The first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims came after an intense battle for freedom. They came from a place of confinement where religion & multiculturalism were trying to squeeze spiritual life out of them. Their desire to worship God alone led them across the ocean to the New World, a promised land. God showed them the way and they risked it all for freedom. After the arduous journey in which many died, the surviving pilgrims did not get to sit back and enjoy their freedom. They continued to fight to establish a new way of life. The territory was unfamiliar and the natives were not always friendly. They had to rely on establishing relationships in order to learn how to build their new community. Sickness and death threatened to wipe them out, while hunger drove them on. Yet, God kept His hand upon them. They persevered and their crops grew. While on their journey to the new land, the Christian pilgrims had spent time in Holland with a community of Sephardic Jews. They learned of the Feasts of the Lord and experienced the Feast of Tabernacles in a way they probably never had done before. The Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of harvest and a time of remembering how the Lord had brought the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage into the Promised Land. I’m sure the pilgrims felt an instant connection with the Jews since they were in the middle of their own journey to their Promised Land. When their first harvest came in the New World, they celebrated by giving thanks and praise to God, their Deliverer and their Sustainer. Their hearts were full of thanksgiving which compelled them to worship the One who made it all possible. Years later, President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, but the Spirit of the holiday is rooted in the Feast of Tabernacles.
Why is this significant? Because God established this nation for His purpose. The Pilgrims didn’t just wander to the New World, they were sent by Him. He ordained their steps and planted them here to establish His covenant root. Before stepping foot on the new land, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact. This document represents the first time free and equal men entered into a covenant with God and each other to create a new society based on biblical principles. The celebration of Thanksgiving is a celebration of covenant with God! When the Pilgrims convened their first celebration of harvest, rooted in the Feast of Tabernacles, they established God’s order in America. They forever staked this nation to God.
Since that time, evil forces have risen against God’s covenant in the land. There has been a deliberate plan to destroy this nation and its people, but God has heard the cry of His people. Just as the Israelites cried out to God in their slavery in Egypt, many have sought the Lord through prayers, tears, prophetic declarations and the demolition of strongholds that tried to separate us from our original destiny and our Father God. The 2016 election initiated God’s response to our prayers. In His great mercy, God has shown favor to America and given us a second chance. God chose President Trump to clear the way for a new path forward. Father God has issued a call to return to Him and the blessings He originally intended for this nation. He is interested in capturing our hearts and showing us the beauty of having relationship with Him. Because so much of the teaching we received was tainted by the enemy, many do not understand the Heart of the Father and what the original intent of His covenant was. Many do not understand that He is Good, Faithful and True. Though the enemy has been working for many years subtly infiltrating every sphere of society, the past three years have blatantly revealed the enemy and his takeover plan. The battle lines have become clear for all to see. It’s been ugly, sad and infuriating to see so many souls lost and confused. They have been deceived by the enemy’s wicked schemes, but God is not content to leave them there. He is merciful and looking for those that will give their lives to rescue those that are caught in the devil’s web. Every person was created in His image and they have great value, regardless of their present behaviors. God loves and He sees us in our broken state. His arm is mighty to save, Jesus already paid the price.
Thankfully, America is waking up! Still the question remains – Will we return to God and experience healing in the land, or will we continue to do things our own way and reap the consequences? The Bible repeats this story throughout history and is very instructive for us at this time. It is this covenant and our Christian heritage that made America the greatest nation on earth. No other nation has our history; America is a nation built on biblical principles for the benefit of all. It has never been about controlling people and forcing them to be Christian. It was about establishing laws and norms that honored God which in turn, resulted in the entire nation being blessed. The battle for the recovery of our nation is just as fierce as it was when the pioneers and pilgrims fought to establish this land.
Our great privilege is to offer Him our praise and thanksgiving and put our trust in Him. Remember those that have gone before, the Israelites, the Pilgrims, the warriors, soldiers and many more that have fought in pursuit of the Promised Land. Our fight is not in vain. We make our appeal to Heaven, and God fights the battle. We give Him the little that we have and He causes it to multiply. He is the miracle-working God! God is pouring out mercy and grace so that we can move forward quickly. Those that choose to partner with Him will experience great joy and peace even in the midst of the battle. We can trust Him completely knowing that without Him opening the way in 2016, our nation was doomed for destruction. He is pouring out His Spirit in unprecedented ways and He is going to reap His harvest. If you keep looking for Him, you will see Him moving everywhere!
Let us join our hearts with His. As we give thanks, remember that our Thanksgiving tables are our altar of sacrifice. Let us offer ourselves back to Him and join Him in reaping a harvest of souls for His Kingdom. This lost world needs Jesus! The truth is, He is here and His desire is to bless. It’s time to give thanks!