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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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Weekend Devotion: God is Our Peace

Weekend Devotion: Peace in the storm. Navigating through extreme challenges with God. Prayer at the end. 

How many of you have had a wilderness experience with God? How many have had a series of challenges that seemed overwhelmingly hard? I have. 

I lived in the wilderness. I had a tent there, a water pail, a tear stained pillow, and it got to the point where I would not answer the phone because it was simply bad news after bad news. If people knew my story, they would understand why God is my best friend, why being with God trumps being with them, why worship and intercession are crucial parts of my life, why intimacy with God is the highest priority, and they would understand the intensity of my current joy. 

I would love to tell you God immediately takes away every challenge, pain, trial, or Judas experience. This is false. Every warrior, including Jesus, I have studied in the Bible went through a series of tests and challenges. James, who’s real name was Jacob, tell us the following…

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing,~James 1:2-4 (AMP). 

Before you want to slap Jacob. I want you to change vantage points. Can you take a moment to look not from earth’s point of view, but heaven’s point of view? 

Earth is a temporary place. Heaven is eternal, forever, does not change, has no pain or suffering. We may live 100 years on earth. There is no end to heaven. 

Our loved ones who leave us far too soon, we will grieve. This I have walked through. The pain some days was almost unbearable. Yet I know for those in Christ, I will see them again. And we will be together forever, without end. Oh praise Jesus. 

Our hearts that end up broken by those who are void of God love, they can heal. This too I know all too well. God reminds me over and over, “The love you receive from people is directly proportional to the love they have received from me. They can not give what they do not possess.” So you pray as Paul prayed that people would know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love. You forgive and allow God to love you to wholeness. 

Our disappointments are nothing compared to the glory of God. God withholds nothing good. Our idea of good often varies from God’s. God sees what is coming. We see today. We see earth, the physical realm. We do not see fully what God sees. Maybe that relationship or job would have brought hell on earth. Maybe that friendship ended to protect someone. Maybe destiny was on the line. Maybe something better is coming. Maybe that person left earth because they wanted to go home to Jesus. We do not see all. Therefore, our best bet is to climb up into the arms of God. 

No matter what happens, God is so good He can bring something good from the situation for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes and plans. 

What did I learn from the wilderness I could impart to you: 

1. It is temporary. 

Life in the wilderness is not the intention of God. Our mindset, murmuring, or complaining can prolong a short stay into a long one (read about the Israelites). 

2. It is often a call to intimacy or spiritual bootcamp. 

I am not saying God causes bad things to happen to get our attention. I am saying God does not prevent every challenge. Sometimes God does not immediately deliver us from, we are delivered through. I see prime examples of this in the life of Daniel, Jesus. God did not prevent all adversity. He did bring forth Kingdom advancement through adversity. 

3. We can learn more about God and our own beliefs in the wilderness. 

It’s easy to proclaim God is good when life is skipping through rose gardens, and every person prayed for is healed, when there is breakthrough after breakthrough. Is God still good when life feels like a massive storm? 

Our faith is revealed in the wilderness. Unbelief is exposed. Our true ideas of God are put on display. If we take our thoughts, pain, and disappointments to God, we can grow! Oh my, we can grow stronger in faith. 

4. We gather testimony of overcoming! There is power in being an overcomer. 

I love the quote, “Smooth seas do not produce skilled sailors.” If I were placed on the front lines of battle, I would not want my commander to be someone afraid or unable to withstand adversity. You want someone who has overcome and keeps on overcoming. There is power in facing adversity and refusing to let the storm kill you! 

We have authority in the storm where we maintain peace. Peace, dear ones, is a weapon. Tenacity and refusal to succumb to circumstances is powerful. It’s hard to beat someone who will not move or give up or give up ground. 

5. Our character is refined in trials and challenges, if we yield to God. 

The weakest person is the one who refuses to face challenges. They do not grow. They never allow their faith to be stretched. They shrink back, retreating from the next spiritual promotion. 

