Need Joy? Seek Jesus.

Jesus had more JOY than His companions!

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You above Your companions with the oil of joy,~Hebrews 1:9.

God is not stuffy, stoic, nor boring. God knows how to celebrate and have a good time. Pleasure was God’s idea; sin perverted pleasure and a religious/Pharisee spirit tries to dampen any fun with God. God is fun. There is more pleasure and enjoyment in God than anything He created.

I used to examine people who got so excited about God in wonder…until I got to know God for myself. Knowing God elevated my joy quotient significantly. Knowing God has been the greatest joy of my life. Words do not adequately express the beauty, majesty, and mystery of God.

What if I don’t feel joy?

Joy is not a feeling based on what is happening. It is an overflow of abiding in the One who is joy. Jesus stated plainly that abiding in Him brings forth abounding fruit. That is why we can go through a challenging season and still have joy. Paul wrote many celebratory letters from prison. God is good even when life is not going the way we desire. Focusing on who God is, takes the focus off our momentary sorrows.

Paradise is not just a place. It is a person. God is pure JOY. In His presence as the Psalmist proclaimed is the fullness of joy.

You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand,~Psalm 16:11.

Including part of my devotion this morning. My hopes are that joy bubbles up out of your spirit! God loves you and being with God bring joy.

Devotion Excerpt:

“Go back as far as you can in prerecorded history, back to the dawn of the universe, and there you’ll find joy. The Creation is characterized by celebration (Job 38:6-7; Proverbs 8:22-31). Turning to the time of the New Testament, Christ is characterized by joy (John 8:29; 15:11). In the parable of the lost son, heaven in the present is characterized by joy, feasting, music, and dancing (Luke 15:11-32). Finally, looking forward to the future, John shows us a picture of heaven (Revelation 19:6-9). It will be a feast, where the people shout, “Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give him the glory!” (verse 7).

The story of faith begins and ends in joy. And in between, there is joy. Joy permeated Paul’s life, even in the place you would have least expected it—in prison (see the book of Philippians). For more than twenty centuries, Christians have been exhibiting joy. There have been sad, even morose, Christians, to be sure. But the ones who have inspired us have been marked by joy…

Anyone who gets in touch with God gets in touch with joy. All true joy is derivative. It doesn’t originate from the world. It doesn’t originate from us. It originates from him. And when we get close to him, it rubs off,”~from the Marked by Joy devotion on YouVersion

Are you enjoying God? Enjoying life with God?

Painting: Jesus is joy by Yungsong Kim

Love,

Erin Lamb

The Parable of the Diamonds

Parable of the uncut diamond and the stranger.

There was man who prayed and prayed for blessings. He was defeated and poor. He cried out to God to bless him each day.

God heard his cry and began to send people to bless the man. He was suspicious of their kindness and refused help. He did not trust love, especially from someone he did not know.

One day God sent a stranger along the man’s path with a box, and inside was a bag of uncut diamonds. It was worth 77 million dollars.

The stranger approached the man during his lunch time meal. “Is your name John?” The man grumbled, “Yes!” He was frustrated because he could not see all the times/ways God tried to bless him.

The stranger asked to sit with him. John was already irritated and wanted nothing to do with the stranger. He was busy. His lunch break was only a half hour. He had people to see, things to do.

The stranger sensed John’s hesitation. “John, I know you are a busy man. I don’t want to take up much of your time. God sent me here to you to deliver this box.” John replied, “Can you just leave the box and GO! I am busy. I have work to do. I work 3 jobs just to pay my bills.”

The stranger honored the wishes and left the box. He walked away; John dismissed the box. He ate his lunch murmuring and complaining. “Why would God interrupt my lunch for this?! He knows I only have 30 minutes of peace.”

John’s attitude stunk like the garbage in the bin behind him. He never thought of the interruption as a potential blessing. He never saw the stranger as a gift. He saw him as a nuisance.

John opened the box before returning to his shift. “Rocks! God gave me a bag of rocks. Is this a joke?!!!” John was angry. He shoved the bag in his case and went back to work.

Years passed and John continued to pray and murmur against God.

God sent the stranger back to John. “It’s you again,” John exclaimed with roughness. “Yes, I am here for the bag I gave you. If you have no use for them, we have someone else who wants them.” “Sure take these stupid rocks.” John went into his room and pulled the bag out, brushed off the dust, and threw them at the stranger. “Thank you John. This bag of uncut diamonds worth 77 million dollars is going to help someone else.”

