Last week, I was trying to lay a foundation defining worship. I hope it blessed you. This week, we will start to break down the differences between thanksgiving, praise, and worship.
Thanksgiving only in Receiving?
In very basic terms, whenever you experience the emotion of thanksgiving, there is always something that sparked it. In other words, there is always a reason why someone is giving thanks?
Even in a worldly sense, we say “thank you” to another when we’ve received an encouraging word, a gift, or some personal help that gives us a lift in some way. Giving thanks to God is pretty much the same, except it’s on such a far greater level. If we really get a revelation of thanksgiving, we’ll realize we could never say “thank you” enough for what He has done.
A Response to His Acts
So, thanksgiving is our response to the acts of God! It’s based or connected to what He does for us physically, emotionally or spiritually. It often stems from realizing our wellbeing that has come from what Jesus has done. You can say it like this: He provides for us, heals us, He loves us, and so our hearts’ natural response is to give Him thanks. As we grow and mature in Him, thanksgiving is also about being transformed into His likeness. As we become like Him, thanksgiving becomes an assignment of our lives. We desire to give Him thanks for all things in all seasons! It becomes a powerful part of our lifestyle.
Here is a question I would like you to think upon, “should thanksgiving be for only what He has done or for who He is?”.
A Start Base to Relationship
To reiterate, thanksgiving can be seen as a response to His signs, blessings, and miracles, and it is primarily the starting point of our relationship with an ever-faithful present God! It’s coming to Him in our personal time, not asking for anything, but thanking Him for what He has already done. This should be the first part of our prayer life! We shouldn’t be so focused on asking for stuff, as we are thanking Him for what He’s already done and who He is.
The Acts of God Are Not A Thing!
When you get to see the “acts” of God, this is a way of starting to see who He is. But remember, it is only the start! In Psalms 103:7 (NKJV) it says: “He made know His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel”. Moses also said, Lord let me know your ways that I may know You. God’s acts are a way of opening up a door to a greater revelation of who He is. May I suggest to you this point: “THE ACTS OF GOD ARE NOT A THING; THEY ARE PART OF HIS PERSONHOOD”! It’s His nature and character to just give us His all. His “all” had a name, and this was in Jesus!
His Ways, His Character & His Nature
You can read so many times throughout the Old Testament that the Israelites only seemed to be happy or interested in a relationship with God when they were seeing His activities. The miracles that happened as in manna from heaven, water from the rock, winning battles etc. In these things, they seemed engaged. Yet Moses always wanted for him and the people to go far beyond that; Moses wanted to know His ways, His character, and His nature.
The Next Level
The only way to “know” Him by His acts is to start wanting to see God on a deeper level of understanding. Knowing that His acts reflect who He is, is to know Him for who He truly is, not just for what He does. Thanksgiving starts to take us there, but with God, there is always so much more that we can experience with Him. To really go on a discovery of God, our hearts have to be in a place to go to the next level in our relationship. And this is where thanksgiving causes that to happen.
This week just think on this “nothing is more humble and honoring than a grateful and thankful heart”.
Next week we look at how thanksgiving and especially praise can take us to a place of breakthrough.