Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Getting The Victory By Giving Thanks

I’m writing this week on Monday morning.  Today was one of those days when you want a rewind of the last seven hours when the alarm rings in the hope that next time it goes off you’ll actually be ready to face the day, instead of wanting to hide under your pillow.  As I moved through my morning routine of getting kids up and out the door to school, collecting laundry, and making myself get ready to go the gym, I stayed busy enough not to notice the heaviness.  But when I pulled out of the driveway and joined the rush of traffic out of the neighborhood and onto the freeway, it became almost overwhelming.  Thankfully, just as the enemy was pouring a wave of discouragement over my head, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart.  I remembered the thank offering verse He showed me last week.
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.  Psalm 50:23 (NIV)

I knew this was battle time, just as clearly as if I had heard the bell that rings to sound the beginning of a boxing round.  I began to sing to the Lord, just making it up as I went.  (This is a wonderful benefit to being in the car alone!)  I told Him how I felt and then I began to thank Him for things anyway.  It was singing in the face of discouragement and sadness and somehow I know it was powerful.  I sang some more and it morphed into a prayer time for friends who are going through very hard things.  By the time I reached the gym, I was refreshed and encouraged.  My heart was back in alignment with the One Who is in control and my soul had been reminded that He is good no matter what.  This is what incarnational life looks like:  Jesus’ Spirit speaking to and empowering us and enabling us to draw on His strength to get through the day.

I want you to know something.  Every life lived in pursuit of relationship with our Abba Father through His Son Jesus is important.  Not one is more valuable than another.  The Kingdom of God is not a contest or a tournament where we try to outdo one another’s exploits and compete to win our Lord’s favor.  We have His favor because we wear the robe of righteousness bought for us by the blood of Jesus.  He delights in each and every one of us as individuals.  I write because He’s put it in my heart to do it, but my life with Jesus isn’t any more than yours because of it.  Now more than ever, I believe we need to live for the audience of One, knowing that His eyes are smiling at us with compassion and encouragement, just like a proud parent watching a beloved child take on any challenge whether it is their first steps or their first wrestling match or recital.  We need to face each day knowing our Abba is rooting for us, Jesus is praying for us, and the Holy Spirit is as close as our next breath to give us grace to get through each moment. 

Hallelujah!  Praise His Name!    

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