A CANOPY OF PROTECTION
Warning! Ingratitude brings destruction! The Israelites were punished over and over again for their grumbling, and these things were written as examples for us. When Israel praised God, they were able to defeat their enemies. When they complained, they lost the battle.
If murmuring opens the back door to the enemy, perhaps the opposite is also true. Thanksgiving shuts the back door on the enemy. A thankful heart establishes a protective covering over us. It reminds me of the two choirs that sang on opposite sides of the walls of Jerusalem. Their voices could be heard far away, and God gave them rest from their enemies. A canopy of protection was formed by their praises.
This is not a magic formula for blessings but I believe we crown Him Lord over all that concerns us when we thank Him. He is Sovereign. He reigns over every situation we encounter and that in itself is enough reason to thank Him.
The giving of thanks is a powerful tool, a weapon of warfare. It brings a covering over our lives. It shuts the door to the enemy. Let’s practice it in every situation we encounter. Hopefully, the following verses will encourage us in the process.
Read each week’s passage in two or more versions of the Bible. It’s a good idea to write your answers in a notebook and then post your comments on Facebook. It will hopefully prompt a lot of good discussion from those participating. Suggestion: download an app from Bible Gateway to bring up three different versions on the screen at one time. It’s a great tool.
Read about two miracles in John 6:11 and John 11:41-44
1. What were the miracles and what preceded them? What can you thank God for today as you present your requests to Him?
Read Psalm 100:4, Psalm 95:2 and Psalm 50:23
2. What do these verses tell us to do with thanksgiving and praise? What results from our thanks in Psalm 50:23? Why is it called a “sacrifice?”
Read Job 1:20-22
3. How did Job respond to the tragedy of loss in his life? What did he not do?
Read Roans 1:21-22
4. What did the people fail to do and what happened to their “thinking” as a result? What does this verse say to you personally?
Even those of us who know God can fail to glorify Him and neglect to thank Him for His goodness. This verse tells us that ungratefulness will pervert our thinking. It takes us into an arena of darkness that prevents us from seeing the way God does. What a challenge for us believers. I believe that “thanking” changes our “thinking.” Are you thinking (about fears and projecting your own solutions) or thanking God for all He is and does? It’s a challenge we all need to take!
Read Ephesians 5:4 with Psalm 35:28
5. What should not come out of our mouths? What should we voice?
Personal application: how do these verses apply to your present situation?
As you study these verses and read what others have shared, take note of who is struggling. Do you identify with their comments? As you post your own honest struggles, let that person know you understand and are praying for them. They just might pray for you. It’s what the Body of Christ is all about!
Remember, I hope you will respond and interact with me and with others on our Facebook page. May God bless us as we study and interact together around His Word.