People Are Not Against You; They Are Primarily For Themselves.

Happy Look Out For Someone Besides Ourselves Wednesday!

The Bible tells us to love one another and part of love is demonstrating the heart of the Father to others. I recognized years ago in my own walk in ministry that I grew to believe God loved the people I was ministering to more than me. It is untrue. Yet the lie grew from experiences with Christians. I was expected to give, to love, to pour out, to lay my life down, to be available in every crisis, to forgive, to show up even when I was overwhelmed or in my own crisis, to put myself last, to endure gross mistreatment with a smile, to be perfect, and they were not expected to do much.

I was expected to be Jesus. They on the other hand were not. I was to offer grace and mercy and give others unlimited access to my time and life.

The reciprocation of God love was low and sometimes non existent. I was expected to get love from God and show up again to pour out. I recognized I had to set limits with people. Say no to extra ministry tasks.

I found reciprocal relationships in the marketplace and through hobbies/outside the church activities. I thank God today there are a few reciprocal relationships with believers.

It is not true God desires one sided relationships for us. It is NOT true that God desires for us to love Him, then others, and ourselves last. Every time I see those bumper stickers, I want to rip them off. The Bible states we love because He first loves us. Then we are called to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Step 1. God loves us. Step 2. We RECEIVE God’s love for ourselves (we cannot give what we do not receive). Step 3. We give back to God and others the love we have first received from God.

Unselfish love-loving others without strings attatched and desire for selfish gain comes ONLY from God. It is agape love-the highest form of love. It’s the love Jesus invites us into so we represent His heart to the world. It is the love that marks His followers.

Pain and disillusionment can come when we expect agape from Christians who are incapable of returning agape. We can only give what we first possess. May we abide in agape (Jesus) so we demonstrate agape (Jesus) to others.

Love is not selfish.

I noticed people would and will ask things of me that they absolutely would be unwilling to do in return. I have heard more than one person tell me I was supposed to help their ministry or business, but God was not calling them to help me. Not that I asked them for help. I tend to ask God and ask Him who to ask for help. It saves me time.

At the root of all sin is selfishness and hyper concern for self. Self is the idol to be worshipped instead of God. What about me? Is the theme song.

I realized I would push myself almost to the point of breaking to keep my word, to be there for people who would not even pull their own weight or bother to show up. It taught me something. It taught me boundaries. It taught me to expect Jesus to be Jesus, and people to be people.

Expecting people to be like Jesus leads to disillusionment. I am still a work in progress, so is everyone else. Expectations can lead to unnecessary discomfort.

We, humans, can also have flawed visions of ourselves. I have met those who believe they are representing the heart of God, yet their primary focus is self: making sure their voice is heard, their ministry is supported, their needs are met, their political agenda pushed forward.

We imitate the God we know and at times treat people similar to the way we treat God. If God is only pursued to meet a needs list, then people treat other people like slaves too. Abiding in God love, which is not selfish, is the only way we manifest unselfish love.

When we can connect with people and love them NOT for what we can gain from them, that is real love God. Love fulfills the law because love does NO purposeful harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

We can only give away what we receive first from God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their unselfish, sacrificial love (John 13:34-35). May we abide in His love, and love others not for our gain but for their blessing!

Look for someone to love today!!

God love wins!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

P.S If you like this devotion, don’t forget to check out our 4th of July sale which is 40% off through July 5th. The Confident & Free 30 day devotional is on sale. The new book study guide is on sale (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book). We want you to save. Go to https://www.empowered-free.com/shop and use the code July4.

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Communication-A Healthy Building Block for Relationships

Communication is one of the building blocks of a healthy relationship. People don’t know what we do not tell them. I don’t know any mind readers. In an age where people prefer to talk about people behind their back rather than to their face, God gives us better counsel. He says, “If your brother or sister sins against you, go directly to them in love. Make sure you check yourself (make sure your spirit is right) and you are not in sin, then gently go talk to your brother or sister.” It does not say, “Push that person into the dirt, shame them, call them names, or be mean spirited.” It also does not say “go tell everyone except the person you have the problem with.”

I had a lady once who all of a sudden started treating me poorly. She did not tell me anything. She just acted funny. Years later, after she processed her issues she randomly said to me, “We are good now. I processed my issues with you and we are good.” The problem was I never knew there was an issue. She was upset because I was receiving certain attention from a particular ministry that rejected her. I was clueless. I only knew what she showed me.

