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

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


Aloha friends, 

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

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

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

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

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

How do you deal? 

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


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

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

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

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

1. Get comfy with who you are

Confidence attracts great things. 

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

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

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

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

But my biological clock is like a time bomb! 

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

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

3. Ask why you want to be married?

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

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

4. Pray

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

Lord help me to find contentment in you alone. 

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

Lord show me how to love like you. 

Lord prepare me for what you have for me. 

Lord help me to guard my heart. 

Lord help me to steward others hearts well. 

Lord give me wisdom and increased discernment. 

Lord fill all the voids with you. 

Lord heal my soul. 

Lord protect me from the wrong choices. 

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

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

Lord help me to find my identity in you. 

Lord strengthen me where I am weak.


Final thoughts…

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

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

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

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

For the Unmarried 

  
Photo source: Pinterest 

For the unmarried… 

There is so much pressure to be coupled up with someone, especially in Christian culture. I have heard people get in pulpits and preach marriage is the best thing, not God-marriage. 

God doesn’t take a second chair to anyone or anything He created. If marriage is loved, desired, exalted above a relationship with God it’s an idol. The best love relationship we could ever have comes from God. 

So here is my encouragement to you! 

1. You are not half a person without a spouse. 

2. God is not waiting to send a spouse for you to do mighty exploits for Him. He loves you individually and has amazing plans for you whether married or unmarried. 

3. You are loved, not incomplete, and not alone. Holy Spirit is with every born again believer, as is Jesus-Father God. His covenant is eternal, marriage does not exist in heaven between man & woman. 

4. God connects people for mutual blessing and matched vision. He withholds nothing good. 

5. Married to the wrong person is FAR worse than single. Trust from someone who has seen many on the side of devastation, abuse, divorce, pain, heartache. 

6. It takes more than physical attraction and both loving Jesus to build a relationship. Talk about vision, destiny, money, caring for parents, expectations, dreams. How can two be joined lest they agree?

7. Hormone highs diminish. So those who marry for self gratification, lust, and not a desire to agape (sacrificial, unconditional, unselfish) love will find they fall out of love. God says choose love. 

8. Not every person presenting a happy marriage is blissfully happy. Do not let Social Media (SM) or what people say sway you. I knew of many unhappy, tormented married people posting their undying love on SM. 

9. Talk to God. He knows what your desires, wants, and needs are. He is perfect at matchmaking. 

10. Instead of praying, “Lord send me,” or searching everywhere for someone, how about praying “Lord prepare me. Make me into someone who is a tremendous blessing to someone. Cleanse me. Teach me agape love.” 

11. If marriage is your heart desire, pray for that person in advance. Can not hurt. 

12. Know God is 100% good. You do not have to settle when your Father is so good.


Lord I ask for Your love, peace, power, and purity to shower every single, widdowed, divorced person. I bind any spirits of pressure, shame, bondage, deception, disappointment, fear, or unbelief. I loose peace and truth for the days to come. Lord You are trustworthy. You can be trusted with every desire. I ask that every desire will be placed before You. I pray the greatest desire be for You. I bless each one with purity, love, comfort, and intimacy with You. In Jesus mighy name. Amen. 

Worrying is Worship (Worship Series Part 13)

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,~Philippians 4:6.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?~Matthew 6:27.

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth,~Colossians 3:2.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,~Philippians 2:5.

I heard a minister say something this weekend that hit me as true. She said much of our praying is worrying with our eyes closed. She said we are talking about our problems instead if talking to God who can solve our problems.

I honestly believe we can worship the problems or circumstances in our lives. It’s called worrying and complaining. We are giving our undivided attention to the problem instead of focusing on the solution. We exalt the problems above God.

How many times have you been in a prayer circle and everyone talked about and prayed only about the problem? There was no exaltation of God being above the problem. There was no worship of who God is and His ability to solve any problem. Instead of words of faith, there were words of doubt, unbelief, and planted seeds of worry.

One of my favorite verses is, “God will keep in perfect peace those who’s minds are stayed on Him,”~Isaiah 26:3.

