Confident & Free Book Release!

I released my second book on 7/7/2018. I would love for you to check it out and leave me some feedback.

I truly believe God longs for us to live empowered lives by His Spirit where we are bold, confident, and free!

You and I were created to live confident, courageous, bold, and with healthy esteem. We were created by love (God), to be loved, then to love! We cannot love our neighbor if we do not love ourselves.

Studies show confidence is a better indicator of success than skill. Godly confidence involves healthy risks, courage, and freedom. Dive into this 30 day devotional aimed at drawing you into the heartbeat of God and building godly confidence.

Confident & Free Kindle and Paperback are available for purchase on Amazon.com! Get your copy today!

Kindle:Purchase the Kindle Version Here!

Paperback: Purchase the Paperback Here!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

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Know the Character of God (Revelation Series Part II)

Photo: Pinterest (Character of God)

The last post we talked about knowing the word of God and studying the word of God with the Holy Spirit. Today I want to discuss knowing the character of God. It is just as important to know God personally and understand His character.

What is character?

char·ac·ter

ˈkerəktər/

noun

1. the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

If we do not know the character of God, it can lead to massive deception. There are quite a few representing a God they do not know. They can tell you information about God, yet they do not know God intimately.

I love the quote that says, ”Don’t worry about your reputation, it is who people say you are. Be more concerned with your character because that is who you really are.” It is important that we understand who God is, not who others say God is-who is God?

It is possible to think we know God, think we are worshipping God and actually be in a position where we are worshipping a God created in our own image. I heard another quote I loved. The author said, ”If God has all the same opinions you have, you may not be worshipping God at all.

There is something about God that is counter to our culture. God is higher! God’s ways are higher.

The Bible gives us a blueprint of the character of God, His essence, His attributes, and His nature. We must not pull isolated verses and passages, but study the whole of scripture with God AND pursue intimacy with God (knowing Him for ourselves/build history with God).

When we know the character of God it will help us to discern the words people speak and claim came from God. If we live by second hand information, then we can be easily deceived.

The Pharisees knew the Torah. They believed they knew God, yet Jesus informed them that they did not know God at all.

Jesus rebukes the Pharisees: Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharisees knew of God, they did not know the true and living God. They missed the God standing right in front of them.

Get To Know The Author:

People who know me, truly know me, spend time with me, invite me into their lives, and know my character are a far better judge of what is from me than those who only read my blog, books, or have heard of me.

God is everywhere, yet God is not hosted everywhere. You can go to a party and not be hosted. You can be ignored, not acknowledged, unheard, and treated as insignificant.

God may be omnipresent, yet not everyone is filled with the Spirit of God. Not everyone is led by the Spirit of God. Not everyone hosts the presence of God. Not everyone has an intimate relationship with God where He is known, pursued, followed, and experienced. I have been invited places then ignored or mistreated. If you asked those people who I am, who knows what they would tell you. They know of me. They do not know me.

Anyone can repeat what they have heard, yet someone who is intimate with the author is a better witness and discerner of what is from the author.

God is inviting us to know Him and not just things about Him.

Part of knowing is experience, and testing those experiences by His word. Part is studying the Bible WITH God.

There are many people who claim to know God and what they teach or manifest violates the character of God. The God they worship does not match the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.

Some believe the God of the Old Testament died and the new God is like a fluffy Santa who has no requirements for righteous living. This is false. The New Covenant is far better and changes the way we access God. It does not change who God is. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

Purifying Revelation:

Our revelation is often filtered by our understanding of God. This is why you meet people who can prophesy overly critical and quite hateful things. Some truly believe they are hearing from God. Some can substantiate their message with a part of scripture, yet if you take what is said and hold it up to the character of God and the whole of scripture it fails the test.

I would love to give you a few examples to potentially help with understanding.

I was sent a prophesy for 2018 from several friends. It was very popular on YouTube and social media. At a certain point of the prophesy the person stated that this year God was going to punish greatly those who did not honor the flag of the United States and bankrupt American football. This was all going to happen this year because God was angry with those who did not honor the flag (there has been great controversy over kneeling football players).

The prophesy did not set right with my spirit nor match the character of God. God does desire honor; God does not force honor. If He did, why isn’t God striking dead or cursing those who dishonor His Son Jesus? God places a higher value on His Son than on our flag. God will execute final judgement on the world, yet this prophesy was political and I sensed the soul/flesh of the speaker coming through.

The highest concern of God is the Kingdom of Heaven. The highest concern of heaven is reconciliation of a lost world to the Father. Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents.

The kindness of God leads to repentance. Prophets of old and the new covenant spoke Kingdom of heaven not the rhetoric of the culture. They upheld the precepts of the Gospel. This part of the prophesy was not primarily about Jesus or His Kingdom. It was about the cultural clash of the day.

Second examine these scriptures:

”Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbors and hate the one who hates you.’However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them.For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil.What reward do you deserve if you only love the loveable? Don’t even the tax collectors do that?How are you any different from others if you limit your kindness only to your friends? Don’t even the ungodly do that?Since you are children of a perfect Father in heaven, you are to be perfect like him.”~ JesusMatthew 5:43-48 the Passion Translation.

There are also football players and owners who love God. So why would God bankrupt His own children to punish a few kneeling football players? How does that express the justice, kindness, mercy, and love of God? How does this part of the prophesy align with the character of God? God was willing to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if He could find righteous people there.

Genesis 18: 22-26.

The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

Abraham had an understanding of the character of God. God is just. God is not unfair. God is a Savior. Jesus came to save. What God allows (does not prevent) is not always the express will of God. God wishes that none would perish yet people still die in their sins. They choose death and hell. God does not force it on anyone.

The prophets who speak of no redemption may not be speaking the heart of God. Even old testament prophets gave the people warnings so they could repent and be spared/redeemed. God reveals to heal and exposes to redeem. God is good.

