Thriving in a Joseph Season

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Devotion: Thriving in a Joseph season. They may try to bury you, but God is going to elevate you. Overcoming sabotage and betrayal.

I love King David. I love the way God positioned David. David did not have to fight his way to the front of the line nor clamor for position. God saw David, God elevated David. David was hidden and quite insignificant in the eyes of others. People could not see what God saw when He looked at David. God saw a giant killer!

David was pursued by a jealous Saul. Yet the attempts of Saul to kill David were futile. God had a plan for David that could not be thwarted by the insecurity, jealousy, and hatred of Saul. David sought the Lord and was protected by God. He overcame not by power or might, but by God’s Spirit. He even said to Goliath, “I come in the name of the Lord.”

It is imperative when attacked to rely on God’s strength and wisdom, not our own. We overcome by His power and His strength, not our flesh.

Let’s talk about Joseph. Betrayal from family (spiritual or natural) is a far more challenging pill to swallow.

Joseph is sometimes tagged as arrogant because he shared his dream with his family. The bible does not call Joseph arrogant. He was enthusiastic. There is wisdom in understanding not everyone can hear your dream for jealousy can lead many to try to sabotage the dream. Some dreams are to hold close and pray for God to show you who’s going to come into agreement. Some may smile and try to sabotage the very thing they tell you they are prating for. We can learn from Jospeh.

God is so organized and such a great planner He already had the jealousy of Joseph’s brothers factored into the equation. He knew they would betray him. God knew Joseph would be thrown into a pit. God knew every step of the process to get Joseph from his father’s house to the Palace. God knew every detour, disappointment, attempt at sabotage, betrayal, and lie that would be spoken to Joseph that would lead to his promotion. People tried to bury Joseph, yet God placed seed in Jospeh.

When God speaks, it is seed. I love that Isaiah 55:11 says, “No word from God ever fails, it accomplishes all it is sent out to do.” When you blow seed on the land it will sink into the earth and grow. Unless that seed is eaten or plucked up, it is going to bring forth a harvest. God spoke seed to Joseph. It did not matter how many times people tried to bury him, the momentum of heaven was behind Jospeh to see the fulfillment of God’s destiny for him and a Nation.

So my encouragement to you is this, if God be for you, who can stand against you? Who can defeat the Lord, the Lord strong and mighty? Who can overthrow what God has ordained? God is more powerful than any force of a person or nature. God is the great I AM. He can open up the earth and swallow His enemies. He can part the Red Seas, raise the dead to life, move mountains. The winds and waves obey Him.

God prepares a table in the presence of your enemies. God is our feast!

You become my delicious feast

even when my enemies dare to fight.

You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit; you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows,~Psalm 23:5 (The Passion Translation).

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people,~Genesis 50:20.

God has a plan and it is good! No matter who comes against you, they are no match for the God who is for you. We can thrive in seasons of betrayal and sabotage by knowing God had it all worked into the equation, by knowing God is going to fulfill His word, and by knowing greater is He who is in us than He that is in the world. The champion of these stories is not David nor Joseph, it is God. God empowered both David and Joseph to overcome.

You and I can thrive instead of survive if we choose to follow Jesus and abide in Him during those challenges. God is good at turning ashes into beauty, mourning into joy, betrayal into elevation, and sabotage into promotion! Jesus is the perfect example of someone betrayed and sabotaged. If only the enemy knew his plan to destroy Jesus was going to elevate Him to the highest place in the Father’s Kingdom.

Papa, heal every soul wound on those sabatoged and hurt by betrayal. You have a plan to turn it for exceptional good. No weapon forged against your children will prosper. Heal the deep wounds and bring forth radical peace. Let your peace and comfort sink deep. Others may have tried to bury them, yet they are your seeds. Water the seed today. In Jesus powerful name, amen!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

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Which God Are You Worshiping (Worship Series Part 14)

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Photo credit: Pinterest

We are being transformed by who and what we worship (love, adore, commit our time to, devote ourselves to). I started thinking the other day, what if we believe we are worshiping God and we are simply worshiping a god created in our own image?

