Don’t Settle

img_6519

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.

Advertisements

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

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

Aloha friends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Culture vs. God’s Kingdom:

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

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

What is Reality?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love in Christ,

Erin

Perks of Unmarried Life

Photo Source: Pinterest

Devotion (for the unmarried): The greatest gift God ever gave was Himself. We hear all about the benefits of marriage. Today I talk about the perks of unmarried life. There are lots…

The Bible says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you,” not “Seek first a spouse.” 

Marriage, what I call covenant, was initiated by God. He saw Adam had a need. Eve was part of the solution. Adam did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit like born again believers have today. Therefore, the unmarried person today has an advantage over the unmarried person before the death and resurrection of Christ. A person can thrive with God. God+Nothing=Everything. 

Having the Holy Spirit means a believer has full access to God, they have the the Comforter living on the inside. They are never alone. They have been grafted into an eternal family, and can have spiritual sons and daughters. They are not without family, they are part of the family of God. 

Sometimes people seem perplexed I have joy without a spouse or children. In God’s presence is fullness of JOY! He is my joy, not people or the things He gives. I have more FUN with God than with anyone else. If you do not believe me, hang out with me sometime. It can be quite the party. 

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore,”~Psalm 16:11. 

There are so many things that can be done as an unmarried person. Here is my list…

1. Unhindered devotion to God. 

No one loves better than God. I can not state this enough. An unmarried person can have more time alone with God, more time devoted to fasting/prayer/intercession. More time spent serving God and others. 

2. Freedom to travel the world. 

My mum told me to go see the world (I like other cultures). It has been a blast-Mexico, Puerto Rico, Australia, Brazil, Canada…etc. 

3. Deeper friendships. 

One thing I have seen shift with married friends is their commitment to deep friendships outside their spouse. You may have been a best friend, but sometimes you end up someone they call when they are having a baby or need help or are bored or just want to make sure you do not sever the relationship completely. Some you never hear from again. 

An unmarried person has more time (sometimes) to devote to loving, encouraging, investing, and caring for other people-truly being an invested friend. 

4. Only one to check in with… 

If I desire to do something, “Buy property, start a business, move across the country…,” I do not have to chat with anyone besides God. Eventhough I am in covenant with God, He offers me more freedom than anyone. He has never tried to control, minimize, limit, or push my desires into the ground. I have never been one to like control or domination. Nor do I wish to limit someone else. I have a fully functional brain and will, I like using them. I wish this for others too. Marriage means two get to choose. Unmarried offers less restrictions. Not saying it’s better, I am saying it is something to enjoy. 🙂 

5. Identity rooted in Christ, not another person. 

I am big on knowing who we are in Christ and not being defined by labels. Who are you in Him? Only the covenant with Him is eternal. “Oh I am so and so’s wife or husband,” awesome, “Who are you? What makes you tick?” 

I am in covenant with God. When people ask who I am, I reply, “Erin Lamb,” not, “Servant of Jesus.” Serving Jesus is pure joy, yet He is in covenant with Erin Lamb. I have an identity, name, personality, hobbies, desires, and passions that are unique to me. He is not me and I am not Him. We are linked, one in spirit. We are not the same person. He does not try to be me. I am not trying to be Him. I seek to abide in Him so His character and fruit of the Spirit manifest through my life. It is still a unique expression. I am not a third limb hanging off Jesus. 

I have heard people say, “I just want to belong to someone.” Are you saved? If so, you belong to God. There is no human marriage in heaven. One must bypass trying to find identity, security, and purpose outside of God. Why? Anything or anyone we use for identity that is not Him is an idol. Idols enslave and invite evil spirits to torment. 

God gave relationships to complement, not complete us. Spouses can pass away or leave. God never does. 

