God Cares How We Love, Live, and Represent Him

Morning Devotion: God Looks at How We Love, How We Live, and Steward What He Gives. It Matters How We Live and Love.

It does not matter the title, position, influence in Christiandom, where you travel, who celebrates you, if you stand on a platform or stage, how much money is made, what celebrity Christian applauds you, the miracles-signs-or wonders, how many books are sold, who you marry, how many kids you have, how big the church is, if you are on tv, how many conferences you preach at, who thinks you are the who’s who on earth, how many supernatural encounters are had, etc…God cares how we love. He cares how we treat people. He cares how we live and how we represent Him. Does the world see anything in us that looks like Jesus?

Jesus did not come to earth and build a fan club or try to sell Jesus swag. He came and made disciples. He came and did the will of the Father. When people encountered Jesus they encountered heaven on earth. Jesus did not have a roped off section from the poor, destitute, and marginalized. Jesus got low and washed feet. Jesus stated, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” Jesus modeled Kingdom of Heaven. The behavior of Jesus reflected the character of the Father. He did not live for the praise or applause of men. He lived for the already given applause of the Father. Jesus did not need to buy followers, nor force people to follow Him. The authenticity of Jesus compelled people to follow Him.

What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose their soul? Heaven does not care how popular we are on earth. What causes the applause of man is not what causes the applause of heaven. Heaven looks at what we did with the knowledge of Jesus, how we loved, and how we stewarded what He gave us. God does look at obedience and stewardship (Matthew 25:14–30). Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7).

The voice of Jesus:

‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” but you do not do what I tell you?’A person comes to me. He hears what I say and obeys me. I will show you who he is like.He is like a man who built a house. He dug down deep in the ground and made it stand on a rock. The water in the river came up high. The water beat hard against the house. But the house did not move, because it was built on a rock,~Jesus from Luke 6:46-48 (WE)

My heart mourns because some will hear at the end of their lives, “Depart from Me, I never knew you,” from Jesus. They may have preached in His name, attended churches, collected offerings, preached all over the world, cast out demons, seen the sick healed, yet they did not have life union and intimacy with Jesus. See Matthew 7:23. I pray I do not betray Jesus nor make my life more about doing for Jesus than being with Jesus.

Paul tells us this in 1 Corinthians 13 (The Passion Translation):

If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels,[yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal.

And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.

And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value.

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

Perfect Love

Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten. Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away. When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.

For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.

The love that Paul speaks about is love from God, it comes through abiding and relationship with God. It is a transformative love that brings about a greater representation of who He is in us. It is impossible to love like God without intimacy and life union with God. Jesus said He is the vine and we are the branches. If we abide in Him, we will bear abundant fruit (John 15:4-5). The fruit of God is goodness (love, peace, joy, gentleness, etc). If we abide in Him, the fruit of our lives will be good.

May we receive the great love of God and abide in His love. I know I need to abide, to soak, and God continually places me in situations to grow in love. I am still on the Potter’s Wheel. Thankful God continues to reveal more and more of who He is and His great love.

May you and I live for the applause of heaven! It matters far more to hear a well done from the Lord than from people. At the end of our lives, every person (believers included) will give an account to God for how they lived, how they loved, and how they stewarded who and what God gave them (Romans 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 25:14–30, Matthew 25:40, 45).

May we live and love for an audience of 1. May we steward everything God gives well. May we understand even as believers we are held accountable for how we love, live, and steward what belongs to God.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Thriving in a Joseph Season

Photo credit: Pinterest

Devotion: Thriving in a Joseph season. They may try to bury you, but God is going to elevate you. Overcoming sabotage and betrayal.

I love King David. I love the way God positioned David. David did not have to fight his way to the front of the line nor clamor for position. God saw David, God elevated David. David was hidden and quite insignificant in the eyes of others. People could not see what God saw when He looked at David. God saw a giant killer!

David was pursued by a jealous Saul. Yet the attempts of Saul to kill David were futile. God had a plan for David that could not be thwarted by the insecurity, jealousy, and hatred of Saul. David sought the Lord and was protected by God. He overcame not by power or might, but by God’s Spirit. He even said to Goliath, “I come in the name of the Lord.”

