Our Bible Cafe™ study about gratitude is very popular! We’re using the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp for this online Bible study. For this online Bible study, we are practicing gratitude and counting blessings- our daily gifts!
Sometimes our gratitude journal is buried under a mess and nothing is counted today. What are some ideas to help overcome resistance to counting gifts? I like that Ann Voskamp writes about the resistance in a positive way! If we do not bring this to the surface, we might fall into a comparison trap or a sense of “I failed gratitude.” It helps to understand this is a learned habit, and there are challenges and resistance to it.
What has helped me is DATING the journal. Not just numbers, actual dates. So I can look at the journal and ask myself “Was I grateful TODAY?” I keep the journal on a table beside me so I can use it often. Some dates have five things, and some might just have one. I am fine with this…as long as I remind myself to PICK IT UP daily. Don’t hide my journal.
Gratitude journals are witness journals! We come to witness the goodness of God. In my human nature (worldview), I wanted to witness my loss. I did not see my family for Thanksgiving during the pandemic. Instead of witnessing loss, I relied on the Holy Spirit to witness a new holiday. Different for me, and new.
In my human nature (worldview) I wanted to witness resentment for others who were able to celebrate at the table. Instead, through the Holy Spirit, I witnessed the new holiday. Different for me, and new.
As we learned in reading the two chapters of the book this week…. sometimes we need to STRETCH ourselves to see those gifts! beyond the human vision and into the Holy Spirit’s vision.
Ann Voskamp writes, “Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don’t see God, I’ll bow down to something else.” What if, for every hour of television you gave an equal amount of time to God? Listen to a sermon for an hour, watch a teaching video from a Christian author, etc.
YOU BECOME THE IMAGE OF THE THING YOU SPEND THE MOST TIME WITH.
There is something called “executive presence” in business terms. It’s a behavior and attitude developed from spending time with other big thinkers and executives. So, friends, you become more like the characters you watch on TV, The books you read, and the music you hear. If you want a “Godly presence,” spend time with GOD.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4 NIV)
The Living God… that is where I saturate myself each day.
Do I live in the house of the Lord,…or the house of Facebook?
Do I live in the house of the Lord…or the house of Netflix?
Do I live in the house of the Lord…or the house of CNN, FOX, and news houses?
Friends… stop living in the house of the enemy of GOD!
We need to stop living a worldview that says “This show is okay, it’s popular and my friends approve of it.” Does GOD approve of that show? Meditate on His values.
To live a REVIVAL life, we need to stop living like the world. We need to have eyes open to SEE through the heart of the Holy Spirit “in me.” There is no shame in this… You will get there. You will gradually adopt a lifestyle that magnifies Christ in you. The character of Christ in you. Meditate on the Word of God, as you are doing. His Word is transforming.
Open your Bible and look at Genesis 21:19 (NLT) Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.
Like Hagar, we can have eyes on bitterness, resentment, fear, or anger. But having eyes on the blessings of God… is a small yet powerful transformation we can each practice daily! When Hagar SAW….she QUICKLY filled up with her spiritual water! It takes FAITH to see.
In Genesis 32:24-26 Jacob wrestles with a man, is injured by God, and asks for a blessing after the match. In Job 42:10, the Lord blesses Job with more than he had before his match. The blessing is a reminder of God’s victory over darkness! MY blessing is MY reminder of God’s victory over MY darkness!
You will go through battles. You can go alone (worldview) or go through them with Jesus (Biblical view). We are not entitled to a blessing but it sure feels GREAT when we receive them!!! Our blessings should never motivate us to do good work. Our LOVE is what motivates us to obey.
Let’s obey God today!
Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.