We Become Like The Gods We Worship

Morning Devotion: Knowing God is the Key to Thriving. We Can Be Stuck Worshipping The God Made in Our Own Image. We Become Like the gods We Worship. Let’s Know The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob for Who He truly Is.

I strongly desire for every person to know God intimately for themselves, and not the “God” they think they know. There are things over the years I thought I knew about God yet the more time I spent with Him the greater the revelation. I am still learning.

My first book is entitled I Thought I Knew What Love Was. It is so easy to gather thoughts about God from other people, from skimming the Bible, and not dive into personal intimacy. It is also possible to allow the things we have been taught about God to keep us from learning more. I want to know God for myself, not second hand knowledge.

This journey to intimacy with God moves us being being poly parrots to living out of the very heartbeat of God. Our understanding of God will determine who we become. We become like the gods we worship, they write their names on our faces.

If I do not believe God is good, I will be less inclined to be good to people. If I believe God is harsh, hyper critical, unmerciful or cruel, then I would be more prone to be that way. The grid or lenses by which we view God determine what we become.

Some worship a god of religion, some traditions of men, some a god of their denomination, some a racist god, some a sexist god, some a greedy god, some an unloving god, some an indifferent god, some a god that only lives to serve them.

Over the years I have met hundreds of people who claim to speak for God or know God with some quite backwards ideas, unloving speech, and questionable behavior.

God is not rude. Rudeness is a weak person’s attempt at strength and power. God is all powerful and all knowing. Knowing all our faults, God chooses to move in love and compassion. He could blast all of us to dust with one word, yet instead chooses to send His Son to wash feet and serve humanity.

God is not racist or sexist. I get the most feedback when I talk about equality. Humans desire a hierarchy system due to insecurity, pride, misunderstanding how God works, religious spirits, and misunderstanding the bible. Jesus is supposed to be the standard and we do not see racism or sexism in Jesus. Some misunderstand Paul’s letters and refuse to change their mind about his true meaning.

God is after relationship, not religion. The goal was never to just fill buildings with people who do not engage with God outside of those meetings. The goal was and is to cultivate family with humanity. He said, “I have grafted you into my family through my Son. You have been adopted.” He did not say, “I have signed you up for a program or network.” Family functions differently than an organization. A body functions differently than an organization. The place God longs to gather is in our hearts. God longs for daily communing and a habitation-not visitation. God cultivates family, interdependent community.

God does not live in the land of speaking death and limitations of our abilities. When Moses told God he did not speak well, God replied to Moses, “Who made the mouth?” God did not say to Moses, “Well you suck, I can’t do anything with you…what on earth am I to do. Let me replace you with someone better.” God sees our weakness or perceived limitations as an opportunity to showcase His strength. God has no weakness. I have had loads of people try to word curse me with their death words. God does not speak death over me nor limitations. God speaks life and endless possibilities to His children. Those who ultimately suffer are those not in union with Jesus.

God is not into celebrity status and political agendas. God thinks highly of every human being and demonstrated this on the cross. In heaven there are no elections, no Christian celebrity sections, roped off areas for the VIP, etc…God looks at the heart. God examines fruit. A person can gain all the applause on earth and miss the applause of heaven. God pursues all of humanity for good, not just popular people or those on a certain side of a political fence. I have seen people grossly mistreat those who are not platform ministers or popular and think it’s okay. It’s not okay. It’s sin and ungodly. Jesus stated, “What you have done to the least of them, you have done to me.”

God actually cares how we treat people and talk about them or to them. “I’m just telling it like it is,” that damages people is not the heart of God. Jesus spoke truth in love. If we don’t want it said to us, or about us, it may be a good thing to refrain from doing or saying. When God reveals someone in my sphere is struggling, I pray. I do not use the information to beat them to death with it. Discernment is a key to intercession not a springboard for embarrassing people or humiliating them.

God does not seek to humiliate people or publicly embarrass them. I have seen ministers do this and say God led them to, well no! God tells us to go privately to a brother or sister if we have an issue with them. Only if necessary do we need to involve other people.

God is not double minded, confused, nor crazy. “God told me to go left,” then “God changed His mind and told me turn around He did not mean what He said the first time.” Well, often when people are wishy washy and claim “God said,” they have yet to distinguish the voice of God from a demon, or their flesh or soul. God is accurate and not double minded. Sometimes when people want something they will say, “God told me.” And if they no longer want something, “God told me.” The voice that guides is not Holy Spirit. Yet God’s name gets attached to their desires or feelings.

