5 – ENGAGING THE POWERS OF THE KINGDOM – THE POWER OF GRATITUDE, THANKSGIVING, PRAISE AND WORSHIP

5 – ENGAGING THE POWERS OF THE KINGDOM – THE POWER OF GRATITUDE, THANKSGIVING, PRAISE AND WORSHIP

The life-long process of being transformed by the renewing of our minds brings about a change in our perspective and attitudes. The conviction that Jesus is in charge of our lives produces security, confidence and peace.

Our hearts begin to sing instead of being fearful, anxious and complaining. GRATITUDE for God’s goodness and mercy replaces discontent and becomes a settled attitude that undergirds our responses to life’s ups and downs.

THANKSGIVING becomes the overflow of grateful hearts, but thanksgiving is even more than that. Thanksgiving is the language of faith, the verbal expression of confidence in God. It is one thing to be thankful for what God has done but quite another to give thanks for what He has promised to do.

Thanksgiving before God has responded produces an attitude of expectancy – not expectation. Expectancy is open-ended, giving God freedom to act according to His nature and will. Expectation, on the other hand, nails Him to what we want.

Expectancy frees us to accept joyfully whatever God does in response to His promises. Expectancy reflects our confidence in who God is, and that’s what we look at next.

The meaning of THANKSGIVING in ancient Hebrew thought helps us to understand the role it plays in releasing the power to change us on the inside.

Before the development of modern technology such as GPS positioning and direction-finding, sailors navigated by the stars. The light (shining) of the stars indicated where they were positioned in the heavens.

The Hebrew word “hallelujah “, translated “praise Yah” actually refers to “the shining of a star”.  When we praise the Lord, we focus on the glories of His attributes (His “shining”) which give us direction for our lives.

Put these three together, GRATITUDE, THANKSGIVING and PRAISE, and we have yet another set of powerful kingdom qualities that produce changes in the way we think and act in an environment of sinful and ungodly people.

Through the renewing of our minds and the changing of our attitudes, we are developing immunity to the infectiousness of sin all around us. We are also changing the atmosphere in our environment by being spiritual thermostats, not thermometers.

It is important to note here that being grateful and thankful are always a choice because our emotions often interfere with our thinking. Our choices must follow what we believe (the TRUTH), not how we feel. Our feeling will follow our beliefs and will eventually result in peace.

WORSHIP, falling down on our faces in absolute submission before this God whose beauty and glory we have contemplated, is our final destiny.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 NIV

It is this attitude of unquestioning submission to the nature and will of God that enables Him to work unhindered to restore the image of Jesus in us.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

All Scripture quotations in this series

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Luella Campbell


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