It is imperative when attacked to rely on God’s strength and wisdom, not our own. We overcome by His power and His strength, not our flesh.

Let’s talk about Joseph. Betrayal from family (spiritual or natural) is a far more challenging pill to swallow.

Joseph is sometimes tagged as arrogant because he shared his dream with his family. The bible does not call Joseph arrogant. He was enthusiastic. There is wisdom in understanding not everyone can hear your dream for jealousy can lead many to try to sabotage the dream. Some dreams are to hold close and pray for God to show you who’s going to come into agreement. Some may smile and try to sabotage the very thing they tell you they are prating for. We can learn from Jospeh.

God is so organized and such a great planner He already had the jealousy of Joseph’s brothers factored into the equation. He knew they would betray him. God knew Joseph would be thrown into a pit. God knew every step of the process to get Joseph from his father’s house to the Palace. God knew every detour, disappointment, attempt at sabotage, betrayal, and lie that would be spoken to Joseph that would lead to his promotion. People tried to bury Joseph, yet God placed seed in Jospeh.

When God speaks, it is seed. I love that Isaiah 55:11 says, “No word from God ever fails, it accomplishes all it is sent out to do.” When you blow seed on the land it will sink into the earth and grow. Unless that seed is eaten or plucked up, it is going to bring forth a harvest. God spoke seed to Joseph. It did not matter how many times people tried to bury him, the momentum of heaven was behind Jospeh to see the fulfillment of God’s destiny for him and a Nation.

So my encouragement to you is this, if God be for you, who can stand against you? Who can defeat the Lord, the Lord strong and mighty? Who can overthrow what God has ordained? God is more powerful than any force of a person or nature. God is the great I AM. He can open up the earth and swallow His enemies. He can part the Red Seas, raise the dead to life, move mountains. The winds and waves obey Him.

God prepares a table in the presence of your enemies. God is our feast!

You become my delicious feast

even when my enemies dare to fight.

You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit; you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows,~Psalm 23:5 (The Passion Translation).

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people,~Genesis 50:20.

God has a plan and it is good! No matter who comes against you, they are no match for the God who is for you. We can thrive in seasons of betrayal and sabotage by knowing God had it all worked into the equation, by knowing God is going to fulfill His word, and by knowing greater is He who is in us than He that is in the world. The champion of these stories is not David nor Joseph, it is God. God empowered both David and Joseph to overcome.

You and I can thrive instead of survive if we choose to follow Jesus and abide in Him during those challenges. God is good at turning ashes into beauty, mourning into joy, betrayal into elevation, and sabotage into promotion! Jesus is the perfect example of someone betrayed and sabotaged. If only the enemy knew his plan to destroy Jesus was going to elevate Him to the highest place in the Father’s Kingdom.

Papa, heal every soul wound on those sabatoged and hurt by betrayal. You have a plan to turn it for exceptional good. No weapon forged against your children will prosper. Heal the deep wounds and bring forth radical peace. Let your peace and comfort sink deep. Others may have tried to bury them, yet they are your seeds. Water the seed today. In Jesus powerful name, amen!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Overcoming with Jesus

Morning Devotion: Walking with Jesus as an overcomer.

Adversity is an opportunity for advancement, a problem is a setup for a miracle, and sometimes you are delivered through instead of delivered from a trial.

I hope to encourage someone this morning! We become overcomers by having something to overcome.

Walking with God does not mean you will live a life free of troubles, struggles, trials, or persecution…Jesus stated very plainly “In this world, you will have troubles, yet take heart, I have overcome the world,”~John 16:33.

I have walked through many things I thought at the time may overtake me; trapped in a car under water, death threats, racism, sabotage, 7 near death experiences, sickness, chronic sickness for a while, persecution, being left to die, lied on, cheated, heartbroken, abandoned by those who cried out, “You are my family. I love you!”, and so much more.