I also had an instance with a gentleman I was trying to serve and love as a brother in Christ who took my sisterly love as romantic. He treated me poorly. I was trying to fulfill John 13:34-35. He saw it as me chasing him, which I did not, for girlfriend status. He never communicated to me his perceptions. He kept inviting me places then ignoring me when I got there. I thought the invitations to group things were invitations for friendship. He told others how he felt. He never honored me enough to ask me questions or talk to me. So others talked about me behind my back with false understandings of my intentions. One brave person told me what was going on so I could move away from this person and stop trying to be his friend. In hindsight, I should have stopped initiating kindness the first time he ignored me. People show us how they feel about us with their actions.

Over the course of my life, I have lived through the “friends” who talked about me instead of to me. I will tell you it is impossible to build a relationship with someone who is not honest and does not communicate. It is challenging to trust people who talk about people all the time behind their back. If they gossip to you or talk badly about others, they will gossip about you or do the same to you. I ask people, “Have you talked to this person, or are you just venting to me? They don’t know you are upset if you do not communicate.” I don’t purposely befriend people for close relationships who prefer to talk about people rather than talk to them. Why? It is not healthy.

Every relationship I have ended, I had a conversation with the person, if I could and it was safe to do so. I have had a few stalkers and hostile people, they get blocked and reported if they refuse to respect boundaries.

Healthy communication builds bridges and can save relationships. Talk it out.

Sometimes we just are not a great fit, even in circles of faith. That’s okay. Sometimes that person just fades out of our life. Seasons change. Yet I did not just disappear and never say anything.

Every person, if I could and it was wisdom, I had an issue with I approached directly in love (either in writing (I process best in written form) or phone or in person). Why? Because people cannot read our minds. Sometimes people are clueless how their behavior impacts others. What we refuse to discuss festers in our souls. People also treat us how we let them. People don’t know our boundaries if we do not set them.

Maybe there is someone to reach out to have a conversation, clear the air, cut the ties, build a bridge, or just to move along.

I appreciate greatly the people in my life who were courageous enough to communicate. A few have had the wrong spirit or absolutely the wrong perception, yet even ungodly feedback can be taken to God. “God what they see is not what happened, yet it bothered someone greatly so I take full responsibility for any unintentional harm. I repent to see my brother or sister healed. If I hurt or harmed someone on accident, I still take responsibility and take their concerns under consideration.”

In order to build any healthy relationship with God or anyone else it requires communication and honesty. I don’t do pretend. I won’t smile in your face and talk nasty about you to everyone and their momma. Why? Because love is authentic and cares about your reputation. Love cares about you!

May we communicate. How has communication helped your relationships? Are you communicating to the right people?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Warmly,

Erin

Go Make Amends (Character Series)

I have decided to start a series on godly character. It is one thing to talk about knowing God. It is quite another to begin to manifest the character likeness of God. I wish greatly character was talked about more! People can become quite enamored with the gifted person; they can sing, teach, preach, or are so talented. Yet what is their character? How do they treat people? Are they responsible? Are they trustworthy? Are they loving?

Our character matters. Whether we want it or not, the world is judging the church by how we behave. We can claim Jesus all day, yet do we act anything like Jesus? Does our love walk match Jesus?

Here is today’s devotion:

Happy Before You Bring Your Gift, Go Make Amends Thursday!

I noticed men and women handle conflict and offense differently. Growing up and working in male dominated environments, I noticed men would speak out their frustrations to each other “Hey dude, you’re being a jerk! Knock it off.” Women would go tell other women how irritated they were and fake smile at the woman they were offended by. It created a culture of fakeness; fake hugs, fake smiles, fake love.

Men fought it out and then moved on. Women had to make sure everyone knew how wronged they were and never dealt with the issues. They gave the silent treatment, cold shoulder, turned other women against the woman they did not like. It was petty and I have a deep rooted hatred for petty.

My resolve was to not make very many female friends because I hated the fake, petty, gossip culture, or a girl becomes offended at you and pretended you were invisible (some would not even speak at church). Praising the Lord one minute, giving you the stank eye the next. It’s not holy, not godly, not love. I am not stating all women. I am generalizing a cultural phenom I witnessed with women growing up and in the church.

