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

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

Weekend Devotion (God Wants Relationship) 

Photo: Nay Crumors 

Morning Devotion: Knowing God (intimacy with God) is the most important thing…Not church attendance, tithing, church affiliation, serving, or being entertained. God is after personal, intimate relationship. 

Being with God, knowing God, trumps doing for God. Being is to lead to doing with the motivation to love God and others. 

When intimacy with God and knowing His heart and character are removed from Christianity you end up with powerless religion. 
We can spend our lives in church, paying tithes, doing Christian stuff, having great worship, and go to hell (totally miss God). How can I say this? Well, it came straight from the mouth of Jesus. Read Matthew 7:21-29, Matthew 25:31-46. 

Religion void of relationship leads to idolatry and oppression. The Pharisees had religion not relationship with God. 

Mankind without connection to the Vine (Jesus) yields no good fruit. See John 15:4-5. There is a form of godliness in religion void of transformative power and genuine agape love. That’s why the Bible was used as an excuse to kill millions of Native born Americans (First Nations people) or enslave Africans (deny them any human rights) or abuse women and deny them equal rights. So many horrific things have been done under the mask of “Christianity,” yet Jesus made it very plain. He stated, “You will know My followers by their agape love.” See John 13:35. 

Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10). Love is holy and without any sin, including selfishness the most destructive sin. Love involves freedom and equality. Love is not rude nor full of mean sarcasm. Love builds up. Love gets low to serve not seeking to be served. Love has no prejudice. Love honors even the dishonorable. Love seeks the best interests of others. Love possesses humility (others matter). Love does not seek to dominate, control, hurt, harm, abuse, use, or harass others. 

There is a huge difference between someone who claims God and someone who knows God. The one who knows God grows to resemble God (1 John 4:8). Some of what we call Christianity is not about Jesus at all. It is traditions of men and void of God’s love, purity, and power. 

God invites us to know Him. All the other things flow out of knowing God. If I am intimate with God, I will want to give. If I am intimate with God, I will grow more loving. If I am intimate with God, I will want to fellowship with other believers. If I am intimate with God, I will want to serve. If I am intimate with God, I will want to share the Gospel. If I am intimate with God, I will humble myself and serve others. If I am intimate with God, the fragrance on my life will draw others to Him. Our strength lies in intimacy with God. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

Unconditional Love vs. Unconditional Approval

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What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,a that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God, Romans 6:1-10.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives, Hebrews 12:6 and Proverbs 3:12.

I recommend reading the entire book of Romans in one sitting. I have included parts of Chapter 6. There’s a scary phenomenon I’ve seen on blogs and some Christian websites that say because we are saved by faith we can live however we want. It’s true God allows us to make choices. It is incorrect that God approves of a lifestyle of sin. God never approves of sin.

He forgives our sins. When we confess our sins and seek repentance, He washes away our sins. God is 100 percent holy and just. There would have been no reason to send Jesus to the cross if He were okay with us living any way we want. Sin carries with it the penalty of death, but the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). Someone without sin had to pay for our sins. Jesus did that for us so we could be raised from spiritual death to life.

God did what we could not do. And the righteousness of Jesus is imputed to those who believe by faith and follow Him. Following Jesus involves obedience, not to earn righteousness or approval, but out of love for Him. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you’ll keep My commandments,” John 14:15.

God loves us no matter what we do. His love is agape, unconditional. He does not approve of or delight in sin. He never has and never will. It violates His nature as holy. His unconditional love is not unconditional approval. Jesus didn’t throw away the law, He fulfilled it and gave us His Spirit to empower us to live differently. Being born again means being given a new nature. We are no longer slaves to sin and sin becomes uncomfortable or unnatural.

Just as a human parent does not approve of their child disobeying, getting in trouble, abusing others or themselves, God does not delight in evil. He wants the best for us. He corrects us knowing sin is destructive. He’s not out to get us, but to help and protect us. Adam and Eve didn’t listen and we are still suffering from their choices. Sin is not our friend.

Key notes:

There is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. Out of love He corrects us and leads us away from sin. He never approves of sin.

Grace empowers us to live righteous lives because of Christ in us. He changes us from the inside out.

Following Jesus includes making Him Lord over every area of our lives.

