He is the Lord & He is Not Done

20181107_065217by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2018

It has been a theme before in previous posts. To see and recognize God in our storms–not just for us but especially for those we love. For those we hold so closely in our hearts, where what happpens to them affects us because we love. It is a theme which bears repeating because as a result of our love we also hurt and God wants to remind us that He is ever there, never leaving or forsaking either them or us.

So here we go. Another look at our God who not only is in the storm, but still it. He alone. From here to eternity. Always. Forever.  He is our anchor for the soul. Ever firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 reminds us.

There are those moments when we know that that in which we find ourselves enmeshed is so beyond our power. We always know we have no power, but in these times, we know it fiercely. We know it will take God’s hand to shift what seems to be. We know we are not equipped for that which we face.

We should feel aware like this at all times. But we do not. We should always be celebrating what we cannot do, but He can.

Despair comes when we have pinned our hopes on anything different or less than God’s plans. When we are desperate for Him to do what our hearts seek.

It is not wrong to have hopes, dreams and desires for ourselves and those we love and care about. But it is bondage when our hopes and dreams hold us captive to worry, anxiety, despair and fear in the waiting. We are called to a joyful hope. For confident trust in affliction. To peace in the storm.

Just as with the disciples who forgot Jesus continued to be aware and have a plan even when He was very much asleep in the boat in the midst of the storm, we need to remember God neither slumbers or sleep, really. And when we think He has not heard or seen, He very much has. He continues to reign and work through all of it. In the ones we love and in the circumstances we have ongoing around and beyond us.

We are told to let go. To give them to God. Perhaps in the midst of this, we would do well to simultaneously grab God’s hand and hold tightly to it. Perhaps our hope is found in being His child.  This is His call to us. This is that to which He invites.

He is not only our Gift to eternal life. He is our Gift now. He is the One to whom we cling. He is the One into whom we lean. He is our blessed support. He is the Lifter of our heads. He is the breath of peace which relieves that which presses down on us. We look to HIm. We are reminded who He is. The One who is Love and never fails us. Ever.

All the ones to whom we hold so tightly in the hope, in the hope, in the hope for all which the world tells us is required to have a “great” life are known by God and our concerns completely understood. It is not that He does not care. Nor is He slow to answer. But honestly His focus is not on these things. His principle focus is on the recapture of our hearts fully for Him.  Both the ones we love and ours.

He is looking. He is longing. He is working. He sees today. Yet it is eternity which consumes His attention because of His longing. Because as love He wants us. Ever one with Him. forever. Starting now and drawing closer without end.

There is also the grand paradox of how God works in this self-seeking fallen realm. He is the God who seeks us and has been seeking us. In fact, He never stops and will not. He also does not fail.

Yes, the grand paradox where He, He, He and He alone takes everything the adversary means for evil and uses it toward eternal good. He uses it like a seed which dies–like He Himself who died. Out of the most horrible situations. He already has the plan in place to bring life from this. Greater than we can imagine. Out of what seems like dust. The seed which is technically already dead, falls seemingly finished into the soil. There put away forgotten and in the dark, the water comes into the soil. Suddenly the nutrients which were always there around it are absorbable. The water softens the outer shell which accompanied the seed in its death. Then the miracle occurs. It is God! Only God! In a way unanticipated! By the touch of the water in a way which cannot be ultimately discerned a new life begins. It comes unstoppably forth out of that which appeared to be finished and had disappeared from view. By God’s power! By God’s miraculous, ever-seeking, ever-loving power. (Which is life.)

There in the hiddenness still new life begins to grow.  Roots first plunging down into the soil so that it can continue to take up what it needs via the nutrient dense water to grow and ultimately there will be a harvest. Many, many, many seeds from this one.

This is God’s way. He is never finished. Working through every storm. And so we hold tight to the anchor He is. Eyes on Him. Being the child. Letting Him lead. Steady. Leaning in. Not tottering. Today. Tomorrow. Blessed.

Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, Rejoice!

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. 
http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

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 more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Newly published is a book called: Truth-Spiritual Manual for Battle now available on amazon.com. Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email eaglesnestfoundation2007@gmail.com or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

 

GOD-Powered, GOD-Reliant; at Rest in All Storms

Lord, we trust in You for all things at all times. We are in awe of You; we dance before Your throne.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011

Many of us have been trained in an incorrect way.  We have been trained to be self-reliant and by self-determination to believe we can cause everything to happen the way we want.  Yet as followers of Jesus Christ, we know God is the One with the plan for our lives, and the power and perfect way to accomplish it.  When did we slip into the deception that on our own we have the power to cause anything to happen? When did we become God?

Working with God is a partnership for us as it was for Jesus.  Jesus listened; the Father gave Him instructions; then Jesus did as the Father said.  We are “followers” of Jesus.  Jesus was the example.  Therefore, this is how we are to work with God as well.