Here is a personal example. I have had numerous people prophesy things over my life that absolutely did not match the character of God. I had one lady say to me that God was going to give me an ugly husband, that he wasn’t going to be very good, yet I should be happy with it. Basically God was going to give me less than. First I do not pray for a spouse, women project this onto me because it’s what they want/need. Second, I truly believe Ephesians 3:20 is true that God wants to EXCEED our expectations. God gives good gifts. I am not stating looks are the most important, they are not. Her prophesy was essentially God wanted to give me less than His best for me and I was to just accept whatever. This does not match the character of God. The Bible tells me the following:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, ~James 1:17.

Intimacy is vital to prophesy the heart of God. It is not speaking our thoughts and opinions. The prophets of old took seriously speaking for God. They held the revelation of God in high esteem. They were not reckless with the wisdom, insight, and words of God.

Final Notes:

What can we learn about the character of God?

  • God is holy! There is no sin in God nor does He approve of any sin.
  • God is love (sacrificial, unselfish, and perfect love). God sacrificially loves even His enemies.
  • God is just. There is no injustice in God. Sin has a penalty of death and God poured out that penalty on Jesus so whosoever repented and placed their faith in Him could be free of paying that personal penalty.
  • God is good! God does not give sloppy, worthless, awful gifts. ”So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him, ”~Matthew 7:11.
  • God is redemptive! God longs to see the world reconciled to Him. He exposes to heal and restore.
  • God is truth! God tells the truth.
  • God is faithful! If God gives His word, God will keep His word. God keeps every single promise He makes.
  • God loves the sinner! While yet sinners Jesus died for us.
  • God is after relationship! God wants to be known by us and have a personal, intimate relationship with us.
  • God is compassionate and merciful! Compassion moves us beyond feeling bad for things happening to others to doing something to help them. Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the sick. He felt their pain and was moved to do something to help them.
  • God forgives. God loves to restore and is kind to us to lead us to repentance.
  • God loves everyone, including those who hate Him. God is not prejudice, racist, elitist, sexist, nor is He only interested in Americans.
  • God desires obedience; it is better than sacrifice. God still requires something from us. Those who are lawless (have no regard for the commands of God), will not inherit His Kingdom (Matthew 7:23).
  • God is the judge. God is perfect at His execution of justice. He will judge the world.
  • God is wise. The wisdom of God far surpasses human intellect.
  • God is the giver of good gifts.
  • God wants His very best for His children.
  • God is a provider and deliverer. He moves on behalf of His children.
  • God is sovereign and reigns supreme.
  • God nurtures His children. God is not only a strong tower and defender. God refers to Himself as a mother/nurturer/teacher.
  • God is a builder and gardener.
  • God is a mentor and servant leader. Jesus said the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom.
  • God is a helper. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. God is an ezer-source of great strength.
  • God reaches low to lift others higher. Jesus showed us the Father. Jesus reached low to elevate humanity.
  • God values honor. Honor is is not agreeing with everyone about everything. It is choosing to respect someone and treat them with dignity.
  • God cares about every single detail of our lives. God cares more about His children than earthly parents care about theirs.
  • God is strategic and His timing is perfect. God does not half do things nor work sloppily. God is perfect.
  • God loves us as we are yet longs to see us grow to be the very best version of ourselves. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. He also cares about every detail of our growth.
  • God is close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. The suffering of humanity matters to God.
  • God is Spirit. God embodies the characteristics of male and female. God is not like us, we were created in His image. Though painted as male, God is not like a human male. God created both genders in His image (see Genesis 1:27).
  • God cares deeply for orphans, widows, the poor, refugees, and the outcasts. Jesus was a refugee. God cares deeply for the people society may ignore or hate.

There are certainly more things that could be written about God. I hoped to give a foundation, not complete the entire picture. We have a great invitation to know God and pursue Him. We have the opportunity to know God for ourselves. When we know God for ourselves, we are less deceived by every proclaiming representative of God.

We are also better testers of what we think we are hearing and sensing from God if we know His character. If I know His word and His character, it helps to decifer what is of God, what is from my flesh or soul, and what is from the devil.

My encouragement is to filter revelation not only through the word of God, filter through the character of God.

God help us to know you, truly know you and your character. Increase our intimacy with you and help us to know you intimately. Remove any flaws in our thinking of who you are. Clear our hearts and minds of any deception or flawed perceptions. Thank you for the opportunity to know you! In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

P.S Book 2 is scheduled to be released 7/7/2018. I hope you pick it up on Amazon or my business website https://www.empowered-free.com.

Study the Bible with God (Revelation Series Part I)

Welcome to the revelation series! In a culture of believe what someone wrote on the internet, I invite people to study the bible and know God for themselves.

We have internet prophets, pastors, leaders, and some in churches who misrepresent God’s heart and character. What they say is taken as truth instead of what God said. There are entire movements that are centered around lies. There is a current movement of there is no hell and everyone goes to heaven. This is false. I give you some words of Jesus.

Jesus Warns of Pretenders (Matthew 7:21-27 The Passion Translation)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the realm of heaven’s kingdom. It is only those who persist in doing the will of my heavenly Father. On the day of judgment many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, don’t you remember us? Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we cast out demons and do many miracles for the sake of your name?’ But I will have to say to them, ‘Go away from me, you lawless rebels! I’ve never been joined to you!’

“Everyone who hears my teaching and applies it to his life can be compared to a wise man who built his house on an unshakable foundation. When the rains fell and the flood came, with fierce winds beating upon his house, it stood firm because of its strong foundation.

“But everyone who hears my teaching and does not apply it to his life can be compared to a foolish man who built his house on sand. When it rained and rained and the flood came, with wind and waves beating upon his house, it collapsed and was swept away.”

Jesus spoke that He is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

Those who live lawless have no place in God’s Kingdom. You may read even more in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. God makes it very clear throughout all of scripture that not everyone will inherit the Kingdom of God. Despite the status of a person, pastor, or leader they are not higher than Jesus or the Father.