The Bible gives us many descriptions of God. What if we just pick the ones that we like and worship that God. The God who looks like us, who appeals to us, who makes us feel good…

God is the most loving, truthful, & generous Being in the Universe. However, I often wonder if the God we worship is the God created in our own image. He is a caricature that we can identify with. He’s pleasant, but not powerful or holy. He’s good, but not so good. He loves us, so that means He must agree with us and what we do. You see, we begin to imitate who we worship. If we are worshipping a god created in our own image we become more selfish, self centered, and unlike Him at all. We equate love with feeling good instead of choosing to do what’s right. We pick love that’s comfortable, instead love that is costly. We miss the opportunity for true transformation into His likeness because we are worshipping a god we created, not the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob.

My favorite passages in the Bible are either about Jesus or where Jesus is speaking. I study Him. I meditate on what He said & how He lived. I fix my eyes on Him, the resurrected King. He is the center of the Gospel. Jesus wasn’t interested in people pleasing. He did only what He saw the Father doing. He offended many. This God of love said, “Pick up your cross, deny yourself, & follow Me. If you love anyone more than Me, you’re not worthy to be My disciple. Go and sin no more. You are either for Me or against Me. I’d rather you be hot or cold, not lukewarm lest I spit you out. Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father. Many will say have I not done these great things in Your name and I will say, ‘depart from Me, I never knew you.’ If you do not forgive, you are not forgiven” in doing so He perfectly represented the love of the Father. Part of love is righteousness. God’s love is not like our human love. This is the Jesus we worship.

How can a loving God say such things, that some will not enter heaven or I’d rather spit you out? Because God’s definition of love is not the same as ours. We can equate love with feeling good. God likes to do things that make us feel good. Yet He also disciplines those He loves, and He is holy. If we forget these attributes of God it leads to trouble.

Earthly parents teach, train, empower, love, and discipline their children. It’s part of love. Any parent who tells their child, “Do whatever you want, no consequences,” does not love their child.

If we want to know who God is, we pick up the Bible and read it. We see a God who loves passionately, yet corrects and disciplines His children. We see a God who is righteous, just, merciful, and also brings judgment on those who do not repent. We see a God who empowers and encourages, yet also rebukes. We see a God who helps the weak, and opposes the proud. We see a God who values repentance-heaven rejoices when one person repents. We see a God who values the sinner, yet says, “Go and sin no more.”

May we worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. May we devour the Word of God with the Holy Spirit. May we grow to know God for who He really is. And worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He’s worthy.

Love,

Erin

Do You Know Him? (Worship Series Part 12)

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God is multifaceted. Meaning He is not one dimensional. As soon as we place Him in a box and say, “This is how He will respond,” He often turns and allows us to see another part of His character or nature.

I am not stating God is flakey or shifty or unreliable. I am stating He can be mysterious. He longs for us to know Him personally and not simply through second hand knowledge.

Who is God to you? How do you define Him? Here are some of my responses…

He is truth. He is life. He is holy. He is pure. He is love. He is good. He is faithful. He is wise. He is righteous. He is just. He is mercy. He is compassionate. He is glorious. He is the beginning and the end. He is the everlasting God. No one stands above Him. He is Sovereign. He is Redeemer. He is Healer. He is creative. He is wonderful. He corrects those He loves. He is amazing!

He is my Heavenly Father. Jesus is my best friend. The Holy Spirit is my Comforter, Teacher, Guide, and fills me with gifts and love. He is attentive. He speaks words of life. He asks challenging questions to get to the heart of matters. He sings. He laughs. He speaks my love language. He sets up divine alignments and appointments. He wows me. He brings freedom. He saves and delivers. He forgives completely. He is kind. He encourages. He knows me. He cares for me. He is good to me even when I don’t see it. He sees something good in His kids. He cares more for His children than any earthly parent could. He’s misrepresented and often misunderstood. He doesn’t need, but wants our love. He loves when we say thanks. He loves when we selflessly love others. He is concerned with why we do what we do. Knowing Him is so worth it.

We become like the One we worship. Jesus said, “Abide and remain in me and you will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing,” John 15:5. The world will know we are His by our fruit (character).

