So here we are on Blog 365, and from day one we saw afresh that ‘Thanksgiving’ is a key to entering the courts of heaven. It is a key to coming into the Lord’s presence and standing before His throne of grace. It is the key to receiving, not just salvation, but all the resources that we need to walk through life as citizens of heaven.
It is the key to understanding things from God’s perspective, and to be able to live a different way. Living from above. It is also the key to seeing myself as God sees me, pure and holy, and the key to appropriating the truth that God works all things for my good and uses every circumstance to transform me little by little into the likeness of Jesus. Romans 8:28-30.
I think one of the precious truths that I have discovered is this. Thanksgiving is the knock on the door of heaven that says “Papa, I’m here to chat”. Now let me explain that a little more. Over this past month I have found many questions going through my mind that I would like God to answer. Questions ranging from the big powerful questions like, “Why is there so much suffering in the world?”, to the smaller questions like, “What do you want me to do in this, or that, situation?”
What I have found is this; that any conversation with the Lord that starts with me asking a ‘what’ ‘where’, ‘when’ or ‘why’ question feels like hard work. These questions start any conversation with the Lord from my earth bound perspective, and so it can feel like wading through treacle as I try to bring my thoughts into line with His. I think this is because my thoughts and feelings make it hard to hear Holy Spirit with my spirit.
When however, I come into His presence with a ‘thank you’, “Thank you Lord for X,Y or Z, …” “Thank you Lord that you have all the wisdom that I need….” “Thank you Lord for your love and care”, “Thank you Lord that you know what I need to do now….”etc, I find that my spirit takes the lead. Then, as I share my thoughts and questions the Holy Spirit can impart more of God’s wisdom into my spirit, and my mind and heart can better grasp His ways.
God says ‘My door is always open’, and unlike many a manager or leader who says that, even though their door remains shut, because they have learnt in management school that that is the right thing to say in order to be a good leader, God’s door really is always open. The picture that He gave me was of ‘thanksgiving’ being like a knock on the door. Not a locked front door, but more like a Narnia type scenario where a young Lucy approaches the old Professor’s study door. The door is ajar, but closed enough to stop that child from rushing in. Her knock on the door is however itself enough to swing the door open on its well oiled hinges, revealing a warm welcoming room and the professor ready to talk and answer her questions.
It’s a picture showing us that God’s door is always open to us, and a simple ‘knock’ – my ‘Thanksgiving’, swings it wide. As we, God’s children, knock on His half opened door with our thanksgiving, He welcomes us with joy. We can approach Him freely, and the conversations that we have with Him then are of a different calibre, and more like the conversations that Jesus had with His disciples on earth – full of wisdom and truth.
God’s invitations to ‘come’, ring out through the Bible. ‘Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money or cost.’ Isaiah 55:1. Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest…..’ Matthew 11:28. ‘Come follow me.’ Matthew 19:20, and of course, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink….’ John 7:37.
There is absolutely no doubt, God wants us to come to Him, anytime, anywhere, just as we are. His door is open. Let us always now approach Him like little children, knocking on His door with our ‘thanksgiving’. Let us see how, as we approach Him in this way, the door swings wide as He welcomes us into His presence again and again. Whether we come to talk things over with Him, to worship, to present our requests, to share our burdens, or to receive from Him whatever it is we need at that moment, let us remember that we are always welcome, and so let us make this our ‘Psalm 100:4’ lifestyle.
‘Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.’