Setting Healthy Boundaries

Morning Devotion: Setting Healthy Boundaries. God Sets Limits and Boundaries. Loving Ourselves Involves Setting Limits With People.

One of the areas of my life God has been infusing with wisdom the past years is boundaries. They are so vital. I learned people treat us the way we let them. What we tolerate continues. I learned people wanted me to be available to drop whatever was happening in my life for them with zero investment because I was too open, too helpful, overgave, over invested, and treated everyone like they were VIP. It appeared I did not value my time or resources so why should they? We must learn to demonstrate value for ourselves. It is not arrogance to value yourself. It is expected from God. Love your neighbor AS you love yourself.

I believe everyone is worthy of love, respect, dignity, and should be treated well. Everyone is not to have the same levels of access to us. Some people have general seating. Some have VIP. Some have no access at all. They are loved, they do not have access to the inner world, classified information, nor access to all my time.

I also learned kindness is telling people that their behavior is inappropriate. Some float through life destructive because they have never been corrected nor had any godly consequences.

My lack of wisdom nor strong boundaries caused numerous issues. The funny thing is, I had quite strong boundaries until I started doing ministry things. Then I was told to love, turn the other cheek, just keep being nice to Susie. Susie on the other hand was destructive, divisive, and creating strife in the church. Kindness was telling Susie, “We love you, God loves you. Your identity is not what you do. We would love to have you stay, yet this behavior is ungodly. What is going on in your heart that you behave this way? If you keep harassing people without repentance, we need you to leave.”

It is imperative that we:

1. Value ourselves the way God does.

2. Value the time and resources given by God and not waste them (everyone and everything is not our assignment-ask God for His assignments and to know when they are over/what the limits should be).

3. Address mistreatment when it occurs.

4. Set limits with people (no you may not call me at 2 am to download your problems, you may not pop in and out of my life and expect me to drop everything for you, no I am not your therapist, and no you may not treat me that way).

5. Assess who has and who should have access to us; what level of access is appropriate.

Access Level 1 (New Person/Toxic Behaving Person):

If it is someone we just met and do not know well, they do not need to know everything about us. People who gossip, are abusive, critical, or cruel also do not need to know everything. General information is appropriate. The amount of time we spend with them may be limited. The amount of info we share may be limited. They are on a need to know basis. In this level, we love the person without giving them full access to the house (our lives).

Access Level 2 (Associate):

This person has a bit more access. They may have more information and trust has been built over time. Associates are like branches on the tree. They do not hold much weight. They can break off and blow away like the wind.

Access Level 3 (Friend):

This person has demonstrated that they love, care, support, and want the best for you. Their actions are loving. They have more access to your time and life. This is a MUTUAL relationship. It is not one sided. Friends are invested on both sides. There is a level of trust on both sides. They have demonstrated with their actions, not just their words, that they are trustworthy and have your best interests at heart. These people can be stronger branches or like the trunk of a tree. They are helpful, supportive.

Access Level 4 (Close Friend/VIP):

This person you could trust with your life, deep inner world, and has more access to you. They are tried and true. They are fiercely loyal, supportive, truthful, loving, hopeful, and willing to sacrifice for you. Their actions are supportive of their words. You could leave your kids or bank account information with them, knowing no harm would come to you. I only have 2 of these people aside from my dad. These people are the roots of the tree. They may not be visible to everyone, yet they are to us. They are strong, supportive, reliable, not going anywhere.

We get into trouble when everyone is given the same access. My heart is just to LOVE people, for everyone to feel included. Yet love without wisdom is not God love. God loves us all; He still sets limits. I think one of the issues is the belief God just accepts anything from us so people should too. This is a lie!! The Old Testament gives us a great picture of what God requires. Jesus fulfilled the law. He did not abolish God’s requirements for access to Him nor His standard of holiness. Jesus gave us a new way, the only way to approach God and fulfill the requirements. Those who treat God loosely, without true respect and honor, will do the same to you. Those who believe God just accepts whatever they offer, will treat you the same way. Misunderstanding grace has produced some abusive people in churches.

Are we setting healthy boundaries? Are we tolerating unhealthy boundaries?