6. Rest

Okay so when I get home, there is no one waiting to talk to me or ask me for favors or seek me for something. I can just rest. Nap, I think I will take one. No makeup, yoga pants, hair a hot curly mess kind of day-no one cares. Disinterested in human interaction, that’s fine…on the couch I go with a book in hand and blanket. Don’t feel like being hugged or touched, do not have to. Though my life is full, there is time to rest. Introverts like rest. 🙂 

The purpose of the post is to hopefully inspire unmarried people to seek God for identity, love, and purpose. I founded a charity/outreach 4 years ago with God. I purchased my first home with God. I wrote my first book with God. I travel the world with God. I paint, create, sing, and write music with God. I will be starting my own business with God. I take cooking classes with God. I disciple and teach with God. I rest with God. I have exceeding joy in God and with God. God completes me. Everyone else is a complement and secondary.  

Do not sit around waiting on a magical appearance of a person to live life to the fullest. Live baby live! Thrive baby thrive!!!

Merry Christmas (Celebrating a King)

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f21/30998939/files/2014/12/img_3076.jpg

Photo credit: Pinterest

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever,~Isaiah 9:6-7.

Merry Christmas to you and your families. Christmas is a time to reflect on the greatest gift ever given to humanity, Jesus. A King left Paradise to come and save a sinful world. He humbled Himself to take the lowest place, that of a babe. A child is dependent on others for care, protection, and provision. A babe cannot speak and is helpless in many ways.

The King of the Universe came into the world to bless the world. He wasn’t born into wealth. He left the riches of heaven for the poverty of earth.

Jesus is the gift who continues to give to the world. He’s continuing to bless the world. This glorious King is alive and pursuing the hearts of His people.

If you do not know Him personally, I invite you to get to know Jesus. Relationship with Him begins with the Father drawing us, acknowledging a need for Him, confessing our sins, repenting, and believing that He is the Son of God. He came for love. He came for you! God pursues to love!

If this season brings you stress, strain, pain, or grief, know that Jesus lives to intercede for you. He loves you! You are so deeply loved. Jesus said, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” My prayers are with you as well.

Sweet friends, God loves you. He SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so whosoever will believe in Him will have everlasting life!

Merry Christmas!

Love,

Erin

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f21/30998939/files/2014/12/img_3101.jpg

Believe, Know, Listen, & Follow (Intimacy with God)

This is from my book website ithoughtiknewwhatlovewas.com. I posted it this morning. I try not to post the same thing on both sites but felt led to. There are different followers on each site. I hope this encourages you to plunge the depths of God’s heart. He loves you!

IMG_0416.JPG

Photo credit: Son of God movie

John 10:25-30.

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

I recommend reading all of John 10. In this passage Jesus refers to Himself as the good Shepherd. Shepherds were overseers of flocks. Sheep are not the brightest animals. They will fall into ditches, see another sheep in a ditch and fall in…they can wonder off and be destroyed because they are not wise. Shepherds protected their sheep. They were invested in keeping them safe. They’d lay at the gate to prevent them from escaping. They spent time with the sheep. They rescued wayward sheep.

Jesus is the good Shepherd. We are like the sheep. He’s responsible to care for us, reveal who He is to us, and we are to know and follow Him. We are not an obligation to God. We are His dearly loved children.

In the verses above Jesus is responding to the questions of the Pharisees about who He is. Is He the Christ? I love His responses. He stated, “You do not believe, therefore you are not my sheep. My sheep know and follow me.

Intimacy with God starts with faith. It starts with belief.

Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do?
It is not enough to simply believe there is a God or Jesus is the Son of God. Even the demons believe and tremble. (James 2:19), yet they are not saved. There’s no salvation for them. There is for humanity.

If you’re reading this and you’ve never confessed your sins before God, repented (made a decision to turn from sinning and turn to God), asked God to cleanse you of your sins, placed your faith in Jesus Christ as the appropriation for your sins, and asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, I invite you do so. There’s no salvation apart from Him. There’s no entrance to heaven without going through the Son. We can’t do enough good works to earn holiness or righteousness. Jesus did it for us. We by faith, receive what He’s done and accept His righteousness as our own.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith,~Romans 3:23-25a.

If you invited God into your life, I would love to hear from you and provide more information to you.

The second step in intimacy with God is being with Him.

