(Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks) 

 Please read I Thessalonians 5:18.   This very familiar verse ends with "you".  The Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, is conveying a personal message to every believer.  At the beginning of the verse, we read, "every thing".  These words have the connotation of things not understood.  Every event is an opportunity to thank Him; there are no exceptions.  What are we to give thanks for?  Uppermost, that He is the controlling force behind all people, places, and things.  His Ruling Headship is to be thanked for administrating all events!!  What is the will of God?  It is high and low, successive mountains and valleys, as an undulating wave moving across the ocean.  The Bible typifies His Will as a river.  There is one characteristic common to all rivers:  there is movement, a current.  Oftentimes, we fight to stay in the current of God's Will.  Why is it difficult sometimes to flow along with the current?  Murmuring, complaining, blaming and accusing divert us to the bank of His Will where we take a siesta from doing what we were created to do:  give thanks!  While we point the finger and accuse others of being the cause and the head, the current of His Will passes us by.  We have been known to set up permanent quarters along the bank of His Will, all the while rivers of waters pass us by.  

How do we get back into the river?  Gratitude for His Headship will pull up the stakes of the dwelling constructed  along the bank (a dwelling of ingratitude) and cannonball us back into the moving waters of His Will.  Ingratitude is the origin of imperfection, gratitude is the origin of perfection.  Where is the river of God's Will flowing?  The river terminates at the New City.  Standing on the banks of His Will, dwelling in a house of ingratitude, stalls my forward movement toward the New City.  In His Will the New City becomes ever more a reality as the believer is pushed along by the current of gratitude. Thanks gets us back into His Will.  The Spirit moves in the current as thanks are given for every thing (what is and is not understood).  Give Him thanks for the things we cannot do; give Him thanks for failures; thank Him for being such a stinker!  All He wants me to be is just ME---with all the faults and deficiencies included.  Be grateful for just the way you are and just the way things are!  This will plunge the believer back into the current of His Will.

Please read Philippians 2:13.  We get the will by thanking God for things just the way they are.  Sinful human beings try to "do" without getting the "will".  Gratitude comes first; "will" comes when we thank and the "do" follows easily after.  This word "worketh" means to show forth self, to be mighty in works.  He will show forth His mighty Name and Works over our flesh as we thank Him for all things.  

The Will of God is a wave of highs and lows that moves in a straight path toward the New City.  The Bible talks about tears be shed in heaven.  Why are some redeemed souls crying?  When they see the New City, the joy of escaping death and hell will be diminished. They will understand what they forfeited because of unbelief and ingratitude.  Ingratitude will keep us from entering into the gates of the New City.  With thanksgiving, we will flow through the gates of the New City swimming in the river of God's Will!