An Interview With Cameron Erman
Live Now is a culture-shifting movement birthed out of Cameron Erman’s personal testimony. Just a few, short years ago God gripped his heart and graciously awakened him to fullness, fun and true freedom. By simply living (going after his passions/not settling for less than God’s best) and being himself, he’s a real catalyst for change—especially for the next generation to follow.
Like the merriest Christmas season, it’s as if God’s been having fun doing a lot of unboxing of His children lately. Eager to see and show off His creation, His gift to the world—us—He delights in tearing up all the things we once knew or thought to be true. He, in His great grace, doesn’t like to leave us where we’re at. And with a hunger for something so real in this generation, we’re getting ripe for His picking. Here in our purest surrender, He finds joy in unwrapping—unraveling us of the stupid lies we’ve learned to believe over the years (especially in the church). His goodness uncovers us from the things that smother us. Then we can finally come alive to discover the fullness of who we are in Him, because of Him.
This is the reality of Cameron Erman, (founder, content creator, speaker and worship leader of Live Now). He didn’t know what to believe, as he was stuck in a culture that told him one thing yet loudly spoke the opposite through their actions. He “grew up in kind of, like, almost a stale religion” that, in a sense, turned him off to the whole idea of Christianity. He says, “I [went to an] evangelical, Christian church—[was] involved in that culture. But I quickly saw that most of the people within the church were living and dealing with the same stuff that the people outside of the church were.”
With no real answers, Cameron lacked a foundation to keep him solid in his faith. “I did not find freedom,” he states. “And no matter how hard I tried, [each] time I went to church every Sunday, I’d realize and be reminded of how I was falling short, but I was never given the proper answers of how to actually be free. So I just wound up condemned—I would leave feeling [that way] every time. [Although] sometimes, I would leave feeling a little more hopeful, [thinking] ‘I can do it this time,’ you know. But it was just confidence in myself. Confidence in my own effort. Confidence in my own diligence to, like, discipline myself to be free from these bad habits and these things I didn’t want to be a part of anymore. . .it never gave fruit to freedom or anything.
As hard as I tried, it just never worked out. And I was—I was gripped by an addiction to pornography and lust over my life. I had horrible anger issues and all this stuff that came out of that too. I even went to some anger management courses growing up and everything. I had all these issues and I—I was going to church (I felt God’s presence in church before and at different youth camps and things growing up), but I was never able to get over these really pressing, life-threatening issues that I was dealing with where I was addicted and all this different stuff. . .I had this giant desire [for freedom], but in the church [I was at] there was no true answer that anyone could give me on how to be free.”
A Temporary Fix
Cameron “had a heart to serve God and [he] had a heart to walk and live a pure life, but [he] was not able to walk it out in [his] own strength. That pushed [him] away from the church [where] around the same time [he] fell into entrepreneurship.” It turned out to be “just a lot of work [that] really got [him] nowhere at the end of the day.” He openly shares, “I learned some stuff along the way about business, whatever, some practical things. But as far as really transforming my soul, it just is—it’s not how we were created to live—apart from the love and apart from Him.”
For a while, Cameron got swept up and lost in doing. He “found network marketing and then started getting into sales and started getting into self-help and personal development. [He] started studying more new age-y things like doing meditation incantations in the morning—all this different stuff.” He invested time in learning more about law of attraction things “where [he] can attract success and be more successful in business” because it was “fed to [him] by people who [were] actually seeing results.” Not yet understanding that only Jesus could lead him to true freedom, Cameron was driven by images of success, though outside of the church and apart from solid truth.
“I was pushed further and further away from [the church],” Cameron says. “And then I was doing a lot more meditation. I had literally an hour or two where I would have all these rituals that I would do in the morning. I’d wake up, I’d do visualization of my dreams and goals. I would journal and stuff. I would go and work out for an hour. I would go and do some mediation. I would track everything that I ate because I was really wanting to hit my fitness goals. I was super diligent, but I found myself very unrestful inside. And I just had a lot of—a lot of pent up issues. . .I would see some progress that would keep me going and keep me [trying] to be more diligent.”