We could save ourselves loads of deception by reading, studying the bible for ourselves.

Another movement that has been going on for ages is the diminishment of women in the church and her role. I will dissect this in another post, yet highly recommend reading Why Not Women?

You may check it out on Amazon here: Why Not Women?.

I oversee a women’s mentoring and discipleship group. The focus for three months of mentoring was revelation, the prophetic, discernment, and knowing the voice of God for yourself. It is imperative that we take the things given to us and weigh, test them against the word of God.

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world,~1 John 4:1.

Some of the greatest deceptions arise out of a twisting God’s word (what Satan did to Eve in the Garden, Jesus in the wilderness), straight up lies that contradict the Bible yet people take what someone said, what they saw or heard, or had in a dream or vision and held it in higher regard than the word of God. God does not work in chaos. If the bible says do not lie, steal, or cheat, then God means it and it does not change because a “pastor” or “prophet” said something different. It does not matter what they dreamed or heard. If it contradicts God’s word, it’s not God.

Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you,~Galatians 1:8.

It is also possible to take the Bible out of context or misunderstand the Bible and create a deceptive teaching. It is imperative to know the following:

  1. Who is the author speaking to in the passage?
  2. What was occurring in the culture?
  3. Is the author speaking to the global church or a particular audience?
  4. What did the original text say? Some words in Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic have different meanings than the english words.
  5. Does our understanding fit the rest of Scripture? Are there other parts of the bible that seem to contradict the verse or our understanding of the verse?
  6. Looking at various translations is there a difference? I like the NKJV, Amplified, Passion Translation. I do not like the NIV because they removed vital parts of scripture.

I also read the commentaries and compare them and look up words in the original language. Here’s an example. Eve is called an Ezer Kenegdo, which means “an equal but opposite complement who provides strength.” Yet some translations call her a helpmate. Helpmate does not mean quite the same as one who is an equal but opposite compliment who provides strength.

Victor Hamilton puts it: “[Kenegdo] suggests that what God creates for Adam will correspond to him. Thus the new creation will be neither a superior nor an inferior, but an equal. The creation of this helper will form one-half of a polarity and will be to man as the South Pole is to the North Pole” (emphasis added).

She will be his strongest ally in pursing God’s purposes and his first roadblock when he veers off course.

Long before I started digging, scholars tallied up the twenty-one times ezer appears in the Old Testament: twice in Genesis for the woman (Genesis 2:18, 20), three times for nations to whom Israel appealed for military aid (Isaiah 30:5; Ezekiel 12:14; Daniel 11:34), and here’s the kicker — sixteen times for God as Israel’s helper (Exodus 18:4; Deuteronomy 33:7, 26, 29; Psalms 20:2; 33:20; 70:5; 89:19 [translated “strength”]; 115:9, 10, 11; 121:1 – 2; 124:8; 146:5; Hosea 13:9).

Source: Ezer Unleashed

I want us to become students of the word of God and question what does not make sense. I want us to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us His word. I want us to be ones who take what is given to us and test it and weigh it against the word of God and the character of God. May you and I know God for ourselves!

Here’s to the new series! Praying for you.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

New Series (Revelation of God)

We live in a culture where there are numerous opinions of who God is and what God has said or is saying. There are internet prophets and spokespeople all claiming to know God and speak for Him. How do you discern who is truly representing God? How do you know if what you are given is truly from the heart of God or just someone’s opinion?

The greatest revealer of God was and is perfectly one with the Father. He is Jesus.

This new series will focus on revelation, testing revelation, prophecy, the spirit of prophecy, discerning, and how we grow in intimacy with God.

God invites us to know Him.

Revelation is a byproduct of intimacy. It is a connection heart to heart and spirit to spirit with God.

Revelation should bring us closer to God. When God speaks there is a purpose and reason. Every word from God is seed. Those seeds are intended to grow something, to connect us to His heartbeat, to infuse us with purpose, destiny, and guidance. Isaiah 55:11 says, “No word from shall ever fail, it accomplishes all it is sent out to do.”

It is imperative that we know His voice for ourselves and not just run after every movement that says, “God said.”

There are people teaching there is no hell and everyone goes to heaven despite their lack of love for God. This teaching is antichrist; it opposes the very teachings of Jesus who said, “Many, many will cry out to be Lord, Lord and I will reply, ‘Depart from Me. I never knew you, you who practice lawlessness.'” See Matthew 7:21-23. Jesus had direct words on eternal damnation for the unrepentant (Luke 16:19-31, Matthew 10:28, Luke 10:15, Matthew 25:46, Matthew 13:24-30, Matthew 25:41, and there are more!).

It may seem fun to follow the path of those who claim an angel showed up and told them something contrary to scripture or “God” told them something contrary to scripture and the character of God. It is not wisdom to follow anyone who violates the very teachings of Jesus and claim to be Christian.

Jesus said the following (John 14:18-26):

 “I promise that I will never leave you helpless or abandon you as orphans—I will come back to you! Soon I will leave this world and they will see me no longer, but you will see me, because I will live again, and you will come alive too.

So when that day comes, you will know that I am living in the Father and that you are one with me, for I will be living in you. Those who truly love me are those who obey my commands. Whoever passionately loves me will be passionately loved by my Father. And I will passionately love you in return and will manifest my life within you.”

Then one of the disciples named Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “Lord, why is it you will only reveal your identity to us and not to everyone?”

Jesus replied, “Loving me empowers you to obey my word. And my Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place. But those who don’t love me will not obey my words. The Father did not send me to speak my own revelation, but the words of my Father. I am telling you this while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Spirit of Holiness, the One like me who sets you free, he will teach you all things in my name. And he will inspire you to remember every word that I’ve told you.

Jesus spoke the very words of the Father. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). Jesus invites us all to know Him and the Father. Jesus invites us to know His word, His character, His nature, and His heart. The invitation of revelation is for relationship. God invites us into relationship with Him.