John stood there stunned and ashamed. For years he lived in poverty while millions of dollars sat in his bottom drawer collecting dust.

The stranger said to John, “For years God has been sending people to help you and you refused help. You were curt with me and so busy that you missed provision. I was sent to give you instructions on what you had been given and you dismissed me. Therefore, you forfeited your blessing. The lady several streets over has a great need and God told me she would listen and use these diamonds for good. John, God loves you. The lesson is to not dismiss something because you do not understand. Seek God for wisdom. Every interruption or person who wants to help you is not the devil. I hope you are you blessed. These diamonds were a gift to me from my father and I asked God for someone to give them to. I have more than enough. God sent me first to you. He chose you and you relinquished your blessing. Mary, the woman who will receive part of my inheritance will never have to work again. Good day John and God bless you.”

As the stranger walked away, John wept. He was so busy trying to make it by himself that he missed God.

It’s so easy to look with the eyes of the flesh and miss God. God works through people. God does set up divine interruptions. It is possible to miss what God is doing because we are so busy judging by what our natural eyes see. Wisdom pulls us deeper to say, “God give me your eyes and help me to walk in the Spirit of God not my flesh. God show me what you are doing? Is this you God?”

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out-Prov 25:2.

I asked God to be a benefactor and partner with Him to bless the world. I cannot tell you how many people have forfeited what God wanted to give them through me because they did not recognize nor value the packaging. One minister I had thousands to offer them, they behaved so poorly and were so full of pride, “I don’t need any help.” I gave their gift to someone else. Treat people with respect, honor, dignity because it’s the right thing to do. Also understand you may be entertaining a person on assignment from heaven to bless you. Some have entertained angels unaware.

Keep your eyes open in 2020 for the blessings of God. It may not come in the way you expect.

Happy New Year! New Decade! New ERA!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Thoughts On Raising the Dead

Thoughts on raising the dead.

I want to be sensitive, loving, and appropriate with this post. Jesus did what He saw the Father doing and said what He heard Him speaking. Jesus operated in this holy and intimate connection with the Father. He listened intently to the agenda of heaven. Jesus did not pray for every sick person He saw, nor raise every single dead person. Those who came to Him He healed. He did not stop for every sick person He saw. Jesus listened to the agenda of heaven and followed suit.

I know of people raised from the dead. God has saved my life 7 times over from nearly dying. In each case, there was a purpose and reason. That person’s assignment was incomplete and/or someone came into alignment with heaven to see the fulfillment of their destiny. Only God knows the assignment and destiny of a person. It is not dependent on age. Some do not cry nor contend if an 80 year old person dies. Yet if their destiny in God was not fulfilled, it’s still worth mourning. An 8 year old may seem like they have not fulfilled their calling. However, only God knows why each of us are here.

It is tragic and awful when death occurs. It’s painful. When we know God can do something, it can tug at the desire for the miraculous inside of us to see Heaven invade the earth. It can be tempting to believe if we just sing louder, pray harder, believe bigger that we are somehow going to be The Avengers who snap our fingers and magically reverse death. I have seen God do incredible things. I have also seen children and older people who loved God slip right on into eternity. I love what Kathryn Kuhlman said, “It is my job to pray, God’s job to heal.”

I prayed for a man on death’s door that had thousands of people praying for him. He died. This was devastating for people. I saw light leave his body and return to God. I heard a still small voice saying, “His assignment is done. Well done my good and faithful servant.” When people were talking about calling him back, I could not link to their prayers. They were praying their will be done, not the best for the man. He was martyred for the Gospel and will receive incredible eternal rewards. While his death was tragic to us. Heaven saw someone willing to risk it all for Jesus entering into rest.

I was battling with God over someone I loved with my life who died. I loved this person with my life. This person loved, loved, loved Jesus. Lived a holy life. She died. We prayed for life. She slipped out of our arms and right into the arms of Jesus. If God can raise the dead, why didn’t He do it this time?! I talked to my best friend Jesus after grieving for awhile. I am sharing this with you to hopefully bring hope and perspective, not pain. Adding in what He spoke this morning. Certainly weigh it, test it, pray over it.

“I hate the pain that death causes. I wept over the pain of the death of Lazarus. Lazarus was my friend. I knew he would be raised, yet his death brought pain to so many. Some think the Father is the orchestrator of their pain and it is untrue. Some blame. Some grow angry. Some disappointed. They do not understand that before sin entered the world, death and sickness were not a reality.

