Enjoy Your Season (Relationship Series)

  
I have learned how to be content with whatever I have,~Phil 4:11 (Apostle Paul)

There’s beauty in contentment. It’s the ability to express gratitude in the moment, in the season. It’s a choice to look at what God is doing, what God has done, and find joy in Him alone. 

I’ve met so many people on my walk with God who are waiting for something to happen to enjoy life. If only I could, “Have a boyfriend or girlfriend.” If only I could, “Get married or have children.” If only I could, “Have a best friend or tons of friends to do things with, then I’d be happy.” 

The problem with this type of thinking is it negates that every blessing brings a new set of challenges. Adding people to our lives reduces the amount of free time we have. We have a new level of sacrifice that is required if we want to be good, quality friends and not deadbeats. We have to learn the other person’s strengths and weaknesses. 

The movies often do a poor job of expressing the reality of real relationships. They don’t show the seasons, the learning, the growing, the akwardness, the suffering, disappointment, or sorrow. What is painted is non stop Magical Kingdom. Who doesn’t love adventure, fun, good times all the time? The reality is anything worth having takes effort. 

Healthy relationships are also based on two people having their own lives and identies. Unhealthy relationships are codependent. When relationships are used as a means to find identity and happiness it leads to heartache. 

I’ve had long term relationships. My happiness did not come from that person. It came from God. So when God let me know that relationship wasn’t headed in the right direction I could step away and still live a fulfilled, joyful life. 

People don’t complete us, God does. Any source of identity or fix for contentment outside God leads to pain. People are not God. God never intended for others to fulfill us. 

Contentment in God is the best place. God does not change. God is stable. God’s love and affection is not wavering. He doesn’t love one minute and then withhold love another. God’s love isn’t shallow, based on our appearance or what we can do for Him. God’s love isn’t selfish. He’s not simply looking out for Himself. God’s love isn’t based on merit, it’s independent of our behavior. 

An identity rooted in Christ is rock solid. An identity rooted in relationships with people is like the shifting sands. It can fade away. Spouses can pass away, children too. Friends can come and go. Dating or courtships can end. No one can separate us from God’s love. 

Joy rooted in God grows with relationship and abiding in Him. Joy rooted in what’s happening is simply happiness and can be taken away or shifted based on circumstances. 

Contentment rooted in who God is lasts for eternity. 

I’m unmarried…so I continually give thanks for the following. 

  • God’s unfailing love and friendship. 
  • As much time as I want with God.
  • The ability to truly invest in people’s lives without distractions. 
  • The ability to be present without wondering what a spouse or children need. 
  • Sleep and rest.
  • Traveling wherever I want to go, whenever I want to go. 
  • The ability to be involved in and lead multiple ministries. 
  • Time with my family that’s undivided-there’s one not two families to keep up with.
  • Serving others by opening my home, giving of my time. 
  • A clean house. 
  • Money to bless others in need. The ability to sow into others without checking in with someone. 
  • Peace. 
  • Quiet. 
  • The ability to work and go to school.
  • Learning more of who I am in Christ and my individual destiny with God. 
  • Feeling loved and cherished every day by God. 
  • Being under God’s authority which is always used to love and protect, not out of selfishness or control. 
  • Being loved for who I am not what I have to offer or my physical appearance. 
  • Growing in Godly confidence and wisdom.
  • Writing and lots of time to write/create. 
  • Adventures with God and friends.
  • Building a business with God. 
  • Time alone with Holy Spirit to be taught by Him.
  • Having my heart, mind, body protected.

I also give thanks for the basics: food, water, shelter, and clean clothing. I give thanks for everything! God is good all the time. In every single season, God is good. 

Whether you are married or single, theres something to be thankful for and contentment can be found in God. I encourage everyone to make a list of things they are thankful for and thank God. 

God bless you! 

Erin Lamb 

A Note on Covenant (Marriage)

  
Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God all all His righteousness…

Our country has been in an uproar over the marriage amendment. There are those demanding that marriage be defined the way God does, only 1 man and 1 woman. It is true this is the only covenant of marriage between human beings that God honors, that heaven honors. He made the guidelines. I did not. In the Garden of Eden He created them male and female (Genesis 1:27). They together complement each other. They together become one. They together represent God. Adam alone, man alone, does not represent the full characteristics and nature of God. He and she (Eve) together show us His nature. In His image He created them. 

Over the years I’ve seen marriage be elevated above the covenant with God. Adam and Eve had God before each other. The first Being Eve saw wasn’t Adam. It was God. Then God presented Eve to Adam. Adam had relationship with God before He ever knew Eve. Human relationships were never intended to replace God. Never, ever. 

