Put Prayer On It (Single & Following Jesus Part VI)

Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?~Amos 3:3.

This was my devotion yesterday on Facebook, yet thought it may bless singles here. Here is the link to my author site if you wish to connect there Erin Lamb Author Page. I post devotions, encouraging words almost daily.

Before you date, court, pursue a business deal, say yes, sign up for that ministry thing, ask God before connecting/partnering with other people. God sees the heart and true motivation.

One of my favorite prayers is, "God show me who this person really is."

It's easy for people to smile, do the Christian nice thing (some are not even nice), or go along when there is something they want. Yet God sees the heart. God sees the core of us, even the things we do not see.

I give people about a year before I truly let my guard down and during that time I pray, "God do I need to be connected to this person? Please reveal their heart." Sometimes what flows out of them during that year is unloving, unkind, grossly selfish, etc…I thank God for the reveal. I am simply watching and assessing how they treat me and other people. Someone who is kind to those they deem important and rude to those they do not feel are important is not a kind person.

I love all, trust few, and am close friends with few. Why? My inner circle is reserved for people who genuinely care about me and treat me and others with respect, honor, dignity.

Our actions are always screaming over our words. Our words reveal our heart. Sometimes people are nice to everyone else and hateful to me. Why? I ask God to reveal their heart. God goes, "Here, this is what you are dealing with, you decide how to proceed."

I love all people, I am not friends or partners with all people. Some, I love and the information in my life is guarded from them. Why? They are not trustworthy. The Bible says, "You will know a tree by it's fruit." It is wisdom to seek God over friendships, dating, partnership, business, and even ministry. How can two be joined together lest they agree?

A Tree and It's Fruit

"Beware of the false prophets, [teachers] who come to you dressed as sheep [appearing gentle and innocent], but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruit you will recognize them [as false prophets],~Jesus (Matthew 7:15-20).

My core values are:

  1. Love, respect, honor of all people not just those deemed important.
  2. Build people up instead of tear them down.
  3. Represent (re present) Jesus to those around me; reveal the Fathers heart.
  4. Honesty and integrity.
  5. Seeking to do no harm to anyone.
  6. Caring about others.
  7. Releasing who lives inside (Holy Spirit)

Connection with likeminded people brings forth greater fruit. It helps us to grow stronger. Those who build us up in love are so beneficial. Those who repeadily tear us down are not. Sometimes our mental, emotional, and physical health is compromised due to our associations and friendships.

Papa God, guard our hearts and lives from sheep in wolves clothing. Protect us from linking arms with those who do not love well or seek our harm. Help us to walk in wisdom, love, peace, and joy. You know who is best to be a part of our lives and who is not. Protect us from the wrong associations, the wrong friendships, the wrong partnerships. Help us to be connected to those who will love us like Jesus. Bring in the right friends, associates, partners. Give us eyes that examine fruit, not judge, yet see fruit. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Never Alone (Single & Following Jesus Series Part IV)

ūüď∑: Pinterest

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close,~Psalm 27:10. 

…I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually‚ÄĒregardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age,~Matthew 28:20 (Amplified Version). 

One of the things people think of the unmarried is they battle with significant loneliness. I want to let you in on a little secret, there are married people who have the same struggle. 

Over the years I have encountered numerous married people who feel alone in their marriage. They have someone to live with them, yet the other person is more like a roommate. 

These are some real quotes from married women. 

“He’s more interested in video games than he is in me.” 

“I feel like I am living with a big child. I just take care of everything.” 

“There is nothing worse than rolling over next to someone not interested in you.” 

“My husband changed the moment I said ‘I do.'”

“I spend most of my time by myself.” 

I highly recommend each person maintain their relationship with God, let it go deeper, and maintain community. 

I have seen roughly 60% of the couples married the past 10 years divorce and they did not really maintain friendships with anyone outside of their spouse. They also allowed their relationship with God to fizzle. 

Adam did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or other humans. Marriage provided human community. We are meant to have human community and family. 

The first stop is God. 

There are needs only God can fulfill. He is always present. God never leaves, nor forsakes. God is good. God can fill our love bucket to overflowing. God is to be the primary source of community. 

If we have the Holy Spirit, we have full access to God. We have a built in best friend. 

The second stop is family/friendships. 

I lumped friendships and family together because not everyone has an incredible family that is supportive, loving, or present. 

Cultivating healthy, God centered friendships is one way to combat lonliness. 

I have had a few people state they struggle with making friends. The only counsel I have is be a good friend. In our world of busyness and look out for yourself, it can be challenging to make genuine friendships. It is not impossible. 

Papa God I ask for any person reading this to have authentic, loving, mutual, good, and blessed relationships. I ask for blessed community and that you would bring people into their lives that love them deeply and fully. I ask for iron sharpening iron relationships. I ask for genuine friendships and family (spiritual and natural). May not one person feel excluded, left out, or unloved. 

