Note: at the conclusion of this devotion is one chapter from the biblical Book of Deuteronomy. It is lengthy. I urge you not to skip it. If you can’t spare the time now, please save it to read later. It expresses God’s cycle of restoration as it applied to the Israelites. God is unchanging. What applied to them applies to us. We must understand this cycle to understand the times we are in and what God is looking for from us. ~ Elizabeth
It may sound extreme to some, but the possibility is great that the reason we were more vulnerable to the September 11th attacks was because we were no longer under God’s covering to the extent we had been in the past. We had walked away from Him, un-inviting Him as Lord over our nation and with this choice, we lost a good degree of His supernatural protection against evil because we had turned away. (It is not possible to receive the benefits of His protection if we are not with Him.)
Much of the country had reached the point where we had exalted ourselves, believing we knew better than any god and that those who said they relied on God and sought His will were weaklings, who needed an imaginary crutch to help them get through life. Many no longer felt a need for God. We had become strong enough not to require Him anymore (or so we thought).
We had science to explain the world around us. And even a large percentage of those of us who chose to continue to recognize the need for God as Savior and Lord cowed down and cowered to the demands of the minority that our faith was offensive – even though this is the faith upon which America in large part was founded!
In generations past those who came here arrived knowing that they were entering into a society dominated by Judeo-Christian views. If they chose to live here, they came to terms with this and found a way to live according to their faith within a society dominated by Christianity. We did not take away their freedom of religion and they did not take away ours. By acquiescing to the demands that there be no Christian faith visible or audible, we have in essence given up our freedom of religion and now must hide who we are in order to be acceptable.
This is UNacceptable! Have we forgotten who we are and why we are here?
Over and over in the Bible God describes what happens when we decide we don’t need God, and He allows us to experience life without Him. If the physical reality were all that existed (which would mean God does not exist), we probably would be fine, but there is a supernatural spiritual reality which is far greater than the natural physical of which we are most cognizant. The fact we even dare think we do not need God as God when virtually everything (except our ability to choose our will or God’s) is beyond our control is difficult to fathom. How can we think we don’t need God to be real, when we cannot control the essence or outcome of life? For instance, we can neither create life from nothing, halt aging, stop death nor control the weather!
And yet, here in the United States, exactly what Moses warned the Israelites against in Deuteronomy has taken place. It is the same danger against which Isaiah, Jeremiah and so many other Old Testament prophets warned. We have become complacent, self-congratulatory and fully taking credit for all good in our lives, without any acknowledgement that none of our blessings have been brought into existence by our own power.
In reality, we have no power and our lifespan is only for a brief moment when considered in light of the history of creation. God is clear: we are like grass; here today and gone with the next season. We only have this one short time period in which to make a difference and fulfill our purpose.
What He declared as the purpose for the people who lived during the time the Bible was written is the same purpose for us today. According to the Bible we have two main purposes:
1) God delights when we are in Him as He is in us, adoring Him and manifesting our love for Him through obedience just as Jesus obeyed the Father, while He simultaneously pours His love out on us through the gifts of eternal salvation through Jesus, and perfect protection and provision so long as we live in the body.
2) We were created for God’s glory (that all would recognize Him through us and give Him the credit He is due) as we function as His ambassadors. This is done when by His Spirit, His unconditional, unlimited love flows through us to others while we simultaneously stand firmly for the righteousness of His singular way of living.
If we are not living in a way which screams our faith, we have missed our purpose. This is best done, not by beating others over the head with Scripture quotations and threats of condemnation, but by living lives which look different because of the peace and joy we have regardless of circumstances, and the inexplicable love flowing through us (from Him) as a result of our abiding in Him.
We spend so much time worrying about from here until our natural death. Yet, God has already promised He has all that handled if we will just fear Him above all ealse. In other words, if we will believe He is who He says He is, trust Him and focus on discerning and doing His will (only worrying about displeasing Him), He will worry about the rest.
But if we are so concerned about offending others that we are afraid of mentioning Him as a normal matter of course in discussions, then no one will see Him! They even might be tempted to think that how we are is by our own power!
