Living into the Promise
Joel 2:28 Then afterward
I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female slaves,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
The prophecy of Joel had included a time of terrible destruction for God’s people but then a time of victory when little by little everything that had been destroyed would be once again built up. The promise of the Father included a new era that would occur after the rebuilding. It would be a time in which the Spirit would be poured out, not just among the Israelites but among all people.
God’s promise of the Spirit would destroy all human barriers. No longer could the walls of this world serve as a barrier to God’s work. Instead the Spirit who would be poured out on all flesh. Both sons and daughters would prophesy, there would be dreams and visions and even male and female slaves would receive this blessing.
This prophecy would be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost and Peter would quote Joel. The Father promised a new day in which his chosen people would be those who would respond to his call to move from sin into a Spirit-filled life as his adopted children. The deliverance was from all that Joel described and even more. Emerging from the ruins new life in Christ would point us in the direction of things above.
Jesus had told the disciples that they should wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. It was not until the day of Pentecost that the connection was made to this prophecy from Joel. They were to wait until they were “clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) This would change everything.
The challenge is for us to live into this promise. The promise has been made and the Spirit has been poured out but we may be living in the weakness of human flesh.
By living into this promise we live by the leading of God’s Holy Spirit and this means we walk in obedience. Obedience includes answering the call to ministry, or being a prophetic voice in the world. It includes listening to the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit, whether through dreams or visions, or in times of prayer, or through the words of another, but it means that we lean into and live into the directions in which God is guiding.
Living into the promise means that there are no longer any barriers or divisions among his people. Rich and poor, male or female, no matter our race or color, we are all the same in God’s family.
Living into the promise means that we make every effort to bring the Spirit of God living in us to a place where the barriers can be destroyed and God’s power is revealed in the unity and love among his people.
The promise was radical and it still is today if we will embrace it and the Spirit which transforms.
Lord, thanks for the promise. Amen.