Character matters. Jesus was promoted (grew in favor with God and man) by overcoming tests. What if Jesus just threw in the towel? What if He said yes to Satan just like Adam? We would all be lost. He overcame. He turns to us and says, “In the world you will have trouble. Take heart, I have already overcome the world!” He overcame demonstrating we can overcome! Jesus maintained peace in storms because He knew the heart of the Father and the intentions of God are always good. Always! Not sometimes, always. Even when we do not see it or feel it or understand, God is good. 

Papa God, I thank you that these momentary afflictions are nothing compared to your glory which will be revealed within us. Change our vantage point so we live from heaven down. Help us to abide in your truth even when what we see is vastly different from your truth. You are always good. I declare peace into every storm. I ask for the anointing of your peace to flood every heart, soul, spirit, body of each reader. Take us higher, above the storms. You are greater. We can trust you. You will work it all for a greater good, even if we do not see it until heaven. We are going from glory to glory! May our faith not fail. In Jesus powerful name.

Love, 

Erin L. Lamb

 
 

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God Esteem & Confidence (Manifesting Sonship Series Part IV-b)

  
Sometimes WordPress behaves wacky. In the middle of my post on Moses it posted what was not finished. Hence getting more than one post today…😃

I left off talking about Moses letting God know about His weaknesses. God already knew. He knows everything. We are deeply loved by God, yet the story isn’t primarily about us…it’s about God. It’s about who God is. 

God has always existed. It’s His story for His glory, and we get to join His story. 

God had a plan to free His people, and He chose Moses to be His spokesperson. He knew when He chose Moses that he had a fear issue, fear of rejection, insecurities, and that Moses was not eloquent of speech. He didn’t walk up on Moses and say to Himself, “Hey I wonder what this guy is like? Can I use him?” 

God knows our flaws, fears, weaknesses, insecurities, wounds, shortcomings, and still calls us all to join His story. 

If you read the Bible cover to cover you will find only one who is perfect and He is Jesus. He perfectly represented the Father. 

What does that mean for us? 

1. It means we are who God says we are. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. He’s right in His assessment always. 

2. Our confidence is to come from our identity in Christ, nothing else. Jesus plainly said, “I am the Vine. You are the branches. If you abide in Me, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing,“~from John 15:5.

3. If God calls, He equips, and provides provision. It’s about Him being seen through us for His glory. We can’t take credit for what He has done when He works through our areas of weakness. We can’t take credit for our strengths either…

4. It’s not about our weakness, it’s about His strength! 

5. Even if we mess up, God has a redemptive plan. 

6. Low self esteem and insecurity are not the will of God, nor is it humility. 

a. Some today might applaud Moses for telling God he wasn’t qualified or worthy. God on the other hand rebuked him. He said to Moses, “Who made the mouth?” 

You may be thinking, “Easier said than done. This God esteem seems hard to walk out.” 

Ummmm…yeah! It’s something I’m learning to walk out. Confidence hasn’t always been applauded in my life. Some Christians labeled me arrogant for thinking I could hear from God and I didn’t have great experiences walking confidence out. If I stated I was a filthy sinner or worm, there was applause for my humility. Yet the more I searched the scriptures, the more evidence I found that God wanted us to accept His assessment of who we are. We were (past tense) dead in trespasses and sin. We were (past tense) sinners on the way to hell. 

Even in my occupation other women and some men made it their mission to sabatoge efforts for success. 

I am still walking it all out with you because God calls me way, way, way out of my comfort zone. I had zero desire to lead, be known, teach, preach, be on platforms, etc…leave me in a room with God alone and I’m as happy as can be. I had zero, zero desire to be a spokesperson for God. None. And God has called me repeadily to do what I never thought I could and many things I had no desire to do. 