Over this series I am praying that you and I have profound encounters with the heart of God. I am praying we grow deeper in knowing Him intimately. I am praying we have an even greater revelation of who God is.

Thank you God for the ability to know you. Remove any cobwebs, dividing walls, deception, and distance between our hearts and yours. Take us deeper than we have been before in knowing you for who you are and not who others have made you out to be. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

Be blessed today! You are prayed for and deeply loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Don’t Settle

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The best relationships evolve when two people know their own worth.

God places a high value on each human being. We are called to live at peace with all people, if possible. This does not mean that we are suitable for every person. Some relationships are not the best matchup for us. We can try to force them, waste years praying for change, or use wisdom and cease settling.

I would like to break this down…

I am a direct communicator and do not enjoy games, flakiness, hot then cold, nonsense. I mean what I say. I am not unstable, flakey, nor do I play games. I am not a good fit for unstable people. I am not a great fit for grossly insecure people. I actually like who I am in Christ and have zero desire to diminish who I am to appeal to those with low self esteem. God invited me to love myself, then love my neighbor as I love myself.

I have had numerous people tell me to settle in romantic relationships and friendships. I do not wish to because of what I know of God.

Scripture tells me the following:

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen,~Ephesians 3:20-21.

If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”~Luke 11:11-13.

The only perfect person and perfect relationship is with Jesus. There are synergy relationships and divine alignments that bring out the best in us, not the worst. There are relationships that complement us and add value. There are relationships that are Godsends. Then there are those that seem to be aligned with hell.

If we seek God before we date, before we become best friends, before taking the job, before the business or ministry alignment-it can save us loads of heartache. Will everything be perfect, no. Can we bypass some hell on earth by asking God to align us with Ephesians 3:20 relationships, yes.

The people I know who are divorced or in abusive or not so great relationships either settled, rushed in because of peer pressure-desire for sex-age-desperation, or did not seriously seek God about their choices. Hormones are not to be trusted. God can be trusted. Lonliness is a very poor decision making tool. It is far better to be alone with God than partnered with the wrong people.

God withholds nothing good from us according to Psalm 84.

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.

God is good. God withholds nothing good. If we are not seeking the manifestation of good in relationships we may either not be ready, choosing poorly, or not understanding the timing of God.

God exists outside of time and is patient. We as humans can be impatient. Impatience can lead to poor choices.

Settling for less than God’s best does not leave us fulfilled. It leaves us hungry and depleted. Dating out of lonliness or desperation can lead to devastation. Choosing someone just for physical intimacy or to meet a need is selfish. Nothing good springs from selfishness. Marrying someone just to check a box and fit into Christian culture is not prudent. Settling for crumbs does not leave us full. It leaves up empty.

God intended to meet our primary needs for love, security, identity, and intimacy. If God is first and we know who we are in Him, we will not settle for less than His most excellent best. It is not arrogance, it is alignment with what is God sent.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,~James 1:17.

There are still some great men and women in the world! If a person seeks God, they can be set up by God for divine friendships, divine marriages. Why settle for what we can get on our own when God offers custom relationships?

The more we love ourselves and stand confident in who God created us to be, the more we attract people with the same confidence and value for us. Those who do not love themselves cannot love others. We attract what we believe and manifest. Manifest low self esteem, attract those with low self esteem. One of the greatest gifts is actually choosing to believe what God has said about us.

Biblical examples of divine alignments…

Johnathan and David had a divine relationship. Ruth and Naomi had a divine relationship. Ruth and Boaz had a divine marriage. Those who seek God are blessed.

Papa God I bind all settling and seeking relationships with the wrong people. Help us also to set boundaries ad see ourselves as you do. Protect each person on this blog from choosing unwisely. Heal soul wounds from bad choices and bad relationships. Help each one not to settle for less than your most excellent best! Set up divine appointments for your best friendships, best relationships. Highlight destiny people and destiny relationships. Block the counterfeits. In Jesus powerful name, Jesus.

Leadership, Godly Submission, and Jesus

Morning Devotion: Leader means servant in God’s eyes, not dictator or boss. Dissecting the leadership model of Jesus and wrong teachings on submission. Submit=Be willing to yield to what honors God (possess humility), not obey or blindly obey people.

I am sometimes confused when people state they are the leader when their function is simply being served and telling others what to do. They are exalted and they have a hierarchy system so their needs, desires, wishes are served or met. Or they define great leadership by the number of people following them; Hitler had lots of followers under his demonic leadership it did not mean God thought he was a great leader.

I have had men tell me and women too that the husband is the leader in the family yet the wife does 80-90% of the serving, helping, loving, getting low in humility to empower her family. It is not the model Jesus laid out nor lived of leadership.

The one laying their life down, sacrificially loving, and serving is imitating Jesus and leading.

The disciples at one point became self important and argued over who would be the greatest among them. The desire to be great in the eyes of man is of the carnal nature (flesh).

Pride does not flow from God, it flows from Satan. Pride, self importance, was the principle sin of Lucifer. He wanted to be worshipped and exalted above God. Lucifer wanted to be served, not serve.

This was the response of Jesus to the arguing disciples:

Jesus, knowing their thoughts, called them to his side and said, “Kings and those with great authority in this world rule oppressively over their subjects, like tyrants. But this is not your calling. You will lead by a completely different model. The greatest one among you will live as the one who is called to serve others, because the greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one with the heart of a servant. For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone, and to give his life in exchange for the salvation of many,”~Matthew 20:25-28.

Jesus came with an upside down model of leadership. He came and served. He came and washed feet. He came and empowered others. He came and died to free others. He came and got low so we could be seated in heavenly places with Him, joint heirs and copartners. The value Jesus placed and places on humanity is high.

