“As I’m presenting my requests and begging for your favor on this hike today, I’m finally remembering to thank you for the blessings you have given me. I thought I had been asking for things I needed because I felt so much anxiety over them, but it hit me that I was asking for you to spoil me. And then, my eyes were opened to see that you already had spoiled me. Above and beyond. Over the top. What in the world was I anxious over? People say to remember those who live in unbearable poverty in 3rd world countries, whose water causes disease and death and where food is a novelty. I drew on that thought today and I am ashamed that clean water wasn’t even on my list of things to thank you for. I am so spoiled and I take your goodness and how much you love me for granted. So much for granted that I neglect the very things that you outstretch your open hands to offer me every day. The things that even people who are diseased and poverty stricken have access to. The very gifts that if I received, I wouldn’t even need to seek your hand. I have been cheating on the gift you died to give me with chasing after bookings, likes on social media and financial goals. Tears stream down my face. I am deeply sorry, I just want you. I am so sorry to have used you for what I can take from your goodness.”
In my prayer on this day before Thanksgiving, God showed me 3 things to be thankful for regardless of your circumstances.
When Jesus died, the veil was torn that separated us from having access to the Presence of God. God is relational and he made us in His image, which means we are created for relationship. He longs to walk and talk with us like he did with Adam in the garden. They were companions and Adam knew that he was empowered and strengthened to steward the earth because of his relationship with the Creator. Not only was Adam’s heart, his fears, worries and feelings known deeply by God, but Adam also knew his Maker’s heart. Adam experienced His love, His feelings and witnessed His hurt. How often do we take the time to seek and know the personality and heart of our One True Love?
The beauty is that He already has chosen you. He loved you first. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more or less. But your life will be transformed when you enter into a relationship with Him that flows deeper than one hour on Sunday. You can be in His Presence all the time if you want to. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. I know that when I am in His Presence, which happens through my thoughts abiding in Truth, in conversation and especially in song, nothing else in the world matters anymore. All of my fears melt away. I know he has my back and I wish I could get the time back that I spend worrying.
Just like a good daddy who comforts his little girl, your Heavenly Father invites you to melt into His arms every moment of every day. You never have to strive. With Him, you can do everything from a place of peace and rest. Why do we ever try to do it any other way? You won’t need to anxiously plead for the things you want when you are in relationship because everything will simply fall into place.
Do you know that literally everyday, you can be renewed and redeemed? “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17. There are many of us who have an extremely painful past, whether it be an injustice that was inflicted or regret that we carry. Because of that, way too many of us believe that we don’t deserve the life we’ve imagined. And that is exactly what the enemy, the ruler of dark forces in this world wants you to think. He uses those injustices, pain and shame as shackles. The more you believe those lies, the heavier the chains become.
But Jesus came so you could have access to freedom. You can break free from any dark thing that is preventing you from having the life God has waiting for you. How exactly do you that? When you finally can admit that you can’t take the load on your own anymore, just tell him. It’s as simple as that, he is a gentleman and will not impose on you, but when you come to Him, he will readily take all your burden and cast it as far as the east is from the west, never to be remembered. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19.
I get frustrated with myself when I act in a way that I don’t want to be like. For instance, I want to be a very peaceful person who always sees the best in other people and is not easily provoked. Sometimes when I reflect on the day, I will feel discouraged and guilty for the way I blurted out criticism or over-reacted when a driver blew his horn at me. I look at certain people I admire and I wonder how in the world they do it. But one day as I was listening to a Joyce Meyer broadcast on the Spirit of Patience, I finally had a revelation that I can be patient and peaceful if I want to, not by my own strength, but through The Spirit.
As chosen daughters of the King, that makes us royalty. Royalty is called to a higher standard of behavior because they are leaders. They have impact and influence. Our King has called us to influence the world for good and with his help we can rise up because our hearts will penetrate and overflow with His goodness. We have access to the power of the Holy Spirit whenever we call on Him. He will come through for us where we are weak. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…Since we live by the Spirit, let us be led by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 15:22-26.
God doesn’t call us to greatness and then not give us the ability to get there. He doesn’t make promises of renewal and then just leave us in the middle of the desert. And he says that when we seek him, we will find out. He is holding gifts of freedom, renewal, and an overflow of warming love in his outstretched hands. He is waiting at the door. All we have to do is knock. I can’t think of anything to be more grateful for this Thanksgiving.
If this message blessed you, please feel free to share it to bless others.