Devotion: God’s Good in the Bad

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2010

God does not promise “bad” things won’t happen.  Our lives and who we are don’t suddenly become perfect from the world’s perspective once Jesus becomes Savior and Lord.  For as long as we live in our physical bodies, this remains earth, not heaven and there will be inexplicable bad and hard along with the good and easy.

So why become Christian?  Why choose to believe?  Why attempt to live lives which follow Jesus?

Because in and through is all Jesus is our only hope…  Life is without purpose, if God and His Way are not real.   But if He is real, then His promises are true and then every circumstance in which we find ourselves He can and does use for good, eternal purpose.

Once we come to faith in Him as Savior and seek to follow Him as Lord, we become His adopted sons and daughters and the world in which we continue to live becomes like a foreign country to us.  While here He gives us a lifelong assignment: to be His ambassadors.   

God is invisible. God the Father is in heaven.  Jesus came to earth to reveal the Father to all who encountered Him.  We are called to follow Jesus.  He is our example.  It is His Spirit who He left with us, to guide and direct us and to use us through whom to reveal the Father and the Son to others.  Fathom this for a moment: the God of the universe CHOOSES to have the Spirit reveal Him to others through us!

When we believe God is real, then several critical matters change for us.  Instead of seeing life from here to the time of our physical deaths, we begin to see it from here to eternity.  Death becomes but a door to the next and better phase of our lives.  We no longer have to fear death for ourselves or others because we know by of the grace of God we have the hope of seeing each other again.  We know God is sovereign over everything and that He hears our prayers.  We also understand that our destiny and reward are not here but in heaven and so we keep our eyes focused on Him.  We realize that as God His Ways are higher and better than our own and though we seek to constantly learn more, we are at peace that we will never completely understand (or we would be God).  He also promises that He will use ALL things for eventual good in the lives of those who serve Him in light of eternity.  We begin to grasp that He is like the perfect parent and only if we become as children do we inherit the Kingdom of heaven.  He is the Shepherd and we the sheep.  He will keep us safe and take care of us, if we seek to follow where He leads.  He will teach us to hear His voice so we can follow, if we will seek to learn and as the perfect parent and Shepherd, He understands we won’t always hear Him right and so He is there to guide us, especially when our hearts were in the right place and our intent was for Him and not against Him.  We also know we are loved infinitely and unconditionally and that we can never lose this love and acceptance from the Most High God.  And when we look to God for our approval instead of anyone else, the power the assessment of others might have over us is removed.  Whether they are critical, condemning, approve, disapprove, accept or reject us no longer affects how we see ourselves.  We know who we are and who we serve.  We do not exalt ourselves, but understand our position in Christ and rejoice in it. 

All this results in our ability to receive the gifts of incomprehensible inner peace, joy and rest (in all circumstances) which He desires to give us.  This improves our outlook on life and ability to function with grace and strength during difficult as well as good times.  Out of love for Him, we also begin to be able to love others better, letting His Spirit flow through us to touch them with His “fruit” (evidence of His character): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23)  We can extend mercy because we know we are forgiven and will never be perfect.

When others experience the difference in us, they begin to want what we have.  This yearning causes them to begin seeking the answer (which is GOD!) for themselves and of course, they eventually find Him (because He promises if we will seek Him, He will be found by us).  This in turn, grows the Kingdom of God, which is God’s heart’s desire.  He has always wanted all of us with Him for eternity, but only wants those with Him who choose Him and choose to submit to His Kingdom Way.  All of heaven rejoices every time another person finds their way home!

Bad times on earth will forever remain hard.  But they are never the end and they become easier to handle (especially when they don’t make earthly sense) when we understand God is with us through it and we know who He is that we serve.  We hang onto His promise that He is using all these things for a higher eternal purpose, even when we never see it.  And He cannot lie or He is not God.

How blessed are we that He would choose to use us for His glorious purpose, giving us such honor and purpose and dignity in and through all things while we are here on earth.  How blessed are we that we have an inheritance in heaven which cannot be changed by anything anyone does to us on earth.  How blessed are we that He uses all things (if we will let Him) to make us stronger and draw us closer to Him, so that with each step towards greater intimacy and understanding it is easier to be here and serve.  How blessed are we that He gives us fellow believers as companions along the way.  Our God is grace; He is mercy; He is love and we are infinitely blessed. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation.