Sheep spent their time with the shepherd. They learned his voice, his smell, his mannerisms. It’s impossible to have intimacy (knowing) with someone and you never spend any time. If Sunday morning is the only time you spend with God, well your level of intimacy is not going to be high.

I am not stating you attend worship services all week, lock yourself in a room to pray and read the Bible all day. I am saying we can commune with God every day, as much as we’d like. One of my morning activities is to start the day with worship and thanksgiving. “Good morning God! I love you. Thank you for who you are and all you’ve done. I invite you to be a part of my day. What do you want to do? Who do you want to bless?” And there are days where I’m just listening. What is God doing? What is He saying? It’s not a ritual, it’s relationship.

Intimacy with God involves listening and knowing His voice.

The Bible says God speaks. There are some who teach He doesn’t and that does not align with scripture. God speaks to His children. If you had children and wrote an instruction manual for them, would you then say, “I refuse to speak to you. Go read the book I gave you.” That would seem insane. Yet some teach God only speaks to us through the Bible. God spoke to people in the Bible through dreams, visions, directly, through prophets, even through a donkey. Before you get too excited, let’s lay down some ground rules.

1. When God speaks He will not tell you to sin or violate His already written word.

I had someone tell me once the Holy Spirit told her not to read the Bible ever and only to listen to the voice she was hearing. That’s wrong and violates scripture.

I heard someone say God told them to leave their spouse for someone else. That’s wrong. It violates many scriptures.

Our culture says do whatever feels good for you and if it’s “love” or feels good, God must approve of it. That’s wrong. If there’s no place in scripture where God is condoning a behavior, you can’t condone it either and claim it’s God. There are some verses that seem to contradict each other which is why God gave His Holy Spirit to teach us.

We can’t toss out the Bible and rely on feelings, human wisdom, angelic visitations, or voices we believe are God.

2. All prophecy (speaking God’s word) is to be tested. Meaning the following:

Does it align with God’s word? Example, there are many false prophecies about when the world will end. Well, the Bible states the following:

“No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows,”~Matthew 24:36.

Does the prophecy fit the character of God?

I’ve had destructive words spoken over me. There was no life in them. God does give warnings. He also provides redemption. Those who repent can find hope and life in Him. Jesus came to save, not destroy. If people are destroyed, it will be because they refused the gift He offered and refused repentance.

Finally intimacy with God involves following Him.

We are called to obey God. It’s not a popular teaching, yet Jesus taught it often. Christianity is not simply praying a prayer, it’s following a person. That person is Jesus. We cannot claim to love God and live a life where we refuse to do what He says. He gives us grace and His Spirit to enable us to do His will. If we cease to obey, we will eventually cease to hear from Him. If He continues to speak, we are held accountable for what we know. So if you feel super disconnected from God, one thing to ask is , “Has He told me to do something I have not done?”

I will continue this series because I truly believe we perish for lack of knowledge of who God is. We are called to know Him, to be loved by Him, to love Him, and enjoy Him. God is not boring, cold, stern, a kill joy, or mean spirited. He is good, holy, exciting, adventurous, overflowing with love and joy. He’s beyond amazing. He’s generous, faithful, merciful, and forgiving. The evil one doesn’t want the world to know who God is and how good He is. Once you know Him, it’s almost impossible to resist Him.

Will you join me on this relentless pursuit of God’s heart? I hope so.

You’re continually in my thoughts, prayers, and you are deeply loved (John 3:16).

Love,

Erin

Worship (Only God is Worthy)

20140618-214641-78401659.jpg

Worship Definition

n. noun
The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.
Ardent devotion; adoration.
v. verb
To honor and love as a deity.
To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion.
To participate in religious rites of worship.

Jesus told him, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,~Matthew 22:37.

We were made to worship and we all worship something!

We will become like the one we worship,~Bill Johnson.