If you read the Bible, especially Romans 1 you will see man’s greatest downfall is worshipping the created over the Creator. It is idolatry. Whenever we love someone or something more than God it leads to destruction. Our world has often elevated the husband wife relationship and human family above covenant with God, His Kingdom family, and pursuing Him. 

Singles scream, “If I could only get married then I’d be happy and complete.” 

Married couples say, “If only my spouse did this or were more like this, then I’d be happy and complete.” 

I will tell you a secret….

Only God can completely fill and satisfy the heart.❤️ 

Only God brings everlasting JOY! 

Only God is perfect!

Only God is intended to be worshipped. All idols demonize and destroy.

Only God can satisfy the deepest longings of the heart and spirit. 

Only God deserves highest priority in our lives, God first…

May we seek God, believe God, receive love from God, soak in His Presence, put Him first, get to know Him, deepen/cultivate friendship with God, and treat the covenant with Him as more important than a marriage covenant. 💍

In a healthy marriage we don’t just show up once a week for an hour or so nor do we treat our spouse like it’s their job to serve us or cater to our demands. We don’t read books about our spouse and refuse to do life with them. We don’t have other lovers, nor do we live a life displeasing to our vows. We pursue our spouse to love ♥️💯, honor, respect them, be with them, connect with them, & experience life together. God deserves more than an earthly spouse. His covenant is eternal and He loves more than a spouse ever could. 

May you and I seek first God and His Kingdom. If He’s first, He gives us the love, strength, joy, energy to love our families. 

Bless you! 

Erin Lamb

Supremacy of Jesus (The Life & Teachings of Jesus Part I)

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Photo Credit: Pinterest (original Source unknown)

The world has ideas about Jesus. He is well known in many religions other than Christianity. Those religions call Him a good man, or a prophet. They do not call Him God or the way to salvation. They remove the supremacy of Christ which is crucial. The bible outlines for us who Jesus is. Let’s dive into some text…

Colossians 1:13-23 (NKJV)

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

What do we learn about Jesus in this passage?

1. He is fully God. The Father chose to have all His fullness dwell in Him.

2. He is the firstborn of all creation.

3. He was before the creation of the world and all was created through Him and for Him.

4. By Jesus the Father reconciles all things to Himself, by Jesus, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood shed on the cross.

4. Through Him we have forgiveness of sins. He presents us holy to the Father through His sacrifice.

5. He is the head of the church.

Let’s look at another passage about Jesus.

Ephesians 1: 19-23 (NKJV)

…what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

We learn from the second passage…

1. Jesus was raised from the dead.

2. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.

3. His name is above every name.

4. Jesus is far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

It’s important that we understand who we are following. Jesus is fully God. He’s not weak, powerless, intimidated, still hanging on a cross, defeated, or passive. The Father gave Him the name above all names. He is the way to heaven, salvation. Without relationship with God, no person shall enter heaven.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,“~John 14:6 (NIV).

So my questions for us this series post are?

A. Do we view Jesus as scripture depicts Him?

B. When we share the Gospel, do we let people know Jesus is Lord? We aren’t inviting people to live as they please. It’s an invitation to love and commitment.

C. Have we made Jesus Lord over every area of life?

To call Jesus friend is an honor and privilege. Yet have we made Him Lord. If He is Lord, then we are submitting to Him. We align our hearts with His will.

I hope this series challenges us to know Jesus and what He taught. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He’s highly exalted. He’s worthy!

Father, help us to see Jesus as He is, not our preconceived ideas of who He is. May we know Him and follow Him. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Love,

Erin

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,~Jeremiah 29:13.

So Amazed By You (Worship Series Part 9)

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The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory.

Psalm 24 in it’s entirety. God is magnificent and worthy to be praised. He created the world with His words. He spoke and it was. As you look around the earth you see the glory and splendor of God. How awesome are His works. How glorious are His deeds. How beautiful is His heart. How excellent is His creativity.

He created mankind in His image, formed Adam from the dust and breathed His life into Him. We are unlike all other animals because we have God’s breath in us. God formed Eve out of the side of Adam.

God gave all creation natural order and beauty.

God knows and calls all the stars by name. There are approximately a septillion stars… “And so, if you multiply the number of stars in our galaxy by the number of galaxies in the Universe, you get approximately 10^24 stars. That’s a 1 followed by twenty-four zeros,”~universetoday.com.

We can’t recall probably a thousand or ten thousand names. God can recall them all!

God knows every hair on our heads and has collected every tear in a bottle.

How awesome is our God? He’s beyond awesome.

There’s nowhere we can go that’s hidden from His Presence. There’s nothing more powerful than His love. There’s no one who stands above Him. He is great, powerful, good, holy, awesome, and amazing.

This is the God we worship. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God who led the Israelites out of captivity. The God who performed many miraculous signs and wonders to free His people. The God who fed the multitudes manna from heaven. The God who spoke to Moses through a burning bush. The God who overshadowed a virgin to conceive His Son. The God who raised Jesus and Lazarus from the dead.

