GOD’s Cycle of Restoration

 

Lord, we need You. Only You are God. All belongs to You & is in Your hands. We seek You. Hear from heaven; come & restore our lives & land.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011      www.holyspiritpress.org     www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

This devotion contains much Scripture at the end.  Please do not  skip it.  READ IT.  Take 5 minutes to sit in a quiet place and let the words go deep.  We are in turbulent times where it can seem as if there is not a solid, safe place to stand.  Yet there is. CHRIST is our Foundation.  HE is the Rock.  When everything is shifting around us, He does not and His promises to us remain constant. 

His ways are not our ways.  In times like these it is helpful to take a moment to remind ourselves of His way, so we can discern the answer to our struggles.  He tells us that He gives us His armor for the battles in which we will find ourselves. The only offensive weapon in this protective armor from Him is His Word (the Truth), which is described as  the Sword of the Spirit (to cut through the enemies lies.) ~ Elizabeth

 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it  (Ps. 24:1)

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity…” (Jer. 29:11-13a)

 God is Restorer.  He redeems that which has been lost, heals and breathes life into that which was dead.   From age to age – since the beginning of time – there has been an ongoing cycle of His restoration.  From the casting of Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden because they had rejected God’s authority to the sending of Christ to redeem people back to Him for eternity, over and over again we see that God’s cycle of restoration is ongoing and remains the same.  It works its way out on the scale of from here to eternity with Christ, but it also is evident in the day to day lives of every generation. 

We see it clearly in the stories of the Old Testament which show us God’s relationship with the Israelites.  Over and over again God helped the people find their way free from physical, emotional and spiritual captivity.  He gave them a good place to live where they still had to work for their food and fight off enemies, but where the crops grew well and produced abundant harvests, and there were victories in battles because God was with them.

God was near to the people caring for their every need, not because He loved them (His love never changes and is there forever), but because they have chosen Him as Lord.  In other words, by their free will, the people decided to live under His authority, honoring and respecting God’s place in their lives and seeking to live His way.  This is like citizens of any earthly country.  We understand that to live in the land in peace, we must obey the rules of the realm.  If we choose to ignore the laws, then we risk expulsion (exile) into a place where we are on our own.

God loves us enough to honor our choices.   He only wants us with Him, if we choose it.  When we acknowledge Him as Lord (which means “Master”), give Him the respect He is due as Supreme Authority and seek to live in the way He prescribes, He fulfills His promises to protect and provide for us.  He does not look for perfection but at our hearts.  What was our true intent? 

When we ignore Him, decide we know best, pursue whatever we want without consulting Him, disavow our need for Him and try to give ourselves the authority which belongs to Him, He distances Himself and leaves us to our own devices (which are insufficient unless accompanied by His power).  Without His blessing on our lives, it becomes harder to make a living and survive.  In the Old Testament the crops would fail and there would be famine.  The fruitful plains would become a wilderness, barren and where people had to scavenge for food instead of harvest and store.  Once conditions got bad enough, the people would recognize their need for God’s power in their lives, humble themselves (understanding they were not in control, but God was) and pray, seeking once again to be under God’s authority.  At this point, God would come and restore them.  And good times would return….

That is, until the people forgot it was God who had enabled all the good that came their way and began to believe they had done it in their own strength.  In other words, once again God would be ignored.  So once again, He would honor their choice and distance Himself.  The people would experience lack and fear in a myriad of ways without Him, recognize their need for God and seek Him as Lord once again.  He would honor their choice, come nearer and their living conditions would improve.  This is the cycle of God’s restoration!  It does not change!

Today fewer of us are farmers.  We operate with cash money and investments.   Thus it is not physical droughts which have as much effect on our well-being as fluctuations in employment, interest rates and stock values. 

As much as we try to financial plan our futures, ultimately God is in control.  To the extent we do not honor Him in this position, as individuals and a nation, He will remove His blessing from us just as He did in former times.  

Therefore despite all good “human” ideas, the first step to resolution of the problems we face individually and as a nation is to turn to God, repent of pretending we don’t need Him and attempting to live without Him, humble ourselves by acknowledging our deep need for Him and ask Him to restore our land.   He will answer.  This is His promise; He cannot lie. He will come nearer again.  He will restore.  It will not be instant; but it will happen.  Where we find ourselves currently is not “the end”, but at a point where we have the opportunity for a new beginning with Him.  We have a great hope which will be fulfilled when our God is the LORD.

Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

DEUTERONOMY 6  (NIV)

1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that youa re crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you  may enjoy long life.  3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you.  4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  

 10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

  13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not put the LORD your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said.

  20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?” 21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the LORD sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

 DEUTERONOMY 8 (NIV)

1  Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.  3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.  4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.  5 Know then in your heart thatt as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

  10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.   

 19 If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.

DEUTERONOMY 4:25-31 (NIV)

25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time – if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.  You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed.  27 The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you.  28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or her or eat or smell.  29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.  30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him.  31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

2 CHRONICLES 7:13-14 (NIV)

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

END

UPCOMING DEVOTION: GOD & The Financial Markets

RESTORE is a worship CD recorded by Elizabeth Fulgaro filled with Holy Spirit inspired new worship music with which to worship GOD as we walk out the steps each of us will be called to take, to help us be restored to a GOD-honoring lifestyle and culture.  The CD is available at  http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro on itunes and at www.holyspiritpress.org

PLEASE remember to view the new song, “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share  SHARE the link!  Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro 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. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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