The Influence of Thanksgiving

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ” 1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV

The Influence of Thanksgiving

The act of thanksgiving is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons made available to the born-again believer. More than simply a nice spiritual gesture, or an expression of appreciation to the Lord, thanksgiving is literally a spiritual force that carries within it the power to shift spiritual atmospheres, transform circumstances, and bring about the manifestation of God's supernatural supply.

As I've meditated on this subject of thanksgiving, I have discovered several ways in which thanksgiving dramatically influences the conditions and circumstances of our lives and the lives of those within our sphere of influence. I would like to share three of them with you here.

First of all, thanksgiving brings us under the influence of the grace of God. That begs the question, "What's so significant about the grace of God?" Let's answer that by considering a general definition of the grace of God.

While there are many ways to define grace – including God's unmerited favor – grace could also be described as: the ability of God operating on you, in you, for you, or through you, enabling you to be and do what you could not be or do in your own ability. God is unlimited in His ability, and when His ability is operating on you, in you, for you, or through you, all things become possible for you!

But why does thanksgiving in particular bring us under the influence of the grace of God? The answer is that thanksgiving is an act of humility; because to be thankful is to acknowledge that someone – other than ourselves – has met our need or desire. When we operate in humility, the Word of God tells us that we will come under the influence of the grace of God. James 4:6 says, "…God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" – (NKJV). Grace always flows in the direction of humility.

With enough grace (God's ability on you), you can do or accomplish anything. One way to have more of God's grace operating in your life is to consistently walk in humility, and one way to consistently walk in humility, is to develop a spirit of gratitude for everything that is good in your life – from the smallest thing to the greatest. If we find ourselves complaining about things more than being thankful, that should signal to us that we need to increase the level of our thanksgiving.

Secondly, thanksgiving silences the enemy and the avenger. When we're expressing thanks and gratitude to God, we're praising Him at the same time, because we are also acknowledging His goodness. Jesus said, "...Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, You have perfected praise. – Matthew 21:16, NKJV"
It's interesting to note, that when Jesus made this statement about praise, He quoted Psalm 8:2, which tells us that the Lord uses our words to shut the mouth of the enemy and the avenger. When you express thanksgiving to the Lord in the midst of trying times, you put to silence and shut down the devil's activities aimed against you.

Expressing gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord causes us to take the focus off of ourselves. When we're focused on self, we violate the law of love (God's love, which is selfless) and open the door to fear, which undermines our faith (Galatians 5:6, I John 4:18). When you express thankfulness in trying times, it confuses and frustrates the enemy, because satan is expecting you to become self-focused and so concerned about your life, and your things, and your needs, that you don't take the time to set your eyes and affection on the Lord. Most of humanity responds to trouble this way, consequently, the enemy becomes confused and frustrated when he runs into a believer that actually responds to trying times with thankfulness and praise to the Lord.

Thirdly, thankfulness creates an atmosphere that is conducive for the manifestation of God's supernatural supply. We know that Jesus multiplied a small number of loaves and fish that fed thousands of hungry people on more than one occasion. While we tend to focus on the wonderful results of the miracle of multiplication, what is important to note, is that before the miracle began to take place, Jesus first took the little He had, and gave thanks to the Father (Matthew 15:36, Mark 8:6, John 6:11).

You will notice that in Matthew 15:36, Mark 8:6, and John 6:11, the scripture states that Jesus took the loaves and "...gave thanks…", while in Matthew 14:19, Mark 6:41, and Luke 9:16, the scripture states that Jesus took the loaves and "…looked up to heaven and blessed..." Since the scripture does not contradict itself, but compliments itself, I believe these two expressions of "giving thanks" and "looking up to heaven and blessed," go together.

When Jesus gave thanks for the loaves and fish – that were seemingly not enough – He also blessed them with the words of His mouth. When He gave thanks and blessed the loaves and fish with the words of His mouth, He brought them under the influence of the Kingdom, and under the influence of grace, which lifted them beyond natural boundaries and natural limitations – enabling the Father to multiply them to meet every need and desire, with leftovers beside. Praise God!

If you're in a situation where you seem to have "not enough", begin to thank the Father right now for what you do have, and begin to bless what seems to be not enough with the words of your mouth. Start calling it blessed right now!

God's supernatural supply and miracles of increase are birthed in the atmosphere of thanksgiving. Whether you need a greater measure of God's grace, peace in trying times, or God's supernatural supply, it is time to increase the level and intensity of your thanksgiving to God.

This article is written by Pastor Garrett