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Recently I have been taking it upon myself to recount the many blessing of the Lord in my life. In particular, I have been recounting His blessings and thanking God out loud, incorporating this practice into my personal times of praise and worship. I have found that doing this opens up a deeper place of encounter with God.

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Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised… Psalm 96:1-4 and 1 Chronicles 16:25-25 NKJV
 

Recently I have been taking it upon myself to recount the many blessing of the Lord in my life. In particular, I have been recounting His blessings and thanking God out loud, incorporating this practice into my personal times of praise and worship. I have found that doing this opens up a deeper place of encounter with God.

Taking time for personal praise and worship that includes thanksgiving reminds us that our God has always been good and faithful to us. It reminds us of how trust worthy He is. It should also remind us of how foolish we are for not trusting him.

Let me be clear, I am not talking about a nice neat time of praise and worship with a little side of thanksgiving. I am talking about being willing to humble yourself in place of thanksgiving. Confessing out loud with honesty all of the places He stepped in and changed things. Confessing all those moments where if had not been for the Lord…I am talking about a focused time where sincere tears and laughter, joy and sorrow are necessary forms of expression. You should try it some time. Some of us need this and are scared to death of what might happen if we really locked in on Jesus. Oh friends, He is so good! He is waiting to meet with you.

Incorporating thanksgiving into our praise and worship causes us to pay attention to Jesus in a way that magnifies Him in our present situation (Psalm 69:30). What’s more is that this opens our eyes to consider both our present and future from the perspective of heaven. Whatever emotion, adversity, or situation we were grappling with when we began, suddenly we are very aware of our God in midst of it all. It is an awesome moment when the believer in Christ gets a little bit of understanding of what “greater is He that is in me” really means (1 John 4:4). Whatever song we were singing before can change. Through thanksgiving, Holy Spirit is waiting to write a new song on our hearts.

When I begin thanking Him for what He has done, how He has saved me, rescued me, and intervened on my behalf I become confident that as I trust in Him, He will continue to working in me and on my behalf. My eyes are open to all of the places He has made available for me to truly and intimately know Him. In particular when I remove the pretenses of “me” in control, as I give thanks in worship the bible teaches us that He will reveal Himself in and through us in a way that only increases His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). If that doesn’t give you a new song to sing about your future then I don’t know what will. Friends we have a reason to tell the whole earth, the nations, yes, all the peoples just how awesome our God is. This is why thanksgiving is a hallmark of revival. You want His presence? Give thanks!

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.
Psalm 100:4 NIV

… the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
Daniel 11:32 NKJV

Thanksgiving is not just a spiritual discipline or an attitude of the heart, but it pulls back the veil of “me” centered thinking. Simultaneously it fixes our eyes on Jesus in a way that causes the gateways of our lives stop swinging inward into ourselves establishing us on a course of recycled despair or indifference. Thanksgiving establishes “He” centered thinking and opens the gateways of His presence inside of us for a satisfying encounter with the Lord, strong and mighty, our Good Father, our Savior, our Friend. Whatever song we were singing before, a new song of thanksgiving becomes the better!

What are you waiting for? Get busy giving thanks and let Holy Spirit draw you into His gates. Let Him give you a new song that tells others of His goodness. You need to, more than you know. Imagine what could happen if every believer would have a thanksgiving encounter with Jesus that authors a new song inside of us?

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in Him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, LORD my God, are the wonders You have done, the things You planned for us. None can compare with You; were I to speak and tell of Your deeds, they would be too many to declare.
Psalm 40:2-5 NIV