Insecurity is One of Our World’s Greatest Problems. There is a Cure!

Confident people tend to treat others better than insecure people. Why? If we love ourselves, then we can love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Insecurity is more than just not feeling good about oneself.

Some people cannot be alone, they are fearful, and therefore they cling to anyone who comforts that fear of being alone or left out.

Some insecurity manifests in greed, hoarding, and the inability to be generous. If you give, then there is fear of not having enough.

Some insecurity manifests in settling for less than in relationships and treatment.

Some insecurity manifests in pushing oneself to the front of the line or excessive boasting.

Some insecurity manifests in promiscuity and unholy relationships; lust is false love. It may feel like love to people, but it leaves them empty.

Some insecurity manifests in unhealthy jealousy, comparison, or envy-they must have all the attention or blessing. If not, the internal deficit is triggered.

In the case of abuse, people treat other people the way they feel about themselves. It’s easy to talk down to you or slap you around because they hate themselves. The way people talk to you is often how they talk to themselves.

The critical spirit is rooted in insecurity-“I will nit pick everyone else to bypass dealing with my own issues.”

Manipulation and control are rooted in insecurity (fear). When we are secure in God, we have no need to try to control everything.

Racism and sexism are both deeply rooted in insecurity. Someone must be inferior to feel superior or good about one’s self or group.

God invites us to ditch insecurity and find identity in Him. Godly confidence differs from self confidence because it is rooted in who we are in God; created in His image, His workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made, desired, cherished, without rival, uniquely loved, the object of God’s affection. God is not unstable, nor His feelings flakey. God is love 24/7 and always. When we live out of His love, our identity grows secure. Living loved by God enables us to give that love away to others and cease comparison, envy, or gross mistreatment of others. Why? We see our value and theirs.

There is a cure for insecurity and it’s found in God’s love; knowing God’s love, receiving God’s love, abiding in God’s love, being healed by God’s love, and living from God’s love. Our world is suffering from broken identity and insecurity. More than having a sin problem, there is an identity crisis. When we know who we are from the perspective of God, we cease mistreating others and ourselves. May you and I seek knowing the fullness of God’s love!!

Prayer: God show me who you are and who I am from your perspective. Heal my hurts, insecurities, and hidden fears. I want to live fully loved by you! Today I want to ditch insecurity and cling to godly confidence.

Blessing you!

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

#KillingInsecurityBook #NextBook

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You Will Make It

I am studying for an important exam, yet this morning I was inspired to write this post reflecting on the past 16 months. I won’t go into great detail over what has transpired. I will say there has been great loss, a few betrayals, multiple deaths in my family, partial blindness for me (healed now), health issues with people I love, being stalked (I had to report someone to the police last spring), sabotage of some of my efforts, gross disappointments, and so much more. There have also been incredible triumphs and joys. I believe we can learn from anything!

Here is my post from the morning and I hope it blesses you.

There is a promise attached to the pain; we must seek God for a revelation of the promise(s) (Lessons Learned the Past 16 Months). ❤️👩🏽‍💻💯

I don’t share all my business online because I recognize levels of intimacy. My closest friends know my business. Everyone else is on a need to know basis. It’s just how I roll. I share my heart fully with people who know how to steward it well. Those who know my full journey and challenges the past 16 months may get more out of this. Everyone else, I hope you find a sliver of hope. No matter your season, the valley or the mountain top, there is a God who loves you and though He does not prevent every challenge, He will walk you through them.

Some sweet things learned the past 16 months…

Even in hard seasons you can find beauty if you LOOK for it! I started journaling each day and counting blessings. I list good things that happen and express gratitude to God. I look for at least one person daily to bless. Why? Introspection will rob you of opportunities to be a blessing and enjoy God.

Even in my hardest moments, I can still love and serve others without expecting them to take care of me. I have a choice, as do you, to be a victim or a victor! It does not mean breaking your back nor forgoing rest, it does mean choosing love. Waking up each day to choose love provides focus and greater dependency on God…God who needs your love today?

The extreme power of grace; God’s supernatural ability to do what we could not do before. Wowed by grace. It is a frequent prayer to say, “God give me grace for today. Today God I receive grace.”