God doesn’t come to shame or condemn, but to convict and restore.

Jesus died for our freedom from sin!

Sweet friends, no matter the struggle, if our hearts long to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit will lead us on a path to becoming like Him. We don’t strive, we abide and follow. God loves us too much to leave us the same. If we harden our hearts it can lead to destruction (Romans 1:28). It is in our best interests to submit to God in every way.

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The Eyes of Love

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Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love,~1 John 4:8.

There are so many verses in the Bible that tell us God is love. I thought when I started talking about God’s love people would rejoice about it! I mean He seems too good to be true, but He is not. He is better than good. I’ve found many people want God to be angry. They want God to punish the world. Many see Him as cold, cruel, unfeeling, unconcerned, weak, etc….Many people pick up old testament verses about God’s wrath and run with them.

Don’t get me wrong, God is perfect in holiness. He has the ability to give and take life. We honor Him, respect Him, and understand that without salvation we are lost and will pay the full penalty for sin. He is not a weak kitten; He is a consuming fire. He is passionate about justice. He cares how we treat Him and others. He is not a pushover. He is also not a bully. He made Himself vulnerable to us. He gave us a way to be close to Him.

If God is so good, why do we (humans) have such a hard time believing it…

1. We know God by faith. We must believe in order to receive. If we don’t believe in God, everything we see in the world will be filtered through that unbelief. If we don’t believe God loves us, our circumstances will validate our unbelief. Here’s an example. Have you ever met a person who believes the world is bad, people are bad, everything is bad? I have. They believe everyone is out to get them. So, anything that happens is filtered through that belief. I had a lady tell me that I did not like her as much as other people and she was convinced everything I did was to leave her out. On my end, I did like her. Anytime she felt slighted there was a logical explanation. She wasn’t a target for me. She believed she was the target, therefore her unbelief clouded her vision. If we believe God is angry, we will take our circumstances and make them fit that belief. If we believe God is good, then we view our circumstances through the lens of His goodness.

Example from life…

My car accident in January cost me a car and increased my expenses. If I think, God hates me, He is punishing me….then yes…that is what I will take away. If I think God loves me…He saved my life…I could have died…I have a nicer car…maybe the other car was about to break down and now I have a higher value for a totaled car than a trade in…then that is what I take away. What we believe is powerful.

2. We’ve had horrible experiences with people, especially Christians or parents. I wish it weren’t so, but people are sinful. People have done more to push people away from God than we’d imagine. None of us are perfect so we rely on grace. If a person has a horrible encounter with their parents or people who claim to know God, it can taint the view that God is love. Our parents are supposed to love us unconditionally as God does. Together they are to show us what love is. When they don’t, we have a hard time relating to God.

Christian means imitator of Christ. When we (Christians) fail to represent God’s love, we miss an opportunity for people to know how good He is. We can help push people away from God.

3. We’ve misread the Bible. People debate over the Bible all the time. I can say with true conviction that God is love. There are tons of verses on God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, desire for us, compassion, and grace. He does not love us in the way we may think, meaning our world’s belief that love means live as you please (that’s not real love by the way).

God has made the appropriation for all sin by sending His Son. I wouldn’t die for people I care nothing about. I would not send my son to die for people I did not like. I would not invite someone into relationship that I could not stand. God LOVES us.

4. We’ve based God’s love off our feelings or circumstances. If I wrote out for you my testimony you might question how I could say God is love. My circumstances have not always pointed to this truth. It is truth despite circumstances, feelings, or what we see. God is love, and He does and will work all things together for the good of those who love Him,~Romans 8:28.

5. We think love is a life with no pain and getting whatever we want, whenever we want it. I’ve met many people who say, “If God loved me then I wouldn’t have to go through this, or if God loved me, this would not have happened, or if God loved me, He would give me__________.” God loves us so much. He is not, however, obligated to do whatever we demand of Him. The Bible does not tell us a life with God means no pain. Jesus told us, in the world we would have trouble but to take heart as he has overcome the world. God’s love is not based on what He gives us, what He does for us, etc…Love is who He is. His love cannot change. We can’t see why He allows certain things to happen. I do know if He allows it, He brings something good from it. Read the book of Job, it’s encouraging.