God is not mean, cruel, or hateful. If we are, we either don’t know God or have stepped out of abiding in God.

God is not selfish nor lustful. Lust is seeking pleasure outside God’s design or boundaries for our selfish means. God loves. Love seeks to give and operate inside of the boundaries of God. Heaven does not have a “you are not accountable” pass for “boys will be boys,” or “raging hormones.” Heaven has the same standard, holiness and purity. Grace empowers righteousness not lawlessness. The bible also states where you have jealousy and selfish ambition you find every evil work. Selfishness is sin. It is using people just to meet our needs. Only caring about ourselves. We are told to not just look out for our own best interests, but the interests of others.

God is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of lights. God continually pursues our good. There is no evil in God. God dod not create evil. God created angelic and human beings with an ability to choose. Some choose to operate outside of God’s will. Evil is the abuse of free will.

God is not insecure. God is bold, confident, courageous, and full of hope. God is aware that He is God.

God is a Spirit and those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit and truth. God is not like a human male. God made both male and female in His image. Females are not some sub creature that has nothing in common with God. Some of the attributes we call feminine exist in God; compassion, deep love, nurturing, mothering, cultivating, wiping tears, teaching, move mountains to help their kids, etc…when God is only viewed through a human male lens, so much is missed about God’s heart and nature.

My encouragement is we daily pursue God. God is worth knowing. It is a journey worth pursuing.

You may pick up your copy of I Thought I Knew What Love Was; The Journey to Intimacy with God and Confident & Free (30 Day Devotional; Grow in Godly Confidence Through Intimacy with God) at Empowered & Free Store (USA & Canada). Or stop by Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble to grab copies.

God invites is to know Him. Join the journey with me into His heart.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

When Prayer is An Excuse Not to Love

Morning Short Devotion: When Prayer is An Excuse Not to Love.

I am pro action. I believe our actions tell a greater story than our words. If I speak with the tongues of men and angels, yet have not God love, I am only making noise. I love that Jesus did not just talk about loving people, the love of Jesus was demonstrated through His actions, even to death on a cross.

Love came down and pierced through the darkness, not by ego or eloquent sermons. Love extended a hand, washed feet, mentored, discipled, and met with people outside the Temple walls. Love engaged on a personal level with the least, last, and the lost.

He stated:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed,~Isaiah 61:1.

Love is verb and moves us beyond talking about the goodness of God to manifesting the goodness of God. The love of God, as Mama Heidi says, looks like something. I say, the love of God looks like someone, Jesus. All of His life centered around this one pivotal thing, “The Father’s love.”

I can see a person eating from a garbage can and offer them prayer. Or I can run to the store, if possible, and get them a sandwich.

There have been people around me who suffered great loss and I could have just offered prayer, or offered groceries, a listening ear, a connection with someone else who could help them, help them with their resume or send them job alerts, check in, go sit in hospitals/hospice with them, send gift cards, offer to hang out to take their mind off their troubles. Why? Love is demonstrative.

We cannot do everything, we can do something. There are some people I have said no to before. They sought to take advantage of kindness or I simply could not offer any assistance. I try to point people to someone who may be able to assist them. I did not have the capability to offer anything and it was not helpful. Codependency is not what I am advocating, where we think it’s our job to save people. I am advocating thinking of what is the most loving thing to do? What would we want done for us? Most importantly what would God want done for the person?

I love the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) because he refused to leave someone in a painful and vulnerable state. When others walked on by, the good Samaritan saw an opportunity to love.

Recent studies have shown people are more prone to take photos or video of someone suffering or a bad accident than help. Please call 911. Don’t just watch someone drown hoping your video goes viral. Seriously.

We do not have unlimited resources. God does. I do not have the time nor energy to help everyone. I do have the ability many times to do more than pray. There are blessing bags in my car. I have helped people look for jobs. I have helped distract kids at the checkout so their mom has a break. I have baby sat for free so parents could get a break. I have offered odd jobs to people out of work. I have helped people clean houses when they were sick. I have given people free business start up advice. I have mentored for free. I have been a friend to the lonely. I have gone to hospitals and nursing homes and just sat with the hurting or taken my guitar. I have listened to people download their issues for hours when I needed someone to be there for me. Love is so very costly. It costs us something to love well. Yet love moves us beyond just sticking bandaids on broken bones.

God love will transform the world, not sermons, politics, religious programs, nor meetings. The world needs genuine love and concern. God so loved the world He gave His Son. The Son so loved the world He gave His life. If we so love the world, what evidence of love is present? If prayer is removed, what evidence is there of love?