Jesus was and is perfect-He is the model for all things Christian. He selected disciples who were not yet enlightened. He walked with them, talked with them, served them, and empowered them to do what they saw Him doing. Great leadership is empowering others to reach their highest potential. Jesus did not show up and say, “Now look here peasants, God created you for Me so let’s get this straight, when I say jump, you say how high. These are my demands, meet them daily or else.”

Jesus had no pride, ego, or what they call male ego. Knowing He was worthy of worship, He got low and served others.

Phillipians tells us the following about following the example of Jesus:

Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.

The Example of Jesus Christ

He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!~Phillipians 2:3-8.

Love is destroyed by pride. Love and pride cannot occupy the same spaces. One will dominate and overpower the other. God commissions and empowers us to love. So when someone says, “I am called to lead you,” if they are following Jesus this means, “I am called to serve you, not seek to be served by you.”

I have met numerous “leaders” and men in my day who told me they were called to lead me. Yet what that meant was they felt empowered to tell me what to do and wanted to be served. This is NOT godly leadership at all, it’s worldly leadership.

I have had single men tell me all the ways I could benefit their lives because to them a wife is servant to meet their needs. They could have cared less about loving me, treating me the way Jesus would. My dreams, calling from God, desires were completely insignificant. They saw someone unmarried and pretty (their words not mine) they wanted to purchase (flash their money, paycheck at) to serve them.

Women are not objects or slaves to be purchased to serve the whims of men then be replaced when she fails to meet a need, cheated on when she cannot meet his pleasures, or used for her body. God did NOT create a system of selfishness nor objectification. God created a family that is supposed to be fueled by love. God says, “Husbands forsake all others and cleave to your one wife. Love her the way Jesus loves the church. He was willing to die for the church. Jesus got low and served. Jesus empowers and leads by love and example. Jesus walks in purity not lust. Jesus cares about every single detail…follow My Son Jesus. Be an imitator of Him.”

The verse that says wives be subject to your husbands as unto the Lord in the original text means be wholly devoted in love-this means she is monogymous and not enganged with other lovers, she has eyes for her husband, single vision. It does NOT mean he becomes her god and she must obey him.

Husband is not the same as God. If it were so, then God is the author of confusion because He plainly says, “You shall have no other god besides me,” and “You are a slave to whomever you obey.” If the texts about husbands and wives meant the husband has the final authority, if he told his wife to betray God she would have to obey her spouse over God. No! She will be held accountable to God for obeying God not man. God is the final authority.

Example:

In inner healing class we had a lady who’s husband was molesting his granddaughter. The wife was submitting to his perverted leadership and holding a pillow over the child’s head during the violation. Was she honoring her husband by submitting to his perversion? Was she a good wife? No! She was a bad wife. She will spend a long time in jail like him for harming this child. The lady who was molested over and over was a testimony of healing in the class, her grandparents were not in the class.

Part of intimate relationship is revealing the righteousness of God to those connected to us. Her role as his wife and sister in Christ was to point her husband to righteousness. We do not yield to what is ungodly. No no no no! Ephesians 5:21 tells all followers of Jesus to be willing to yield (submit, possess humility) in reverence for the Lord. Being willing to yield is NOT the same word as obey.

Culture focuses on the wife submitting while ignoring the verse before it that says men and women, all believers submit to each other and choose humility. Culture also ignores the verses that tell husbands to go even further than that to love their wives the way Jesus loves the church (die to selfishness, pride, ego, immorality). Point highlighted again, we are NOT to yield to what is ungodly and violates our relationship with God. Nor are we puppets to be led on strings by whims of others.

Those led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. If your boss at work, pastor, mentor, parent, spouse or anyone claiming authority over you tells you to do something wicked, say no. That is not rebellion, it is honoring God. Godly leaders point to what honors the Lord and people. God will not lead anyone into sin, nor is God a slave driver who does not care about the needs, desires, or dreams of those He leads.

May we lead like Jesus which is counter cultural to this world. The greatest in the Kingdom of God has a heart of a servant, it is one who loves and looks out for the best interests of others.

Papa God help us to see leadership through the lenses of Jesus. You gave us a perfect model in your Son. Jesus was not a bully, dictator, abuser, nor did He use His status to Lord over people. He got low and served. He took the lowest place and you exalted Him to the highest place. Jesus is perfect theology. Jesus is the perfect spouse model. Jesus is the perfect leader; He seeks to look out for the best interests of those connected to Him. Jesus perfectly loves. Jesus does not use people He partners with them. Jesus, beautiful Jesus. May we abide in Jesus and lead like Jesus. In Your powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Devotion (Single & Following Jesus)

Devotion: The model of love given by Jesus. Women were created by love, to be loved, not purchased servants. Men and women were created to be loved, not worshipped (Notes on marriage and dating).

This is my note to unmarried males and females. Women are not servants you purchase, nor created to be slaves. God loves women and asks that they be loved. God goes farther to say, “Pursue loving your wife the way Jesus loves the church.”

Provision is more than money. Jesus does more than provide for the church financially, He infuses the church with life, empowers, cares for, lays His life down, forsakes selfishness, and Jesus is loyal. Jesus is a best friend, a confidant, trustworthy, faithful, sacrificial, a servant, pure, and has the best interests of the Father and the church at heart. Jesus is not seeking to be served primarily, He comes to serve. He does not come to control, dominate, elevate Himself above anyone. He took the lowest place so we could be elevated to sit in heavenly places next to Him.

Jesus leads by serving and love. What is love? Let’s look at Jesus. Love looks like Jesus.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,~Mark 10:45.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,~John 15:13.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her,~Ephesians 5:25.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them,~John 13:12-17.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law,~Romans 13:8-10.

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant,~Matthew 23:11.

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening],~1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

God did not instruct men to be Jesus-become the God of his wife or it would be idolatry. He states plainly be imitators of Christ. Look at your role model and do what you see Him doing.