When I think I cannot take another step because I am exhausted physically or emotionally, how God’s super invades my natural. God will infuse you with His strength. You learn a level of God’s POWER in weakness that cannot be learned in any other season.

Who loves me for me, and who was connected for their own personal gain or to benefit from ministry. It is unfortunate, yet trials not only reveal who you truly are on the inside, they reveal who is truly for you! Bypass offense and understand you must not expect a consumer to act like a true friend. A consumer comes to take. A friend comes to give. I don’t expect a cat to be a dog. A cat will behave like a cat.

The great lengths some people will go through to help you or encourage you in their own storm has been revealed. I wrote out a thank letter this week. I was weeping as I typed out thank you to all the people willing to be obedient to God and help in some way. Don’t focus your energy on who is not for you. Focus that energy on who is for you! Mostly God is for you!!! He will put you on the heart of perfect strangers to be a blessing.

How deep the Father’s love is, vast beyond measure. I won’t even start typing out the revelations of God’s love, provision, care, comfort, goodness, beauty, and hope because I will be here all day. It just gets richer in revelation. Oh my, is God better than what humans represent or speak about Him.

I learned not to expect people who have not walked it out to understand. There is a complete and utter disconnect. #BlankStare. You release the expectation for compassion from people and talk to God. I used to be bothered by unkind people. I recognize I too can be insensitive if I lack understanding. You forgive easier and move on. You learn who to talk to and get really raw with and who to tell, “God is good,” and keep on moving.

How deep the roots and love go in my Ignite Reborn community!! They have loved me well and I thank God they are not looking for a super hero in a leader. I am only human; I am there to serve, not be a Savior. There is power in safe, loving, and mutually giving community. If you find a safe, loving tribe-cherish them, invest in them, give thanks for them, show up and do your part.

Learn to completely ignore the haters online and in real life. Unhappy people try to make others miserable. You become quicker to block, ignore, say, “Take that garbage somewhere else. I love you, but I am not your trash can.” You start to monitor your energy. It’s not proper English but, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I stopped trying to figure it out or explain myself.

I stopped answering the phone for energy vampires. Some days I only had strength to do one or two things (being honest), I refused to waste it on selfish people. Please go to voicemail. Protect your energy and schedule. Some people are simply distractions. Lovingly set boundaries. They want their problem to be your highest priority when you have a pile of your own.

You listen to the voice of Jesus on an even deeper level because He is close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. He whispers and you lean in closer and closer….your friendship with God goes to a whole notha level! If you are being challenged in your health, your finances, your family…Jesus is right there. Lean in. Lean on Him. Ask Jesus for heaven’s vantage point. “God show me your truth and give me wisdom in this season.”

Understanding with every problem, every pain-there is a promise. A promise of God’s steadfast love. A promise of God’s healing. A promise of God’s protection. A promise of God’s presence-“Never will I leave you or forsake you!” A promise of beauty for ashes and joy for mourning! A promise of glory. A promise of His unwavering friendship.

Grief is temporary. Yes, it comes in waves. Some days like tidal waves, yet there are days of calm, great joy, and peace. Walk through the process of grieving without bypassing the hard parts. Don’t let religious acting Christians try to convince you that you should not grieve nor how to grieve. If they have not walked through what you have walked through they can keep their scripture one liners. Find healthy people to walk with you who possess wisdom in their speech.

Give yourself grace to be human. I love laughing with God and being positive. I also recognize my humanity and when I went through months of unexplained blindness I had human moments. It was not a fun time. Grace! Trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman is crazy. Yes, lean into God and seek His strength. Also understand you are human.

Oh the depths of desperation…I gained a greater understanding of how desperate people feel. The compassion in my heart has gone from maybe level 7 to off the charts. Pain changes the way we see things. I hope I don’t forget the trials that broke my heart and some that sought to crush my spirit. I pray my heart remains soft towards God and humanity.

