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?

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Love,

Erin Lamb

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

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

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

Don’t Bypass Gethsemane (Abiding & Intimacy with God Part 1) 

   
1 Peter 4:13 (NKJV)

…rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

We live in a culture that promotes comfort. If you talk to people about suffering, sometimes they will check out of the conversation. 

Let’s be honest, I don’t enjoy suffering or persecution. 

I have learned and am learning that if we only eat dessert, we don’t grow. We need situations in our lives where we don’t get our way, we don’t understand, the answer is no or wait, there are obstacles or problems to overcome. If we don’t have them, we remain spiritually and emotionally immature. We don’t grow up. We stay on the same level. 

The idea God only wants us to feel good is toxic. Growth doesn’t always feel good. Do you recall being younger and experiencing growth pains, losing teeth so new ones could come, or homework? It didn’t always feel good. The end result was good. 

Is every hardship God growing us? No. I think it’s valuable to examine Godly challenges versus what’s of the devil. God can turn what’s of the devil into a blessing; that doesn’t mean He set up the suffering, challenge, or setback. 

There’s Godly suffering/challenges and evil suffering/challenges. Let’s lay these out on the table. 

Godly suffering, trials, or challenges: 

  1. It’s for the Gospel. The Bible says the Godly will suffer persecution and be hated (2 Timothy 3:12, John 15:18). 
  2. It produces Godly character and develops patience (James 1:3, Romans 5:4). 
  3. It leads to eventual blessing (Hebrews 12:2, Job 42:10, Genesis 50:20). 

What Godly suffering is not: 

  1. It is not a call to sickness, disease, or demonic oppression. Jesus healed the sick and delivered the oppressed (examples in Mark 1:34, Matthew 4:23-25). 
  2. It is not a call to poverty. Jesus told us to care for the poor (Proverbs 29:4, Proverbs 22:9, Galatians 2:10) . If I’m poor, how can I help you? 
  3. It is not a call to abuse or being abused/controlled/manipulatd.Those are demonic forces. Abuse is not love. Control is not love. Jesus stood up for the oppressed, and outcasts of society (John 4, John 8). 

Holy Spirit University Lessons

  
Have you been enrolled? It’s amazing if you do. I liken the work of Holy Spirit to being enrolled in a University. Salvation is our ticket into HSU. Everyone has a schedule, map (the Bible), and a mentor (Holy Spirit). The courses are designed to grow us into the character of Jesus and help us fulfill our destiny. 

No worries if you don’t do well in a course. You don’t get grades here. You can take a class as many times as you need. Even after you pass you will be tested on what you’ve learned or move on to the next level.  

Suffering 101-301: I did not enroll myself in this class. I was born into trauma. I have no space to tell you all my war stories. Just know this class is ongoing. 

What I’ve learned/am learning: 

  • The supernatural comfort and power of God. 
  • The power of God to heal and deliver. 
  • The great compassion, mercy, and goodness of God. 

Persecution 101-107: I don’t enjoy this class. Yet I have seen the most fruit from these challenges. I’ve been in this class for 7 years. 

What I have learned/ am learning: 

  • To allow God to defend me (work in progress). He is my defense.  
  • People are not my enemy. I have just 1 and Jesus beat him with two sticks. 
  • To rely solely on God’s love and acceptance. 

One coworker harassed me at work; regularly tried to get me fired. She eventually gave her life to Jesus. She said, “I knew the Spirit of God was in you.” I never retaliated, tried to hurt her, nor treated her poorly no matter how awful. Don’t get me wrong, there was lots of prayer. Years of being beat down without Human Resources help. People kept saying to quit. I just didn’t have the “Go” in my spirit. 

I am not advocating staying in an abusive or toxic situation. If it’s physical violence or sexual abuse, get help immediately. If it’s verbal abuse, get help. God does not approve of abuse or expect you to tolerate it. 
Rejection 101-301: I’m almost at home in this class. I’m growing accustomed to being misunderstood, left out, pushed aside, put in the back, or ignored, etc…sometimes it bothers me when it comes from Christians. I’m learning claiming Jesus and loving like Him are not the same. People (myself included) must receive God’s love in order to give it away. 

There are people in my family who rejected me for sharing the Gospel or for no reason. I love them. I try not to allow their behavior to dictate my joy. 

What I’ve learned/am learning: 

  • My audience must be God. If He says thumbs up, it doesn’t matter if the world says thumbs down. 
  • God withholds nothing good. God sets up relationships that are mutual blessings.
  • Preference matters. I like mangoes. You may like peaches. Both are good. It’s a matter of preference. 
  • Don’t rely on or need the approval of man; it changes like the shifting tide. People can love you today and hate you tomorrow. 

Those are just some of the courses I’ve been in for a very long time. 

I used to lament, “Why me?” I came to the conclusion that I choose whether to be a victim or victor. How people behave is a reflection of their heart, experiences, or circumstances. People can only give the love they have first received from God. 

I found that our suffering helps us to have compassion for others and patience with them. 

More than sympathy…

I was praying with someone who just broke down, tears streaming. This person had endured horrific, sustained abuse. When I touched the person I felt it. I cried with them. Why? I understand abuse. I know what it’s like for people take out their rage or frustrations on me. I know what it’s like to blame myself instead of the other person. 