God did not instruct wives to worship their husbands, nor be the actual Body of Christ. Women are part of the Body which encompasses billions of believers. God gave a picture so we could understand. Christ and the church is not equal to husband and wife. They are to look to the picture to gain a greater understanding of agape love.

Followers of Jesus are to pursue agape (God love-sacrificial/unselfish) love, not just Eros (romantic/sexual love), storage (family love), of philia (friendship love). Jesus stated His disciples would be recognizable by their agape love. Love does not treat others objects to be purchased for selfish means. We becomes friends of God and serve Him out of love. We love because He first loves us.

Over the years I have had several men try to purchase me for selfish means. They came with their wife list and as long as I met the criteria (attractive/loves Jesus were top of the list) they wanted to demonstrate how much money they had thinking I would just jump on ship. They focused on what they wanted and needed. They had little to no interest in what I wanted or needed. I was like a car they walked up on that they wanted to purchase. I am not for sale. My Papa God does a great job of providing everything needed. I know if I ever married He would send someone actually interested in loving like Jesus who fit the call He has on my life. Some men do not want you doing anything ministry related that is not their ministry. Well, I founded and oversee two ministries. I am not interested in being controlled. I have a mission to complete for Jesus that can be done successfully as an unmarried person.

I am more interested in the heart of a person than their wallet. I am more interested in the way a person loves than their resume. I am not pursuing anyone other than Jesus and understand I am not an object to be purchased; I am a person to be loved. Ladies, look at who you let choose you. Do they love like Jesus (not perfect, yet growing in this area)? Looks can fade, money can be lost, do they know how to love? Are they a good friend to you? Check these things out before saying I do. Are they headed the same direction-you have something in common besides Jesus?

Men, is she after your wallet or just to check the box of “single no more,” of does she love you? How does she treat your family and friends? Can you grow with her? Is she grossly selfish? Looks fade. She can be smoking hot today and a hot mess tomorrow. Do you love who she is on the inside? Is she a good friend to you? Is she trustworthy? Think about what’s beneath the surface, beyond external. Would you be willing to lay your life down for her?

For those dating, is the objective to be a blessing to the other person or be blessed? Is it to add value to someone’s life or have them add to yours? Is the objective to overflow of come with a bucket of needs? Is the heart to give or consume? Is the pursuit out of loneliness and desperation or a heart to love fiercely?

The biggest component is love, yet compatibility, common ground, etc….matter too. May we see every relationship as an opportunity to grow in loving like Jesus. Without love we are just making noise. #dating #marriage

Seek to Add Value (Single & Following Jesus Part XII)

What does it mean to add value?

We live in a world of gimmie and bless me and serve me. In an ideal world, one with Jesus at the center, there would be lots of, “How can I serve you? How can I bless you? What about you?

If we all looked out for each other, every person would come into relationships looking for ways to help and bless the other person. There would be no one sided relationships, abuse, infidelity, dishonesty, selfishness, consumers in relationships, gross hurt or unnecessary pain. Utopia right?

The only perfection this side of eternity is found in Jesus. We are not perfect, He is. We can pursue abiding in His love so others around us are blessed.

When you and I set our minds on being a blessing it gives us the opportunity to love. Love is not selfish.

Love serves. Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom.

The example of Jesus does not mean we offer up to everyone endless pouring out. Why? The one who gives the most is the one who ends up attached and loving.

It is important to use wisdom with our attachments. Though we are encouraged to just give and give, pour out and pour out…if you do not use wisdom you can end up having your heart shredded.

God intended for relationships to be reciprocal and involve commitment, not be one sided. God intended for both people to be loved and stewarded well. Love is supposed to be safe.

The level of access someone has to us should increase with the level of commitment.

Adding value is not giving everyone equal access to your heart.

Before you give your heart away, is the other person trustworthy to steward your heart. What is this person’s commitment to you? Casual, then their access should reflect that. Growing, they show you they are trustworthy, then a bit more knowing. Closeness/committed, then a bit more with the deepest intimacy (emotional, spiritual, or physical) happening inside of marriage. Some share way too much while dating to have their hearts broken. Engagement implies commitment, it is not marriage. Dating is not engagement. How much are you giving away?

Adding value is not sex outside marriage!

Some give their bodies away with zero commitment thinking giving without commitment will lead to love. Well, giving your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit away without an eternal covenant (commitment) is actually sin and not demonstrating self value. It’s like having a 1,000,000 car and giving people free rides. They have no plan on caring for the car, they just enjoy the ride. Our bodies are MORE valuable than a car. Would you give someone you just met a billion dollars? Probably not if you do not know someone. Yet movies show people climbing in and out of bed like it’s nothing.

Sex is more than a physical act, it joins two people in the soulish and spiritual realm. You are saying, “Whatever is in you, I invite into me.” Two people link in body, soul, flesh. God designed sex to unite people for life. His motivation was love (giving, knowing, intimacy), not lust (taking, self pleasure). The only closer connection is between God and born again believers where His Spirit lives in us.

Why use boundaries with giving or giving everyone equal access to us? The giver has the most invested. This means you do not treat boyfriends and girlfriends like husbands and wives. There are certain parts of our lives that are off limits. There are boundaries we need to have in place to prevent heart entanglements without commitment, emotional attachment too soon, over-giving, oversharing, etc. There is wisdom in what we give to friends as well.

The goal is to look at each relationship and see what you can bring to add value. This can consist of:

  • Encouragement
  • Listening
  • Kindness
  • Asking, “How are you?” and caring about the answer
  • Being honest
  • Being present
  • Devoting some time (texting and emails are not the same as quality time in person)
  • Inquiring about another person’s life
  • Caring about what interests the other person
  • Offering to help with something
  • Supporting something they care about
  • Loyalty
  • Initiating instead allowing all contact to be one sided
  • Being honest about what you like and don’t like
  • Not pretending (some pretend while getting to know someone that they like certain things or they are someone else-be the real you!)

