Wednesday Devotion (Loving Like God)

Morning Devotion: Understanding the set up of God.

Sometimes God will allow people to cross your path who will not love you. These people are teachers and developers in the school of love.

It's easy to love the loveable and those who love us. The true test of love is when God sends you to serve those who hate you, attempt to use you, are indifferent, humiliate you, are selfish or unkind. These people reveal whether our love flows from our spirit or our flesh.

The flesh has no agape love. The flesh is disinterested in loving those who do not serve it or meet it's needs. The flesh is led by feelings, "Does this person make me feel good?" If not, then the flesh withdraws love. For it was not love at all.

The Spirit of God continually seeks to love, even when the person on the other end is hateful or unloving. Why? God is love. Those who abide in Him will love. How? God is love. Love is a fruit of abiding in the one who is love.

Agape love says, "Your behavior does not dictate my love. It is not dependent on you because the source is God." It moves us beyond, "How does this person make me feel," to "How can I reveal the heart of the Father to this person?"

Agape love moves us beyond being offended to compassion and intercession. Love sees the deficit and seeks for that person to be reconciled to God. A person disconnected from Jesus will not produce God love. We will never be able to give away what we do not possess.

Only a person connected to heart of God can display the heart of God. Only a person who is intimate with God can produce the likeness of God and character of God. Only a person who receives God's love, grace, mercy, and goodness can give that away to others. It starts with God. God is the Source, then that love must be received. We receive the love of God by faith. Once our hearts are saturated in God love, God love pours out of us onto others. It gushes out like a waterfall. It is like a firehose that is on full blast, day after day.

What can we learn from those who can behave outside their true identity…

1. There is a God love deficit. The one who abides in God loves.

2. There is an identity deficit. When we know God, we begin to manifest our true identity as a son or daughter of God.

3. There is an opportunity to reveal the heart of the Father.

4. God love wins. The consistent, steadfast, and incredible love of God wins.

5. They show you how not to behave. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned have developed from being treated poorly-do not do this to other people. You will often find me at events looking for the person no one will talk to or connect with or acknowledge. Why? I understand what is like to be absolutely ignored, treated as insignificant, or be invited places or pulled into things and then treated poorly. I choose on purpose not to do these things to others.

6. It is not about you, it's about that person and their heart. How people behave and talk is an outward manifestation of what is going on in their heart and soul. Pray for them.

7. God is with you! You are not doing this love walk alone. The Lord led me to Isaiah 53 this weekend. It talks about the challenges of Messiah. He was despised and hated by His own people. Though we paint Him beautiful, scripture says, "There was nothing about His appearance to draw us to Him." Jesus loved perfectly and was mistreated more than anyone. His own disciples betrayed Him and refused to help Him. Yet Jesus continues to love!

Papa move us beyond feelings into the realm of the Spirit. Deepen our intimacy with you so we manifest your heart. Help us to receive your incredible love. Then help us to pour out that love and not just to those who love us. What reward shall we have if we only love those who love us. Develop our character and love muscles so what the world sees when they encounter us is profound love.

You are so deeply loved!

Erin Lamb

Weekend Devotion (God Wants Relationship) 

Photo: Nay Crumors 

Morning Devotion: Knowing God (intimacy with God) is the most important thing…Not church attendance, tithing, church affiliation, serving, or being entertained. God is after personal, intimate relationship. 

Being with God, knowing God, trumps doing for God. Being is to lead to doing with the motivation to love God and others. 

When intimacy with God and knowing His heart and character are removed from Christianity you end up with powerless religion. 
We can spend our lives in church, paying tithes, doing Christian stuff, having great worship, and go to hell (totally miss God). How can I say this? Well, it came straight from the mouth of Jesus. Read Matthew 7:21-29, Matthew 25:31-46. 

Religion void of relationship leads to idolatry and oppression. The Pharisees had religion not relationship with God. 

Mankind without connection to the Vine (Jesus) yields no good fruit. See John 15:4-5. There is a form of godliness in religion void of transformative power and genuine agape love. That’s why the Bible was used as an excuse to kill millions of Native born Americans (First Nations people) or enslave Africans (deny them any human rights) or abuse women and deny them equal rights. So many horrific things have been done under the mask of “Christianity,” yet Jesus made it very plain. He stated, “You will know My followers by their agape love.” See John 13:35. 

Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10). Love is holy and without any sin, including selfishness the most destructive sin. Love involves freedom and equality. Love is not rude nor full of mean sarcasm. Love builds up. Love gets low to serve not seeking to be served. Love has no prejudice. Love honors even the dishonorable. Love seeks the best interests of others. Love possesses humility (others matter). Love does not seek to dominate, control, hurt, harm, abuse, use, or harass others. 

There is a huge difference between someone who claims God and someone who knows God. The one who knows God grows to resemble God (1 John 4:8). Some of what we call Christianity is not about Jesus at all. It is traditions of men and void of God’s love, purity, and power. 

