To Give Thanks is to Love God
March 26, 2017
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #536.
We don’t know how foundational to our walk with the Lord it is to give thanks to Him in every situation—nor do we see it as the key to an open heaven.
(Carole) You know, we want to ‘do.’ Everything mankind wants to do is ‘do.’ I want to ‘do’ something. If you see a problem, I’m going to go fix the problem. I’m going to tell you how to change. I’m going to tell you what to do. But when we give thanks, that is a prayer. That is a prayer. That is the beginning and the opening of prayer, when we give God thanks and we give Him glory. And it opens the door to His working.
(Martha) Well, and I said in the beginning, “You can now know what is wrong with the murderer, how he got there.” But the same is true. Oh, this is awesome. “Because they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer,” in Romans 1:28 as response, failing to be thankful and acknowledge Him. “Because they didn’t acknowledge Him as God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” I wonder, and I have heard stories in the past about mentally ill people beginning to say, “thank you,” and writing letters of gratitude, and their whole lives changed, opened the door to God and health and healing and sanity. So, if you look at this list, which I haven’t even gone over it. It’s a terrific, sobering, terrible list of the downward spiral we choose when we reject God as God, and we reject what He brings into our lives, we set ourselves on a course we have chosen, and it’s a terrible, downward spiral through mental illness and down to the bottom of agreeing with murderers.
(Carole) In Psalm 107, it’s like the Lord is pleading with His people. And He says it over and over again. He says, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men. For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” He says it again in verse 15. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men.” Verse 21. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men. Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare His works with rejoicing.” Verse 31 again. He says, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men. Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the company elders.”
(Carole) And in verse 1, John says. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good for His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.”
(Martha) Your translation is not naming in those ‘love.’ Yours is naming mercy and kindness, but this NIV is, “Give thanks to the Lord for good…” Every verse that you’ve named had ‘love’ in it. “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds to men.” “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.” “Let them give thanks to the Lord…” Oh, He repeats it, he repeats it. The Psalmist repeats it. It’s all about love. To say, “Thank You” to Him – I haven’t seen this before, but to say, “Thank You” to Him is to believe and acknowledge that everything is love.
(Carole) And it causes… Thanksgiving and worship and praise cause us to love Him. It leads us, the fruit of it leads us to…
(Martha) It’s to me, it is the greatest surrender you can give Him, because you’re not surrendering. You’re leaping over that. You’re simply thanking Him and receiving whatever He gives you in life. And that is the amazing… It’s one thing to say, “Ok, I surrender to Your will.” It’s quite another to say, “Thank You,” and receive it. To surrender is a work of, “Well, ok, that’s what I have to live through. Ok.” That’s surrender, but that’s not the leap into the heavens of saying, “Thank You for this very thing and in this very thing.”
(Carole) That’s what I was trying to say. We are so bent on ‘doing’ something, and thanksgiving is totally different from ‘doing’ anything. It is a choice of speaking. It is a choice of the heart. It is a choice to say, “Thank You.” But it’s not trying to perform. It’s not trying to do an act of something. It is simply saying, “Thank You,” and being grateful.
(Martha) And it goes back a long time ago. I saw this. It goes back to the garden, that what Satan comes at you with is, “You don’t have enough. You don’t have what you need. You don’t have enough spirituality. You don’t have enough time. You don’t have enough of love or whatever. You don’t have enough.” See, that leaves you with a conclusion that God is not good. So the original sin is the believing the lie of the devil that God is not giving me what I need. And so, to say, “Thank You,” is to receive and break that curse over us of our own nature, which is suspicious of God. It’s why many years ago He said, “I want you to live one verse. I want you to live it.” And the verse was, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,” meaning I have everything I need. And if I didn’t have it, if I didn’t have something, He would say to me, “If you don’t have something, and you think you need it, tell Me. If you need it, I’ll give it to you. If you don’t need it, You’ll see that I don’t give it to you.” And He was faithful to the smallest thing to supply for me what I felt I needed. And then it was perfectly peace. If I didn’t receive it – I can’t think of an instance – but if I didn’t get it, then I was at peace, because I didn’t need it. I could believe I didn’t need it. So, I could live in that. And it was a discipline of my mind to think that way. “The Lord is my Shepherd,” and it’s not possible for me to go lacking. And when John took care of our sheep, they certainly didn’t go lacking. He was there to see to it they lacked nothing. And it was just a picture of our Shepherd that He is going to undertake everything for us, supply every need for us. We are the ones who block it.
(Carole) And you said recently, you quoted scripture where the disciples said, “Lord, what is the work that we need to do.” And Jesus said, “The work is to believe.” Thanksgiving is the doorway to believing. It is absolutely the doorway to believe. It is the key. It’s the foundation, it’s the key.
(Martha) You know, God could endure Israel in the wilderness if they worshipped the calf, but when they murmured against Him, they died, because murmuring is an attack on His character. And to worship the golden calf is simply choosing another god. He’s much more enraged when we slur or slander His character. So, imagine the difference between the punishment. The golden calf, they had to drink the gold, but they lived. But with the murmuring, they perished by the millions in the wilderness. So, murmuring and ingratitude are deadly to your body, soul and spirit. It’s calling for death. It’s a life and death matter how you respond to God in situations. God help us all. It’s so crucial and so wonderful.
(Carole) It truly opens up a whole new world, a whole new realm to see what that perspective…and it truly is an impartation of the Spirit to have that.
To Give Thanks is to Love God – Episode #538 – Shulamite Podcast
It’s one thing to surrender to God’s will. It’s quite another to say, “Thank You, God!” and simply receive it. We don’t know how foundational to our walk with the Lord it is to give thanks to Him in every situation—nor do we see it as the key to an open heaven.