and adults. It is also released in physical embrace/intimacy of adults. There is a such thing as holy affection. If there is a deficit of holy affection, people will seek it in unholy ways because God created us to be loved and holy affection and affirmation is part of the equation.

The people I hugged said they knew it was Jesus who told me to hug them. One lady, I felt grief leave her body during the embrace. One lady was propelled into her destiny as a full time missionary.

I truly believe people are suffering because they are not loved well by people. There is this push to have God do everything; “God you honor them. God you meet this need. God you love them. I am not going to do anything.” This is NOT a Kingdom mindset. A Kingdom mindest is love, honor, serve, partnership with God. If someone is starving, praying for them is great and give them a sandwich. It’s okay to hug someone if that makes them feel loved. It’s okay to send that note, ecard, gift-to ask God how they perceive love.

Instead of asking God to love people, we can ask God to flow through us to love others. He will set up divine appointments for us.

We cannot do everything, we can do something.

When we withhold love and honor, we may be withholding the key to propel another person into their destiny.

Lastly, I will tell you how momma Heidi Baker touched my life. I have shared this story, yet share it again because stopping for one person is more meaningful than we can imagine. I see this on the streets. Hugging the drug addict and watching God move them to repentance and restoration; God honors everyone. Everyone I meet means so much to God. I see kings and queens who just don’t know they are royalty yet.

When I went to see Heidi years ago, I had no clue who she was. I just did not know. I was asked to go hear this missionary lady speak and went along. It was a season of my life where I was being harassed and persecuted by people in the Christian circle and where I worked. At the time I was simply invisible to the people who should have stood up for me. I was also processing the death of someone I greatly loved. She was a mother, a friend, one of God’s best. I only had one friend at the time who knew the depths of pain I was carrying.

When Heidi walked in, I still did not know who she was. I was sitting cross legged down front, on the floor, in the crowd. I was, in my mind, hidden and pretty invisible. Yet I was not to her. We locked eyes for maybe 10 seconds, she said, “Hi” and then I looked away. The next thing I knew, this small petite blond woman was on the ground with her arms around me, hugging me, kissing me and saying “I said hi.” She hugged me tight like she had known me forever.

It wasn’t about Heidi in that moment. It was about Jesus. I felt the love of Jesus through a person. I knew what His love was like from our secret times together. Yet this was Jesus through a person, a stranger.

I love Heidi because she is not arrogant and Jesus flows through her. In the photo attached from two years ago I had the chance to tell her how one small moment impacted my life. Though I like hidden seasons, Jesus spoke through her actions that day, “In a large crowd I see you. Others may overlook you, but I never overlook you. Right where you are, I see you and I love you. I will get down on the floor where you are and bring love to you. Instead of giving love away, I am coming with great love, respect, and honor for you.”

I recall when I am on the streets what it is like to be that hurting person in the crowd. No one is looking for you, but Jesus. So I stop for one and keep stopping. If I am the only one who shows up for outreach, I load up as much as I can carry and go. I keep going-even when tired or disappointed. I stop for the dirty ones, the smelly ones, the drunk ones, the ones selling their bodies, the addicts, the ones who smell like vomit, the hurting ones, the ones carrying deep wounds and pain, and the invisible people. God give me your eyes so I do not gloss over someone you wish to see. They all matter greatly.

In one small act of genuine love, Jesus marked me through momma Heidi. In so many other instances as well. I highlight her because she stands on platforms all over the world yet gets low to kiss the face of a stranger. I had never had any pastor or leader show that level of concern or love for me other than my parents. It was such a small thing, yet so big to me. When we choose to love and honor, we can see God transform a life. I left that night marked by this message, “God sees me.”

So at conferences and church services you may see me looking for the one who came alone, moving away from the VIP section to touch the person no one else is looking for or loving. Why? I find Jesus there. God sees you! There are no invisible, dishonored, outcasts in His heart. He pursues us all to love us.

Who will you love today? Who will you honor? I highly encourage treating everyone as though they are so valued by God. We can ask God for His eyes, His heart. We can’t yield to every demand nor be everyone’s best friend. We can choose to treat others with respect, honor, and dignity. Love looks like someone, Jesus. 🙂

P.S Hope you join us Wednesday morning at 9am EST on the FB page for the live broadcast. I will be talking about getting your soul healed. Facebook.com/erinlambauthor.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Latest book Confident & Free. Available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Empowered & Free.

Racism is Cured by God Love

Morning Story: How My Racist Neighbor Became My Friend. God Love Overcomes Hatred.

When I moved into my house, they warned me of the old grumpy man who lived across the street. He was old, cranky, a former cop, racist. I was told to avoid him because he hated everyone especially middle eastern people, blacks, and hispanics. He would frequently call the cops on our Saudi Arabian neighbor (I loved Raja. He was the sweetest guy).

I saw my cranky racist neighbor as an opportunity to share God’s love. The only thing he could do was call me names. I only respond to my name. It’s not what people call you, it’s what you answer to that matters.

So when I saw him, I would smile big and say, “Good morning neighbor, how are you?” At first he was grumpy and grumbled under his breath. I kept waving, smiling, and saying hello.

One day I saw him hobbling to get to the mailbox. I asked him, “Hey are you okay? Are you hurt? Can I help you?” He looked stunned. He proceeded to tell me how he was sick, he could not drive, and needed to get groceries and his medicine. I said, “I can take you or go get those things for you! I would be honored to help you.” He looked at me with sad blue eyes. I saw a person God loved; a person Jesus died for. I felt zero animosity. I felt this deep well of God’s love and compassion.

Something broke in my neighbor’s heart that day. He let me help him. And I spent the next 3-6 months serving. Picking up groceries, checking on him, praying for him, and being a friend. We had fun chats. I even got him to laugh!! 🤣🤣🤣

He would stop by and say hello. One day he showed up with a dozen red roses and a gift. He said, “Thank you for helping me.”

When he could drive again he went and purchased a car just like mine. He stated, “I hope you don’t mind. I really like your car.” I laughed and replied, “We are car twins. I love it!!” He smiled so big.

I watched God transform a heart by His love. Hatred melted away with love. Fear melted away with love. Bigotry melted away with love. Pride melted away with love. I even asked a guy friend of mine to do home repairs for him and they became buddies.

He did not want to talk about Jesus and my agenda was not to shove Jesus down His throat. My agenda was to love him. Jesus said love even your enemies. If we only love those who love us, what credit is that to us? Even the pagans do that. God loves the entire world, even those who hate Him. Why? Because God is love.

Legislation does not cure hatred, pride, insecurity, and fear-God love does.

If we want to see the world transformed, it starts with God’s love! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. When we position ourselves to love no matter who it is, we release heaven on earth. God love is our superpower! Choose love! ❤️

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

P.S join us tomorrow morning at facebook.com/erinlambauthor for the live webcast teaching on hearing the voice of God.

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).