You Will Make It!

I am studying for an important exam, yet this morning I was inspired to write this post reflecting on the past 16 months. I won’t go into great detail over what has transpired. I will say there has been great loss, a few betrayals, multiple deaths in my family, partial blindness for me (healed now), health issues with people I love, being stalked (I had to report someone to the police last spring), sabotage of some of my efforts, gross disappointments, and so much more. There have also been incredible triumphs and joys. I believe we can learn from anything!

Here is my post from the morning and I hope it blesses you.

There is a promise attached to the pain; we must seek God for a revelation of the promise(s) (Lessons Learned the Past 16 Months). ❤️👩🏽‍💻💯

I don’t share all my business online because I recognize levels of intimacy. My closest friends know my business. Everyone else is on a need to know basis. It’s just how I roll. I share my heart fully with people who know how to steward it well. Those who know my full journey and challenges the past 16 months may get more out of this. Everyone else, I hope you find a sliver of hope. No matter your season, the valley or the mountain top, there is a God who loves you and though He does not prevent every challenge, He will walk you through them.

Some sweet things learned the past 16 months…

Even in hard seasons you can find beauty if you LOOK for it! I started journaling each day and counting blessings. I list good things that happen and express gratitude to God. I look for at least one person daily to bless. Why? Introspection will rob you of opportunities to be a blessing and enjoy God.

Even in my hardest moments, I can still love and serve others without expecting them to take care of me. I have a choice, as do you, to be a victim or a victor! It does not mean breaking your back nor forgoing rest, it does mean choosing love. Waking up each day to choose love provides focus and greater dependency on God…God who needs your love today?

The extreme power of grace; God’s supernatural ability to do what we could not do before. Wowed by grace. It is a frequent prayer to say, “God give me grace for today. Today God I receive grace.”

When I think I cannot take another step because I am exhausted physically or emotionally, how God’s super invades my natural. God will infuse you with His strength. You learn a level of God’s POWER in weakness that cannot be learned in any other season.

Who loves me for me, and who was connected for their own personal gain or to benefit from ministry. It is unfortunate, yet trials not only reveal who you truly are on the inside, they reveal who is truly for you! Bypass offense and understand you must not expect a consumer to act like a true friend. A consumer comes to take. A friend comes to give. I don’t expect a cat to be a dog. A cat will behave like a cat.

The great lengths some people will go through to help you or encourage you in their own storm has been revealed. I wrote out a thank letter this week. I was weeping as I typed out thank you to all the people willing to be obedient to God and help in some way. Don’t focus your energy on who is not for you. Focus that energy on who is for you! Mostly God is for you!!! He will put you on the heart of perfect strangers to be a blessing.

How deep the Father’s love is, vast beyond measure. I won’t even start typing out the revelations of God’s love, provision, care, comfort, goodness, beauty, and hope because I will be here all day. It just gets richer in revelation. Oh my, is God better than what humans represent or speak about Him.

I learned not to expect people who have not walked it out to understand. There is a complete and utter disconnect. #BlankStare. You release the expectation for compassion from people and talk to God. I used to be bothered by unkind people. I recognize I too can be insensitive if I lack understanding. You forgive easier and move on. You learn who to talk to and get really raw with and who to tell, “God is good,” and keep on moving.

How deep the roots and love go in my Ignite Reborn community!! They have loved me well and I thank God they are not looking for a super hero in a leader. I am only human; I am there to serve, not be a Savior. There is power in safe, loving, and mutually giving community. If you find a safe, loving tribe-cherish them, invest in them, give thanks for them, show up and do your part.

Learn to completely ignore the haters online and in real life. Unhappy people try to make others miserable. You become quicker to block, ignore, say, “Take that garbage somewhere else. I love you, but I am not your trash can.” You start to monitor your energy. It’s not proper English but, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I stopped trying to figure it out or explain myself.

I stopped answering the phone for energy vampires. Some days I only had strength to do one or two things (being honest), I refused to waste it on selfish people. Please go to voicemail. Protect your energy and schedule. Some people are simply distractions. Lovingly set boundaries. They want their problem to be your highest priority when you have a pile of your own.

You listen to the voice of Jesus on an even deeper level because He is close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. He whispers and you lean in closer and closer….your friendship with God goes to a whole notha level! If you are being challenged in your health, your finances, your family…Jesus is right there. Lean in. Lean on Him. Ask Jesus for heaven’s vantage point. “God show me your truth and give me wisdom in this season.”

