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Tag Archives: Wisdom

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

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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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 

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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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

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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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.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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A Greater Yes

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Last post I wrote about when God says no. It’s easy with Christianity to focus on what God says no to instead of what He says yes to. If we entered into a relationship with God only to be given a list of rules, it would not be a blessing. So, today I want to talk about the blessings that come from being with God.

Redemption in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him, Ephesians 1:3-10.

The Blessings of God

Forgiveness. God gives us forgiveness of sins. All of our sins have been paid for on the cross. Jesus paid the penalty for all sin. Why is this a blessing? It’s a blessing because the wages of sin is death. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 6:23. If we are not forgiven, we are not saved from eternal separation from God. We cannot save ourselves. We need God and His forgiveness.

God is not like us. We forgive and cannot forget. God removes the stains of sin forever. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us, Psalm 103:12. I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more, Isaiah 43:25. God gives us a clean slate. Not only does God forgive us our sins, He gives us freedom from being slaves to sin. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness, Romans 6:18.

Relationship. God is after a relationship, not our rule keeping. He invites us to have a fruitful and blessed relationship with Him. Jesus paid the price so we could have full access to God.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me, John 14:6.

In Him (Jesus) and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence, Ephesians 3:12.

Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me, John 15:4.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need, Hebrews 4:16.

This relationship comes with so many benefits. God is our Provider, Advocate, Helper, Healer, Wise Counsel, Wisdom, Redeemer, Friend, and so much more. We have the opportunity to have a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe.  Also all the things He asks us to do, He gives us His Holy Spirit to enable us to do those things. He only asks us to do things that will lead to blessing. He invites us to know Him. He is the greatest reward. We don’t have to go through a bunch of rituals to get to Him. We can go boldly to Him with confidence.

Eternal Life: God offers us life eternal in paradise. This life is just a blip on the screen of life. Eternity is so big and vast beyond measure. Our minds cannot fully fathom what awaits. Heaven awaits. There will be no sickness, death, evil, fatigue, pain, suffering, poverty, no bad news, and we will reign with Christ forever and ever. For God loved the world so much that he gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life, John 3:16.

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

The only alternative is life apart from God in eternal damnation. God invites every person to bypass hell which was created for the devil and the angels who rebelled with him. He says, “Come to Me and find life.”

Spiritual gifts: God gives us His Spirit and the Holy Spirit has numerous roles in our lives. He is at work to transform us into the image of Jesus. He also is at work so that we can operate in the gifts of the Spirit and have the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other, Galatians 5:22-26.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

This post does not even begin to capture all the benefits of saying yes to God and His will. He withholds nothing good from us. The world has many things to offer, but saying yes to anything outside of God’s will leads to bondage and death. God is good. Everything He does is good! If He says no it’s because He has a greater yes.

Bless you friends. You’re in my thoughts and prayers, Love Erin.

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Posted by on January 20, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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The Healing Father

Today I wanted to write to you about one of my favorite characteristics of God, a compassionate Healer.

We tend to think of God as our Savior, Redeemer, and Judge. We sometimes forget that He is the God who not only saves, He heals and delivers.

When Jesus saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick,~ Matt 14:14.

God forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, ~Psalm 103:3.

He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chatisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed,~ Isaiah 53:5.

My dad, Papa W is a chaplin. He goes all over the city praying for the sick. He keeps a log of answered prayers and those God has touched with healing from physical, emotional, or spiritual sickness. Growing up reading about healing in the Bible, watching my dad pray for the sick, hearing the stories, seeing the stories, solidified the belief for me that God still heals people. He is the Healer.

Some believe God doesn’t heal anymore. Some believe God only heals certain people or through special people. Well, if you search out the scriptures you will find that God is the Healer, and He used ordinary people to heal the sick. Jesus commissioned the disciples to go and heal the sick and pray for the oppressed. These are the same disciples who fought over who would be the greatest, who denied Him, fell asleep when He needed their prayers, and were often filled with doubt and unbelief. These were regular people called by God to do great things. If you are a follower of Jesus, you’re an ordinary person called to do extraordinary things for God.

If you don’t believe God still heals people, I can say I’m a living testimony that He does. I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the power of prayer. I am a child my mother never thought she’d have due to sickness. She was healed and along came me. She was also blessed to have more children.

I am the person who almost died from an allergic reaction to medication, who lived and now lives a healthy life. I remember the doctor telling me after my surgery that they didn’t know what exactly went wrong, why I couldn’t breathe on my own and my resting pulse was in the 150s. I remember being a frightened teen wondering if I’d be normal again. I went from healthy to sick in one day. I recall crying out to God for relief because taking 8-10 pills a day wasn’t how I wanted to live. Many prayers were prayed, and I’m happy to be healthy today. I don’t have a story of some special person coming to pray for me. Most of my encounters with the miraculous have come from prayers to God.

