With Thanksgiving being only a few days ago and re-listening to a message by Steven Furtick, Senior Pastor of Elevation Church, on gratitude that he gave at this years NewSpring Leadership Conference, I was inspired to write this post.
We are taught when we grow up to say “Please” when we want someone to give us something and then to say “Thank You” when they give it to us. That is just common courtesy, common protocol, and the way we were all brought up to follow.
God, however, has a different protocol. David writes in Psalms 100:4 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and enter into His courts with praise.” Before we start to ask God for something, we need to thank Him and give Him praise. David goes on to write that the person who thanks God honors Him and prepares the way for the salvation of God (See Psalm 50:23). In other words, when you give God thanksgiving and praise, you prepare the way for God to move on your behalf. If you’re waiting on God to do something in your life, start making a way for Him by giving Him praise and thanksgiving. Start thanking God in your today for what you want to see in your tomorrow. Start praising God in your now for what you want to see in your later. Start preparing the way.
Paul and Silas were in the worst and toughest situation in their life, they were in the darkest hour of the night, they had been beat up, and chained down, but when they started to thank God and give Him praise, that’s when they were set free (See Acts 16:25). This is why Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Some of you who are reading this might be in the darkest hour of your life, the world has probably beat you up, life has got you chained down, and you are looking for a breakthrough. Start lifting up your voice, giving God thanksgiving and praise, and see if you’re not set free.
You have to thank God before you see whatever it is you’re believing for to happen. The prophet Joel writes “Let the weak say ‘I am strong!'” (See Joel 3:10). If you are weak, start thanking God that you are strong. If you are in debt, start thanking God that He has made you debt free. If you are afraid, start thanking God that He has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. If you are captive, start thanking God that Jesus has set you free. Romans 4:17 tells us that God gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. In other words, if something is dead in your life, start thanking God that He has brought it back to life. If you don’t see the thing that you’re hoping for in your life, start thanking God that He is going to bring whatever it is into existence.
The cripple at the temple gate in Acts 3 was begging, saying “Please,” everyday and it got Him nowhere. Each day he begged and each day he was still stuck in the same place he was always in. It wasn’t until he started to praise, say “Thank You,” that he entered into the temple (See Acts 3:8). Some of you have been begging God and saying “Please” your whole life and you are still stuck in the same place. Never seeing any change, never walking through the gate, and never receiving your breakthrough. You need to start thanking God and lifting up a shout of praise, so that those walls in your life will come crashing down, so that you will be set free from the chains that are holding you back, in order that you might walk, jump, and run through the doors, gates, and opportunities that God has set before you in your life.
The power of your tomorrow is in the seeds of “Thank You” and praise you sow today. So quit begging and start thanking God today.