It’s Time for Joel’s Perspective: Promises Fulfilled

Our cities (and our personal lives) may seem like those in Canaan, surrounded by walls that reach up to heaven — walled in by unbelief. But — let’s not forget — the walls of Jericho fell. The walls of unbelief are beginning to crumble. What is long overdue is the shout of the people of God.

I grew up near the mouth of the river Elbe in North Germany where I used to see huge flat-bottom river barges set fast in the mud banks. No tug or marine engine could shift them. But the tide quietly rippled in, hardly perceptible, creeping higher and higher up the sides of those immovable hulks. Soon those hundreds of tons were floating. From the quay I could move them with the slightest kick.

When we obey the Holy Spirit the waters begin to rise. That is fact, not wishful thinking.

We are seeing promises fulfilled which once sounded like fantasy. The words of Joel 2:28 are coming true before our very eyes. God says: “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.” We see it happening. God is doing mighty things in our world. Challenge yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the walls in your life that must crumble for your “expected end and destiny” to be fulfilled. (Inspired by Reinhard Bonnke)

Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rains he sends are an expression of his grace. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with wine and olive oil. The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the stripping locusts, the cutting locusts, the swarming locusts, and the hopping locusts.

It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the LORD your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced like this. Then you will know that I am here among my people of Israel and that I alone am the LORD your God. My people will never again be disgraced like this.

“Then after I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike.

“I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth — blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon will turn bloodred before that great and terrible day of the LORD arrives. And anyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. There will be people on Mount Zion in Jerusalem who escape, just as the LORD has said. These will be among the survivors whom the LORD has called. Joel 2:23-30

I need this reminder everyday…

To our graceless world comes the revelation of grace. To merciless Nineveh is offered mercy. To hypocritical Jerusalem comes truth. To faithless humanity comes faithfulness. That is God! That is Jesus! He is a God of faithfulness, without injustice, of inexhaustible patience and unsolicited concern for us all. Rejoice.

To us has come the revelation of Grace. The mystery hidden for ages is being revealed in and through us! We walk daily in the very same mercy as Nineveh! Our hypocrisy is swallowed up in boundless loving truth. And Jesus daily exchanges our faithlessness with His faithfulness.

Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous. If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be a charlatan.

What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him.

Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego (Edging God Out) is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous (truth is the reality that lay behind appearances) before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, than Christ died unnecessarily. Galatians 2:17-21 (Msg).