Monday, November 2, 2009

It starts with Thankfulness

Peace of Christ guards our heart when we pray with thanksgiving. A thankful heart is a guarded heart. Wayne Cordeiro

Last week for “In Other Words Tuesday” we covered the very same topic, the topic of peace. Two different hosts, miles apart yet connected at the heart with the matching subject matter on peace. As our quotes were chosen not for the sake of a monthly theme, or because we thought the subject needed covered two weeks in a row they came from our individual hearts. Spiritual hearts connected in spirit to Jesus, the true source of our peace.

It was a subject that touched each of as we wrote about the difficult times we often go through that makes it hard not to worry. After all how can we possibly send a child off to war without it interrupting our tranquility? Or watch a daughter struggle with choices she made in her life without shattering our peace? Nor think about where the mortgage is going to come from when jobs are being lost greater than they are found and so much more.

We can all probably testify to the fact that we often are too swift to hand over our peace to Satan. Much quicker than we ought to be and when we do we wonder how are we ever going to get it back? Sitting at my desk over Halloween a co-worker brought in her glowing ghost to decorate with. The gal next to her recognized the ghost as the one she gave to her years ago. “I wish I wouldn’t have given that away. I’ve kicked myself ever since thinking I should have kept that.” Totally unaffected by the regret of the original owner the lady who owned it now proudly displayed it for all to see.

When I think of handing our peace over the Satan I think of that incident in the office with the glowing ghost. Things happen in life and we look around and we find Satan dangling the remains of our peace in front of our face only for us to say, “I wish I wouldn’t have given that away. I could kick myself.”

The best way to guard our hearts with the peace of Christ is to pray with thanksgiving as indeed a thankful heart is a guarded heart. Just look at our Bible Buddy Daniel. In Daniel 6 the king had just signed into law a decree that “whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except King Darius would be cast into the den of lions.” After hearing this was signed into law Daniel went home heading straight to his favorite prayer room. There Daniel “…knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” Daniel 6:10.

Daniel could have cried and complained to God. Got angry about what the goofy King was trying to do but he didn’t. He prayed and gave thanks. Thanks for what, “Healthy lions with big appetites?” No, his thankfulness was probably centered on the fact that he had a God he could count on. He had a God that was trustworthy. He had a God that was watching over his every move, one worthy of dieing for. Daniel truly was a model of what Philippians 4:6 is all about, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, WITH thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (NKJV) No matter what the news we need to go to God in prayers of thanksgiving in order for His peace to be allowed to come even close to our hearts.

1 Thes 5:18 is not a typo in the Bible or a verse that only pertains to people in “lesser” stressful situations than our own. It says, “Thank God in everything (no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks), for this is the will of God for you (who are) in Christ Jesus (the Revealer and Mediator of that will).” (Amplified)

I looked at several different translations of the verse from 1 Thessalonians and they all say “IN” everything. They don’t say we have to be thankful “For” everything. Long before the situation even happened with Daniel he had his heart already guarded with the peace of God because he was in the custom of praying regularly WITH thanksgiving.

As it does no good to let a crook into our house to steal our possessions or drive off with our car then wonder why we didn’t lock up or prepare ahead of time for these situations it doesn’t make sense to allow Satan that same privilege. Long before Satan even comes close to our peace we need to be in the custom of praying to God with thanksgiving, setting up a guard too powerful for even Satan to be able to break, borrow, or steal.

“I wish I wouldn’t have given that away” will get us no where especially as the new owner is unaffected by our regrets of giving our peace away. We serve the same God Daniel did, the same one who was trustworthy to pray to, to be thankful towards, and to lean on and to supply the necessary guard for his heart.

Being truly thankful tells Satan to go take a hike, that no matter what, we are going to be thankful to God simply because of who He is not because of what we are experiencing. It’s an attitude that will need to be installed in our hearts daily to be used not abused. Our actions will let us know which we have chosen to do.

Adopt Daniel’s custom and guard your hearts as you pray daily with thanksgiving to God. Our job is to wait for God, not for the perfect situation to come along to then be thankful! Do it today as tomorrow may be too late to catch the “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Satan’s out there on the prowl. It’s our choice whether we are going to allow him to steal that peace we could have if we would only customize our lives to fit it instead of trying to make it fit our lives. It starts with thankfulness.

© 2009 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


Sarah said...

Here's my post:

Thank you so much for hosting this week!!!

Tami Boesiger said...

Being truly thankful tells Satan to go take a hike. . .

I like that.

You made me think with this quote, Karen, and helped me learn something in the process. Thank you.

mamas*little*treasures said...

Every day we all need to be reminded of this . . . . because it is SO easy to get caught up in the fear and anxiety. Thanks for your encouragement today!

Heather of S-A-M said...

Thanks for hosting us this week! You've done an excellent job on a thought provoking quote. I'm really enjoying it!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Pray pray pray! I love your mention of our Bible Buddie :)
Jessie at Blog Schmog

Denise Hughes said...

Thank you for hosting IOW this week and choosing this quote on peace. Indeed, we are called to be thankful IN every situation. Thank you for reminding us of that.

Esthermay said...

Love the characterization of "goofy king..." Lots of those in my life! It is our choice to overlook the goofy kings in our lives and choose instead to be thankful. I'd much rather be "guarded" by HIS peace than overcome by turmoil.
Very much have been blessed to dwell on PEACE for two weeks now.
You've given us much to meditate on here.
Thank you for hosting!
P.S. Ironically, the word verification here is, "kings."