Pummeled by Love
This exhausting cycle turned out to be the perfect storm before the dawning of a personal encounter that would lead to genuine breakthrough. Long story short, God met Cameron in his bedroom one day where He loved him right back into Himself. He “felt in the moment His love for the first time, in probably 3 or 4 years, as strongly” as he did. Wrecked, bent over his bed just bawling his eyes out, he was just like, “God, I don’t want my life anymore. I don’t want my life anymore.” He talks about how sick and tired he was, trying to figure it out on his own and doing it without Him. He explains, “That was the first time I think in my whole life where God loved on me to the point where I wanted to love Him the way that He loved me. And I wanted to die to myself, give my entire life over to Him because in that moment I realized how much He loved me. I [got to a place where] I was like, ‘I don’t want to hold anything back from this amazing, amazing Father who cares about me so much.’”
It didn’t matter that in the past Cameron “had massive distrust towards God.” Pummeled by the wildest love, all of those deceptive thoughts couldn’t remain. “Stuff started shifting for me,” he says. “And then right after I had that encounter (the very next day or two after actually), I made a post on Facebook and I was like, ‘I had this crazy encounter with God. . .’ and then my friend Annie reached out to me. She messaged me on Facebook and sent me this sermon from this guy Judah Smith, about gaps and like closing the gaps in your life. His sermon was on how we come to church and we have this gap that we’re working on, and we think it’s our job to close these gaps.
And he [talked] about how we think that Jesus is there cheering us on, how well we can close our gaps in church. But in reality, Jesus, by His work on the cross, bridged those gaps for us. And that message of grace struck my heart. I said, ‘Wow, I’ve been struggling and working so hard on myself to try to fix all these things about myself, and this amazing Jesus who loves me so much, wants to fix all this stuff for me.’ He wants to come into my life and be like ‘No, you don’t have to do all of the dirty work. I did the dirty work. I’m going to take care of you and fix these things about you that you don’t like,’ like my struggling and my addiction and [everything].
Jesus: The Only Hope
I’ve read so many books. I had stacks of books in my room, but nothing compares to a personal relationship with Jesus. That’s what actually changes you from the inside out to where you’re not trying to discipline yourself, but rather He changes your desires. And it says that God works within us to will and to do of His good pleasure. That’s a verse that God’s stamped on my life. One of them is that He’s the one who works inside of me to will (which is to choose and to do), which is to act on what He wants me to do.
[Jesus is] the one who’s going to give me the sufficient motivation and He’s going to give me the drive to actually take action on the things that He would want me to do. Things like that started to reshape how I viewed the world. It’s crazy because right after I had the experience and encounter with God is a total answer to prayer. [On that same] night, I experienced deliverance. You know, I’d felt demons leave my body [and] I was just wailing [in] the presence of God, was brought to a full place of repentance.
I didn’t feel very good. . .because even Jesus says that you can deliver a person, but unless you fill that person, that demon will go grab seven of his other friends and then come back [making] that person worse off than the [beginning]. God showed me that’s the Spirit of Truth, and that truth has to come to a person and replace the lie that was once there.” Cameron continues to share that, beyond the encounter (no matter how moving), there’s still a huge need to be filled with truth—to fill that void. He says, “something else good has to be put in that place or else there’s a vacancy there and the demons are going to come back and find the house swept clean and made nice and tidy for [them] to move back in.”
Stronghold of Truth
As he learned more and got more familiar with the Word, Cameron became diligent in meditating on the truth that Holy Spirit was showing him. Since that significant moment that broke him from meaningless living, God didn’t relent. He wanted to completely deliver him from all negativity. He shares, “That became a stronghold of truth in my life and a shield of faith around me to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, to where I was all of a sudden safe. And I had the safety in Him, in Jesus, and the truth of who He was, to where I wasn’t vulnerable to the enemy coming and moving back into my life or anything like that.”