Mankind chose sin, sin brings pain. It impacts those who love me and those who hate me. You live in a sin filled world, yet I have overcome the world. Even those who love me and abide in me will face challenges on your side of eternity. Have hope that what you live now is not the full story. Eternity awaits and there is no death in Paradise.

I love faith. I love when the children of God lift their eyes to the promises of God and believe. I love the boldness to declare with unwavering faith what has been spoken from the Father’s heart in scripture. I also desire for closeness and pursuit of heaven’s vantage point. There are things at work that humans do not always see nor understand. They think, ‘How could a loving God allow this?,’ instead of asking, ‘How can I grow to know God through this?’

We are not causing tragedy to build intimacy. We do not prevent all bad things from happening. It requires a different perspective to see as we see. We move intently into the middle of grief. I am close to the broken hearted and save those crushed in spirit. I hold the hurting in my arms and love them to life.

Some do not realize to every life there is an assignment and many fulfill it and come home. The timing is not what others desire for it is in the human heart to live for eternity. Those who are united with me will live forever, simply not in your realm. The conditions are far more pleasant where there is no sin, no sickness, no death.

Some desire to come home and I will not violate their will. They may never tell their loved ones, yet they get a glimpse of where they will be, who I am, and never want to go back. I care for each person’s wishes as well as completing the will of the Father.

In the moments where you do not understand, sink into my heart. Inquire and listen. Heaven has a different viewpoint than the sons and daughters of Adam.”

I believe in praying bold, faith filled prayers. I also believe in asking God, “What are you doing in this situation and how should I pray?” When my friend was sick and we had been praying for weeks for a miracle, I finally stopped praying our will be done and started praying, “God what is heaven’s best in this situation? I want that.”

Sure we want people to live forever on earth, yet the reality is sin created an environment where we will all leave earth. Some will be gathered into the eternal arms of God. Some will slip into a godless realm. Either way, earth is the shortest time we will live.

Should we pray for the sick and expect healing. I think so. Should we leave the results in God’s hands, yes! We cannot heal or raise anyone from the dead. It’s only by God’s power. Do we believe for what looks impossible? Heck yeah! Do we also recognize we do not command the Universe, God does? Yes.

I don’t always get it. I do know God is good. I do know the wisdom of God is FAR beyond our wisdom.

Blessing you!

Love,

Erin Lamb

When God Love is Unrecognized

Loving People Who Do Not Grasp God’s Love

Have you ever tried to love someone with God love and they either misconstrued it as eros (romantic love), rejected the love, misunderstood the love, did not believe you loved them, tried to use you, or trampled it under foot? I have. It used to bother me greatly, I confess. Then God allowed me to see Jesus loved everyone perfectly, yet some still could accept His love, receive His love, understand Him, nor reciprocate His love.

Jesus, the love of God through Him, was foreign to the religious. His love was not recognized, God was not recognized, He was neither believed nor accepted. The love of God is so lavish, so selfless, and so pure.

The world without knowledge of God cannot recognize what it has no grid for. Love in our culture is often lust (based on selfish gain, fleshly passions, self gratification). It is not holy, pure, nor does it sacrifice anything for another unless there is hopes to gain something.

When you love people without knowing them, it can scare them. If you are too lavish, some think you have ulterior motives. Why? Because our world system is upside down to God’s system. God loves us first and sacrificially. God is not selfish. My point is, and I have to say this to myself, love is not wasted. It may feel that way, yet if it’s for God it’s not.

I served a homeless guy for a bit who ended up off the street and with a job. He rejoiced and thought I was amazing while he was being blessed. Years later I saw him drunk and back on the streets. He cursed me and shooed me away. Did I waste my time for that year I served him and helped him? That hot summer day he cursed me in broad daylight it felt that way. Yet the truth is, Jesus was glorified that year. That man cannot stand before God and say no one ever showed me your love. And guess what, I still keep showing up on the streets.

Whether people clap, boo, talk about me, slander my name, wrongly judge my intentions, trample love underfoot, I keep waking up to love the world. Yes, use wisdom and set boundaries. But don’t let people not full of God’s love destroy your desire to love. Those who do not love, do not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).

My encouragement is ask for wisdom and keep your love on for Jesus. Sometimes the prayer is, “God help me to love!”

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

See the Upgrade, Instead of the Obstacle

Parable of the Boulder

There was a man who wanted to climb a mountain yet there was a boulder in his way. A man who came along and told him if he pushed the boulder up the mountain, he would give him ten fifty pounds bags of gold. He stated that many attempted to get the boulder up the mountain yet not one succeeded.

