Cambodia Mission Trip

I spent part of the month of October in Cambodia working with Extreme Love Ministries.

Extreme Love Ministries focus on rescuing women and children from human trafficking. Their focus is prevention, rescue, recovery, aftercare, and education programs. Providing education for children and job training skills for those at risk helps to reduce the risks of exploitation. Women rescued have the opportunity to learn job skills and earn a living.

You can hear the statistics of 40 million people trapped in human trafficking, that the average age of a victim is 12, that 80 percent of the victims of female, and it causes you to momentarily cringe. It is quite another thing to be on the ground in the slums of a foreign country looking into the eyes of child who is a target. When a statistic is replaced by a real live person, it changes the way you see the world.

When you hold a rescued victim who has Down syndrome and was sold for sex, burned with cigarettes, left outside like an animal-it changes the way you see the world. When you hold a woman who has been rescued yet her soul is still be mended and she tells you no one has ever loved her except God, it changes the way you look at the world.

The Killing Fields

We started our trip learning about the culture and country. It began at the Killing Fields where thousands of Cambodians who were intellectuals and people of thought were senselessly murdered.

3 million Cambodians were murdered in a horrific genocide which made the country vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation.

As I walked the Killing Fields and saw the remaining bones still emerging from the earth, I thought to myself, “Can these dry bones live?”

God can take this horror and turn it into something glorious? Millions of people were killed and it was only 40 years ago. I mourned as my feet touched the very earth where heads of babies were bashed against trees and then thrown in a pit like trash. Women and children were murdered so the entire legacy would be destroyed.

How evil is Satan and how he convinces men to partner with him to destroy people. I plead the blood of Jesus over the land and prayed for the soul healing of a Nation; this Nation knows the horrors of war, genocide, abuse, betrayal, and mistreatment. What the enemy meant for harm, God turn it around for good. I sang over the land quietly. I wept at the horrors of genocide.

As someone with Native American roots, I felt it in my core, the pain of being targeted for extermination. As someone with some Jewish roots, I felt it in my soul, the pain of being targeted for destruction. As someone with African roots, I felt it deep in my heart, the pain of being hated without cause and being looked down upon based on something you can not control.

I felt so many emotions as their history (Cambodia) felt like my own. I stood in the gap in so many ways in mourning, in love, and deep desire to honor every Cambodian I saw. I could see the face of God in their faces. How God loves the entire world. God sees every people group as worthy of life and life to the fullest.

Several time slots were devoted to prayer for the Nation of Cambodia. We worshiped and sang songs of deliverance over the Nation. We drove around dark areas and prayed, declaring “Our God reigns!” My tuk tuk (taxi) was filled with worship as we drove around the idols of the Temples, the Riverfront, and Red Light District.

Worship was a frequent occurrence in Cambodia. I believe true worship of God invites the very glory of God to dwell in the land. God is such a restorer of what the devil tries to do.

Outreach in the Slums

Several of our outreaches were with children. We went into the slums on a few occasions. Our first outreach with children involved sharing how God heals and speaks to us. Then we had a party in the street with balls and running-laughing and playing.

There were so many beautiful children. Our team gave them a chance to hear from God, and pray. It was promising that several children had encounters with Jesus and heard from Him.

Though they live in the slums and not so beautiful places, I saw beauty in the slums.

We prayed mother and father blessings over the kids, and prophetic impartations.

Kids Justice House of Prayer

One of my favorite outreaches was with the children at the Kids Justice House of Prayer in one of the slums. In the slum there is a building for the children to come and pray/worship. They meet twice a week to hear about God and worship. I fell in love with them. How beautiful were their hearts towards God and how intent they were to reverence God. Oh how I wish this would enter the American church.

I saw future leaders and worshipers. My teammate Lisa and I talked to the children about hearing the voice of God. The children were able to practice hearing God’s voice.

One little boy stated Jesus told him he would be a shepherd. We also spent time praying over them a mother and father blessing, and spoke into their destinies. I was so moved by the love and power of God in that little building.

Children’s Home

We had the opportunity to go to the children’s home and minister to children with Down syndrome, autism, and mental limitations that were former trafficked victims. Their stories broke my heart. I hurt for any child hurt. Yet to hear of children sold for sex because of their disability, and treated worse than an animal is painful. It is oh so painful. These are children, little children.

We brought balloons, coloring books, stickers and balls. My teammate Lize taught on the promises of God and Noah.