There were times I stood on mega faith and contended for a breakthrough. There were times I pulled in other seasoned believers to stand with me through the valley of the shadow of death. There were seasons of supernatural joy and others of profound grief. I believe every single experience was and is used by God to be a source of hope for someone else. I saw the power of God in profound ways during some of the most challenging moments of my life. Doctors said one thing, God said another. People said and did destructive things, God spoke life. I learned God is my very best friend and nothing on earth compares to Him. Take the world and give me Jesus.

I do not tell you these things for empathy or sympathy. I do not tell you because I am nursing an emotional wound. It is well with my soul. I tell you because overcoming means you will have something to overcome! We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).

We impart hope to others when we take our Christian masks off and say, “This was a challenge and look what God had done! This is what I have walked through and this is the power of God.” I have no time for pretend when there are people living in despair, despondency, and hopelessness because no one is real. Let’s be real. Life will punch you in the face at the times, even if you decree/declare/read the word/fast/etc…the goal is not to stay down. Get back up with Jesus!

If I can walk through many fires with God and come out with mega joy, so can you! With God you can and will overcome! Just like the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years. She did not know how long she would suffer, then along came Jesus. Her heart, I believe lept…If I could just touch the hem of His garment, I will be (not maybe) made whole. Hope flooded the scene when Jesus came. We too can find hope in Jesus.

The strength is not our own, it comes from God. The healing and deliverance is in the person of Jesus. Not by our power or strength, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)!! Hallejuah! Praising my heart out!!

Can we worship God? Can we say with utter honesty, “This is challenging, but you are good?” Through it all God is still God. These earthly afflictions are so temporary, God is eternal. God never ceases to be good.

I look to those who walked before us…

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”~Daniel 3:16-20.

They chose not to base their devotion to God on their deliverance. They chose God despite the outcome. This is love.

I am healed, whole, and full of joy because of God! This is for you too. It does not matter how long the storm has raged on or the diagnosis or prognosis. What matters is the presence of God. Is God there? Has God been invited into the storm? He can with one word calm the storm. If He does not, He will see us through it all.

When I look at Jesus, I see perfect theology. He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He was not speaking of His maleness for God is Spirit, those who worship God must worship in Spirit and in truth. He was speaking of His heart, His compassion, His character, His desires for the least/last/lost, His purity.

When I look at Jesus I see someone who was betrayed, mocked, abandoned, sabotaged, whipped, assaulted for His faith, rejected, had His heartbroken. He was lied on, humiliated, disappointed, and gave His very life for the ones who yelled, “Crucify Him!!” I am no better than Jesus. He had no sin and faced many challenges. We have hope in someone who already defeated our worst enemy, death. What He overcame, I can overcome and you can too by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God does not ask us to overcome in our strength. God does not expect us to be the superheroes of the story, He is the Savior/Deliverer/Healer. God invites us to abide in Him and overcome in His strength.

If we cannot run, we walk. If we cannot walk, we crawl. If we cannot crawl, we reach up into the arms of God. We cling to who God is and all He has done before. God is a way maker and a sustainer of life. I am living, walking additional evidence that nothing is impossible for God.

The odds may seem against you, you may feel alone in the storm. The doctor report may be grim…the circumstances beyond hope. Yet I know a man. A man who raised from the dead and walks in resurrection power. His name is Jesus. I know a man who opened blind eyes and deaf ears and set the captives free! I know a God who has done what mankind could not do. The same God who saved my life over and over is calling out to you! Speak life to the dead situations God told you should live!! Say what God says until you see what God has said.

We stand on an unshakable God and in an unshakable Kingdom!! Most of all we can have bold confidence that in the end, God wins!!

Let hope arise…hope in the only one who cannot ultimately fail.

Love in Him,

Erin Lamb

Character Development (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part IV)

One of the roles of Holy Spirit is to reveal the Son of God and help us know Jesus. Holy Spirit is also a wealth of wisdom, love, joy, peace, power and helps to develop our character.

We, if we are believers in Jesus as Lord, are invited to live by the Spirit and not after the flesh.

The flesh represents the carnal nature of mankind. The flesh tends to be selfish and self focused. The mind of the flesh wars against God. The character of the flesh, carnal nature, is quite immature and self centered.

