It all begins with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not just a holiday, but it is commanded by God as an activity that keeps us in the center of His will. Paul said, “in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thess. 5:18). Thanksgiving was never meant to be a holiday, it was meant to be a lifestyle. A lifestyle that continually keeps us in the center of God’s will.
Giving thanks is really an alignment issue because it creates an attitude that is acceptable in His sight. It is one of the things that pleases Him and facilitates us drawing close to Him at all times.
Thanksgiving is part of the spiritual protocol that gets us through the gates and ushers us past the outer and inner courts and ultimately paves the way into the Holy of Holies (Ps. 100:4). And it there in the Holy of Holies that the presence of the Almighty and Most High God surrounds us and saturates us with His peace that passes our understanding (Ps. 95:2, Phil. 4:7).
In the midst of God’s presence He touches us, speaks to us, or breaks us in His own creative ways, usually leaving us totally undone, awestruck, always refreshed, and hungry for more of His glory. It is in His presence where He births and releases greater dimensions of His Son’s salvation into the core of our being, transforming our inward parts to reflect more and more of His nature and person.
Just as His Son was born into this world two thousand years ago, He births something new in us, a revelation, a healing, a knowing, or a word that sets our course for the rest of our days. Often times it is an impartation of a gift, an anointing, or a key revolutionary or innovative idea. Whatever it is He releases, gives, or anoints, it is always good. And it is so far beyond any gift we could ever get at Christmas.
The final segment of the spiritual threesome is the New Year. After our times spent in the refreshing presence of God we come out of His courts vitally changed and transformed in some way. Whatever God unravels, heals, imparts, or creates while we’re in His presence produces a newness in us that many of us do not even realize until days later when all of sudden we recognize we are not the same. In other instances, we notice the newness almost immediately.
The newness initiated, imparted, or birthed by God always generates fresh vision, greater hope, refined direction, distinct instructions, enhanced discipline, or a resolute ability to rule over unwanted behaviors, attitudes, or thought patterns. The newness that God imparts transforms us, and thrusts us into greater dimensions of the salvation that Jesus provides for us. Once in God’s presence we never remain the same.
The threefold sequence – thanksgiving, God’s presence, and newness of life – offer us a God given pattern that can keep us in perpetual personal revival. Thanksgiving keeps us on the cutting edge of quickly interfacing with the Spirit of God who will usher us into His life- changing life sustaining presence.