The children’s home was a beautiful oasis and I am so thankful Extreme Love Ministries rescued each of the beautiful children and have given them a safe place. They have continual care and do not have to face the horrors of being sold. The children sang us a song and offered sweet hugs. So beautiful they are!

Everlasting Love Women

We also spent time with children and women under the care of Extreme Love Ministries. The women rescued from trafficking have a safe place to work and they sow the most beautiful bags and garments they pray over. Each bag has name such as freedom, destiny, transformation.

I saw such beauty in the eyes of each woman. Our focus with the group was on soul healing. I taught on God’s desire to heal the soul. My teammate Caity spoke on how God speaks to us about healing our body. My teammate James stood in the gap for every man who hurt them, abused them, let them down, did not protect them, their fathers, brothers, uncles, boyfriends, husbands…it was so powerful. He wept in sorrow and they wept the deepest tears. Our team held women and wiped tears.

We prayed healing prayers and invited God to bless each lady. I brought them gold necklaces with keys. We placed them on them and I stood in the gap for their mom and prayed a mother blessing. The men prayed a fatherly blessing. God did so many incredible things in that outreach. We heard back from missionaries there it was powerful for the women.

Children in the Education Program

For the children in the education program, we talked to them about healing and how Jesus loves to heal and speak to us. Our entire team prayed over them and they heard testimonies of God’s great power to heal and speak to us. I spoke to the children about how God loves to heal the ouchies on our soul. They stated they felt sad and angry when someone hurt them. We invited Jesus to come and take away the pain and negative emotions.

Our teaching session/prayer then turned into a balloon party and we had toys for every child. It was like a birthday party for each child crossed with Christmas. It was such a joy to meet each child and have play time. We had a room filled with balloons, laughter, games, and toys. Jesus is pure joy and we certainly had a joy fest.

The Red Light District

The last outreach I will share about involved the Red Light District. We went into the disctrict and rented a karaoke room. Normally the girls are paraded in and men choose who they want. They are not to engage in physical activity (intercourse) in the karaoke bar, yet the men do behave inappropriately one of the girls told us.

We had three girls in our karaoke room. It was room 7777. I have been seeing 7777 all year and 777 and 77. It was such a reminder to me of the love of God. His love is complete and 7 is the number of completion.

We sang, we did the Macarena, and we listened to their stories. We treated them with the love and dignity of Jesus. We shared the love of God. We offered gifts they did not have to earn. They were treated like princesses and not a purchase.

They laughed, sang, and for a few they cried. Some were just held and told they were loved by female teammates. One of our male teammates became very emotional because looking in the eyes of one of the girls, he saw his daughter.

These women were not fully grown, they were young girls. In those moments, you wish you had the ability to bring them to a safe place. They were lined up in the bar to be chosen, and not chosen to be loved, chosen to be abused and used. Five (5) to ten dollar tips to be touched, kissed, and fondled. It seems unreal, yet it’s not. It’s happening all over the world. Children are being purchased all over the world. Their faces are etched on my heart and in my memory.

No photos are provided to protect their identities.

Cambodia You Are Rich in So Many Ways

Cambodia is full of beautiful people, craftsmanship, and art. I was blown away with the amazing food, the kindness of people, and the beauty of the Nation. I had some of the most incredible food in Cambodia! Missing one of our favorite spots, JOMA!

Oh how God loves Cambodia and they are part of the creative arm of God.

A Wonderful Team

I was thankful for my team who spent a year sowing into prayer for this trip and functioned as a team and in great love. The team was so full of generosity in paying for each other’s meals, hotels, and going above and beyond with gifts for the children and missionaries. I was overcome with gratitude for each teammate and their servant hearts. I could not have asked for a better team.

I left Cambodia with the desire to return. As with every mission trip I have been changed. My perspective of what is vital has changed. I plan on partnering Operation God is Love with Extreme Love for giving purposes. I want to fund a child’s education monthly. 160 dollars a month provides food, safe supervision, and quality education for a child. I can not do everything, I can do something.

Though we were exposed to poverty, hurting people, rescued victims, prostitutes, and the formerly abused-I saw Jesus. Tears would fill my eyes then God’s love overtake my heart. There was incredible joy in our parties with the children, our time with the missionaries, in our times together as a team.

God promises to give us beauty for ashes and joy for mourning! Isaiah 61 tells us there is a tremendous promise in Jesus.

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has tanointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities,the devastations of many generations.

Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations,and in their glory you shall boast.

Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

Please consider sowing into Extreme Love Ministries. Their work is changing the Nation of Cambodia. You may donate here Extreme Love Ministries. All donations are tax deductible.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Founder of Operation God is Love

The mission is love, the mission is Jesus!

OperationGodisLove.org

Revival is Outside Our Worship Gatherings (Stories from the Streets)

Morning Notes & Stories: True Christianity is More Than Praying & Attending Services/Conferences. The Disciples of Jesus Went Out and Did What They Saw Jesus Doing. Prayer Does Not Replace Action.

If anyone sees a fellow believer in need and has the means to help him, yet shows no pity and closes his heart against him, how is it even possible that God’s love lives in him?

Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. We know that the truth lives within us because we demonstrate love in action, which will reassure our hearts in his presence.~1 John 3:17-19.

Jesus came and fulfilled Isaiah 61. The Spirit of the Soveriegn Lord was upon Him to do something to help others know God, connect with God, be healed, set free, and delivered. Jesus did not go into the Temple and sit down. He did not just teach people. He did not just hold prayer meetings. Jesus took the disciples out and had them do the stuff. Jesus activated the 12 and then they mulitpled. Jesus actually made disciples who replicated His teaching and actions.

Revival is a super buzz word. It sounds amazing. I think people believe just praying will usher in this great societal revolution. What people fail to realize is God partners with human beings to accomplish His will on earth and that moves beyond prayer. If my neighbor has no groceries or is starving, my prayers will not get them groceries. I have to either partner with God to meet their practical needs or ask God to send someone else who can.

I struggle with non participation in circles of people say they desperately want revival.

Last year I spent a year serving with the city and their initiative for the poor. I was the only born again, spirit person on their committee-that I knew of anyway. I asked them why they did not have more churches involved, there are so many in my city. They stated churches often turn them down and refuse to help-they have their own programs to support. We can pay thousands of dollars to have big name people come preach to us or sing to us, and not help the city with poor??? It does not make sense.

If all the believers took just one tiny slice of the pie, it could transform a city. Transforming a city trumps filling buildings and having packed out conferences.

If I am constantly wrecked in the glory of God that does not shift my priorities and heart to care about what He cares about, something is wrong. Either I am not truly connecting with God or I am disobeying God.

When I talk to people about helping the poor or abused, I will constantly get the response, “I am not called to do that,” or “I asked God and He told me not to support your ministry,” those same people (some not all) will come back with ways I can help support their vision, mission, and mandate from God. People love to give money, not so much the time, service, or feet on the ground.

I am not asking people to join forces with me on the street. I do ask people to serve somewhere, do something other than consume, take the Gospel out somewhere, go help someone who genuinely has nothing. Jesus was not a bench dwelling passive person. The early apostles and early church were not passive bench dwellers.

In an age of technology, the Gospel can be shared quickly with hundreds to thousands of people. If cat videos can go viral, why not Jesus? An encouraging text or email is easy to send. Letting someone go first in the grocery line-“God loves you, you go first.” Put blessing bags in the car for the homeless-include an encouraging note or bible. Stop for the neighbor and ask how they have been. Listen when people talk instead of dominating the conversation. Be a great friends instead of a one sided one. Find out what the city is doing to help people and tag along. Start a discipleship group-help people grow in their gifts. There are so many options beyond prayer. If I am starving to death, yes prayer is great. What is better is getting me a sandwich.

I was out last winter looking for people to feed. As we were in the park, we saw a man go into the port o john and not come out. One of the ladies said, “Let’s check on him.” I was reluctant to go knock on the port o john door. Yet would not let her go alone. The man came out of the port o john eating chips. He stated he was in there to block his body from the wind and cold. We offered him more food and winter gear (socks, hand warmers, scarves, etc). He was shocked someone wanted to help him. He was reluctant to take what he needed because he said there were so many in need. I told him to take what he needed. He was so excited about socks. Socks made his day. I could have just offered him prayer and the Gospel. Yet it was far better to demonstrate the Gospel, “God cares about every single detail of your life, including your cold feet and hungry belly.”

I was out one night with a team under the bridges. I met this elderly grandma and her grandchild. Since she had no home, her mom dropped off her child at the homeless camp for visitation. It was below freezing. This little girl had on a spring jacket, not a winter jacket. She had the most joy filled eyes. She was happy to be with grandma. I cried once I left them. I cried and cried and cried.

Love is more than sweet words that escape our lips yet never move us to do anything.

Love is more than warm fuzzy feelings that drive us to do only what is comfortable for us.

Love is more than an anthem we sing that never forces us to shift our perspective or actions.

