Spirit of Thanksgiving
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6
"He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'” Matthew 17:20
A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:4
Remember the lessons regarding speaking in faith and watching as what you speak in faith becomes reality? God has given me more insight into this very profound, life-changing lesson. He has impressed upon me the importance of thanksgiving. I am reminded of Paul and Silas who when they sang praises to God in prison, the prison walls crumbled and they were set free.
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose." Acts 16:25-26
If you go back to verse 16 and read forward, you will find that Paul and Silas were in prison because they cast a demon out of a slave girl who was telling the future and making handfuls of money for her owners. The owners were furious at Paul and Silas so they dragged them into the market place to face the authorities. They were flogged and beaten severely, and then they were thrown into prison. When they got to prison, they were put in an inner cell (i.e., maximum security), and their feet were placed in stocks.
Faith is an activating force that when spoken (“Mountain be moved!”) activates God’s grace to pour forth in miraculous ways in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Reread Acts 16:25-26. It says that everybody’s chains came loose! The other prisoners benefited from Paul and Silas’ praise. So too is the case with us. When we have faith and we speak to a mountain to be moved, those who are near us benefit from the blessings that pour forth. God’s Word and His power is so rich, but for the sake of this devotional, I want to emphasize that
1. Speaking in Faith is the first requirement. Ensure that your language (all the words that come out of your moth) are words of faith.
2. When you speak in faith on a consistent basis, praising God for who He is, rather than complaining about what you happen to be going through in the physical, His grace pours forth in miraculous ways.
Let me tell you the three things that God specifically said to me.
The Spirit of Thankfulness releases floodgates of grace to break strongholds against you.
When you become thankful for the hill, it is then that you will receive the grace to climb it.
When you are mad at the mountain, you will yell and throw your fists, falling to the ground in exhaustion. But, when you thank Me for the mountain (i.e., the blessings that I have for you in the mountain, the deepened intimacy with me you will experience, and the increased faith you will gain as you hold tight to Me as I provide for you), I make the mountain bow down to you.
This lesson started a few days prior to God speaking. I was having a difficult time, and I told God, I will thank You all day. I will not focus on the physical, but I will thank You all day long. I know that you inhabit praise, and so I will thank You and praise You all day today.
I made a decision to do this out of discipline. I knew that if I gave into my physical and emotional weaknesses, my thoughts would overpower me, and I would allow the enemy to have a hay-day with me. So, my strategy was to praise God all day long! It worked. I had victory that day. I’m not saying it was easy, but the more I praised God, the more I remembered that He was All-powerful, Awesome, Majestic, and in control of my life. I had much reason to praise Him. I even clapped and raised my hands and sang to Him at different points throughout the day. My spirit was rejoicing in Him.
The next morning. It was early. I had just dropped my daughter off at high school. As I was leaving the school, I drove over a speed-bump, and it was then that God spoke the above paragraph to me. My heart and mind received the truth that when we praise God and thank Him for the blessings that He has for us within (before, amid, at the top, and maybe even on the other side of) the mountains, He will unleash a bountiful harvest of grace for us, and give us what we need. When we do this, He will make the mountain bow down to us simply because we believed, because we spoke in faith, and because we thanked Him! The key lies in our ability to praise Him for His majestic power, rather than throw ourselves down and cry at the foot of a majestic mountain.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.