Understanding with every problem, every pain-there is a promise. A promise of God’s steadfast love. A promise of God’s healing. A promise of God’s protection. A promise of God’s presence-“Never will I leave you or forsake you!” A promise of beauty for ashes and joy for mourning! A promise of glory. A promise of His unwavering friendship.

Grief is temporary. Yes, it comes in waves. Some days like tidal waves, yet there are days of calm, great joy, and peace. Walk through the process of grieving without bypassing the hard parts. Don’t let religious acting Christians try to convince you that you should not grieve nor how to grieve. If they have not walked through what you have walked through they can keep their scripture one liners. Find healthy people to walk with you who possess wisdom in their speech.

Give yourself grace to be human. I love laughing with God and being positive. I also recognize my humanity and when I went through months of unexplained blindness I had human moments. It was not a fun time. Grace! Trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman is crazy. Yes, lean into God and seek His strength. Also understand you are human.

Oh the depths of desperation…I gained a greater understanding of how desperate people feel. The compassion in my heart has gone from maybe level 7 to off the charts. Pain changes the way we see things. I hope I don’t forget the trials that broke my heart and some that sought to crush my spirit. I pray my heart remains soft towards God and humanity.

God will deal with your enemies! He is longsuffering and gives each person time to repent. When God has had enough, He moves in with His right arm outstretched to execute judgement on your enemies. People play with fire thinking they will not be burned. Yet God has shown me on an even greater level the past 16 months that anyone who raises a weapon, tries to work evil, or places their tongue in a malicious way on His children will have consequences. God is merciful and kind. God is also a fierce warrior who will and does cast down Jezebel from her throne. God defends and avenges His own. He prepares a table before you in the PRESENCE of your enemies. Even when the devil thinks he’s winning, he loses in the end.

Don’t let people pressure you into more than you can do. I cannot tell you how many people try to pressure me into meeting their ministry or personal need. “Count it all joy! Trust the Lord!! God is just testing you. See how much more like Jesus you are becoming…yada yada yada..” Attached to that is normally some expectation I can do something for them. Well, no. I have grace to complete God’s assignments for me, not everyone else’s. I cannot tell you how many people have approached me with “God said to contact you or your were the one to do this.” If God did speak directly to me, I am not doing anything. Nope. Nada.

Lastly, your latter shall be GREATER than your former. If you sink into God, there is no limit to what can happen. It can be painful in the process, yet you must not give up on His beautiful vision. You may need to reject the visions of others, or their dreams for your life…yet keep pressing into His! God is good, and God LOVES you. Keep being a seeker of God because He is seeking you. He is seeking you in the good times and challenging seasons.

Signed…someone linked to Jesus to hopefully always overcome! Back to studying for exams I go. Have a great weekend.

God loves you! You can make it! With God you will make it. That’s what my dad says to me often. I love my earthly dad and heavenly Father. Be blessed! Praying for you to make it!! For real praying. You are loved!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Promotion Comes from God

Let God Promote You & Bypass Disgrace!

We live in an insta society where people want to build a brand, a name for themselves, and promote what they can do. As a business owner I have been told to promote myself, build a brand, get the word out there. I try to share what I do, but I am most interested in how I can help someone else or hear their story. I love stories. I don’t want to be a self promoter. I would love for God to open doors and God to get the glory.

It’s a temptation to promote ourselves ahead of God or to build our own empires. The truth is, it’s His story for His glory and God advises us to do nothing out of selfish ambition and vain conceit. We are also told the following from Psalm 75:7.

This I know:

the favor that brings promotion and power

doesn’t come from anywhere on earth,

for no one exalts a person but God, the true judge of all.

He alone determines where favor rests.

He anoints one for greatness

and brings another down to his knees.

It is God who raises up and sits down. God gives grace and promotion to the humble, not the proud. God will put your name, your ministry, your business, your needs on the hearts of the right people at the RIGHT TIME! The key word is TIME. Please don’t move ahead of God. He knows what He is doing.

God thinks bigger than we do, and God prepares who He calls. God cares more about our character than our gifting. You don’t set your child up to fail. You would not give a toddler keys to a lambourghini, yet I have seen people promote themselves or others past where they need to be at the moment. It can lead to disgrace.

Our giftings have the capability to take us further than our character or capacity can sustain us. If we are not rooted in Jesus, it can lead to performance and striving. Both are stepping away from abiding in the true vine-Jesus. Apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

What is in a name and the applause of mankind? Nothing. For if we live to please people or move from red carpet to red carpet, we are no longer servants of God.

Am I now trying to win the favor and approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ,~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:10).