For more devotions, check out Confident & Free:

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This weekend journals and books are on sale. I Thought I Knew What Love Was is already marked down. Use the Code Labor Day for Confident & Free and Journals.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Honor Flows From Humility and Agape Love

Morning Devotion: Honor is a Pillar of God’s Character. Jesus Walked in Honor of All. Dishonor Does Not Flow From God, It Flows From Pride and Unbelief. The Purpose of Honor and How Dishonor or Lack of Honor are Great Learning Tools.

Honor is something we give because of who we are, it is not to be demanded. We stand in honor as heirs of the King. We represent a King and His Kingdom. Jesus honored even the least of them and those society deemed less than, outcasts, and misfits. He modeled the heart of the Father for all, not some of humanity.

Honor is choosing to see as God sees. Everyone has tremendous value and worth to God. There is no hierarchy in heaven, no group more valued. There is no racism, sexism, or bigotry. The Kingdom of God functions on honor. Honor is rooted in agape love (sacrificial, unselfish, lavish love).

Honor is not agreeement with what is wicked. It is choosing to treat people with respect, dignity, and like they have value because Jesus died for them. It is seeing the potential of people. It is choosing to speak to a person’s identity and call them higher. It is choosing to speak life instead of death. It is choosing to bless instead of curse. It is choosing to pray instead of slander. It is choosing to serve instead of demanding to be served. It is choosing to recognize God values everyone.

I heard a minister say, “It is good a prophet is honored everywhere but their hometown and with their friend/family. It keeps them humble.” I disagree. Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. Being treated as inferior, less than, or insignificant does not match God. I believe pride and improper understanding of how the Kingdom works is what fuels dishonor. It is a pride issue, not something God applauds. They said of Jesus, “Oh that is just Joseph’s son.” They could not see Jesus as the Son of God and their pride blocked them from receiving the blessing God wanted to give them through Jesus.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is treated with honor everywhere except in his own hometown, among his relatives, and in his own house.” He was unable to do any great miracle in Nazareth,[a] except to heal a few sick people by laying his hands upon them. He was amazed at the depth of their unbelief![b] Then Jesus went out into the different villages and taught the people,~Mark 6:4-6 (The Passion Translation).

[a] Mark 6:5 Nazareth was the only place recorded in the Gospels that Jesus was unable (because of their unbelief) to do miracles.

[b] Mark 6:6 This is one of two instances where Jesus was amazed. The other is found in Matt. 8:10. Both refer to the response of faith. Here it is the great unbelief of those who knew Jesus and lived in his hometown of Nazareth (Jews). The other is the great faith of the Roman military captain (a gentile). We have no record of Jesus ever returning to Nazareth. He made Capernaum his base of ministry while in the province of Galilee.

Lack of honor blocks us from receiving from God. God does extraordinary things through every day people. Some miss their blessing because they are chasing after who they think God should work through instead of who God sent. Jesus did not fit the mold the people wanted so they rejected Him. Those who rejected Him missed out on everlasting life. Maybe the greatest mentor for you is right in front of your face. I thank God for the people right near me who are full of the treasures of God. I see greatness in them and learn from them.

When we refuse to honor the people right in front of us, we are not honoring or loving God. He stated what we did to the least of them, we did unto Him (Matthew 25:40-45). The Bible states that the least visible parts of the body deserve more honor (1 Corinthians 12:23).

Think about your own child or someone you love. Think about if the people closest to them were the least supportive, the least honoring, the least respectful, and treated them as insignificant. Would that make you happy? Would you say, “Oh God is just teaching them to be humble by this disrespect.” It sounds a bit crazy when we relate it to someone we love. God LOVES us more than we could love anyone. God loves His children significantly more than we can love ours. He does not delight in people mistreating us or refusing to honor who He loves.

God bestowed on Jesus the highest honor. He gave Him the name above all names. God raised us up in Christ and seated us in heavenly places. God turned wretched sinners into a royal priesthood. God chooses to pursue honor. We were enemies of God and dishonorable. Yet while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us. God offered us salvation through repentance and faith. He then lavished on us every spiritual gift in heavenly places. God is honorable. God invites us to pursue honor.

Lessons From Being Dishonored and Unsupported:

1. Even in Christianity there is idolatry. Some clamor for the celebrity Christian to pray for them or honor only those they deem important. It is pride. The Holy Spirit, Jesus, and Papa God are the only ones needed for breakthrough. When people make people their god, or set certain people on pedestal to be worshipped it is dishonoring of God. It is idolatry.