Devotion: God Takes Care of Those Who Seek Him

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2010

Ps. 63:1-9 (Amplified)

1 O God, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirst for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where no water is.

2 So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory.

3 Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.

4 So will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

5 My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips

6 When I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches.

7 For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice.

8 My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek and demand my life to ruin and destroy it shall [themselves be destroyed and] go into the lower parts of the earth pinto the underworld of the dead].

 

“I have looked upon You in the sanctuary,” David says to God.

David entered the sanctuary to see and meet with God.  Do we take the time to go meet with God like David or do we expect Him to follow along with our busy schedules?  His call is for us to worship and follow Him, not for Him to follow us.  He asks us to trust in Him, to accept who He says He is as truth, and to therefore trust in His promises.

God alone is Protector and Provider.  He created all things.  He has dominion over all things and all things are in His hands.  We can do nothing without Him.  David knew this.  When he remembered God during the night watches while he was in bed, meditating on the Lord, David’s whole being was satisfied as with the richest of fare and David’s mouth couldn’t help but praise God with joyful lips!

Part of our spiritual act of worship is to enter His sanctuary, stop doing and be with Him, beholding Him, meditating on Him.  He is infinite in nature.  Therefore we can never exhaust learning more about Him.  When we take the time to seek Him, His Spirit blesses us with increased understanding of His Way.

Notice David beheld God in His sanctuary AND mediated on the Lord as David lay on his bed throughout the night.  David sought God’s presence!

Like us, David also had to tend to his earthly life.  He was a king, family man and warrior.  But wherever he was during his day, David remembered God and remembered God’s place in it, worshipping (praising) Him and seeking Him more in all things.  David is described as a man after God’s own heart.  He constantly acknowledged and sought more of the infinite God and God was well pleased. It is our goal and what God desires from us as well.

Remembering God and His place in our lives throughout the day is not as difficult as it seems.  And He promises if we will take time for Him, and put seeking Him first, He will take care of everything else.

Matt. 6:25,31-33 (Amplified)

25 Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, or what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on.  Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

31 Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?

32 For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation.

Trust Me ~ I Have More For You

PROPHETIC WORD  (followed by a prayer for today)

Trust Me.  Press into Me.  Seek to abide in Me.  I am your Refuge and Dwelling Place – no other.  I am your protection and provision – no other.  But you must have hearts ready to receive what I desire to give you.

I would not give you that which is not good for you.  I love you!  But you may not understand. 

The choice is yours: TRUST ME or not.  I will still love you if you do not trust Me, but your life will miss many of the blessings I desire to bestow on you in My perfect way.

I desire to give you rest.  I desire to comfort you.  I desire to lead you through the fire in a way that it will not burn you.  I desire to enable you to walk on water (on top of the waves through all your storms.)

But never forget, when I enabled Peter to walk on top of the waves of the stormy sea, he was walking towards Me!

 

PRAYER

 Lord God, it is a new day and every day You have work for me to do.  Lord God, because I trust in You, I choose to rejoice in the day even though I do not know what it holds and sometimes there will be as much sorrow and struggle as happiness and ease.  Lord God, help me to remember that this is earth, not heaven.  Send more of Your Spirit to dwell within me, reminding me that my purpose while here on earth is to be Your ambassador, shining Your light into the darkness, so that more may choose to find their way home to You for eternity.  Lord God, sometimes I forget that you will allow me to be in areas where I prefer not to be because it is spiritually dark and as spiritually dry for me as the desert!  I forget that Your light can only shine in the darkness if You use us as Your lamps there and that Your Living Water flows into the wilderness when we are placed there as Your vessels of Truth and love.  Help me not to be impatient with where I am today, Lord.  Help me to find my joy in how You love me and how You use me for great things of eternal consequence wherever I am which frequently no one else can see.  Help me to listen for Your voice every moment of every day and to have the courage to do that which Your Spirit is whispering to my heart, especially when it doesn’t make sense (but doesn’t contradict Your Word and Your Way).  By Your Spirit, help me to discern what is from You and what is from the adversary, attempting to discourage and hold me back from the gifts You have for me.  I want to hear Your voice.  Teach me to listen and to hear You better every day.  I bow to You.  I trust You.  I choose to rejoice in You especially when life doesn’t make sense because You are my Savior and my Lord.

Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2010

 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation.

I AM Your True Wealth ~ Seek Me First & I Will Provide

PROPHETIC WORD

My children, listen to Me and I will tell you what you need to know.  Seek Me and know Me, for I am your true wealth.  In Me all things live and move and have their being.  Without Me nothing is possible and there is no life. 

I want you to always keep foremost in your mind and written on your heart how much I love you.  My love is infinite and you will never grasp it completely. However, do not let this stop you from seeking Me.  Call to Me and I will answer you and teach you the hidden things which you would otherwise never know.  I am your inexhaustible treasure and how I long to share all that I am with you!

I have so much I want to share with you and the sharing will take more than a day (in fact, it will take a lifetime).  But if you will seek Me, each new day I will share a little bit more, filling you up with greater understanding of My goodness, greatness and plan, so that over time you become filled with joy (My joy) to overflowing.  And with each new taste of My wisdom which I pour into you, you will come to know and embrace my heart better.  Delight yourself in this and keep on seeking for I am waiting to give you My infinite heart in exchange for your own.

Today I want to remind you that I am in everything and cause everything.  I AM the Provider.  Without My power and approval nothing happens – NOTHING.  With Me, the impossible becomes possible, the supernatural invades the natural and nothing is beyond my ability to touch and transform it for eternal good.

I prepare the Way.  You have merely to listen and walk it out.  I open the doors.  I shut the doors.  I enable and prevent, and it is all good.

You are not your own.  You were never your own.  You were bought at a price.  The blood of I AM made flesh was poured out for you! Death was suffered for you. 

Freedom from eternal death and ultimate purposelessness is not a license to do what you want.  There was no freedom in it before you decided you wanted Me as Savior and there is no freedom in it now.  True freedom is in trusting Me – in letting Me carry life’s burdens like a good parent and in you becoming as a child regardless of your physical age (you are always a child to Me.)

I AM Lord.  I AM the Way.  I AM the Truth.  I AM the Life.  I AM the Light.  I AM the Shepherd… You are the sheep.  My sheep hear My voice because they listen for it. They know without My plan and My direction there is no peace, no hope, no joy, only a steady purposelessness and questioning regarding life’s value and meaning as you drift through days which were meant to be filled with My glory. My glory is the praise I am due, My glory is My manifest presence with all My most holy perfect attributes; My glory is all that I am made visible through the lives of those who love Me, so that others may see and get to know Me as Savior and Lord though I AM an invisible God.

But My heart is sad.  There are so many of you who do not desire Me as Lord, only Savior.  You do not want to be as a child subject to the guidance of a parent (Me).  Clearly you do not understand (nor seek to understand).   You have not yet come to the end of yourselves where you will realize you cannot cause anything to happen and life without Me is simultaneously too much for you and no life at all.  Until you know Me and acknowledge Me as Lord, you are like willful teenagers, who think you know it all.  Yet in reality when compared to me, you are but babes, still feeding on spiritual milk unable to even chew or digest My real food. 

I AM God.  There is no other.  You are either with Me or against Me.  I either lead, or you stumble.  There is not another way for I am God and I am the Way!

Many of you have become distracted from Me and been chasing emptiness – so focused on making sure you have “enough” when I AM.  I AM!  I will provide enough for My people.  It is My promise.  I will provide enough for you.  Let me be Your God – Your Savior and Your Lord.  I alone know the way I want you to go because I alone know what I desire to do with your life.

When you came to me and bowed because you knew you needed a Savior, did you forget you proclaimed Me as Lord, too?  Why don’t you want Me?  You only want what you think you want and desire Me to give it to you.  Why are you so easily satisfied, chasing after that which doesn’t last?