The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. And a man will worship something … That which dominates will determine his life and character. Therefore it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming,~Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I’m quite passionate about worship. I’m passionate about worshipping God, giving Him honor, love, praise, thanks, devotion, and all of my life. It sounds overboard, but He’s everything. I’m often consumed with thoughts of Him. It hasn’t always been that way and though I love Him, there are still some days I’m lost in my own thoughts or zoned out from fatigue.

This new series on worship will hopefully draw us both into deeper intimacy with God! There’s always more with God.

Worship is so important. It’s so important it was coveted by Lucifer and he’s spent his days trying to divert worship away from God. If he cannot get people to worship him directly, he attempts to lure people to worship themselves or created things. We live in a world where beauty, youth, sex, fitness, relationships, entertainment, social media, status, money, music, food, family, wealth, celebrities, fame, children, even pastors, churches, and ministry are worshipped over God.

Social media is a good place to see the idols of our day. The things we talk about, gravitate towards,…show what we deem worthy of our time, devotion, and praise.

The problem with worshipping created things is that it’s idolatry. It’s caused all kinds of problems for people. It angered God with the Israelites and many others we can learn from in the Bible.

Oh those pesky idols…

Our idols cannot save us. They enslave us. Only the worship of God frees us.

The worship of money makes us greedy.

The worship of food makes us glutenous and often obese.

The worship of fitness, youth, and beauty makes us vain.

The worship of pleasure and comfort makes us addicts.

The worship of people makes us slaves to their opinions.

The worship of self makes us selfish.

All our “gods” do is provide empty cisterns that never fulfill us. They keep us coming back for more and more and we are never satisfied. Idols keep us in a cycle of perpetual discontentment.

I know something has taken the wrong place in my heart when I can say to God, “I will be happy when…” Fill in the blank. It’s great to ask God for things, yet when things become the source of contentment, there’s a problem. One of the idols I constantly have to cast down is comfort. I don’t like suffering. I feel as though in my short time on earth, I’ve endured my share. When being comfortable becomes more important than honoring God, I’ve placed comfort above Him. He frequently draws me out of comfort into unsure waters. It’s not fun, but He is Lord. He’s number one, above me. He also empowers whatever He calls me to do.

Lastly, this series isn’t intended to bring condemnation, but to hopefully reveal the joy in worshipping God. Theres no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

There’s great blessing in worshipping Him. He’s worthy! I hope you stay tuned as we investigate God’s worth.

Father, we live in a world full of distractions and temptations to worship something or someone other than You. Please help us to worship You in Spirit and in truth. Deepen our awareness of Your love and the beauty of Your presence. Amen.

Tearing Down Strongholds

20140516-101851.jpg

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,”~John 8:31-32.

We demolish arguments (vain imaginations) and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,~2 Cor 10:5.

It is not simply the truth that sets you free. It’s believing the truth that sets you free. There is also the element of tearing down and renouncing lies.

The first step to deliverance isn’t a power encounter, it’s a truth encounter.

Deception is one of the enemies favorite tools. He has power. He has no authority. Jesus stripped the devil of the authority he gained through the sin of Adam and Eve (Col 2:15). Now the enemy needs people to come into agreement with him to accomplish his will in the earth. He wants us to believe his lies. He needs people to do his bidding in the world.

You may be saying, “I’m not evil. The devil is not using me.”

Maybe you’re not doing “evil”, but agreement with lies may be preventing you from fully experiencing the love, joy, peace, confidence, hope, and goodness of God. If the devil can’t get you to do evil. He will try to limit you from doing good or experiencing the goodness of God. He will try to prevent you from having and living the abundant life Jesus paid for (John 10:10).