2. Being dishonored shows you what not to do to other people.

3. Being dishonored shows you how to pray for other people. Only a person abiding/soaking/living out of God’s love can give that away. So you pray for everyone, including yourself, to know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love.

4. Being dishonored while you have little influence keeps you from being blown away by the same people who run back with honor when they see God promoting you. I am amazed how people shift their actions when they see someone they admire honor you. They offered you zero honor until someone else came along that was higher in their eyes than you and offered you honor.

5. Being dishonored shows you inner circle versus outer circle friends. We treat everyone with love, respect, dignity. Trust is another ball game. Access to the deep parts of our hearts is best reserved for those who will honor our hearts.

6. Being dishonored not being honored teaches you to rely primarily on God for love, support, encouragement, and friendship. You live for an audience of One. If no one claps, you get it done with God. If they boo or try to sabatoge your efforts, you keep your head high and walk with God. If they say you can’t do it, you get it done with God. If they refuse support, you get it done with God. God is the One you look to for identity and support.

7. Your motives are tried in seasons of dishonor or lack of honor. Will you continue to do what God said even if you are called to serve a wicked king, to serve ungrateful or unsupportive people? Will you stand on your assignment and choose honor even if dishonored? The assignment is not primarily about us. It is about glory to God. God does not delight in our mistreatment. I am not advising anyone to stay in abusive situations. I am saying when they go low, we go high. We choose to function with a royalty mindset and lead by example. Our motive is to love God, and honor God. Out of love for God flows love and honor for people-even the worst of sinners.

May you and stand as royalty in Christ and treat others the way Jesus would treat them. Jesus touched the lepers, sat with the tax collectors and worst of sinners, spoke to those others deemed worthless, ministered to the least, last, and lost. Jesus is our role model for life. There was no ego or celebrity about Jesus. He came and served. He came and washed feet. He came and showed the world how wonderful the Father is.

When we say we are followers of Jesus and then dishonor people, we are stating God does not love them. Why? Our actions are supposed to demonstrate who Jesus is. This is why dishonor, Christian celebrity worship, racism, sexism, and lack of honor need to be driven out of the church. It is antichrist. It says, “God is not love. He is selective in who He loves.” This is a huge lie. May we pursue honor.

Join us August 15th 2018 on the author Facebook page for our next speak life teaching. I will be covering discernment, hearing from God, what to do if you miss it in hearing from God, and how intimacy with God builds confidence.

Love,

Erin Lamb

New Books Coming!

First let me say thank you for subscribing to the book blog! Thank you. You are prayed for and loved.

I wanted to let you know of upcoming books.

It has been quite a while since I Thought I Knew What Love Was was published. I hope you check it out! People have stated it was a source of encouragement and helped them connect with the heart of God. It has a 5 star rating.

Book update:

I have been working on several books. One will be released this year. It is entitled Confident & Free. It is a devotional book designed to help others connect with the heart of God in areas of overcoming; overcoming fear, overcoming trauma, overcoming rejection, overcoming persecution, and even overcoming when facing death. God created us to live confident and free. The Spirit of God is one of an overcomer.

My hope after Confident & Free is released is to send out book 3 which is Killing Insecurity.

We live in a world that seems to be plagued by violence, abuse, mistreatment of human beings. We also live in a world where there is money to be made off of insecurity. Marketing says, “Tell them who and what they have is not enough.”

God designed us in love (God=Love), to be loved, THEN to love. We have too many people trying to love others when they do not love themselves.

Some people say societal issues center around mental illness. I disagree. I believe at the root is fractured identity and insecurity. Insecure people cannot love their neighbor because they do not love themselves. We can not give away what we do not possess. We cannot value another while hating ourselves.

Insecurity is the root of bullying, abuse, racism, sexism, murder, jealousy, domination, competition, many addictions, mistreatment…lack of healthy identity and love creates systemic problems. We can deal with fruit all day, yet change happens when we pull up the roots.

Our world has an identity crisis and love deficit. These things can be overcome by the power and love of Jesus. These books are not designed to be self help. They are written to hopefully lead the reader into an encounter with the truth of who God is and an encounter with His heart. Once we truly encounter Jesus our lives are never the same. The securest identity is in Jesus.

My prayer for us today is we would know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love!

I will let you know when Confident & Free is released! I hope you pick up a copy and leave some feedback. Most importantly, know whether you get a book or not, you are prayed for and deeply loved!

