What opens the door to God’s heart? The answer is your thankfulness. Thanksgiving is the door to God’s presence. You simply partake of Christ’s sacrifice and wholeheartedly thank God for all the goodness He is beaming toward you. In doing so, you will continually appropriate His life each new day as you love and thank Him.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4)[i]
Practicing the principle of thanksgiving causes the Father to open His heart toward His children in His unrestrained love. Thanksgiving opens up God’s affections and enables Him to lavish His love on you. The one who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors the Lord (Psalm 50:23).
God is the Creator of everything. But there is one thing you are able to give back to Him: a heart of thanksgiving for Who He is and for all that He has provided for you. This is why the Father gave you a free will. He cannot force you to be thankful. But you are free to give back to Him your joyful thanksgiving and praise.
By your will and decision to thankfully receive all that God gives you, you create an ability for yourself to live daily in the atmosphere of His presence. And as you pull this lever of thanksgiving, it releases more of God back to you. Tell Him, “Father, I want to always be hungry for more of Your presence in my life. And I want to see Your presence fill the whole earth.”
Part of being thankful is receiving all that your Father wants to give you each day and letting it be incorporated and absorbed into your innermost being. Let this become a lifestyle. Let it be personal. You may think you have to do many things to serve and please Him. You may tell God you will try to do better. Why? So God will accept you. But He just wants your thankful heart and a determined appropriation of His provision. When you receive what Christ did for you on the cross, you take His forgiveness by faith with thanksgiving. You receive His gift of love by loving Him back and washing His feet with your thankfulness and worship. And He accepts you into His presence.
When you live in this thankful relationship with the Lord, you eliminate worry because there will always be enough of what you need for tomorrow. Paul admonished us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything … with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). Your thankfulness creates a multiplication and awareness of God’s presence that will meet every need. You never want to come to the end of your thankfulness before God, because in so doing you turn off the faucet of an unending flow.
The Jewish people have constant reminders to be thankful to God. In their many blessings and prayers, they acknowledge the LORD God and everything that comes from His hand. In this way, they joyously partake of His goodness. God only asks that you receive and remember Him. David sang, “I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders” (Psalm 9:1). The Father is holding in His hands everything you need—your daily bread—and He is ready to give it to you (Matthew 6:11). Let your thanksgiving take you into His presence and develop a deeper relationship with Him.
[i] All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).