I think at this time in our lives, especially in light of what has transpired in the United States this week with the elections, that people are fighting to stay positive and look forward to the blessings that God still has in store for us. It is not the end of the world yet! And how we view where we are at this point in time will determine how we meet the challenges of the future. It is important that we continue to do what God has called us to do, to spread His gospel to the world and to stand firm in our faith knowing that only He knows the day and hour of Jesus’ return and until that happens we are to continue to occupy the land and live for Him. We cannot allow a defeatist attitude of no hope to come upon us. With that in mind I want to remind you of the glorious days that God has said will happen before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
Acts 2:16-21 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs on the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’
The day of Pentecost ushered in the church age that takes place before the return of Jesus Christ. This is what is referred to as the “last days”. They are an overlap of this age and the Age to Come. The Prophet Joel prophesied that there would be a great outpouring of God’s Spirit upon all flesh during the days before the return of the Lord. That is what Peter is speaking of in this portion of Scripture. In Old Testament days, because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, He came upon people instead of living within them. His presence was reserved for those who would need to lead the people spiritually and nationally. Thus, in important times when the people would seek the Lord for direction He would come upon a prophet, priest or king to lead them in the way they needed to take. But when Jesus died on the cross and paid the payment for mankind’s sin He opened the way for all people who would receive Him into their hearts to be lead by His Spirit who would come to live within them. Now the Holy Spirit directs us by His presence within, and through His word as well as the times of special outpouring where He speaks through people and reveals Himself through dreams, visions, signs and wonders.
Since we are living in the last days we can expect to see more of an outpouring of God’s Spirit upon his children as spoken of by Peter on the day of Pentecost. This is a promise that if we receive by faith will give us a hope and excitement about Him flowing through each one of us as His children to bring salvation into the hearts of unbelievers before His return. It is another indication of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus and is an exciting time in which to live. We have been granted the privilege of being a part of the great outpouring of God’s Spirit in these last days.
To me this is exciting and gives me a positive focus upon which to set my eyes instead of thinking about how bad things are becoming in our world. It is important that we do not take a defeatist attitude about the negativity of where our nation is headed. People should not lose hope because of what has taken place in the past, but understand that it is simply an indicator of where we are in the time-frame of God’s plan to send Jesus back to earth again. We are living in the days of spiritual awakening in our world and we should expect to see the things that have been prophesied to be taking place in our lives in this great time. Faith is how we access the things that God has in store for us. If we do not believe that God will flow through us and speak in dreams, visions and signs and wonders then we will not be one of those that He uses to bring salvation in this manner.
Mark 11:22-26 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Have faith in God! Believe what He has said and respond in obedience to it. Look up instead of looking inward or around you at what is going on in world events. He has not given up on us; we are in His plan to bring salvation to the world but if we don’t receive by faith what He has said we won’t see it happen in our own lives. When you pray, believe that you have what you’ve asked of Him. The difference between having and not having happens in your heart. This is not a formula to receiving from God; it is a lifestyle of living by faith. Walk in forgiveness to others so the channel to God is open for Him to receive your prayers; believe in your heart that He hears and answers and confess with your mouth what you have asked of Him. Align the confession of your mouth with the belief in your heart. If it is based on God’s word and asked according to His will then there is nothing to stop you from receiving except doubt and unbelief. Stay in faith and you will see it’s manifestation.
Be willing to be used of God. Expect Him to speak to you by His Spirit, through His word, and even through dreams and visions. There is no limit to what God wants to do in and through His children in these last days. Believe Him, step out in faith and be a vessel of honor that He can flow through to touch those around you and bring salvation into their lives!
Father, I come before You this morning to give You praise for where we are in Your plan for Jesus’ return. I thank You for choosing me to live in this day and hour and to see the great outpouring of Your Spirit upon all flesh. Father, I look forward to seeing many saved, healed, delivered and set free from sin and Satan’s bondage in these last days! Thank You for fulfilling Your word to us as we eagerly await the return of our Lord Jesus! May we each one be willing and ready to be a vessel that You can flow through. Help us to look at our future with great anticipation of what You are going to do in the lives of those around us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.