You see it’s almost impossible to worship God and worry at the same time. When God is exalted, we see how big He is and how small everything else is in comparison. We can respond in faith to our circumstances. It’s challenging, yet it can be done.

It starts with feeding our minds the word of God. When fearful thoughts come we can rehearse what’s deposited in our spirit.

There have been layoffs in my company the past year. For awhile my head was plagued with thoughts, ” You’re next! The economy is bad. What are you going to do?”

After muddling around in those negative thoughts for awhile I sensed the Lord saying, “No one can take anything from you without my permission.” God affirmed His position as protector and provider. My security is in Him, not my company.

The evil one always presents the worst case scenario.

What if you lose this job?
What if you have this sickness?
What if you are rejected?
What if you fail?
What if it’s the end of the world?

He’s not positive and loves to see people worrying instead of worshipping and enjoying God.

God says:

I will supply all your needs according to My riches in glory.
I am the Healer.
I will see you through any and every situation.
You are accepted in the beloved!
You learn from your mistakes and move on. I will perfect everything concerning you.
I will come again and set all the wrongs things right.

God invites us to pray about everything and rest in Him! True worship isn’t ignoring the problem, it’s surrendering the problem to God. It’s staying focused on who God is and what He’s doing.

Father, help us to set our eyes on you. To remain focused on you. Bless us with heavenly perspectives. Shower us with Kingdom revelation. May we cease exalting anything or anyone above you. May we rest in your unfailing love. In Jesus name, Amen!

Tearing Down Strongholds

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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.

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

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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.

.

The Fullness of God (Identity in Christ Part 13)

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The quote above from C.S Lewis is spot on for what I wanted to talk about today. We need God. We don’t need another self-help book, or more advice from people, or to have the latest greatest preacher or prophet pray for us and speak over our lives. We need GOD. People spend their lives going round and around in circles looking for answers when God is the answer. He knows all, sees all, and nothing that happens to us or will happen to us is unknown to Him. So, why do we spend so much time seeking our own wisdom, or the advice of others, instead of developing intimacy with God?

I am not stating it’s wrong to seek the counsel of others, prayer from others, or help from people. God created families and communities so we would be able to be blessed by one another. People, however, will never, ever be able to replace God. They are not God and will never be God.

Any good thing done for us is motivated by God. Did you know God can prompt a non-believer to bless you.

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him, Proverbs 16:7.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows, James 1:17.

God alone is good. When we see people doing things that are genuinely good, we can thank God. Remove God and what you have is selfishness and evil.

If God alone is good (which He is), why do we not spend more time getting to know Him instead of everyone else. Here are a few traps that prevent us from going to the true source…

The trap of “I can do it on my own.”

We live in a society that says, “Take care of yourself. Be a self-made person. It’s about you!” The world promotes pride. Pride is what got Lucifer into trouble. He wanted to exalt himself above God. I believe we seek our own wisdom out of pride. There is something inside us that says, “I can figure this out. I know what to do.” The Bible tells us in Proverbs 3:5-8.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body

and nourishment to your bones.

We don’t have to ask God what to wear or about every single detail of our lives. We are encouraged to ask God for wisdom, insight, knowledge, and understanding. God is the fullness of wisdom, intelligence, insight, and knowledge. No one knows more than He does. He created everything we see. How awesome is it that He invites us to ask Him for wisdom. I don’t know about you, but I want to speak to the One who knows it all and cannot lie. People give us their opinions and insight which may be good, however everything God gives is perfect. He not only knows all, He knows what to say and how to say it. I have had people give me their opinions that did not line up with what God was speaking. They went by their perceptions of a situation. God looks at the entire picture. He knows every hair on our heads and knows why we do what we do even when we don’t know. Nothing is hidden from Him.

The trap of “I can’t know God.”

I have heard people say, “I don’t hear God’s voice, and I don’t feel Him near.” So, they give up on developing a relationship with God and settle for less than what Jesus paid for. Some people are waiting for a glorious power encounter like Apostle Paul had on the road to Damascus. The Bible tells us the following. Jesus said, My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me, John 10:27. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse, Romans 1:20.

