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You Were Chosen (Manifesting Sonship Series Part IX)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So principles I’ve learned/am learning: 

1. Seek God first in all things. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His lies/My response: 

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

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

Lie: You are so unqualified! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

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

 

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Identity Crisis (Manifesting Sonship Series Part III)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples from life:

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

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

God handcrafted you! You were and are His design. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

You are so deeply loved! 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2015 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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His Thoughts Towards You…

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How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me, Psalm 139:17-18.

How does God feel about you? I think it is a question worth asking. When I started writing poetry that ended up in the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was, I had only a glimmer of God’s love. I knew Jesus died for my sins and felt I had some understanding of His love. I was only tapping the surface of God’s great love for us. The book spans 7 years of my walk with God, and even in the last year the revelation of God’s love has grown. God’s love simply cannot be fully measured or adequately explained. It is vast beyond measure. We simply attempt to explain something so wonderful; we rarely do it justice in our verbal expressions.

King David tells us in the verses above (Psalm 139:17-18) that God’s thoughts towards us outnumber the grains of sand. How many grains of sand do you think there are in the world? The University of Hawaii gives us a theoretical number, for to count them all would be impossible.

According to the University of Hawaii’s answer:

There are seven quintillion five quadrillion grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. That’s a 75 with 17 zeros following! God has more than 7,500,000,000,000,000,000 good thoughts about you.

You can say, “I am not good. I make mistakes. I am not perfect. How can God have so many good thoughts about me?” God created you. You were His idea.

God knows everything about us and not only sees who we are, but who He created us to be. I think of King David who committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. God called David a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). Abraham lied quite a bit. He continued to tell people his wife was his sister. God called Abraham a man of great faith and His friend.

God sees us with the eyes of love. He’s not blind to our imperfections. He  loves us despite them and works in us to transform us. His love isn’t based on our behavior, or maturity, or merit. It’s who He is. God is love. God sees the best in us because we are His children.

Example from real life.

I used to volunteer with children’s ministry. I normally ended up in the infant or 2-4 year old room. There were many times the kids would not listen, try to fight each other, behave in ways that were not kind to each other. I did not think, “They are awful little monsters.” Nor did I yell at them, “You are so selfish. Get it together.” They are kids. I know that they have to learn to get along. They are not bad, they are acting out of what they know and what is best for them. God knows that we are children. When we come to Him, we do not behave like Him. He is patient, kind, loving, and filled with grace. He knows we need Him. He sees someone He loves. Someone He paid a high price for.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children, Psalm 103:13-17

So, my friends, you are deeply loved. God loves you. He has great plans for your life (Jer 29:11). You are valuable to Him.

For studies on our identity in Christ please join my Bible study blog, http://morena242.wordpress.com. Blessings and love,~Erin.

 

 
 

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Looking for Real Love…

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Love is one of the most common used words in our vocabulary. In English we have one word for love. In the Greek there are several words for love. There is philia which is described as brotherly love; love for family or friends. Eros is an intimate love; a passionate desire often used to describe affection between lovers. Agape is unconditional love used to describe God’s love for mankind, it is sacrificial love. Storge is used to describe the love a parent has for their offspring.

Outside of relationship with God many of us will encounter philia, storge, or even eros love. We will be hard pressed to find agape love. The love God has for us is agape love and it is independent of us. God gives sacrificially because of who He is, not who we are. His love is not based on our performance, or merit. Even if we reject Him, He never stops loving us. Even some parents reject their offspring. Some parents can base their love and affection for a child based on their behavior. God does not. People base their love for others on their beauty, behavior, performance, attraction, or family ties. God loves because He is love. He loves the wicked, vile, and evil.

When God says, “I Love You,” it means more than what we could imagine.  It is not something He simply does. Love is who God is. He cannot be anything other than love. Before the first humans were created, God was love. He created mankind knowing we would rebel against Him. Since, He is not limited by time or space, He knew everything there was to know about us before we were ever formed. He still made provisions to save mankind from the penalty of sin. He sent His very best to rescue us.

The world is looking for love. Looking for real love. I can say God is the best place to start. He knows everything about us and will never reject us. He cares more about us than we care about ourselves. He was willing to endure the worst pain to save those He loves.

We can spend our lives looking for love in all the wrong places, with all the wrong faces, or we can set our eyes on the One who is love. He is available 24/7 to be there for His children. He is 1 Corinthians 13 love. I replaced love with God’s name below.

God is patient. God is kind. He does not envy. He does not boast. He is not proud. God does not dishonor others. He is not self-seeking, or easily angered. God keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  God never fails.

God’s love for us is not blanket love. Nor does He love us out of obligation. We are here because God allowed us to be here. He knows every hair on our heads (Luke 13:7). If we are following Him, it is because He pursued us. For no person can come to the Father unless He draws them (John 6:44).

Real love, genuine love can be found in God. It’s a love that does not fail. Don’t look for people to meet your needs. Go to the One who is love. He will change your life.

I leave you with Psalm 139. I hope it blesses you and sinks into your heart. You are deeply loved.

Psalm 139:1-18

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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