Though I more prone to write out concerns because of the way my brain is wired, I try to communicate if there is an issue. People can’t read our minds. I also try to not disclose issues with one woman with people who do not need to know. Why? My issue with Suzy does not mean someone else will have the same issue. Me running to tell everyone how awful Suzy is does not represent the heart of Jesus.

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back,”-Matthew 18:15.

It goes on to say, grab another believer if they will not listen to you. It does not say pick up the phone and dial all your friends and never tell Suzy. I cannot express enough how damaging it is when people gossip, slander, and talk badly about people behind their backs. It can cause people to mistreat another person who has done nothing to them. I have walked through people treating me horribly based off a lie someone told them or their flawed perception of events that occurred. Not once did anyone come ask me what happened. I don’t desire to do this to others. If someone does not need to know, I don’t tell them.

We are also told to deal with our messy relationship stuff before bringing our gifts to the alter. Mainly God likes cleared air. Is there anyone you are angry with, bad mouthing, slandering? Have you talked to them? Do they have any idea of what they did? Have you talked to everyone but them? God gives us a higher road and it’s love.

We do not have to be best friends with everyone. We do not have to like everyone. We are called to pursue peace and walk in love.

May we be a gossip, slander free community. May other’s names be safe in our mouths. May we go to the person privately and seek to clear the air. May we walk in love.

Love,

Erin

Living Brave!

Happy Choose God’s Voice Over Haters or Mere Humans Thursday!

Encouragement to elevate God’s opinion above people’s opinions.

Giving thanks for my parents this morning. They taught me to listen to God’s voice above the noise of people. They spoke of endless possibilities not limitations. My encouragement to every person is get to know God for yourself and don’t let spectators move you or push you in the dirt. People who try to diminish others already see their potential and are usually insecure, petty, jealous, and unhappy with themselves.

Your age, gender, race, ethnicity, where you grew up, who you don’t know, lack of elite connections, lack physical appeal to others, or even being disliked or unsupported are NOT limitations for God. God+Nothing=Everything! When God is for you, it’s MORE than the world against you. No mere human being can stop the momentum of God. Who dare stand in His way!

You can succeed with God!

You can beat the odds with God!

You can find superior support in God!

You can win with God!

You can overcome with God!!

It’s not what people call you, it’s what you answer to that matters. The Father calls me Judah, which means praise. I do not answer to the negative words of people. It’s not my name, nor my identity.

Learn to say, “I don’t receive that,” when people speak death over your life or dream. We listen to God, not those speaking from their flesh or out of the soul or carnality.

And when you make it, some of the people who tried to stop you will go on to tell others how they know you. Live under the given approval of God. God can do anything. I have known Him to nudge people thousands of miles away when I had a need others right in front of me ignored. My hope is not in people, not in the church, not in my family, not even in myself. It’s deeply rooted in Jesus! God NEVER fails.

God is your cutting edge victory against ALL odds.

Love,

Erin

Empowered-free.com

Be Kind Not Rude

Happy Jesus is Not Rude; Love is Not Rude Tuesday!

Love is not rude, is not selfish,-1 Corinthians 13:5a.

Even the rebukes of Jesus are from love. Jesus is not rude. Jesus is not a jerk. Jesus thinks about how His behavior and words impact others. If the nature of God is love, compassion, and kindness-why are we seeing such rudeness on display from professing Christians? I see it on social media. I have seen it from pulpits. Encountered it within Christian groups.

Even last night a guy popped on my instagram to accuse me of spreading false prophecy over a post about raising money and awareness to end human trafficking. The post literally said if we pursue justice, stand up against evil, we could see our world change for the better. I blocked him-no harm no foul. It’s not what people call you, it is what you answer to that matters. And to use a slang term, “Aint nobody got time for that!” Prayed for him and moved along.

I was not offended, I am deeply saddened by the way some “Christians” misrepresent Jesus online and in real life. On social media we are not the only people who see our posts and comments. The world watches how we treat each other. If we are nasty to each other what on earth would make them want to be in our family? We talk about God love, yet do we live it? Jesus stated the world would know His disciples by their love, not their titles, church attendance, or political party. Is love present in our communication? Are we rude, sarcastic, and dishonoring? The world watches how we behave.

The Bible says, “Do unto others what you would want done to you.” This principle manifests in our lives in a good way when we abide in Jesus. It manifests in a bad way when we abide in the flesh. The flesh can be quite proud, rude, and petty. Those who live by the Spirit of God are the sons and daughters of God. We are to be Spirit led, not fleshy.