God invites us to know Him. All the other things flow out of knowing God. If I am intimate with God, I will want to give. If I am intimate with God, I will grow more loving. If I am intimate with God, I will want to fellowship with other believers. If I am intimate with God, I will want to serve. If I am intimate with God, I will want to share the Gospel. If I am intimate with God, I will humble myself and serve others. If I am intimate with God, the fragrance on my life will draw others to Him. Our strength lies in intimacy with God. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

Saturday Devotion (The Gospel According to Jesus)

Photo Source:Pinterest 

Weekend Devotion: The Great Falling Away, What is the Gospel, The Prodigal, and Salvation. Looking at the words of Jesus (He is perfect theology). 

I have been thinking about prodigals and those who do not know God. I have also been thinking of those who believe they know God, yet what they have is religion not relationship. I started thinking about all the people told to simply pray a prayer to be saved (Jesus never did this) or told baptism and church membership saves them, and then live independently of God. When facing God, some will have an interesting awakening. 

The revelation will come that God is better than anything created and the words, “Depart from Me I never knew you,” will sting. 

How could a loving God reject someone? 

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The choice is set before everyone-choose life, choose the Son, follow Him, do what He says. God extends the invitation, mankind rejects God. 

I personally do not believe in once saved always saved. Why? I find scriptures that speak of those who fall away (Matthew 24:8-9), those who turn their backs on God, those who practice lawlessness and do not care for others being cast into the darkness (Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 25:31-46). 

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’~Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23). 

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he who endures until the end shall be saved~Matthew 24:12-13. 

And the longest passage comes from Matthew 25:31-46.

There is such a burning in my heart for every person to have a personal awakening and relationship with God. 

The Role of the Disciples of Jesus

The Church is to reveal to the world the heart, nature, compassion, and goodness of God. 

Jesus revealed the Father and the world came to know God. 

The Prodigal

The prodigal had to come to his senses. He thought what the world had to offer was better than the Father. He was wrong. 

The prodigal traded royalty for a pit. He gave up paradise for something far beneath his destiny. 

The devil works overtime to convince people life on earth is all there is. He shouts, “Live it up,” knowing life independent from God leads to destruction. 

The Spirit of This Age 

The spirit of this age blinds people to the truth of who God is, how good God is, and offers temporary pleasures that never, ever satisfy. They leave people empty, broken, wounded, confused and on a death march to hell with the devil. 
Even the spirit of religion blinds people to the truth of the Gospel. 

The Gospel is… 

  • God so loves the entire world (every people group, both genders, every ethnicity).
  • There is no racism or sexism or hierarchy of people/genders in God’s heart (1 John 4:8, Revelation 5:9). 
  • God empowers both men and women to have dominion on earth and do the works of Jesus (Genesis 1:28, Galations 3:28). 
  • God so loved the world He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins (John 3:16).
  • Sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). The death penalty was on us all (Romans 5). 
  • Jesus paid for all sin on that rugged cross. So whosoever shall believe on Him and follow Him will be saved (John 3:16). Jesus invited people to follow Him (relationship).
  • He (Jesus) was born of a virgin, died for all sin, and was resurrected on the third day with all power in His hands (Matthew 1:18, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Matthew 28). 
  • The same power that raised Jesus from the dead came on believers at Pentecost (Acts 2). It is available to every born again believer (Acts 1:8). 
  • Repentance (changing our mind about sin), accepting Jesus by faith and making Him Lord creates radical transformation in our lives. 
  • The old is passed away and the new comes (2 Corinthians 5:17). 
  • As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far our transgressions are removed from us (Psalm 103:12). 
  • We are crucified with Christ and it is no longer we who live, it is Christ who lives in us (Galatians 2:20).

My continual question on the street, in the market place, even at church is, “Do you know (have personal, intimate relationship) with Jesus?” 

Papa help us to know you, really know you. I pray for any person reading this devotion to have an encounter with you. I ask for radical encounters of your love, peace, joy, and wisdom. I pray for any not following Jesus to have a heart that turns to you. Let not one perish. Every spiritual scale fall off their eyes. Every bondage be broken. Every lie be seized. Holy Spirit of truth come and saturate us all. Come Lord Jesus and reveal yourself to each one. Breathe on us. In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

The Promised Gift (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part I)

...the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you,~Jesus (John 14:26). 
Jesus promised the disciples a gift, a gift that would abide with those who place their ultimate faith in Him. 

Holy Spirit is an incredible gift, a gift that sustains, equips, empowers, loves, comforts, intercedes, blesses, gives spiritual gifts, imparts wisdom, and helps believers in incredble ways. 

Holy Spirit University (HSU) series is about doing life with the blessed Holy Spirit. I can not overstate the importance of Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit is not a wind or dove or fire-though symbolized this way in scripture. Holy Spirit has emotions, a will, a mind, insight, a voice (Holy Spirit speaks and teaches), and is perfect in every way.