The man accepted the challenge and began to push the boulder up the mountain. He could only go so far without resting. The boulder was heavy and others just seemed to try to take the easy way around. They were playing in freedom while he kept pushing. It was hot, it was not easy. Some days it seemed he took a few steps forward and was pushed back.

He was tempted to give up at times because he could easily make money more easily. Why stick with the task at hand?

After many days and months of pushing the boulder up the mountain, he arrived. the man he had met at the bottom was there as promised with the bags of gold. He grinned with delight over the man making it to the top of the mountain. He asked the man to follow him even further up the mountain. Though fatigued, he climbed. The man asked him, “Why do you think I invited to you push the boulder up the mountain?” The gentleman pondered it for a moment and responded, “I do not know, maybe you needed it and there was no one to help you.” The man laughed. “No, I don’t need the boulder at all. This was not for me, it was for you.” The gentleman looked back at him puzzled, “How could this be for me?” The man replied, “Come look.” He took the man to an area where he could see his reflection. His muscles were fully developed and he had gained incredible strength.

“In the climb, you learned patience. You learned to persevere when it was challenging. You learned the easiest path was not the best path. You learned to focus, if you did not, you could be crushed by the boulder. You learned your own inner strength. You learned lessons some will never learn. The climb was never about me. It was about you. Every challenge has both an OPPORTUNITY and an UPGRADE attached to it. Some only live on the flat plains, they never rise to their highest level of potential. They take the easiest route and never learn who they can be. Some wait for someone else to push the boulder up the mountain and then try to glean from their success. You chose to take the path less traveled. You chose a path that would require strength. You chose faith to believe I would reward you for bringing the boulder up the mountain. Not only will I provide you with the bags of gold, but I am also including 10 times the reward in diamonds.”

Sometimes what looks easy is not the best path. Getting to where we want to go and be will take actual work, focus, planning, and perseverance. The race is given to the one who endures until the end. SO keep your eyes on the prize and keep going. If you need to rest, rest, then get back to what leads to your promise.

Praying for you!! You can do this with God’s help.

Oh…and this Friday, please check out our Black Friday sales on empowered-free.com/shop (books, teachings, audio) and empoweredandfreemerch.com (tshirts, bags, phone cases, etc)! All books and audio are 45% off.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com/Shop

EmpoweredandFreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Boulder image: Google images

Unraveling Teachings on Headship & Women in Ministry

Image: Ezer Rising

Since there has been controversy on my author page and other parts of media about women in ministry, I hope to put together teachings on the women in the Bible who were teachers, prophets, evangelists, taught men, shepherding, friends of Jesus, world changers, and commended by Paul for their ministry.

I also hope to cover how Jesus treated women; He even sent Mary to go tell others He had risen in a culture that did not highly value the testimony of a woman. If God wanted the women to be silent, Jesus would not have appeared to a woman and told her to be His witness. God would also not have appointed female prophets, which He did. Prophets speak forth the word of God, teach, mentor, and exercise authority. I will touch on Deborah who was a prophet and judge over ALL of Israel. She exercised authority over men.

I think part of the issue is many people do not hear about women in churches, unless it’s Mother’s Day or talking about Mary mother of Jesus. We need to know all of the Bible, the culture, the context, and most importantly the heart of God.

I also hope to break down what Ezer Kenegdo means. It is the Hebrew word God used for creating woman. It is poorly translated as helper or help meet. Our English language does not do Hebrew justice. Ezer is a word God uses to describe Himself and there is no weakness and inferiority in God.

Eve was created as a warrior, one with divine instinct and she represents a part of God Adam does not. Together as partners they would have dominion on the earth (See Genesis 1:26-28). Before the fall of humanity represents God intentions. Both of them were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

I also hope to touch on the poorly taught doctrine of male headship and female submission. God did not create a hierarchy ladder. He created a triangle. Man+woman would function as equal partners ruling and reigning together both moving towards God.

God also instructed ALL believers (male and female) to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). The greatest among you will be your servant (Matthew 23:11), said Jesus. When it is taught the wife must just do what her husband wants, he’s the head (boss), it creates potential for competition. He must be the smartest and most spiritual. In some cases the husband is not or his wife is far more skilled in an area. Or he’s not listening to God and she is. If he has zero accountability, he can lead his family into a ditch. I see clients with husbands who have brought porn in the home, are abusive, the husband is controlling, absolutely destroyed their finances, not responsible, will not listen to anyone’s counsel, and they are stuck being yelled at to submit.