Common lies (some I’ve believed and some I’ve heard):

God doesn’t love me.
God is always angry and out to get people.
God doesn’t have great plans for my life.
I’m a failure.
No one loves or accepts me.
I can’t do this, even with God’s help.
I’m stuck.
I must change in order to be worthy of love.
God delights in my suffering.
God dislikes me.
I cannot live like Jesus lived, even though I have the Holy Spirit.
I’m not beautiful, handsome, or valuable.
God doesn’t work miracles anymore.
God doesn’t want to heal or restore me or this other person.
God doesn’t want to bless me.
God doesn’t care about what I care about.
I’m not enough.
My dreams can never come true.
This is hopeless.
I will always be this way.
God is not good.
God is withholding something good from me.
My value or worth comes from someplace other than identity in Christ.
I cannot love or forgive this person.
They have more to offer or are more loved by God than me.
I will never get….(fill in the blank).
I will never have….(fill in the blank).
I can never be free.
This will always hurt.
I can’t have bliss/joy this side of heaven.
God doesn’t want to help me.
God is limited in this situation.
I’m too old, young, unqualified to do this, even with God’s help.
What Jesus paid for is for someone else.
God is solely focused on my sin or failures.
God can’t make me new.
God doesn’t want me to enjoy life.
It’s a man thing, I can’t be different.
It’s a woman thing, I can’t be different.
This is just the way I am, there’s no hope for change.
What I feel is truth.
All my passions and desires are truth.
God wants to use only certain people in powerful ways.
My role in God’s body is not as important as someone else’s.
My assessment of myself is 100 percent truth.
God’s love isn’t tailored for me.
My circumstances are bad because God is punishing me.
I can live how I want with no consequences.
Grace gives me permission to sin.
God can’t help me or this other person.
I can’t hear from God for myself.
This situation or person can never change, even with divine intervention.

Truth is without God, nothing is possible. With Him, the possibilities are endless. He’s empowered and is empowering us to live life to the fullest. All these lies have scripture to counter them.

Lies need to be renounced because what we believe, we empower. The Bible says, “As a man thinks, so is he.” Our actions manifest what we believe. The first sin was rooted in the lie that God withholds good things from us. By believing lies we empower strongholds in our lives.

When the ship is sinking, check what you’re thinking. What we believe, we empower.

Father, I ask the Holy Spirit to hover over us and reveal any lies we have come into agreement with. As they are highlighted, help us to renounce them. Replace lies with Your truth. Help us to cling to Your Word and be led by Your Spirit. Help us to repent of speaking negative words and vows over ourselves and others. Cancel all negative effects of all ill spoken words and beliefs. Help us to believe and speak Your truth. Help us to believe ALL things are possible with You (Luke 1:37). In Jesus most powerful name, amen.

The Comforter (Holy Spirit Series Part 8)

20140424-190422.jpg

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted,~Matthew 5:4.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;~John 14:16.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed,~Isaiah 61:1.

The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. It’s one of the most beautiful attributes of His character. He fulfills this role so well.

God knew we would need comforting. Jesus said, “In the world you will have trouble, but take heart I have already overcome the world.”

One of the beautiful things about a relationship with God is knowing He promises to meet every need, including our need to be comforted. He’s not distant, cold, unfeeling, or without concern for the things that concern us. What matters to us, touches His heart. He bottles our tears.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book,~Psalm 56:8.

God is emotional. He’s emotional about you.

I had an adult I respected tell me when I was a young adult, “God isn’t moved by your tears, He’s moved by your faith.” During that period of my life, I cried quite a bit. Being a preteen was challenging for many reasons. This adult taught me not to feel. I got to a point I couldn’t cry. I felt happy or angry. Nothing else. I learned to be very tough.

It wasn’t until I hit my twenties that I could cry. I just didn’t feel sorrow. During that time my mum died. I’ve never cried more in my life. During that time, waves of worship would invade my heart. I would just worship for hours. God brought a deep comfort I cannot explain. Though I had friends and family, none of them could reach the places God could. When everyone else went back to life, God was there 24/7.

I grew to know God in profound ways during that season. When I look back over my life, or rehearse the stories, etc…I could cry for days. Then there’s God. He’s standing in the midst of every loss, betrayal, pain, seasons of sickness, near death experience,…

What is troubling or grieving you this week?

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His comfort. Surrender every burden to Him. You may cry! He’s not offended or put off by your tears.

God is able my friends to sustain you through the most horrific pain. He’s strong enough! I promise He’s strong enough.