Yielding to the Holy Spirit is vital to living a victorious life. 

Let’s read some scripture together: 

While being together and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Of which,” He said, “you have heard Me speak. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized and empowered and united with the Holy Spirit, not long from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked Him repeatedly, “Lord, are You at this time reestablishing the kingdom and restoring it to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”-Acts 1:4-8. 
Jesus spoke of this gift from God that would empower and equip the disciples. The Holy Spirit would give them holy boldness to be His witnesses. 

What on earth does Holy Spirit do? 

Part of the role of Holy Spirit is to empower us to do what Jesus did. 

Jesus did not say, “I am going to give you this gift that will help you do nothing. Please sit and do nothing until I return or you die. Also please stay the same way I found you.” 

The Holy Spirit within is a power house. This promised gift was to love, bring comfort, to teach, to be a seal on believers that they belong to God, to give power, holy boldness, counsel, give strength, reveal the righteous nature of God, sustain, impart spiritual gifts, provide wisdom, and so much more. 

Ready or not, here comes Holy Spirit!

The disciples walked with Jesus. I am certain there was attachment. He told them it was better that He go to the Father than remain with them. The Spirit of God would come and dwell with believers and inside of Spirit baptized believers. They would have this power house within them.

God fulfilled His word at Pentacost (Acts 2:1-13):

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately].

Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout and God-fearing men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, a crowd gathered, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing those in the upper room speaking in his own language or dialect. They were completely astonished, saying, “Look! Are not all of these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears in our own language or native dialect? Among us there are Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and people of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia [Minor], Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and the visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs—we all hear them speaking in our [native] tongues about the mighty works of God!” And they were beside themselves with amazement and were greatly perplexed, saying one to another, “What could this mean?” But others were laughing and joking and ridiculing them, saying, “They are full of sweet wine and are drunk!”
Many went on to share the Gospel of Jesus with exceptional boldness and clarity. This power house filled those in the upper room and changed their lives forever. 

The gift that produces victory!

It is impossible to live a victorious life without Holy Spirit. 

…you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)~Romans 8:9.

…the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words,~Romans 8:26. 

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God,~Romans 8:13-14. 

When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,~Ephesians 1:13. 

Without the Holy Spirit our flesh or soul (human mind, will, emotions) will dictate our lives. The mind of the flesh wars against God, it cannot please God. Without the Holy Spirit, according to Romans 8:9, we do not belong to God.  We need this gift and to honor the blessing of the Holy Spirit. 

As we contunue on this study of Holy Spirit I pray we grow to have deeper intimacy with God. I pray we grow to know more about Holy Spirit and cultivate greater friendship with Him. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

Identity Matters (Saturday Devotion)

  
Photo source: Pinterest
Morning Devotion: Identity matters. As a man or woman thinks, so are they. 

If you want to destroy a person or people group, convince them they are nothing, less than, not valuable, inferior, not intelligent, like wild animals, and not capable. Convince them to disagree with God. Convince them they are superior to others (racism/sexism). Lead them into pride (insecurity/inferiority or arrogance/superiority). That is the tactic Satan used with Eve. She was already made in God’s image, yet he sowed doubt to who she was in God. We must know who we are. 

People say Eve was targeted because she was weaker. I disagree. I believe Eve was targeted because she was the one chosen to give birth to life. Anything sown in a woman has the potential to be multiplied, bring forth life. The devil loves death. So target the one chosen to birth life and multiply what is given. If you turn the one chosen to protect life against the one chosen to birth life, you can destroy humanity. Since then women have been some of the greatest targets of abuse, sexual abuse, male violence. Every 30 seconds a woman is trafficked, every 9 seconds a woman is beaten, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined (Domestic Violence Stats Org). 

If you can convince someone they are not who God says they are, they will rise to the level of their thinking. They will act out what they believe. 

Our words are powerful. They are more powerful than we understand. Our agreement is powerful as well. When we agree with God, we empower His work in our lives. When we agree with what is not God, we empower a disempowered devil. 

I hate verbal abuse, harsh sarcasm, and put downs. Why? Because each word is sowing a seed for hell. If not rebuked, refuted, uprooted, rejected, that word places a target on that person for destruction. 

The power of life and death is in the tongue,~Proverbs 18:21. 

It is no wonder we have generations of people okay with killing, murder, hatred, slander…we were taught in school we evolved from apes. Not we were created in the image of God (Genesis 1). 

Animals are not like God (created in His image). They lack the identical capabilities for reasoning, morality, and so much more. Animals will kill to get their way, “Survival of the fittest.” They will mark their territory and attack anyone who crosses. They will (some) kill their young. We were created higher than the animals. Yet if we believe we are just like the animals at the zoo, we will behave not much better than zoo animals. 

Who do you believe you are? What voice rings the loudest? Does it align with what God says? 