God will deal with your enemies! He is longsuffering and gives each person time to repent. When God has had enough, He moves in with His right arm outstretched to execute judgement on your enemies. People play with fire thinking they will not be burned. Yet God has shown me on an even greater level the past 16 months that anyone who raises a weapon, tries to work evil, or places their tongue in a malicious way on His children will have consequences. God is merciful and kind. God is also a fierce warrior who will and does cast down Jezebel from her throne. God defends and avenges His own. He prepares a table before you in the PRESENCE of your enemies. Even when the devil thinks he’s winning, he loses in the end.

Don’t let people pressure you into more than you can do. I cannot tell you how many people try to pressure me into meeting their ministry or personal need. “Count it all joy! Trust the Lord!! God is just testing you. See how much more like Jesus you are becoming…yada yada yada..” Attached to that is normally some expectation I can do something for them. Well, no. I have grace to complete God’s assignments for me, not everyone else’s. I cannot tell you how many people have approached me with “God said to contact you or your were the one to do this.” If God did speak directly to me, I am not doing anything. Nope. Nada.

Lastly, your latter shall be GREATER than your former. If you sink into God, there is no limit to what can happen. It can be painful in the process, yet you must not give up on His beautiful vision. You may need to reject the visions of others, or their dreams for your life…yet keep pressing into His! God is good, and God LOVES you. Keep being a seeker of God because He is seeking you. He is seeking you in the good times and challenging seasons.

Signed…someone linked to Jesus to hopefully always overcome! Back to studying for exams I go. Have a great weekend.

God loves you! You can make it! With God you will make it. That’s what my dad says to me often. I love my earthly dad and heavenly Father. Be blessed! Praying for you to make it!! For real praying. You are loved!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Promotion Comes from God

Let God Promote You & Bypass Disgrace!

We live in an insta society where people want to build a brand, a name for themselves, and promote what they can do. As a business owner I have been told to promote myself, build a brand, get the word out there. I try to share what I do, but I am most interested in how I can help someone else or hear their story. I love stories. I don’t want to be a self promoter. I would love for God to open doors and God to get the glory.

It’s a temptation to promote ourselves ahead of God or to build our own empires. The truth is, it’s His story for His glory and God advises us to do nothing out of selfish ambition and vain conceit. We are also told the following from Psalm 75:7.

This I know:

the favor that brings promotion and power

doesn’t come from anywhere on earth,

for no one exalts a person but God, the true judge of all.

He alone determines where favor rests.

He anoints one for greatness

and brings another down to his knees.

It is God who raises up and sits down. God gives grace and promotion to the humble, not the proud. God will put your name, your ministry, your business, your needs on the hearts of the right people at the RIGHT TIME! The key word is TIME. Please don’t move ahead of God. He knows what He is doing.

God thinks bigger than we do, and God prepares who He calls. God cares more about our character than our gifting. You don’t set your child up to fail. You would not give a toddler keys to a lambourghini, yet I have seen people promote themselves or others past where they need to be at the moment. It can lead to disgrace.

Our giftings have the capability to take us further than our character or capacity can sustain us. If we are not rooted in Jesus, it can lead to performance and striving. Both are stepping away from abiding in the true vine-Jesus. Apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

What is in a name and the applause of mankind? Nothing. For if we live to please people or move from red carpet to red carpet, we are no longer servants of God.

Am I now trying to win the favor and approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ,~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:10).

Pride is a nasty sneaky demon that has destroyed many families, friendships, and ministries. It is the chief sin of Lucifer…”I will exalt my throne above Gods.” It is more concerned with self than God or others. Pride needs to be out front and boasting. It is applauded in culture, it is not in heaven. God resists the proud. We can boast in God, yet I cannot boast in myself or what I have done. I am nothing apart from Him and only by His grace am I even alive.

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”~James 4:6.

Honestly, the best places to be in the Kingdom are at the feet of Jesus or in His arms. It is not the stage, the platform, the TV show, the radio, the podcast, the blog, the speaking or preaching engagements. It’s intimacy with God and making His name famous on the earth. Is Jesus glorified? Is it aligned with heaven? Is Jesus made known?

It’s also about the timing of God.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem He knew where the donkey was that had never been ridden. God knew where to find him. He may have been invisible to everyone else, yet that donkey had a date with destiny.

