Friday, April 25, 2014

The Life-Changing Power of Gratitude!

Thank you to everyone who has been responding and helping to build out this testimonies, references and endorsement page on my ministry site! 

I am overflowing with gratitude for all of you! 

At the end of this blog - is a new vblog - a video blog on this same topic! Thank you for checking this out.

I am so beyond thankful for these references.  They really do mean SO much to me!

As I have been reading through the testimonies and references that are coming in ... I am deeply moved by the power of gratitude! 

Through it, God has been revealing to me, more about the attitude of gratitude.

It got me thinking about Jesus and how very few people ever came back to truly say thank you - with a genuine heart - for what He did and how He touched their lives.

I often wonder .... what is in our human nature that wants to avoid gratitude and expressing it to people

Are we so absorbed with self and life ... that we can't slow down and smell the roses?  

Today, I am in conversation with my God about this as I have been moved to tears reading the words written by long time friends and people I have served with in ministry for 17+ years.  

Gratitude surely has the power to wash away negative debris.

These references are reminding me of God's love.

The love that hunts down that one lost coin.  The love that will lay down one's selfish ambitions for the sake of someone else.  The love ... as Paul describes in Philippians 2:1-8 ... which prefers others over self.  The love that covers sin rather than seeking to expose it in order to destroy others.

In our human nature, we have such a tendency towards negativity and grumbling.  I am not immune to this temptation.

I believe this is even more so the case for prophetic people who have strong discernment gifts. 

We tend to feel and to see the "not so good" parts of people, or ministries, or circumstances. 

We often see what others can't see.  This is part of the way God has wired us and he does so because He wants us to become life-giving agents to those people.  He wants us to love them as He did when He hung on the cross to take away their sin and to cover them once and for all with His love.

And really, this is kind of the role of the prophets .. or the prophetic voice in the church.  

They are here to keep us in sync with God's heart.  At the core of the prophetic voice is always ... to bring people; God's church back into intimate relationship with God and to being obedient to His Word.   

The prophetic voice should always be about restoring people TO LOVE! 

Prophetic people tend to know when people are wearing a mask and we tend to know the flaws and issues intuitively (really, intuitively by the Holy Spirit). 

This IS the nature of discernment.  To be able to know what is flesh, what is the enemy and what is God!  The testing and discernment of spirits.  

This is why rejection is so common among prophetic people ... because people (or leaders) who are in darkness or deceived will reject the light that prophetic people carry because they do not want to be exposed.  They fear living in the light.  They don't want the accountability even if they say they do. 

They will do whatever is necessary to drive out the prophetic voice that is trying align people back to God and to being obedient to His Word.  And if we are being led by selfish ambition - we surely don't want to know what God's will is in any certain circumstance - so we definitely don't want to hear or heed to the prophetic voice.

None of us are immune from these temptations.

However, what happens when we are immature or unhealthy in the prophetic or not trained or equipped with an understanding of the gifts of the Spirit ... we can take what is negative and we can magnify it .... and create a monster out of what we are sensing. 

We fail to seek God's wisdom and His ways for what HE wants us to do with what it is He is showing us.  

We fail to seek the life-giving Truth of what God wants us to pray or to say.  We fail to walk in wisdom.

We fail to seek Godly wisdom and to wait on Him until we have it.  

We fail to seek God's Word as our foundation and bedrock for everything!

We fail to seek the fruit of God's Spirit and wait on God until we are walking in it.

We fail to walk in gratitude.

And so - because we fail to wait - we move prematurely.  Saying things and doing things that are outside of God's timing.

And this hurts people.

This is why training in the prophetic is SO important to me. 

We must we understand our strengths AND our weakness as prophetic people and those with the gift of discernment.  

Our greatest weakness will always be to stay in the land of negativity ... never moving people into the life-giving aspects of the promised land.

We truly do need a lens change.  To move us from negativity to gratitude.  

To living with thankful hearts always!  

This way we become LIFE GIVING agents to others through gratitude ... and we don't magnify the darkness through our negativity.

Gratitude washes away ALL dark perceptions because we begin to see as God sees  ... whether this person is ourselves, our spouses, our children or someone we work with. 

Gratitude helps us to magnify the life of God in people THUS displacing anything that might not be of Him by speaking life rather than speaking death! 

What we magnify and speak to ... in anyone ... is what they or we ... will become! 

We must get this spiritual principle!  Life and death is in the power of the tongue.  

Praise and gratitude brings us into the presence of God - for ourselves and towards those we speak about.

Gratitude has the power to wash away all that negativity, words of death, curses, pain, broken-ness ... because gratitude magnifies what God put into someone and the beauty that is within them! It calls people up into who they are IN CHRIST. 

Gratitude focuses us back on what Christ has done and not on what someone else is or is not doing! 

Gratitude reminds them that in the midst of the flaws and all - God still sees us THROUGH His sacrifice on the cross. This is GRACE.

Every day should be Thanksgiving.

I seriously think there is a broken mindset we can come to believe that says if we give someone too much gratitude, or too much blessing, or too much love and edification - they will become prideful. 

So, instead we condemn or tear people down in our thoughts or words ... thinking we are doing good.  

I think we fail to see that our words are grounding people either in the life-giving soil ... of God's love and character ....  or our words are grounded people in the soil of something dark.  

A tree can never be healthy if it is planted in the wrong kind of soil. 

Scripture is so clear - "let NOTHING unwholesome come out of your mouth". Ephesians 4:29. It means what is says - nothing.

Scripture is also clear "life and death is in the power of the tongue".

Satan's job is to beat up and God's job is to build up. 

Let's partner with God in the building up of others today and not the tearing down. 

Let's begin in our own thought life. 

There is SO MUCH power in gratitude. 

In honoring others, In honoring the God that is inside of those who believe. 

This is God's challenge to me today too! 

Let's ask God who we can bless with gratitude today and then speak it out. 

Think of that one person ... whom you've been magnifying with negativity in your own mind ... someone who you simply might not like ... because in some way they have hurt you  ....

.... and instead of negativity .... write a list of 10 things you see in them that is beautiful and life-giving. 

And begin to speak THAT into the atmosphere.

I am taking this same challenge. 

If God leads you to, tell them through words and actions. 

Move in goodness towards them.

Show them that their life has value, meaning and purpose. 

You never know - someone might be sitting on the edge of despair, contemplating suicide and by your obedience - you might just save a soul and bring life to where there has been destruction! 

You might be the one to show them a different side of themselves that they can't seem to see with their own eyes!

You might just reveal God's heart for them in some powerful and life-changing ways! 

I am working on mine!   

Here is a short video thought on gratitude today as well! 

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