God expects us to love ourselves and set healthy boundaries. Boundaries are like a fence around our lives. People can see the beauty of our heart or lives, yet only invited guests are allowed inside. If they come inside to repeadily burn down the yard, they are escorted outside the fence. Their level of access changes.

May you and I not only love others, may we love ourselves.

Image: Sharon Martin Counseling

Love,

Erin Lamb

Upcoming Events:

I will be on the radio this Saturday night July 28, 2018 with Pastor Mike Zachman out of Seattle, WA. You may tune in from wherever you are. Call in, we would love to chat with you and pray for you.

I will be in Columbus, Ohio next month and would love to connect with you. See the info below. The event is free, just seeking a headcount for refreshments. Go to Empowered & Free and click on Upcoming Events.

Get Wisdom!

Morning Devotion: Gaining wisdom is vital to thriving. Let’s talk about relationships-great ones set you up to go further, draining ones sabotage efforts. God desires we have mutual and life giving relationships.

I had a very bad habit of giving people too much; too much access to me, too much availability, too much sacrificing for their benefit. They say you can never give too much-this is a lie.

Giving without wisdom is just as bad as not giving at all.

Giving in the wrong places, sowing into the wrong soil is just as bad as not sowing.

Let me break it down with examples. If I had a million dollars and gave it to someone who flushed it down the toilet, was that a good investment? No! They put the million dollars in the toilet and flushed it. They had no value for what was given to them. So they wasted it. Say they come back a few weeks later and asked for another million. It would be utter foolishness to give them another million. Yet let’s say you did and they flushed it down the toilet. They come back another time and ask for a million dollars. If you keep giving it to them, it’s pure foolishness.

How many times in Christian relationships is there a push to just give, give, and give with no wisdom? There is this push to give money, volunteer everywhere, give people-even toxic ones full access to your life, and just keep enduring abuse and mistreatment.

Jesus was not foolish. God is not foolish. God is a wise investor. Yes God allows His goodness to flow over the just and the unjust. God also invests wisely. God knows before He pursues us who we will become. God knew though Peter denied Jesus who he would become. God is purposeful, not aimless. There is a divine purpose behind everything God does and everything God allows. Even God has a boundary on who has full access to Him. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father unless they come through the Son.” God also has an expectation on His love. God tells us He expects to be loved in return. He freely gives us love. Love given relationship with God IS expected to be returned.

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

Jesus answered him, “‘Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.’ This is the great and supreme commandment. And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.’ Contained within these commandments to love you will find all the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:36-40.

We are actually told the greatest commandment is to love God. God anticipates mutual love. I know this is not always taught, yet it’s biblical. God loves without our love. He does not cease loving if we do. God still expects mutual love in relationship. I truly believe one of the reasons humans struggle with loving other people is due to a lack of understanding of how to love God. God is their Mr. Fix it, or trunk monkey. He is not someone they engage with just because they love Him. Therefore they do not know how to just love other people.

We are invited to be good to people, even our enemies. This does not mean we become unwise and foolish. Get wisdom the bible says.

A prudent person with insight foresees danger coming and prepares himself for it.

But the senseless rush blindly forward

and suffer the consequences,~Proverbs 22:3.

Say goodbye to a troublemaker and you’ll say goodbye to quarrels, strife, tension, and arguments, for a troublemaker traffics in shame,~Proverbs 22:10.

Walk away from an angry man or you’ll embrace a snare in your soul by becoming bad-tempered just like him,~Proverbs 22:24-25.

So stop fooling yourselves! Evil companions will corrupt good morals and character.[c]~1 Corinthians 15:32.

[c] 1 Corinthians 15:33 This is likely a quotation from the Athenian poet Menander (Thras. 218). Paul is using this quote to encourage the believers to stay away from those who deny the resurrection.

Some Examples:

If Suzie only calls you to download her issues and problems, when she is bored, and sucks up hours of your time needed elsewhere, why are you answering the phone? Suzie is responsible for her own life and you yours. Yes we pray for people. Yes we love people. We also set boundaries.

