I hate to admit this but after years of hearing Christmas songs sometimes they have become so familiar that I’m not fully engaged when I sing them in a church service. I know you are thinking I have a “ba humbug” spirit, I need some Christmas counseling, and you may be correct. But this past Sunday it was different. Our family was visiting church with some friends and as the praise team was leading a Christmas Classic I was overwhelmed. I can’t fully explain it-it was as if every word flew off the screen, captured my mind, and flooded my heart with a heavenly zeal.
After the service as we drove to a family Christmas gathering we all testified to a similar experience. In fact it wasn’t just the Christmas songs, it was the powerful word preached, the intimate time of communion that followed, and the closing songs and prayers that left me in tears. It was one of those services where you wanted to stay and soak in more of the presence of God. The whole service was a wellspring of grace to my thirsty soul.
Through the last few blogs I have been praying Ephesians 1:17-23, daily asking for first of all a greater revelation of the Father’s gracious love, (vs. 17). Secondly a deeper understanding and hope of the glorious inheritance that belongs to us when Christ returns (vs. 18). And now the third request from vs. 19-20.
…and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.
Paul is praying that the followers of Christ know the great power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. The gift of the Holy Spirit reveals the Father’s love to us in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit plants deep in our hearts the deposit and hope of our glorious inheritance. What we encountered this past Sunday was a church filled with the Holy Spirit making old songs new and taking the Word of God as well as the Lord’s Supper and turning them into intimate encounters with the living God.
Today we need to be daily crying out for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We need to know the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us and seats us with Christ Jesus in the Heavenly realms. We need the Holy Spirit so that we can live like Christ and do the same things Christ did when He walked on the earth. We need to follow the example of the disciples who would not move and do ministry until they were filled full and overflowed with the Holy Spirit.
Sunday we walked into a simple church overflowing with the Holy Spirit and we praised God for the great Christmas gift we received that day. Join me with daily crying out for a fresh revelation of the Holy Spirit in our day. Merry Christmas!