Everything and everyone else pales in comparison. In order to be fully free of idols, we must glorify the only One worthy of worship. It is God alone that we worship. Nothing and no one created is worthy of worship.

Only God can save.

Only the power of God can heal and deliver.

Only the love of God can radically transform a life; give people true, unshakable identity and a completely new nature.

Only God can hold the world together and cease to fail.

So I ask, who and what will you worship?

The church can’t save people. Spouses and friends can’t make another person whole. Money can’t purchase lasting joy. Ministry cannot provide sustaining life. Politicians, pastors, and mere men/women can’t save anyone and deliver the world from all evil. Earthly pleasures cannot replace the goodness and pleasure of God.

Since the beginning of time, the war has been over worship. For we become like the object of our affections. Lucifer wanted the worship given to God. It got him thrown out of heaven. We were made in God’s image to worship Him. As we worship Him, we become more and more like Him.

What’s stealing your worship? What do you love or want more than God? Whatever it is, it leads to destruction. Idols don’t give life; they take it.

Father whatever we worship other than you, may it be laid at your feet. You alone are worthy of worship, adoration, and pure devotion. You are good and your steadfast love endures forever. Thank you for loving us. Please forgive us for the sin of idolatry. Help us to glorify you in all things. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

The Best Yes

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My friend and I are reading the book, The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst. It’s so rich and so good. I highly recommend this book. I started to think, what is the best yes? What is my best yes as a single person? The Bible says a single person has undivided attention. Meaning they can spend as much time with God as possible. They can go wherever God calls them to go without hindrance or having to check in with someone else. They donate as much of their time, money and resources to the Kingdom as they want and their focus isn’t pleasing a human spouse, but solely pleasing Christ. Married people have the priority of caring for a spouse and maybe kids. Their focus is divided as Paul stated. Neither is better than the other, but it’s easier to see priorities when they are set for you.

Married people: love God and please your spouse/take care of and disciple your kids.
Single people: devote your life to God. Be sold out for Him. What does that mean?

Here are my responses to that question.

Start each day with God
Cultivate intimacy with God
Invest monetarily, gifts, talents, and skills for Kingdom purposes
Seek God about relationships, how to spent time, resources, gifts, and talents. What will bring Him the most glory?
Be discipled by the Holy Spirit and other believers
Disciple others
Study God’s word and know it well
Soak in God’s presence often
Worship God and give thanks continually
Pray without ceasing…
Be salt and light everywhere I go
Share the Gospel with others
Feed the hungry, clothe the naked…
Be with Jesus and do what I see Jesus doing
Bless and encourage people daily (1 a day is 365 a year-14,600 in 40 years if you just bless one a day)
Pursue purity in thought, heart, and deed
Enlarge heaven

My best yes is relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The most important yes is to cultivate intimacy with God which doesn’t always mean doing for Him. It’s mainly being with Him. Being with Him leads to doing for Him out of love, not to establish identity or check a box. It’s not about perfection either. It’s about purpose.

Why are we here? What did God create us to do that only we are designed to do? What are we doing to be in alignment with our divine destiny?

Being single is the time in life to spend as much time with God as possible. To find out who He is, who I am in Him, and have unhindered fellowship with Him. No husband to check in with, no kids tugging at you, no restrictions in what you can do for Him. I am not against marriage. It’s a good thing too. I am pro living content in the season I am in. Enjoying today. I am pro not believing a wedding day is the best day of a person’s life. The day a person gives their life to Jesus is the best day of any person’s life. No person can do what God can do. He’s transformed and continues to transform my life. Only Jesus saves…so you don’t wait for the next thing to feel that’s what gives you purpose. Jesus gives purpose. God gives identity. Contentment is found in Him alone.

We also don’t live aimlessly and allow people to decide what we are doing. Jesus wasn’t driven by the demands and opinions of people. He only did what He saw the Father doing. He offended many by not doing what they wanted Him to do. He wasn’t a people pleaser. He pleased the Father.

For the married people. Loving your spouse and/or kids is loving God. It is honoring God. Teaching your children about Jesus is awesome and a best yes. Being a light to your spouse and family is so honorable. You don’t have to go across the world to do missions, though you may. Marriage was God’s idea and it’s noble. It does not replace God. A spouse and family are not God. He still wants to be first in a married person’s life as well as a single person’s life. He still want’s married people to disciple others, put Him first, give, be generous, encourage others, be with Him, study the word, worship, know Him, enjoy Him, and be led by Him. It’s just in ways different…

Lastly, God alone gives purpose. Only the Creator can tell someone what they were created to do. No marriage, friend, job, ministry, family, or anything else can give someone identity that is solid. When our lives are over, we will stand before Him alone. The most important question is, “What did you do with my Son?” for salvation. He will assess also what we did with what He gave us; time, talent, money, gifts,…see parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). God is the Best Yes.