Love is a verb that moves us beyond talking to doing.

Can we do everything? No. Can we do something? Yes. It amazes me with all the hats I wear how many people will ask me to help them personally or support what they are doing. There are thousands to millions doing nothing but soaking up teachings, worship, and experiences and going home. Some aren’t even paying attention in services or to lessons. There is more in God and it is not about passive or idle Christianity. Revival involves transformation and transformation requires participation.

I have yet for God to tell me to do nothing at all for anyone but myself. God highlights people on a daily basis to invest in them. God is generous, loving, kind, compassionate, looking for someone to bless through us. Love looks like someone, Jesus. Love acts like someone, Jesus. Love is demonstrated in our choices and actions-not just our words.

If you see someone hungry, and you can feed them, feed them.

If you see someone freezing, and you can clothe them, clothe them.

If your city struggles with poverty, and you have the means to help, volunteer/serve/be a blessing to the city.

If someone in your church or fellowship looks discouraged, encourage them.

If you see someone struggling to pay their groceries, and you can help them, help them.

If God highlights someone to you that is hurting, reach out. I will say a silent prayer is not as powerful as picking up the phone and calling, “Hey, you have been on my heart. Are you okay? I love you.”

Love in word only is just noise (1 Corinthians 13).

God give us your eyes and heart. Help us to see as you see. Help us to move beyond just going to services and praying for revival to going out and releasing your goodness on earth. Light a fire in our hearts for transformation. Transform us from the inside out. Transformed people transform cities. We need Jesus in the places He is needed most, all 7 mountains of influence. Heaven come through us to leave the world better than it was before we entered.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

OperationGodisLove.org

Facebook.com/OperationGodisLove

Miracles Are For Today!

Morning Devotion: The Great Physician and Deliverer. God is Bigger Than Any Diagnosis or Any Enemy. Miracles Still Occur Today! (Testimonies & Prayer at The End)

I believe in miracles because God says that He is the Healer, Deliverer. It is His name. I also believe in miracles because I am one. I am the product of a miracle. I am a recipient of many miracles. My mother was told she would not and could not have children. But God had another plan. We can always insert, “But God!”

I have seen God do things that were absolutely impossible in the natural. I have been in situations where I would have died if it had not been for the great power of God. There is no, “Maybe this is a fluke.” There is a “You lived because the hand of God and power of God did what seemed impossible.”

Jesus said, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). … It is the power of God that makes what seems impossible possible. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

The same God who spoke the world into existence, pulled man from the earth and breathed into him, opened barren wombs, raised the dead, cleansed the lepers, provided food in the wilderness, led His people into victory against countless enemies, opened blind eyes, sent forth His word to heal the sick, delivered the oppressed, turned wicked men into righteous men, delivered Nations, multiplied fish and loaves, multiplied the widows oil, gave children to those way past child bearing years, shut the mouths of the lion, protected the hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, placed His words in the mouth of the prophets, opened the earth to swallow treacherous men….is the same God we worship today!

God has not ceased being loving. God also has not ceased being powerful. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work today. Will we choose to believe and partner with God? Will we look with an eager expectation for God to do what mankind says cannot be done? Can we move past the disappointment and “This did not work before,” to live out of a place of, “God, your word says nothing is impossible with you! I want to live as a person who sees the impossible made possible by your strength and power.”

It is not by our might nor our strength, but by the power of God! He is the all powerful and all sufficient one. He is the alpha and omega, the everlasting God; the great I AM. He is not the I was nor the I will be. He is the very sustainer of life. With one word from God, all of creation would feel the impact of His glory.

God chooses not to force His will on humanity, hence evil in the world. Yet we must understand that God can do anything! His abilities are limitless.

I recall a season of sickness in my life that I was not prepared for mentally or emotionally. I went in for a routine tonsilectomy and left on numerous meds and with a resting pulse of 150 beats per minute. I went from healthy to sick in one day. One surgery changed my life. I was on heart meds, scheduled to see so many doctors I wanted to scream. I love medicine, I do not love being poked and prodded. Some said, “We don’t know what is wrong with you.” Some offered a diagnosis and prognosis that if I did not take heart medication I would develop heart disease and not get very far in life.

I recall being tired, weak, my hair falling out, not sleeping, being winded, hurting, losing pills (there were too many to keep track), trying to study and having little energy to do work. As a chemical engineering student, being able to retain information was important. I was sick and tired of being sick. Some Christians were absolutely unhelpful in their counsel. If I just prayed a certain way or believed enough I would be well. Zero compassion and absolutely not helpful.