Lastly, I will say if we ask for a deeper revelation of God’s love, we will begin to see it. It’s always on full blast and pointed in our direction. I believe it’s blocked many times by our unbelief. It’s there, we just can’t see it.

Papa, I pray any areas of our hearts that are not open to receiving Your love are softened. May we know the height, the depth, the width, and the vast expanse of Your love. When we see You, may we see love, the eyes of love. In Jesus name, Amen.

Love,

Erin

 

My Hero (The Perfect Father)

I told you last time I would post at least two blog posts about my walk with God. Here’s number two. I hope my journey inspires you to want to know God in a deeper way, to trust Him even when it seem illogical to do so, and to fall in love with a hero.

I grew up in a home with a pastor and Sunday school teacher. We will call them papa W and mama J. Two people who shared love with every person they met. Looking back, our home was filled with love and joy. I don’t recall an unhappy moment. Though they shared the good news with me, it wasn’t until I was 7 years old that I encountered Jesus. It was Easter and my family decided to watch the Easter movie. As a 7-year-old I was simply excited to spend time with parents. I had no idea my life was about to change. There’s this point in the film where Jesus is about to go to the cross. He’s beaten, mocked, and though not as graphic as recent films, it touched my heart. “He did that for me,” were the words that came out of my mouth. And I wept. I had met my hero, Jesus. He was willing to take on the sins of the world so I could have eternal life. I knew at seven; I wasn’t sin free. I did not always do what was right. I was a good kid, but I knew I wasn’t perfect, not like God. Here was my hero taking nails for me. He took my punishment so I wouldn’t have to. He was perfect for me and that was a good deal.

Well, a year later my biological mom came to take me with her. We’ll call her mama M. I had met her before. I knew who she was. However, I never thought in a million years I would have to leave my parents and go with her. She had tried for years to get me back and this time she won. The day I left mama J and papa W was a day I will never forget. Seeing my dad cry and the look of devastation on his face is still in my memory. I still recall looking through the back window of the car, my heart in a million pieces. As we drove away from the farm-house I could only think, “What will life be like now?

Mama M is a good woman. So, please don’t judge her. She and my biological father were married. When she was 8 months pregnant with me, he bailed. He decided he didn’t want to be married or have children. He left her. Papa W offered to adopt me to help out and she could have me back when she finished college and was able to rebound.

As a child you’re looking for a hero. I thought my hero had bailed. Where was God? Where was this loving God? I’d lost a stable home with two parents? I had no idea where my biological father was or why he’d abandon a pregnant woman and his child. I begin to grow angry with God. Yep, angry. Outwardly, I was the perfect kid. I did what I was told. I got great grades in school. However, inside my heart grew more and more cold.

Mama M and I were as different as night and day. She’s not emotional. She’s extremely logical. She rarely shows weakness. She’s tough. I was a marshmallow. I learned from her not to cry, to be strong. I learned to be better than everyone else at school work because I needed to show the world what I was made of. I learned from Mama M to strive to be the best. So, I put those things on God too. God must have wanted me to suck it up and deal with life. God must have demanded perfection, and I needed to shape up. The truth is, God required none of those things. Since I believed He did, I became even more angry with Him. Why? I could not be perfect. Every time I tried and strived, I failed. He became cold, unfeeling, and stern in my eyes. I still refused to turn away from Him completely, as hell didn’t sound enticing. But He wasn’t my hero. I believed a lie that I needed to be good in order to receive God’s approval since that is what I needed to do for certain people in my life. It’s a lie that is crippling and damaging. God’s love is freely given. We don’t earn His favor. It’s a gift. Jesus was perfect for us so we rely on His righteousness and not our own.

So, when did God come to the rescue and become my champion again? It started with a boy. I told you last post I had to ditch him due to his verbal abuse. Well, he didn’t start out that way. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been with him. At first he was charming, loving, and sweet. Awe, until he wasn’t. He wanted to get married and ride off into the sunset. I was still working on two engineering degrees at the time and the workload had me swamped. Getting married wasn’t even in my mind. He kept insisting it was the right path. So, I prayed. Yes. I got down on my knees in my room and asked God (who I was still angry with) if I should marry this man. Funny thing happened. Our relationship went from okay to awful. The more I prayed, the worse things were. Hmm….that’s not good. I kept praying because I needed an answer. Feel free to laugh. One day in deep prayer (means longer than 2 minutes), I cried out to God, “Should I marry him?” And I heard a voice with my natural ears say, “NO!” I at first thought I was losing my mind. I had never heard God speak. At the time I thought, “God only spoke to people in the Bible.” He spoke to priests and holy people. He wasn’t talking to me. Maybe it wasn’t God, I resolved. But it was. Sometimes God speaks to us and other times He speaks through our circumstances. He saved me from hitching my life to someone who was not good for me. I should have seen with my own eyes, but He made sure I knew the answer was no.