The protection provided a safe place for Cameron to grow in his faith and surrender. During this time, God exponentially expanded his thinking and drew out the gifts and passions already embedded in his heart since the beginning. And the passion to call people out of their own feelings of insignificance and confusion from wrong doctrine really came to life for him. “I have a movement on my heart for the church,” tells Cameron. “I realized that, wow, what changes us and what allows us to be successful is not us working on ourselves, but rather giving our lives to Jesus and trusting what He did on the cross was enough to finish and complete us.” Cameron originally “thought that to give your life to God meant to forsake everything, sit in a church all the time, volunteer, you know, stacking chairs every week at church and then just kind of giving up on all your dreams and just going on missions trips every month or something like that. But it’s not like that.” He says, “Like, there’s God—God wants us in all these different areas and He gives you a passion for art or for nursing or for whatever so you can be Jesus in those areas.
One thing that has always been a pain point in my heart about society is that I see so many people squandering their gifts, not doing what they’re passionate about. Really, just succumbing to fear of finances, whatever. And they’re just throwing their dreams out the window for the sake of a paycheck every week. That’s something that has pained my heart to see—other people give up on their dreams and goals and not really focus on their passions at all. So to see people move beyond that [and begin to] do what they love [so they can] be successful in all facets of their lives—that’s something [I’m] passionate about.”
Be Like Jesus
Cameron “was raised in such a sheltered, Christian, little—little bubble. It was like this religious grave that [was] dug [for him], and there was no life in it. There wasn’t this power.” One thing that God changed his life with he says “is that I realized that there’s a lot of people out there who are [all talk]…and that’s actually leading people away from Jesus because they’re basically saying the cross is of no effect. They’re unintentionally screaming that message to the world when they go to church and they live just like everyone else is. [It screams], ‘I’m a Christian and that means nothing.’”
It’s evident, the purity in Cameron’s heart to see people experience the same freedom he was granted out of God’s love. To this day, he’s moved with compassion and a sense of urgency to spread the real gospel of truth as he states, “I see such a huge difference right now between the body of Christ and Jesus in the fact that Jesus was so attractive to the world and the church is so very unattractive to the world. Jesus ticked off religious people, but sinners loved Him and then would follow Him for days without food and water in the wilderness just because this guy was so caring, so loving, so genuine, so different, so empowered.
[Jesus performed] miracles. He was someone where they were like, ‘I’ve got to be around this guy. I don’t care if I have to follow Him for days and just leave everything that I have. I’m going to forsake everything that I have to be around Him.’ And my question is, Where is that today? Where is that in the body of Christ? I see a select few who actually know their identity, who actually know God personally.
If I had any advice to [give to] people [it] would be spend time with God. Get alone with Him, and meditate on His Word. Fill your mind and heart with truth. Because a lot of the time, the truth is going to lead you into God and [into] relationship with Him. And relationship with Him is going to lead you into [more] truth. It’s this cohesive thing where Jesus says [that] God desires for us first to worship Him in Spirit…and in Truth.
We can’t have one without the other. We can’t be like crazy Pentecost and rolling on the floor 24/7.” Cameron explains the importance of maintaining a balance of both the Spirit and the Truth. He shares, “It’s like two pillars of your walk with God. You need to have the Spirit to where the Truth becomes manifested reality. But you need to have the Truth to where the Spirit is actually, in Truth. A lot of people are out there having spiritual experiences, but they’re not bearing any fruit—so that’s a clear indication [something’s off balance].”
There is hope for the world with a wildfire like Cameron eternally ignited for Kingdom’s sake and for freedom’s sake. Everywhere he goes, he beams the light of Christ because he carries an awareness, a conviction in his heart, that “the Kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power” (1 Corinthians 4:20, New English Translation). Just like God won’t relent, neither will he now that he’s tasted and seen what it’s like to actually live out (now) the life Jesus paid such a high price for.
Cameron, along with the movement of Live Now, is equipped and empowered to change the world, one smile, one hug, one act of service—one step of obedience led by Holy Spirit—at a time. He boldly states, “We have a commission from Jesus to go out there and to change the world and to be the body of Christ. And I want, through Live Now, people to realize that we’re not waiting on a move of God. We are a move of God. We’re not waiting for God to move. We’re not waiting for a sovereign move of God on the earth. We are the sovereign move of God on the earth. If people are going to meet Jesus today, it’s going to be because we went out and touched them. It’s going to be because we became love and decided to step out and be confident and bold in other people’s lives because the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
Let God wreck you, join the movement, and together let’s live now!