“Let the peace of Christ, to which you were indeed called in one body, rule in your hearts; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:15-17
Everything we read as a command in this passage is in fact a gift given to the disciple who is fully surrendered to our God. This includes the thankfulness. These gifts flow into us when we are found to be living in the relationship described at the start of this chapter. “Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
All things we seek in our life with Christ are given to us when we are fully surrendered to our God. They come to us when we recognize and live as those raised up into Christ Himself, seeking only those things of Christ in this life, and having our minds set or fixed upon the higher, divine life of Christ that is ours because we are hidden into Christ.
Watchman Nee wrote, “God will not give me humility, or patience, or holiness, or love as separate investments of His grace. He has given only one gift to meet our need, His Son Christ Jesus.” If I might expand on his words, it would read, “God will not give you humility, patience, holiness as separate investments of His grace. Nor will He give you love, peace, a heart of worship, gratitude, better behavior, or understanding of the word as separate investments of His grace. He gives you only one gift to meet every need in all your living. That gift is Himself, His life lived in place of yours by His Holy Spirit in you.”
If you seek to be more grateful on this Thanksgiving Day, the answer is found in absolute surrender to the Spirit and work of Christ in you in place of your own life and efforts. A heart of gratitude, along with love, peace, worship, and holy living, come into us with the full working of the Holy Spirit. We cannot generate these by our own human efforts, no matter how sincere we might be. We can only come to true holy living by His life lived in place of ours. Vance Pitman wrote “Stop living for Jesus so Jesus can live through you.” Sound wisdom.
As you celebrate and give thanks for what your God has done so far in you, be encouraged by what He still intends to in you by way of full surrender. Truly, “What no eye has seen, and no ear has heard, and has not entered into heart of man, what God has prepared for those loving Him” (1 Corinthinans 2:9). This passage is often taught as referring to heaven, but the context is this life now. “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” Not only will He give you more than you can imagine in terms of His life lived in you, but he will add the gratitude that is due Him for His indescribable gift of His life in us.
May every day of your life be a day of life lived by the Spirit of Christ in you, in place of your own life. Then you will truly experience gratitude as an ongoing gift of your God in you. Everyday will be Thanksgiving Day!
“The soul is restored through union with God.” – Leanne Payne