Life examples:

After years of being somewhat beat down in ministry and enduring some intense persecution at work and with Christians. I am not talking about people just being rude either. I’m talking about being stalked, falsely accused, publicly humiliated and lied on, people trying to get me fired, cussed out in public places, vandalized property, people I didn’t know contacting me about gossip they heard, being removed from “friend” circles without warning, destroying my work samples….on and on…God calls me after this 7 year period of testing-(lets call it that), to minister to a stranger I met one time at a conference. 

My first response was, “Are you serious? Um no thanks.” God didn’t rebuke me like He did Moses. He kept nudging. “Will you go for me?” I was still hurting, still tired, over ministry, seeking rest and restoration. I had zero desire to go minister to someone I didn’t know. And I would hold things God gave me until I had courage to send them. It was hard. I had to overcome plenty of fear. Or at least move past it long enough to bless someone else. He would state the timing was on point. God had figured in my lag time.

That one act of (delayed) obedience led to years of being obedient, faithful, facing fears, and just being a vessel God could use, even while broken. It was super challenging as I felt a truck had backed over my life, yet it brought about good things for that person and their family. It also helped me grow in God confidence.  

The purpose of me telling you is this…Sometimes, you’re going to be afraid. Sometimes you may feel really small or inadequate. Sometimes you may not be well received. Yet if you give it to God, He will do something beautiful. You may not be the benefactor. It may be someone else. It’s for His glory. I told God He could have all of my life. Since then I’ve had chances to walk it out. 

We are His workmanship created for His glory. Your reward for being faithful to God (He does like to give rewards by the way), may be in heaven where moths and rust do not decay. Some may be on earth, I can’t say. I do know it’s worth it to believe what God says about us and to step out of the boat! 

No one wins games by sitting on the bench. 

No one walks on the water by sitting in the boat! 

Papa God I thank You that Your strength is made perfect in our weakness. I thank You that all You say about us is true. I thank You that You are so powerful to heal us where we are afraid, weak, broken, and insecure. Our true confidence is in You! I bless everyone reading this with Godly esteem and God Confidence. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Love, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Love the Story, Not Always the Process

  

Photo Credit: Pinterest 

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us,~Phillipians 3:14. 

There are so many stories of miracles in the Bible. They all started with a problem. Abraham and Sarah had no children. Hannah desired a son. The Isrealites needed a way out of Egypt. The woman with the issue of blood, who suffered for over a decade, needed healing. Jesus died for our sins and was then resurrected because the world needed a Savior….

Everyone loves a great story of miracles and overcoming. Yet many forget the process. Not every miracle or promise is instant. The Messiah was prophesied of many, many years before He set foot in the synagogue to proclaim Isaiah 61. Abraham waited 15 years for Issac. Though people mock Sarah for laughing, I might have laughed too. After her youth is gone, her body is tired, she’s watched other women nurse and love their babies…Let’s be honest, that’s a long time to wait and watch others get what you’re begging God for. 

We love the story of those who overcome or have a radical encounter with God. We don’t always love the process of walking in their shoes or walking out our own journey of facing problems or challenges with God. 

Maybe you’re waiting on a miracle or promise; praying for a miracle, desiring a miracle and every day the hope in you seems to die a little. You watch others celebrate their healing, their financial breakthrough, their promotion, their engagement or wedding, the birth of their children…and you face the harsh resounding discouragement in your heart that tells you that your dream may not come true. 

Maybe during the process you have given up. Buried that dream. Let it die in your heart. Maybe you’ve grieved silently because you can’t take another person throwing scripture at your grief and pain. So, you cry in silence. You scream silent screams that only you and God can hear. You shed tears only God can see and you dust yourself off and keep running your race. 

If that’s you, I can so relate. When the Lord spoke to me many years ago that my life would be filled with miracles, I wish He’d have also said, “This means lots of problems and challenges, persecution, some betrayals, your heart will be broken many times, estimating over a half dozen near death experiences, you’ll lose friends, your health will be attacked, during sickness you’re going to lose your hair, you’ll be mocked and cussed out in public places, and in many cases there won’t be a single soul willing to help you.” If He had, well I might have had a different reaction. However, clueless, I said, “Yes sign me up for a life of miracles.” God delivered me through every single situation and provided so many miracles. There was still heartache and suffering in the process. 

