Only Jesus Remains– 42.Christmas Crush

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

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

When Christmas barrels towards you, maybe you try to dig in your heels to stop it or to jump over it straight into January. The season of dread instead of happy anticipation. It may be difficult to imagine how there could be anything to look forward to anymore.  There can be moments you are literally overwhelmed. As if knocked over by the seeming unfairness.

It is not to be denied that the pain of the season is very real. But so is the enemy of your soul. This adversary of God enjoys seeing you in pain and wants to steal from you every bit of good God would want to give you. In other words, in whatever is going on, the enemy will work to make it worse. Especially in your thought life. One of the places you are most vulnerable to his oppression (which can lead to depression) and captivity (which makes us feel helpless, alone and afraid). So long as you are on earth and not yet in heaven, you will be vulnerable to this. No one escapes it.

Thus, there is a difference between giving yourself permission for Christmas to be different and becoming beaten down by it. To be beaten down is never God’s heart for you. Never.

There is something greater going on. There is always something greater. Yes, the press of the adversary working through circumstances and especially people who are important to you to steal and destroy. But God also omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent working through this. Above it. Over-riding it. Accomplishing His eternal, restoring work through it. Yes, in this world, but more so for that which is beyond. Eternally in your souls. Re-connecting you with God in the way for which He designed you. In each one.

As He worked through Jesus, He will work through you. Not just for you but through you for others.

Jesus gave up His life for Father to use.  This is what is asked of you, too. This is how you become one used fully by God where every seeming defeat and crushing becomes His tool to victory in bringing more lost sheep into the safety and care of His fold. You give your life to Him and let Him use it. You lift your eyes and heart to Him as Jesus on the cross did to Father and praise Him anyway. You keep His vision as your own, which is more souls to be rescued through the battle. You worship, pray, listen and obey. The inner movements of His Spirit which will always call you to rest in Him and sometimes call you to stand up and fight for what is right as you do.

To let Him have your life is neither complacent nor apathetic. Consider Jesus. It is a heart-searing, determined participation in the moment by moment will of God for His purposes regardless of the enemy’s onslaught. It is staying in this life as God calls you with sacrificial perseverance. It is believing He can take and work through all things for the accomplishment of His supreme, lasting purposes. As He did with Jesus’ cross. Just so yours.

You won’t always see what God is doing through you. Your act of worship is trusting, listening and obedience! As the enemy crushes, look to God for the salvation and restoration of yet more weary souls.  Let Him fill you with His strength to muster through. Be the grapes through which by the squeezing that is there, He makes vital new wine.

To You alone, Most High Compassionate One will I lift my thoughts. to You alone. In the crushing which is and will be, You can make something beautiful. Through that which seems unbearable, You can work to provide for what yet another hurting heart needs.  You are not unaware of all that is wrong, but sovereignly working through it. Use me. Use all awful-ness.  Make something of beauty for the help, comfort and healing of more souls. Especially through that which Inever wished for. My hope and confidence is singularly in Your promise to work through even the worst toward Your ultimate goodness for the many of us. That Your purposes can never be thwarted. I consider Your manger. Your cross. I revel in Your resurrection and all that You have promised which is to come. Hallelu Yahweh!

Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself  complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.

11 To Him be the dominion (power, authority, rule) forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

1 Peter 5: 6-11

SONG Recommended: – WHEN THE TREES AND LIGHTS MEAN NOTHING So You Sent Your Son album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

CHRISTMAS CRUSH 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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