I know what it’s like to feel unloved, like the dog people like to kick. I told the person, “I know exactly how you feel. I was abused too. This is not your fault.” When those words were spoken, a glimmer of hope appeared in those tear filled eyes. 

The prayer time with this person was not a pity session, or I must make up sympathy for you. It was a “I’ve been here and I’m entering into this pain with you.” I just rocked the person, held them, and spoke out God’s love and affirmation; we cried. 

Let me tell you something sweet friends. God enters into our suffering. He’s not watching it trying to work up sympathy. His heart is pounding in His chest, “That’s hurting My child.” His heart is for us. Jesus suffered for us and suffers with us. There’s intimacy forged in suffering with Jesus. 

Some of the strongest bonds are forged between people who go through challenges together. 

Jesus did everything the Father told Him to do. It led to the cross. Jesus faced Gethsemane, the cross, all before His resurrection. Sometimes what feels like death is an invitation to glory. An olive is crushed before the oil flows. It’s not suffering for no reason. It’s a pressing, strengthening season. 

God wastes nothing. Once we overcome, we can then assist others in overcoming. The Spirit of Breakthrough begins to flows through us when we walk through the valley with God. We are released, through abiding, into new levels of understanding, compassion, and authority.

God bless!

Love, 

Erin 

God Knows Fully Your Feelings & Emotions (Heart of God Series Part I)

 
I love all the stories in the Bible about Jesus. He’s beyond incredible and perfectly represented the Father. He was and is one with the Father. 

Today, I wanted to start a new series on the feelings and emotions of God. Have you ever pondered, “Does God know how I feel? Does He truly understand what’s going on in my heart and soul? Is He watching life happen from a distance?” If so, this post may encourage you. 

I love the story of Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and Jesus. Lazarus dies and Jesus stays where He is until Lazarus is good and dead. Have you ever felt as though God was absent and something in your life died? I have. Just note Jesus is the Resurrection & the Life. There’s no situation too challenging for God! Not one. If it’s not raised to life, there’s a reason. God is good even if we don’t understand why He allows certain things to happen. 

If you read the story you will see Jesus had plans all along to raise Lazarus from the dead. See John 11

I’ve read and heard so many people debate why Jesus wept when He encountered Mary and the others weeping. The scripture says, “Jesus wept.” He did not weep when He encountered Martha who was looking for an explanation. I speculate Martha was a thinker and Mary more of a feeler. 

Some have said He saw their suffering and it moved His heart. So, He wept because they were weeping. I believe Jesus wept because He felt their pain. You may draw your own conclusion.
Follow me…

God is in tune with your heart, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. 

God has the ability to feel what you feel. He’s not like your friends or family who watch from the outside and then it moves them because of their love for you. He can actually feel in His own Spirit your suffering. Where’s my evidence? Let’s look at scripture. 

Isaiah 53:4 (CEB) It was certainly our sickness that He carried, and our sufferings that He bore, but we thought He afflicted, struck down by God and tormented.

The Bible continues to say Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the sick. It goes on to say He knew the hearts of men.

Personal experience: 

I told you in the miracle series of my friend who was suicidal and said nothing to me about it. I was joyful one moment and then grief stricken the next. She was miles away. I had not talked to her. I had to pray the sadness and grief off me. She, I found out later, had an encounter with God during the time I was praying that saved her from taking her life. I felt what she felt and it manifested in weeping, bawling actually. I felt it in my spirit. My body responded to her pain and she was nowhere near me. I’m not God, no way. His Spirit has the ability to known your pain and level of discomfort. He knows everything and not from simply watching or observing. 

I believe Jesus felt the pain of the people around Lazarus. I don’t believe it was simply an external observation that led to weeping. I truly believe He felt their pain. Even though He knew He was raising Lazarus from the dead, He was completely in touch with the emotions of the people around Him. 

God isn’t distant or out of touch. He’s more engaged than people can imagine. He’s not like us. We see, process, respond. God knows; He knows the depths of man’s sorrow and depravity. 

The Lord spoke something to me during a really challenging moment. He said, “Do you think I’m watching you suffer from the outside? Do you think I don’t know your pain? I know the depths of it far better than you. It’s not My desire to leave you this way.” At that moment I realized I had placed God in the human box…”He’s watching me suffer.” No, God was right in the middle of my suffering. He knew the intensity of the pain more than I did. 

How does this change your perspective on your circumstancs? On God? 

What moves you, moves His heart. I’ve written many posts on where’s God during suffering. If you wish, you can look them up with the search function on this site. 
I do want you to take this with you: 

God sees all and knows all including the depths of your pain, sorrow, sickness, depression, oppression, despair, fear, anxiety, hurt, heartaches, etc…I used to think it strange when I’d wake up happy then encounter someone and my emotions shift. I could feel what they felt and sometimes even the physical pain. I know now it’s a call to pray. Jesus lives to intercede for you (24/7). I’m not stating God is sick or in pain. I am stating when you are, He knows exactly how it feels. 

God knows everything about you down to the cellular level, brain chemistry, and hormonal level. He knows the coding of your DNA, every strand of hair on your head, every tear you’ve cried, and every memory you’ve ever had. No one is more in tune with you than God. 

Papa I ask that we would comprehend more fully Your great love for us and Your connection with us. Help us to know You intimately. Deepen our awareness of who You are. You’re not cold, distant, or absent. Thank You for Your great love! In Jesus powerful name, amen. 

You are loved and continually prayed for!

Love, 

Erin