Please don’t think God delights in suffering or sickness. I am not stating He caused all kinds of problems. He didn’t prevent every problem. Some things He delivered me from and others He delivered me through. He doesn’t prevent all suffering or sickness. I still know Him as Healer. God heals, restores, and works miracles. I also have seen people who lived upright Iives before God and have suffered greatly; loss, sickness, heartache, pain. We can’t ignore there’s trouble this side of heaven. 

Easy or deep…

I wouldn’t trade God for an easy life. Yet there are days I wish for less situations that required a miracle. There are days my flesh is tired even when my spirit is not. Some would say in those moments, “Trust God. God is good. He will work this for good.” He is good. He truly is. Yet even Jesus had His Gethsemane moment where He asked the Father, “Please take this cup from Me, nevertheless, not My will…Your will be done.” 

Jesus suffered greatly for humanity. While we love the story, I can’t name one person willing to go through the same process for sinful humanity. So we love the story…not always the process. 

Without the process, going through the trials, challenges, and hard things with God, there’s no great story. There’s also no great character and intimacy with God built either. I’m not stating sickness builds character or intimacy, trials and challenges do if we let them. 

Smooth seas don’t make skilled sailors.” 

I’d love to tell you to hang on, to keep declaring the word, to never lose hope. Yet I won’t if you’re grieving today. I will tell you to climb up into the arms of God, and let Him love you. As someone who’s laid many dreams to rest, had my heart broken many times, and been to the Garden of Gethsemane more times than I’d like…I think my name is etched in a rock there (Erin was here! Erin was here again!!!)…more than anything in those moments I wanted to know my Father’s love. What I needed was love, not a pep talk or inspirational speech. I just needed love. It would’ve also been nice to have someone willing to pray and stand in the gap. You don’t have to be strong, let God be strong for you! 

There’s a time to contend and a time to rest in God’s sweet embrace. 

So, if that’s you, I’m praying for you! I can’t promise you immediate relief. I can say God is the Comforter. If you’re not delivered from, there’s deliverance through. May His love overwhelm you. May your love story with God inspire others and generations to come! May you be flooded with love and comfort in the process. You are deeply loved. You will always be loved! ♥️💯

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Where’s My Miracle? (Miracle Series)

  

I love the story of Jesus and Lazarus. While Jesus is away, His friend Lazarus dies. When word comes to Jesus about His friend, He didn’t run to the rescue. Jesus shows up 4 days after Lazarus died. You can read the story here John 11

The great part of the story is Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Yeah King Jesus! 

What about the situations in your life where it seems there’s no hope or miracle coming? I want to speak to those times in this post. 

I’ve heard people say, “You have no right to question God.” Well, from what I’ve read in the Bible many people questioned and dialogued with God. It’s approaching Him in humility saying, “I’d love to understand what You’re doing. Would you share with me?”

Preventing future harm…

(Names changed to protect privacy)

There was Jon (not his real name).  Jon wanted all the ladies. Women where like toys. They were used and tossed aside. He treated women horribly. He destroyed many lives. He delighted in his looks and charm. Well, one day Jon was in a car accident and he died. People prayed and Jon was raised to life. He lost his looks. Jon stated more than anything in the world he “loved” being with women. Jon has limited to no ability  to ruin more women’s lives. People prayed for his total physical restoration. Yet, Jon is limited to a living with caregivers. 

Then there was Amy (not her real name). Amy abused drugs and sold her body. One day she was in a horse back riding accident that caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down. She was told she’d never walk again. This accident forced her to cease selling her body and using drugs. She began to seek God. I am not stating God caused the accident. 

