Daniel Kolenda explains why thanksgiving releases faith and faith brings breakthrough. Don't let this day pass you without receiving your breakthrough.
Today is Thanksgiving. This is the time of year when people get very busy with plans of travel, entertainment, shopping and a host of other activities. Unfortunately, some people only think of Thanksgiving as being synonymous with a holiday also known as "Turkey Day" where people eat like gluttons and then watch non-stop football for days afterward! For others, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas buying season, which begins with the "Day after Thanksgiving" sales at the mall. For other people in these difficult economic times, it can be a painful reminder of all the things in their lives that they don't have anymore. It may be a time of sadness over the loss of a job, a home, a marriage or the death of a loved one that is going to be missed during this traditional family holiday season. Whatever the case, Thanksgiving is here again. Yet few people really understand the true significance of all that "thanksgiving" really means. It is far more than just another holiday. It is a lifestyle.
The concept of thanksgiving is deeply rooted in scripture. The word "thanksgiving" and its derivatives are found in 137 different places spanning the entirety of the Bible. It represents a powerful spiritual force, that for the most part, is largely overlooked by most people. Living a lifestyle of thanksgiving and gratitude to God can actually become one of the most effective spiritual weapons that has the potential to release the richest blessings of God in our lives!
In Psalms, we have a powerful example of this truth. The Bible says: "Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter INTO HIS GATES WITH THANKSIVING and into His courts with praise. Be THANKFUL TO HIM and bless His name." - Psalm 100:1-4
When God asks us to live a lifestyle of thankfulness and gratitude to Him, like everything else God asks of His people, it is always for our blessing! This truth can be easily overlooked. I believe that giving thanks to God is one of the most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare that has the potential of bringing great spiritual breakthrough in the midst of any circumstance. Thanksgiving releases faith and faith always brings breakthrough. Verse 4 begins by saying, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving." What kind of a mental image do you get when you hear the word, "gates?" "Gates" are points of entry and always attached to some type of walls or boundary. Walls are usually built for the purpose of preventing people from entering into a place which probably contains something of great value or something that needs protection. Therefore "gates" become a potential point of entry that enables people to go beyond a boundary and enter into a place of sanctuary where others are unable to go.
Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise." This is a small scripture that carries a profound message! It is the revelation of a great spiritual principle which gives us the secret to entering into God's treasure house of blessing! Thanksgiving and praise to God literally opens the barriers that separate the realms of Heaven from the realms of the earth and allows people to move into the presence of the Lord and all the blessings of God that entails.
Most people pray out of a place of need or deficiency in which they are petitioning God to come and do something to change their present set of circumstances. Many people pray only out of fear and worry. Many more pray out of discontentment. If we really want to be honest about it, the prayer life of many Christians could best be described as a time of complaining to God about all the things in their lives that they are not happy about!
This was the essence of the trial of the hearts of God's people Israel while they were in the wilderness. The visible, manifested presence of God was hovering over them as a cloud by day and fire by night but that wasn't enough for them! Heaven's manna fell every morning for them to eat yet they whined for the cucumbers and melons they had eaten while they were slaves in Egypt. Fresh, clean water, something most had never had before, was supernaturally flowing from a rock, yet that was not enough to satisfy them either. God was taking them to a land of their own, but they constantly complained about their circumstances and accused Him of doing them wrong. Because of their heart attitudes most of them died in the wilderness. Their complaints and dissatisfaction against God aborted what He intended to do, which was to take them to a wonderful place that had already been prepared for them! They never made it to the place God had prepared because their lives were void of gratitude, thanksgiving, and praise. Their whining and discontent, which was actually an accusation of injustice against all that God was doing in their lives, ultimately closed the "gates" to all the promises intended for them that went back to the time of Abraham!
It's an incredible blessing when we realize that God really LOVES everyone! He passionately LOVES every person whether they love Him back or not. His LOVE is unconditional! But, even though God LOVES everyone, He doesn't necessarily LIKE everyone! You understand this. There are probably people even in your family that you love, but you really don't like. God is the same way. He loves everyone, but He really doesn't like whiners, complainers, and people who are continually dissatisfied with everything in their lives. He doesn't like people who don't appreciate Him. He will listen to the prayers of the whiners, complainers, and the dissatisfied who are essentially accusing Him of injustice, but He seldom answers and almost never blesses those who approach Him continually in such ways! He LOVES everyone, but He blesses those who live their lives with gratitude and thanksgiving being expressed to Him because of His goodness. God LOVES everyone, but He saves His best blessings for grateful people!
We must ask ourselves these questions. "How much of my prayer life is spent in thanksgiving to God for everything that He has ALREADY done and given to me?" versus "How much of my prayer life is spent begging God to change the things in my life that I really don't like?" The percentage that we can assign to those questions will, to a large degree, determine the amount of peace, joy, blessing, fulfillment, and victory or the lack of these things in our lives!
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