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« The Day AFTER Christmas | Main | Make it Personal »

The Time of Christmas

Most of us love Christmas time.  Never are the children happier, the smiles wider, the decorations more vibrant, or the atmosphere more joyous than during this blessed season.  Christmas creates excitement in an otherwise humdrum existence.  But, it can have a downside as well.  The hectic pace of Christmas can be hazardous to your spiritual health.  It is ironic that the celebration of Christ can also jeopardize a believer’s relationship with Christ.   Keep an eye out for some red flags that threaten your time with God.  Your time can be sharply degraded by allowing these influences to prevail.  You must define them, oppose them, and overcome them. 

Busyness.  Your spiritual capacity gets depleted daily, and as holidays approach, the schedule can become delirious.   If you wouldn’t drive past a gas station if your fuel gauge says empty—no matter how high the price per gallon may be, or no matter how busy you are—why would you bypass a few moments to talk with God?  If you find yourself running past your times of refreshing, God is furiously waving a red flag of warning in front of you.  Slow down and worship.

Negativity.  Refuse to allow Christmas to turn peace into tension.  A nagging doubt, a flash of cynicism or a feeling that the holiday is a time waster may be symptoms of encroaching unbelief.  These may be common human weaknesses, but don’t dismiss them as harmless.  If you find yourself struggling with negativity, you need to counter it with ingesting the Word of God and stepping up the intensity of your prayer time. 

False constructs.  Give yourself a gift.  Buy a book or DVD that will enhance your time with God.  Make your prayer time interesting.  Don’t get locked into a rigid viewpoint on the act of praying.  Mindless repetition, insistence on a certain kind of prayer, or any prayer that seems mechanical or sterile will eventually cause you to lose vibrancy in your relationship with God.  Spontaneity and sensitivity to God’s Spirit breathes life into your time with God. 

False prisms.  Just as a prism redirects light, so also can books, magazine articles, telecasts, blogs, and the people in your life redirect your thinking about God, prayer, and all things spiritual.  Not everyone shares your good feelings about Christmas.  If your close associates have an evil heart, or are motivated by carnality, or if they have a wrong view of God, their opinions can interfere with the purity of your relationship with God.  God doesn’t want to hear someone else’s thoughts.  He wants a direct line into your heart.  Ultimately, discipleship comes down to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Fear.  Receiving good tidings of great joy may first call for confrontation with yourself.  Deep, introspective prayer may dredge up sludge you’ve tried hard to forget.  Fear of self-examination, fear of the pangs of conscience, fear of a negative effect on present relationships, fear of divine orders to rectify a problem, and much more, all serve as roadblocks to efficacy with God.  Remember, your relationship with God can only be as strong as your willingness to be transparent.  Whatever your fear may be, God’s grace is sufficient to cover it.

Jesus showed us how to pray productively.  And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. Matthew 14:23. The most important prayer that was ever prayed was a deliberate, separated place.  Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:36-39. 

The time you spend with God—in seclusion, in transparency, in introspection—will become your greatest source of spiritual strength.  The only reason you feel overwhelmed at Christmas time is if you neglect your time with God.  Make your devotions privileged times.  Everything else can wait. 

Have a truly blessed Christmas! 

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Reader Comments (1)

I have been 'back with HIM for my 4th Christmas now. At 75 I have none of the above; just PEACE and JOY, total THANKFULNESS that He now lets me celebrate this season with Him

The nly 'problem' I have (and I have all the time) is - the souls that don't know Jesus in Truth.

December 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

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