One day God healed her completely. Amy then decided to go back to a life of doing drugs, prostituing herself, and she abandoned her desire for God. The last I heard of Amy we were trying to rescue her from being sex trafficked. She ended up in rehab and I know nothing of her whereabouts now. 

Do I believe God wants people healed and whole? Yes. Jesus paid for healing on the cross. Do I think God cares about every detail of our lives? Yes. Do I believe God puts sickness on people? No. Sickness and death are results of the fall. Do I believe we sometimes miss part of the equation when pursuing a miracle? Yes. 

Both Jon and Amy needed inner healing. You see it’s not enough for the body to be healed, the mind and  emotions need healed too. Jon and Amy also needed deliverance from the spiritual issues that were driving them to destructive behaviors…what does it matter to have a healed body and end up going to hell? God does heal people who reject Him. Yet I know He cares deeply about the fate of each soul. 

Issues beneath the surface…

Which leads me to….Deborah (not her real name). Deborah had a physical impairment. As we prayed for her there seemed to be some breakthrough, but not full breakthrough. Finally we got to a major root issue: unforgiveness. Once we walked her through forgiving someone she began to have more breakthrough. End of the story, she experienced some physical breakthrough. So much of it was spiritual and emotional. The last area to have improvement was her body and there’s still more breakthrough needed. There were many things God wanted to do inside this sweet lady. While we were initially focused on one thing, God was interested in healing the whole person. 

He’s blessing everyone else…

Does God have favorites? Is He ignoring you? No.

For a long season I thought I was being punished. It was one bad season after another. I watched my friends have their dreams come true, and have no major issues or problems. Meanwhile I was battling crisis after crisis. I had so many tragic things happen. There were many miracles and some things died and were not resurrected. 

God isn’t dead…or deaf…nor has He ceased performing miracles…

God hears our cries. Some breakthroughs are immediate. Some take time. If you read the book of Daniel you will see after he prayed the answer was delayed 21 days. Some breakthroughs come through intercession, waiting, or God just shows up and bam👊🏼. I’ve found breakthrough can be hindered by unbelief, murmuring, complaining, or living out of a sense of entitlement (God owes me something). Sometimes God is preparing us for the miracle. 

Stacy and Matt (names changed) could not get pregnant. We prayed and prayed. Once they gave up on getting pregnant, they started saving for adoption. Once they paid off their debt and were financially ready for a child, they got pregnant. God’s timing was perfect. 

The same goes for singles. God loves to give good gifts. Are you preparing for marriage? Will you steward well someone’s heart and life? Have you learned to love God most? Are you loving the people already in your life well? 

Are you preparing for what you’re asking God for? 

What’s God doing in the meantime? 

Working in us! Deepening our dependence on Him. I’ve learned more about God in the tough seasons than I ever have on the mountain top. I learned the intensity of His love, comfort, and power. While other kids were playing. I was learning how to pray because miracles were needed. 

There are so many more stories I could tell you. There are still things I’m waiting on, promises spoken that seem to have minimal or no fruit. 

Learning from experience with God, when I can’t see His hand, I can trust His heart. You may laugh…I often preach sermons to my own soul. I must. I encourage myself in His word, “Papa Your word says…You cannot lie. You are so faithful to Your word….” I have daily declarations. I speak His words over my circumstances. 

I’d be lying if I said there haven’t been tear stained face days, days of unanswered questions…Days, to weeks, to months mending broken dreams or a broken heart. What I can say to you is this. 

God sees.

God hears.

God loves you. He loves you more than you could love anyone. 

If He doesn’t deliver you from, He’ll deliver you through. 

God doesn’t waste pain. He heals, redeems, and restores. He gives joy for mourning! I know this so well…

What matters to you, matters to Him. 

Jesus paid it all.

It’s good to ask, “God what are You trying to teach or show me?” 

My favorite prayers, “God help! Increase my faith!” 

Delay is not denial. Pray…believe God hears you. 

God’s plan is good. It doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes it’s SO painful. Yet, in the end it will make sense. 