Love in Christ,

Erin L Lamb

OperationGodisLove.org (Missions/Street Ministry Website)

P.S Check out facebook.com/erinlambauthor for daily devotions!

Know God and the Bible for Yourself (Testing Revelation)

Morning Devotion: Knowing God’s voice.

Every voice is not God. Our soul and spirit speak too. The evil one can give impressions, contaminate dreams, visions, and implant thoughts. Believers are called to test every spirit and all prophetic words/dreams/visions. Today’s post covers testing words, impressions, dreams, visions, and “God told me.”

I have met numerous people in my life who have derailed their life with “God told me.” The voice they heard or the dream/vision did not come from God at all yet it was never tested. The person had followed either their own voice or a false Holy Spirit. Yes, there are demonic spirits who pretend to be God. This is why the Bible says, “Test every spirit and see if it’s of God.”

Everything that looks good or sounds good is not God. The Bible should be the standard or compass. God is not going to tell someone to sin. God is also not double-minded, tossing someone back in forth in confusion. When God speaks, He means what He says and will fulfill what He said.

Trouble can come in several different ways:

1. The person does not cultivate intimacy with God. They are highly dependent on other people telling them what God said instead of reading the Bible for themselves, listening and testing with God.

Jesus said, “My sheep will know My voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.” Intimacy with God helps us to know His voice from our voice and our voice from the enemy.

2. They do not ask others to test what they are hearing. They have their own isolated bubble with zero feedback and they end up in a ditch.

A prophetic and Spirit-filled community also helps with learning the voice of God. This is where we invite others into what we think we are hearing from God and accept feedback. Those who refuse any feedback or loving correction do not grow.

3. Pride. “I know I hear from God, and therefore I am not in need to test this word, vision, dream, impression. I am accurate or seasoned.” Pride is the devil’s playground. Those who think they are standing sometimes fall because they refuse to acknowledge the fact that they may not have seen or heard correctly. They do not accept accountability or feedback. Or they surround themselves with people who are yes men and women, they have no one to challenge their thoughts or expressions. Pride is one way to miss fully or clearly seeing and hearing what God is doing.

4. A critical spirit or grossly wounded soul can contaminate what God is saying or doing. Our deep wounds can fracture our lenses and cause what we see or hear to not match what God has said or shown us. Our interpretation can be flawed because our wounds are guiding our seeing/hearing. Our vantage point can become our place of woundedness instead of the heart of God. Jesus spoke from the heart of God.

5. Deception. The person has partnered with a spirit of deception by believing lies. God’s word is a great place to soak to bypass gross deception and knowing God for ourselves. A prophet who does not read and study the Bible can be in big trouble as well as every believer. Know the word of God for yourself.

So how do we test?

A. Hold up whatever it is against the word and character of God. God will not tell a person to sin. He will not tell a person to run around in confusion or double-mindedness. One day God says go left, another day turn around…I have seen people run around in utter confusion because they refused to test what they sensed was God. God is not hateful, nor critical. God is not crazy. Cultivating intimacy with God and learning His character is vital to hearing clearly. You can not repeat something from someone you don’t know.

B. Pray and ask others to pray. There are several things in my life that looked good or sounded good yet I paused and prayed. I asked God to show me what was really going on and to confirm if it was Him. I did nothing until I had more insight from God. Thankful because after praying, “God show me your truth about this person, this situation, this dream or vision or prophetic word,” there was an increased clarity and wisdom given by God. Asking others to pray with me and for me or test what I think God is saying has been helpful as well.

C. Write it down and come back later. I have found that God when He gives something, knows the perfect timing for its release. God is not pushy, not in a mega hurry. He is okay with sitting something aside to pray, weigh, test, examine, etc…Sometimes in the process of writing it out and coming back later, a person can see where their soul was speaking and it does not sound like God at all.

D. Ask God for deeper revelation, insight, and to confirm what is Him. I have had several people tell me that God brought them into my life and it was a lie, lie, lie. The devil brought them across my path. As I prayed over their words, character, etc…God revealed their heart was not good. I have had numerous marriage words that were false. I tell people don’t just run with something someone tells you or even your own dreams/visions/words. Ask God, “Show me who this person really is. Show me God the heart of this person. Confirm if this is from you. Show me the source of this dream, information.” You pray and PAY ATTENTION. Some bypass red flags because, “God told them,” and they end up in devastation. Watch how that person treats you. Watch their character. Watch how they treat other people. I have seen God unravel things over time that looked like Gold in the beginning and it was gold plated.