I recall crying out to God for breakthrough. I understood God still healed the sick. My parents prayed for the sick often and saw miracle after miracles. My dad kept letters of those who wrote in their praise reports. I knew in my heart that God was not only a healer, but the Healer!

One day I just became fed up with pills and doctor visits. I was quite passionate about freedom! I was driving in my car leaving the doctor’s office and I cried out loudly to God, “I do not want to take these pills any longer and I won’t. You are either going to heal me or I will die!!” The loud passionate cry to God was met with no audible response. I simply said no to sickness. I never took those heart pills again. My heart is beyond healthy today. I have no issues with my heart. There was another issue that was treated easily and I was back on the road to healthy.

I am not stating anyone should do what I did. I am stating that there is something about pressing in to touch the hem of His garment. There is something about God that moves in the direction of faith. There is something so powerful about God that can take a diagnosis and rip it to shreds. He is the most powerful being in the Universe. I was adamant that sickness was not my identity nor my destiny. No matter what the doctor said, I was empowered to get better and live healthy. There was a fight in my spirit not to live in a place of pain, lack, sickness, and exhaustion.

This same power to heal is available today. I recall my business classmate who had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, they had done the initial tests and biopsies. I asked my teacher if I could pray for people after class. She agreed. Weeks later my classmate messaged me to say in the repeat biopsy they could find no cancer. They had to cancel her treatment plan.

I recall the lady who was bleeding out like the woman with the issue of blood and we prayed by texting. She messaged back the next day her bleeding had stopped.

I recall the lady born partially deaf who could not hear without an implant, who God opened her ears. She had to take her implants out.

I recall the man in his back brace prepping for surgery who Jesus took all his pain away.

I recall the lady told her baby would be severely retarded and she should abort who has a healthy baby today.

I recall the woman bound to crutches, limping, and God removed all swelling from her body and restored her knees.

I recall the young man crippled since infancy and bound to a wheelchair who got up unassisted and stood for the first time in his life.

I recall the woman with facial swelling and pain who’s face returned to it’s normal size with prayer.

I recall the knees, backs, joints, hearts, and souls mended by God.

I recall the man pronounced dead on the operating table, who laid there for minutes lifeless that Jesus rose to life.

I recall the demonized, oppressed, tormented, and harrassed finding substantial freedom. God is beyond able to take dead things and make them living things. Can these dry bones live? Not only can they live, they can become an army!

There are too many stories to place in one post. My encouragement is to believe God is bigger. It is not easy when the test results come back and it’s you who needs a miracle. It’s not easy when the person under attack is you or someone you love. It is not easy when you pray and see no immediate results. It’s not easy when you see others getting breakthrough and you still need breakthrough. It’s not easy knowing God is the Healer and still burying someone you love. I have walked those roads. I understand the tears, disappointment, the places of not understanding why God does not prevent everything bad from happening.

I have had my life threatened, people try to kill me physically or emotionally, walked through years of persecution, walked through sickness, walked through workplace bullying/harrassment, walked through all my parents battling cancer, walked through being hated without cause, walked through facing death over and over and over. I have lived through more than some 80-90 year olds and I am not even mid life yet. I have decades of life to live still. Whew! I will tell you still that God is the most powerful being in the world. He kept my mind. He walked with me through the valley of the shadow of death. He sustained me when no one was with me. God is my very best friend. God stood with me when people stood against me. God is more powerful than anyone and anything.

If you are in the fire, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

If you are in the valley, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

If you are facing death, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

If you are tired, sad, grief stricken, and worn out, look for Jesus. Invite Jesus.

He is the resurrection and the life. Jesus! He is the one who calms the raging seas with one word from His lips. He is the one who sends forth His word and heals the sick. He is the same God who called for Lazarus to come forth and his body, soul, and spirit had to obey the command of the Lord! Jesus! Beautiful Jesus. If He does not deliver you immediately from, He will walk with you through the trial, through the pain, through persecution, through grief, through it all! God is MIGHTY to save.

Papa for anyone reading this who needs a miracle, I ask for your powerful Kingdom to come. Let heaven come. Invade their circumstances with your goodness, love, life, healing, joy, peace, power! Reverse the diagnosis. I declare life. I bind the spirits of death, disease, trauma, infirmity, mental illness, pain, hurt, grief, dissociation, PTSD, and anything not of you God. Let there be light in every place where darkness had been. Holy Spirit wash over each one, head to toe. Be healed and whole in Jesus name.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Image Source: Pinterest

God Cares How We Love, Live, and Represent Him

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

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

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

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

The voice of Jesus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Thriving in a Joseph Season

Photo credit: Pinterest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You become my delicious feast

even when my enemies dare to fight.

