Thanksgiving & Purpose

I have spent this past week diving into "Strengthening Yourself in the Lord" by Bill Johnson.  I haven't read this book for about 6 years, but it has been so ground shaking for me this week.  I am currently reading about thanksgiving, and the power that thanksgiving has over disarming hell.  Not only does thanksgiving prepare the way for the Lord's presence, but it also calls us into the true reality of who God has called us to be.  When we become inner-focused, or navel gazing as I like to call it, we lose focus of who God is, what He has done, and we give access and open a door towards partnering with the enemy. 

Thanksgiving, even in the hardest of seasons, is a weapon that can destroy the plans of the enemy.  Right after we got married, when I was the only one working while we awaited Andy's immigration process, I think thanksgiving saved me.  Even when we were down to the last 30 cents, and I was dog-tired, I continually praised Him and gave thanks for everything that God was doing in our lives.  I was thankful for the small things, the big things, and even the most ridiculous things... but it began to shift my perspective, and kept my focus on Him, not the lack. 

The following is an excerpt from Bill's book.  If you haven't read it, I will give you my copy... it has given me so many tools to walking in Faith, even when it feels hard.

"When God tell us to give Him thanks, He is not insinuating that He gives in order to get something from us.  God doesn't manipulate us with His gifts.  He wants us to thank Him because thankfulness acknowledges the truth about our lives.  And when we agree with the truth, then the truth sets us free to see and manifest the greatness that He has put in us as the ones He has made in Him Image.  When we withhold thanks from God, we are actually cutting ourselves off from who we are.

In Romans 1:18-21, Paul explains that God has not kept who He is a secret.  Knowing God is not hard.  It is actually the most obvious thing in the world- all you have to do is glorify Him as God and be thankful.  This response, because it agrees with the truth, give you open access to the vast treasures of the knowledge of God.  But without that response, your thoughts become futile and your heart darkened.  Futile means purposeless.  When we fail to sustain the response of thanksgiving for everything in our lives, our thinking is cut off from our purpose in God.  "When we lose sight of our purpose, we will inevitably make choices that are outside of God's intentions for our lives."

I don't want to be cut off from the purpose that God has laid out for me.  God has designed a plan and purpose for me, and so if walking in thanksgiving is a way that I can partner with who He has called me to be.. I am going to do it.  Even when it is hard, even when I'm dead tired, and I need people to hold me up.  Thanksgiving leads me to His purpose and calling.  Thanksgiving keeps me SANE and ALIVE.