I had a lady tell me she was my Jonathan and she later brought hell, confusion, pain, and craziness into my life. If I had taken what she said and asked God for confirmation, then I could have bypassed some crazy. I did not. I trusted her because she said she knew God and seemed to be on fire for Jesus. She also had another set of voices that needed cast out and deep brokenness that caused “Prophalying.” I learned a valuable lesson. Love everyone, test everything.

Some will be attracted to the anointing on your life, not you. If that anointing does not benefit them or ceases to fill their need bucket, they will go find the next person who will. There is a great difference between who loves you and who loves what they think you can do.

I have also had people drawn to who they think I am and when they find out I am not the tell you just what you want to hear, they abandon the relationship. They said, in the beginning, they prayed for someone like me and God answered, yet the reality was, I think and could be wrong, they saw something they wanted and put it on God. When it did not meet their expectations, God obviously changed His mind and they left the connection. If God leads us to someone, like He did with David and Jonathan, it is not an “I’m in as long as you do and say what suits me.” It is a committed love. It is mutual and not one sided.

E. Examine the heart and nature of God. God is not pushy nor manipulative. God allows choice. Even Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane had a choice. God did not force Him, pressure Him, nor try to bully Him into the cross. Adam and Eve had a choice. We get to choose.

Caution: Be careful with the God told me to hire this person, marry this person, connect with this person, etc…I have seen people get a word, have a dream, yada yada and they never tested it. They hired that person, connected with that person, married that person or were rejected by that person and blamed God (He was not the source of that intel), and end up in a ditch. God does not force connections. God will introduce two people and let them choose. He does not force marriages or partnerships. And I have only met a few people who God told them who their spouse was and it was a great marriage, the rest married into hell. They did not test what they heard or saw.

Truly believe God wants us to know Him for ourselves and cultivate intimacy with Him. I also believe there are false prophets in the world and knowing God, testing what we see or hear is vital. God told us to do it. Leaning on the words of internet prophets or platform prophets or even the local prophet is not wisdom. Wisdom is getting in the word and secret place with God. Wisdom is testing ALL things. “God is this really you? I will not move or act until I know that this is you and not my soul or spirit and not the voice of the enemy trying to deceive me. God keep me in a place of humility where I am continually submitting what I see and hear to you and when needed seeking wise counsel. Help me to be an accountable prophet or prophetic person. Heal my soul of any wounds or deception so I can see, hear, and speak the clear uncontaminated word of God”

Art: Yongsung Kim

Love in Christ,

Erin L Lamb

Leadership, Godly Submission, and Jesus

Morning Devotion: Leader means servant in God’s eyes, not dictator or boss. Dissecting the leadership model of Jesus and wrong teachings on submission. Submit=Be willing to yield to what honors God (possess humility), not obey or blindly obey people.

I am sometimes confused when people state they are the leader when their function is simply being served and telling others what to do. They are exalted and they have a hierarchy system so their needs, desires, wishes are served or met. Or they define great leadership by the number of people following them; Hitler had lots of followers under his demonic leadership it did not mean God thought he was a great leader.

I have had men tell me and women too that the husband is the leader in the family yet the wife does 80-90% of the serving, helping, loving, getting low in humility to empower her family. It is not the model Jesus laid out nor lived of leadership.

The one laying their life down, sacrificially loving, and serving is imitating Jesus and leading.

The disciples at one point became self important and argued over who would be the greatest among them. The desire to be great in the eyes of man is of the carnal nature (flesh).

Pride does not flow from God, it flows from Satan. Pride, self importance, was the principle sin of Lucifer. He wanted to be worshipped and exalted above God. Lucifer wanted to be served, not serve.

This was the response of Jesus to the arguing disciples:

Jesus, knowing their thoughts, called them to his side and said, “Kings and those with great authority in this world rule oppressively over their subjects, like tyrants. But this is not your calling. You will lead by a completely different model. The greatest one among you will live as the one who is called to serve others, because the greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one with the heart of a servant. For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone, and to give his life in exchange for the salvation of many,”~Matthew 20:25-28.

Jesus came with an upside down model of leadership. He came and served. He came and washed feet. He came and empowered others. He came and died to free others. He came and got low so we could be seated in heavenly places with Him, joint heirs and copartners. The value Jesus placed and places on humanity is high.