When you ask most people who they are, they respond with what they do or what they have or their martial status/children? Yet we are human beings, not just human doings. 

Who we are is children of God (if we are in Christ), created in the image of God, ALL deeply loved. When we operate out of this identity our behaviors begin to look similar to our Heavenly Father. We thrive when we agree with God. 

You are deeply loved sweet friends. Praying you and I live out of who God says we are. We are nothing more and nothing less. God bless you! 

Erin Lamb 

Weekend Devotion: Killing Insecurity 

  

Image created with wordswag, used with permission. 

Weekend Devotion: Insecurity is not humility. Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. Let’s explore pride. 

Pride is preoccupation with self whether positive or negative. Pride refuses help-I don’t need or want assistance even if it is greatly needed. Pride fuels unbelief (not agreeing with God), bickering (I know better than you), jealousy (I deserve that attention), competition (I deserve to be first), put downs, mean sarcasm/excessive criticism, racism and sexism (someone must be inferior for me to feel superior), rebellion, self pity, insecurity, clamors to be promoted (give me a title, put me in charge), unwilling to serve/sacrifice for others. And a host of other things…
I did not feel bad about myself until I stepped into ministry. It is okay. God has healed the damage done by well meaning Christians. 

When I entered ministry I was told feeling like dirt was humility. I needed to pretend to be bad at things to give God glory. Not sure how that works? “Oh God, I am ugly, untalented, have nothing to offer, horrible“,. God responds, “Ummm I made you, so you are saying as a Creator/Artist I am not very skilled?” 

He is the Artist, we are His artwork. Insulting the artwork is insulting the Artist. 

I noticed people who ascribed to worm theology (some not all) struggled with loving others. Why? Because they thought so low of themselves. We can only give away the love we have first received. If I feel like dirt, how am I going to love, empower others? If I feel like dirt, I will most likely struggle with jealousy/comparison, and cut others down to feel better. 

I also realized worm theology and “I am dirt” is just the flip coin of pride. It is saying, “My opinion of me is more important than God’s. I know better than God. Me! Me! Me! Woah is me. I am but a wretched worm.” 
I love what Pastor Bill Johnson says, “I can not afford to have a thought in my head that God doesn’t have in His.” 

How do earthly parents feel about their kids? Just look at Social Media and you can see it. They brag on their kids all day, every day. God loves infinitely more. He is not looking to suppress what He has given or created. 

God is proud of His kids. He cheers for His kids. He believes in His kids. He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He, through Jesus, seated us in heavenly places and made us joint heirs with Jesus. We are His workmanship created for His glory. We are highly valued by God. Jesus paid for our lives with His. God doesn’t make junk. 

We are not God. We are not to be worshipped, elevated to His equal or above Him. We are though to honor what He created. It brings Him glory. 

How did Jesus walk out humility? I never read of Him having perpetual pity parties or insulting Himself, nor pretending He wasn’t who the Father said He was. 

Jesus served. He did not demand others serve Him. Humility is willing to serve, even without credit/glamor. 

Jesus forgives. Pride holds onto grudges. 

Jesus empowers others. He believed in the disciples, gave them chances before they proved themselves, and knowing sometimes they would fail. 

Jesus accepted help from others. Pride doesn’t want help. Jesus invited the disciples to pray for Him. 

Jesus sacrificially loved. Pride is “me focused”-serve me, love me, bless me. Me! Me! Me! 

Jesus acknowledged His dependence on the Father. 

Jesus had a right assessment of Himself in relation to the Father. 

Jesus gave others chances to shine/step into their destiny. After He multiplied the fish and loaves, He invites the disciples to do the same. 

Jesus associated with the weak, broken, outcasts of society. He wasn’t too good to be with the least of them. 

He did not look down His nose on others. 

Jesus empowered women and treated them with respect, honor, dignity. 

Jesus did not have to send out business cards “Messiah”, or walk in the room and say, “I am here, bow to Me peasants.” He walked in agape love and power; it drew people to Him and the Father. 

Jesus washed feet. He served those who would later betray Him. 

Jesus said, “When you see Me, you have seen the Father.” He invites us to abide in Him so other’s see the Father. 

Jesus submitted His entire life to the Father. Out of love He submitted. Pride hates to come into agreement with others. It demands it’s own way. 

Good news, if we have pride there is forgiveness and mercy. I am not immune from pride. I have found when I disagree with God, that’s pride. When I focus too much on me, pride. When I overshare out of excitement and forget to listen or to consider my audience, pride. God says, “Come be loved by Me.” 

Pride melts away in His Presence. He doesn’t beat me up. He loves me to life. Being with Him and agreeing with Him leads to transformation. He, as the Masterful Surgeon, prunes away in love. We are all in process, being transformed from glory to glory. 
So may you and I abide in His love, stay connected to the Vine, agree with God, and love ourselves as He does. The love we receive can be poured out on Him. Then we can love our neighbor as ourselves.