If we ask God, He will show us ways to add value. Different people have different likes and dislikes. I may love something that someone else dislikes. The goal is to be on the lookout for what blesses someone else.

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others,~Phil 2:4.

This means we also do not go into relationships as consumers. Over the years I have met several men who came with their wife list. They were checking off boxes. They were not looking for how to be a blessing, they were looking to be blessed. They were not looking to serve, they were seeking to be served. It was not about love; it was about selfishness. As long as I appealed to their flesh and met a few criteria I could (in their minds) be wooed or bought into relationship. Like a car they saw something they wanted and desired to purchase. If they could flash enough money or try to charm me, then magically I would fall for them and sign up for a life of servanthood. Ummmmm no. They had little plans to serve or love like Jesus.

Marriage is supposed to be about two people loving and serving each other. People are not objects we buy to please us. Our world suffers greatly because things are being loved and people used. People are to be loved. Love seeks to serve, help, support, give, invest, and add value. Does your person of interest care about adding value or are you an object they seek to obtain to please them? Do they take any interest in your life? Or is it all about them?

Let me tell you an important truth, selfish people hurt others. If you have grossly selfish friends or a grossly selfish mate you will experience pain and deep hurt. Do NOT think if they are selfish in the beginning you are going to change that. God changes selfish hearts, we are not God.

My encouragement to every person is to seek to add value and look for those who add value. It is not selfish to wish for a mate who actually cares about you, for who you are-not because they are lonely, lusting, trying to fill a void. Adding value is not about money, it’s about genuine love. You and I were created to be loved!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Are They A Great Friend? (Single & Following Jesus Part XI)

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I believe in the power of friendship. Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. He modeled and models genuine friendship.

Our culture places romance before friendship. I believe this is a crucial mistake. Hormones falter, chemistry can fade, attraction can waiver, yet friendship is a building block that can grow over time.

A friend seeks to give and love, not take and consume. A true friend is loyal. A true friend wants the best for you. A godly friend wants God’s best for you, this means they do not want to lead you into sin or moral compromise.

What is your relationship foundation?

Every engineer (that’s my trade) is taught the foundation is important. The focus is to be on what will hold together your structure. If the foundation is cracked or unstable, your building will not survive the test of time nor weather the storms. Your structure will crumble when the storms come or come down over time due to the impact of gravity.

The foundation matters.

Just as former President Clinton stated, “It’s the economy stupid!” I say to every unmarried person, “Make friendship your firm foundation.

Over the years I have seen people marry because they both loved Jesus and they were smitten (caught up in emotions/hormones). Yet love for Jesus and fading hormones could not save their Titanic marriage. They were not great friends, nor did they cultivate trust, service, nor seek to investigate compatibility. They followed their attraction instead of building a foundation of friendship.

Does this mean checking all romance at the door until you are great friends? Some say yes, some say no. I simply ask, “Is this person you are pursuing or pursuing you a great friend to you? Would you want them as just a friend?

I believe it’s vital to move past hormones to think of building a life with someone. Does this person genuinely care about you as a person, not just what they gain by connection with you? Do they possess characteristics you would want in life partner? Can you trust them? Is there anything that looks like Jesus coming from them to you?

I knew a man who attended church regularly tell me he only told women what he thought they wanted to hear to take advantage of them. He used women. He pretended to be someone he wasn’t. He went to church on Sunday and praised and spent his weekend nights taking advantage of vulnerable women who took his statement of , “I am a Christian,” to mean giving themselves away would lead to marriage.

He did not marry any of those women. He took their innocence, feasted on their being gullible, and continued his life as a predator. I found out what he was doing, confronted him and well, he did not change until years later. Grace, by the way, is not a license to sin of hurt people. Sin leads to death.

His actions were of the devil though he professed Jesus. Look at the fruit of someone’s life. If they claim Jesus yet try to get you to sin, they are not following Jesus, nor are they your friend. This man was grossly selfish and not being a friend to God nor anyone else.

Look deeper than skin deep

Marriage is more than physical intimacy. It is building a life with someone. Who better than a great friend who loves God, genuinely loves you, wants the best for you, you desire the best for them, they are trustworthy/full of integrity, and there is attraction? If the butterflies or looks fade, you still have a strong foundation.

I have had a few associates who’s spouses committed adultery. Their cheating spouse’s excuse was, “My spouse was not doing it for me anymore. My physical needs were not being met,” or “I met someone who excites me and pleases me physically or emotionally.”

If someone chooses you just based on their physical attraction or selfish reasons, you can not be certain if you are injured, your looks fade, you fail to meet their expectations, etc…they will not jump ship for something they deem better, more appealing, that will meet their needs.

Lust is grossly selfish and looking to be pleased. Love is unselfish and sacrificial. A true friend who loves you will not cheat nor seek to abandon you because they found someone better. Someone just in it for the butterflies, will follow the butterflies.

Scripture says this about friendship:

Proverbs 22:11

Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend. (NLT)

Proverbs 20:6

Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable? (NLT)

Proverbs 18:24

There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. (NLT)

Proverbs 22:24–25

Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.

(NLT)

Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (NLT)

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT)

John 15:13–15

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. (NLT)

The model of friendship in the Bible is marked by unselfish, radical, pure, compassionate, loyal, faithful, mutually invested love.

EXAMPLES OF GOOD FRIENDS IN THE BIBLE (source thoughtco.com)

David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1-3, 20:17, 42; 2 Samuel 1:26)

King David and Abiathar (1 Samuel 22:23)

David and Nahash (2 Samuel 10:2)

David and Hushai (2 Samuel 15:32–37)

Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:2)

Job’s Friends (Job 2:11)

Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17)

Paul’s Ministry Friends (Romans 16:3-5; 2 Corinthians 2:12-13; Philippians 2:25; Colossians 4:7, 14; 2 Timothy 1:2-4; 1 Philemon)

Someone told me a story of a man that impressed me. He told his future wife, “Do not marry me if I am not going to add value to your life.” What a beautiful token of love and friendship. Love seeks to add value. Love seeks to be a friend. Love is who God is. Is the person you are pursuing or pursuing you a great friend to God and to you? If you take away, “She’s smoking hot,” or “He’s dreamy,” what do you have? If you look at the two of your lives, can you be great friends? If not, caution. How they treat you during dating or courting is an indication of your future. Normally efforts lower after marriage not ramp up; people tend to put their best foot forward before they say “I do.”