Pride is a nasty sneaky demon that has destroyed many families, friendships, and ministries. It is the chief sin of Lucifer…”I will exalt my throne above Gods.” It is more concerned with self than God or others. Pride needs to be out front and boasting. It is applauded in culture, it is not in heaven. God resists the proud. We can boast in God, yet I cannot boast in myself or what I have done. I am nothing apart from Him and only by His grace am I even alive.

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”~James 4:6.

Honestly, the best places to be in the Kingdom are at the feet of Jesus or in His arms. It is not the stage, the platform, the TV show, the radio, the podcast, the blog, the speaking or preaching engagements. It’s intimacy with God and making His name famous on the earth. Is Jesus glorified? Is it aligned with heaven? Is Jesus made known?

It’s also about the timing of God.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem He knew where the donkey was that had never been ridden. God knew where to find him. He may have been invisible to everyone else, yet that donkey had a date with destiny.

When Jesus had finished saying all this, he went on toward Jerusalem. As he was getting near Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples on ahead. He told them, “Go into the next village, where you will find a young donkey that has never been ridden. Untie the donkey and bring it here. If anyone asks why you are doing that, just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”-Luke 19:28-31 (CEV).

God knew where Moses was on the back side of the desert. He spoke to him and called him from a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-17). God knew where David was. Shepherd boy David was tending sheep (1 Samuel 16). He did not have to run to the front of the line and say, “God chose me to be king.” God sent for David and anointed him.

When God calls and when God anoints, He provides grace for the mission. When we call ourselves, anoint ourselves, or allow someone else to call us outside of God’s timing it leads to disgrace. If God places me somewhere, I know God will sustain me. If I appoint myself or allow others to appoint me ahead of His timing it leads to self effort and self promotion to keep me there.

I have angered a few people in my lifetime for refusing to give them a leadership role ahead of what God told me to do and disappointed a few people who wanted to catupult me into their version of my destiny, not God’s voice to my heart. I simply know that moving ahead of God or following the ways of man leads to destruction.

My encouragements:

  • Seek God and pursue humilty (get low to serve not be served).
  • Focus on being a blessing instead of being blessed.
  • Wait on God. Trust me, God knows where you are and where to find you. If God can locate an unridden donkey, He can find you.
  • Yield to the Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you how many times He has whispered to my heart, “This is not for you.” Or “This is not the proper timing.”
  • Understand everything that glitters (sounds good, looks good) is NOT necessarily God.
  • Seek God with opportunities. “God is this aligned with what I need to be doing right now?”
  • Understand God wants you to succeed. God loves His kids more than we love ours.
  • Know God withholds nothing good. If you are in a hidden season, enjoy the time with God. I love my cave with God. I actually prefer it to the spotlight.
  • Sink into Jesus. Keep abiding.
  • Don’t be distracted by shooting stars. Some rise fast then crash and burn.
  • Your audience is God, not people! Live for the applause of heaven.
  • Think in terms of eternity.
  • Understand earth is more concerned with metrics than Jesus. God is looking at the heart.
  • Note popularity is not the same as influence. There are popular people with millions of people headed straight to hell.
  • Quality is better than low quality and high quantity. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself with Jesus.
  • Building history/relationship with God is far more important than building an audience or platform.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.Com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Pain, the Teacher

Pain the Teacher (Simple Morning Reflection):

Pain can be an incredible teacher. It is in our human nature to avoid pain. Yet some great lessons can come out of pain. We can change; realize what matters most, and what doesn’t. Pain can shift focus from things that are not important to what is important.

You learn some relationships are dead weight anchors you are dragging along trying to keep alive. You pour in, trying to keep alive things the other person could care less about living or investing in to thrive. You learn to let go of things and people that are killing your soul.

You begin to analyze what is necessary and what is obligation or unecessary. You reevaluate your time or energy because it’s limited.

There is something about pain that teaches you to value the good moments even more, you savor them. You start avoiding the things that are like elephants sitting on your chest and run after the quiet moments with Jesus.

The things that used to bug you seem so small. The people you used to invest in and do all the work with zero mutuality, you simply stop doing it. You look for ways to make the most of each day.

This is what happens when I go through seasons of pain. Priorities shift. Agendas shift. Everything shifts.

There are great lessons that can be learned in seasons of pain. You find out who truly loves you and who is a person of opportunity. Some are present in their need, not present in yours.

You learn the safe places and genuine friends. You learn the comfort of God has no end. You learn, my goodness, you learn.

