Breaking Cycles of Dysfunction in Relationships (Single and Following Jesus Series Part IX)

Have you been in a cycle of repeated bad relationships or you see your friends in those same dysfunctional relationships? Today is a day of breaking free.

I have asked the same questions about friendships or casual relationships, “Why is this type of person attracted to me? They have no qualities that match up.” That may seem harsh yet let me give some examples for clarity.

My nature is encouraging, supportive, and I pursue kindness. I want to see you win. I will be the most vocal cheerleader for you.

I wondered why those who were negative, critical, mean spirited, unsupportive, and hateful were drawn to me and why they turned their negativity on me.

I am going to tell you why. Are you ready?

1. Opposites Sometimes Do Attract.

You may be giving and attract a taker. You may be kind and attract someone rude. It is not always true that we attract who we are. You may be loving and attract someone critical, rude, mean.

2. Poor Boundaries.

People treat us the way we let them treat us. Some see meekness (strength under control) as weakness. If we do not set a boundary, “You may not treat me that way, you may not talk to me that way, no this is not okay,” then we invite disrespect. It’s a conversation that must start early, not months into the relationship.

I had a lady tell me once (long ago), “I know no matter how bad I treat you, you will always be there for me.” I thought to myself, “What kind of crazy have I signed up for.”

Loving someone does not mean you let them treat you poorly. That is called enabling. It is a form of codependency. Some think God is this way. He is not. His love does not change. He is not cheering when we misbehave. God sets boundaries-“If you do this, this is the result.” God allows natural consequences. He does not remove every consequence this side of heaven.

So with this lady, I pulled back from being her default when she had no boyfriend, the person who answered her calls in crisis. I removed myself from being a doormat under the umbrella of false love.

More examples:

I have an associate who is negative. This person loves to complain and focus on what is wrong. It drains me. I told the person this week, “I would love when we talk for it to be about something positive, goals, good things. What’s going right? There is enough crazy in the world, let’s be the change we wish to see.” I set a boundary. Please keep your constant complaining in your yard. Do I love this person, yes. Do I want to listen to hours of doom, gloom, negativity, gossip, he said/she said…no. I am not a garbage can.

I had a gentleman pursuing me who always wanted to wait until the last minute to set dates. I told him I would appreciate advance notice (not all the time-yet it was considerate to give others notice); texting me Friday afternoon to meet Friday night is a no go for constant meet ups. I set a boundary. He did not listen. So often he’d texted on Friday or Saturday afternoon and I was busy.

My female friend said it was a game to see if I was seeing other people. I am an adult. I only play games with actual children. Some may have thought that was cute. I did not. Maybe if we were a couple and had been dating awhile, yet not for someone I do not know well this was a no go and setting dates signifies value. Yes, be spontaneous…Also take the time to plan something. Gentlemen say, “I would love to see you Friday night, do you have plans?” That conversation happens before Friday. I am not clearing every weekend hoping a guy messages me. I have things to do.

If you make yourself so available to everyone, they will treat you like you have no value. If you do not value your time, value yourself, why should they? I am not saying play hard to get nor play games. I am saying if you do not respect and value your own time, others will not either.

Place God at the center. Would God want me treated this way? If not, why are you allowing it? How much time do I need to invest in this relationship? How much of my heart can they steward well? God knows.

If you have poor or low boundaries, then you will find disorder and dysfunction and poor treatment.

3. Quick to Trust and Dismissing Relational Red Flags.

I consider myself trustworthy. Therefore, I give people the benefit of the doubt. I have learned to pay attention. Watch people. Watch how they treat people. Watch how they talk about others. Do they tell everyone else’s business? They are not trustworthy with your business. Do they only show up when they need something? You are most likely a convenience. Do you make all the effort? You are in a one sided relationship. If they destroy others, do not think they will not do it to you.

Many times red flags are ignored under the, “I am a loving Christian.” Okay, be a loving Christian with wisdom. Wisdom says, “Bad company corrupts good character.” Wisdom says, “How can two be joined unless they agree?” Wisdom says, “Do not make partners with an angry person.” These are all in the Bible right along with love your neighbor. You can love someone without dating them, being close friends, being business or ministry partners, or marrying them.

One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou is as follows, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” Unless they want to change or God changes them, that is what you are dealing with in a partner or friend.