But to be Jesus-followers (who follow God the Father’s instructions as imparted to us by the Holy Spirit instead of being self-driven) changes how we are to be.  Where we were self-reliant, we understand ultimately God is in control, therefore we are God-dependent, trust in His provision and listen for His instruction.  We realize that as God His plan for our lives must be better than our own and so we seek it with all our heart.  Instead of believing we can make things happen by our own strength and self-determination, we realize it is God’s power at work in us and through us that enables all things.  If God is against that which we want to accomplish or the way (or timing) with which we attempt to accomplish it, He can and will stop progress.  Without His enabling power accompanying our efforts, we can achieve nothing – no matter how hard we try!

Faith in Him causes us to trust Him and that He will come through for us in the perfect way in His perfect timing, no matter what we see going on in the world around us.  Thus challenges, obstacles, actual problems and looming potential issues become as nothing to us.  Worry melts into praise in joyful anticipation, for we know Who we serve.  Yes, we understand the difficulties with which life presents us.  We know there will be struggles, suffering and eventual death, but we can be encouraged by the temporary nature of our bodies and our lives for we are bound for eternity.  We know who is at work in and around us and believe God will fulfill His promise to use all for good and not for evil in our lives and the lives of those around us.

In Psalm 46:1-2 we read: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…” Powerful imagery for such a time as this when the news makes it seem as if the world is falling apart in every regard.  Picture for a moment the earth giving way.  Consider the mountains falling into the heart of the sea – not the edge of the sea, but into the middle of it.  In order for mountains to fall into the heart of the sea would require a natural disaster of epic proportions!  And yet, even then He calls us not to fear.

How mighty is our God.  How great His power and way.  Thus our focus in all things at all times is to be as in Prov. 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”

How awesome our God!  How exquisite His promises to care for us!  How inscrutable His Way!  How blessed we do not have to fear no matter what the news says, but can trust in Him.

Selah (pause, and calmly think of that)!

PSALM 46 (NIV)

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.  He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

10 He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

END

UPCOMING DEVOTION: GOD & The Financial Markets

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.

Be Still and Know I AM GOD

All creation declares You glory; use our lives to declare Your glory as well. We are Yours

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011

He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps. 46:10 NIV)

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge;  3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  4 Yet their voice goes out to all the earth, their words to the end of the earth. (Ps. 19:1-4 NIV)

“Be still and know that I am  God” is a phrase which has several different meanings.  This is not unusual in Scripture (the sacred writings of the Bible), where our infinite God uses finite words to communicate multiple topics without contradicting who He is.

This particular passage can refer to letting God fight our battles as it was for Moses and the Israelites when they were backed up against the Red Sea with Pharoah and his army coming to get them.  There was seeemingly no way out and God had Moses declare, “13…Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14 NIV)  In other words, be still and let God show you it is by His power in His supernatural, unanticipated, unimagineable way that what you are facing will be resolved.

But another meaning is what the phrase seems to say on the surface.  Very simply, be still and know He is God.

When was the last time you found a quiet place and paused, where there was no input, no incessant chatter, even no music – where in the stillness you could become aware of and connect with the melody and ongoing, never-ending sympony which is God’s creation declaring His glory into the atmosphere?

His glory is His magnificent, palpable presence and the majesty of His way.  Every look at how creation works shows us how we can expect God to be and reveals the beauty as well as the dissonance of the world in which we live where there is His inner peace available in all circumstances and yet no peace in the natural where lions prey on lambs and humans prey on each other.  There is destruction, death, restoration and life, then destruction, death, restoration and life again.

This physical existence will never be heaven for our ancestors chose to follow the adversary’s direction instead of God’s. Therefore this same supernatural adversary and his fallen angels have dominion in the earth.  As opposite and anti-thesis of all God is, this means there will be evil, darkness and sadness.

But as followers of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (once each individual has made this personal choice), we  become God’s adopted children.  This is not our home.  We are here on assignment.  We are lamps to shine the Light of Truth of God’s Way whose focus is not on life until death, but life through physical death to eternity.  We are lamps carrying the truth which illuminates the lives of others with sudden understanding, purpose, meaning and signifcance.  And God is with us, using us throughout – no matter where our lives take us.   He sent His Holy Spirit to be with us.

Be still and know He is God.  Breathe Him in and sense His fragrance of truth, hope and always love which wafts through the atmosphere.  Follow it.  Delight in it.  Rest in His promises to use all for good and not for evil.  Let Him use your life to declare His story for His glory as all creation does every  moment of every day until it is His timing to bring you home.  Be still and know He is God.

He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps. 46:10 NIV)

Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!  END

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.