Earth’s focus becomes dimmer while eternity becomes brighter. You begin to see something greater woven through the tapestry of grief, of loss, of pain. Woven in this tapestry is the very face of Jesus-the one who knows the depths of human suffering.

Compassion grows leaps and bounds as you find yourself throwing out anchors of hope to others in the midst of your own storm. Pain can teach you so much about compassion because you simply do not wish for anyone to suffer alone. It moves you beyond praying to participating in the solution for someone else.

Pain can be an incredible teacher, revealing the deepest parts of the soul-what we believe and who we are is pressed to the surface. What we believe about God is placed on display. Trials reveal so much.

God brings in His love to reveal to us that He is present in every storm. No tear goes unnoticed. No cry goes unheard. No child goes unloved. And even if God seems silent and the pain is louder than His voice, He is still present and He is still love.

“God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit.”

“The arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ears deaf to hear.”

Pain writes a new song in your heart, a song only God can hear. Friendship with God can deepen in seasons of loss, mourning, or pain. If we turn to God, instead of away from God, we can learn so many things. Gratitude can elevate. If we cannot give thanks for what we have, we can celebrate what we have been spared. We can share with others even in our lack, for there is always someone with less. There is always someone with more pain, more sorrow, more problems. We can be a blessing in our own storm.

Pain the teacher…you have taught me so much.

I bless you and pray your week overflows with the love, peace and joy of Jesus. He is pure joy. I know no greater love, no greater comfort.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-free.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Behold A New Thing (Refocus on Jesus-the Centrality of the Gospel)-Prophetic Encouragement.

I don’t share prophetic impressions on this page often, yet felt promoted to today. It’s long, yet hope it encourages/inspires someone to seek Jesus, not “That’s how we have always done things or my pastor told me this.”

Behold I am doing a new thing (prophetic encouragement)

Certainly weigh this and test it. These were impressions on my heart and in my spirit from Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the Father.

From the Father:

“I am shifting from the old into the new. I look upon the earth and see billions of people disconnected from My heart and disconnected from the church. While My church may be pointing her finger at the world, ‘Look how sinful you are,’ My heart has been grieved by the lack of My love and compassion for the lost. Yes, they are blind and deaf to truth because they are dead in tresspasses and sin. The dead cannot see. The dead cannot hear. There is a powerful language that even the dead can see and hear, that is My love. I invite My church to not only speak truth, but to love and to serve. Love is your superpower.

My Spirit is hovering over the earth looking for laborers, partners-someone willing to take up the mantle of love and go for My mission of love. My Spirit is looking for those willing to go into the dark places. Gone are the days of just waiting for the world to come inside.

You must go. You must go where the people are, where the broken and hurting are, and you must love. You are not going to the happy, shiny, together people. You are going to the sick, hurting, dying, addicted, broken, immoral, demonized, and abused. They need My love and My power. It is not by your strength, your wisdom, your intellect, nor your religious rituals. It is by My Spirit.

I am looking for those willing to abide in My Spirit and go where I lead. No more business as usual-this is the way we have always done church, the way we have always done conferences, the way we have always done worship, the way we have always taught people…get into the secret place and seek Me for the new.

I am doing something NEW! I am doing something new to bring millions into My family. I want to teach you an upgraded way to relate to the world. It involves no compromise; it is pure/holy as I am pure/holy. It will stretch you outside your comfort zone. It will break people out of sitting and waiting, sitting and praying for Me to do what I have empowered My church to do.

I am cleaning My house. Yes, your spirits are made completely new in My Son. The soul of man is continually sanctified by My Spirit. I am clearing out those abusing My sheep, allowing exposure of those who do not love My sheep, closing doors to those only interested in their agenda and titles, I am removing favor from those using the gifts for selfish gain. I am doing these things out of great love because I need a safe place for the harvest. Not only do I need laborers, I need safe havens and families for My children. My babies need spiritual families, not to be led to pray a prayer and then left alone without any guidance, without genuine love, without true shepherding. I am building family systems that are safe.

Seek Me for the new. Seek Me for My agenda for your services and conferences. It’s about establishing My Kingdom on earth, not mankind building their own shrines on earth nor entertaining people without helping them to truly know Me. I watch as millions are entertained and they go home with the very same demons they came with and they remain in great bondage. My Son set the captives free.

Seek Me for your ministry. Seek Me for your family. Seek Me for your business. I do not encourage to control. I encourage because I am strategically connecting people in this season to be a great net for the masses. I am pursuing a mature Bride. No more their church vs. your church, their ministry vs. your ministry…competition is not a fruit of My heart. The evil one loves division, jealousy, and single/selfish focus.