4. You Are Pulling All the Relational Weight

I love giving. I love giving with no expectation of return. Yet there is wisdom required in giving as well. Too much time spent together, too much closeness without commitment, too much investment without any investment back is a set up for dysfunction.

Jesus loves perfectly and in exchange for our freedom He gave His life. When we enter into covenant, God asks for our life. Please understand God is not just giving, giving, giving and expecting nothing. He asks for our entire lives. It’s a bigger commitment than an earthly marriage.

This thought that selfless giving is to lead to one sided relationships is not covenant love. Relationships were designed to be give and take. If one person is doing all the work, it’s not love. Both people are to pursue the best interests of the other.

I have seen overgiving lead to abuse; it attracts narcissists and abusive people. Why? They thrive on taking. Selfless givers with no boundaries are easy targets.

A person who loves you will want to bless you too.

I have met so many people angry because they trusted too quickly, fell in love with the idea of someone, ignored red flags, and were burned poorly in a relationship. If you pay attention, people show you who they are. Their mouth speaks what their heart is full of and their actions, if you watch closely, manifest their heart and how they feel about you.

Placing God at the center can save us loads of heartache.

God help me to choose the right associates, friends, confidants, mate. Help me to set godly boundaries and respect those of others. I want to be the best friend I can be to someone and want that in return. Help me to not only be a blessing, but to cease settling for less than what you would offer. Break every cycle of dysfunction in my life and relationships. The common denominator is me. Show me what I am allowing or the poor or low boundaries. Help me to stay centered in you and have the best relationships possible. God help me to be healthy in my soul and attract and maintain relationships with healthy people. Jesus break cycles of dysfunction and it starts with me. Change me so I guard my heart and live out of wisdom and love! In Jesus powerful name.

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Pursue Jesus and Use Wisdom (Single & Following Jesus Series Part VIII)

For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly,~Psalm 84:11.

“Get [skillful and godly] wisdom! Acquire understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation]!

Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not turn away from her (Wisdom) and she will guard and protect you;

Love her, and she will watch over you,”~Proverbs 4:5-6.

Wisdom is so vital in all of life.

Believers are encouraged to follow Jesus and acquire wisdom. The pursuit of wisdom is not for demonic wisdom; the wisdom of this age is not always in alignment with God.

Godly wisdom is pure, full of truth, love, and has the best interests of everyone involved considered. Godly wisdom is holy; it is without sin.

Our culture promotes immorality and sensuality. It is ungodly. The movies and tv promote immorality without ever truly showing the depths of the consequences for immoral choices.

Our culture also promotes the lie that sex or marriage will complete a person.

As stated last post, casual sex is promoted. Not only is casual sex promoted so is love at first sight, magical/mystical/over romanced/over sexualized relationships. Many of these relationships disregard wisdom, true God love, or God’s truths. They sound good, may look good, yet they do not hold onto goodness as you fast forward to when reality sets into the picture.

Ex: Henry and Julie who fell in love find out a year later after the honeymoon period is over that they have nothing in common that’s not physical, they the thrill is gone, they fight over money, they hate each other’s families, and they are miserable. This scenario rarely makes it to the big screen. Henry and Julie maybe pursued lust/feelings over wisdom and love. Then we see them break up (if unmarried) or divorce.

Follow Jesus:

Jesus is love, therefore pursuing God is pursuing love. God helps us to love ourselves and others. When God is first, the voids in our lives are filled by God. We then make decisions out of unselfish, sacrificial love not lust (which is about pleasing self), selfishness, desperation, or loneliness. God fills all the empty places so we enter relationships prepared to give, not with our hands out to receive or be made whole by an imperfect human. Only God can completely fill the voids of the soul and spirit. God solidifies identity, not a mate.

When God is first, He can bring in an equal complement/companion. Otherwise there may be a temptation to pursue a match that is less that God’s best. There are no perfect people, there are God matches that are better together than apart.

Wisdom says, “Will the relationship add value for both people? Is God at the center? Can we grow together? Is there mutual effort? Are we headed the same direction? How does this person handle life, conflict, money? Would God or my close friends/family choose this person for me? Is this person even interested in a lifelong partnership with me? Can we be allies? Are we friends?

