…God has used gratitude to transform my “fatloss” journey from the inside out…This multi-part posting on gratitude is shared hopefully to demonstrate in part how gratitude can transform your life, too!…

I think it is awesome that the “sons of Korah” learned from their great-granddaddy’s mistakes!

It is soooo much better to be a “mere” gatekeeper…to know you are in the heart of God’s will than to be up on a stage or anywhere else when you are not called. It is this way with everything…it is so much better to joyfully delight in that to which God calls…even if it is a supposed “pittance” of what we may think we “deserve” than to have all we want to lay claim to…if it is out of God’s will. No thanks!

What does all this stuff about the Kohathites and Korah have to do with gratitude? I hope the connection becomes obvious soon if it hasn’t already.

Psalm 84 is a psalm of gratitude from where I sit. Korah (and I) lacked gratitude as we looked with envy at the roles of others and we thought we wanted what they had.

Relative to food and eating, I can be a Korah when I longingly yearn for that to which God doesn’t call me to eat…and resent that it “only” takes a fraction of the amount of food I *want* to be what my body *needs*…Better is 1/3 of a portion that God calls me to eat than a thousand portions of that to which he doesn’t call! (Ok, I am stretching things a bit for the “weight-conscious” folks visiting this blog…but I hope the connection works for you! :-))

The key for me in all of this has been…what did KORAH focus on? What did he fix his eyes on? The answer…seems to me it was that which was not his.

Psalm 34:3 in the New American Standard Bible says:

O magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

When you use a magnifying glass, what are you trying to do? Typically, uses for magnifying glasses include:
1.) Making things look bigger than they are
2.) Seeing details
3.) Focusing intentionally on something
4.) Studying it

Korah had a critical spirit magnifier. So did I when I came to church all the time. I would allow anything and everything I could find to criticize fill my vision as if I had a big old magnifying lens fixated on it.

What are YOU magnifying? Are you like me or Korah, using a magnifier to make things that bug you look even BIGGER?

Or are you allowing yourself to magnify the LORD. We can’t make him bigger than he is! He is so worthy of all our attention, study, focus, and exaltation. We can make him “bigger” in our lives or we can make trials, irritations, worries “bigger.” What will it be?

O come magnify the LORD with me!

Sometimes when we magnify things that irritate us, little things get so big that we think we have to change them in order for our lives to be happy again. We can make some really stupid decisions if we aren’t careful. If we take a step back and allow the Lord to fill our vision (Be Thou my vision…oh Lord of my heart…), we can get a more godly perspective. Sometimes, if we feel like we are being faced with a bunch of BIG decisions, it isn’t so much a decision that needs to be made. If we have been in a habit of magnifying irritants and difficuties, this is especially so…we feel like we have to change churches, change jobs, move out of the neighborhood…all at once! Could this possibly be God’s will? Well, maybe, but if we feel like we can’t figure out God’s will, maybe it is because of the magnifier fixated on the wrong thing. We can’t make a decision about what God’s will is because his will is plain and just not something we want to hear…

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says what it is!

…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

So what is God’s will? To give thanks. When? In all circumstances.

The word “thanks” above is also translated “gratitude” elsewhere in the New Testament. It is so easy to magnify anything and everything else *but* the Lord! If we take our magnifiers off of the circumstances and on to the Lord, we can give GRATITUDE even in these circumstances…and know that we are in the heart of God’s will.

Yes, decisions may still need to be made, but made from a seat of wisdom and gratitude rather than a seat of discontentment. This is so vital!

I love that this verse says to GIVE thanks. It doesn’t tell us to be thankFULL. We can’t just drum up a heart FULL of feelings of thanks. But we can, with an act of our will CHOOSE, in faith, to GIVE thanks. In fact, if, with an act of my will I choose to GIVE thanks, thankFULLness may follow.

The questions before me are:
–> What will I choose to magnify?
* Will I magnify what God is doing?
* Will I magnify his character? I know he is good, sovereign, perfect, loving…
* Or will I magnify my irritations, complaints, trials and difficulties?

Whatever I choose to magnify…that is what will be BIGGER and LARGER than LIFE and consume my vision…until that is all I can see.

I promise to wrap this up in the next couple of days…

Tomorrow, a “Tale of Two Grandmas…” 🙂

…to be continued…