I have sent people to ministries that have 24/7 prayer support, told then to pursue a counselor or life coach or soul healing or told them I could no longer be their stand in crisis person. Why? I am not God. I don’t want to be Jehovah Jr. I have limited time, tons of obligations, my own issues, and limited emotional capacity. God has no limits. I can not do all things. I can do all things God purposes me to do. Everything and everyone is not my assignment, nor yours.

If we are not careful, people will put us into the God spot. We do not belong there. Only God can be God. We have some limitations.

If Lucy has a bad temper and goes off on you regularly, and you have addressed this behavior with her and she never apologies and continues to verbally abuse you, why are you hanging out with Lucy? Why? Lucy has demonstrated with her actions that she does not care about you. Continuing to pursue closeness with Lucy is not helping Lucy become a better person. Lucy knows no matter how poorly she treats you, you will be back for her to verbally beat up again.

I am going to say something that may be shocking. Love sets boundaries! I repeat, “Love sets boundaries.”

What are boundaries? This is where someone else’s freedom ends where ours begins. It is self care, not selfishness. It is saying, “I value myself and I value you.” It is also wise stewardship. God expects us to love ourselves. We are told to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Boundaries examine what God has placed inside us and around us that needs guarded from just anyone and everyone having access.

I love the phrase, “Build a fence, not a wall around your heart. People can see its beauty, yet not everyone has access.”

If we do not gain wisdom in relationships, we can end up in toxic, abusive, one sided, life sucking relationships. How can I say this? I have walked it out. I just wanted to love people and love lavishly gives without expectation of return (in my mind). Like Oprah’s giveaways, I was going around to any and everyone, “You get love, you get love, you get love.” I would befriend anyone and drop my priorities to help other people. I would take vacation to help other people. I learned the following:

1. Without boundaries people treat you like a doormat or worse; you are something to wipe their muddy feet on and they do not respect you. Lack of boundaries leads to mistreatment, being used, and sometimes even abuse.

2. God did not ask me or you to be the sacrificial lamb for everyone. We are to follow the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit. Yes give, yes love people, and also LISTEN to the Holy Spirit. I had an instance with street ministry where the Holy Spirit told me not to stop for this man begging. I did anyway thinking, “This could not be God. This man is in need.” That man was super nasty squared! God was trying to save me from wasting time, I refused to listen.

3. Some people and things are a distraction! Hear me again. They are a distraction. They come and suck up time and resources when God has other things for us to do or other assignments. Put some prayer on it. God do you want me connected to this? Everything that sounds good or looks good is not God. Learning to set limits and say no is vital.

“Thank you for your offer, I am unable to do that at this time.”

“Thank you so much for thinking of me. I am not able to participate.”

We can lovingly say no.

4. Lack of boundaries is a lack of love for self. I have always hated the love God, love your neighbor, then love yourself last. It is wrong. The true order is receive love from God, love ourselves and God, then love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. God expects us to love ourselves. How do we want to be treated? Why are we tolerating less than that?

5. Lack of boundaries fuels entitlement. Entitlement says, “This is owed to me.” Believe it or not, I have had people demand I be in relationship with them. Or they were quite toxic in choices, behavior and expected close friendship or tried to manipulate me into friendship. Ummmm no. Friendship and relationships are gifts, not obligations. We give thanks for relationships and try to steward them with love. They do not owe us relationship. If we are a poor steward, we may lose relationships.

There are people I love and pray for that do not have full access to me; their access is limited. They have shown repeadily that they are mean spirited, unrepentant, some hostile, and grossly selfish. If they were hungry, I would feed them. Naked, try to get them an outfit. I pray for them. I do not invite them to hang out and talk about my deep inner world. Why? They are going to trample it under foot or go flush it down the toilet. I do not drop my schedule anymore to help others unless God tells me too. I have priorities, obligations, and assignments from God.

This does not mean if someone needs 911 I ignore it. It does mean if I have project work to do and someone needs a ride they can call Uber. It does mean some calls can go to voicemail. It does mean I give people tools to see their own personal breakthrough. It does mean I don’t drop what I am doing for everyone. If I did, I would be driven by people not the Holt Spirit. It does mean I now take a year or so to assess people before I share my inner world-call them a friend.