How does this all fit together? Good question.

1. God invites us to know Him. This starts with relationship with His Son Jesus. No one can come to The Father except through the Son.

2. He tells us to abide and remain in Him.

If we do not know Him and are not abiding in Him, we will not truly be worshipping Him but the God created in our own image or imagination. Without the Spirit of God and relationship with Him we are relying on our flesh and what others tell us about Him.

Worship is intimacy. How awkward is it to be vulnerable with someone you don’t know? To love someone we don’t know?

God reveals Himself to use in this beautiful way. He sends out a loving invitation, “I want to be with you.” Our response to this invitation is an eternal covenant. It’s far more intimate and serious than a marriage covenant. Marriage is on earth only. The covenant with God is eternal. We become one with God. He dwells in us through His Holy Spirit. That is 24/7 habitation. Married people aren’t together 24/7. Nor do spouses know everything about each other. God knows everything. He invites us to know Him.

Lastly…

God doesn’t need our worship, we need Him. Our worship (love, adoration, devotion) changes who we are for the better. Worship takes our eyes off ourselves, our problems, our desires, and places them on Him. When He’s the highest priority, life flourishes.

Father help us to know you, truly know you. May our hearts be knit tightly into yours. May we seek first the Kingdom of God and all your righteousness. May we develop a deeper knowing of who you are. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

It Starts With Love (Worship Series Part 11)

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We worship what we love. We were made by Love, to be loved, to give love. When we worship something or someone, we are expressing our love for that person or object or ourselves. When we are worshipping something or someone other than God, I am convinced it’s because we don’t realize how much God loves us.

Money can’t save us.
Parents, spouses, or children can’t save us.
Being beautiful or fit cannot save us.
Physical pleasure cannot save us.
Having the biggest, most influential church or ministry cannot save us.
Food cannot save us.
Having the most material possessions cannot save us.
We cannot save ourselves.

You see no one other than Jesus saves. If we don’t obtain relationship with Him, in this life, we are doomed for all eternity.

God gave His best to the world out of love. For God SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…John 3:16. He would’ve entered the world if you were the only person who needed salvation. He would’ve given His life for one. God’s love isn’t a blanket love that just covers the world. It’s individualized love. He knows every hair on your head, every tear you’ve cried, every pain you’ve suffered, your dreams written on His heart, He knows you and loves you. Psalm 139 says, “Before you were formed in your mother’s womb, God knew you!” What matters to you, matters to Him. He’s the Universe’s best Father.

God demonstrated His love for humanity on the cross. Jesus was innocent, yet marred beyond recognition to pay for our sins. He did not look human when they were done beating Him and ripping His flesh from His body. It’s graphic, yet I am so thankful someone loved us enough to die for us while we were still guilty.

No boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, parent, child, friend, job, pile of money, or anything else cares enough for us to endure what He did. There’s nothing and no one holy enough to be worshipped above God.

When we realize how much God loves us, worship of Him is the response.

Our idols reveal who and what we love. And though we don’t often admit it, we believe those idols love us or benefit us more than God.

Our world problems can be traced back to one thing; the absence of Godly love. People who don’t love who they are cannot love God, you, or anyone else. We can only give what we have first received. A naked person cannot give you a shirt. God continually pours out perfect love, yet it must be received. A gift still belongs to the giver if the recipient will not accept it. It’s only when we know God and abide in His love that we are able to love ourselves then others and worship Him fully. We tell people to love God & others & miss the most important step, receive love first from God. Those who do not love, have missed step 1.

The order of love: 1. receive God’s love, 2. Love God, 3. love yourself, 4. love your neighbor as yourself.

Where there’s an absence of love, there’s hatred, indifference, racism, sexism, bigotry, prejudice, murder, lust, greed, pride, selfishness, oppression, insecurity, control, manipulation, jealousy, envy, strife, lawlessness, perversion, idolatry, war, gluttony, casting off restraints, vanity, immorality, & chaos…

Sweet friends, as Paul prayed, may we know the height, the depth, the width, and the vast expanse of God’s love for us! On the heart level, not just the head level. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.

