Giving Thanks Empowers Us
How far away can we be when we do not, or maybe, cannot hear the voice of God? Our pride and arrogance gets in the way far to often. God wants to speak to us and He uses all manner of speaking. He speaks to us through others in our lives, through song, through books, through everything, if we only humble ourselves to receive His direction. Unfortunately, pride and arrogance prevail in this world. We tout others for their intelligence and knowledge. We turn to each other first rather than to God when we are facing difficulties, hardships, and a lack of understanding. However, it is only when we listen to God that we are able to truly make strides forward. When we talk amongst ourselves we will never be able to see beyond ourselves. Through talking with and consulting God, our lives are empowered to do things thought impossible by the methods of the world.
Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
1 Corinthians 4:18-20 NIV
God is our shepherd. A good shepherd protects their flock with all means necessary, to include their life. God wants us to be like Him. We are to follow the example of a good shepherd. Our flock is His flock. The people that surround us, and that we come into contact with each day, are our flock. We should give thanks for the example He provided. It directs us to how we should aim to be with one another. We are called to be willing to lay our lives down for each other, as Christ did for us. The act of being willing to give our life up for another is one that empowers us to live life more fully. When we are willing to give our life up we are then able to take it up freely. We cannot experience true freedom without the acknowledgement of this sacrifice within ourselves. God knows our hearts and knows if we are being selfless with others. We can trust that through the feeling of empowerment we are doing exactly what our Father has commanded us to do.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
John 10:14-18 NIV
A Story of Being Empowered:
Learning to forgive and love those that have wronged me is one of the most difficult parts of life. There has always been a since of comfort in holding onto anger and resentment. I think those feelings have made me feel justified in what was done to me. However, those feeling never gave me freedom. They have always made me feel trapped.
For many years I sought validation from others for the terrible things that happened to me in my life. I felt it was necessary to share all that I had been through in order for others to understand where I was coming from. I even thought it was necessary so that others would accept me. I was the center of my life.
When I started to focus more on God than on me I realized that He knew my pain and what I had experienced. It was not necessary to give everyone a tutorial on my life for them to accept me. By staying focused on Him I have been able to release anger and resentment. I have given my life to Him by focusing on Him. I feel free to live more fully than ever before. I have more space in my life to accept, love and forgive those that I never thought I could.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.
Considerations for your planner:
- What does pride look like in your life? Write down how pride and arrogance manifest in your life and how you could start to give thanks in place of it.
- Do you lay your life down? Take a moment to consider the things you place above God. Write down how you can release those things to lay your life down no matter what the circumstances are.