One of the ongoing classes in Holy Spirit University is character development. Though God loves us as we are, the intention is not to leave us the way He found us.

The invitation to salvation is more than keeping us from hell, it is an invitation for heaven to live in us and transform us from the inside out.

God knows exactly what is needed to develop our character so we grow to look like Jesus.

Character Counts:

Why does it matter that we grow to possess godly character? One, we are called to be God’s Ambassadors of heaven on earth; two, godly character brings God glory.

Have you ever met someone who is anti-God because they have had horrible experiences with Christians? I have. I went through a season in my own life where I dreaded church. I loved Jesus, His Bride was scary, judgmental, rude, and unloving at times.

Advertising for Heaven:

Our love and character is a billboard for Jesus! He stated His disciples would be recognizable by their great love.

What does our billboard say? Does it say, “God loves you. I love you!” Or does it say, “I can’t be trusted, your fears about trusting God are justified.”

The devil does not mind a body of believers who’s character is so questionable it resembles more of his kingdom than God’s. Carnal (flesh driven, selfish, rude, and unloving) Christians are some of the most effective tools to drive people away from God.

Growing Into Maturity with God:

God does not force us to grow up. He does provide His Spirit. He does place us in situations to grow and learn to rely on Him. He does invite us to listen, abide, know Him, and yield to Him.

As we yield to God, good fruit emerges (John 15:4-5). It does not happen by our striving, or extensive self help.

Good fruit and character development are a byproduct of abiding (relationship with God), intimacy (knowing God), yielding to God, and listening to Holy Spirit and following Him.

Romans 8 tells us the following:

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:5-11 (AMP)).

If we are in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come. We are invited to live out our new identity as sons and daughters of God.

As we walk with God we begin to resemble God. We become like the God’s we worship. Our lives begin to manifest the fruit of our deepest intimacy.

We can have Holy Spirit and He does not have us. Yielding is an exceptional way see the character of God manifest in our lives.

Papa God, help us to yield to you and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Help us to abide and cultivate intimacy with you. You love us, may we abide in that love, and manifest that love in the world. Grow us up in you. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

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 

Oneness, Intimacy, and Covenant (Sunday Devotion)

  
Sunday Morning Devotion: God is the Source we are the conduits. Let’s talk about oneness with God, intimacy, and marriage (oneness with another). 

If you want me to talk your ear off, ask about intimacy with God. It is my greatest pursuit; I ask Him questions/ search His Word for greater revelation. I am still learning and on this journey with Him. I hope you join me. I hope this post blesses you. 

God invites each person into personal relationship with Him. The invitation is personal, it is a 24/7 lifetime covenant relationship. It is the strongest covenant (commitment) a person can enter into (see Hebrews 8-9 for the new covenant info). 

God does not come simply for weekend visitations. He comes for a habitation-an indwelling of His Spirit. He comes to take up residence. He knocks on the door of our hearts saying, “I want to live here with you, abide in you, and you in Me.” He wants to be one with us. 

How on earth is God one with us? What is this oneness? Well, let’s start off talking about what it is not.

1. We Do Not Become the Other Person

Marriage is a good example of this. Husband and wife are to become one. This does not mean they become the other person (though some twist (pervert) it that way). They do not become conjoined twins who can not function without the other. They do not share a brain or body parts. They are still two individuals with their own likes, brains, dislikes, free wills, and personalities. God is not asking them to morph into the same person. 

God unites two people so they can agape love (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish love), have a higher level of intimacy (knowing and being known), and so the blessings of each one can flow into the other. They connect deeply and like a conduit there is a flow back and forth. It is intended for mutual blessing, love. 

Spiritually and in the soul they connect through covenant and physical intimacy on a level that goes beyond just friends. Their bodies, souls, and spirits connect. Hence sex being so powerful. You are saying, “Whatever is in your soul or spirit, I invite it into me. Let’s be one, joined together.” 

In the spirit and soul realm, husband and wife are connected (This happens with all other sexual relationships too (1 Corinthians 6:16)). They are not the same person. That’s why when spouses die, or cheat, or are involved in pornography/immorality…one spouse may feel it. 