Merry Christmas (Celebrating a King)

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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

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Be Still (Worship Series Part 10)

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Be still and KNOW that I am God…

The words of God permeate my heart and mind when I’m still.

We live in a world that is busy. People are so busy that they sometimes cannot make time to simply be with God.

I will say if we are too busy to be with God, we are too busy.

One of my favorite verses is John 15:5. It contains the words of Jesus. He says, “I am the Vine. You are the branches. Abide in Me and you will bear abundant fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing.”

The words echo in my spirit…”Apart from Me you can do nothing!”

Jesus plants this seed of wisdom for us so we know our striving produces nothing. Our busyness not rooted in His leading produces nothing. Our efforts are futile at accomplishing anything great if it’s apart from Him.

How do we navigate a life of pure worship and adoration of the King of Kings?

It’s more than singing songs and gathering on weekends in corporate worship. God is worthy of more than a song. He’s worthy of it all.

I truly believe an important part of worship is being still and meditating on the truth that He is God.

Be still and know that I AM…

The God who formed the world and Universe by My words. I spoke and it was.

Be still and know that I AM…

The God who created Adam from the earth and breathed My life into him.

Be still and know that I AM…

The God who fashioned Eve from the rib of Adam and breathed My life into her.

Be still and know that I AM…

The God who redeems you, cleanses you from unrighteousness and sin, sets you apart as a people of My very own.

Be still and know that I AM…

The God who raises dead things to life! I rose with all power in My hands!

Be still and know that I AM…

The God who is undefeated!

Be still and know that I AM…

The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I was not created and have no limitations!

Be still and know that I AM…

With you, for you, loving you, pursuing you, looking out for you, and fighting for you!

Be still and know that I AM faithful!

Sweet friends, this week I pray there are many moments to be still and listen to the whispers of heaven. May we know the God we worship and rest in Him.

God bless you. Praying for you!

For more on knowing God. Feel free to join the intimacy with God series on my book website http ://ithoughtiknewwhatlovewas.com. Hope it blesses you.

Love,

Erin Lamb

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!

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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

The Idol of Serving God (Worship Series Part 8)

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You might think this post is strange. Aren’t we supposed to serve God? Yes we are! Like anything in this world it can become an idol or source of identity.

The picture at the top of this post was my status for today. Many people don’t realize I’m internally motivated. I’m not driven to do things based on outside influence. God has helped my heart for serving Him to remain pure by placing me to serve where there’s been no love, honor, reciprocation, appreciation, or validation. I’m not talking short seasons either. I’m talking years. And sometimes love was met with persecution. What I learned is that God never wanted serving to be an idol or source of identity. I love loving on people and blessing them. Love, love, love! However, service met with opposition or apathy forces us to rely fully on God for identity. If my motives for serving were to be loved by people, I would’ve stopped when they didn’t reciprocate or even say thanks.

God is interested in our hearts, why we do what we do. Is it out of love or fear or selfishness?

My life is about loving God and knowing Him. Our relationship isn’t built only on serving… It’s Father to daughter. It’s love. Out of relationship flows service. I don’t serve to gain relationship or love. I worship God, not what I can do for Him or others. Often we are just hanging out together, talking, and listening. I journal what He speaks. He’s my Father. Being with Him is more important than doing for Him. Though being with Him causes me to grow to love people more and to serve.

Our true identity is child of God. It’s not about the other titles that come along with serving God. God doesn’t love a pastor more than a lay member. They may have different things they do for God, yet the love He has for them is the same.

Truth : there’s nothing you can do to make God love you more or less.

You can serve all day every day and not earn more love.

Not only is love not earned, neither is righteousness.

We are not to serve to gain the applause of people or to win their love or approval, that’s a selfish motive.

Our service to God and others is a response to His great love for us. If we are serving Him to try to win His love or approval it’s pointless. Approval is given through relationship with Jesus Christ. He’s the only way we obtain righteousness (right standing with God).

Does this mean we don’t have to serve God or others? Does this mean we only serve when we feel loving towards God or people? No.