When Jesus had finished saying all this, he went on toward Jerusalem. As he was getting near Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples on ahead. He told them, “Go into the next village, where you will find a young donkey that has never been ridden. Untie the donkey and bring it here. If anyone asks why you are doing that, just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”-Luke 19:28-31 (CEV).

God knew where Moses was on the back side of the desert. He spoke to him and called him from a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-17). God knew where David was. Shepherd boy David was tending sheep (1 Samuel 16). He did not have to run to the front of the line and say, “God chose me to be king.” God sent for David and anointed him.

When God calls and when God anoints, He provides grace for the mission. When we call ourselves, anoint ourselves, or allow someone else to call us outside of God’s timing it leads to disgrace. If God places me somewhere, I know God will sustain me. If I appoint myself or allow others to appoint me ahead of His timing it leads to self effort and self promotion to keep me there.

I have angered a few people in my lifetime for refusing to give them a leadership role ahead of what God told me to do and disappointed a few people who wanted to catupult me into their version of my destiny, not God’s voice to my heart. I simply know that moving ahead of God or following the ways of man leads to destruction.

My encouragements:

  • Seek God and pursue humilty (get low to serve not be served).
  • Focus on being a blessing instead of being blessed.
  • Wait on God. Trust me, God knows where you are and where to find you. If God can locate an unridden donkey, He can find you.
  • Yield to the Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you how many times He has whispered to my heart, “This is not for you.” Or “This is not the proper timing.”
  • Understand everything that glitters (sounds good, looks good) is NOT necessarily God.
  • Seek God with opportunities. “God is this aligned with what I need to be doing right now?”
  • Understand God wants you to succeed. God loves His kids more than we love ours.
  • Know God withholds nothing good. If you are in a hidden season, enjoy the time with God. I love my cave with God. I actually prefer it to the spotlight.
  • Sink into Jesus. Keep abiding.
  • Don’t be distracted by shooting stars. Some rise fast then crash and burn.
  • Your audience is God, not people! Live for the applause of heaven.
  • Think in terms of eternity.
  • Understand earth is more concerned with metrics than Jesus. God is looking at the heart.
  • Note popularity is not the same as influence. There are popular people with millions of people headed straight to hell.
  • Quality is better than low quality and high quantity. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself with Jesus.
  • Building history/relationship with God is far more important than building an audience or platform.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.Com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Stay in Your Lane

Happy Live Unrivaled Tuesday!

The Bible discourages comparison. Let’s talk about our cultural obsession with keeping up with the Joneses.

We each have a unique voice and journey. Each person has their own assignment and pace. Looking to the left or the right can bring significant bondage. When we compare it leads to either self righteousness or pride (I am better than this person) or insecurity which is the flip side of pride (I am not as good or capable as this other person).

Sometimes jealousy, envy, and strife are rooted in comparison. Look at what the other person is doing (especially on social media). How do you measure up? Jealousy is being upset someone else is getting attention or a blessing or has something the person thinks they deserve. Envy is not wanting them to have it. Strife is the fighting, gossiping, arguments, and bitterness that emerge from the sin.

Our measure of how well we are doing in life, in ministry, in business, etc…is best rooted in God. If your church has 10 people that you are faithfully serving-praise God. If the other church has 10,000 whooohoo. Comparing numbers is a waste of time. Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents.

I had a lady tell me my outreach to the poor was just giving out handouts and their ministry was training people for jobs. Well, awesome you have resources for job training. I have resources to help people not eat out of the garbage for a day and get saved. Then we connect them with larger ministries who help them with rehab, job placement, daily meals, after care, discipleship, etc…Jesus stated if your enemy is hungry feed him. Why worry about what that other ministry is doing. Stay in your lane. I rarely look at what other people are doing unless it’s for inspiration. I am not them, they are not me.

God creates. He does not clone. We are NOT to be cookie cutter duplicates of each other.

I had someone else tell me I needed to be more like this other minister who travels the world preaching. I said no. I reach 144 countries through my blogging (I have two blogs) and social media, sometimes 10,000 people a week. What I need to do is stay rooted in Jesus and do what I see the Father doing. If one person get’s saved, I rejoice. We had one salvation at outreach Sarurday. Thank you God! I don’t care if another outreach saw 100s.

