For God’s children, thanksgiving is not one day in 365. Thanksgiving is spontaneous, natural…and continuous.
The Spirit of Thanksgiving
Gratitude flows from the river inside. Really, it’s the response of the Holy Spirit in our spirit, rising because it cannot be contained. His thankfulness must be felt and expressed. The Spirit is the living waters and He will flow. When the Spirit is in charge, He will flow and overflow! And it will be thanks giving!
I’m not terribly grateful naturally. I don’t think anyone breathing is consistently grateful or even occasionally thankful. Human nature sees only the lack, the vacuum and the missing.
The glass is only half full and so I know I am still thirsty just by looking at it. I know it isn’t enough and won’t satisfy, so I don’t drink what the glass holds because then there will be the lack in which I solemnly believe. And my point is proven—truly it was not enough. I went wanting. See?
It was the slander of Eden. “God has not given you enough. He has withheld the best. You need that poison fruit, don’t you?” Ingratitude is the whisper of death in your ear and your fallen nature hears, so you are ever disappointed in God and looking for a better one.
I don’t like my shower head. Try to tell me that 90% of the world doesn’t even have running water, much less a shower, and it doesn’t move me. This is me! This is MY shower head and it matters…ooh. There’s no hope for this ‘me’ to LIVE gratefully.
Thanksgiving is LIFE
Do you know what the beginning of sin is? It shocked me when I saw it long ago. From sin to darkness, then to degradation, and finally, evil. All of it begins from the simple issue of ingratitude. The origin of sin is the failure to be thankful…to GOD!
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks…
Romans 1:21 NASB
So thanksgiving is life and ingratitude is death.
Simple and frightening. Oh, we need many days where we stop life and consider our blessing. But there is something better than a holiday, wonderful as that is. It is having a river of vital life flowing from inside of you, in spite of you.
A river of such inner sustenance that you are never thirsty, never without fresh pouring of life, and that from within you. A river that pours gratitude because it is FULL. Yet this is beyond thanksgiving, because it is worship surging out of you into a testimony of God’s great faithfulness.
In John 4, the woman at the well was thirsty – actually she was desperate for God. Perhaps she didn’t know that but Jesus did. He went out of His way to stop at her well. Jesus offered her that which would “become IN him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” He was speaking about the Holy Spirit and He knew her real soul thirst was for Him.
“Sir, give me that water.” And Jesus was waiting for just that request. We do have to ask. We do have to drink.
A Thanksgiving Testimony
At the end of their conversation, the Samaritan woman went into her town to tell them all about the Christ. Her exuberance was a flow of gratitude. Her testimony was a river of satisfaction—”Come see a man who told me all the things that I have ever done. Can this be the Christ?”
And the Bible says, “From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified…”
That fountain of the Spirit always testifies, ever glorifies. He cannot be silent about the Messiah. And when He, Christ, is lifted up, He will draw all men to HIM. Not to her, the vessel, but to Him. In her fullness, the Samaritan woman simply influenced. Others drank of the living water because she drank.
Next post: A River of Living Water Flowing!
When Jesus…stops us…at the well of drawing to our need, the whole world around us stops. Nothing will ever be as it was before…the ‘stops’ of the woman, removed. Who is this ‘woman’ at the well…the asking one…..the Answering One.
To thirst no more…oh, what breaks into the hearts stillness, as thanksgiving fills, FILLS…for all HE IS!
Sir, give me that water.
So grateful for you at Shulamite! Bless you and thank you for everything!
Everything you and John are writing now is so full of light and love! Right this minute I thank and praise God that I am so blessed to be able to just read this everyday! I’m so grateful to Him for you both!
Bless you Jean, Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Martha, you made me laugh about your shower head! Just never heard that side of you (except for the “ancient Indian” hot dogs). Seriously, I appreciate these blogs, the podcasts, devotions, articles, etc., because Jesus is always lifted up. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit brought me here where we see Jesus in each of you. These posts (and booklets) have been shared frequently. This sounds corny but I used to read the title of the post and try to guess who wrote it . . . can’t do it — you are all of the same mind (and… Read more »
Thank you Martha and Thanksgiving blessings to each of you at Shulamite. It’s worship!
[…] if you haven’t read Martha’s three Thanksgiving posts, I recommend them highly. I was floored by the revelations. They’re each the most unique and […]
Very Good Martha , thank you… I needed to hear this today!!
Bless your Thanks- giving now and thru the year…
“Yet this is beyond thanksgiving because it is worship surging out of you into a testimony of God’s great faithfulness.” I love to have this river of living water…of worship constantly flowing in me.and out of me..I know my unthankfulness blocks His flow…so I choose today to let that river flow…Let my exhuberance be a flow of gratitude…He is sooo good to me…to us..
“Ingratitude is the whisper of death in your ear and your fallen nature hears, so you are ever disappointed in God and looking for a better one.”. Such eloquent and forceful words. I cannot fully express to you, John, and Jennifer how very grateful I am for your ministry to me every day. Jesus has used your devotionals, articles, blogs, and books to meet a great need in my soul and spirit – that need being: more of Him. Thank you all for being channels of Jesus’ Truth.
At times it is easier to be grateful in great need because then I can see and feel Him in the reality of my life. Comfort is not all it is cracked up to be.
You are right we are not naturally thankful. That helped me b/c I have always felt guilty for not being able to be naturally thankful.
Thank you Father for your great mercy and grace!