You are SO deeply loved. You are also prayed for. I would love to hear your thoughts on pride and humility. Leave a comment below! 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

You Were Chosen (Manifesting Sonship Series Part IX)

  
For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well,~Psalm 139:13-14. 

God is a wise steward and loving Father. He gives every person (even those who hate Him, and those who don’t believe in Him) gift(s) or talent(s). Everyone has something to offer. 

When people tell me God isn’t blessing or hasn’t gifted them I sometimes ask, “What are you doing with what’s been given?” God rewards faithfulness. The one who uses what God has given for His glory is given more. 

When people say, “I don’t have anything to offer or I don’t have that spiritual gift,” I ask “Do you have the Holy Spirit? He has all the gifts.” 

It surprises people when they surrender all to God how He works through them. 

I’m highly introverted. Yet God frequently calls me out to socialize with groups of people, lead groups, etc…I did not want to be in public leadership when God called me to it. I would have loved to stay in my little cubby with God, serving behind the scenes. I’m so at home with Him and maybe a few people I know as close friends. 

I’ve been discipling groups of people for almost 10 years. At first, it was way outside my comfort zone! I never wanted to preach, be front and center…I like being hidden in God. Yet all of my life belongs to Him. If He nudges, I respond (though in some cases I responded very slowly). 

It’s not about my ability or your ability. It’s about His. It’s about blessing the world. It’s about making His name famous. It’s about standing in our identity as a son or daughter of God. 

So principles I’ve learned/am learning: 

1. Seek God first in all things. 

2. Cease telling God I can’t do something. It’s not about me. He knows what He’s doing. 

3. Cease waiting on people to give me a mission or permission to do what God has burning in my heart. God is my Commissioner. 

I started a worship/prophetic intercessory prayer/discipleship group, and street ministry without any pastoral support. Zero. They are still running under the Lordship of Jesus today. He said train/equip, go. I can’t always wait for someone else to support what He told me to do. God is my support. 

I am not saying be independent of church leadership or rebellious. I am saying we won’t be able to use the excuse, “No one would help me,” when we see God face to face. He’s the Helper. 

Every believer has already been called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, pray without ceasing, encourage others, and share the Gospel. Jesus already called everyone. 

4. Use what’s given for the glory of God. Hoarding or sitting on gifts/talents doesn’t help anyone. The people around us are dying to see Christ in us. Selfishness and self-centeredness never leads to Godly promotion. 

5. Break the cycle of I’m unqualified. Who God calls, He equips and qualifies. Abide in Him. I’m also not opposed to learning from others. I love it. Take a class, study. I study and take classes. 

6. Waiting on God is not an excuse to be lazy or passive. God expects us to do something with what’s been given. 

I heard a joke about a man who was stranded on a roof during a flood. He kept crying out for God to save him. He turned the boat away because he was waiting on God. He turned the helicopter away because he was waiting on God. The man died. When he saw God he exclaimed, “Why’d you forsake me!” God replied, “Why didn’t you get in the boat or helicopter? I sent people to help you and you refused their help.” 

I had someone God highlighted for me to pour into their life. They could barely eat, barely pay bills. Once I offered food and necessities. They refused. They said all they wanted was prayer. God was going to meet the need. So I went back to God and said, “They don’t want Your gifts from me.” He then highlighted someone else for me. 

I’ve learned sometimes we say we are waiting on God and we are actually thinking He’s going to send an angel to drag us out of bed, do everything for us, and it won’t require any human effort or participation.

God works through people! So keep your eyes open. Partner with Him to be someone’s answer to prayer. When someone shows up to bless you, thank God. He’s the Source. Last I checked the devil wasn’t into sacrificial love. 

7. Cultivate a generous heart. This comes from staying connected to the Generous One. God is the lavish Giver! 

8. Rebuke the lies of the enemy. One of his greatest attacks is against our identity. The second attack is against our destiny. 

His lies/My response: 

Lie: Who do you think you are? You’re inadequate. 

Response: I’m a blood bought child of God. His strength is perfected in my weakness. 

Lie: You are so unqualified! 

Response: I am filled with the Holy Spirit. He’s my teacher. He’s fully qualified. 

Lie: No one wants to hear what you have to say! 

Response: I am not here to perform or please people. I am here to glorify God and speak His words to the world. It’s not about me. It’s about God. 

Lie: You’re going to fail or mess up or this will end badly. 

Response: Success for God is based on faithfulness. His grace is sufficient for me. I’m successful when I’m faithful with what He’s given; led by His Spirit and doing what He says. 

There are so many other lies that can be thrown at us. What has God said? What is God saying? What does His Word say? Even Jesus was bombarded with the lies of the evil one. He responded with the word of God. He didn’t allow insecurity to flood His heart. He did not surrender His identity or destiny for the lies of satan. We too have a choice. We can seek God and find out who we are in Him or live without ever stepping into our full identity/destiny. 

