Look Up and Give Thanks
So, you know how it's really fun to publish a blog post when you're riding high and confident about what Jesus has said, and then the two days later, your circumstances continue to make you put what you wrote into real action? Yeah, that. This weekend was an emotional storm. And as the falling and the questions and the fears and the feelings were swirling around, the last thing that was on my natural heart was to offer genuine praise and thanks, and to focus on Him when the waves were mounting in my face. But then today I came across the following words... notes I had jotted down the first week in January of this year. And the Lord reminds me again, No really, trust Me, praise Me, thank Me, I know what I'm doing and I'm For You. Check it out:
Do you have major decisions or events taking place? Circumstances that are outside of your control, news that you didn't see coming, major things waiting on the Lord? Maybe your situation is even harder, you are in a true battle, legal affairs or anything else in which there are real enemies coming after you.... life can be hard, shocking, betraying, etc... it can be fraught with pressure or responsibility and navigating seems daunting at best, unsafe at worst.
Sometimes the waiting is the hardest. Sometimes the definitive answer is the hardest.
Regardless, God is already there, in the answer. And He's not afraid of any of it.
He's not stressed or worried or unsure how to solve the problem. He is at Peace and Powerful... and is ready to extend the same to you. God's help is already there. "We don't pray *for* it, we pray to *see* it." (Steven Furtick)
One of the best ways to tap into this Peace and Power... is to take a deep breath and not give power to the unknown, the fear, the facts of your situation... but to give it to God in Praise. I just can't talk about this importance enough. It is transformational.
And isn't that what we are asking for?! We want transformation. Don't questions the Way to get there... singing or praising may seem like an unproductive way to transform anything in your life, but, like Joshua, it is the gateway to transformation. Within you. And within your circumstances.
I don't know what exactly is going to transpire this week, I just know it's significant and life changing.
When you're in need of supply? In need of finances, in need of grace, in need of peace, in need of hope, in need of healing, in need of breakthrough... "Look up and give thanks." (Luke 9:16) It's what Jesus did. No matter how little you have. Five loaves and two fishes? It's enough with Jesus holding it - He looked up, gave thanks, and the atmosphere sprang into action and multiplied until there were more blessings than could be contained. This is what thanksgivings and praise produce. It's the supernatural order of thanksgiving and praise. You want supernatural miracles? Embrace the supernatural order of things.
God has told me to praise in advance for over a year now. And I have. And I won't stop.
Are you as big of a fan as I am of Bryan and Katie Torwalt?? Love.them!!! They pretty much take your hand and their guitar and lead you straight to Heaven. It took everything in me to limit to posting only three of their songs here, but join me in believing there is power in giving thanks and worshiping Him:
"Shores" by Bryan and Katie Torwalt
"He is Faithful" by Bryan and Katie Torwalt
"I Breathe You In, God" by Bryan and Katie Torwalt
There have been a lot of winds, waves and storms, fortified cities with enemies posed on the walls over the the last several decades. It reminds me there is one real Enemy. He hates God, he hates us, he hates that Jesus has already won and is bravely and steadfastly advancing His Kingdom despite all the attempts he makes to tear it down and maintain his own. But I refuse to go down drowning when Jesus promises He is turning everything for our good. Our battles, our storms, where we've been burnt, where we've been whipped around, where we currently are tossed about and fall blindly through the chaos - yeah, we are crashing into those things with our shouts of praises and thankfulness:
"Thank you for the scars I bear for they declare You are my Healer... when you life your hands in praise and worship, you're saying to the enemy: look where you tried to hurt me, look where you tried to disable me, where you tried to kill my faith, where you tried to take me out, where you tried to sabotage me, where you tried to convince me I'm nothing, where you tried to depress me, where you tried to discourage me... but I'm standing scars and all, to declare the faithfulness of God because my scars declare His strength in my weakness." (Steven Furtick)