If things do not work out, are we leaving the person in better shape than they were before they met us? Or are they in need of deep inner healing after connecting to us? Seriously think about what you bring to the table. Is it good? Does it add value?

The people who engage in sex outside of marriage are robbing a future spouse of intimacy with that person and their own future spouse. The one who engages in pornography is robbing themselves of deep intimacy and understanding of what God intended with sex. His design was always about love; unselfish, committed, holy, powerful, intimate, sacrificial love. The devil invites people to cheapen the most intimate act between a man and woman.

Love is willing to slow down and pray. Love is willing to evaluate the situation and relationship with God. Love wants to keep God in first place. Love pursues purity. Love is willing to set boundaries that offer protection of both people. Love is who God is.

Pursue Wisdom:

Let’s venture into another part of process, pursuing wisdom. I have met many people hurt because they forsook wisdom.

Ex: Susie likes John so she starts having dreams that he is the one. Obviously God speaks in dreams, so she should grab ahold to that dream and start planning their wedding in her head (not wisdom). Hit the mega pause button. I have seen women do this and ignore the actions of John. John is a jerk and mistreats everyone, yet there is this dream/prophetic word-so Susie holds on for dear life only to find out later John never wanted to marry her, or worse they get married and he’s an abuser.

Red Alert: Every dream, vision, prophetic word needs tested. Every single one. Do not just run with a “word” or “impression” or “dream” without testing it to see if it’s truly God. I do not care who the prophet was who gave that word, it needs tested and confirmed. The devil speaks and can invade dreams, impressions, visions.

If you think you heard from God about someone, pray and put that word on the shelf. I recommend praying, “God show me who this person really is,” and watching them. How do they treat you? Do you always initiate contact? Do they invest in you at all? How does being with this person impact your life? Are you constantly confused about where you stand with that person? Are they controlling, mean, unloving? Do they treat you with love, respect, honor?

Too many times people fall for who they want someone to be instead of who they really are. Would you let your best friend marry someone like the person you are interested in? If not, why are you in that relationship?

I have seen women chase men like they are Jesus then end up disappointed they are rejected. Relationships are not mean to be like the animal kingdom; chase, pursue, conquer. They are supposed to be about love. Love involves mutual pursuit.

Evaluate your relationship:

Is your relationship life giving? Or are you in tears or upset most of the time? God wants His very best for you, for everyone. God ordained matchups still have challenges, they should not be loaded with confusion, uncertainty, abuse, pain, and suffering.

I have also seen both men and women cling to the idea that someone loves them or is interested in them who will not commit to them nor express their intentions.

Ex: Karla has been into Jerry for years. Jerry flirts and is nice yet has never asked her on a date, never expressed interest, and does nothing to initiate contact or getting to know each other. Karla is convinced his flirting when he sees her is more than it is.

I work in a predominately male environment and they have told me, “We flirt because it’s fun. It makes us feel good.” Therefore there is no intention of a relationship. For the unsaved person there may be an intention of a hook up, but not marriage or a serious relationship.

Get Wisdom! Ask for discernment.

“Discernment is more than the ability to differentiate between right and wrong. It is the ability to differentiate between right and almost right.”

Wisdom looks at the future as well as the present. Wisdom prays and seeks godly counsel. Wisdom is a life preserver. Wisdom says, “Where is God in this situation? Are we are good match? Spiritually are we on the same page? Can we grow together? Is this someone God would choose for me? Are my God expectations on this person when they should be on God? How does this person treat people, including me? Does this person demonstrate any of the fruit of the Spirit?”

Papa God I pray every unmarried person pursues Jesus and wisdom. I bind any spirits of impatience, deception, selfishness, lust, false dreams/false prophecies, and declare soul health. Come Lord Jesus and fill every soul with your love, peace, joy, and purity. Fill every person to overflowing. Impart godly wisdom and truth. Help each person make wise decisions about relationships. Prepare each person for what you have for them. Heal all past relational wounding, in Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Live in Reality (Single & Following Jesus Series Part VII)

Aloha friends.

Today I wanted to chat about living in reality and being realistic.

We live in a world of reality tv which does not always represent reality. We live in a world that promotes fantasy (what feels good to you, act that out).

God invites us into reality with Him. Why? God’s reality is rooted in truth, His wisdom, and holiness.

Fantasy is often rooted in seduction, lust, and deception.