God created everything and everyone for a reason. You and I have a great destiny in God. He doesn’t make useless things. No one gives their life for what has no value. Jesus gave His life for ours. The value of something is determined by how much someone will pay for it; Jesus gave His life. We are of tremendous worth to God. 

Papa God thank You that You have given us so much in Your Son. Thank You for life! Thank You for a redeemed life. You are amazing! Help us to learn to abide in You so we live fruitful lives. Help us to see ourselves as You do. Break off any shackles of unbelief, insecurity, fear, worry, or doubt. Flood us with Your truth today. In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

Created Not Cloned (Manifesting Sonship Series Part VIII)

  
Oh yes, you (God) shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!

Body and soul, I am marvelously made!

I worship in adoration—what a creation!

You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day,~Psalm 139:13-16. 

If I asked you what is the most common and destructive tool of the evil one, what would you say? 

I believe the answer is getting humanity to fail to see who they are from God’s perspective. Insecurity and a fractured identity are crippling.

Lack of identity in Christ leads to horrible decisions in many cases. Insecurity can lead to pain, shame, fear, comparison, competition, putting others down, racism, sexism, prejudice, jealousy, envy, abuse, control, manipulation, relational problems, low self worth… 

The evil one started with Eve, he spoke a lie to her which implied she wasn’t already created in the image of God. He’s worked throughout the course of history to sow insecurity, shame, and pervert identity. He tried again with Jesus and failed (Matthew 4:6-8). 

In order to know the purpose or identity of something, one must ask the One (God) who created it. God creates. He did not clone humanity. Each person is a unique expression of His heart and creativity.

God created mankind. We did not create ourselves. Nor do I believe we evolved from another animal life form. If we don’t believe we were created by a loving, caring, wise, and good God, then where does our worth come from, what is it’s source? 

In our world a person’s worth is often measured by their performance+people’s opinions. Another scenario is beauty/outward appearance+people’s opinions. What’s the issue with the formulas? People’s opinions of us can change like the shifting sands. One minute you are loved, the next you’re not. Performances can fall flat or someone more talented or gifted comes along. The standard of beauty changes. What’s hot today may not be tomorrow. If each person is trying to be someone they are not, or trying to prove their worth, we have a life of striving and mini replicas. 

The original is always more valuable than a copy. 

When I was a kid I loved puzzles and art. I spent hours either creating or putting together puzzles. What if all my drawings were exactly the same? Here are 30 drawings of the same picture. Each one is exactly the same. You might think, “She’s not very creative! Wow, this is boring!!” 

What if the puzzles had a box full of the same identical piece? Well, I’d be frustrated. Who didn’t do their job right? Seriously, you had one job (insert laugh here). 🙂 You would not see the picture the artist intended. You’d also be bored. All the different shapes and colors make up a bigger picture. 

God is the artist who created all the different colors, shapes, personalities, giftings, etc…it’s His picture. It’s His canvas; God is not boring. 

I paint. I paint collections. Each piece by itself I love. When you see them together it takes on a new meaning. God created humanity with diversity. He did not create one type of person and then clone them. 

Our attempts to change His design don’t bring Him glory. Our put downs of what He’s made don’t bring Him glory. Our arguing with God about our existence doesn’t bring Him glory. God likes what He made. Who are we to argue with God?  

I used to want to be someone different. I wanted to be like my dad. He always had something good to say. I wanted to be like my mom. She was effortlessly beautiful and overflowing with kindness and grace. I wanted to be tall. As I got older I wanted a different brain. I process through logic then emotion, which confused and bothered some people. Women are supposed to be super emotional right? Not all of us are. I realized I was insulting God by wanting to be like someone else. 

Insecurity is actually sin. It’s a fruit of unbelief. It’s refusing to accept that God doesn’t make mistakes. We make them, that doesn’t mean we are a mistake. Behavior does not equal identity. We are who God says we are. Our behavior is a result of what we believe about ourselves or God. 

There are many things God wants us all to know and believe:

1. We were God’s idea. Parents may not have loved well or chosen a child, but God wants every single child conceived (not just the ones born or wanted by their parents). 

2. We are unique. Every human being has unique markers. No two human beings are exactly alike. Even identical twins have different fingerprints and personalities. 

3. We are gifted differently to reflect His creative genius. We can’t take credit for natural talents or giftings. They are given by God to bless the world and reflect His creativity; bring Him glory. 

4. God created what was really good! When God created humanity He said, “It is very good.” Go back and read Genesis 1

5. God values diversity! The Bible tells us in the book of Revelation that every tribe, nation, people group, and tongue will be represented in heaven (Revelation 5:9). 

6. God establishes true identity that cannot be shaken. If I listened to everything people said about me, about who I am, I’d be a mess. Don’t allow people who don’t know or like who they are to define who you are. What does God say? What He says is truth. 

I leave you with this poem God wrote on my heart years back. 

Do You Know Who You Are?

