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Articles > Not Just Another Holiday Season

24 Dec 2014

As we enter into another holiday season it might do us well to step back and consider all that God is revealing to us, especially those that are Christian believers, during this inspirational time of the year.

The holiday season generally kicks off with Thanksgiving. This is a special time when we gather with family and friends to celebrate the goodness and abundance of God. Usually, this includes feasting over a well-prepared meal, reviving past memories, catching up and exchanging stories, and laughing together about recent episodes of our lives. Thanksgiving was made an official holiday by President George Washington when he proclaimed it be observed as “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer” in November 1789.

Next comes Christmas. Once again we gather with family and friends, but this time it is to rejoice in remembering of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For Christians, this is a time of reflecting on the goodness and grace of God in sending His only begotten Son to take away the sins of the world. It is a time of celebrating God’s Son coming into the earth realm to dwell in the midst of His fallen creatures.

It is a time characterized by multiple friendly gatherings, in many instances the giving and receiving of gifts, and in a general sense the extending of good will towards others. It is about celebrating the gift of God’s Son, who our heavenly Father sent as His representative to demonstrate His goodness, grace and power to save all mankind.

Last of all is New Year’s Eve. This final gathering at years end again includes family and friends. However, this celebration is about ushering in a New Year. As one year comes to an end and another begins we gather together to count down the final minutes of a year that will soon become a part of history.

We loudly and joyously open the gates of our lives to invite in a new year, a year filled with hopes and opportunities to start over, do better, and end well. It is a time of renewing vision, making resolutions, and sparking hope for a brighter and better future.

The holiday season is recognized nationally with specific time frames set aside for celebration. The busyness and work of our daily lives is put on hold so we can gather with family and friends to celebrate each segment of the season together. It is a time when the hustle and bustle of our nation becomes still and a degree of peace and quiet prevail.

If we step back and begin to ponder what we’ve come to call the holiday season we will find the revelation of God that He has embedded into this annual trio of truth.

First, note the sequence – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. This sequence can be equated with three spiritual principles that when activated by our living and walking them out actually produce various dimensions of individual growth, renewal and spiritual vitality.

It all begins with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not just a holiday, but it is commanded by God as an activity that keeps us in the center of His will. Paul said, “in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thess. 5:18). Thanksgiving was never meant to be a holiday, it was meant to be a lifestyle. A lifestyle that continually keeps us in the center of God’s will.

Giving thanks is really an alignment issue because it creates an attitude that is acceptable in His sight. It is one of the things that pleases Him and facilitates us drawing close to Him at all times.

Thanksgiving is part of the spiritual protocol that gets us through the gates and ushers us past the outer and inner courts and ultimately paves the way into the Holy of Holies (Ps. 100:4). And it there in the Holy of Holies that the presence of the Almighty and Most High God surrounds us and saturates us with His peace that passes our understanding (Ps. 95:2, Phil. 4:7).

In the midst of God’s presence He touches us, speaks to us, or breaks us in His own creative ways, usually leaving us totally undone, awestruck, always refreshed, and hungry for more of His glory. It is in His presence where He births and releases greater dimensions of His Son’s salvation into the core of our being, transforming our inward parts to reflect more and more of His nature and person.

Just as His Son was born into this world two thousand years ago, He births something new in us, a revelation, a healing, a knowing, or a word that sets our course for the rest of our days. Often times it is an impartation of a gift, an anointing, or a key revolutionary or innovative idea. Whatever it is He releases, gives, or anoints, it is always good. And it is so far beyond any gift we could ever get at Christmas.

The final segment of the spiritual threesome is the New Year. After our times spent in the refreshing presence of God we come out of His courts vitally changed and transformed in some way. Whatever God unravels, heals, imparts, or creates while we’re in His presence produces a newness in us that many of us do not even realize until days later when all of sudden we recognize we are not the same. In other instances, we notice the newness almost immediately.

The newness initiated, imparted, or birthed by God always generates fresh vision, greater hope, refined direction, distinct instructions, enhanced discipline, or a resolute ability to rule over unwanted behaviors, attitudes, or thought patterns. The newness that God imparts transforms us, and thrusts us into greater dimensions of the salvation that Jesus provides for us. Once in God’s presence we never remain the same.

The threefold sequence – thanksgiving, God’s presence, and newness of life – offer us a God given pattern that can keep us in perpetual personal revival. Thanksgiving keeps us on the cutting edge of quickly interfacing with the Spirit of God who will usher us into His life- changing life sustaining presence.

However, all the good things of God cannot be released, or imparted to us, if we do not take the time to develop, and integrate this threefold sequence into a daily lifestyle. It cannot be every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I will practice thanksgiving. No, if we want to inherit all that God has for us we must commit ourselves to living out the threefold pattern set before us on a daily basis.

So, as you partake in this holiday season, remember the threefold sequence of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations as a pattern for promoting personal spiritual advancement. We need to look at the Holiday Season as an idea established by God to remind His people of the spiritual cycle that would keep them in passionate pursuit of the good things He has for them.

Unlike the world, which sets aside at the most, six days a year to celebrate the Holiday Season, let’s seek to please our heavenly Father and make the threefold spiritual cycle a matter of life style.

We pray that God will pour out His Spirit upon you and yours during this awesome Christmas season, and that 2015 will bring you into that place you have been crying out for.

Merry Christmas!

Ivan and Linda Doxtator
First Nations Counseling Ministries PO Box 813
O’Fallon, MO 63366

FNCM is a501 (3 ) c non-profit org. You may donate by PayPal at: www.fncm.us 

Ivan Doxtator