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

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

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

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

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

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Sunday Devotion: Understanding Condemnation & Godly Correction.

Morning Devotion: Understanding condemnation, godly correction, and what God requires from the mouth of Jesus.

Sometimes the desire to be merciful and extend grace is simply enabling. Jesus said to those caught in sin, “Go and sin no more (John 8:11). Stop sinning lest something worse happen to you (John 5:14).” This was an invitation to true heart repentance. God continues to give us opportunities to repent (change our mind about sin and agree with Him).

Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7). Why? It is the breaking of agreement with Satan (who brings death/destruction/division) and partnership with God (brings life to the fullest).

True repentance is the goal of mercy, and the kindness of God. When God says, “Kindness leads to repentance,” He is not desiring for us to stay in bondage nor keep sinning. Why? Sin is partnership with Satan. Satan is the author of death. God prefers life. We are not to be married to God and dating the devil. If we are, we need to repent and break up with the side chick Satan.

If we do not tell people that sin leads to destruction and death, we do not truly love them the way Jesus does. Love protects. Love speaks truth in love. God love never, ever condones sin. God does not wink at sin, think it’s cute…it cost Jesus His life. He was marred beyond what we could imagine to free us from lifestyles of unrighteousness.

Condemnation is to judge someone with a penalty of death. Only God can condemn someone to hell. It is not condemnation to preach or teach what Jesus did. It will forever be, “The wages of sin is death yet the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23).” Jesus came to offer the world eternal life (John 10:10, John 3:17).

It is troubling to me when people try to exclude certain teachings of Jesus because they do not wish for people to feel bad or condemned. Which is better, to be temporarily hurt by the word and repent leading to everlasting life or having your feelings coddled until death and hear Jesus say, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness, I never knew you (Matthew 7:23).”

Eternity in hell is a long time to be remorseful. I would rather be corrected while living than suffer in eternity void of God; full of torment, roommates with Satan and every demon. No thanks.

Hell was made for Satan and his minions. God does not force heaven or hell on anyone. We get to choose. He says, “I set before you life and death, choose life.”

God will not force Himself on anyone. Heaven is all about God, therefore no one who does not love God, believe in God will abide there. Heaven is about Jesus.

Jesus loudly declared, “The one who believes and trusts in Me does not believe [only] in Me but [also believes] in Him who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior—all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness. If anyone hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but to save the world.

Whoever rejects Me and refuses to accept My teachings, has one who judges him; the very word that I spoke will judge and condemn him on the last day. For I have never spoken on My own initiative or authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment regarding what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life. So the things I speak, I speak [in accordance with His exact instruction,] just as the Father has told Me.”~John 12:44-50.

The condemnation that Jesus spoke of dealt with the final sentencing into hell. He tells us in this passage that whoever refuses His teachings and rejects Him would be condemned on the last day. We cannot stop the passage at Jesus did not come to condemn the world, therefore live it up. We must read the entire passage and gather understanding of what God is requiring.

Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve obeyed the devil instead of God. God provided a way to reconcile us back to the First Estate as sons and daughters of God. Before Jesus people lived in faith of Messiah to come. Not everyone is a son or daughter of God, though all created in His image, only those who place their faith in the Son are reconciled to the Father.

You (born again believers), however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ,~Romans 8:9.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,~Romans 8:14.

Do not be conceited, but [rather stand in great awe of God and] fear [Him]; for if God did not spare the natural branches (Jews) [because of unbelief], He will not spare you (Gentiles) either. Then appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: to those who fell [into spiritual ruin], severity, but to you, God’s gracious kindness—if you continue in His kindness [by faith and obedience to Him]; otherwise you too will be cut off,~Romans 11:20-22.

Papa God, I ask for the full mantle of wisdom from scripture be imparted to us. Help us to know full passages of scripture, not just verses. Help us to understand what you are inviting us into. Help us to repent when we choose death over life. Give us a full understanding of grace and mercy. May we understand what Jesus paid for on the cross. Our lives are no longer our own, they belong to you. May we be yielded to your Holy Spirit and teach your truth in love. In Jesus name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Character Counts:

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

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

Advertising for Heaven:

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

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

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

Growing Into Maturity with God:

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

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

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

Romans 8 tells us the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb