A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

November 29, 2019

Psalm 95:2-3

Let us come before His presence with a song of thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with songs.
For the LORD is a great God
And a great King above all gods

     I am definitely experiencing this Thanksgiving season with unrivaled joy and praise for my Lord! Mark and I just returned from a four-day retreat in which we worked with others to minister to 37 military veterans and I got to see 24 of them have an encounter with the Risen Christ! Nothing can surpass that spiritual high of seeing so much pain from the devil being washed away by the Living Presence of Jesus! And I am praying that this experience only multiplies in the Thanksgivings to come.
     Although not everyone has the opportunity [or the desire] to do this Kingdom work, we should all be wary of shortchanging our God with our gratitude. We all need to remember that the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  It is easy to give thanks for those things that come easily -- our family, friends, our health, our job, God's provision.  But notice that Paul said everything!  
     So, what exactly does that mean? Are we supposed to give thanks for the minor stuff like our aches and pains, the difficult people in our lives, the mounting bills on our desk?  And, Paul couldn't possibly mean that we're supposed to give thanks for the sinful world we see all around us -- the immoral culture, the apostate Church, and the escalating evil that abounds in the world, can he?
     Instead of focusing on all the pain and sadness and anxiety that all those things -- both great and small -- bring to our mind and hearts, wouldn't it be nice this Thanksgiving to actually put into practice the words of Psalm 95?  To come before His presence with shouts of joy and songs, in full spiritual recognition that no matter what is going on in our lives or in the world, He is a great God and a great King above all gods?
     You see, I think we Christians tend to give thanks for all the things that we can see or have taken notice of.  But when we thank Him for EVERYTHING, we begin to see Him for Who He is and all that He has done.  So what does that really look like?  
     Have you ever thought about thanking Him for all the times He said, "No", and for unanswered prayer because it not only made you depend on Him more, but humbled you to admit that He knew what was best for you?  What about thanking Him for the things He withheld from you, and for protecting you from things you may never realize ... and the closed doors that may have frustrated you, when, in fact He mercifully kept you from going places He did not want you to go.  
     As we celebrate our traditional holidays this year, will we see it as more than just family, friends, and food?  Will we take advantage of these days that are designed to give thanks and which are dedicated to our great God -- to the LORD who has given us an inheritance in the heavenly places, which is something greater than all the possessions of this world?  Will we thank God for the greatest gift He could ever give us: forgiveness through His perfect Son's death on the cross on our behalf? 
     And then will we take the next step and give Him thanks that He has provided a way for us to release all the lonely times, the tears, the uncertainties, the failures and personal losses ... all our pain? In fact, will we recognize that He not only died on that Cross to forgive our sins and give us eternal life, but that He went to the Cross to set us free and He wants what He died for! He wants you to surrender all your pain and He wants you to live the rest of your life Wonderfully and Completely free!
     This holiday season, it needs to be all about HIM and HIS KINGDOM! I've spent too many Thanksgivings and Christmases focused on what He's done for me, and that is certainly valid and His due. But now, I want to demonstrate my thankfulness by concentrating on what I can do for Him. My salvation is accomplished; my eternal life is secure; but now I want to dedicate however many days are left to me on this earth to fulfilling His purpose for my life in glorifying Him and His Kingdom. 
     I want everyone to know what a GREAT GOD and a GREAT KING He is! I want everyone to understand their true identity as His Kingdom representatives on earth, and to know their Kingdom assignments in this life. We are not meant to just glide through this life until the day we are called Home. We are seated in Heaven with our Lord and Master and we have the same access to His counsel as He did when He walked this earth and heard from our Father in Heaven. 
     My prayer for each of you this Thanksgiving is that you will truly understand and experience that you can come into His presence; that you can experience such spiritual joy that you want to shout of His greatness and goodness in your life, and how the world can serve His Majesty, the King of Heaven ... in all circumstances and in all ways.
     Finally, I want to leave you with a couple of additional Scriptures that I think will inspire you.  The first comes from the Old Testament, but joins with the verses from Psalm 95 to give us special inspiration for the times in which we live.  It is Isaiah 12:4 ... In that day you will say: "Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted."  The second comes from our Lord Himself, in Matthew 24:14 ... Yet through it all, this joyful assurance of the realm of heaven’s kingdom will be proclaimed all over the world, providing every nation with a demonstration of the reality of God. And after this the end of this age will arrive.  
     Let us fulfill our purpose this holiday season -- and every day for the rest of our lives -- to make the Kingdom of Heaven on earth known throughout the world; to participate with Jesus in giving everyone a demonstration of His very real presence in their lives; and to plant Kingdom seeds that the Holy Spirit can water and grow. 
     So, I pray that you and your families had a most Blessed Thanksgiving; a day filled with gratitude for all that our Great God and King have done, are doing, and will do in our lives. And I urge you to move from gratitude to being a spiritual force in the world for the Kingdom. If you truly want to thank Jesus, serve the Kingdom and your King! 

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