If the husband thinks he’s the last say, he may forgo listening to his wife and feel resentful if her relationship with God is stronger or she’s more skilled than he is in an area. She may be viewed as a subordinate, not a partner. Both parties are called to mutual love, mutual respect, and mutual submission (a willingness to yield to what honors God). It can create problems when the wife treats her husband like he’s her God. God was clear. You shall have no other gods beside me and there is one mediator between God and man-Jesus. We have one high priest, Jesus. If the husband says to do something that is wrong, the wife is not supposed to do that and vice versa.

The role of both parties is to love one another and love is not about lording over others. Marital love is not a boss employee relationship. It’s two partners laying their life down for the benefit of each other. Jesus told the disciples not to be like the people in the world who seek to dominate and lord over others. He told them to take on the position of a servant.

“…Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles have absolute power and lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them[tyrannizing them]. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,“~Jesus Matthew 20:25-26.

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom. The way “headship” is sometimes taught is the husband is a god substitute in the home, the boss, the dictator, the final authority, and it’s not biblical. The husband is called to model Jesus in his sacrificial love, unselfishness, empowering his family, purity, etc…God did not create a boss and subordinate relationship, nor establish a system for husbands to have zero accountability. The husband is not a god substitute.

Whether you agree or disagree, I hope to unpack the word of God, the words of Jesus, creation, the Greek and Hebrew. Let’s unpack what God did say.

God willing after the holidays we will dive into the controversy. I think its great to study for ourselves and know what authors of the Bible meant. I also think it’s even better to know God, the character of God and the heart of God. The Pharisees knew the Torah and the law. They could quote it, beat people up with it, but they did not have personal relationship with God. We need both. The Holy Spirit is the best teacher.

Resources:

Ezer Kenegdo

https://godswordtowomen.org/ezerkenegdo.htm

Headship and Paul’s Letters

https://margmowczko.com/kephale-and-male-headship-in-pauls-letters/

It’s A Woman, Not All Women (Paul’s Letters)

https://margmowczko.com/a-woman-not-all-women-1-timothy-212/

Women in Ministry, Pastoral Roles, Submission

https://margmowczko.com/paul-gender-roles-in-marriage-ministry/

I will be doing Facebook lives on these topics. I think as a woman, it’s important I know what God did say. I think for men it’s important to know what God did say. There are so many women being forced into silence that God is calling to SPEAK! There are husbands who are not receiving the full benefit of having a partner because she is seen as a subordinante to be led by the nose.

I hope you join me in the new year for the series! You can follow video posts by going to Facebook.com/erinlambauthor. You can grab copies of the books I have written or audio teachings by going to empowered-free.com!

Lastly, we will not be SILENT!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

When Pastors Abuse

I wish Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse was not a book I needed to write. Why? I wish “church” was always a place of love, safety, and God’s goodness. I wish the organized “church” looked and loved just like Jesus.

Jesus is perfect theology and God is love. There is no abuse in love. There is no manipulation or dominance in love. There is no control in love. There is nothing perverse, sexually inappropriate, or lustful in love.

I use quotes for the “church” because truly God’s church is not a weekend service or organization, it is a body of people yielded to God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their agape love (pure, sacrificial, and unselfish love). Abuse is not love and not of God. God will separate His true church from what is false.

Part of what I do is called deep inner healing. It’s not SOZO for those who are in the charismatic church. It’s inviting God into memories throughout a person’s life to interject truth, expose lies, deal with pain, and negative emotions. I do not interject memories. We deal with what God reveals to a person that needs to be healed.

Over the years I have heard the worst of the worst of stories; stories that make Steven King movies appear tame. I deal with people who have been severely damaged and abused to the point of dissociation (they fracture into multiple personalities). I hate to admit that some of the perpetrators claimed to be Christians. Some were pastors or deacons. Some had high levels of influence. They used their status and influence to exploit, manipulate, abuse, or molest others.

Some churches have encouraged hiding the sins of the pastors or the “church”. If anyone knew it could damage the “church” reputation. Holding onto this mindset helped to enable thousands of pastors to continue to abuse people in silence. It is ungodly to enable sin. What you hide, enables abuse to continue. It sends a message, “Please come and abuse people here. We will keep your secrets and forgive. We will pretend that nothing happened.” Some “church” leaders don’t recognize forgiveness is not ENABLING! Forgiveness is supposed to be coupled with repentance. To repent is to change one’s mind, not offer a sloppy sorry because you were caught.

In Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse I talk about the boundaries churches need in place to prevent a set up for a scandal.