Comparison is toxic. The Bible says the following:

Galatians 6:4-5 Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility.

2 Corinthians 10:12 We wouldn’t put ourselves in the same class with or compare ourselves to those who are bold enough to make their own recommendations. Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Our world loves comparison, God asks us to be of the Kingdom-not the world.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

We don’t live for people. We live for God.

Philippians 2:3 Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.

Galatians 1:10 Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

May you and I stay focused on the most important thing; God. May we ditch comparison and focus on running our own race with Jesus. In the end, we will all give an account for our own lives, not anyone else’s. Ditch comparison and find joy in the journey with God. We are not with God to perform or tally metrics. We are with God to love Him, know Him, and enjoy Him! It is impossible to have our eyes fixed on God while hyper focusing on what our neighbor is doing.

May we also stop comparing each other. “Oh you need to be more like (fill in the blank).” I honestly cannot be someone else. I am called to be Erin Lamb, the one Father calls Judah. I do not have the same capacity, heart, giftings, etc…as the person next to me. I do what I am called to do by the power of God in me. I encourage that for everyone. What has God given you? Use that for His glory.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.Com/Shop (check out books, teaching materials)

EmpoweredandFreemerch.com (check out our tshirts, merch, mugs, and more. Part of the proceeds go towards helping the poor, homeless, and victims of human trafficking)

OperationGodisLove.org (charity work)

P.S If you are in Ohio, I would love to connect with you at the next two book signings!

God is Not the Problem. God=Love. People Misrepresenting God is the Problem.

Some people are angry with God or Christianity. They have their horror stories that normally fall back on 1. Someone who claimed to know God treated them horribly or 2. God did not perform the way they wanted or agree with their line of thinking.

They did not get their way or the miracle they wanted, so obviously God is bad. I cannot explain why God does not prevent every disappointment or hurt. I do know God gave humanity the ability to choose and some people choose unwisely.

I talk about God’s heart towards humanity in all my books. I hope they help people see God is not the monster hiding in the dark with lightening bolts to strike them.

God is not the problem, sin is and misunderstanding the Bible or the character of God. We must understand that the God of Christianity is love. The greatest commandment Jesus gave His followers was, “Love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Love fulfills God’s law because it seeks to do no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

God love is not like human love that is based on feelings or agreement. There are people who believe that love is giving them everything they desire even if it us harmful. There are people who believe that love means absolute agreement. It does not. God is holy, without sin. Therefore, God can love us deeply and not agree with our poor choices that fall outside His boundaries. Disagreement is not hatred. God hates sin because sin destroys people. God loves people.

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son (1 John 3:16). God loves the entire world, even those who do not love in return. It does not mean that God agrees with everything humanity does. Nor does it mean God accepts everything. God cannot agree with or accept sin because it is opposite of His nature. As stated before, God is holy (without any sin).

What about all these nasty Christians online or in your life. If God is love, why are you encountering hateful or bigoted/racist/sexist/prejudice/angry/hostile/mean/hurtful/abusive/selfish/unkind professing Christians? People can claim God all day long yet the Bible state plainly a tree can be known by it’s fruit. Jesus stated those who knew Him would love as He loves. The Bible also states that those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8).

This agape love is a byproduct of intimacy (knowing) with God. We imitate the God we know. There are people who are immature (immaturity is marked by selfishness), carnal (also marked by selfishness), or who struggle greatly with insecurity (insecure people can cause great damage because they need someone to be inferior to feel superior). Unfortunately there are some “Christians” who suffer from self righteousness or a holier than though complex.

The true Church, God, nor Jesus hurt you. A sinful person claiming to know God hurt you. One of the steps to healing is understanding people are NOT God and many falsely represent God and some grossly misunderstand or misinterpret the Bible. Some are immature or insecure Christians. Some are carnal. Some simply slipped out of abiding in the love of God.

God is good. God is holy. God loves people. If our view of the Bible does not align with the character of God then most likely we are wrong in our interpretation of the Bible or our definition of love/goodness. Some view love as agreeing on everything, no consequences for their actions, and approval-that is not the same as love. God love is unselfish, holy, pure, involves accountability, and is full of truth.

