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Seeds of the Kingdom

How To Approach God

by Philip Asselin

7 December 2022

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“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Psalm 100:4, NIV

I found this verse quite challenging. It reminded me that I tend to come to God with a list of things that I need Him to do for me. At times it is a long list! I might start with a word of praise, but I quickly lapse into my requests! In this verse God is telling us that we need to start a journey in our time with Him. From the moment that we wake up our thanks to God should fill our minds and hearts and that will set the seal on how we start our day. It needs to begin with thanksgiving. Thanking Him for all He has done for us. Until we make an effort to stop asking God and begin thanking God, we can remain stuck in a place of ingratitude. But once we start to list all the things we should thank God for, then our focus begins to move from us and our problems, to God and His all sufficiency.

The Hebrew word translated ‘thanksgiving’ is Towdah, which actually means the ‘gift of thanks’. This declares that our thanksgiving is an offering/gift that we bring to our glorious King as we enter into His presence. It some cultures it is important to bring a gift when you visit. Our gift is the offering of our thanksgiving for all He has done for us. Every day we should bring that offering of thanksgiving to our great God for all He has done for us. When we do so we enter His gates – drawing nearer into His presence.

But God desires us to draw closer still and not be satisfied with just being inside His gates. He wants us to enter into His courts – closer still. It should be a natural progression from thanksgiving to that of expressing our praise. Praise is vocal, it’s joyous, it is enthusiastic and it should flow naturally from us once we have considered and vocalized to God all that we have to thank Him for.

I appreciate that for some readers giving God thanksgiving and praise may be a very challenging thing to do at this time. You may be suffering personal loss, ill health, financial difficulties and much more. Yet, God is always worthy of our thanksgiving and praise and in doing so we develop an attitude of gratitude as we turn our thoughts away from what we have lost/don’t have to the One who really is worthy of all our praise. In doing so we draw closer and closer into His presence. May that be true of us all today.

Philip Asselin Philip is on the associate ministry and teaching teams with Glyndley Manor. He and his wife Gillian attended the second Healing Retreat at Glyndley Manor in 1992, and were greatly helped. They have two grown up children, one grandson, and a step-granddaughter in California, and a daughter and granddaughter in Eastbourne. His desire is to see people healed and set free to serve God.

 

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