I made you to dwell with me forever!  Is this nothing?  I made you to be My adopted, beloved sons and daughters , to whom I am giving My kingdom. You are princes, princesses, priests and prophets.  You are privileged through the blood of Christ to have gained entry into the heavenly throne room and access to me now and forever.

But so often you act as if you do not want it – as if you do not want I AM.

What is it about the world which makes you want what it offers more than you want Me and My Way?  Have you looked at that which you chase after?  It is nothing but a chasing after the wind.  You focus on life here and now, putting all emphasis on numbering your days from here to what will be the date of your physical death.  But when I am Your Lord (by the blood of the Lamb and Your acknowledgement and faith and trust in Me,) then leaving of your physical life behind is the beginning, not the end.

You wander around not knowing what to do to find fulfillment, when it is staring you in the face.  If you would but seek Me, investing your time and energy in learning more about Me and My Way as expressed in My Word and confirmed in your heart, then you would know that you are My ambassadors here.  Yet,  you will not have to serve in this foreign land forever.  I know this place where you are now called to dwell can be dry, forbidding and harsh.  My beloved children, I love you too much to leave you here forever.  The day will come when I call you home to be with Me!  Because the spirit is invisible, when I draw you to Myself, the journey will be invisible to those left on earth and the physical body left lifeless behind (its mission accomplished). But the focus should not be the dead empty shell, but the new life eternal into which you will have entered!  I rejoice in the day I bring you home!  And simultaneously I grieve alongside those who loved you and how much they will miss you until it is their turn.  But for now – until that day in each of your lives – I have good work for you!

You do not decide the work you will do for Me.  I am the Potter and you are clay in My loving hands.  I know.  Only I have the overview.  Only I know how I have made you and to what purpose.  What I will do, I will do!  If you disagree, then pray to Me and I will consider your request.  I heard Abraham; I heard Moses; certainly I will hear You.  But know I am LORD and I love you.  I will never leave you or forsake you and though the days here on earth may be hard and you may not always understand, I desire to use you for good, eternal purpose every day of your earthly life – no matter what your circumstances!  And when the day comes that I lead you home, then you will see and know and understand.

Make your decision.  Am I God? Then I am Savior AND Lord.  Press in to hear My voice and I will lead you in the way you are to go.  Rest in Me; trust Me.  Do not be double-minded.  Be My child.  Call to Me with all your heart and I will answer and tell you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. 

Rejoice and be glad.  For I AM the Lord; I AM God and I love you.

humbly written as “heard”.  (Begun May 26, 2010 and  continued June 15, 2010)  by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2010

VERSE for the day

ROM 12:1-2 (Amplified)

1 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord, I need more of You today – less of me and more of You. You are my purpose for Being; You use everything in my life as a believer in You for eventual good; You answer my every prayer and are never far from me. But sometimes in the busyness of life, I feel far from You. Lord, I ask You to draw me near today in an extraordinary Way. How I long to just sit at Your feet all day long today and have You minister to me, love me and teach me, refreshing me for what is to come with all that You are. And yet, today I know I am to serve You by serving others. by Your Spirit, keep me quiet within even while there is busyness all around me. Draw closer to me and hear my worshipping heart. By this worship enable me to spiritually enter the gates of Your Dwelling Place and abide in You even today, even when I am out and about Your business. Help me be quick to listen and slow to speak. By Your power, wherever life takes me, let it be You that others see and may they seek to draw closer to You because of Your work in me. Teach me to go at Your pace and not be concerned about that with which the world is concerned. Because of my love for You and trust in You, let Your peace be upon me and Your joy bubble up through me to touch those around me. If there is any fragrance about me, let it be the fragrance of You! Thank you for being a God who hears my prayers. Thank you for being a God who loves me more than I can ever love you. Thank You for loving me as I am and not expecting perfection from me. Thank you, Jesus for giving up Your life, that I might live forever and have great purpose today. Holy Spirit, thank You for being my Friend, my Guide and my Counselor for as long as the Father ordains for me to serve Him on earth. Thank You for everything. You are my Savior and my Lord. I bow to You and fear You alone.