God can be trusted. 

It’s darkest right before breakthrough.

Who God is trumps what He does. In every season He’s worthy of love and worship.

Your breakthrough sets you up to see someone else get breakthrough. 

Your words during times of crisis matter. Words are seeds. If you don’t want it to grow, cease speaking death and doubt filled words. 

Loving you sweet friends. Praying for your breakthrough and increase in faith. You’re prayed for daily! Don’t lose hope. You may be just a few days away from a miracle!  

Love, 

Erin 

 

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The Fire, Den of Lions, & Deep Waters (Intimacy with God Series Part VIII)

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

Isaiah 43:2 Amplified Bible (AMP)

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.

I’ve met people who believe that if you live Godly then nothing bad will ever happen. This isn’t what Jesus taught. It’s not what we read in our Bibles. Jesus said, “In the world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.”

Sometimes God delivers us from and other times He delivers us through.

Lion’s Den:

Daniel was delivered through. He stood in the lion’s den and God didn’t allow him to be consumed (Daniel 6). He sent angels to shut the mouths of the lions. It was a said of Daniel, “They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent,”~Daniel 6:4b. Daniel was obedient to God, yet he was still thrown into the lion’s den. God did not prevent the incident, He showed Himself strong in the midst of Daniel’s circumstances.

The Fire:

“Is it true . . . that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?” Nebuchadnezzar asked Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:14). Shadrach, Mechech, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship an idol. They were thrown in bound. The fire was so hot it consumed the guards who took them into the fire. Yet when they looked at the men in the fire, they saw another man in the fire and they were not consumed. They were unbound and walking around. When they came out they did not even smell like smoke (Daniel 3).

Deep Waters:

When the Israelites where fleeing Egypt with Moses the Lord parted the Red Sea for them. The power of God parted the deep waters. Once His people were on dry ground, the Lord then allowed those waters to drown Pharaoh’s army (Exodus 14). The Lord said to Moses, “My people will know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten the glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and horseman,”~Exodus 3:18.

These are just three stories in the Bible where God delivered His people through the challenge or obstacle. He didn’t remove the obstacle, the challenge, or adversity. He stood in the fire. He closed the mouth of the lion. He parted the Red Sea. Sometimes God will allow you to be challenged so He can show Himself strong on your behalf. Without a problem, there’s no need for a miracle. The Spirit of God is one of an overcomer.

There are things we can only learn about God when He’s the only One who can help us. There’s an intimacy (knowing) that occurs in the challenging seasons of life. You learn to pray. You learn the intensity of God’s love. The power of His healing and comfort. You learn the very heartbeat of God as you cry out to Him in the midnight hours. The closeness of God forged in those seasons cannot be snatched from you.

I walked through a 10 year season of what I would call the 7 levels of hell. But God! In my life I’ve had 7 near death experiences, including being trapped in my car under water. 911 never came for me, yet God performed such a miracle to allow an already flooded engine to turn over for 60 seconds to get me out. Others left me to die, but God didn’t. I watched my mum suffer for 7 years; surgery after surgery…we lost the house, car, so much. But God made a way out of no way. Not one day was spent hungry. I watched both my parents battle cancer. One healed. One died. I endured 4 years under intense persecution from my manager. Human resources did not help me. God stepped in and she eventually gave her life to Jesus. I’ve been sick and healed by God. Lost friends, been lied on, gossiped about, betrayed, but God intensified my friendship with Him. He fortified my identity as His daughter and friend. I’ve been placed in many situations where no human could or would help. Been left to die, but God!

You see, I’d never know His power without those encounters. You learn the comfort of God in the seasons where your heart is wrenched with grief and no human is willing to wipe a tear. People are great yet they do not trump God. You learn to lean. You learn His voice. You learn the power of God to sustain you and keep your mind. God becomes your best friend. He is my best friend.

