The Backhanded Temptation
A part of life’s journey is the continuous greeting of temptation. Some are more obvious than others and amazingly they arrive in numerous forms. As a result, I have learned to pray for increased discernment.
One of the behaviors I had to grow in the awareness of was that of consciously thanking God in the “good” times. I needed to break the habit (–the backhanded temptation–) of having as the motivating reason for humbly coming to the Lord, that of listing needs and wants. Sure, I would regularly pray for others too and it would be common that I would include expressions of gratitude, but at some point I noticed that I would for sure make time for God when I had a need…or when someone asked me to pray for her/his need, again there I was bringing to Him a need.
Upon reflection, it had been easy to develop this way. It seemed like most of the gospel songs of which I listened to then evidenced situations of people needing God. Most of the sermons I heard seemed to highlight a people in a place of need. The alter callings seemed to be marketed to those in need. As a result, in my adulthood I would take my worries, my concerns, my problems to the Lord because that is what I was taught to do. This is what I still do and what I believe I should do, but in doing so at that time I can honestly say that there were many, many times when I would forget to pray and I noticed that it was more probable that I would forget during times when things were going well. Isn’t that something? Am I the only Christian with this experience?
When I fed them, they were satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud;
then they forgot me. —Hosea 13:6
I am thankful for this awareness. Interestingly, it came as a result of being overwhelmed with happiness and needing to express it. Guess where I turned? That’s right. I turned to God to say, “Thank You”.
I have recently watched God manifest a series of miracles in my life. They are so awesome to see. As I type this, I am smiling with excitement because God is truly amazing. I am very conscious that in this time of life, I have an expressively grateful heart. As a result, it would not be unusual for me to pray and have moments when I just take a minute to say, “Thank You God” and just start listing stuff. When you KNOW that you KNOW that God is REAL, sometimes you just have to take a moment and list the blessings He is truly doing, has done, and will do in your life. (Amen.) As my relationship with God deepens, I find that just as determined as I was to express to Him my concerns, I am just as excited to say, “Thank You.” His presence in my life is much too appreciative for me to forget to acknowledge His blessings along the way. It’s funny. I am finding that I am even more blessed by doing so.