Imagination is God given and can be holy; fantasy is normally rooted in pretending.

God invites us into His truth and holiness. Believing God’s truth sets us free. Believing the devil leads to bondage.

Culture vs. God’s Kingdom:

You see movies of two people falling instantly in love then bed together. They sleep together and live happily ever after right? They do not show you the people dumped after a one night stand, the pregnancies and abortions after one night stands, the sexually transmitted diseases contracted, the new demonic spirits transferred between two people, the tears on the soul, nor the decreased ability to bond to another person after casual sex. The devil never talks to people about negative consequences of stepping outside God’s boundaries. He presents something that seems good, will bring temporary pleasure, yet will not bring lasting joy and satisfaction.

The same goes with pornography. It was not until recently studies popped up showing the detriment of this activity. Fantasy in this area leads to lack of genuine love, decreased genuine intimacy with a real human, and is often the gateway for more illicit choices. Many who later participate in human trafficking (buying slaves or engaging in prostitution/abuse) started with pornography; it devalues humans and reduces them to objects instead of people.

What is Reality?

Reality is God highly values all people and they are not objects to be used for pleasure, they are people to be loved.

Godly love involves commitment, protection, and stewarding the heart of another person well. It is a love that says, “I want to honor you so I am willing to do things God’s way. I will safe guard this relationship so it brings God glory and honors you. I will not take from you without committing to you, for that is stealing what I am unwilling to cherish for life. I want to steward the gifts you are offering me of your time, resources, body, heart, and life. I want to be in covenant with you which is bound by a commitment to sacrificial, unselfish, God given love.”

Let’s talk about another form of fantasy. It happens when people start planning their marriage before their first date or idolizing someone they just met. Why is this dangerous? The person you may end up marrying may not be that person you made up in your head or the person sitting across from you at coffee. Pursuing a fantasy relationship (the made up one in the head) leads to gross disappointment when facing reality.

The made up John may cook, clean, leave roses and romantic cards. The real life John may just take out the trash.

I have seen way too many people fall in love with the idea or marriage or the idea of a person and end up grossly disappointed with reality.

Reality is until that person says, “I do,” they are not your spouse. In your head you can paint a wild, vivid fantasy that amounts to nothing. Why? Until they say, “I do,” they can still choose to walk away from the situation.

Reality is what that person shows you is what you are dealing with and have to take home. People are not projects. I have heard so many women say they will change their husband only to find out they (their spouse) has zero desire to change. They envisioned John the romantic. The reality is they got John the couch potato. In their fantasy they would marry John and make him like the Señor Suave in their head. Reality was John had zero desire to be what the fantasy was so he refused. I still tell people to pray God shows you before you say, “I do,” what you are dealing with in a partner.

Reality is marriage requires work. It as painted as an every day, all day love fest. Yet get some couples as friends who have been married awhile. They will tell you that it requires some work. Get more than just your parents who may withhold some of the deep challenges.

Reality is treating that other person like a brother or sister in the Lord or friend until their is a level of commitment. Giving yourself away, being too available/vulnerable, not setting great boundaries (including emotional/physical), and treating someone not your spouse like a spouse is the set up for heartache. We were not intended to bond with dozens of people then break up. God set up bonding and intimacy so we could form life long bonds. If you take two pieces of paper and glue them together then rip them apart, there is tearing. Neither piece remains whole.

Reality is being single is not a curse nor indication of being inferior/rejected. Jesus had no earthly wife. Paul had no wife. Mother Teresa had no husband. I would not say any of these people were cursed, without purpose, nor inferior beings. They went about doing the will of the Father. Desiring marriage is not a bad thing. Thinking it somehow improves your worth is a bad thing.

I do not know the exact map of my life nor the map of others. I do know God is good. Time can be wasted worrying or stressing over what is not happening verses enjoying who God is. In the presence of God is fullness of joy. I do know fantasy robs us of experiencing the joy of the Lord.