I have offered way too many people friendship who came into the garden of my heart, poured gasoline, and lit it on fire. They were destructive. I am not wounded nor jaded. I learned something.

I stopped initiating with people who never ever initiated with me or only contacted me if I first contacted them or gave them something or they need something. I learned. Oh baby did I learn.

When people show us who they are, I believe them. I believe what people show me. I am not criticizing nor putting them down. I am assessing a situation based on the evidence. I then set boundaries based on who they are, not what they say. People can chant, “I love you all day,” yet their actions scream indifferent, just here for what I can get, or hostile. Yes we look for the gold, we also gain wisdom! We also function with discernment. We learn to hear and follow the Holy Spirit.

Finally, God wants us connected to people who will steward our hearts, time, and resources like He would. God takes NO delight in toxic relationship. Would we want our children mistreated? Hopefully no. God’s heart is far bigger than ours. God loves His children FAR more than we do.

Activation:

1. If you have children or had a child, what kind of friends would you want them to have? Write it out. Do your friends match that list? Are you that type of friend?

2. Assess who gets most of your time or resources? How are they stewarding what is given? You can waste time with those who have no value for what you offer. How can you better steward the time and resources?

-I have pulled back from super investing as a mentor in people who do absolutely nothing with what is given to them. Why? There are other people who will steward it well.

Bless you! Have an amazing Saturday!

Love,

Erin Lamb

P.S Be sure to check out my latest book Confident & Free Paperback and Confident & Free ebook. If you wish for a signed copy and love in the USA or Canada, please stop by my business website Lamb Enterprises LLC (Live Empowered & Free).

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

Look At the Fruit (Character Matters)

Photo: Devon Franklin

Morning Thoughts: A tree produces fruit of it’s roots. Look at fruit, not just the words people speak or the title they carry.

The bible talks about wolves in sheeps clothing (Matthew 7:15) and we are to test things (1 John 4:1) and examine fruit (Matthew 7:18). Yet over the years I have seen countless people become enamored with people with poor character. Yes they may be gifted, talented, they may even preach well or see miracles. Yet they are not even remotely like Jesus in their treatment of people, character, lifestyle.

We are not to put people on pedestals and worship them. No matter their title or clout or what they say, we are to worship God and God alone. We are to examine character and test fruit. We are to look at how that person lives, treats others, behaves. It’s not passing judgement; it’s exercising wisdom.

We are also to test prophetic words, sermons, counsel and the things people speak into our lives or the lives of others. Does it align with scripture? Does it align with the character of God? In order to test something against the word and character of God we must study the bible with God and pursue knowing God for ourselves.

Discernment is more than knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

The purpose of examining fruit is not to throw stones nor develop a superiority complex. It provides wisdom so you know who to invite into deeper fellowship, who needs to sit at the inner table, and who’s counsel is valid.

It is also beneficial to invite God to examine our hearts and lives. What is the fruit coming off our tree? Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, meekness (strength under control), and self control. What is our character? Are we trustworthy, faithful, loving, truthful, compassionate, unselfish, a servant, good to people, honoring, righteous, full of integrity?

No person is perfect, perfection is not the goal, yet we can save ourselves loads of heartache if we pay attention to fruit. We can also grow in maturity if we invite God to deal with us so we look, behave, and love more like Jesus.

Love in Christ,

Erin L. Lamb

Test Every Spirit/Voice (Abiding & Intimacy with God Part 7)

  
Image created with Wordswag, used with permission. 

The Bible is very clear that we are to discern, use wisdom, and test every spirit. Everything we hear, see, and are taught is not necessarily God. 1 John 4:1 is very clear, it states, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 

Do we understand what testing involves? Do we know who God is so when people come with their messages about God we filter them through our own relationship with God?  Do we know the character of God? Do we know the word of God? God does not violate His word. He expands our understanding, He does not violate His principles. 

Over the years I have heard and seen many people led into ditches because they thought they were following God. They were led by their own   hearing/sensing/feelings/thoughts or by someone else’s. Some were led into cults. Some had relationships or ministries destroyed. Some abandoned hearing from God all together-“It is too messy. I can not hear from God. God does not speak. Too many crazies saying they hear from God!” 

