Gratitude: The Key To Our Next Steps
CLARITY… DIRECTION… PURPOSE.
I’m sure we’ve all asked for it at some point because we all want to make the right decisions, and we all need to know that the decisions we make will benefit our lives and the lives of those we love, right? In full transparency, sometimes I just do not understand God’s plan and purpose for how He chooses to move in my life. If I am not careful, that lack of understanding can blur my vision to the blessings, favor, grace and gifts God has provided.
One of the many things I love about God is how concerned He is with what concerns us. When we come to Him and ask Him for HIS will in a matter, He gets excited that we are asking for His advice! Whether we are seeking God’s will for our lives in our jobs, family, relationships, friendships, finances or some other situation, His Word says that He will show us the path to take.
“Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” - Proverbs 3:6 (NLT)
How does gratitude lead us to God’s will and the path He has laid out for us to follow? A mentor of mine once said, “God reveals the next step for your life when your heart is positioned in a posture of consistent gratitude.”
With Thanksgiving less than a month away, and today being the first day of November, thankfulness is all around us. I love seeing people post or tweet about something they are grateful for each day in the month of November… mostly because it is such a great reminder that -no matter how big or small- there is always something to be grateful for. But also, because it reminds me personally to just be present in every single moment of each day. To take each day as it comes and consciously express gratitude for the present moment and the people with whom I am so blessed to share those moments.
I decided to make a conscious effort to take the time to think about, and then write down, the things for which I am grateful– not just during the month of November – but for this entire year. Yes… this year that has been filled with countless frustration, devastation, illness, death, political turmoil, racial tension, and uncertainty is still packed full of things for which to express gratitude.
When we pray for things like clarity, direction, and purpose, we are praying for access and access denied. In praying for His will, and expressing consistent gratitude for our present circumstances, not only does He provide the path, but He also cuts off access to the wrong path. As we continue to trust Him, and as we continue to surrender our will in exchange for His, He begins to make sense of it all.
Closed doors sting bad. The word “no” is never easy to hear, and rejection hurts. Sometimes closed doors can appear to be crippling to our progress and disabling to our ability to move forward. But I have learned those closed doors are only meant to direct us toward the path God’s will was leading us to take all along. The quickest way to see that path is to remain in a posture of gratitude day in and day out.
God delights in showing us which decision is best because He has given us free will. When we exercise that free will to CHOOSE HIS WILL, and express our eternal gratitude for His provision in opened and closed doors… He responds by answering with undeniable clarity! Psalm 37: 4-5, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” (NLT)
John 13:7, “Jesus replied, ‘You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.’” (NLT)
You are so gracious. You are so holy. You love when we come boldly before Your throne, so we come today with hearts surrendered to Your perfect will and perfect timing. We desire to do Your will, so we ask that as we position our hearts to express gratitude, You provide clarity. Help us to recognize the leading of Your Holy Spirit, and to obey all that You are asking us to do. Open our eyes to see the gifts, the blessings, the favor, and the grace You give to us each day for which we can be grateful. Thank you that we never need to strive to pursue what You have planned for us, but we can simply remain in a posture of gratitude and watch as You make everything clear. We accept both access given, and access denied when it comes to the path You have chosen for us. Thank You for being faithful to Your Word.
In Jesus’ Name… Amen.