The Power Of Thanksgiving! - Part 2
by Jeanniene Lee
Thanksgiving is powerful, powerful, powerful! Thanksgiving is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare. When we offer thanksgiving to God, it releases His power upon us, in our situation, and in turn activates the hand of God on our every area.
As we approach the holiday season, it is important to understand that Thanksgiving is not a "day," it's a life! As a Christian, Thanksgiving day should not be merely an occasion that we celebrate once a year, thanksgiving should be a continuous expression of worship we offer to our Lord daily!
The biblical definition of the word "thanksgiving," as referenced in the New Testament, is from the Greek word "eucharistia" which means "gratitude; expressions of grateful language to God as an act of worship, thankfulness, giving of thanks, thanksgiving."
The word "thanksgiving," as referenced in the Old Testament, is from the Hebrew word "towdah." Towdah means to "express visible thanks or adoration to God by extending the hands in reverence, coupled with offering a sacrifice of praise through audible confessions of thanks."
Thus, Thanksgiving is expressions of gratitude, gratefulness and thanks to God, from our heart. These expressions of the heart are displayed outwardly to God through words of praise and actions of praise - hands extended towards God, etc. When you lift your hands to God and say "I love you Lord," "I worship you Lord," "Praise you Lord," you are offering thanksgiving to God.
Thanksgiving is two-fold. It is worship in our heart towards God AND outward expressions of what is in our heart towards Him expressed through praise. Worship is the focus of your heart towards God, and praise is the outward expression of the focus of your heart.
Throughout the Bible, we are exhorted to offer unto God thanksgiving.
14 Offer unto God thanksgiving ...
Thanksgiving is a vital key to releasing the power of God in your life! Thanksgiving, beloved, is the most powerful weapon of spiritual warfare. Thanksgiving is worship designed by God to be expressed to Him in the lives of His believers, thus giving Him access to move in our lives.
Let me say it another way. God designed thanksgiving as an essential tool to be implemented in the lives of His followers. When thanksgiving is released from you to God, it activates God. When God is activated, His power - the anointing -- is released to come to your aid and bring about total victory in every area.
His activated power, the anointing, will destroy every single yoke and remove every burden! Shout "Amen!" Somebody!
27 ... and the yoke shall be DESTROYED because of the anointing.
For example, if you walk into a room that is totally dark and you need light in order to find your way, you turn on the light switch. When the switch is turned to the "on" position, immediately a surge of electricity is activated that brings the necessary power to the appropriate outlets in the room. That, in turn, will produce the light demanded by you when you turned the switch to "on."
The same thing occurs in the realm of the spirit when you offer thanksgiving to God. Thanksgiving is the switch that activates the power of God and in turn releases God's anointing upon you, in you and in your situation.
Even though God designed us to worship Him and designed thanksgiving as an instrument that releases His power into our lives, He will not make us worship Him. It is our choice. We must willingly offer thanksgiving to God.
29 And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord, offer it at your own will.
Remember what I said earlier, thanksgiving is both worship and also praise. Worship being the focus of your heart towards God, and praise being the outward expression of the focus of your heart. Beloved, thanksgiving always begins first in your heart.
If you are experiencing heaviness, oppression or depression in your life right now, begin to offer thanksgiving to God; and, when you do this, it will bring God's power on the scene to annihilate that burden of heaviness. He will cloak you with His garment of absolute peace and tranquility which is activated through praise.
Isaiah 61:33 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them ... the GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS . . .
Dear reader, remember, thanksgiving is worship DESIGNED BY GOD TO BE EXPRESSED TO HIM THROUGH HIS BELIEVERS, giving Him access to move in their lives. When thanksgiving is released from you to God, it activates God. When God is activated, His power the anointing is released to come to your aid and bring you total victory! His activated power, the anointing, will destroy the yoke and remove the burden of heaviness, oppression, and depression!
If you read Isaiah 61:1-3, you will see this clearly. In verses one through three, the reference is to God anointing Jesus with the power of the Holy Ghost for a specific purpose - to destroy all the works of the devil and to completely annihilate his power in and over our lives (see Luke 4:16-19, Acts 10:38, I John 3:8).
Furthermore, in Isaiah 61:3, Jesus, who has been anointed by God with Holy Ghost power, gives us something; and, one of the things he gives us is thanksgiving - the ability to release praise to God to activate God's anointing. Shout "Amen!"
