Only Jesus Remains– 19.Christmas Gaze

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas

What does this mean? How do you look at God?  How can you gaze at Someone who is invisible?

You turn your thoughts to Him.  In a given moment, you consciously aim your thoughts in His direction. You choose to create the mental space to think about Him. Who does He say that He is? What is He like? You ponder and consider and ruminate on what He says about Himself and what this means to you and to this life of all of us together in this world.  What it means to your today. How it ignites hope not in what is not promised but what is.

To consider what God has said and how He made life to be and where He sees your role in it according to Jesus, is to find your heart and your mind being re-formed like ready clay to have different expectations than before. In these new expectations which are based on the God-designed, God-made reality, there is not only hope for the outcomes He actually promises (and enables), but peace in the process. Rest in the journey. Rest. Like lying down in a very safe place. Here you are realizing who God is more and understanding at an ever deeper level what He actually said, what Jesus really came to do, who the Trinity is and how Spirit is here with us now and you comprehend how things will be and thus, no longer hurt as much in what is for now.

To help you make space, you need to unburden yourself from all the other thoughts which are occupying your mind. Every day—sometimes multiple times per day—come and lay those thoughts and prayers at His feet. Literally approach Jesus in your thoughts. You can picture Him in your mind. Then put your thoughts at His feet, pouring them out of you where worry otherwise spins unproductive webs with these.  Emptied like this, you will be able to hear Him better. 

Now remain there before Him mentally in interior quiet until He answers, trying not to ramble around in more of your own thoughts. Trust Him to answer in His timing. Consider the verse in Scripture which talks about sitting on His lap like a weaned child. Mothers know before breast-fed children are weaned, when they are hungry, they cannot sit quietly on their mother’s lap. They wrestle and nestle to feed. They want it now! Only a weaned child can sit and listen and watch to see what the Parent wants to show the child.

A weaned child is also ready to eat a different type of food. That which needs to be chewed. For this the child needs also to have gone through the painful, uncontrollable process of growing teeth! Sometimes this new food needs to be chewed slowly and carefully in order to be digested.  But it is this more advanced food which provides vital nutrition for long-term growth, strength, thriving and contribution. Solid food. Meat as St. Paul describes it.

Re-read some of the devotions, Scripture, prayers or listen to the songs. Does He have a new layer of solace or understanding here for you? God’s communication is frequently not brash but subtle in an awesome, soul-feeding way.

This year is a different Christmas feast. It satiates and nourishes like no other. It is the kind of nourishment which enables you to have less physical food and get through the harder spaces because you are nourished by that which is greater even though it cannot be seen. May your Christmas feast this year be true food on which you chew, which enables you to grow strong, resolute and powerful in a way God’s love and truth flows through you more.

Jesus, You did not come to us fully grown. You came as a Baby—an Infant. You were conceived by the Holy Spirit and then grew in the womb of Mary. A process! Not an adult in an instant. But little and growing. The crops grow from blossom in spring to ripening fruit until they are ready for harvest. I want to feast on You until You grow me to be part of Your harvest to feed yet others. Teach me how to fix my gaze on You more. Help me increasingly recognize Your voice. Lead me into the deeper pools of God-knowledge, so that I might dwell more in Your promised peace which surpasses all understanding and become increasingly Your crafted lump of clay for your good purposes in this world today. Even now.

1 However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!]

2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it],

1 Cor. 3:1-2

23 You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God….

Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation,

Since you have [already] tasted the goodness and kindness of the Lord.

1 Peter 1:23; 2:2-3

13 For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!

14 But solid food is for full-grown people, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.

Hebrews 5:13-14

SONG Recommended: HEAVEN’S KING– Christmas Worship album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

CHRISTMAS GAZE PODCAST

If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.

for mini-devotions subscribe or connect on Facebook at Spiritual Armor and Ammo .

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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