If My people who are called by My name would humble themselves and help each other fulfill the great commission, revival would have already come.

The world is looking at how My professing children love and support each other. If they do not see what My Son proclaimed, their desire to come inside is even more diminished.

I will be glorified in the earth. If those I have chosen refuse to follow the leading of My Spirit, I will and can go and appoint one from outside to lead My movements. My Son will get His full reward.”

From Jesus:

“Oh how I love My Bride and long to partner with her to see the fullness of My Kingdom on earth. The encouragement is to continually abide in Me, to crawl into My arms, and listen to My voice. I lead by great love. The love I have for you is the same intense, passionate love I have for your neighbor, the lost, and even those who present themselves as your enemies. So many do not know Me in your weekend services and in the world. Sharing and demonstrating who I am is needed everywhere.

My heart weeps over those who believe they know Me yet, they harm, abuse, or deceive My sheep. Like the Pharisees, they have their rules, rituals, and religion, yet they miss My heart. They have a form of righteousness, yet, it is void of My love, void of My compassion, and void of godly mercy. Yes, I am truth. Yes, I am power. I am also love. I know the proper words to speak to turn a heart, prick a heart for the Father. Ministering outside of My heart and Spirit can lead to harm instead of blessing.

I have watched millions of My children wounded by those claiming Me, yet their hearts are far from Me. I reserve My final judgement until the appointed time. I did not come to condemn, pass final judgement, but to lead people to repentance. I am standing in a position of invitation for repentance for those who do not love yet continue to attempt to minister in My name. Come away with Me and soak in My love. Let Me love you! Let My love invigorate you so you may love like Me.

I am looking for lovers, those willing to abide in My love and willing to go love the world! I am so eager to partner with you!”

From Holy Spirit:

“I am so excited. Can you sense My excitement as I think on the waves of love, glory, and passion that will sweep over the earth?!

I am hovering. I am moving. Sons and daughters will prophesy. I will speak through the babes/youth all the way up to the 100 year olds. I am blowing a breath of refreshing. I am blowing the dust off those who have been sidelined.

I love unity and partnership. I love community and family. I love to see people working together to fulfill the Father’s will. Oh, how He loves the world. We are in unison in our heart for the world.

I am beyond eager to fill the empty and broken, to revitalize the weary, and comfort the mourning. I am speaking, singing, teaching, and on the edge of My seat for those who hunger and thirst for Me.

Invite Me into what you are doing. I am not asking to seek to control. I am asking you to invite Me because I desire to give you My power to complete the task.

I do not force Myself on you, nor push My agenda on you. When you ask, when you invite, I manifest My power and love!! I love to assist you. I love to abide in you. I love to connect with you!

Let’s partner together. I long to empower, encourage, and give you My strength. You are not alone in your journey. I am here. I am strong where you are weak. I long to connect spirit to spirit with you. Invite Me into your day. I am overjoyed to be with you.

I want to teach you more of who I am and show you the depths of our heart. I am refreshing you and longing to break you out of the old and into the new.

Old mindsets must be removed and I long to wash your mind with My word. Invite Me into your bible study. I long to deepen your understanding of My word and who I am. Do not lean onto your own understanding, seek My understanding. Study with Me.

I am excited to adventure with you and for the entire world to know who Jesus is and what the Father paid for regarding humanity. Let’s partner together!! I LOVE you.”

My Thoughts:

I truly believe God is calling us into something great, Himself. I highly encourage people to get to know God for themselves instead of simply relying on second hand information. I also encourage inviting God into every day, into Bible study, and to ask God to reveal Himself.

I have met so many people in my lifetime who claim to know God and represent God; they absolutely violate His heart. They repeat what they have been taught without revelation of who God is. We need Jesus, the real Jesus of Nazareth. We need to pursue God for ourselves and learn His voice. The early apostles had relationship. The New Testament was not even written yet and they knew Jesus. God is after relationship, not rituals and memorization of text. It is great to know the Bible. One can know the Bible and not know God. The Pharisees knew the Torah, they did not know God.

My hope is this post encourages someone to go deeper into intimacy with God. Don’t just take my word for it, invite God into your heart and life. Invite the Holy Spirit to teach and guide, even to weed out thoughts or ideas that have been taught that are not properly aligned with the heart of God.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Our Reactions to Evil Matter (Pursuing Authentic Christianity)

Today I want to tackle reactions to evil in the world. When Jesus walked the earth there was evil, injustice, mistreatment of people groups, and he faced hatred/mockery/mistreatment.