You are deeply loved sweet ones! Lifting you up and expecting great things in your lives in 2016! The best is yet to come. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

Happy New Year! 

Glory to Glory (Manifesting Sonship Series Part V)

  
Photo credit: Pinterest 

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit,~2 Corinthians 3:18 (Amplified).

God’s glory is the external manifestation of His being. God’s glory is something that appears ( Exod 16:10), is revealed (Isa 40:5), or can be seen (Num 14:22)-source BibleStudyTools.

Holy Spirit is glorious! He is fully God and marks/seals believers as belonging to God (2 Corinthians 1:22). He works within us to reveal Jesus, righteousness, and to take us from glory to glory. 

I’ve heard some preach that since we are saved by faith and God loves us as we are, that means we are to stay as we are when God encountered us. This isn’t what the Bible teaches. It neglects the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.  When God encountered Paul (formerly Saul), he was persecuting and killing Christians. After his radical encounter with God, Paul became one of the most radical preachers of the Gospel. We see a murder and persecutor completely transformed.  

We worship a God who makes all things new. 

We too are called to transformation. It’s not transformation that is the result of striving. It’s a result of beholding Him and abiding (remaining) in Him (John 15:5).  

Our spirit is made new at conversion. Our soul (mind, will, emotions) and character are being transformed/sanctified. 

The Road to Tranformation…

Faith: It starts with believing God. My thoughts about God will determine what I become. If I believe God is harsh or critical, it will manifest in my behavior and response to Him. 

Believing the revelations of God’s word, nature, and character brings transformation. 

Truths I’d love for us to digest and meditate on today: 

  • God is love. It’s who He is, not simply what He does. It’s not based on our merit, behavior, or performance. 
  • God is truth. He cannot lie! Every word He speaks is truth. Every promise in Him is yes and amen. 
  • God is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of Lights who does not change like shifting shadows. 
  • God is holy. There’s no sin in God, and He will never lead you down a path of sin. We were born into sin; He paid the price to free us from sin. 
  • God is perfect in patience. God has infinite patience. He is not like humans who may toss you aside if you fail. Think of the prodigal son story. The Father was looking for the son! He ran out for his wayward son. If everyone else gives up on you, God will take you back. Come running…if you move an inch He will run miles. 
  • God cares for every detail of our lives. What matters to you, matters to Him. He knows every hair on our heads, every tear we have shed. He knows our thoughts, dreams, desires. He cares more than anyone else.  

His Word: I truly believe we are to be people of His Word. He gave it to us as food and a blueprint. We read, study, and seek Him with the Holy Spirit. I ask the Holy Spirit to teach me. 

Worship: Loving God, honoring God, celebrating God, and putting Him first in all things leads to such encounters. He inhabits the praises of His people. It takes the focus off who we are, what’s happening around us, and places the focus on Him. 

Intimacy with God: God invites us into relationship with Him. A deep, pure, growing relationship that’s life giving. It’s more than a Sunday morning activity. It’s a daily love relationship, more intimate than marriage.  

Obedience: Scripture tells us we are a slave to whoever we obey (Romans 6:16). We are either obeying God or the evil one. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father. I’m not suggesting perfectionism or striving. I’m stating there’s blessing in obeying God. If we miss the mark, we go to our Father and say sorry. He’s so eager to forgive. No shame and no condemnation (sentencing). 

What If What We See Isn’t Jesus? 

It’s a process. So the focus is God. If I sit down and look at the character of Jesus and my character, I have so far to go. He’s perfect. I am not. The objective isn’t a self help program or to try to make myself like Jesus. The objective is to remain in Him, let Him love me, and keep my eyes on Him. 

It’s not what we see. It’s what God sees and who He says we are. We are His image bearers in the earth!   
Photo credit Pinterest. 

You are so deeply loved friends! Lifting you up. God bless you. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb

Identity Crisis (Manifesting Sonship Series Part III)

 
Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations that’s what I had in mind for you,“~Jeremiah 1:5. 

Those are beautiful words spoken by God about the prophet Jeremiah. God affirms it is He who shaped Jeremiah in the womb. He is also the One who had a plan for Jeremiah’s life before he was born. You and I are no different from Jeremiah. God knew us before we were ever conceived and has a great plan for our lives. 

We matter to God. Every life has a purpose. You were not a mistake. If you were born male, God intended you to be male. If you were born female, God intended you to be that way. Your skin color, nationality, ethnic origin, place in history were all seen and known by God. He doesn’t make mistakes. Humans make poor choices or mistakes. Because of Adam and Eve we are born with a sin nature, yet God even took care of the sin issue through His Son. We may be born with issues, that doesn’t mean God intended for us to keep them. Nor does He wish for us to sin or have a perpetual identity crisis. He longs to restore humanity to the first estate. 