  • Background checks on every leader. If you are a pedophile, you are not qualified to lead. Period.
  • Men should not counsel women in closed door, behind the scenes situations or off hours. And vice versa with women counseling men. “Counseling,” has led numerous people into sexual misconduct. Have a two person system. If you must have a one on one, one pastor I knew had a glass office door and his admin would sit outside. She could not hear, she could see what was going on in the session. I do not do deep inner healing sessions by myself in person. I have an assistant. If it’s through Skype, it’s recorded.
  • Check in on pastors and their mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Some are burnt out and not connecting with God. They serve, yet they are not working on their own relationship with God. Check in and have accountability systems.
  • Set up situations where leaders are never alone with someone else’s child. Children’s ministry should have two people not related caring for kids. They all need background checks too!
  • Teach your children proper boundaries. Just because a person claims to be a Christian does not mean they are safe. Teach your children about inappropriate touch and they can tell you anything. It’s sad, yet many children are threatened with getting in trouble if they tell.
  • Cease trusting people just because they claim to be a Christian or clergy!! This one is big.

I knew a lady who’s pastor invited her out to a bar then began to sexually proposition her. Well, first thing is this-I am not meeting my pastor alone anywhere!! Let alone a bar. Secondly, the moment he propositioned me for sex he would have been rebuked and then turned into the church board. This pastor had a history of hitting on women at the church, sleeping with them, then getting up preaching on Sunday. He would also remove parts of scripture that talked about sexual immorality.

What we permit, we promote! Let me repeat that, “What we permit, we promote.” This woman wanted to love, forgive, and pray for her pastor. Awesome! Yes, forgive. Also rebuke the sexual advances and let someone know so he cannot prey on anyone else. Some women have been so brainwashed with false teachings on submitting to authority that they easily give in to what is ungodly. He’s my pastor, I have to do this. NO!!!! You are sinning and God still hold you accountable. “My pastor told me,” does not fly in heaven.

What are you and I going to do to help stop abuse in the church? We cannot change other people. We can ask God for our part! Writing this book and helping victims of abuse is part of my part. It’s also my part to say something if I see something inappropriate.

I regret not listening to my instincts years ago. I noticed a male minister always playing with the little girls. He was in his 50s. They were 7 to 14 years old. I did not wish to judge him. I thought I was being overly suspicious. I looked the other way though it bugged me. Later it was revealed he was grooming young teen girls for sex. He eventually married a teenage girl in an impoverished nation by grooming her parents as well. He was eventually removed from ministry. Could I have helped if I said something early on? I don’t know. I had no proof. It just creeped me out. I wish I had said something.

My encouragement is this, “Please don’t turn a blind eye to abuse, control, manipulation, or sexual sin.” God is loving, gracious, kind, and forgiving. God also highly values people. If we allow abuse we violate God’s love. Being passive is easy. Being passive is not godly.

I see the aftermath in sessions with people. I see how the abuse wounded their views of themselves, of God, of the church. I see the horror and the agony the victims of abuse carry.

Let’s have honest conversations about abuse in the church. Let’s have boundaries that keep people safe. Let’s stop teaching that submission is doing whatever is asked of you. It’s not! Godly submission is being willing to yield to what honors God. It does not mean obey. Let’s teach young children and teens about appropriate and inappropriate touch. Let’s teach everyone about healthy boundaries. No I am not meeting a man alone in his home for ministry. I do not have them come to my house either. Why? I have no desire to be a victim of rape nor to appear to be doing something inappropriate. I don’t meet men at bars to talk about ministry. I don’t sin with them.

Several stories came out this week of men in Christian leadership exposed for sexual misconduct. Those women could have helped themselves by saying, “No I am not sinning with you. No I am not meeting you somewhere alone with no witnesses.” I am not trying to blame them. I feel compassion for them. I am saying in this day and age, we must use wisdom. I am not traveling to my pastors house alone. I will meet you in a public place with witnesses. No I am not sinning with you and submitting to what dishonors me or my relationship with Jesus. Boundaries help protect what has value. It’s far more difficult for sexual assault to happen in a public place with loads of witnesses.

If you have been abused sexually, physically, emotionally, spiritually (spiritual abuse is another one that is high in clients I see), manipulated, controlled, or mistreated by clergy or professing Christians, I am so sorry! It is not the heart of God and He hates abused. I pray your heart is healed and restored. God loves you! I can also confidently say that God gives beauty for ashes and binds up the wounds of the broken hearted! You are greatly loved.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org