God does speak. What gets people in trouble is not testing what they hear, see, think, or are taught. The devil speaks too. He pretends to be God. He will give people thoughts that start with, “I” so they believe it is their thought or feeling. The flesh also has a voice. So sometimes what people think or say is God is truly flowing from their own soul (mind, will, emotions). The soul is sometimes broken and therefore speaks out of it’s brokeness. 

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks,~Luke 6:45 (NKJV). 

Example, my earthly father has brown skin. He is a pastor and Chaplain. One day a man said to him, “You know! I am so glad colored people get to go to heaven, too bad we will be on seperate sides!” What this man was saying was there was a white’s only section in heaven. 

Lets review this word with the Bible. 

God is not white (Caucasian, European). God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). When God decided to put on flesh through His Son, Jesus came through the lineage of the Jews. He came through the tribe of Judah-one of the 12 tribes of Israel (Matthew 1:1-13). 

Jesus had no earthly father-He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and came through the womb of Mary (Matthew 1:18). 

Jesus was born in the Middle East/Africa region (Matthew 2:1). He was not European though He is painted that way. 

The Bible also tells us every tribe, nation, and tongue will be represented in heaven (Revelation 5:9), and there is no mention in all of scripture of segregation or God prefering people with paler skintones or European ancestry. You read of God’s love for all humanity and see His favor on the Jewish people (who were not European Jews) and His extention of that favor to the Gentiles. 

All the information I shared with you is in the Bible. The man who spoke this to my father claimed to be a Christian. Where did his thoughts on heaven come from? I have no clue. I will say it is very important we take the things people say, the things we hear in our own minds, things we see…to the word of God. 

My friends could not understand my outrage over the Noah movie that came out a few years ago. I love all people, yet the film was a gross misrepresentation of the heart of God, the character of God, the roles/functions of demons, and painted a horrible picture of Noah and God (called Creator). 

Lets get you going on testing things…

Let’s start with the basics. Who is God. What is He like? 

  • God is holy. He does not sin nor lead people into sin (1 Peter 1:16). 
  • God is love (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish love) (1 John 4:8). 
  • God has a will and it is perfect (Romans 12:2, Matthew 7:21-23). 
  • God is honest, He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19).
  • God comforts and encourages (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). 
  • God redeems and offers grace/mercy to the repentant (Isaiah 47:4, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Acts 3:19). 
  • God speaks and communicates with His children (John 10:27). 
  • God is after relationship/intimacy with humanity (John 17:21-23).
  • God alone is worthy of worship (Revelation 4:11). 
  • God gives hope (Romans 15:13). 

There are certainly more verses and   characteristics about God. Open the Bible and research who He is. 

When something pops up in your head, you have a thought, are given a word/prophetic word/sermon/insight/a book, what do you do with it? 

The Bible says take every thought captive and make it obedient to the word of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). Get in the word. I do not just take what pastors, leaders, people say and run with it. Where is it in the Bible? Where does God say this is good? Does this draw me closer to God or to sin? Do I have hope? Is there redemption? 

Today people say sex outside a natural born man and woman in lifelong covenant is okay. Yet there is not one scripture to support it. Scriptures on sexual conduct-(Leviticus 18, 1 Corinthians 6:18, 20, Proverbs 6: 27-29, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 5:3-4, 1 Corinthians 7:2, Romans 1:26-27). 

The world says do what feels good to you. The Bible says, “Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Jesus,” (Matthew 16:24) 

Born again believers are also told to be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14-17). The Holy Spirit in a born again believer will bear witness to what is God. It still needs tested and weighed against the Word of God and character of God. 
I have heard countless people say God told them something or to do something that was not fitting the mold of His character and violated His word. 

Examples: 

A lady who told me the Holy Spirit told her to never read the Bible just listen to his voice. Wrong. Scripture says, “Study to show yourself approved,“~2 Timothy 2:15. And there are many encouragements in the Bible to read and study the words of God and His stories. 