Papa God, for anyone who reads this that is caught up in fantasy instead of reality, I ask for your Holy Spirit to wash over them from the tops of their heads to the soles of their feet. I bind any and all seducing spirits and spirits of lust. I ask you would loose your love, peace, joy, and power. Reveal every lie they have come into agreement with that is blocking freedom. Every idol come crashing down. Holy Spirit of truth permeate every part of their being. Every addiction be bound. I ask you Lord for total freedom, inner healing, and deliverance by the power of your anointing. I decree and declare freedom from living outside Godly reality. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin

Response to Why Are You Still Single? (Single & Following Jesus Part V)


Aloha friends, 

So one of the frequent questions given to singles is “Why are you single?” It might be followed by a, “You are so beautiful/handsome. You are such a great person,” or a “Let me set you up with my (coworker, friend, this person I know, or a complete stranger).” 

Sometimes the person is unbelieveably rude and says something like, “I am so glad I found someone,” or “You better get moving the clock is ticking.” 

I had a lady tell me once she could never be me because I did not have anyone. Well, she was soon single. Her husband was caught cheating. As a matter of fact every woman who has looked down on me for being single ended up divorced/betrayed. No, I did not wish bad things on them. 

Their comments do not bother me. Why? I truly like who I am. With or without a mate, I like myself. A partner is not a means to validate my self worth. 

Some pity you. Some judge you. Some try to set you up on awful blind dates. Some assume all you do is think about marriage. There are healthy ways to deal. 

How do you deal? 

Well, offense is an option or a snarky comment. Don’t let the spirit of slap get you. 😉


The high road is understanding being single is not a curse nor will marriage fix everything. Marriage adds responsibilities, involves compromise, and is best suited for two people ready to attempt to love unselfishly. 

Paul stated very clearly that the married person focuses on their spouse while the single person has undivided focus on God. 

I really want to get married, what do I do? 

I enjoy being single, except at weddings and around certain people. Then I wish I had a fake spouse to bypass the akwardness. 🙂 Yet I know it is a great desire in the hearts of many. So here are some tidbits. 

1. Get comfy with who you are

Confidence attracts great things. 

Being single can cause some insecurity for some-the world is wondering why no one has chosen you. You may wonder this too. Yet know there are plenty of people married to the wrong person or in hellish marriages because they were impatient. They post like it’s bliss on Social Media, yet know of several faking the funk per say. 

The right thing for a person at the wrong time is still the wrong thing. 

2. Know God cares about the desires of your heart and His abilities trump a biological clock. 

I know people who married later in life and have amazing marriages. They had kids over 40, had the income to support those kids, and were mature enough to handle the marriage. When God gives gifts, they are custom. Custom gifts are not always quick or immediate. One can go create an Ishmael situation or wait on God/seek God for Issac. 

But my biological clock is like a time bomb! 

Abraham and Sarah are prime examples of God’s ability to defy biology. God created the body. God can do what people say cannot be done. I know most do not want their story to be that of Abraham and Issac. I simply wanted to encourage you that God is not limited. 

The desires of a person’s heart placed in the hands of God is the safest place they can be. 

3. Ask why you want to be married?

Selfishness is the thief of love, God love. If marriage is a means to fit in, fill a void, forgo lonliness, or deal with lust-those are the wrong motives. 

Marriage amplifies who a person is. Any issues hidden come bubbling up. What if that spouse get’s disfigured, can not meet physical needs, gets an illness…what then? What if for better or worse becomes the worse? If the objective is not to unselfishly love and honor someone for life, well relational breakdown occurs. 

4. Pray

There are people who say pray for your future spouse. I am not opposed to this. I truly think some of the greatest prayers are below…

Lord help me to find contentment in you alone. 

Lord purify my heart and help me to walk in purity. 

Lord show me how to love like you. 

Lord prepare me for what you have for me. 

Lord help me to guard my heart. 

Lord help me to steward others hearts well. 

Lord give me wisdom and increased discernment. 

Lord fill all the voids with you. 

Lord heal my soul. 

Lord protect me from the wrong choices. 

Lord hold my heart and do not let me give it to the wrong person. 

Lord prepare the person you have for me. Cause our paths to cross at the perfect time. 

Lord help me to find my identity in you. 

Lord strengthen me where I am weak.


Final thoughts…

People are getting married later in life. I hear from ladies that Christian men do not pursue them. I hear from Christian guys they are clueless how to date or have been repeadily rejected. So this leaves an interesting dynamic for those desiring children. Some opt for online dating. I have seen this work out great for many and not so great for a few. Some pray and hope God sends someone. Some give up all together. 

