Our Compass Set on the Will of God!!!
Probably more than any other question or inquiry that I receive from different individuals is “How can I know and walk in God’s will for my life?”
I’m always blessed by this question because it reveals a hungry heart! The Word of God is full of keys and concepts that will help us to not only answer this question but to walk fully in the awareness and the expression of the will of God for our lives. One of these key concepts is the dynamic of having a thankful heart or conveying a spirit of thanksgiving. 1 Thess. 5:16-18 AMPC
“Well, that is just too simple!!” Have you ever tried to give thanks in everything? I’m not asking you to given thanks “for” everything, but the Scriptures do instruct us that “in” everything we should give thanks! Paul gives us insight in this epistle to the fact that doing this will keep us in the will of God. That is the power of living in obedience to the Word. When we walk in the Word, we bring ourselves into agreement with God and spiritual dynamics are released in our lives as a result!
Thanksgiving is like the needle on a compass that always points north. If we can cultivate thanksgiving in all situations, our lives will remain directed towards and will eventually come to fully produce the will of God! I believe that is why the Holy Spirit instructed Paul to write this verse: if we can just continue to give thanks “in everything,” it directs our hearts and lives into the will of God.
Gratitude is a manifestation of humility through recognizing God as the source of what we have. Here is a great quote from Michael Ramsey: “Thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow.” The reality is, we cannot fulfill the will of God for our lives by our own ingenuity or ability! We desperately need the empowerment of God!! And this is exactly what staying in a posture of humility through being thankful will produce!
In conjunction and close assimilation to humility, being thankful communicates our dependence and deep need for God! If we are going to produce good out of our lives here on earth, if we are going to fulfill His plans for us, it will only come as we receive direction and empowerment and enablement from Him! When we are functioning in gratitude and expressing our thanks to God – we are displaying our recognition of Him as the source of every good thing.
It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said: "We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?" As we are faithful and thankfully cognizant of the “small” things God is doing in our lives, we posture ourselves for increase. Creating a thankful heart has to do with the act of remembering. In America, most of us probably neglect to give thanks to God for more everyday blessings than most in other countries have the privilege of receiving: cleaning running water, adequate food and shelter, freedom to worship God, etc. Let’s be like that needle on the compass, always pointing back to God with gratitude.