A man who said the Holy Spirit told him to change his gender and approved of his homosexual relationship. Please go through and read all the verses on sexual conduct. There is not one and I looked, verse or passage that says, “It is good for a man to have sexual relations with a man.” The Bible states that it is not good. Nor are there any Bible verses that state the gender of a person is flexible. None that state God didn’t know what He was doing so we get to choose. Actually what it says is…”Who are you, mere human beings to argue with God? Should the thing that was created, say to the one who Created it, “Why did you make me this way?“, Romans 9:20. 

A lady who felt God had given her the wrong husband so she cheated with another married man. Wrong. God does not tell people to not commit adultery in His Word (Exodus 20:14) then say, “Oh for you, I will make an exception.” God is not double minded. 

She hurt her husband and destroyed two families, hurt her reputation as a believer, stained the views of those around her of God. God brought restoration through repentance to both families. Yet she followed a lie and did not hold up her thoughts/feelings/urges to the word of God. 

There are also far too many personal experiences I have had with people speaking things into my life or over me that were not God. 

So here are my tests for releasing  things/testing things: 

  • Does it align with Scripture? 
  • Does it align with the character or nature of God? 
  • Does it convey a message of love and holiness?
  • Is God exalted? Or the person speaking? 
  • Will this draw someone closer to the heart of God? Do I feel drawn to the heart of God by what was said or shown me? 
  • Does the Holy Spirit in me agree with this? 
  • Is this growing my knowledge or the other person’s knowledge of God?
  • How would I feel if someone said this to me? Or about me? 
  • If it is a correction word, is there redemption? Or does it simply leave the person feeling hopeless, discouraged, or depressed. 

I take things to God,”Okay God, the pastor or leader or person said this, where is this in the Word of God? What is Your truth? What are we keeping? What are we shelving? What are we tossing?”

If I have a relationship with the person or feel it’s necessary,I provide feedback so there can be growth. If I do not have relationship with that person (they are on tv, etc.), I pray. Everyone is learning, growing, and there’s mercy and grace. Lord knows I need it. I am learning too! 

I do not make a public campaign to smear the person. I do not gossip about them or put them down. We are called to test/judge words. We are called to test/discern every spirit. We are called to love people. Love prays. Love corrects to restore. 

God bless you! 

Erin Lamb 

God is Undefeated! You can be too!!

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you,~2 Corinthians 4:8-12.

This is a message that I hope encourages you this week to feast on good things. Just as the body places on display what we have been eating, our lives often manifest what we have been feasting on spiritually and mentally. The battle is in our mind.

God is the source of all things good. Apart from Him we can do nothing. If we lack joy, peace, hope, wisdom, provision, vision, or anything good…He is the place to go.

Have you ever fasted? If you have, you know that your body craves food. There are hunger pains and physical manifestations of starvation. When we don’t spend time with God, our spirit has spiritual pains. They manifest in angry outbursts, worry, fear, anxiety, lust, imbalance, negative thoughts, critical of self and others.

We need God more than air, water, food.

So, what are we feasting on?

Continual communion with God leads to peace…love…joy…,and He will highlight people around us that need what we carry.

I’d love to tell you that I always think or meditate on beautiful things…but I don’t…Daily I have to pull down negative thoughts and train my brain to meditate on God’s Words. And it’s a process with the Holy Spirit.

Thoughts pop up like…

No one cares what you have to say
You talk about God too much
God made you wrong
You’re weird
You are never going to be able to do this
People don’t value or love you
This is hopeless or futile
What do you have to show for your life?
You’ve wasted so much of your life on helping other people, who’s helping you?
Loving this person has been a waste of time
You mess up all the time, why bother…

Many of these thoughts come in first person. I have to rebuke and cast down thoughts…and for some thoughts it’s not as easy. I can’t feast on them, meditate on them, or allow them to take root in my spirit. My spirit needs to feast in God’s truth, it superceeds my opinion or anyone else’s.

Negative thoughts are minimized by meditating on God’s word, reading previous prophetic words, professing and proclaiming God’s truth, and by simply being with God all day-aware of His Presence, inviting His Presence, soaking, and basking in His Presence.