I will say that God is good and withholds nothing good. God’s timing is not always ours. Yet I have seen over and over the faithfulness of God. May knowing God be the aim. Those who seek first the Kingdom will gain so much more. The greatest gift is God! 

Praying for you! God wants His very best for you, for all of us. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

Know Your True Enemy 

  
Morning Devotion: Understand your opponent. The key to continual victory is understanding your true enemy. 

People are not the enemy, though there are people who cooperate with the devil to accomplish his will on earth. He requires human agreement. 

People say Eve was gullible and that’s why the serpent chose to go to her first. I disagree. Eve was given the same mandate as Adam; fill and subdue the earth, have dominion (Genesis 1). She had authority. God did not say, “Adam have dominion, Eve go pick berries, clean the Garden, do whatever Adam tells you to do.” God said to both of them to have domion. 

God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”~Genesis 1:28. Notice He said, “Them” plural. 

Dominion Definition: sovereignty; control, authority, mastery, power, rule, government. 

The serpent did not need to deceive Adam. Scripture says Adam was with Eve when she ate from the tree (Genesis 3:6). Adam knowingly betrayed God, committed treason, and then blamed Eve. Why not go for the one who will knowingly betray God? 

Eve represented a part of what the devil hates; life, relationship. She was bone of Adam’s bone, flesh of his flesh. He would cleave to her. They would together enter into the first covenant between humans. They would together be fruitful and multiply, fill and subdue the earth, and have dominion together (Genesis 1). 

God had given them (Adam and Eve) a mandate that would continually crush the head of the serpent. They would together fill the earth with the glory of God and create more humans to worship God. 

The devil abhors the true worship of God. 

If you turn them against each other, it is the perfect set up for chaos, disorder, and dysfunction. Adam blamed Eve, and today women are one of the most persecuted people groups. It is challenging to see in America-though we have stats that show the validity of an issue. If you look to other parts of the world, you can see horrific abuse of women. 

If the one chosen to carry life (Eve) is turned on by the one chosen to protect life (Adam) you can destroy civilization. When a woman is pregnant she carries two lives, and one is quite vulnerable (baby). The mother is also going through some challenges as her body is changing to carry a life. God seeks to protect life. Satan desires to steal, kill, and destroy lives. 

Knowing your opponent…

Lucifer (the devil) is not God’s equal, he is far below God. He is a created being who turned evil due to pride (Isaiah 14:12-14). He had the ability to choose, just as we do. He was not created evil. 

He is to be under the feet of the born again believer. So no glory to him. He is a defeated, losing loser. Yet he is still deceiving the world, turning allies into enemies, trying to hijack identity, and use human authority. 

There are women today who are still living under the curse of Eve; stripped of Godly authority, feeling shamed, gullible, less than, and naive. Women who have been silenced or their voices condemned because of the actions of one woman. Jesus nailed the sins of Eve to the cross and took on every curse to restore what was lost in the Garden. Women believers are redeemed, joint heirs with Jesus, empowered, and have the same access to God as their male counterparts. 

There are men today who are still living under the curse Adam; stripped of Godly authority, betraying God and looking after their own interests. Men who have had Godly masculinity replaced with with worldly masculinity, pride, lust, and ego. Jesus nailed the sins of Adam to the cross and took on every curse to restore what was lost in the Garden. Men believers are redeemed, and can walk in the same character traits of Jesus through abiding and intimacy with God (John 15:4-5). 

It is a good time for men and women to be restored to Godly identity pre the fall, to work as allies, and see the fulfillment of God’s mandate on earth. No us vs. them. It’s team Jesus; unified allies representing God in the earth. Each created in the unique expression of God. Each uniquely and passionately loved. Each redeemed through the blood of Jesus. 

Let’s end with a look at the nature of our true enemy, the fallen angel Lucifer-also known as the devil. 