I repeat God is love-sacrificial, unselfish love. God is not petty, mean, selfish, flakey, rude, racist, prejudice, sexist, bigoted, harmful, nor awful. God is not the problem. People claiming to know God without full surrender to God are the issue. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. He lived a surrendered life!

I pray we heal from awful acting Christians. Forgive them. Release them to God. People can only give away the love they possess. Pray God gives them a good dunking in His love. If your heart is still hurting or wounded, I want you to get your soul healed! It is possible to heal from being grossly mistreated or abused by Christians or clergy.

I hope you surrender all the pain to God and get to know Him for yourself. God loves you deeply and profoundly.

Join the Get Your Soul Healed Tribe:

If you wish for help to process through the pain, you can join my 8 week study and freedom group. It’s no cost to join. You simply need to grab a copy of the new book and the study guide. The study guide is only $6.99. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book and Study Guide. Once you grab the study guide, I will add you to the closed and private group. Sessions start August 1! At 7pm EST this Thursday night I will kick off the study! I hope to see you there. Soul healing activations are a part of the group.

If you do not join the group, I hope to see you at one of the upcoming book signings in Ohio! Come say hello and enter to win some great prizes!!

You are so deeply loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Join the Book Club!

I am passionate about helping people step into freedom. You and I do not have to hobble through life broken. It’s time to heal! Let’s heal together.

I am launching an Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse study book club on August 1, 2019.

This closed Facebook group will include additional video teachings, discussion, Q/A, and more!

What do you need to join the group?

1. Access to Facebook.

2. To purchase the study guide (only available at https://www.empowered-free.com/shop).

3. Get a copy of the book (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse on Amazon.com) or (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse on Empowered & Free).

Once you purchase the study guide, only $6.99, you will be sent a request to join the community/group.

We will discuss challenging questions like where is God when abuse happens? Does forgiveness heal everything? What to do when you have forgiven and you still can’t stand that person? Wrong teachings from the Bible that create circumstances for abuse, how to get your soul healed, preventing abuse, and MORE!

I hope you join the group and to connect with you soon!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

P. S one of the book signings will be in Powell, Ohio on August 19th, 2019 (11am-1pm). More details to come.

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

Happy Look Out For Someone Besides Ourselves Wednesday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love is not selfish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look for someone to love today!!

God love wins!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

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

It’s Time to Live Victorious (New Book Coming Soon)

We are almost across the finish line! I am finishing up the supplemental study guide for the Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse book today.

This book was birthed out of conversations with clients from deep inner healing sessions and a friend who said, “We need a book to address abuse in the church.” It was not in my queue of books to write. I was working on a manuscript called Killing Insecurity. It’s still a work in progress. 🙂

In the past few years we have heard and seen the stories of #metoo and #churchtoo. Unfortunately, communities of faith are not immune from abuse, gross misconduct, or ungodly behavior. Every person can still choose sin. Abuse is sin. It is unfortunate when abuse happens in places that were intended to be safe, like family, and a place of healing.

I noticed abuse can slip under the rug because of wrong teachings about forgiveness, wrong teachings about submission and headship, and wrong beliefs about God. For many, it is far more detrimental to be abused by clergy. Then they are told to simply forgive and magically it will be like nothing happened. This is false. There are ways to restore/help both the abused and the the abuser.

Aren’t Christians supposed to be loving and perfect? Ha! I am not perfect, are you? Only God is perfect. I am a work in progress.

So, what are we to do about the abuse, control, manipulation, and gross mistreatment? What do we do when the people who claim to love God are failing in loving people? I highly recommend addressing it head on instead of ignoring abuse or telling people to forgive, build a bridge and get over the trauma or mistreatment they suffered.

We must cease sweeping things under the rug and deal with issues that violate God’s heart. It’s a part of justice. God loves to help the oppressed. The greatest commandment revolves around loving God and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse unpacks:

  • Why abuse happens.
  • How people who claim Jesus can be so cruel and unloving.
  • How to spot the red flags of abuse.
  • Wrong uses of scripture.
  • Why forgiveness alone is not removing all your negative feelings or pain.
  • How to get your soul healed!
  • How to keep your children and heart safe.
  • Setting boundaries and dealing with people who do not respect boundaries.
  • Moving from victim to victor.
  • Where was God and why didn’t He stop the abuse?
  • And so much more!