What is your best yes?

What are you living for?

How are you spending time? There are 168 hours in a week…what are they being used for? Lysa has this great assessment tool. See link below. I highly recommend her book. It’s not adding more things to do. It’s assessing what we are doing that it’s aligned with the best yes. God gives each person the grace to be and accomplish what He created them for. I can’t be you. You can’t be me. We are unique creations designed to fit into our nitch to give Him glory.

Time Assessment tool: http://thebestyes.com/time-assessment-tool

I Know God Is, but Who Am I?

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So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them,~Genesis 1:27.

God raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus,~Ephesians 2:6.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world,~1 John 4:4.

It’s impossible to know who we are without first knowing the One we were fashioned after, God. We are not demi gods. We are made in His image.

Without God it is impossible to have a secure identity or freedom from fear.

All insecurity can be tied back to fear. Fear of not being good enough, not having enough, not measuring up, not being powerful or safe, fear of being judged, ridiculed, rejected, or abandoned.

Fear says, “God is not who He says He is. God might not or will not come through for you. You are not who God says you are!”

Fear aims to keep us focused on who we are not instead of who we are in Christ.

Jesus didn’t just go to the cross to save our souls, though that’s a tremendous gift and blessing. He raised us up, deposited His Spirit in us, and invited us to do what He did (live an empowered life, be His disciples, and disciple others).

God empowered us! We were never meant to be hopeless, downtrodden, powerless, beat up by the enemy, or despondent. Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross, then handed us great authority in His name.

So why do so many Christians feel chronically defeated?

Life can beat on the strongest of souls. Feeling defeated or insecure can occur when we believe the lie that something or someone is more powerful than God, when we forgot who our Heavenly Father is, or we’ve forgotten or failed to realize who we are in Him.

God in us is not defeated!:

The Greater One lives in us. He’s not coaching from the sidelines. The Coach lives in us! The Creator of the Universe is abiding in believers. He never leaves our side. We have a 24/7 live in comforter, counselor, advocate, and He’s better than a GPS or Google. He is not afraid or insecure.

I heard Pastor Bill Johnson say something that stuck with me…he said, “Believers may have the Holy Spirit, but does He have them?” We can quench the Holy Spirit. We can choose not to follow or listen to Him. He’s a gentleman. He won’t force His way. He’s not a control freak. Love doesn’t force it’s own way.

Final thoughts:

We are God’s workmanship! We have a reason to feel hopeful, encouraged, empowered, and without insecurity. God has given us incredible tools; His Spirit, relationship with Him, His Word, and other believers!

Labels (Killing Insecurity Series Part 9)

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What labels are defining you? My last post dealt with status. This post digs a little bit deeper. Our society is set up to place labels on us from birth. Think about it. The first label placed on you was about your gender and ethnicity. It’s a Caucasian baby girl or African American boy. On goes an identifying label.

Yes, knowing the gender and ethnicity of a baby is important…the point is we start out with the intent to categorize people.

We are taught the game in school, “Which one of these things doesn’t belong?” We learn that people who are different from us are not as valuable.

Humans use labels to set up a value system. Examples from history; boys are better than girls, popular is better than unpopular, one race or ethnic group is better than another, well educated or wealthy people are better than uneducated or poor people. Our labels divide and produce inequality. They are based on externals and promote pride or insecurity or division.

They are short or tall.

He or she is smart or unintelligent.

He or she is rich or poor.

They are black, or white, or brown, or…

He or she is good or bad!

They are beautiful or ugly.

They are an addict, pervert, monster, freak, or jerk.

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Some labels are good, some are harmful, and some are neutral. The problem with labels is that if we define ourselves or others by things that are not in line with God’s word it can lead to insecurity or pride. Let’s look at God’s Word.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them, Genesis 1:27.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus, Galatians 3:28.

But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine, Isaiah 43:1.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light, 1 Peter 2:9.

When you read God’s word in it’s entirety, the message is: God loves all people and Jesus came to redeem mankind. Jesus died to free us and give us a new name and nature. The labels He places on us lead to God centered esteem. He calls us sons and daughters, made in His image (male and female), chosen, royal, His special possession, one in Christ, a holy nation, redeemed, forgiven, treasured, valuable, the apple of His eye, and loved with an everlasting love.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather bask in the labels God places on me. They cannot be taken away. I am the King’s Daughter, chosen, loved, and I bear His name.

So my encouragement is to strip off all the labels that are negative, harmful, and not in line with your God given identity. And do your best to not define others by things that cause division or are hurtful. May we have the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Jesus died for all!

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