Lastly I will say, God promises to turn your mourning into dancing. He promises to give you joy for pain and sorrow!!! I can say with 100% confidence He keeps His promises. After spending many years suffering-I have overwhelming joy. I wake up some days dancing! I enjoy God. I enjoy being with Him. I enjoy knowing Him. He’s my Lord. He’s also my closest friend.

I have had people call my joy facade, or it annoys them. God is joy. Joy is part of the fruit of His Spirt. There’s plenty to be thankful for. God has blessed me with tremendous joy! Something I never thought possible. I’m young, yet feel I’ve lived 100 years. And through it all I can say, “It is well with my soul.

My friends, I’m praying God floods you with comfort and joy! No matter what you face, God is able. Your Comforter will never leave or forsake you.

Love in Christ,

Erin

20140424-200818.jpg

What’s He Like? (Holy Spirit Series Part 2)

20140122-200903.jpg

Galatians 5:13-26

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

There are so many wonderful things that could be said about the Holy Spirit. He is amazing! He points us to Jesus. He reveals truth. He is perfect in wisdom. He gives us greater understanding of scripture. He loves us. He comforts us. He works in us to transform us into the likeness of God. He works in the world to convict people of their sins. He has a vital role in a believers life.

In the introduction I talked about Him being a person. I heard Reinhard Bonnke say something that stuck with me, “A person doesn’t come in percentages. He’s either present or He’s not.” We on the other hand the ability to quench, resist, or silence Him. We have the ability to reject what He’s trying to do. God doesn’t seek to be our puppet master. He longs to guide not force us.

What is the Holy Spirit Like (His Character)?

1. He is love! God is love. If you read Galatians 5:22-23, you’ll see love is the first thing mentioned. We have troubles sometimes in our society because we mistake unconditional love with unconditional approval. God corrects us, says what’s right or wrong, and does it in a way aimed at leading to repentance. God longs to reconcile us to Him, not condemn us or use guilt or shame.

2. He is joyful! Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is based on what’s happening. Joy is something that can be experienced in hard seasons as well as mountain top seasons. God has no reason to worry or be stressed out. He’s Sovereign. Psalm 2:4 says He sits in the heavens and laughs at His enemies.

3. He is peace. In the middle of the storm (Mark 4:39), Jesus spoke, “Peace be still.” In the middle of our storms, He is our peace. Also God likes for us to live at peace with others, as much as it depends on us (Romans 12:18).

4. He is patient and longsuffering.

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love,~Psalm 145:8.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,~2 Peter 3:9.

5. He is kind, faithful, good, and gentle.

I lumped all these attributes together because I truly believe they are overlooked. They are characteristics of God I’d love to see more evident in myself and others.

God is kind (definition: having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature. Affectionate; loving).

God is faithful (definition: loyal, constant, and steadfast).

God is good (definition: giving pleasure; enjoyable or satisfying; that which is morally right; righteousness; possessing or displaying moral virtue).

God is gentle (definition: (of a person) mild in temperament or behavior; kind or tender).

If you’re thinking how do these descriptions of God fit in with some of the harshness of the Old Testament. I will say sin has a penalty of death. God is Sovereign and holy. His ways of dealing with us are right whether we understand or agree. He can see right into our heart and motives. He didn’t have to save us. Yet He chose out of His great kindness to send His Son to take away the sins of the world (John 3:16).

6. He is self controlled. God is not out of control. We sometimes are, He is not. When we are being led by His Spirit, we are self controlled. God is not looking for ways to control us. He’s giving us His Spirit to help us become self controlled.

If we are going to be led by the Spirit, we will need to acknowledge His work in our lives. God longs to deepen our awareness of what Jesus already paid for. The Holy Spirit is a valuable gift. He’s a tremendous blessing.

I leave you with this prayer:

Father help us to have a deeper understanding of You. Help us not to be simply hearers of your Word, but doers. Help us to abide in You. Help us to rely on Your Spirit and not our human intellect. Help us to understand how Your Spirit operates and help us not to quench, ignore, or offend. May we give You as much room as possible to work in and through us.

.