Carnality, like insecurity, is our frenemy (pretends to be of benefit, yet is quite toxic). Carnality is hyper self focused. It does not regard others as better than itself. It just tells it like it is, or does what is best for self. If there are casualties-“oh well, can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Carnality cares more about protecting ego than loving people.

Paul said the following about carnality: ..you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?-1 Corinthians 3:3.

Rudeness is a weak person’s imitation of strength or power. People who feel weak or powerless can overcompensate by being rude or nasty to others. It’s far easier to look at the speck in the neighbors eye than focus on the log in our own eye. Especially if there is God love deficit.

The truth is, we are not weak or powerless if we are finding our identity in Christ. It takes His strength to be gentle instead of hostile. In a world of clap backs and insults, His Spirit shows us how to effectively communicate so we address issues without destroying people. Sometimes rebukes are necessary, yet they must be rooted in love. Our power source is Jesus, not our flesh. We don’t have to prove how powerful we are. We abide in love and use His power to lift the broken, not become the person breaking people.

The next time someone is rude to you, understand the issue is most likely something internal they are struggling with; fear, insecurity, feeling powerless, feeling inferior, pride, carnality. If we find ourselves being rude or unkind, may we repent and ask God to fill our love tank.

May you and I be Spirit led not fleshy.

Loving not rude.

Considerate not hostile.

Powerful in Jesus not petty!

Love,

Erin

P.S be sure to check out our 40% off all products sale. Good through April 27th. The promo code is Passover. https://www.empowered-free.com/shop. Also seats are filling up for Confident & Free 2019! You won’t want to miss this epic event. We have people coming from 15 different states and Canada. It will be a blast. You can register at https://www.empowered-free.com/book-online. Part of the ticket sales will go towards helping rescue a woman or child from human trafficking.

We Are Revival (Love Revolutionaries)

Happy We Are Revolutionaries Sunday!

I love that God is not a cloner, He is the Creator. Those of our time are not called to be cookie cutters of generals of old. We can learn from the past, yet press onward as Paul stated towards the prize which is Christ. Jesus is not stuck, stagnant, stale, trying to reproduce another Billy Graham, Kathryn Kulhman, Aimee Simple McPherson, or John G Lake. God is looking for a sold out generation reaching for Him and in turn, they will be cloaked with their own unique mantle. Our key is not imitation, it is intimacy!

I have this crazy belief that one person can positively impact the world. Some days I think I am crazy for pressing into areas and saying, “This is not functional anymore. What worked 20 years ago does not work today. God is doing a new thing! God is not stagnant, stale, or stuck. We must keep moving with the momentum of God,” or “This is actually not God at all, it’s man made interpretations of God that limit instead of empower and accelerate. Jesus stated we would do even greater, not live in perpetual defeat or oppression.”

Sometimes I am fatigued by blowing a trumpet…Tired of opposition. Tired of fighting religion because God invites us into relationship. There is power in relationship and intimacy with God. It is not by our power, might, or rituals-it is by God’s Spirit.

I don’t wish to die in the status quo, live in cruise ship Christianity, be lukewarm or complacent, watch the world sink into despair when Jesus provides solutions, abide by “this is how we have always done things”. There’s MORE! Heaven has more to offer and it’s on the other side of our comfort zones!

Revolutions are not birthed out of complacency! They are birthed out of passion, and a fire within that cannot be quenched. It burns bright and hotter for Jesus! He was revolutionary. Revival requires active participation, not just prayer and spectatorship. May the fire and passion of Jesus engulf us and we stand as walking pillars of His love, His light, His wisdom, and His innovation in the world. May the torch we carry light other hearts ablaze for His Kingdom come, His will be done. On earth as in heaven!!

Behold God is doing a new thing!

God show us the new thing!

God keep us linked to your heart.

God take us deeper than we have ever been before.

Pour holy gasoline on the fire in our hearts!

Fan that FLAME!!

Usher in the NEW!!

New Wine!

New Wineskins!

New winds of awakening and revival…let the winds blow, let the winds blow. Fill us up and pour us out. 🔥🍷🍇❤️💯

I want to see entire regions transformed by the great love and power of God. I am talking about helping people, serving people, and making our cities better. We can pray all day, I love prayer, yet we need some people willing to step up and step out to actually be the hands and feet of Jesus. There are solutions available in God and through God that have yet to be seen.