Sweet friends, no matter what you’re facing…I want you to insert the words, “But God.” He makes a way out of no way. He is the resurrection and the life. He is the alpha and the omega! He is the everlasting God. He speaks and the world must respond to Him. Heaven is His throne and the earth His footstool. He can do more in a moment than we can in a lifetime. Is anything too hard for Him? The answer is no.

So, I say to you what He says to me, “Come to Me all who are heavy and laden and I will give you rest. You can trust Me. I will work this for good. Abide in Me. My strength is made perfect in your weakness.” And sometimes all He says is, “I love you.” His love is like no other. He longs to be known by us in every season; to be our source.

God loves you more than anyone ever could. If you’re in the fire, the lion’s den, the deep waters, God will not forsake you. This too shall pass. He gave Job double for his trouble. God is a restorer of ruins. He takes ashes and makes them beautiful.

Praying for you. May your intimacy (knowing) of God go deeper than it ever has before! You are deeply loved (John 3:16).

Love in Christ,

Erin

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2015 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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When Reality Does Not Match God’s Promises

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Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the Holy Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny],
” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10.

We live in a world that is flooded with negativity and fear. I normally cannot stomach the news, not because I like to stick my head in the sand, but because they normally don’t have anything good to say. Fear has replaced love and hope. Cynicism has replaced optimism. Sarcasm has replaced encouragement. And we call it all normal.

In this often upside down world, it can be challenging to look with the eyes of faith. I had someone call me Pollyanna once because for the most part I’m looking for something to be thankful for. There’s a difference between denying reality, and praying or expecting God to create a new reality. Even if God’s answer is no, He is still good. Either God is who He says He is and can do everything His word says He can do, or we need to throw in the towel and close all the churches.

If God no longer heals, let’s stop praying for the sick.

If God no longer delivers, let’s stopping pursuing breakthrough.

If our circumstances or what we see determine the ability of God, we have created a demi-god. The God we create is powerless. We make our circumstances and what we see more impressive than God.

The truth is, nothing is ever impossible with God. He is the One who spoke and it was. He is the One who formed Adam from the ground and breathed life into him. He is the One who came as a child, walked among us, was crucified for all sin, and was resurrected on the third day. This is the same God we are crying out to today. God has not changed. Our expectations of what He will do have changed. We’ve put God in a box.

On missions and hearing from missionary friends, there are more miracles and radical encounters with God. People are desperate for God and not the Jesus painted on the stained glass windows. It’s not for show, money, or entertainment. People come hungry and leave fed.

God change my situation:

I am no fan of bossing God around. We don’t tell God what to do. He can do as He pleases. I do believe unbelief blocks us from the richness and fullness of God’s presence. He never promised us a trouble free life. He did promise to never leave or forsake us. He did promise to be faithful to His word. He never ceases to be God. Sometimes He changes our situations, sometimes He gives us strength to walk through them, and sometimes we remain where we are because we choose complaining over praise.

No matter the circumstances, what is true of God:

God is love.

God is good.

God does not fail.

God saves, heals, and delivers.

God has already won and will be victorious again over all evil.

God’s saving power is greater than our capacity to sin.

God is faithful and keeps His word.

God cannot lie.

God’s perfect love casts out fear.

God will always love you!

God is not surprised by what’s happening in the world or ill equipped to deal with it.

God is all powerful. Nothing and no one trumps His power.

God will bring perfect justice in His time.

When your circumstances don’t match God’s word, I encourage you to dig into His Word. Pull out verses about His character. I’ve cried many nights and had great comfort in God’s presence. What’s helped the most was to look to who He is and remind myself of who my Father is.

Yes, life will hurt. Gosh, I know all too well. There are some things I’m surprised I lived through. I counted, I’ve almost died or could have died at least a half dozen times. As a young person, I feel I’ve lived a 100 years. I look back and see countless miracles. Despite it all, I’ve found none more faithful than God. He can be trusted. When we are faithless, He is still faithful.

Bless you. Praying for you. You are deeply loved.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart, Uncategorized

 

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