Since then He’s saved my life a few times; from allergic reactions to medication during a routine surgery which almost killed me, to changing flights prior to September 11 (I was supposed to be leaving for Florida that day and changed my flight to leave days earlier. For some reason I couldn’t book the flight for the 11th), to being trapped in a car under water and getting out even when 911 didn’t show up. He (my hero) kept stepping in to save my life. Some could call the incidents flukes or luck, but I know they were God. I’ve had too many moments where my life was spared. I’ve seen Him do amazing things through prayer. Even when I was angry with Him, He still loved me and continued to pursue my heart. When I was in college and quite broke and hungry, He’d send random people to give me money or food. He became my best friend. When I had no real friends, God was there for me. Gosh, my heart’s been through the ringer but God’s always been there. He never left my side. He heals. He saves. He delivers. Jesus is my hero.

Looking back as a child I could have simply believed God was love and experienced His love. I could have rested in my identity as His child. I had no grid for what that meant, so I took the long road. I learned more by experience. Being angry with Him was not beneficial for me, however He didn’t seem offended by my misunderstanding of who He was. He didn’t send His wrath down to teach me a lesson. God loved me right where I was. He didn’t condemn. He extended grace, love, and mercy. He was loving me all along, I just couldn’t always see it. I was blinded by pain and hurt. Neither of those things kept Him from pursuing my heart.

So, my friends. As you embark on this journey with me to know His heart, I hope and pray you dive in deeper with Him. If you’re angry with Him or don’t understand Him, talk to Him. It may seem like you are talking to the air, but you’re not. He’s listening. Keep talking. Keep seeking Him. He will speak to you. He will answer. My prayer is that He reveals His great love for you in ways that you’ve never imagined. God loves you. He is for you. He is not intimidated by your anger, sin, or failings. He is merciful, kind, compassionate, loving, forgiving, and your biggest advocate. Thanks for reading my longest blog post ever. You’re in my thoughts, in my heart, and forever in my prayers…

You are deeply loved!

Who’s My Father? (The Perfect Father)

The Perfect Father

By Erin Lamb, all rights reserved

Dear friends, I am so excited about this series on God as the Perfect Father. One thing that stirs my heart is the misrepresentation of God’s heart. He doesn’t need anyone to defend Him. However, I’m passionate about His heart being accurately portrayed. Why you may ask? I’m surrounded by people who don’t know God. Some claim to be atheists, some believe God hates them, some are so overwhelmed with shame they can’t imagine a loving God, and some have been told God is a cruel task master. My heart aches for the world to know how GOOD God is. So, as we embark on this journey together, here are some things I’d love for you to ponder.

1. All human beings were created in God’s image and are His children. He is the Father of all creation (Genesis 1). Some of His kids are reconciled through Jesus and some have yet to be reconciled or may refuse His love. In His heart every child has value. God is daily pursuing reconciliation with His kids.

2. God’s parenting is perfect, we just don’t always experience His love. He has been misrepresented by humans. Our earthly parents may have failed but He is perfect. Developing a personal relationship with Him is the only way to fully know His heart. No person can have the relationship for us, we must accept His invitation for ourselves.

3. God knows all, sees all, and hears all. I’ve heard people say they are too far gone for God to bless or love them. Well, here’s a thought to ponder…God knew everything you would do before you were born. He is not limited by time or space. You were His idea. Your parents were His idea. He loved you before you were born. He loves you today. There’s nothing you can do to change His love!

Prayer for you:

Father I ask for every person who visits this site to have an encounter with Your heart. May they have a deeper revelation of Your love as their loving Father. For those who don’t know You, may they be reconciled to You, the One who loves them most.

P.S You are deeply loved and have a loving Heavenly Father!