If they are a horrible friend during dating or courting, why anticipate a great friend after you marry?

We do not change people. God loves perfectly and we still have crazy acting people walking the earth. We are not greater than God. Also if the goal is to change people, they are our projects-not the objects of our love. Love is a gift we give out of the overflow of our hearts, not a tool to mold people into who we want them to be.

Papa God, help us to be a great friend to you and others. May we add value. May we be wise with who we choose to date, court, let into our hearts. May our lives overflow with your goodness, love, peace, joy, hope, integrity, passion, compassion, and insight. May the choices we make be fueled by wisdom. May we love ourselves enough to say no to bad friends, poor relationship choices. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin L. Lamb

Proper Reasons to Marry (Single & Following Jesus Series Part X)

Sometimes people tell me they are eager to marry and I ask why? Why do you want to be married so badly? Physical intimacy tops the list, as well as “I am tired of being alone,” or “I really want kids.” All of those reasons are primarily self focused.

Marriage is not supposed to be self focused. It is supposed to be team focused.

I can not tell you how many men I have met who have rattled off their list of what they wanted, needed, and never asked about me at all. As long as I looked good on the outside and loved Jesus, well sign them up. They did not care who I was as a person. They had their needs list and I was supposed to meet it. Some were driven by a desire to check the box, “Found a wife, now I have someone to serve me.” Ummmmm…no are we in the dark ages?

Marriage is supposed to be a picture of God love. God serves, loves; we serve and love God. It is not a one sided relationship.

Getting married is not supposed to be about finding someone to meet our needs bucket. It is supposed to be about loving and serving another person. Yes! I know the romantic comedies make it about the wedding and sex. Yet once the honeymoon is over, you are left to build a life with that person. Can you build a life together?…And not just one person lays their life down to build someone else’s empire. Both people are to come to the table with the objective of loving and serving the other.

Jesus shows us how relationships are supposed to work.

…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many,~Matthew 20:28.

Greater love has no one than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends,~John 15:13.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him,~John 13:3-5.

Jesus focused on loving and serving, not coming to others to force them to meet His needs. He does not even come to the church with a bucket of needs. Jesus shows up to serve and our response to His love and grace is to love Him in return. We love because He first loves and serves us. God gives the most in the relationship. God has no need bucket. He is sufficient in Himself.

God does not need us, He wants us. God wants to love us. My true belief is marriage is supposed to be a desire to love someone the way God loves them.

Love is not selfish. Nor is love lustful. Lust is rooted in selfishness. Lust screams, “Please me.”

Love is not rude; it is not self-seeking,~from 1 Corinthians 13:5.

Love seeks to give. Love comes to the table saying, “I come bringing my very best. I want the best for you. I want to see God’s best for you, I am pursuing God’s best for you.” Both people get to come offering their very best. Perfection, no. The best they have to offer, yes. Why? Love wants what is best for the other.

Proper reasons to pursue marriage:

  • To love someone as God does (committed, loyal, steadfast, enduring love).
  • To bring your very best to the table and form a team.
  • To serve another.
  • To build the Kingdom of God together.
  • To honor another for life.

Yes, it’s great to have butterflies and intense chemistry. Yet if the pursuit of marriage is just for what can be personally gained, it is a set up for disappointment. What if that spouse does not meet that need? What if they end up paralyzed and cannot meet the physical needs? What if there’s conflict? What then? A selfish person may seek to meet their needs outside of the covenant or abandon the relationship all together.

I have seen over the years in peer counseling people cheat or divorce because their “needs” were not being met. They came into marriage for what they could gain instead of give or they married a selfish person thinking they were going to change that person. No! What you see is what you get. If they are rude or selfish during dating, then guess what-you married a rude selfish person. Unless they yield to God, you took home that rude/selfish person til death do you part. If they won’t change for God, why do humans think they are going to change them? This has baffled me for years.

Lastly, peer pressure, desire to fit in, hormones, social status are not great reasons to marry. It’s a huge commitment that requires personal investment. I truly believe focusing on being a great friend to God is the best way to live. God knows the desires of the heart and is the BEST matchmaker. When our heart is to love and serve another, God sets up connections. Sure we can find people without including God at all…yet those relationships do not always work out.

I am not saying, pray and never leave the house. I am not saying don’t date and just pray in your closet. I am saying include God and check heart motives. Is the motive to fill a need only God can fulfill; identity, unfailing love? Humans will never succeed at filling God sized voids.

If your hormones are going nuts, prayer is powerful. Choosing marriage just to calm hormones does not work. Just as going to bar does not cure alcoholism, getting married does not cure lust. Lust is a heart condition and spirit. Deliverance from lust is available through Jesus and Holy Spirit. God created sex for love and intimacy, not lust. Paul’s instruction of it’s better to marry than burn was about passion. Those who sincerely desire marriage, go for it. He was not saying marriage cures lust.

Papa I pray for everyone who reads this to be wrecked by your unfailing love. I ask for each heart to be drenched in agape love. Love that overflows to others. I pray any pressure to marry, internal or external be removed. I bind all lies of marriage will cure loneliness or fulfill deep needs or fix everything be broken. Any idols of marriage or spouse come down. I ask for proper motivations to marry and the same for their future spouse. God you long to give your very best to those who love you! In Jesus powerful name, amen.

P.S if you are dating…my favorite prayer is, “God show me this person’s heart towards me and their true character.” He will. Pay attention. Character and heart matter.

Love,

Erin Lamb