I hope to be part of the solution. I believe you are part of the solution. God created each person with a divine purpose! You, my friend, have a divine purpose. We, you and I, plus God equal transformation. We are needed to participate in some way.

I am praying for you! I pray the fire in your heart increases. We can leave the world better than how we found it.

I hope you join us in Columbus, Ohio in May 2019 for 2 days of activation and empowerment. Part of the proceeds will go towards the poor and efforts to end human trafficking.

I saw some things in Cambodia (trip with Extreme Love-human trafficking initiative), that I cannot forget and still need to process. I can still see the rows of child prostitutes waiting to be exploited. I cannot forget the faces of beautiful children who have had their innocence stolen. It is one thing to hear a statistic and quite another to see a face, hold a child, rock a person traumatized, and wipe the tears of a child prostitute.

I hope this event raises money for a great cause and awakens those attending to how important their role is in world transformation. We are pressing in for awakening, activation of world changers, and deployment of world changers!

I hope to see you May 17-18, 2019

1055 McNaughten Road, Columbus, Ohio 43213.

https://www.empowered-free.com/book-online.

Current discount: Winter5.

You were born to positively impact the world!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Behold a New Thing (Refocus on Jesus-The Centrality of the Gospel)-Prophetic Encouragement

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

Behold I am doing a new thing (prophetic encouragement)

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

From the Father:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Jesus:

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

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

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

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

From Holy Spirit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

Love,

Erin Lamb

Godly Pursuit vs Selfish Pursuit

Every Pursuit is Not Rooted in God Love

I have encountered numerous women in my lifetime who felt so special for being pursued. Yet the man pursued them as a game, out of loneliness, selfishness, lust, greed, to check a box, to cause harm. Women can pursue too…women are sometimes taught in culture that having a man increases their value or not being married or having children is a sign of life failure. It’s untrue, yet culture contains many things that simply aren’t true. Stalkers are pursuers too…they simply don’t possess the right motivations.

God tells us to pursue wisdom. God tells us to investigate fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). I have been pursued by people, not just men, for their selfish gain. They were not interested in what God was speaking to me or calling me to do. They saw something they thought they wanted and saught to convince me to go along with the agenda. God tells us not to pursue selfish agendas.

Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself,~Phil 2:3.

God is not selfish. When God pursues us, our best interests are taken into consideration. When God presents a plan or His agenda, our best interests and the best interests of others are taken into consideration.

I am going to throw out a radical statement. God does not need our worship or devotion. Angels surround the throne of God and worship God continually (Revelation 7:11, Isaiah 6). God invites us into worship not just because He alone is worthy of it, but because worship impacts us in a powerful way. We become like the gods we worship. God alone is good. Even prayer benefits us more than it does God. God is not ego driven; love is God’s persistent motivation.

It can be affirming to be pursued. Yet ask the question, why is this person pursuing me? What is the fruit of their life? Or why am I pursuing this person? God what are my true intentions? Help me to pursue to love as you love.

This is not just for dating. Think about business relationships, ministry relationships, friendships. Is the person coming to the table to add value or with containers to take away? We love tupperware people, we do not allow them to be consistent consumers in our lives. There needs to be balance. Ministering to people is pouring out expecting nothing in return. Godly love involves some reciprocation. God does expect us to love Him in return. It is a lie God desires nothing from us. You may read this in the following verses: Matthew 22:37, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Luke 6:46, John 14:15.

I am inclined to tell you the story of an old hoarder colleague. She loved to go to buffets. The main purpose was to load up her purse. I kid you not she would have a purse full of egg rolls, and chicken wings. She did not frequent buffets because she liked the restaurant per say. She went to load up her purse, what she considered free food. She was not poor in reality. She suffered from scarcity mentality, hoarding, and greed. The restaurant may think, “Oh she loves this place.” Nope, she loves benefiting from this place. If she truly loved the restaurant and the owners, she would abide by their guidelines of not carry out from the buffet. She would not fill her purse full of items. She would think about what is best for the owners not just herself.

God encourages us and invites us into a lifestyle of love. Love thinks of what is best for everyone, not just one person. Love is not selfish, greedy, one sided, nor pursues under false pretenses. God also commits to who He pursues. There is loyalty there. God is not simply pursuing to ditch you later.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Christian Dating 101

Dating 101: This is in response to an article I read this weekend from a Christian man telling other men to just keep pursuing a woman if she seems disinterested-just try harder. Stalking (endless unwanted pursuit) is not love.