One of the most powerful encounters I had with Abba came after being trapped in a car under water. See previous posts (Me & Abba or My Hero). That accident left me fearful of confined spaces. If I were stuck in traffic, I’d have a sense of dread that I would be trapped in my car. Seems unreasonable, but once you’ve been under water in a car thinking that’s your last moment on earth, you just don’t know how your body will respond. I tried to pray fear away, to no avail. I even went to a pastor and asked for prayer. He told me to seek a counselor. That wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t want to talk through my fear. I wanted delivered from my fear. I left church that Sunday and began to talk with God. I said something along these lines, “I know you can fix this problem. You died for my freedom. I don’t want to live another day afraid. God fix me.” In that moment, God did something for me that no person could. I was overwhelmed by His presence and His love. I never had another panic attack or fear of being trapped. I knew God healed. I knew He delivered. When you’re the person needing help you sometimes forget all Jesus paid for.

Dear friends, Jesus didn’t just pay to forgive you of sins. He paid for healing. He paid for freedom. He paid for deliverance. He paid so that you and I could have life abundantly. There is no sickness in God’s presence, there is no fear, or torment, or pain. Jesus paid for life, peace, and joy.

Looking back it’s good to recall what He’s done. I’m an ordinary person and since that day I’ve seen God heal other people.

In 2008 I was on a mission trip in Brazil and a lady came up for prayer with a disfigured hand. She told the interpreter that she had never been able to fully use her hand. I was hesitant to pray for her as I saw her desperation, and I wanted so desperately for her to be healed. We (another lady and I) laid hands on her and watched as God took a crooked hand and made it whole. I was more shocked than she was! She ran through the church telling others what had happened and they wanted prayer for ailments as well. I saw God’s love in an even deeper way that day. This ladies dream became a reality because someone prayed, and God heals.

My dear friends, God heals. He’s still in the healing business. I have not seen every person with physical sickness prayed for get healed of sickness, but I’ve seen enough to keep me seeking Him for the healing of the sick in the world. Jesus paid for healing. I have seen those oppressed set free, and the spiritual sick restored. It’s by God’s love, and compassion. God is the Healer. And He loves you. He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things!

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in From the Author

 

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Encountering the Master Gardener

What I’ve Learned about God Through Gardening

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Erin Lamb, all rights reserved.

God is in all things, all we have to do is look closely. I have found some applicable life lessons in my time spent tending to a garden or plants. So, come with me on the journey to encountering God in the garden.

We reap what we sow-meaning what we plant is what comes to the surface. A gardener would be horrified if they found what they planted in the ground is not what they have at harvest time. They planted tomatoes, but somehow grew corn.

Often in life I think we are shocked to see negative things breaking through the surface of our lives. We scratch our heads and say,”Where did this come from?” We neglect to ask ourselves what seeds are planted in our minds and hearts. Out of the mouth the heart speaks (Matthew 12:34b). If the seeds planted in our hearts are seeds of un-forgiveness, unbelief, hatred, selfishness, jealousy, envy, strife, or lust-that is what will break forth.  Where do the seeds originate from? Seeds are planted in our minds and make their way to our hearts; that is where each seed, either good or bad is planted. What we allow to sink in and take root is what will blossom in our lives. It’s to our benefit to take every thought captive and make it obedient to God’s word (2 Cor. 10:5).

We reap more than we sow. Seeds yield more than the small seed planted. If we invest in what is good, there are great things that will spring forth, more than what was sown.

Plants need light, water, and pruning. So do we. God is light. Everything good, He encompasses. He is the source of life.  Plants left inside turn themselves to grow towards the light. The plants need the light to grow and thrive. Without the light, the plants will wither and die. We need God to grow and thrive. Some plants (like ivy) will climb over any obstacle to get its light source. How would our lives be different if nothing stopped us from seeking the light?

Another important part of plant development involves watering. I left a plant with a friend while in Australia and we she returned it, the leaves were withered and limp. It was still alive, but looked a bit sick. Once the plant was watered it perked up. I liken my sick plant to the spiritual condition of the human soul. If the love of God is not being poured in, if truth is not saturating the soul, it begins to dry up. Water is crucial to life. We can’t wait for church services to meet with God or have our hearts filled by Him. It is a daily drawing near to Him. He is standing there with His water pitcher saying “Here is more love, more truth, more hope, more revelation, and more encouragement. Now grow, thrive!

The last point is the beauty of pruning, weeding, and attentive care. If you have a garden you are aware that weeds will try to crowd out your beloved plants. They will attempt to rob the soil of nutrients and have the potential to kill your crop or flowers. Our weeds may be described as discouragement, deception, unbelief, or fear. Those things must be quickly uprooted before they crowd out faith, hope, and love. Gardeners care for what they have planted. They have invested in what they have sown.

God is the master gardener, and He is invested in you. He loves you. God wants you to grow and thrive, and not just for His own personal satisfaction.  He also wants to bless everyone around you. My greatest satisfaction as a gardener is being able to give away the fruit of my labor. God loves you infinitely more than I love my plants. He has so much invested in you. Praying you not only grow, but thrive.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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