God prefers Thanksliving over Thanksgiving


Emotions are strong, but they soon wear off. I remember playing football. Guys would get excited, get amped, get pumped up for the game. After the kickoff and one got hit in the mouth, emotions changed. Commitment and courage had to take over. At that point, the person hit in the mouth had to decide whether or not he would play aggressively or passively. He had to decide whether he would take the game to them or allow them to continue taking the game to him. The emotional player who really was pumped up had a choice. Do I remain committed or do I, in a small unassuming way, give in to the crowned conqueror.

We have the same choice as the player or any other person. Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, now that Black Friday has consumed what vestiage of Thanksgiving that remained after the gluttony of turkey and deserts, we must know that God prefers Thanksliving over Thanksgiving. It is clear that God wants us to be thankful. I am in no way asserting that God does not want us to be thankful. The Word is clear about that, but the Word is more lucid that God prefers Thanksliving over Thanksgiving.

Let’s take Hezekiah for example. Isaiah 38, 2 Chronicles 32:24-26 and 2 Kings 20:1-11. Let’s take a look at Hezekiah’s song found in Isaiah 38

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:

10 I said, “In the prime of my life
must I go through the gates of death
and be robbed of the rest of my years?”
11 I said, “I will not again see the Lord,
the Lord, in the land of the living;
no longer will I look on mankind,
or be with those who now dwell in this world.
12 Like a shepherd’s tent my house
has been pulled down and taken from me.
Like a weaver I have rolled up my life,
and he has cut me off from the loom;
day and night you made an end of me.
13 I waited patiently till dawn,
but like a lion he broke all my bones;
day and night you made an end of me.
14 I cried like a swift or thrush,
I moaned like a mourning dove.
My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens.
I am troubled; O Lord, come to my aid!”

15 But what can I say?
He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.
I will walk humbly all my years
because of this anguish of my soul.
16 Lord, by such things men live;
and my spirit finds life in them too.
You restored me to health
and let me live.
17 Surely it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me
from the pit of destruction;
you have put all my sins
behind your back.
18 For the grave cannot praise you,
death cannot sing your praise;
those who go down to the pit
cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the living—they praise you,
as I am doing today;
fathers tell their children
about your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,
and we will sing with stringed instruments
all the days of our lives
in the temple of the Lord.

What was Hezekiah so happy about? Hezekiah had become ill and was at the point of death, but he prayed and God spared his life extending it by 15 more years. That’s what the song is about. You would think that God saving his life or ours would be motivation beyond thanksgiving. Sadly, that is not true. Listen to what the Word (2 Chronicles 32:24-26) said about Hezekiah “24 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah.”

Hezekiah was about thanksgiving but not thanksliving. It was easy to write a song about thankfulness, but it was much more difficult to die to yourself living as God wants and not how he wanted. How dare Hezekiah to be proud against the Lord after God saved his life. He, unfortunately, is not alone. Let’s go to John 5:14 where we have the invalid who had been in that condition for 38 years. He wanted to be healed at the pool, but he was never able to get in. Jesus told him “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” He did and was healed. Rather than honor God with his life. Jesus found him later sinning. Jesus said “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” Jesus was letting us in on how responding to Him in pride may result in us being cut off from a life with Him in eternity.

We see Hezekiah and the invalid respond to God in pride. They know they received a blessing, but as time went on, their hearts became proud forgetting God’s grace and mercy through their healing. We would think that we would honor God for His grace and mercy toward us but those two and Jeremiah 17:9 let us know that we all are full of pride. Those who live in pride means they are the object of their choices not God. Proverbs 11:2 tells us “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” This is what Jesus meant when He told the invalid something worse may happen to you. The disgrace one will feel of being eternally rejected by God is worse than any illness or sickness one has in this life.

From these brief examples, I hope you see that God prefers Thanksliving over Thanksgiving.  Commit to Thanksliving

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: