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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 

 
 

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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

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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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

 
 

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Be with God (Abiding & Intimacy with God Series Part 6)

   
Image created with WordSwag, used with permission. 

Hello beautiful people. I have been off my phone, and social media for over a week. It has been a sweet time of listening, and so much more with God that I will keep in my heart. I do want to share what I drafted this weekend. 

Weekend notes: 

God promises to supply ALL our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19). It is not about what we have or do not have. It is about who He is. He is the God who raises dead things to life (John 11:25) and multiplied the fish and the loaves (Mark 6:30-44). 

It’s not about our circumstances. It is not about who we are or who we are not. It’s about who He is.

Who is God to you? 

Do we believe God is who He says He is? Do we believe nothing is impossible for Him?

Unbelief blocks so many blessings as does poor speech (poor word confessions). Our words are seeds. What do we want to see grow? 

The Bible says the power of life and death is in our tongues (Prov 18:21). So the gossip, complaining, grumbling, put downs, “I can’t do this. This will never work!! My life sucks! I only attract this kind of person. Woah is me. Bad things happen to me. Nobody loves me…,” are toxic to the body, spirit, and soul.

These poor or negative confessions attract demonic spirits. The devil is super negative. They attract negative situations. 

How about saying, “I am who God says I am. I am blessed and highly favored of the Lord. I am healed by the stripes of Jesus. Good things happen in my life. I am delivered. 

God is working all things for good. I have more than enough. My Daddy is King!! I am stepping into greater breakthrough. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am the head and not the tail…Above and not beneath! 

I attract the right people at the right time, in the right seasons. No good thing does God withhold from me. I have an inheritance that is secure. I am wealthy in Christ Jesus. 

God opens doors for me that no man can shut. I have favor on my life.  

I choose to receive all Jesus paid for and believe/agree with God. Greater is He who is in me than in the world! I am more than a conqueror through Christ. 

I have the authority to heal the sick, cast out devils, and take territory in Jesus name!

I learned in self defense classes you never want to fight your enemy on the ground, on his level. You rise above him and disable him from above. 

God said He placed the enemy under our feet. Therefore, we fight from victory knowing the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but MIGHTY for the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor 10:4). 

If you listen to the enemy’s chatter in your ear, you will find he’s nasty, critical, condemning, looking for the worst, sowing fear, pointing out all that is wrong. He is hateful. 

Jesus is above poverty, above lack, above sickness, above anxiety or depression, above family drama, above all the works of the devil. Jesus says to us…”Live from My vantage point, of what I have already done! Stay here in your place in Me. Know that I have already won.”

God says, “Come up here!” Meaning, get away from the noise, chaos, confusion, and just be with Me. Just be with Me. 

God is the Source of all good. Being with Him leads to a greater knowing of who He is and who we are. 

We live from heaven down. If we have accepted  Jesus as Lord, we are seated in heavenly places with Him (Eph 2:6).  

Journey with God…

People see me smile, laugh, and encourage them. They do not see the warfare that sometimes happens behind the scenes. The devil hates love, hates joy, hates truth, and hates people. If you are his opposition, he will oppose you. Oh my yes. Every battle is an oppprtunity for advancement.  Recall the devil is so defeated. He needs reminding of his loser status from time to time. 🙂

God said in His word, “No weapon formed against you will prevail.” It will be formed. 

Our greatest weapons against the devil are peace, rest, joy, love, hope, worship, abiding in Jesus, and the word of God. When the devil attacked Jesus He responded, “It is written!” 

God is good and has done so many great things. He loves us. He fights for us. See Psalm 91 for encouragement. 

God has reinforced for me the super importance of rest! Jesus operated out of rest. He would remove Himself from the crowds. He would get alone with the Father (Luke 5:16). Are we better than Jesus? The answer is no. If we see Him doing something, it is important. 

What is God speaking? Above every  other voice we need to hear Him. 

We can not hear Him if we are busy doing for Him instead of listening to Him or we are continually speaking or we are being pulled in 10,000 directions by people around us, “Help me! Do for me. Listen to me!

I have learned God is God. I am not. Thank the good Lord! He can meet everyone’s needs and requests. I am to follow the assignments given by God, and to do what I see Him doing. I am not all things to all people. I am His beloved child. Mostly people need Him not me. I do what the Holy Spirit leads me to do. When I step outside His leading it can lead to stress. 

My greatest encouragement is be with God. He is the Source of all good. Intimacy is cultivated by being alone together. He loves us more than anyone and longs for our undivided attention. 

My second encouragement is use the word of God as your weapon. Feast on His word. It is written. Pray it, speak it, and proclaim it! 

My third encouragement is rest! Oh my, rest and play. God likes to have fun. One of my favorite things is laughing with God. I become downright childlike and ridiculous. 

My fourth encouragement is ask God to send you fellow warriors on the frontlines willing to do all God called them to do to stand with you (Not one sided, mutual support). 

Who is your support system aside from God? 

He created us for community. 
God first, then He sends us people. Fellow warriors who say, “If you are on the frontlines, I am too. I am praying for you as you pray for me. I am going to speak life into you as you speak life into me. You are not alone!! I am standing right here with Jesus and you. I am not letting you fall into a ditch. Not on my watch.” 

My fifth encouragement is speak life. Even when the odds seem stacked against you, speak life. Even when it feels horrible, speak life. Speak the very words of God to that mountain.

My sixth encouragement is befriend likeminded on fire, faith filled people. They say we become like the people we are closest to. Who are you connected to that you would say, “I would love to see some of those same character traits in my life?” If everyone around you is depressed, oppressed, and possessed…guess what? You may struggle to walk in faith, love, hope, and joy. I am not saying ditch everyone not on the mountain top. I am saying if you’re in a ditch, find someone who’s not or got out of one and learn from them. 

If you need a starting point for speaking life…I love prayingscriptures.com. They have taken Bible verses and made them into prayers. There are also scripture prayers at the top of this website. 

God’s word does not return void. It accomplishes every single thing it is sent out to do. 

You are so deeply loved, prayed for, and the best is yet to come!

Love,

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God Cares How We Treat Him (Heart of God Series Part II)

  

God is overflowing with love for you! He thinks of you every moment. He has the ability to give each child His undivided attention. Only God can love each person with full intensity and never miss a beat. 

Have you ever been in love? Head over heels in love with someone? I have. The experience of loving people has taught me so much about God. 

When we’re in love we seek to protect the relationship, and the connection. This journey with God is not about rule keeping, it’s about relationship. You see, when I fell in love with God, my greatest concern became protecting our connection, His heart. I believe that’s why Jesus said, “If you love Me, you’ll keep My commandments.” 

Love is the best motivator. It becomes, “How do I love God well, not how to keep the rules.” When I’m loving God, I’m keeping His commandments because my focus is loving Him.

The Bible is filled with stories of God’s emotional responses to the way people treated Him. Just read about His interactions with the Israelites. 

I did not fully understand that my behavior impacted God deeply until I began to receive the same treatment from others or experienced deep love for others. 

I realized it wasn’t so great being blamed for things that weren’t my doing. 

It wasn’t so great to only be sought out when people had a crisis or needed something. 

It wasn’t so great for people to profess their great love for me, yet their actions demonstrated nothing loving or they would never intiate love.

It wasn’t so great to be pursued for what I do instead of who I am. 

It wasn’t so great to have to beg people to do things that I would do willingly.

It didn’t feel great to be ignored. 

It didn’t feel great to receive from people who were giving out of obligation and not the motivation of love. 

It wasn’t so great to listen to complaining, murmuring, and grumbling when I knew the plan I had for the team or group would eventually bring success. 

I truly believe God not only created humans to procreate to fill the planet with more humans, He gives parents the opportunity to know Him through experiences with their own children. How does it feel when your children don’t listen, blame you for their problems, rebel, etc…

God is perfect in patience. He knows we are not perfect and He’s not beating us up for our shortcomings. This isn’t a message to bring guilt or shame. I apologize to God when I realize I’m treating Him as less than He deserves. It’s about honoring and loving Him above all. 

I do believe God cares how we treat Him. He wants to be first in our lives. He wants to be loved for who He is, not just what He does. God doesn’t want the scraps off the table.   

I heard someone say once, “God doesn’t care if I yell at Him and curse Him.” I thought, “How do you feel when people yell at you and curse you?” 

God loves us more than we can love anyone or anything. It’s a love He was willing to die for. A love that great is moved by how we treat Him. He doesn’t stop loving us. No way. He’s patient with us and overflowing with compassion. Yet He wants our love in return. So He pours out love on us so we can give it back to Him. 

Sweet friends, may we receive God’s great love, love God, exalt God, adore God, abide in God, respect God, trust God (it’s s process), give thanks to God, and place Him above all things. 

You are deeply loved (John 3:16). Praying for you! 

Erin 

 

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Abiding (Intimacy with God Part IV)

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Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.

I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

John 15:4-5 (Amplified Bible).

Photo credit: Pinterest

Jesus gave us the key to knowing the Father, through relationship with Him (John 14:6). He gave us the key to eternal life, repentance and faith in Him. He gave us the key to victorious life from sin, the deposit of His Holy Spirit. He also gave us the key to fruitful living, abiding in Him.

One set of my life verses are found in John 15. Intimacy with God produces fruit. The remaining, union, connection, covenant, and relationship with God produces the fruit of His likeness and divine revelation.

Have you ever noticed that best friends and especially married couples will begin to know each other so well that they can finish the other’s sentences or they begin to act in similar ways.

Intimacy (abiding) produces oneness.

God created every human being with the desire to be known and unconditionally loved. He created humans to require intimacy. He’s the only One who can fulfill this need without any flaws, perversion, or creating codependency.

When we are disconnected (not abiding) in God we are relying on our own strength, power, intellect, wisdom, and resources. Or we are relying on someone else’s. Both will fail. Human wisdom is not perfect. Humans are not perfect-infallible. According to Romans 3:23 all (but Jesus) have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

I’ve heard many people state Christians don’t behave like Jesus. Is this because they aren’t saved? I can say the following.

Sanctification (becoming like Jesus) is a process. The Holy Spirit works in us to reveal righteousness, the person of Jesus, to teach, equip, comfort, love, and empower. It’s a journey. Just as a baby learns and grows over time, so do we. Spiritual growth is a process. We learn. We make mistakes. We grow. We rely on God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Christlikeness or bearing fruit results from connection to God. His Holy Spirit produces fruit. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit, there’s no Source to draw from. If you do have the Holy Spirit, you have the ability to quench or grieve Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19 and Ephesians 4:30).

God is in control in the sense nothing happens without Him knowing. He’s Sovereign. God did not make humans robots. He will not force us to obey Him, spend time with Him, love Him, love others, do what’s right, or anything else. We can say no to God. Adam and Eve are prime examples of our ability to choose what’s wrong. We can be believers who choose to sin. Yet those who choose to live independent of Him will face consequences for their actions.

Abiding is about relationship. Jesus repeated Himself: Abide in Me! Remain in Me! Stay connected to Me! We cannot abide or remain in someone we do not talk to unless it’s Sunday morning, or in times of trouble, or when we need something.

Relationships are built on quality time, communication, mutual investment, love, commitment, appreciation, and with God (doing what He asks). He said our love for Him is manifested through obedience.

Note: Many have used the word legalism to promote lawlessness. Legalism is trying to obtain righteousness or God’s love through rule keeping. Obedience to God is an act of love. We don’t obey to gain favor, love, or righteousness. Righteousness comes by faith. Favor and love are gifts from God. Obedience is a fruit of our love for Him.

So how do we abide?

1. Salvation. If you are not saved (in relationship with God through repentance and faith) you cannot abide in Him. No one comes to the Father unless they come through the Son.

2. Make God the highest priority. This doesn’t necessarily mean lock yourself on a room with a Bible 24/7. It means God is invited to be the central focus of life.

3. Cultivate relationship. Think of God as the closest family member. Talk to Him. Listen. Spend time with Him. Get to know Him. Rely on Him. Be with Him. Thank Him. Focus on Him. Worship (love, adore) Him. Ask Him to deepen your awareness of His Presence. Meditate on His word and goodness. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you.

I’m a list person, yet my relationship with God isn’t a formula. He’s my best friend. I wake up thinking about Him. I spend the day talking and listening to Him. I end the day with Him. He’s the closest to me. I take time to steal away with Him. In trouble, I look to Him. In good times, I look to Him. He has my attention and focus.

Sweet friends, there’s always more with God. God invites us into the secret places of His heart. He unites us to Himself. He doesn’t need us. He wants us. The Creator of the Universe and galaxies calls us by name. He wants to know us and be with us. He doesn’t need anything. Even the angels worship around His throne. Yet He delights in our love for Him.

May we grow in intimacy with God! He loves and adores us.

You’re continually in my thoughts and prayers.

In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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From My Heart to Yours

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The reason I began writing was to express my heart to God. I never imagined I would write a book or write for three blogs. Knowing God, not simply knowing about Him, has been my desire since I was a child. God is beyond amazing. I don’t know of anyone worth more devotion or worship. So, here’s the intro from I Thought I Knew What Love Was. I hope it inspires you to dive deeper into the depths of God’s heart. He loves you, and He longs to be with you more than you could ever want to be with Him.

I Thought I Knew What Love Was is a series of poems and reflections about God, about life, and about life with God. Over the years, the view of God has changed. He has broken out of every box in which He was placed. His love transforms all other loves into what they were meant to be. Once we receive His love, we view the love of others so differently. He changes our worldview as we receive more of Him. His love is the foundation for the truest, purest love. His love is the glue that holds all other loves together. His love is the most amazing of all loves. The title of this book should be I Thought I Knew Who Love Was. Love is who God is. It is impossible to understand even a fraction of who He is without first looking at love. Our human love may fail, but God’s love does not fail.

 
I have found that love is a journey, not a destination. I will never say I have God or love all figured out. Until I meet Him face to face, He will continue to remain a bit mysterious. I also cannot say the love in my heart can even compare to His. I am simply learning day by day how to pour out what He pours in. What I can tell you is that walking with Him is an adventure. He is better than any person I have met. He is kind, compassionate, gracious, a gentleman, truthful, and always seeks our best. He loves justice and truth. He loves people. So if you have not encountered the love of God, I pray these poems speak to you. He loves you. It isn’t based on what you do, or fail to do. He simply loves you. If you invite Him into your heart and into your life, you won’t regret it.

 
Yes, life will still present challenges, but now you can face them with the most powerful being in the Universe. You will have a friend who sticks closer than a brother. He will bring about the internal changes in your life as you submit your life to Him. The more I grow to know Him, the more I realize that I say, “Yes” and He does all the hard work. I can always depend on Him to provide what is needed.

 
If you’ve already met Him and invited Him into your heart, I pray you are encouraged to dive in a little further. God wants to wow you. He wants to surprise you. He wants to stand by you. He longs to continue His pursuit of your heart. He never grows tired of being with you. He never wants the flame in your heart for Him to go out.

So here’s to you, the reader. I am praying for you. I hope you will never forget that you are deeply loved.

 

 

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