In death or divorce/breakup spouses may feel a part of them died. Why? They were connected and in covenant. Yet they are not the same person. If that were so, if one died they both would need to die. If one sinned, they would both be guilty. Yet we know this to be untrue. Each individual will give account for their individual life to God (Romans 14:12). 

God enters our lives through an eternal covenant. We repent and receive through faith in His Son Jesus. For born again believers the objective is for the Holy Spirit to take up residence in us (2 Timothy 1:14, Romans 8:11). If we do not have His Spirit, we do not belong to God (Romans 8:9). He is our seal, guarantee of what is to come (2 Corinthians 1:22). 

The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost) is connected to the Son, and the Father. They are one. Yet the Father is not the Son, the Son is not Holy Spirit. They are the Godhead manifested in unique, yet connected forms. 

So being one with God does not make us God. God does not become us. He comes in covenant with agape love, gifts, and the blessings of God flow in and through us. We also gain the highest form of intimacy-knowing God and being known by Him. He is the only One who will know everything about us. Through covenant we become the truest and best versions of ourselves. The love He gives, we give it back to Him. 

2. We Do Not Possess Unlimited Authority 

I am one with God, through Jesus. I am not Jesus. I am not Father God. I am not Holy Spirit. Even Jesus said, “I only do what I see the Father doing and say what I hear Him speaking (John 5:19).” 

It is dangerous to try to use authority that has not been given. Authority comes from the top down. God alone has ultimate authority. Even with ultimate authority He works within the framework He created to allow humans to choose. This means control, manipulation, and abuse of authority are a no go. Being one with God does not give us ultimate authority over everything and everyone. We are not demi gods. We do not have ultimate authority over everything or everyone. 

3. We Are Not Equal to God 

We are made in the image of God. We are His workmanship created for His glory. We are, if we are in Christ, raised up and seated with Him in heavenly places. We become joint heirs with Jesus. We do not become equal to God. God reaches down low to raise us up. He does not remove Himself from His throne and place us there. 

As Pastor TD Jakes says, “If God is on the throne, my flesh is on the cross. If I am on the throne, I am trying to put Jesus back on the cross.” 

We are not equal to God. We are children of God. He chooses to adopt us and work through us. He will always be God, the Great I AM, the Creator. 

Nothing God created is equal to His majesty. He values us tremendously, yet does not surrender His throne to us. Why? He is God. He also knows anything and anyone we worship other than Him brings bondage and is fueled by pride. Look what happened to Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-17). God alone is 100% good. 

This is important in the picture of marriage too. God gave earthly marriage as a picture, not for the picture to replace Him or reality. What do I mean? Jesus is God. God alone is to be worshipped. 

Husbands are not God; they are not to be worshipped. They are to be respected and loved just like wives are to be respected and loved. The Church is to worship God. The wife is to worship God. He said, “Have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:3).”

Husbands are to imitate Jesus in their sacrificial, unconditional, unselfish love for their wives. Part of Christ being the Head of the Church is He is the Chief Cornerstone, providing the most support and He sacrificed the most even to the laying down His life. Wives are to respond to that love and support with agape love, respect, and a willingness to yield to what honors God. Husbands too are to be willing to yield (Ephesians 5:21). All believers are to be willing to yield (submit)-same verse Ephesians 5:21. 

Both husband and wife are to yield to God, then each other. Neither is to become God for the other person. If that were so, God would have said, “You must worship two Gods-Me and your spouse.” He did not give us God alternatives. Our primary allegiance is to always first be to God. 

If a spouse tells us to do something that violates our relationship with God or is immoral or illegal, we are to forsake yielding to them and yield to God. Spouses are also to point each other to God. So going along with abuse or what is sinful or wrong is unGodly. 

Husbands who use their position in the family to abuse, hurt, control, manipulate, dominate, or mistreat their wives and/or children will be held accountable to God. 

Jesus told the disciples, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom (Matthew 20:28).” 

God views authority as a vehicle to protect from the attacks of the enemy, empower others, sacrificially and unselfishly love, honor, and serve. 

