The secret? It starts with Christmas carols. "Joy to the World." "O Holy Night." "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing." The timeless truth captured in these familiar carols are keys that help you unlock the supernatural presence of God during the Christmas season.
I see two problems with how the church world currently handles the Christmas season—a time of great opportunity for spiritual harvest.
One, we have created a Christian culture where, more than usual, we adhere to an expected religious routine and refuse to deviate from standard church practice. During the Christmas season, we have three to four months that typically lead up to our big Dec. 24 church services. It is over this time period that we break out our "Christmas series."
More and more leaders are actually borrowing their Christmas sermons from other people and churches. This has got to stop. No, the practice of using someone else's material is not unbiblical or inherently wrong. However, when these resources replace our need to be synced up with the Holy Spirit's agenda, they become powerless and void of effectiveness.
We have our Christmas musicals, caroling events, cantatas, parties and more. The protocol varies slightly from church to church and from denomination to denomination, but what we do has, in many places, become routine, traditional and expected. Now, there is nothing wrong with tradition—unless it nullifies the power of God.
I am afraid that in our modern-day approach to Christmas, we have nullified the power of God by upholding standard practices over an openness to the unusual and supernatural. We need to break free from the trap of expectation and tradition and ask, "Holy Spirit, what's on Your agenda for this Christmas season?"
Two, we have become spectators, not participants, in the Christmas worship experience. In times past, I thought Christmas carols should actually be outlawed from our worship sets because people (including myself) immediately went into concert mode. For some reason, this shift happens. It is easy to sing "How Great Is Our God" with passionate zeal and outstretched arms while it is much easier to sing "Joy to the World" with hands in our pockets.
Reflect on the lyrics to some of these Christmas carols that we have become so familiar with:
- "Let earth receive her King." This is a prophetic statement of intercession.
- "In His name all oppression shall cease." This declares the chain-breaking power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- "Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings." These lyrics herald the miraculous healing power of the Savior.
Let's start to really consider what we are singing, and let's sing like we believe these lyrics are true.
The enemy tries to keep us from participating in the power of the Christmas season for a good reason. He is well aware of the threat that we become to darkness during this time of year because of the global momentum that is released. There is an unusual agreement that takes place on the earth as voices come together and celebrate the Person of Jesus Christ in song. This does not take place at any other time of year (to this public extent), so the very fact that we have this level of global harmony about Jesus demands our focus.
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