“What we are feasting on mentally and spiritually is what we will attract. Hence gossips attract other gossips…Lustful people attract other lustful people…angry people attract other angry people. We give authority to a defeated enemy by agreeing with him with our thoughts and words. Our thoughts and words attract forces in the unseen world around us. The enemy has power. He has no authority. Jesus took back all authority the enemy gained in the Garden. The enemy does go around looking for those with authority to agree with him. Once he gets you into agreement with his lies, he uses your authority to impact the spiritual and natural environment around you,”~Bill Johnson.

Father I ask that we live connected to the Vine. Without You we can do absolutely nothing. Thank You for another day. Thank You for giving us authority in your Name. Thank You for raising us up and seating us in heavenly places with Your Son Jesus. Thank You for putting the enemy under our feet, for making us the head and not the tail. Thank You for paying for healing, restoration, deliverance, freedom, and every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Thank You for giving us the keys to the Kingdom. Thank You for ALL Jesus paid for and may we live appropriating it to every moment and area of our lives. May we live empowered and empower others. Use us in mighty ways to be blessing to every person around us. We are Your children and ALL we needed was purchased on the cross. Help us to believe it, grasp it, cling to it, live in it, and walk it out. You are the undefeated God. May we live undefeated. Nothing is ever impossible for You!

May we live in such a way that people say, “There was no light before you came and no darkness when you left!”

Have a great week.

Love,

Erin

What’s it Gonna Cost (Following Jesus)

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The Bible says a wise person counts the cost (Luke 14:28-32). What does it cost to follow Jesus? It will cost you everything. God wants your heart, your time, your talents, your mind, your relationships, your pure devotion. It’s not about beating ourselves into submission to His will. It’s about falling in love with the One who loved us first and allowing that love to catapult us into reckless abandon.

All of this life, for the believer, centers around God.

Walking with Jesus might cost you relationships or friendships. The Bible is very clear about not being unequally yoked (spiritually incompatible in marriage) or hanging with people who are pulling you away from God.

Walking with Jesus might cost you time, energy…to serve those around you. Will we do it even if they don’t appreciate it? Will we do it when it’s inconvenient or painful for us? Will we do it out of love, to put someone else first? Will we do it when no one sees and there’s zero credit given to us? Will we serve those who have hurt, abused, neglected, or betrayed us?

Walking with Jesus will lead you to purity…denying fleshly desires to pursue holiness.

Walking with Jesus will cost you popularity. Not everyone loved Jesus. And if everyone loves what we have to say, we might not be preaching the Gospel. The disciples and Jesus were fiercely persecuted for their faith.

Walking with Jesus will cause you to be misunderstood. There are people who will be offended, hurt, angered, and feel rejected by your love for Jesus.

Walking with Jesus even in Christian community can be lonely. You will often have to rely heavily on the Holy Spirit because He never grows weary or tired. He never sleeps or slumbers. He is the source, everything and everyone else a resource.

Walking with Jesus may cost you your dreams. What if what God has for you is better than what you’ve dreamed up or thought of? What if God’s answer doesn’t match your prayers? God does exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ask or imagine. His will is perfect, even when we don’t understand it.

Walking with Jesus will cost you your pride…to give, forgive, sacrifice, and take the role of a servant.

Walking with Jesus will cost you comfort. He never promised a life without trouble. Life hurts at times. Sometimes it’s excruciatingly painful and disappointing. He did promise to never leave or forsake us. He did promise to work things for good. Even if it doesn’t happen here and now. We will see Him face to face in all His glory. No pain. No sorrow! Just joy!!!!

It’s gonna cost us everything to truly follow Jesus! I can say this with great confidence, He’s worth it ALL! I’ve found no greater love, friend, encourager, or Savior!

I have days where I need to hear Him say, “You and I will be together forever in paradise.” And I long for heaven with an intensity I can’t explain. There have been days, nights, and sometimes weeks of just grieving with God. So I can say with great confidence…no matter what you face or how bad it hurts…GOD is fighting for you, praying for you, and nothing you suffer will be wasted if you place everything in His hands. No matter what you lose, He’s willing to offer you all of Himself. It won’t remove all pain from loss, but it will infuse you with strength to continue on.

Give it all friends! Jesus is the greatest reward and how He loves us so!!!

Love in Christ,

Erin

You are loved. You’re in my heart and prayers.