“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” Acts: 2:17-21 ESV
This passage in Acts is a direct quote from the second chapter of the book of Joel. Having just received the Holy Spirit, excitement filled the members of the early church and they began to proclaim God’s greatness. When those in the community heard what must have sounded like utter pandemonium, they couldn’t help but draw closer. Their faces would reflect their astonishment as they overheard the various dialects of the new believers clearly. Their minds would feel numb from attempting to figure out how they could understand the words they heard without the need of a translator.
And in this moment, Peter would rise. Peter, who had stumbled and slipped all along his walk with Jesus, would now stand confident and bold in proclaiming the Good News.
I believe this was Peter’s defining moment. Would all the instruction, demonstration, and testing he received from Jesus now manifest and propel the faith forward? I think we would all agree, having the benefit of the rest of the New Testament, that it certainly did.
So what role are you playing in the faith? Our passage in Acts tells us God’s spirit is poured out “on all flesh.” Both genders are equally empowered in this passage to “prophesy.” There are no limits placed upon those the Lord has called –no age, gender, or race limits. And most importantly, there is no time limit.
Today, the Church is at a crossroads. Daily the powers of this world throw down the gauntlet daring us to push back. Will we rest easy in these later days expecting someone else to step forward? Or will we each recall the early days of our walk with Jesus and rise to proclaim His truth in a fresh and audacious way? I hope as you step into 2018 you chose not only to take your stand, but thoughtfully consider who else you need to bring along with you. May God constantly pour out His Spirit upon you and bless you mightily this year!
Happy New Year to you and yours!
Scripture reference from:
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.