“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise,” (Psalm 100:4).
Right in the center of my Bible, I find an invitation into God’s presence. And while there is nowhere we can go away from God’s presence, we can certainly feel distant from Him.
In Genesis chapter 2, we read of Adam and Eve’s original sin of disobedience to God’s one command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But have you ever wondered what whet their appetite for wanting something more than constant communion and union with God?
Have you ever considered what stirred the desire for more and made them vulnerable to the serpent’s attack? I think it was ingratitude.
They were not thankful for all that God had provided. They were not satisfied with the glory life.
So when Satan slithered into the Garden and introduced the idea that God was holding out on them, they were ripe for the picking.
“When you eat of it your eyes will be opened,” the serpent hissed (Genesis 3:5).
But in the beginning, Eve’s eyes already were open. Eve saw God in all His goodness, spilling out gifts at every turn. She saw nothing but the glory of God unspoiled.
Eve was lured away by the lie that there was something better, something more. “When you eat of it your eyes will be opened”…and they were. Eve’s eyes beheld the ugliness of sin and shame that she had never seen before.
We are in the same danger of believing Satan’s lie of “you would be happy if…” when we are not grateful to God who “richly blesses all who call on him” (Romans 10:12).
We are vulnerable to temptation when we neglect to thank God who “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).
As we live and move and have our being in Jesus, if the song of gratitude is not playing on our lips, we will be in the same danger of listening to the enemy’s lies and thinking our glory ache could be satisfied by something other than God Himself.
Gratitude keeps us grounded in the truth and alert to the lies.
Ingratitude is the infection of Eden that closes eyes shut tight to glory moments to experience God and leaves us groping about in the dark for that which will never satisfy the longings of the soul.
The cure comes in capsules of praise, thanksgiving, and a grateful heart.
Gratitude is the antibiotic of the soul to cure a variety of the world’s ills. It cuts the bark of our hard hearts and nourishes the very spot where we are grafted into Jesus Christ Himself, and restores a sense of closeness and intimacy with God.
Today, practice praise. Think of thanks. Go with a grateful heart.
Here’s a challenge for you today. I did this over at my Girlfriends in God group and it was great fun…well, maybe not so much fun…but enlightening.
Put a rubber band on your wrist and wear it like a bracelet. Every time you complain, grumble, or simply talk negatively about anything and anyone, pop the rubber band. That’s right, pull it out and let it pop your wrist.
If you really want to see how much you grumble, get a girlfriend or family member to do it with you. Agree to tell each other, “Girlfriend, you need to pop that wrist.” Sometimes we all need a little help from our friends.
If you’ll agree to do this, leave a comment that says, “I’ll wear a rubber band today.” I’d love to actually see the rubber band on your wrist. Take a picture and send it to me at sharon@localhost/sjold! I’ll post it on an upcoming blog.
Seeing God through the lens of gratitude and grace is one of the themes of my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. It’s a great book to help you experience God’s presence on a daily basis. But if you have trouble with grumbling, complaining, and controlling your tongue, I’d suggest delving into my book, The Power of a Woman’s Words.