Maybe when men pursue women have no clue what is happening. I have found this true in my life. Why? I am direct. I am not passive nor hint. I also don’t play games, nor operate with hidden motives. Men have tried playing games with me, and I only play games with little children. 🙂 or they have been very ambiguous and well I don’t do well with people who do not communicate clearly. Or they have assumed unmarried means I am on the prowl for a man and they are the cure for my singleness. Well, no. I could be married, I chose not to get married and don’t enjoy men thinking they are my savior. They are not trying to pursue to add any value, they come as pushy consumers. I don’t like pushy nor find selfishness appealing.

Sometimes men give other men poor advice on women. Sometimes women give poor advice to other women. I truly believe God designed all relationships to be rooted in His agape love. Love that is not selfish, desperate, one sided, lustful, controlling, abusive, pushy nor stalker like. These are my top 5 for dating:

1. Investigate why you want to pursue that person or relationship? Is it to be a blessing or to consume or meet selfish needs. People wrongly quote Paul, “Better to marry than burn in passion.” Paul was NOT encouraging marriage to cure lust. You can no more cure lust by getting married than cure alcoholism by going to a bar. Nor is it good to pursue someone to cure being lonely, avoid peer pressure, or fear of the biological clock. God gave Sarah a baby in her old age, God is not limited.

2. Is there anything you are bringing to the table to add value? Would you be an asset or liability to someone? We can add value by asking God to refine our character. Beauty and money can fade. Godly character is priceless.

3. Is the other person interested? This matters. If the person does not want you, leave them alone. They are not your puzzle piece or the timing is off. Continuing to pursue someone or pine over them when they do not want you can be emotionally toxic.

4. Are you and the other person linked in purpose? They never want to leave the country and you are called to overseas missions. God is smart enough to link people headed the same direction. Sometimes people just get married off chemistry and the same beliefs, yet they are not headed towards the same destiny.

5. Do you have compability outside loving Jesus? It takes more than the same faith to make relationships work. Are you spiritually compatible and do you mesh well outside of worship gatherings? Can you laugh together? Can you have fun together? Are you friends? Do you have anything in common? Do you have similiar vision?

Sometimes men are taught to just go after what they want without ever considering if the woman is interested. This is not wisdom. It’s actually selfish. Just wear her down with the pursuit. Ummm no. If she wants to be with you, she won’t keep running from you. Also every unmarried women is not desperate nor sees being single as a curse. Maybe asking God, “Is this woman someone I should pursue?” Or try being a friend with no super pressure to be your wife. Or state your intentions; “I like you, would like to get to know you better.”

Women can sometimes wrongly find identity in relationships with men or by being a mother. Some try to push this on other women. God does not tell us to find our identity in anyone other than God. Those who feel like they are nothing with someone have made an idol of man. If a woman pursues marriage to find herself, well if that man does not measure up or constantly validate her-she’s let down. God invites us to have one God. Women are also pressured to settle, have very low standards, and marry/have kids by a certain age. I think God would prefer people remain unmarried than marry out of selfishness/desperation.

I think it would wonderful if people had as their heart intention, “I want what is God’s best for this other person. God am I your very best for them? If so, show me how to love them as you do, how to add value to their life, and be a radical blessing.” For friendships, dating, or marriage-the world would be better if the hearts of people were rooted in God love. His love pursues to be a blessing.

What are your thoughts on dating?

Love,

Erin Lamb

#dating

Growing in the Prophetic

Happy Growing in the Prophetic Sunday! (A Longer Post-Yet It Was Heavy On My Heart).

I love that God speaks. I love that God LOVES to communicate with us. I also love that Paul advises us to test all prophecies, not some prophecies-ALL prophecy to see if it is of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

In order to test something, there needs to be a plumb line [a], and I believe it is the word of God and the character of God. They cannot be separated; who God is and what is revealed in God’s word.

Scripture does not contain God, it reveals Him. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and the very best at helping us test things.

In a digital age where anyone can get online and state they have the word or a word from the Lord, it is imperative we test it all.

