Gratitude is Spiritual Warfare – Words of Grace Blog – November 24, 2023

Gratitude is Spiritual Warfare – Words of Grace Blog – November 24, 2023

A group text message from a pastor friend came in this week with this arresting phrase… “Gratitude is spiritual warfare.” (1) Reading those words brought a liberating conviction in my “glass-half-empty” heart.

As I took a prayer walk armed with the weapon of gratitude, I first realized (again) that I think more about what I am not than what I am, what I don’t have than what I do have, and what I can’t do than what I can do. This kind of thinking gives opportunity to the devil to play around in my mind.

O, to be like the Apostle Paul who said, “I am what I am by the grace of God… I have learned to be content in every situation… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Actually, we can be like Paul. All it takes is repentance, faith, and the ongoing mindfulness of the grace of Christ that leads to gratitude.

Gratitude focuses our minds on God and his grace toward us in Christ. Each piece of spiritual armor mentioned in Ephesians 6 (truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God) is a gift that comes with new life in Christ. Let’s set our minds on Christ and give thanks for each of his gifts as we do battle against the forces of evil.

Gratitude humbles our hearts and banishes the pride of self-sufficiency. Pride was the devil’s downfall. When he spots it in our lives, he sees it as an invitation to come in and make himself at home. But when he sees us praying, he moves on to another house. Let’s shut and lock the door with the humility of grateful dependence upon the Lord.

Gratitude clears up our perspective on who we are, what we have, and what we can do. Now here is where the first battle against the devil was fought and lost. The serpent tempted Adam and Eve to think that God was not letting them be all that they could be, have all that they needed for life, and do what would make them happy. And so, they were ungrateful that they were made in God’s image. They were underwhelmed by all the garden’s provisions for them to enjoy. They became unfulfilled in their ability to cultivate what their Creator had made.

Imagine if, in the face of the devil’s deception, they had broken out in doxology and given thanks to the Lord instead of listening to lies. That’s what Paul did. That’s what we can do.

Declaring with grateful hearts who we are in Christ, what gifts we have in him, and what the surpassing greatness of his power toward us can do is a mighty weapon against the schemes of the devil. Let’s do it.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. This weekend, read Isaiah 36-39 to prepare your heart for the message.


(1) Grateful to Scotty Smith (Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville) for this quote.