Community Involvement

I truly believe we are here to make a difference, not just consume from others and the world. 

Psychology Today did a report that stated that those who invest in others feel more joy and connection. 

We are not alone in this world. Getting together with others for a greater good is one way to combat loneliness. I am not suggesting we should give for selfish motives. I am saying sitting at home all the time without any human connection, thinking about a marital relationship, is not the best use of time. It is actually a waste of time. There are so many other things that can be done. 

Who wants their legacy to be, “Died glued to the couch.” 

The truth is even if a person feels alone does not mean they are alone. God is Emmanual (God with us). God also knit every believer into His family. God’s spiritual family has billions of people. There are churches everywhere with connect groups, small groups, and many have community outside Sunday mornings. 

I also meet people all the time who say they wish for a friend or community yet they never do the inviting/pursuing. They expect to be pursued, invited. It’s okay to be the one who invites someone else out for coffee or lunch. It is okay to start your own group, club, or organize events. It’s okay to leave the house. The computer and Netflix will be there when you get back home. ūüôā 

Lord I bless every person reading this series. Help them to see they are never alone. They are wanted, cherished, loved, celebrated, desired, and significant. Bless each person, married or single, with divine connections and deeper intimacy with you. Heal their souls from any loneliness, pain, or feelings of being left out. In Jesus powerful name. Amen! 

The Single Reality (Part 10)

To Date or Not to Date, That is The Question?

Today we will tackle the topic of Christian dating? Who’s excited? I hope you are. First let me say that much of what will be sharing is based on my own experiences and experiences of people I know. You have to decide on your own with God what’s best for you.¬† The Bible doesn’t talk much about courtship in how to (the 10 commandments of dating). Paul did encourage those who were burning with desire to marry instead of simply hook-up. Well, not exactly his words, but you get what I am saying. We are told what not to do, but what about what we are supposed to do.

Here’s my top 10 dating tips:

1. Find out who you are alone first. It’s easy to try find another person to validate or fill a void. However, if you date to heal low self-esteem¬†you will attract another person with low self-esteem¬†and insecurities. Two insecure people makes for a roller coaster relationship. Trust me on this one. Let God heal you; love, respect,¬†and accept yourself,¬†and then add another person.

2. Keep pursuing Jesus!¬†God knows where you are and will most likely align your life with someone headed in the same direction. He brings people together who compliment each other and can help one another. Some of the happiest couples I’ve met have met each other while serving God. Their paths crossed and they built a friendship. Their friendship evolved into¬†a romantic relationship. They weren’t looking; God had their paths cross.

3. Leave the house. Some people like the online dating sites. I have no opinion on them. Pray and decide what’s best for you. I know people who have met their spouse online and they are happy. Some people have had no luck. With that said, if you¬†never leave the house, you’re probably not going to meet anyone. I am not advocating making yourself super busy to meet someone. I am advocating living! Find things you like to do and do them. Join a gym, take a class, join a group, get going. I’ve found angels don’t deliver people to your doorstep, though I’ve never asked so who knows. I doubt though that God will FedEx your spouse to you. ūüôā

4. Find out about that person’s walk with Jesus. Many people go to church who do not know Jesus. They know of Him, but they have no deep relationship with Him. Where are you in your walk with God? Do you want someone to spur you¬†on, challenge you to grow stronger in your faith, pray and interceed for you, someone who loves like Jesus? Those qualities come from abiding in Christ. If the person you’re interested in isn’t passionate about Jesus, then why would you want to hitch your life to them?

5. Build a friendship, wait for romance and too much intimacy. Movies make it romantic and glamorous¬†to fall in love in 20 seconds and live happily ever after. Well, that works in the movies, it does not always work in real life. People immediately want to kiss, hold hands,¬†share their soul and deepest thoughts. There is nothing wrong with those activities. However, if friendship (platonic) is not the first thing built, then your foundation is not as solid. Friendship is what¬†will hold your relationship together when the romance has subsided. The sooner you introduce physical or emotional intimacy, the more difficult it is to get out of the relationship if it isn’t right. It also makes it more difficult to see the flaws in the other person, things you may need to address before your heart is entangled. God created us to link up and join with people forming strong bonds. Intimacy fortifies (strengthens) those bonds. Once they are formed, it’s not easy to walk away. Also, if someone cannot be a good friend to you, do you want to have a romantic relationship with them?

6. Trust your gut. Sometimes we know someone is not right for us, but we continue on in a relationship just to be in one. Well, if we know it isn’t right we are wasting another persons time and our time. I dated someone¬†who on paper looked great, but something in my gut said, “Red Flag. Abort…He’s not the right person for you.” I prayed and asked God to show me who this guy really was. Glad I asked. There were several deal breakers, and I saved myself from future heartache.