We see Jesus responding in sternness to the self righteous (Pharisees) and the disciples. We see compassion for those who were lost and not claiming to be right with God.

Jesus also has a one up on us. He was sinless. Jesus was willing to die for the same people He rebuked sternly. He was willing to be mocked, beaten, and even killed for the UNGODLY! Jesus died for His enemies. If Jesus rebukes someone sternly, He is perfect in His assessment and without any sin.

We can sin in our attempts to deal with people and be puffed up in ourselves while doing so. “Oh, I think sister Susie is wrong, let me grab my bible and go point it out to her.” Is it wrong to try to help someone? No. Yet the bible tells us to make sure we don’t have a big mega plank in our eye before we go trying to pull a splinter out of someone’s eye. We are also told to be gentle. We can be gentle, direct, and not nasty. Is it wrong as a leader to address people? No. Yet if we do not love them, our words can be correct and in the wrong spirit.

It is a trap of the evil one to convince us that we are the Holy Spirit or Jesus. We point to God. We do not become God.

It is a trap of the evil one to respond in the same spirit as the evil of this age. We overcome evil with good. If someone comes at us crazy, it does not mean God gives us permission to act crazy.

God has tested this in my life over and over. It appears as weakness to some people. Yet I do not need to yell or act crazy because someone approaches me with ignorance, hatred, evil, or nonsense. We can rebuke and address in great love understanding that the spirits of this age blind people to the truth of who God is.

They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God,~2 Corinthians 4:4 (GNT).

Imagine going into a house and the lights are off and everyone is blind. Your method to help is to scream at them, “You are blind. You are in the dark!!!” Guess what, your screaming will not make them see. You can scream all day and it adds no value.

Imagine going to a graveyard and everyone is dead. You walk around screaming the Gospel at them. They can’t hear you! Dead people do not hear or see. The only reason a believer in Jesus can see or hear is because God opened blind eyes, deaf ears, and revealed Himself.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins,~Colossians 2:13 (NLT).

One of the ways we can help the world is by actually living a life that is a living testimony of the goodness, love, and power of God. I had several coworkers who were atheists, agnostic, or other faiths inquire about Jesus because of the way I acted at work. I did not bully them with the bible, point out everything they did that violated scripture, nor look down on them. I looked for ways to serve them, love them, and the topic of Jesus would just come up. One went to church because he said he could not figure out why I had so much joy. My Muslim neighbor said I was the only Christian he had encountered that did not mistreat him. One of my atheist coworkers hurt her back and because I did not mistreat her, she let me pray. God took all her pain away.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children,~Ephesians 5:1 (NLT).

The world has heard our sermons. Have they seen Jesus through us?

Do we respond to evil with the Spirit of Jesus? Do we see people God loves and desires to redeem? Or are we like the Pharisees, our hands are full of heavy stones and we are crying out to God to punish them? I will tell you sin alone is great punishment. Without Jesus, people will have ledgers marked with every sin. Do we care about their souls or just the way they treat us?

We also don’t need to beat people up with the bible. I saw this old movie years ago called Saved. It basically mocked Christians for hypocrisy and improper methods of evangelism. I have included a very short clip of the groups attempt to lead Mary back to Jesus. This involves beating her with an actual bible. The Gospel is Not A Weapon . It’s worth watching! It is about 5 minutes long.

I am not stating we condone sin.

I am not stating we condone immorality.

I am stating the way we deal with people can be part of the determining factors on whether they turn to Jesus or run from Him.

I am stating if we don’t live what we claim to believe it impacts the world. All of creation is groaning for sons and daughters of God to rise up and shine bright (Romans 8:19-23)!

We do have a small role to play. If we are hypocrites, hateful, only love people who are a certain way, then we demonstrate to the world that our God is that way. It misrepresents Jesus to the world.

Let’s look at what Jesus said (Luke 6:32-36 (AMP)

If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your[heavenly] Father is merciful.

Expecting people who don’t know Jesus to act like Jesus, is like asking a person who cannot swim to compete in Olympic swimming. They can not. We cannot. Unless we have the Spirit of God we will not manifest the likeness of His character.

Honestly, I have met numerous people in my lifetime in churches who claim Jesus and look and act nothing like Jesus. I have had some of them yell at me, leave my fellowships, act hateful and nasty because I actually taught them what Jesus said. I could write a mega book on mistreatment from professing believers. Shouting “Praise the Lord,” on Sunday and gossiping about you on Monday. I will not even unpack the prejudice, jealousy, competing, pettiness, sexism, sabotage, and racism that I have encountered with professing Christians.