Obedience is better than sacrifice. If God calls us to do something we submit to His Lordship. Love is not simply a feeling, it’s also a choice.

We don’t make serving our source of identity, security, a means to feel good about ourselves, or for selfish gain.

Sweet friends, it’s great to serve. Yet God invites us into His family. We are no longer slaves, but friends. He’s not bossing us around. He invites us to know Him, to love Him, and to enjoy Him! May God alone be the center of our worship. He’s worthy. May our satisfaction be in Him, not what we do for Him. May being with Him be the highest priority!

Love in Christ,

Erin

The Best Yes

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My friend and I are reading the book, The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst. It’s so rich and so good. I highly recommend this book. I started to think, what is the best yes? What is my best yes as a single person? The Bible says a single person has undivided attention. Meaning they can spend as much time with God as possible. They can go wherever God calls them to go without hindrance or having to check in with someone else. They donate as much of their time, money and resources to the Kingdom as they want and their focus isn’t pleasing a human spouse, but solely pleasing Christ. Married people have the priority of caring for a spouse and maybe kids. Their focus is divided as Paul stated. Neither is better than the other, but it’s easier to see priorities when they are set for you.

Married people: love God and please your spouse/take care of and disciple your kids.
Single people: devote your life to God. Be sold out for Him. What does that mean?

Here are my responses to that question.

Start each day with God
Cultivate intimacy with God
Invest monetarily, gifts, talents, and skills for Kingdom purposes
Seek God about relationships, how to spent time, resources, gifts, and talents. What will bring Him the most glory?
Be discipled by the Holy Spirit and other believers
Disciple others
Study God’s word and know it well
Soak in God’s presence often
Worship God and give thanks continually
Pray without ceasing…
Be salt and light everywhere I go
Share the Gospel with others
Feed the hungry, clothe the naked…
Be with Jesus and do what I see Jesus doing
Bless and encourage people daily (1 a day is 365 a year-14,600 in 40 years if you just bless one a day)
Pursue purity in thought, heart, and deed
Enlarge heaven

My best yes is relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The most important yes is to cultivate intimacy with God which doesn’t always mean doing for Him. It’s mainly being with Him. Being with Him leads to doing for Him out of love, not to establish identity or check a box. It’s not about perfection either. It’s about purpose.

Why are we here? What did God create us to do that only we are designed to do? What are we doing to be in alignment with our divine destiny?

Being single is the time in life to spend as much time with God as possible. To find out who He is, who I am in Him, and have unhindered fellowship with Him. No husband to check in with, no kids tugging at you, no restrictions in what you can do for Him. I am not against marriage. It’s a good thing too. I am pro living content in the season I am in. Enjoying today. I am pro not believing a wedding day is the best day of a person’s life. The day a person gives their life to Jesus is the best day of any person’s life. No person can do what God can do. He’s transformed and continues to transform my life. Only Jesus saves…so you don’t wait for the next thing to feel that’s what gives you purpose. Jesus gives purpose. God gives identity. Contentment is found in Him alone.

We also don’t live aimlessly and allow people to decide what we are doing. Jesus wasn’t driven by the demands and opinions of people. He only did what He saw the Father doing. He offended many by not doing what they wanted Him to do. He wasn’t a people pleaser. He pleased the Father.

For the married people. Loving your spouse and/or kids is loving God. It is honoring God. Teaching your children about Jesus is awesome and a best yes. Being a light to your spouse and family is so honorable. You don’t have to go across the world to do missions, though you may. Marriage was God’s idea and it’s noble. It does not replace God. A spouse and family are not God. He still wants to be first in a married person’s life as well as a single person’s life. He still want’s married people to disciple others, put Him first, give, be generous, encourage others, be with Him, study the word, worship, know Him, enjoy Him, and be led by Him. It’s just in ways different…

Lastly, God alone gives purpose. Only the Creator can tell someone what they were created to do. No marriage, friend, job, ministry, family, or anything else can give someone identity that is solid. When our lives are over, we will stand before Him alone. The most important question is, “What did you do with my Son?” for salvation. He will assess also what we did with what He gave us; time, talent, money, gifts,…see parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). God is the Best Yes.

