The real beauty of Christmas for me is that it’s also very raw. By raw I mean it’s simple, powerful and real—with elements like a pregnant teenager, a perplexed husband and a manger for an infant’s bed. Surely Mary and Joseph, even as eyewitnesses to the promises of God fulfilled, would have felt confused. They must have determined not to get too upset about what they didn’t understand, because they trusted God to do what He said. Even like we must do.
The direction I received for a Christmas article this year is not normally the position I write from. But I sense an urgency that can’t be ignored. This Christmas instead of hearing the phrase in my spirit, “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men,” I’m hearing, “As in the beginning I am the Lord who takes away the sins of the world!” It was John the Baptist who proclaimed a similar message when he saw Jesus where he was baptizing. This makes me wonder—was John simply verbalizing what he saw when he first recognized Jesus as a babe in the womb? It’s compelling to imagine—baby John comprehending that baby Jesus was destined to be a sacrificial Lamb, yet I believe he did (Luke 2:14; John 1:28-29; Luke 1:41-44).
“Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne…“ (Zech. 6:13, NKJV). As I wrote in a previous article, I sense the Lord preparing us to be a habitation (temple) for the release of the glory of the Lord. Do not despise the day of small beginnings. Just as Jesus Christ came humbly to a manger destined to die, so also was He destined to rule on His throne (Isa. 9: 6-7). For those who have with faithfulness patiently endured their season of testing, I have good news—you are about to be elevated!
Patience and Intimacy are Key
A spiritual principle I’ve observed is that nothing happens in a vacuum. While our salvation is free, it also had a cost. While we are destined to rule and reign, we also need to endure. Even when someone comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus, it is because the Father draws him (1 Pet. 1:18-19; 2 Tim. 2:12; John 6:44). I see some parallels to this with the increased levels the Lord has spoken to me are coming to the saints. These are those who’ve practiced a level of faithful and sacrificial obedience over time—there’s been a price, or cost, to receiving these new levels and the redistribution of talents, mantles and gifts.
It can seem like a “good news – bad news” scenario. The good news is that Jesus was born in a manger as a gift to all mankind. The bad news of course is that He was destined to die. The good news is that new levels are coming to the saints. The bad news is it might not come exactly how and when you thought. Lately in ministry I’ve witnessed that many in the body of Christ are in great need of encouragement, but the Lord sometimes tells us what we need to hear rather than what we want. It’s key to recognize and receive encouragement whenever the Lord speaks, even if it contains a sobering element.
I’ve received two such words lately, which began with dreams. In the first dream I was driving a vehicle with several passengers in it. Suddenly it got completely dark—I couldn’t see anything and drove off the road down a fairly steep bank! No one was hurt and everything was fine, but what struck me was that immediately after this it became extremely light and bright—I could see perfectly!
In the second I was busy at my desk industriously working on preparations for a wedding, which even in the dream I understood to be the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9). A woman came over, lifted up several papers on my desk and uncovered a fragile teacup I’d been given to safeguard underneath. To my dismay I discovered a small piece of the rim had broken off. She brought me another one, but in my industry the exact same thing happened again! This time I was told the cup was irreplaceable and given a smaller version. I resolved to carefully wrap and store it safely away somewhere rather than set it on top of my desk!
The dreams were sobering at first, but what the Lord actually revealed brought me encouragement. I felt the first dream illustrated the dark season many have been in, in which it seems you’re unable to “see.” You might even think you’ve gotten off track, but the good news is—you’re about to see your next chapter of destiny! But I also sensed a warning about the double-minded man of James chapter 1. When we don’t see what we thought the Lord promised us come to pass we’re tempted to mix faith with doubt, in which case we won’t see what we’ve asked from Him. It is the testing of our faith at times like these that produces patience, which works to bring us to maturity (see James 1:2-8).
My sense is the delicate teacup represents intimacy. In our service and preparation for the “wedding” we must be careful to safeguard the precious nature of our intimate relationship with the Lord. No amount of faithful service, successful ministry, or promises of destiny fulfilled can be a replacement or substitute for this. Psalm 27:4 (AMP) says:
“One thing I have asked of the Lord, and that I will seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty [the delightful loveliness and majestic grandeur] of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.”
The Real Beauty of Christmas
The real beauty of Christmas for me is that it’s also very raw. By raw I mean it’s simple, powerful and real—with elements like a pregnant teenager, a perplexed husband and a manger for an infant’s bed. Surely Mary and Joseph, even as eyewitnesses to the promises of God fulfilled, would have felt confused. They must have determined not to get too upset about what they didn’t understand, because they trusted God to do what He said. Even like we must do. The Lord shows me He is breaking off a spirit of confusion from many, who upon receiving this will say, “I can see clearly now!”
There’s a rawness to the season we are in now too. There’s been a shift, which is what this season of preparation has been about. The Lord’s shown me that prophetically America’s on fire. I’ve seen Renewal coming with a momentum that cannot be stopped. Prayers will be answered in a manner we’ve never seen before, and prophets will prophesy with a level of shocking accuracy. Zechariah 12:8 says: “In that day… the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them” (NKJV). The “house of David” will continue to set records with accuracy.
You could say it’s a “good news – bad news” thing. The good news is—get ready for increase, for in the last days they will come. The expansion of Isaiah 54:1-2 will be followed by the explosion of Isaiah 2:2-3. The bad news is—this change means a window of time closing in which to get ready. The bad news only becomes bad news if you let it.
“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains… and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord…’” (Isa. 2:2-3, NKJV).
Have a blessed Christmas!