My point is as follows, to expect the world or people who do not know Jesus to flow in tune with God is unreasonable. It is also unfair if we (Christians) are not willing to submit to God to act in ways that actually look like God and then tell others they need God. It confuses the world when the Gospel we teach is not the Gospel we live.

How we react to evil is important. We do not condone it. We do not agree with it. We also do not stoop to low levels of conduct and act in ways unbecoming of Jesus to deal with it. If we were committing evil or out of line, how would we want to be treated? Would we want to be cussed out and condemned? Or would we want someone to say, “I love you and there is a better way?”

I love that even the rebukes of Jesus come because He longs for us to be right with God. Sometimes I think in culture its about us being right and not about the person being right with God.

Love is who God is and how He operates. I appreciate every rebuke and correction of God. Mainly because when God corrects it is to restore. When people do it, sometimes (not always), it is simply a critical spirit or pride. It lacks love, lacks compassion, and lacks tact. A critical spirit can seem like discernment, yet it’s not. God reveals to heal and so we can intercede or help. A critical spirit is rooted in pride and loves pointing out the flaws of others while rarely seeing it’s own flaws.

I am praying I walk in authentic Christianity. Rather than pointing the finger at others, I am asking God to help me walk out authentic faith. When people encounter me, I hope they walk away saying, “I want to know the God you worship,” not “Oh my gosh, get this person away from me. Whoever they worship must be a flake or a freak.”

I actually had a conversation with God Sunday about the way the church represents Him. I put myself in the shoes of someone completely unchurched. Would I desire Jesus just based on my encounters with believers over the years? Other than my parents and a handful of people, well, probably not. Yes, I have met some amazing people, yet as a whole (the summary of my life in Christiandom) have seen a culture that loves those who are already on the path better than the sinner. I would not feel comfortable as a way out there sinner coming into a community of faith. I would not feel comfortable as someone who was labeled liberal or alternative. I would not feel safe. How can I say this? Because I have spent my life in churches and seen the way “outsiders” are treated by a good chunk of people. The person can be a “get them saved project” or “be nice to them only at worship gatherings-ignore otherwise.” Gosh, I have encountered people who withhold love from other Christians because they go to another church or align with another political party. I have seen some pretty amazing believers too, yet as a summary-just my thoughts, we can do better.

I think we (I) can do better by abiding in Jesus (John 15:4-5). We can pray for revival all day, yet if we are not revived internally and begin to actually manifest Jesus, I do not think we will positively impact the world. I hear people chant, “They just need to get saved and come to the church.” Yet, how are we going to treat them when they get there? Is anyone going to mentor or disciple them? Is anyone going to genuinely love, invest, and treat them like Jesus would? We want these millions of souls to come to know Jesus and join our churches, yet have we learned to love the people already right in front of us?

Love is the highest standard. God speaks truth in love. The devil will tell the truth in the wrong spirit to hurt people or inappropriate times to create issues. If you don’t believe demons and the devil can speak truth, read the passages where demons cried out Jesus was the Son of God and He silenced them because it was not His time (Luke 4:41), or the slave girl who followed Paul around speaking truth from the wrong source (Acts 16).

Bottom line-we overcome evil with good.

Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good,~Romans 12:21 (CSB).

Love,

Erin Lamb

Monday Encouragement

Revelation of God’s Heart Regarding Relationships (Encouraging Word).

Have you ever wondered how God feels about relationships, conflict, betrayal, loss, mistreatment? I have. I was taught that God loves the sinner (He does). There was far less focus on God loving the one sinned against. I was told to forgive (we should), keep giving, keep pouring out, keep investing because love never fails. What I found was a string of bad or one sided relationships. Yes I was loving. Yes I wad attempting lay my life down. Yes I was giving, giving, giving. I was also in a cycle of feeling unloved, used, abused, mistreated, and had no joy in those relationships. Mostly I wanted to escape those people yet felt obligated to stick with them because God is love.

I failed to realize God wants me to be loved in return. God created relationships to be mutually beneficial. He designed family, community, and what we call the church. It was never intended to be one sided, abusive, harmful, nor for people to be consumers. Love gives.

One of the issues present in our culture is things are being loved, and people are being used. God expects us to steward our lives and hearts. We, not God, must set boundaries. Boundaries are healthy and demonstrate love for ourselves. We love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Below are the words I sensed from God yesterday. Certainly weigh and test them. God wants you loved well!

The Lord spoke some profound things to my heart that I hope bless someone else.