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, TO GIVE UNTO THEM beauty for ashes, [TO GIVE UNTO THEM] the oil of joy for mourning. [TO GIVE UNTO THEM] the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness: that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
So, beloved, stand upright on your feet and start praising God right now! Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto God so that He can have access to come on the scene and annihilate the plans of the devil and bring you victory!
The plans of the devil are to destroy you. He does not mean you good in any area. He came to steal, kill, and to destroy in whatever area he can; but, Jesus came to stop him (I John 3:8) and to give you life and abundant life at that (John 10:10)!
STOP THE DEVIL NOW! Completely paralyze him dead in his tracks and make him immobile in every area of your life through releasing thanksgiving to God right now! Thanksgiving activates God's power, and God's power will immobilize the devil!
Colossians 4:2 (Amplified)
2 Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life]. . .with THANKSGIVING.
Thanksgiving, beloved, is a powerful weapon of war! Thanksgiving is worship in action in the form of visible praise to God!
Thanksgiving is released praise to God! When praise is released to God in the midst of war, it brings God on the scene. When praise is released, God is in the midst with you, whether you are in the midst of a battle or whatever situation, for, He inhabits praise. "But thou art holy, O thou that INHABITEST THE PRAISES of Israel" (Psalm 22:3).
Now when Almighty God comes on the scene, in the midst of war, He literally stops, paralyzes, stills the enemy dead in his tracks! Praise brings God's strength on the scene to our defense. When God is present, NO ENEMY can stand up against Him in battle. They are no match for Almighty God! None at all!
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ORDAINED STRENGTH because of thine enemies, THAT THOU MIGHTEST STILL THE ENEMY AND THE AVENGER.
Notice that the first part of that verse states that "out of the mouths of . . .," implying that the strength that is ordained to bring the enemies' works to a halt comes out of our mouths and it comes out in the form of PRAISE! Yes, beloved it's praise!
The word "still" is from the Hebrew word "shabath" which means to desist, to cause to cease, to make cease, to make fail, to suffer to be lacking [in other words, the devil's strategy against you], to put away, to put down, to rid, still, and to take away.
When you offer thanksgiving through expressions of praise in the midst of an attack from your enemy - the devil, it literally paralyzes him and causes his plan to fail completely!
Matthew 21:16 (Amplified)
16 ... Have you never read, Out of the mouths of babes and un-weaned infants You [God] have made (provided) perfect PRAISE?
Psalm 8:2 (Amplified)
2 Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants You have established strength because of Your foes, that You might silence the enemv and the avenger.
Notice that the Lord established praise (thanksgiving) for a specific purpose; and, that purpose is for strength. Strength for us, His children, as a way that we can put a stop to the attack of the enemy in our lives.
When we offer thanksgiving unto God, it releases God's power in our situation and activates the hand of God on our behalf. Thanksgiving is a key ingredient to releasing the power of God! Remember, thanksgiving was designed by God as a means of activating His yoke-destroying, burden-removing anointing power. When God's anointing power is released, it destroys all the works of the devil. Guaranteed!
1 John 3:8
8 ... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.
Jehoshaphat and all of Judah learned firsthand the importance of offering thanksgiving to God in the midst of war. Their praise to God brought God's power on the scene in their defense, and the end result was total victory.
When Jehoshaphat and all of Judah went out to battle, they went out with praise. They went praising the Lord! Praise brought them total victory!
Their hearts were set on worshipping God, so, in the midst of the battle they praised God and praise brought God on the scene and His presence stilled the enemy! Glory to God!
II Chronicles 20:20-2220 And they rose early in the morning and went forth....
21 And when he [Jehoshaphat] had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should PRAISE the beauty of holiness, AS THEY WENT OUT BEFORE THE ARMY, and to say, PRAISE THE LORD; for his mercy endureth forever.
22 And when they began to SING AND TO PRAISE, the Lord set ambushments against [all their enemies].... and they were smitten.
Jehoshaphat and all of Judah did not have to engage in physical battle with their enemy, as God had told them, because God fought the battle for them.
II Chronicles 20:17
17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
Notice, however, that they had a vital part to play in actually winning the battle. In that same verse, 17, where God told them that they would not have to fight in the battle, He also told them to "go out against them." Now, if you don't grasp the fullness of what is being said here, you will think that the verse is contradictory, when it is not.