I hope you grab a copy of Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse when it’s released next month and you share it with any person who has been physically, sexually, emotionally, verbally or in any way grossly mistreated by professing Christians.

I also recommend this book for those who have not been abused. I have never been sexually abused, yet I have learned so much and how to speak compassionately from working with abuse victims. Sometimes Christians say the wrong things. This book provides insight into the thoughts of an abuse victim.

I hope many are set free from deep rooted wounds. The first editor stated she experienced healing from reading the manuscript.

It’s time to heal.

It’s time to SOAR!

It’s time to move out of the land of being victimized and into the land of victors.

You may watch a short book trailer here: https://youtu.be/jlexF1HRpFA

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Communication-A Healthy Building Block for Relationships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Warmly,

Erin

If Jesus Took On Flesh Today!

If Jesus took on flesh today…

Jesus had no outward beauty to draw people to Him, I wonder if He walked into our services today if we would greet Him.

A middle eastern Jew, with brown skin, a carpenter’s son-would we include Him?

Humble, not ego driven, the one who would choose to wash feet instead of push His way to a platform-would we even notice Him?

Loving, honoring, and respectful of all people-would we try to persuade Him to love who we love and dislike who we dislike?

Interested in the least of these, the poor, the outcast, sinners/prostitutes/tax collectors, would we join their table or insist He leave them to join ours?

Non political, focused on representing heaven on earth/the Father’s will, would we try to convince Him to join our political party and campaign for our rights?

Unmarried and without a girlfriend, would He be banned from ministering in our churches or restricted to the least amount of responsibility in leadership? Would He be consistently pressured into finding a mate or allowed to be who the Father created Him to be?

Insistent on loving His enemies, would we join Him in His quest to build bridges instead of cliques?

Moved by the tears of the broken, would we lay down our pride and selfishness to sit with the broken?

Deeply moved with compassion to heal the sick, would we put aside the miracles are a side show to simply love the person right in front of us?

Taking the Gospel to those in need, would we join Jesus or simply watch from the sidelines or encourage Him to do everything?

Moved by the heart of the Father He would rally others to do the same. Would we join Jesus or tell Him, “I am not called to do that? Give me the assignment where I am most comfortable?”

Would we join Jesus or deny Jesus?

Would we follow Jesus or just be a fan of Jesus?

Would we cast aside our selfish ambition to truly be a disciple who begins to look like Jesus?

Would we change the world with Jesus or simply pray Jesus do something?

It is one thing to profess love for Jesus, it is quite another lay down our lives for Jesus.

Would Jesus be Lord, or an ala cart add on to enhance our lives yet cost us nothing?

Would we be willing to follow the loving King or simply remain in the stadiums cheering with our “I love Jesus” merch?

Are we spectators or lovers?

Sold out or only in it for fire insurance?

In love or in like with Jesus?

Love will cause us to lay our pride and selfishness aside to look out for our neighbor, the least, last, lost, broken.

Love will call us out of our comfort zones and onto the frontlines with Jesus.

Love will mend us over and over when the attacks of darkness seem relentless.

Love will propel us into a glorious heaven centered destiny where His name, the name above all names is glorified.

Love dissolves our prejudice and man made boundary lines.

Love destroys hatred, bigotry, and sexism and loudly proclaims, “In Christ all are one.” One Body, one church, one Lord!

Love pushes past political lines to say, “You too are made in the image of God.”

Love pushes past “Me first” and lives for “God first! God be glorified!!”

Love breaks the shackles of “Us vs Them,” and builds a table prepared with a feast to say, “The King loves you. I will treat you with dignity. Come to Jesus.”

Love seeks to reconcile the world to itself.

Love is not a concept, not a noun but a verb.

Love has a name. It’s Jesus!

May we seek Jesus, know Jesus, abide in Jesus, focus on Jesus, exalt Jesus, and align with the heart of Jesus.

Painting: Jewish Jesus of Nazareth (Source Pinterest)

Lovingly,

Erin Lamb