In an age where anyone can slap “Prophet” on their business card, it is imperative we test things. When the Lord spoke to me about being a prophet, I trembled. I did not want the job. Being honest. I did not tell anyone. I told no one…I was like, “Oh please don’t send me to talk to people.” Being honest-maybe why I like Moses so much. I simply started journaling what I sensed was from God and dating those things. I have 10+ years of prophetic journals. God spoke to me as a kid/young adult. It was not until the past 4-5 years other people started stating, “God has called you to be a prophet.” I did not tell them. I simply stayed in a place of “God teach me, shape me, mold me, deal with my character, teach me to love, help me to live out of intimacy with you, refine me, and lead me on the path of integrity and righteousness for your name’s sake. I want to possess and know your character.”

From the time of God speaking, to confirmation from others was roughly 14 years. Yep. 14 years of no one speaking anything over me. I would go to meetings and no one would have a word for me. I did not mind. I did hear God say, “I am teaching you to rely on my voice and not that of others.”

Being a prophet is not something to glory in, for we can boast of only one thing-Jesus Christ and His work. Every part of God’s Body has significant value and worth, each assignment is HIGHLY valuable. Prophets often endure interesting persecution and well humility is our best friend. I also think it is wise to ask God to refine us so what we speak truly is the voice of the Lord and not our own made up speech.

How can we test these things? What we hear, what we see, what we think is from God? How do we know what is simply bubbling up from our soul?

1. Be a person of the word of God. Study with Holy Spirit. “God reveal your truth, by your Spirit.” God will not violate His word. He can violate our understanding, so study is important. “God you teach me,” not “I have always been taught this, so I know.”

2. Understanding the character of God. God is LOVE. Even the rebukes of God are aimed at loving us. He is a surgeon, not a butcher. God does what He says He will do. God is faithful. God is not flakey, rude, wishy washy, crazy, double minded, hateful, pushy, proud, hyper critical, nor does God try to manipulate, control, humiliate, or force His will on us. God let’s us choose. I think this one get’s some people (the character of God). It’s so easy to say, “God said…” and just walk away like we are the authority in people’s lives. No, we are not. If God says something, God will do it. If we say it, just to get our way, or try to hurt someone or make ourselves look good, then God is not obligated to do any of it. Before we say, “God said,” taking time to test it and wait. God is not impatient.

God is this really you?

God does this reflect your heart?

God is this the right timing or setting to release this word?

God I would like confirmation.

Does this reflect love to the other person?

Does this violate scripture or their free will to choose?

Would I want this spoken over me?

Will this word draw the person closer to Jesus? Closer to the heart and character of Jesus?

Is this tainted with a critical spirit?

Pride and a critical spirit can be a detriment to a prophetic person or prophet. Continual yielding our hearts to God softens us and fills us with compassion and God love. Love and pride cannot occupy the same spaces. God love pushes out pride and thinks about what is best for the other person, not self. Pride is hyper focused on self. “Well I will get tell this person like it is!” with zero concern for the recipient. God thinks about the receiver of the message. God also does not need to manipulate anyone to get His way. God has no fear in Him. Control and manipulation are fruits of fear.

It can seem powerful and bold to just blurt out everything we think is God. Yet wisdom says, “Let me pause and see if this is really God or my flesh/soul.” The soul can evoke some feelings that make it seem like it’s on point with God and it’s not. I heard a great story from Kris Vallotton. He said he became excited in a meeting and gave this man a wonderful word. Later that evening, as he was lying on his bed, the Lord spoke to him, “Kris, that was a great word you gave that man.” Kris replied, “That was your word Lord!” God replied, “No, that was you.”

Intimacy with God helps us to grow in the prophetic. Revelation is a byproduct of intimacy. As we abide in Jesus, rest in Jesus, listen to Jesus…we begin to release the aroma and heart of Jesus when we speak. He beckons us into His heart. True prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. It points to the very nature of Jesus, the character of Jesus, the love of Jesus. It is more than providing information, it is a relationship building tool to help us and others connect with the heart of God. Before we say, “God said,” may there be an investigation-“Is this aligned with God’s heart.”

[a] A cord weighted with lead that is used in building to check that vertical structures are true. It is used symbolically to refer to the divine standard against which God, the builder of his people, tests and judges them. It also symbolizes the standards by which God will rebuild his people.

The plumb-line as the measuring tool of a structure

Zec 1:16; Zec 4:9-10 Using the plumb-line Zerubbabel will carry out his God-given task of building the temple. See also Jer 31:38-40; Zec 2:1-2

Art: Pinterest

Warmly,

Erin Lamb