God was giving them specific instructions, spiritually, of how to win the battle they were up against. He told them how to engage in spiritual warfare with spiritual weapons. True enough, they DID NOT have to engage in physical battle; but, THEY DID HAVE TO ENGAGE IN SPIRITUAL BATTLE!
Remember, Ephesians 6:12-13 declares that"... we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto thee the whole armour of God... ." God's armour IS ALWAYS SPIRITual; for, God is a Spirit (John 4:24).
First, He exhorted them NOT TO FEAR (II Chronicles 20:15). Fear is a spirit (II Timothy 1:7). Fear is the direct opposite of faith and you CAN NOT fear if you plan to win the battle against your enemy! Faith moves God and fear moves the devil! Without faith it is impossible to please God, literally impossible (Hebrews 11:6).
Secondly, He told them to GO OUT AGAINST THEIR ENEMY (II Chronicles 20:16-17). You can not run from your enemy, you must run toward him! All the men of Israel, except David, ran from Goliath their enemy. "And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man [Goliath, their enemy], FLED FROM HIM, and were sore afraid" (1 Samuel 17:24). David however, RAN TOWARD HIS ENEMY, Goliath (1 Samuel 17:48) and prevailed over him and slew him (1 Samuel 17:50).
Jehoshaphat and all of Judah went forth into battle releasing THANKSGIVING as their most powerful weapon of war.
II Chronicles 20:22-24 (Amplified)22 And when they [Jehoshaphat and all of Judah] began to sing and to PRAISE, the Lord set ambushments against [their enemy] the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered;
23 For [suspecting betrayal] the men of Ammon and Moab rose against those of Mount Seir, utterly destroying them. And when they had made an end of the men of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.
24 And when Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked at the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, AND NONE HAD ESCAPED!
Praise caused their enemies to turn from pursuing them and to turn upon themselves and to slaughter one another. Your praise will cause your enemy to become confused and to turn from pursuing you and turn upon his own army. Thanksgiving is an essential ingredient to releasing the power of God! Thanksgiving is also the essential ingredient necessary to unleash the manifested answer to your prayers.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God.
After you've made your particular request known unto God through prayer, offer Him thanksgiving unceasingly. Thanksgiving will bring forth the visible, tangible manifested answer to your prayer.
Paul and Silas discovered firsthand how God's yoke-destroying, burden-removing anointing power is activated through thanksgiving. After being stripped and beaten for preaching the Gospel, they were thrust into prison. Not only in prison, but into the dungeon within the prison. In this place of solitary confinement, their feet were fastened in the stocks which further limited movement.
"But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God ... Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened" (Acts 16:25-26, Amplified).
Their prayers coupled with expressions of thanksgiving (praise) brought total
deliverance not only to Paul and Silas; but, affected all the prisoners as well as the keeper of the prison. Read Acts 16:16-34.
Dear reader, thanksgiving is the link to the anointing power of God. No matter what situation you're experiencing today, if you release thanksgiving to God from your heart, you will activate God's yoke-destroying, burden-removing anointing power.
When God's anointing power is released, it will come to your aid and will literally smash that situation of distress and oppression to smithereens.
I heard the testimony of a pastor's wife who had been called to the home of a couple to pray for their young baby who was having convulsions and seizures.
As she, and the others accompanying her, began to pray fervently and aggressively binding and rebuking the powers of darkness, the baby's condition only worsened.
Suddenly, she heard the Lord say to her spirit to begin to praise and worship Him (offer thanksgiving). Softly she began to offer thanksgiving to God. Gradually all the others joined in. Immediately the convulsions and seizures stopped.
When they noticed the baby had calmed down, they all stopped worshipping and praising God. Suddenly the small infant began to experience convulsions and seizures once again. Again, the pastor's wife heard the Lord say in her spirit to praise and worship Him (offer thanksgiving).
Once again, they all began to offer thanksgiving to God. Again, the convulsions and seizures stopped; but, this time instead of stopping when the baby's condition appeared stable, they continued right on in thanksgiving.
After a period of time, they noticed the baby was sound asleep. Through the power of thanksgiving, God completely and totally healed and delivered the young infant who never experienced another attack from that day. Shout "Amen!" Somebody! Truly, THANKSGIVING IS POWERFUL AND RELEASES GOD'S POWER.
Keep thanksgiving alive every single day of your life, it's crucial to experiencing God's power and anointing in every area of and in every situation in your life! Begin to live a life of thanksgiving starting today!