The Bible tells us two valuable things, God has made himself known and makes Himself known to the world. He set up nature and everything around us so we would ponder who is responsible for it all. We also have a sweet word from Jesus that as His followers we will know His voice. We can learn the voice of God and hear His voice. God makes Himself available to be known. He’s pursuing us more than we could ever pursue Him. When I first became a Christian I did not have the encounters with God that some people around me had. I thought it was only for the spiritually mature, pastors, etc…I read in the Bible I could have a great relationship with God, it simply wasn’t happening the way it was for others. It wasn’t until I read Tommy Tenney’s book Come Thirsty in my late teens that I decided this hearing from God thing was something I wanted every day and I wanted intimacy with God more than anything. I am sure it was all initiated by God, and I take no credit for the desire. Growing to know God is the best thing that has ever happened in my life.

We can all know Him and have as close of a relationship as we want to have with Him. He is no respecter of persons. It’s not for some “special people.” It’s for everyone. Come one, come all!

The trap of “I will talk to everyone but God  or substitute people for God”

We covered this earlier, but we can become obsessed with seeking people for help, counsel, and wisdom. God is the source. People are not to be our primary source. They can not handle the weight of our brokenness. Only God can. People are flawed and sinful. God has no sin. We can be completely vulnerable with God with no fear. People even with the best of intentions can do great harm and damage to us. They operate out of their world view and limited knowledge. I have confidants, but I have learned that not every person who claims Christ is trustworthy, wise, or the right person to ask for help. I now ask God to lead me to the right people instead of allowing any and everyone to speak into my life. Even family can give bad advice and counsel. People, I repeat, people are not God. They will never be God. He alone is God.

The trap of “I am too busy or I will substitute things or activity for God.”

I love the phrase, “If you only pray when you’re in trouble, you are in trouble.” We need God. If we only talk to Him when we are in need, we are running on empty. Jesus operated on full. He regularly prayed to the Father, fasted, withdrew away for alone time with the Father, and when the storms came-Jesus rebuked the storms. He operated on full. He showed us how to live life. He was fully human and fully God. We are fully human and if we are believers, filled with God’s Spirit. We are also called to operate on full and draw from and rely on the Holy Spirit. He is all-powerful. We cannot be too busy for God. He said to love Him first above all. He is to be loved above work, above ministry, above family and spouses, above friends, above comfort, above food and pleasure. God is to be first. If He is not first, then we have an idol lurking somewhere. And our idols can do nothing but enslave us. Whatever is more important than God has to be thrown on the altar, for no person can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). We either worship, love, and serve God…or we don’t.

I imagine if I were giving a motivational speech to sum this up it would go something like this….

Do you want more joy, hope, peace, and love in your life? Come to Jesus!

Do you want a more fulfilled life? Come to Jesus!

Do you want more wisdom and insight? Come to Jesus!

Do you want to be a better person? Come to Jesus!

Are you tired, worn out, weary, and without hope? Come to Jesus!

Do you need a friend who will stick closer than a brother and will never leave you, forsake you, or betray you? Come to Jesus!

Are you struggling, hurting, addicted, or in desperate need? Sweet friend come to Jesus!

One size fits all! He has all that you need and more. He is never closed. He always has time for you. He always has your best interests at heart.

We have the treasure that never runs dry. God does not fail. God has unlimited resources that He longs to share with His children. God overflows. He has no lack. He is available 24/7 for us & no one else is. He is the only One who can be with us always, even to the ends of the age. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age, Matthew 28:20b.

So my dear friends, I pray that this year 2013 we will seek first the Kingdom of God and all of His righteousness. When He is first in our lives, we experience the fullness of God. We become like the One we worship. When we are full of God, every person who crosses our paths is blessed beyond measure. The world does not need more people who are full of themselves. The world needs more people who are rooted in Christ and look like their Papa. May we be those people in this dark world. Love, Erin.

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