Jesus was and is perfect-He is the model for all things Christian. He selected disciples who were not yet enlightened. He walked with them, talked with them, served them, and empowered them to do what they saw Him doing. Great leadership is empowering others to reach their highest potential. Jesus did not show up and say, “Now look here peasants, God created you for Me so let’s get this straight, when I say jump, you say how high. These are my demands, meet them daily or else.”

Jesus had no pride, ego, or what they call male ego. Knowing He was worthy of worship, He got low and served others.

Phillipians tells us the following about following the example of Jesus:

Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.

The Example of Jesus Christ

He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!~Phillipians 2:3-8.

Love is destroyed by pride. Love and pride cannot occupy the same spaces. One will dominate and overpower the other. God commissions and empowers us to love. So when someone says, “I am called to lead you,” if they are following Jesus this means, “I am called to serve you, not seek to be served by you.”

I have met numerous “leaders” and men in my day who told me they were called to lead me. Yet what that meant was they felt empowered to tell me what to do and wanted to be served. This is NOT godly leadership at all, it’s worldly leadership.

I have had single men tell me all the ways I could benefit their lives because to them a wife is servant to meet their needs. They could have cared less about loving me, treating me the way Jesus would. My dreams, calling from God, desires were completely insignificant. They saw someone unmarried and pretty (their words not mine) they wanted to purchase (flash their money, paycheck at) to serve them.

Women are not objects or slaves to be purchased to serve the whims of men then be replaced when she fails to meet a need, cheated on when she cannot meet his pleasures, or used for her body. God did NOT create a system of selfishness nor objectification. God created a family that is supposed to be fueled by love. God says, “Husbands forsake all others and cleave to your one wife. Love her the way Jesus loves the church. He was willing to die for the church. Jesus got low and served. Jesus empowers and leads by love and example. Jesus walks in purity not lust. Jesus cares about every single detail…follow My Son Jesus. Be an imitator of Him.”

The verse that says wives be subject to your husbands as unto the Lord in the original text means be wholly devoted in love-this means she is monogymous and not enganged with other lovers, she has eyes for her husband, single vision. It does NOT mean he becomes her god and she must obey him.

Husband is not the same as God. If it were so, then God is the author of confusion because He plainly says, “You shall have no other god besides me,” and “You are a slave to whomever you obey.” If the texts about husbands and wives meant the husband has the final authority, if he told his wife to betray God she would have to obey her spouse over God. No! She will be held accountable to God for obeying God not man. God is the final authority.

Example:

In inner healing class we had a lady who’s husband was molesting his granddaughter. The wife was submitting to his perverted leadership and holding a pillow over the child’s head during the violation. Was she honoring her husband by submitting to his perversion? Was she a good wife? No! She was a bad wife. She will spend a long time in jail like him for harming this child. The lady who was molested over and over was a testimony of healing in the class, her grandparents were not in the class.

Part of intimate relationship is revealing the righteousness of God to those connected to us. Her role as his wife and sister in Christ was to point her husband to righteousness. We do not yield to what is ungodly. No no no no! Ephesians 5:21 tells all followers of Jesus to be willing to yield (submit, possess humility) in reverence for the Lord. Being willing to yield is NOT the same word as obey.

Culture focuses on the wife submitting while ignoring the verse before it that says men and women, all believers submit to each other and choose humility. Culture also ignores the verses that tell husbands to go even further than that to love their wives the way Jesus loves the church (die to selfishness, pride, ego, immorality). Point highlighted again, we are NOT to yield to what is ungodly and violates our relationship with God. Nor are we puppets to be led on strings by whims of others.

Those led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. If your boss at work, pastor, mentor, parent, spouse or anyone claiming authority over you tells you to do something wicked, say no. That is not rebellion, it is honoring God. Godly leaders point to what honors the Lord and people. God will not lead anyone into sin, nor is God a slave driver who does not care about the needs, desires, or dreams of those He leads.

May we lead like Jesus which is counter cultural to this world. The greatest in the Kingdom of God has a heart of a servant, it is one who loves and looks out for the best interests of others.

Papa God help us to see leadership through the lenses of Jesus. You gave us a perfect model in your Son. Jesus was not a bully, dictator, abuser, nor did He use His status to Lord over people. He got low and served. He took the lowest place and you exalted Him to the highest place. Jesus is perfect theology. Jesus is the perfect spouse model. Jesus is the perfect leader; He seeks to look out for the best interests of those connected to Him. Jesus perfectly loves. Jesus does not use people He partners with them. Jesus, beautiful Jesus. May we abide in Jesus and lead like Jesus. In Your powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Overcoming with Jesus

Morning Devotion: Walking with Jesus as an overcomer.

