If God Made It Clear, Would You Do This?
This has just been a fascinating thing for me to "discover" what has been "hidden in plain sight" all along. What God really LIKES, that is...
Now if you're anything like me, you've at least, a time or two, told God something like this, "Lord, if You'll just make it plain in what You want me to do—if it's REALLY CLEAR, I PROMISE YOU LORD, THAT I'LL DO IT!"
And now today, I can't wait, even one more minute, to tell you what God has been whispering to me all week. And He wants YOU to hear it too.
Jesus, as you know, claimed absolutely in multiple ways as He walked on this earth, that He and the Father are ONE in every way. About Jesus, it might be said that He was, "God with skin on!" Whatever people saw Jesus doing, that was exactly what the FATHER was doing too!
Remember when those 10 lepers came to Jesus, needing to be cured? Jesus told them, "Go show yourselves to the priest." Then on the way, they were cured. Jesus, as the exact representation of His Father, answered their cry and healed all 10 of an incurable disease instantly!
They were on their way to show themselves to the priest, when suddenly they each noticed they were without disease! But—only ONE of them had a second thought, quickly turned around, and came back to "Thank Jesus" for the healing!
Here's what happened and what Jesus said:
Luke 17:14-17, "When He saw them, He said, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked Him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?' Then He said to him, 'Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'"
So Jesus—the EXACT representation of His Father—preserved for all time this story to show you and me exactly what HE LIKES...or maybe what HE LOVES. Jesus was saying, "God loves gratitude! God loves thanksgiving! God wants us to remind ourselves and to "remind" HIM what He's done for us!
While I am not a "keeper of feasts" as some are, I see the great value in the lessons from the feasts of the Bible. One of the most important of all the feasts is the "FEAST OF PASSOVER".
Because it—the celebration of Passover—both points back in history to when God led Israel out of slavery in Egypt and into their own Promised Land. But more than that, MUCH MORE THAN THAT, is that now the Passover more specifically points to OUR OWN PASSOVER LAMB, JESUS CHRIST, the spotless and without blemish, innocent, sinless sacrifice. When we put our trust and faith in HIM, SALVATION COMES TO US!
God commanded Israel to celebrate the Passover throughout all their generations and to continually tell their children what Passover represents.
In other words, God instructed His people to say over and over what God had done for them...and to THANK HIM, OVER...AND OVER...AND OVER...AND OVER—for the same kind acts He performed for them and their nation. And to do it over, and over, and over.
HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I THANK HIM? WHAT DOES HE LIKE?
We only need to ask forgiveness of sin ONCE AND it's done.
But gratitude—that can be and should be expressed daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly forever and ever for what God has done for us.
One personal example is about 20 years ago now, God gave us a farm house in the middle of what is now our own 20 acres of land. Our whole family loves this place and because the land is slightly raised, there is actually a nice view with it. I have thanked God hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times for this land...not because He requires it, but because I am truly, TRULY grateful. Plus, having learned how much He loves our thankful words to Him—I know that as I express my heart of gratitude toward Him, HE HIMSELF is loving this gratitude that comes from my heart.
The Scripture tell us that God sits "enthroned" upon the PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE.
We should do this, EVEN if only to thank Him for His death FOR US on the Cross.
A few years back, I listened to a message by Graham Cooke where he literally demonstrated how he often thanks God...
Now to get the full measure of what I'm going to tell you here, please grasp that this went on (Graham's demonstration) for somewhere between three to five minutes.
Picture this and listen in your mind for about 3-5 minutes this quote from Graham as he prays to the Lord:
"Lord, Thank You...thank You...thank You...thank You...THANK YOU...THANK YOU...thank You...thank You...thank You..."
EACH "THANK YOU" HAS ITS ON UNIQUE PERSONAL EMPHASIS (now add 4 more minutes of this—not as a law but as a concept to thank Jesus greatly for what He's done for you).
From that day to this one, I've never seen "expressing thanksgiving to God" the same way. Now, with Graham's example—I now had an example of just thanking the Lord from my heart.
Now, it's your turn—Thank Him for your life itself, your spouse, your children, the times He's rescued you, and on and on. Think of these things in your heart as HE knows what's in your heart. And then just keep saying, "Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU!"
It sure helped me to learn this. I know this is going to help you too!
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Steve and Derene Shultz, Founders
Elijah List Ministries