Certainly there are times it is better to show through actions than to talk. Words cannot prove He is, but the other extreme when we keep Him hidden won’t reveal Him either! We should not be afraid to say we believe, or to offer gently to pray, or to ask permission to say a blessing over others. We should not fear explaining our position on issues is because we pledge allegiance first to our Lord and the way of His Kingdom, putting our loyalty to our King and citizenship in heaven first.
We need to invite God to be palpably present in everything in which we are involved. Let others decide to leave us behind because they prefer not to be around God’s more intimate presence, rather than us choose to leave God behind because we are afraid someone might be offended. Jesus spoke of His relationship with the Father in normal conversation as the most natural thing in the world and nothing stopped Him from living as the Father instructed – nothing. We should do the same.
Of course, as with all things, we mustn’t make our own decisions regarding how to proceed, but should do as Jesus did – asking the Father (by the power of the Holy Spirit) to reveal what He wants us to do and say in all circumstances.
If we are to fulfill our life’s purpose, then others must see God through us. If we keep Him hidden because we are afraid of offending or being rejected, then we will have missed out completely and others will not find their way to life in eternity with Him because they will have never seen the evidence He is real, which God intends to show through us.
DEUTERONOMY 32 (NIV)
1 Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
5 They are corrupt and not his children;
to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.
6 Is this the way you repay the LORD,
you foolish and unwise people?
Is he not your Father, your Creator,
who made you and formed you?
7 Remember the days of old;
consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
your elders, and they will explain to you.
8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
when he divided all mankind,
he set up boundaries for the peoples
according to the number of the sons of Israel.
9 For the LORD’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted inheritance.
10 In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them aloft.
12 The LORD alone led him;
no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the heights of the land
and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
He nourished him with honey from the rock,
and with oil from the flinty crag,
14 with curds and milk from herd and flock
and with fattened lambs and goats,
with choice rams of Bashan
and the finest kernels of wheat.
You drank the foaming blood of the grape.
15 Jeshurun grew fat
filled with food, they became heavy and sleek.
They abandoned the God who made them
and rejected the Rock their Savior.
16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods
and angered him with their detestable idols.
17 They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God—
gods they had not known,
gods that recently appeared,
gods your ancestors did not fear.
18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;
you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 The LORD saw this and rejected them
because he was angered by his sons and daughters.
20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what their end will be;
for they are a perverse generation,
children who are unfaithful.
21 They made me jealous by what is no god
and angered me with their worthless idols.
I will make them envious by those who are not a people;
I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.
22 For a fire will be kindled by my wrath,
one that burns down to the realm of the dead below.
It will devour the earth and its harvests
and set afire the foundations of the mountains.
23 “I will heap calamities on them
and spend my arrows against them.
24 I will send wasting famine against them,
consuming pestilence and deadly plague;
I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts,
the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.
25 In the street the sword will make them childless;
in their homes terror will reign.
The young men and young women will perish,
the infants and those with gray hair.
26 I said I would scatter them
and erase their name from human memory,
27 but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy,
lest the adversary misunderstand
and say, ‘Our hand has triumphed;
the LORD has not done all this.’”
28 They are a nation without sense,
there is no discernment in them.
29 If only they were wise and would understand this
and discern what their end will be!
30 How could one man chase a thousand,
or two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
unless the LORD had given them up?
31 For their rock is not like our Rock,
as even our enemies concede.
32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison,
and their clusters with bitterness.
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
the deadly poison of cobras.
34 “Have I not kept this in reserve
and sealed it in my vaults?
35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
In due time their foot will slip;
their day of disaster is near
and their doom rushes upon them.”
36 The LORD will vindicate his people
and relent concerning his servants
when he sees their strength is gone
and no one is left, slave or free.[d]
37 He will say: “Now where are their gods,
the rock they took refuge in,
38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let them rise up to help you!
Let them give you shelter!
39 “See now that I myself am he!
There is no god besides me.
I put to death and I bring to life,
I have wounded and I will heal,
and no one can deliver out of my hand.
40 I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear:
As surely as I live forever,
41 when I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand grasps it in judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
and repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
while my sword devours flesh:
the blood of the slain and the captives,
the heads of the enemy leaders.”
43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people,
for he will avenge the blood of his servants;
he will take vengeance on his enemies
and make atonement for his land and people.
44 Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]
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.