Adversity is an opportunity for advancement, a problem is a setup for a miracle, and sometimes you are delivered through instead of delivered from a trial.

I hope to encourage someone this morning! We become overcomers by having something to overcome.

Walking with God does not mean you will live a life free of troubles, struggles, trials, or persecution…Jesus stated very plainly “In this world, you will have troubles, yet take heart, I have overcome the world,”~John 16:33.

I have walked through many things I thought at the time may overtake me; trapped in a car under water, death threats, racism, sabotage, 7 near death experiences, sickness, chronic sickness for a while, persecution, being left to die, lied on, cheated, heartbroken, abandoned by those who cried out, “You are my family. I love you!”, and so much more.

There were times I stood on mega faith and contended for a breakthrough. There were times I pulled in other seasoned believers to stand with me through the valley of the shadow of death. There were seasons of supernatural joy and others of profound grief. I believe every single experience was and is used by God to be a source of hope for someone else. I saw the power of God in profound ways during some of the most challenging moments of my life. Doctors said one thing, God said another. People said and did destructive things, God spoke life. I learned God is my very best friend and nothing on earth compares to Him. Take the world and give me Jesus.

I do not tell you these things for empathy or sympathy. I do not tell you because I am nursing an emotional wound. It is well with my soul. I tell you because overcoming means you will have something to overcome! We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).

We impart hope to others when we take our Christian masks off and say, “This was a challenge and look what God had done! This is what I have walked through and this is the power of God.” I have no time for pretend when there are people living in despair, despondency, and hopelessness because no one is real. Let’s be real. Life will punch you in the face at the times, even if you decree/declare/read the word/fast/etc…the goal is not to stay down. Get back up with Jesus!

If I can walk through many fires with God and come out with mega joy, so can you! With God you can and will overcome! Just like the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years. She did not know how long she would suffer, then along came Jesus. Her heart, I believe lept…If I could just touch the hem of His garment, I will be (not maybe) made whole. Hope flooded the scene when Jesus came. We too can find hope in Jesus.

The strength is not our own, it comes from God. The healing and deliverance is in the person of Jesus. Not by our power or strength, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)!! Hallejuah! Praising my heart out!!

Can we worship God? Can we say with utter honesty, “This is challenging, but you are good?” Through it all God is still God. These earthly afflictions are so temporary, God is eternal. God never ceases to be good.

I look to those who walked before us…

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”~Daniel 3:16-20.

They chose not to base their devotion to God on their deliverance. They chose God despite the outcome. This is love.

I am healed, whole, and full of joy because of God! This is for you too. It does not matter how long the storm has raged on or the diagnosis or prognosis. What matters is the presence of God. Is God there? Has God been invited into the storm? He can with one word calm the storm. If He does not, He will see us through it all.

When I look at Jesus, I see perfect theology. He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He was not speaking of His maleness for God is Spirit, those who worship God must worship in Spirit and in truth. He was speaking of His heart, His compassion, His character, His desires for the least/last/lost, His purity.

When I look at Jesus I see someone who was betrayed, mocked, abandoned, sabotaged, whipped, assaulted for His faith, rejected, had His heartbroken. He was lied on, humiliated, disappointed, and gave His very life for the ones who yelled, “Crucify Him!!” I am no better than Jesus. He had no sin and faced many challenges. We have hope in someone who already defeated our worst enemy, death. What He overcame, I can overcome and you can too by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God does not ask us to overcome in our strength. God does not expect us to be the superheroes of the story, He is the Savior/Deliverer/Healer. God invites us to abide in Him and overcome in His strength.

If we cannot run, we walk. If we cannot walk, we crawl. If we cannot crawl, we reach up into the arms of God. We cling to who God is and all He has done before. God is a way maker and a sustainer of life. I am living, walking additional evidence that nothing is impossible for God.

The odds may seem against you, you may feel alone in the storm. The doctor report may be grim…the circumstances beyond hope. Yet I know a man. A man who raised from the dead and walks in resurrection power. His name is Jesus. I know a man who opened blind eyes and deaf ears and set the captives free! I know a God who has done what mankind could not do. The same God who saved my life over and over is calling out to you! Speak life to the dead situations God told you should live!! Say what God says until you see what God has said.

We stand on an unshakable God and in an unshakable Kingdom!! Most of all we can have bold confidence that in the end, God wins!!

Let hope arise…hope in the only one who cannot ultimately fail.

Love in Him,

Erin Lamb