7. Set boundaries, have accountability. We are not immune to temptation. So plan ahead for it. Don’t simply go with flow and think you’ll able to make the right choice. In the moment you may not be able to. It’s better to prepare ahead of time and tell the other person what your boundaries are, than to fall into temptation or sin. It’s good to have a trustworthy friend you can confide in and seek counsel from as well. Someone who won’t go blabbing your business to everyone.

8. Please don’t date if you don’t want to get married. A non-Christian can get away with this. Most Christian¬†singles date to find a mate. So, if you know you aren’t ready, don’t want to, or don’t see yourself¬†marrying the person interested in you, don’t date. I’ve made this mistake before. I dated people with no intention of ever marrying them or anyone. I was more interested in traveling, following passions and dreams, etc…I had no desire at all to be married, yet I was dating people. I told them I wasn’t interested in marriage at the time, and I think some thought I’d change my mind or something. Then things just got awkward and people were disappointed when they realized I meant what I said. I liked the people I was spending time with and the friendship was good. However, I did not want to be married and we are to be good stewards of people’s hearts. I was doing a horrible job.

9. Dont just get to know the person, get to know their friends and family. A¬†person who cannot sustain any healthy friendships with other Christians is a big red flag. There needs to be someone who knows the person and can vouch for them. It’s easy to hide crazy. However, people are more themselves around their closest friends and family. If they cannot build a healthy relationship with someone who they are not romantically involved with, then be concerned.

10. Take your time. Everything in our society is fast paced. People are always in a hurry. However, when it comes to your future, you have the right to take your time. Marriage is supposed to be until death. That’s a long time. Imagine 50 years with someone you can’t stand. People also put their best foot forward the first year or two they know you. I’m not saying you need to date for 5 years then get married. I am saying that people are out to impress when they first meet you. It takes time to know who they really are. Ask questions. Find out how they handle stress, money, life…get to know the person. Goes back to numbers 5, 6, and 9.

Lastly, God said that He does exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ask or imagine. Don’t settle for so-so, or okay, or good enough if you want exceptional. Exceptional doesn’t mean perfect, but it means perfect for you. The person who compliments you. The person who’s an amazing person to you. The person who’s inner beauty¬†is more radiant than their outer beauty. A person you could imagine growing old and sharing everything with… You’re worth it!!!!

The Single Reality (Part 2)

Are you half of a person or a whole person?

I’ve heard so many people say that single people are half of a person. Unless they get married they will not be whole. I have found no scripture in the bible to validate this statement. The verse that is used to attempt to validate that claim is when God spoke of it not being good for Adam to be alone, He would make a suitable helper for him, Genesis 2: 18. One of God’s intention in creating people was to fill the earth with His offspring. Adam could not reproduce with the animals.¬† Adam and Eve were the first family. It had to start somewhere.¬†Adam did need another person like him to reproduce¬†and though animals make great companions, it is not the same as having someone like¬†you as a companion. God did a wonderful thing in creating family.

Today, in 2012, it seems we are never alone. Each person is born into a family. Every person is born with a mother and father, even if they don’t know¬† their mother or father. Not only are we born into families, we have a church family. God has it¬†set up where no person has to be alone. He gave us His Holy Spirit as a Comforter, Healer, Teacher, and Companion. So we have full access to God 24/7. We are never alone. He gave us this promise, “I set the lonely in families,” Psalm 68:6. Our loving God set it up so those without a natural family can have family in His family.

We cannot take life without a spouse as a sign of an inadequate life. If Apostle Paul had done that we would not have most of the New Testament. If he spent his life feeling like half of a person who would never have happiness apart from marriage, he would not have pursued Christ the way he did. He spoke of the bliss that can be found in pure devotion to Christ. It is¬†possible. Now, if a person desires to be married, then it is a noble thing. But you are not half of a person without a spouse. In Christ, we are made complete and whole. The truth is if you marry someone thinking they will fix low self-esteem or loneliness, you might be surprised that the person you marry is human too. Spouses aren’t saviors, nor are they God. Only God can provide true identity. Only Christ centered identity is secure. And only God can make a person whole.

So if you are single, devote your life to Jesus and find life in Him. If you are widowed, you are not less than a person without your spouse. You were created without them. God has a plan for you as an individual. If you are divorced, God has a redemptive plan for you. You are loved by Him and can find healing in His arms.

God never intended for humans to take the place of affection for Him in our hearts. He still wants to be loved first and the most. If we¬†feel we are half of a person without a spouse then we will either feel horrible that we haven’t found our other half, or spend our lives searching for a mate instead of seeking God.

My Prayer:

God I pray for every single, widowed, or divorced¬†person who reads this to find identity, contentment, and wholeness in¬†You. Remove¬†any¬†lies that they cannot live a wonderful life without marriage. If marriage is their desire, I ask that¬†You prepare them for¬†what’s to come. May they never seek marriage over¬†pure devotion to you. Heal, restore, and love on them. May¬†they always¬†feel¬†You near. In¬†Jesus precious name, amen.¬†