Do you want to encounter more of God's presence? We sing lyrics filled with asking for more of God on most Sundays corporately. I know that my journal pages are filled with this heart cry..."God, I want to know You more. I want to have more of Your presence than I experienced last week."
Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!" Notice that there aren't any question marks in this verse. It isn't a suggestion, it's a command. It's also a key...do you want to encounter more of God's presence? Practice thankfulness. Thankfulness is a Holy Spirit magnet. It's like the Holy Spirit is ticklish and becomes joyfully squirmy when He finds a thankful heart!
Early this morning I was driving to church with my iPod blaring, singing at the top of my lungs, hoping no one was watching! I have no other way to describe this other than to say Thankfulness entered my car. It felt around me, not in me. It was like the presence of Thankfulness. Immediately my heart became a bounty-quicker-picker-upper and what was first surrounding me became within me. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for the presence of God in my life.
This is no cliche question...where would I be without Him actively present in my life? I do not understand the lives of those who have yet to meet His love and goodness, His Holy Spirit who counsels and comforts, His Son who redeems and intercedes for us. I cannot fathom how different my life would be. A few things I do know is that I would be a crabby, bitter, bossy, arrogant, old adult. If I have any joy, any ability to submit and prefer others, any humility, any amount of child-likeness it is because of His presence. He has changed me. I am not the same person I used to be and I have been given the greatest adventure ever known to man...to know my Creator as intimately as I choose to press in. Where else is this kind of attainable gift offered?
I have much that I am waiting on God to do. I have big, impossible promises that desire fulfillment. Waiting is hard and confusing. Disappointment and unbelief lie at my doorstep on a daily basis. It feels often that my heart and my mind are a war zone over which perspective I will choose to dwell in from moment to moment. It seems, more and more, that thankfulness is my largest weapon to stay with Him and to not quit or grow apathetic, lethargic. Thankfulness is the key to keeping me sharp in discernment. Thankfulness leads me to the place of wisdom. Thankfulness brings trust, peace, joy. Thankfulness leads to contentedness in current circumstances.Thankfulness remembers goodness. And most importantly, thankfulness leads me to the presence of the One.