“I will never bring someone into your life to abuse you, use you, manipulate you, or hurt you. People have free will and they do not always make the right choices. I desire that you are loved well! I desire that you are treated well, honored, celebrated, and cared for the way My Son loves you.

Gosh we love you and we are so honored to know you and call you beloved. I desire for your dreams to be fulfilled and EXCEEDED. I do not delight when people mistreat you. It brings great sorrow to My heart. People think because I can turn bad situations into good ones that I am the source of the bad things. Some believe I am an unloving Father, that I want the very least for them, that I enjoy struggle, pain, betrayal and loss. They do not understand My heart.

I LOVE My children MORE than anyone could love them. I want the VERY BEST for them. I want them to have JOY. I want them to see My heart for them through others whether that is through a spouse or friend or family.

I am deeply grieved when My children hurt each other, out of their brokenness, pride, insecurity, and lack of receiving My love. It is not My will that My children are abused, wounded, put down, rejected, abandoned, or left to suffer. I run towards the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.

Understand that I am for you. I will expose and move people away from you who seek to destroy your heart or life. I love them the same as I love you. I am also a protective Dad. I come to stand as an Advocate and the Lover of your soul.

I will remove you from people and situations where I gave you as a gift and they trampled that gift under foot. Just as I took the one talent from the unwise servant and gave it to the one with ten, I will remove you from unwise stewards of your heart and plant you in fertile, healthy soil. I will connect you with those who see your value, know their value, and will steward you as I intend.

I love you! I love you! I am for you!! You are a gift, My gift. You were carved out of My heart and bear the seal of My Son. You are our workmanship, created by Love, to be loved and then to love!

I want you to thrive in EVERY area of life! Love Dad.”

I believe this applies to each of us. God is a really good Father! God loves His children MORE than we could ever love ours. If we ask for bread, He will not give us a stone. If we who are sinful know how to give good gifts to our children, how much MORE will our heavenly Father who is perfect in love give us.

Love,

Erin Lamb

The Reason for the Season

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

My heart has been pondering the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost. He had His eyes fixed on people that others called outcasts or the unloveable. Jesus took on the role of a servant and loved sinful humanity. While yet sinners, Jesus died for us. What love, what a sacrifice.

I believe we can pay it forward by loving others this season. We can sacrifice something for someone else.

In my area, it is cold. It is winter time.

Though I am on ministry break, it does not stop the part of me that cares deeply for humanity. Ministry is not a job, it is a lifestyle of loving God and loving people. One does not simply turn love off.

While out looking for wrapping paper, getting a few things this week, I saw a man along side the road begging for food. Do you drive past and pretend you do not see, or stop for the one? I believe Jesus would stop for the one. I believe God would feed the one hungry and cold. Not just because it’s the season to love, but because God is love.

I saw a shivering, skinny, and lonely man begging for food. His face was downcast, maybe shame or despair have crept in on his heart. I saw someone Jesus loves.

I had no blessing bags in the car this time. I cleaned out my car it was starting to look like Costco!! For reals. I did have the chance to stop at Burger King to grab a hot meal for this man. What is one meal? It’s better than nothing. If he has not eaten in days, one meal is better than no meals. What is a short interaction on side of the road with a stranger? I think it’s a way to demonstrate to someone in a practical way that God sees them. God loves them.

Love does not just go away on vacation. It springs forward to do something, not everything-something.

This frosty season, maybe God will place an angel on your path who could just use a meal or hot chocolate. Maybe that person needs to see and hear that “God sees you. God loves you! I will pray for you.” Maybe that person needs to see and hear the Gospel (good news).

I don’t tell you these things so you think highly of me. I tell you because maybe it will place some of the invisible people on someone’s radar. Not everyone has a home this Christmas. Not everyone has a family. Some are hurting deeply and wondering where this good God is. If we are in Christ, God lives in us. The greatest gift abides in us and we can partner with God to pay it forward.

I cannot do everything. You cannot do everything! We cannot stop for everyone. We can do something!

We say Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, though He was born in Autumn. If it is truly the celebration of His birth, may we look for some way to bless Jesus. I believe He would be looking for someone else to bless on His birthday. His heart is unselfish and overflowing with love.

Matthew 25:40-42 The Passion Translation (TPT)

“And the King will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.’

“Then to those on his left the King will say, ‘Leave me! For you are under the curse of eternal fire that has been destined for the devil and all his demons. For when you saw me hungry, you refused to give me food, and when you saw me thirsty, you refused to give me something to drink,~Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Photos: Pinterest