The first estate of Adam and Eve was God’s plan. Man and woman made in His image, without sin, linked together in the first human covenant, to be representatives of Him in the earth. He made mankind in His image (Genesis 1:27). They (man and woman) together represent what He is like. They were given a purpose; be with God, love God, love one another, have dominion on the earth, rule, subdue, be fruitful and multiply (procreate). 

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation!

You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you. The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day,“~Psalm 139:13-16 (The Message). 

Our society has redefined identity. Even in the church. Everyone gets to be who they want to be. Our culture says if you feel like a duck, then you can become a duck and everyone around you must approve and applaud. If you dress like a duck, I’d still love you. God still loves you. That doesn’t mean you are a duck. Your DNA will still say human. No matter the pills we take, clothes we wear, or what we place on our drivers license/birth certificate, or what we call ourselves, our identity was selected by God and written on our DNA. 

On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?~Romans 9:20. 

You may be saying you’ve never argued with God about your identity. Have you ever wished you were someone else? Wanted their gifts, talents, skills? Wished you could look like someone else or have what they have? Tried to change who you are to fit in, so people like and approve of you? Defined yourself by success, family, marriage, or associations instead of as a beloved child of God? Defined yourself by your sin instead of what God says? Allowed others to tell you who you are? Felt discontent because you couldn’t compete with others? Allowed the opinions of others or lack of approval/acknowledgement to steal your joy?

Our media is set up to bring confusion and discontentment. There’s no message that I can find of, “Be content with who you are and what you have.” Nor are there many messages stating God is the standard, the tuning fork we are to adjust our lives and thoughts to. 

Examples from life:

My personality is rare, the rarest among women according to Myers Briggs. People have told me, “You’re like a man.” I’m not a man. I’m 100% female and don’t wish to be a man. Yet it’s challenging when people try to define who you are by their standards instead of God’s. God gave me a mostly logical brain, and I am a thinker. I’m not into the same things many women are. Yet I am who God created me to be; created to display His creativity in the earth. 
Wait a minute! Don’t change my design…

There’s a comic artist I love online. Her comics bring such joy! One day she posted how people were taking her creations and chopping them off or changing them by only showing part of the image. She as the creator was livid that her original designs were being changed. She knew the message she wanted to send to the world. When her creation was changed, the meaning was lost and it no longer brought glory to her. She was no longer honored nor her true intentions seen. It wasn’t hers anymore. It was altered, changed, and the message confused. 

God handcrafted you! You were and are His design. 

I posted somewhere I had a vision a year or so ago with all these priceless hand cut gems from heaven. The Father was pouring them out into the world via a conveyor belt. They filled the earth perfectly. Each one different and unique, and perfectly cut so they fit together. He then lit up the world; it was the most brilliant scene. What if the diamonds decided to be rubies or the emeralds to be opals? They decide to make their own design and well, that’s where we get perversion. Which is something twisted, altered, and the wrong version. 

The evil one says, “Do what feels good to you. God made you different than what you appear. You can be who ever you want to be! It’s your world, your body, your ideas, your feelings, and passions that matter most.” Then he sits back and laughs at humanity like I believe he did with Adam and Eve. They forfeited God’s amazing plan for something that brought sickness, torment, disease, sin, pain, confusion, abuse, heartache…all the horrors we see in the world today go back to Adam and Eve choosing their way over God’s. The devil never told them the negative consequences of believing him over God. The devil never tells anyone that stepping outside God’s will cause eventual destruction. 

What’s the Good News?! The good news is God always has a redemptive plan. No matter how we feel or think about who or what we are, God can and will give us His lenses and perspective. He sent His Son Jesus to redeem humanity and reestablish broken, fractured, and lost identity. He takes what was broken in the Garden and makes it whole. 

God’s vision for humanity was represented in the Garden of Eden before Adam sinned. If Eve had truly believed she was made in the image of God, when the serpent tempted her with something she already had she may have resounded, “I am created in His image already. No thank you!” If she had fully grasped the goodness of God, maybe she would responded, “God withholds nothing good from me. He is good. I will not eat from this tree.” 

Sweet friends, God knew what He was doing when He created you. He has an amazing plan for your life. You are defined by heavenly standards and God sees someone He loves. He defines you by His book, His creative idea, by Himself. You were carved out of the imagination of God. God doesn’t define anyone by sin or the world’s standards. He looks at His children and calls forth their true identities as sons and daughters of God. It’s not about what we feel or what others say. It’s about what He says. Only the Creator can tell you the purpose and identity of His creation. You are a walking poem and billboard for God’s creative genuis. 

Papa God, please forgive us for trying to tell You who we are, for defining ourselves by the world’s standards or by our feelings/thoughts/passions/insecurities. Please cleanse us of pride, insecurity, deception, rebellion, perversion, and unbelief. Please forgive us for redefining who we are in ways that dishonor and disrespect You. Help us to seek You for identity because the greatest title we can carry is child of God. Help us to see ourselves through Your eyes. Show us what we were born for. In Jesus mighty name amen.

You are so deeply loved! 

Erin