Jesus is the perfect model for leadership, authority, a disciple, a yielded (submitted) One. Jesus is the perfect model of a pastor or man or human or husband or leader. 

The one given the highest authority has been given the greatest capacity for sacrifice and is to abide in God to agape love. The highest calling isn’t boss or dictator-those are anti God leadership models for humans. The highest calling is agape (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish, laid down love) and being a servant. 

Confusion comes when the picture of Jesus and the church is misused and misapplied in marriage.

Let’s jump back to oneness with God…

So becoming one with God comes through covenant and His Holy Spirit. God does not become us. We do not become God. We connect with God. Our spirit connects with His Spirit. His Spirit is to take up residence in our physical house. It is a connection that is meant to flow from this life into eternity. It is the only eternal covenant. Marriage is an earthly covenant that breaks at death, or in some cases divorce. 

Oneness with God provides us with: 

  • Intimacy with God/Friendship with God (the ability to know Him) 
  • Joint Heirship with Jesus 
  • Access to God (we do not need a liaison aside from Jesus-He is the mediator between God and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5))
  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Supernatural wisdom, revelation, and insight
  • Forgiveness of Sins/the Gift of Repentance 
  • New Identity in Christ 
  • Divine Deliverance 
  • Profound Understanding of His Word
  • Manifestations of His Glory/His love/His power
  • Partnership with God 
  • Name Written in the Lamb’s Book of Life 
  • Ability to Bless the World
  • Every Spiritual Blessing in the Heavenlies in Christ 
  • Advocate in Christ
  • An Eternal Covenant  

May you and I pursue deeper intimacy with God and increased revelation of oneness with Him. 

Here are some additional scriptures to back up this post: Ephesians 1, Ephesians 5, Exodus 20:3, John 17:20-24, Mark 10:7-9, Colossians 3:19, 21, Romans 14:12, Hebrews 8 and 9, 2 Timothy 1:14, Galatians 5:13-26, Romans 8

God is Pursuing You (Saturday Devotion)

  
A deep, intimate, flourishing relationship/friendship with God is available to any person who wants one. He so loves the entire world. We have as much friendship with God as we desire. He is consistently pursuing the world, to love the world. 
God is never too busy, or too annoyed to be an incredible friend, loving Father. I have not met anyone who holds a candle to Him. God love (agape) far, far, far surpasses human love and only His (agape) love does not fail. 
Looking for love, be with God. I love people, yet they are not my source of love or security or identity or joy or confidence. God is. 
Being with God and receiving His love leads to…💛
💫Loving God (we love because He first loves us). 
💫Loving ourselves (we receive perfect love for ourselves from God, and grow to love ourselves unconditionally).
💫Loving others (we can only give what we possess and release what we carry. We love our neighbor as we love ourselves).
💫Godly confidence (it’s not about our thoughts or what we think of who we are. Who does God say we are). 
💫Peace and Joy (God’s love brings with it peace, contentment, and overflowing joy).
💫Wisdom and Understanding (His thoughts are far higher than mans. His wisdom incomparable).
💫Awe (intimacy with God evokes awe-how marvelous, majestic, wonderful, and glorious He is!!!).
💫Healing and Restoration (no one does it better than God. He gives beauty for ashes and joy for mourning).
💫Purpose and Identity (The purpose of something is known best by the One who created it).
💫Transformation (we are deeply changed not by our striving, but by abiding. Apart from Him we can do nothing). 
💫Courage and Compassion (the more intimate we are with God, the more His heart becomes our heart. His courage becomes our courage. Fear, selfishness, and pride dissipate in His presence, when we receive). 
So sweet ones, the invitation is open to all. Whosoever will let them come. God will not force Himself on anyone or into any busy schedule. He knocks on the door of the heart and says, “I love you. May I come in? I long to be with you and be known by you.” How He loves us so.

Papa God help us to respondto your  relentless pursuit! May we know You for who You are and know who we are in you. Help us to cease being busy and make time for the greatest love we could ever have. Thank You for everything. In Jesus mighty name, Amen. 

I leave you with one of my favorite worship songs: Wrap Me in Your Arms