What is your best yes?

What are you living for?

How are you spending time? There are 168 hours in a week…what are they being used for? Lysa has this great assessment tool. See link below. I highly recommend her book. It’s not adding more things to do. It’s assessing what we are doing that it’s aligned with the best yes. God gives each person the grace to be and accomplish what He created them for. I can’t be you. You can’t be me. We are unique creations designed to fit into our nitch to give Him glory.

Time Assessment tool: http://thebestyes.com/time-assessment-tool

What is Worship (Worship Series Part 7)

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Pictured above are some of my notes on worship and worship leading.

Seek first the Kingdom of God and all my righteousness,~God.

You shall have no other gods before me,~God.

I inhabit the praises of my people,~God.

This weekend was filled with rehearsals and practice for an upcoming worship night at Vineyard Reynoldsburg campus. I love worship! I love leading worship. And it’s not for the reasons that some may think. It’s not about lovely songs, instruments, and God knows for me it’s not about being on a stage or having attention. I’m not expressive or an extrovert. If you see me out front, leading, or being social, it’s mostly due to the Holy Spirit. I’m quite content in my secure cubby in God’s heart and not engaging with anyone.

What’s worship all about?

Worship is about intimacy. It’s about love. There’s a quote I just love that states, “I did not know how to worship until I learned how to love.” God wants our love. He doesn’t need it. He doesn’t need our worship or fellowship either. He’s in community. He had community before the earth was made. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit existed always. The angels worship continuously around God’s throne singing, “Holy, holy, holy!” All of creation (except us humans), are celebrating and worshipping God continuously by doing what they were created to do.

When God invites us to worship Him (love Him, put Him first, devote our lives to Him, adore Him, spend our lives, time, resources, talents, skills, etcetera…for His glory), He’s inviting us into something that will transform us.

One moment with Him can do more than we could do on our own in a lifetime! He’s inviting us to know Him, be loved by Him, and be transformed by Him. It’s not about ego; God is complete and confident in Himself.

True worship of God benefits us the most. We were created to worship. If it’s not God, then an idol takes His place.

Those who worship money, become greedy.

Those who worship food, become gluttonous.

Those who worship pleasure, become enslaved to it…needing more and more to be filled while leaving them emptier still.

Those who worship work, become workaholics.

Those who worship people, become people pleasers, fans, groupies, or lose their identity in their idol.

Those who worship other’s things, become jealous, envious, or covetous.

Those who worship themselves, become overly selfish, self centered, and can’t help anyone else.

Those who worship God in spirit and truth, become like Him. In worship He imparts Himself. He says come, “I want to reveal more of who I am to you. I want to deposit love, hope, peace, joy, and remove what’s been entangling you. I want to meet with you; heart to heart, spirit to Spirit.

Worship is not simply singing songs. It’s love. It’s intimacy. It’s warfare. In the Bible on many instances the worshippers were sent out first in battle. Worship is more than songs. It’s encountering the beauty of the King. It’s turning our attention towards heaven and our true Source, God Himself.

There’s no place we can go from His Presence, yet we can be completely detached from Him. We can have the Holy Spirit and quench Him or ignore Him. Worship is turning our focus towards Him saying, “God here I am, You have my undivided attention. I am here to love You! I am living to love You!

The devil is the prince of the air. If you don’t believe words have power or music is powerful, spend time with a gossip or angry person. Turn on the radio and listen to some of the words of songs and you’ll notice a shift in your spirit. You notice a shift in the atmosphere. I’m not saying only listen to Christian things. I’m saying worship is more than music. It’s impacting your spirit. Worship creates or cultivates a spiritual atmosphere around you and in you.

I pray this week our eyes are fixed firmly on God. He’s glorious. I pray we’d know Him; the heights, depths, and vast expanse of His great love. I pray we’d know also the richness of fellowship with His Son Jesus who paid the highest price for us. And to to be infused and led by His Holy Spirit for He is life! This week and every week, let us worship God in spirit and in truth. God bless you!

Oh magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together,~Psalm 34:3.

He’s beyond worthy!