Choosing Gratitude Will Change Your Life
April 2, 2017
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #536.
Gratitude is a choice, always a choice. How we see the world is just one of many things directly affected by whether or not we choose to give thanks to God.
(Martha) Carole was remembering, and we wanted to capture it. She was remembering in the book, The Lord of the Rings (actually a scene from The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis). I don’t know if it was the hobbits or the dwarfs were sitting around this vast feast before them, but because they were ungrateful and complaining, they couldn’t see it and enjoy it. And that is such a picture, isn’t it?
(Carole) It is such a picture, because it is like being, living in one realm or another realm; one realm of life and light and the other realm of darkness and blindness and poverty. And this week, through Martha and I praying… I have lived in a poverty, a spiritual poverty that I didn’t need to live in. God has given me everything. My Father has not only given me every practical thing that I can see… I see so much of that. I experience so much of that. I have no excuse, but pride and ingratitude over what He’s already given me. So what if it’s not what I think it ought to be? So what? I’m never going to be perfect in this life. I’m never going to be perfect, but to be ungrateful for what He has given, which is everything, limits me from ever experiencing what He has called into being for my destiny, which is to know Him and to love Him and to enjoy Him with my whole being. And I can’t do that without gratitude.
(Martha) And you manifest Him to the world. Do you see the impact of the friend we mentioned at the beginning?
(Martha) She’s impacted all of us. I used her story at Thanksgiving around the table, and I know that it impacted at least two people that I knew, that you can change your life by saying, “Thank you.” She’s impacting the world going about her business and doing her journals. And now people are going to hear the story now. I’m just amazed at her fruit, that she’s not even… effort, there’s no effort. I believe if I can say this accurately, there’s something about saying, “Thank You,” that gets your ego off the throne and lets God have His place to decide what He does with you, to give or not give; to try you in the fire and give you a dark night of the soul. He’s God. He has a right to do that. He can do that. But if my ego gets in the way, then I am putting myself in His place on the throne. And if I say, “Thank You,” I’m leaving myself out of it, effectively eliminating my own opinion and my own self. And so God is on His throne when we say, “Thank You.” I never knew that.
(Carole) No, I didn’t either. I’m just barely seeing that. When I say, “Thank You,” it’s not about me. When I say, “Thank You,” it’s about something other than me.
(Martha) Right. Outside yourself.
(Carole) Outside of myself. Greater than myself, Who has everything in control and is good.
(Martha) “Thank You,” is not only believing He’s good. It’s acknowledging that He is God. So, “Thank You,” encompasses giving Him glory. But in order say, “Thank You,” you have to get out of yourself.
(Carole) And it is a work. It is a work. It is not something you go, “Oh, yeah, that’s great. That’s a great method. That’s a great whatever. That’s a great thought. I really want to do that.” But it has taken, it has been a work in this person’s life. It has been a deliberate choice and a deliberate work to leave behind that voice of ingratitude, which is straight out of the pit of hell, and that voice of bitterness. It is a work to say NO, and to say Yes to Him.
(Martha) It’s a work of the will. You will not emotionally, 90% of the time you will not emotionally feel grateful. But it begins with a work of the will, and as in her case becomes a lifestyle.
(Carole) And I watched the struggle. It wasn’t easy greasy. It wasn’t, “Oh, we’re just going to do this.” And there was a legitimate or illegitimate battle taking place of which voice and which… Yes, it was a deliberate choice that many times would take a struggle of hours, maybe days to get through and say, “I will not go that way. I’m going the road of gratitude.” And I watched it. And God, God pulled her through every time, over and over and over again. It was not without suffering. It was not without a cost to herself. It was a good cost to herself, because that part is dying. But it was a work. It was a work of decision.
(Martha) It really was a work of the cross, dying to self. That’s what it is. It is tough. “Few that be that find it,” because that is His will. It says in 1st Thessalonians, “This is His will for you in Christ Jesus that you give thanks in every circumstance.” That’s the first will of God. That’s the first response to God.
(Carole) Well, I don’t know if this is getting off track, but Martha’s been on prayer now for months and months and teaching on prayer. And we’ve all been crying out, “Lord, teach us to pray, and be that Intercessor in and through us.” And I said to someone recently, “I believe one day when we’re before the Lord, we’re going to look around and we’re going to see the people who prayed for us, and we will be the answer to those people’s prayers. And prayer is the one power, legitimate power that God has given us. And gratitude seems to be – where I am today – gratitude seems to be the very key and open door to real prayer, prayer for ourselves to come into a close, intimate, growing knowledge of Him, to experience His love and to experience my loving Him. I said to Him today, “Oh, Jesus, I want to experience Your love for me, but I want to experience Your love coming through me for You. I want to experience that as much as I possibly can.”
(Martha) I just see to say, “Thank You,” to God is to receive God. And if you don’t say, “Thank You,” to God, you reject God. It’s huge. It’s not a small thing. And when you receive Him, you get more of Him. When you reject Him, you get less of Him, and then you blame Him for not being there for you. We really create our destiny in that sense, because we have free choice to think like we want to, to speak like we want to. And we have the choice also to respond to God with receptivity. It’s just awesome.
(Carole) Please say that thought again.
(Martha) We really have in our hands our own destiny by our choice of what response to make to God, whether the spontaneous response of the flesh to be suspicious of Him. Because we’ve been given free choice, He let’s us have it. It’s why Ian Thomas said to me one time, “You can have as much of Him as you want.” And it’s true. And this is the key to having Him is just thank Him in all things. It’s just, I just see it’s receiving God. It’s not thanking Him, it’s receiving Him, and He acknowledges that reception by what He gives you. He responds back is what I’m trying to say, either way. This is the small thing that is the gigantic pinnacle of the scripture to me, and it’s simple enough for sheep.
Choosing Gratitude Will Change Your Life – Episode #539 – Shulamite Podcast
Gratitude is a choice, always a choice. How we see the world is just one of many things directly affected by whether or not we choose to give thanks to God. How many wonderful gifts of provision do we miss out on from the blindness of our ingratitude?