Have you ever been so engrossed in cooking, that you grab the wrong tool? Maybe the steak knife instead of a paring knife, and you quickly realize it just won’t do the job, or it will take much longer to get it done. I know I have.
I believe it’s something we could look at as a spiritual principle as well. If we aren’t using the right tools, the end purpose of a season/circumstance/trial/victory could take longer when we don’t follow what the Word of God teaches us.
I’ve been really challenged this week in my attitude. I realize about myself that I will always want ‘more’. More time, more trips, more pretty things, more relationships, more more more. It’s in our nature as humans to never fully be satisfied, unless we cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving. The balance between contentment and ambition is a WHOLE other blog!! 😉
We all know the story of the Israelites (their exodus story starts in Exodus 12). They stayed in their ‘wilderness’ not because they were lost and lacked navigational skills, but they stayed lost for 40 years because of their attitude. They grumbled and complained. Even when manna and quail rained down from heaven, they tried to get more than what they had been advised to gather. The Israelites didn’t trust that the daily dosage would really be enough, as was promised by God. They whined and wanted to go back to Egyptian slavery rather than be led by God in unchartered territory towards their promised land.
I can admit fault at this during seasons of my life as well. I was listening to Joyce Meyer this week, and she asked, “How many of you have complained about the very thing you begged and asked God for, that you now have?!”
I came across 2 Chronicles 20 this week about the story of King Jehoshaphat. I love a good royal story. He was 35 when he became King (picture Prince William becoming King in a few years). The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 20:32 that he was a good King and did what was right in the Lord’s sight.
The story begins with Jehoshaphat in Jerusalem, crying out to God because enemies were encroaching on their territory. The very land that God had delivered into their hands, was now being threatened. As he and his people cried out to God, the Lord spoke (vs. 15) – “Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…..vs17 Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you.”
Do you know what their ‘position’ was? It wasn’t sharpening their machetes and axe; it was a position of praise. Singing and hailing out in loud voice how great God’s love was and giving thanks for it.
By the time 2 Chronicles 20:22 roles around, the enemy got so confused at the sound of singing that they began to fight amongst themselves!!
King Jehoshaphat and his people won the battle and took the next three days to gather the plunder of the enemy’s camp! What a haul.
As we are one week away from Thanksgiving, I am issuing a challenge.
Take a position of praise and thanksgiving. Let’s learn from our Old Testament friends that the way to win battles in life is through attitude – through trusting God to bring the victory and praising Him through it. God never discounted that the enemy they were facing wasn’t big – He even called them a ‘mighty army’. But God lovingly took the pressure off of them to wield their own weapons when they were in a position of, “Lord, we don’t know what to do.”
Financial trouble? Take your position and stand.
Relationship problems and you really are at a loss? Take your position and stand.
Trying to figure out what God’s purpose is for the next season of life? Take your position and stand.
From what I can see in the Bible, the only way we keep moving forward in life is by keeping a right attitude. I’m not a parent yet, but if my child kept asking for more more more when I had already given EVERYTHING of me and my possessions, and they still weren’t thankful … I wouldn’t be so inclined to give them more. Would I still provide for them and love them with all my heart? Yes, absolutely. But until they had an attitude adjustment I wouldn’t want to encourage the thought that ungratefulness is rewarded.
My challenge, and I am taking this on as well, is over the next week take a few minutes each day to thank God for what He HAS ALREADY DONE. Praise Him for Who He is. Not ask for another thing, but thank Him. He is SUCH a good Father to us.
Please share with me how you are going to cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving this week! How do you see God moving through that?
I leave you with this …