Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Favor on a thankful heart
"God Pours Out His Favor on the Thankful Heart"
Recently I had a vision of the Lord in which His arms were lifted high and I could see that they were loaded up with bundles—bundles of blessings just waiting to be poured out upon those who were full of faith and have a heart of thanksgiving. We are currently in a season where we must continually remind ourselves of His faithfulness, not because of the coming holiday, but because of the battle that is being waged for righteousness.
I am not a particularly nostalgic person and I do not yearn for the happiness of a former time, but God has been drawing me, even before I rise, to revisit various moments in my life when He moved on my behalf, and it is building a thankfulness in me that was unexpected.
My father is a great story teller. I have many fond memories of listening to him recount his own childhood and his own personal battles and victories through the years. When my children were still very young, "Paw" began sharing those same stories with them, and they listened with wide eyes that were full of anticipation. It is my hope that my children will share those same stories with their children and grandchildren, for there is great value in this.
Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."
If we do not recount the many ways that God has delivered us, it will be lost to the next generation. The knowledge and understanding that we have gained as we have watched God deliver us must be passed on in order for the next generation to build upon that knowledge and in order to deeply secure their faith.
God's Desire is to Bless!
What I saw in the vision were armloads of blessings waiting to be distributed, and I sensed that the Father was searching for those who are thankful and who are expecting Him to move mightily on their behalf!
"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." This Scripture is taken from 2 Chronicles 16 where Judah was once again facing the prospect of war. Asa, king of Judah, chooses to enter into an unholy alliance based on fear and doubt rather than being reminded of how God had delivered them in the past. Hanani the seer admonishes them that God searches the earth for those that are full of faith in order to bless them, but because of their foolishness they will now be bound to a season of wars.
Then the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, "Command the priests who bear the ark of the Testimony to come up from the Jordan." Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, "Come up from the Jordan." And it came to pass, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD had come from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet touched the dry land, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before.
Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: "When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, 'What are these stones?' then you shall let your children know, saying, 'Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land'; for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever."
We must never forget that God's love for mankind was so great that He went as far as to sacrifice His Son. Why is it that we believe that today, in the hour of our need, that His mercy is no longer available and His love for us is any less? Our God is the same God who delivered His people from the bondage of the Egyptians, and in the process parted the Red Sea before them and crossed them over into the promised land. He is the same God who sent His only Son, whom He loved, to save us from the bondage of sin, and He is the same God who is ready to move on our behalf today!
Meditate on What You've Learned!
Most of us have moments in our lives that are precious to us because God moved in our behalf. If we don't have them personally, we know someone else who has; and because He promises that He is no respecter of persons, what He has done for one He will do for another. Those miraculous moments have such a powerful impact on us at the moment that we think we could never forget how faithful God is.
But in fact, as time passes and the demands of life invade, those details fade and become less profound. As pressures increase and we hear the constant reminders of the increase in wickedness all around us, our faith is shaken and hope can become deferred. However, as we begin to revisit the victories of the past, the details begin to return and our hearts begin to experience again the delight of that event that we once held so dear. Not only does it stir our emotions, but it can awaken thankfulness and faith to a heart that was once being bombarded with discouragement!
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
The first information that we receive is often what is taken in by our natural senses (such as our eyes and ears). As we assess the challenges before us we begin to calculate how tall and wide this mountain is and just what it will take to conquer it. The mountains that we are currently facing cannot be conquered in terms of human strength or wisdom; in fact, I am repeatedly hearing, "It's going to take an act of God," which is usually followed by a solemn sigh that holds little hope or expectation that anything at all can be done. If our spirits are not anchored in the promises of God we will make unholy alliances with the enemy and agree with him concerning our strategy and what the outcome of our circumstances will be. God tells us to meditate on His goodness because it works!
God is prompting me to go back and be reminded of all that He has done in the past in my life and to be aware of the ways that He is moving in the lives of those around me. Discouragement is giving way to hope as I revisit what God has done! As I verbally recount and testify of His working power in my life I can feel strength and faith begin to arise. Suddenly the situation does not seem so impossible and I feel like an overcomer.
And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
Once the fog of hope deferred is removed and we are reminded of the promises that God has spoken to us we can begin to declare them in faith. After all, God is not a man that He should lie. Our hearts of thanksgiving and praise will prepare a way for the favor of our God to be released and those armloads of blessings will begin to be poured out upon us!
Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near!
Kingdom Manna Ministries
Paige Norfleet is an apostolic teacher, bringing forth the Word in a style that is real and transparent, equipping Believers with the tools necessary to walk in the power of the Kingdom of Heaven. Paige Norfleet resides in Oregon with her husband Marty and their three sons. They are the founders of Kingdom Manna Ministries.