He is: 

  • A liar 
  • A deceiver 
  • A murderer 
  • A control freak 
  • A pervert (twisting God’s trust and will) 
  • A divider (he loves division) 
  • A manipulator 
  • An imitator (he takes what God has created and perverts it into something unintended or wrong) 
  • A coward 
  • A user and abuser 
  • A destroyer 
  • A thief 
  • A blasphemer 
  • An accuser 
  • An instigator
  • A bully 

He is: 

  • Full of pride, self exaltation
  • Full of ego 
  • Full of selfishness (he would be considered a narcissist or sociopath) 
  • Full of jealousy and envy 
  • Full of hatred (there is no love in him) 
  • Full of lust/immorality/lawlessness/sexual perversion
  • Full of deceit (he is the Father of lies) 
  • Full of desire to dominate, force his will on people 
  • Full of fear  
  • Full of anger and rage
  • Full of offense 
  • Full of criticism  

He hates: 

  • God 
  • Humans 
  • Women (targets women/motherhood/identity/authority/purity)
  • Men (targets men to lead them to surrender their Godly masculinity/authority to lust, anger, selfishness, pride, independence from God and others) 
  • Life
  • Unity 
  • Relationship/community 
  • Purity 
  • Hope
  • Encouragement
  • Godly prayer/intercession 
  • Holiness 
  • Humility 
  • Love 
  • Godly covenant
  • Holy sex (inside covenant between a natural born man and woman)  
  • Family 
  • The True Body of Christ 
  • True disciples of Jesus 
  • Intimacy with God 
  • Worship of God 
  • Exaltation of Jesus 

He lacks: 

  • Genuine compassion
  • Agape love (unselfish, sacrificial, unselfish love) 

He enjoys: 

  • Starting fights/strife
  • Death
  • Religious activities void of the power and love of God 
  • Perversion
  • Sexual sin 
  • Oppression 
  • Stealing joy, hope from people 
  • Doing bad things and watching people blame God or each other 
  • Activity not birthed from intimacy with God 
  • Insecurity 
  • Guilt, shame 
  • Rejection 
  • Torment 
  • Affliction 
  • Embarrassing people/humiliation 
  • Using people 
  • Depression 
  • Poverty/lack 

God is 100% good. We see the true nature of the Father in His Son Jesus. God is love. He is for humanity. May you and I know our true enemy. May we walk in the Spirit and be allies with other believers. May our identities be restored to their pre-fall state. May we rise up in our God given authority and stand with God for holy dominion and expanse of His Kingdom on earth. 

Knowing Jesus Leads to Confidence!

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We’ve spent months studying identity in Christ and insecurity. It’s easy to talk about insecurity. It’s quite another to walk out of insecurity and into confidence.

Here are some of things that work against confidence:

1. Caring what people think. The Bible says the fear of man is a snare or trap (Prov. 29:25). No matter what you do, there will be someone, somewhere who has a problem with you. You’re not living for people. You’re living for God. We don’t know our own hearts or motives, therefore people aren’t the best judges of one another. God can see the heart fully.

2. Fear of being arrogant or prideful. Someone decided teaching people they are worthless honors God. Nothing is further from the truth. Insulting a painting doesn’t glorify the Artist. Why would you come to save something of no value? Jesus gave His life because of God’s great love for people.

Pride says, “I’m self made. I’m more important than others. It’s all about me.” Confidence says, “God made me, and He doesn’t make junk. I am who God says I am and can do what He says I can do. I’m significant and so are you!” Arrogance is selfish and self centered, confidence serves others.

3. Trying to fix yourself! The truth is intimacy with God leads to confidence. Reading the Bible, positive self talk, reading books about confidence; these are all good things. The best thing is relationship and intimacy with God. As we behold Him, we become like Him. Being with God, abiding in Him, leads to fruit! Jesus was not and is not insecure. God is confident.

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4. Looking to sources other than God for identity. We have talked quite a bit about this. Society tries to switch the focus to beauty, youth, success, money, relationships, or sex. If God is not the source of identity, our identity is on shifting sands.

5. Rely on feelings! I’ve heard more people say, “I don’t feel…fill in the blank.” Feelings are not always a good indication of truth. Feelings are not bad.They can work for or against you. God’s word is truth.

Many times the heart needs a truth encounter. We are called to live by the Spirit not be led by the Flesh. This is a process that develops through intimacy with God.

Final Thoughts:

Jesus didn’t come to beat us down; He came to lift us up.

Confidence is thanking God for who He created us to be. As a loving Father, He doesn’t want us to insult or undervalue what He created and who He loves.

We are so blessed in Christ! He has given us so much through relationship with Him.

Jesus paid for us to have confidence in Him! Apart from Him we have nothing, with Him we have everything! Live confident, bold, and fearless in Him.

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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!