Joel 2: 21-27
Like most believers, I am getting uncomfortable with going on with this topic. We usually touch base with it but never want to stay there for too long. We don’t want to be perceived as materialistic. We want to be seen as people who genuinely seek the Lord rather than what He can give us. I guess we feel more authentic when we truly seek Him and not the stuff we can get.
However as uncomfortable as I feel about it, I also feel compelled to keep up the discussion. I cannot explain why. When ever I feel like this, I put myself aside and follow my heart. I trust my heart because the Spirit of God dwells there. He leads me. He impresses things on me. And I do the needful.
Prosperity is God’s heart for us as believers. Abundant prosperity is His plan for the church as we approach the Rapture. Because the world is impressed by material things, He will use it as a tool to draw people into the Kingdom in these last days. He will manifest Himself through it in these last days. We need to receive what He has done for us and walk in the fullness of His plan for us.
Joel 2: 21-27 is talking about restoration after the army of locusts had destroyed everything. In a sense, we have experienced loss in our lives. With the world economy going crazy on us, it would have affected us one way or the other- job losses, business losses, home losses, loss of opportunities. If it has not hit you, it has come close enough to someone dear to you, friend or relative. I wish I could promise that the world economy will get better. I really don’t think so. The upheavals probably continue to come and go. Why? Because the world is drifting further away from God. Calamity will continue to manifest itself, one way or the other.
However for us, who call on the name of the Lord, we are being positioned to come out of these trying times. Restoration is God’s promise to us- abundant restoration. The world will be asking us how we do it. Our answer will be, ‘It is the Lord’s doing’.
Joel is very graphic as he paints a beautiful picture of God’s restoration. He starts by asking people not to be afraid but to rejoice. . 21Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things! Some things happen in our lives and fear sets up base with us. When you lose a high paying job, or your family is thrown out of your home, it is natural to fear. But God says not to because He can see the restoration He is bringing your way. He even asks the wild animals not to fear because of what He has in store. 22Do not be afraid, you wild animals, for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches. The locusts had devoured everything. The trees were bare. There was nothing for animals to eat. However, in restoration, they were not just bearing fruit, they were bringing forth riches.
23Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.
He gave them rain, autumn and spring. Some versions say former and latter rain. Whatever they are called, the important thing is that farmers have to have both cycles of rain to get a good harvest. And He gives them both to ensure that the harvest is bountiful, just like He used to before the locusts attacked.
Then the party begins. Full threshing floors, and overflowing vats. 24The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. 25“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm……..26You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; When God restores, it is supposed to inspire a praise shout. It is supposed to be a wondrous sight. Because what the enemy meant for evil, he truly intended for destruction. To make sure you never lift your head again. You are not just lifting it but you are actually experiencing an outburst of overflow from God. You are a miracle.
Never again will my people be shamed. 27Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. The shame the enemy intended to bring to us, God is taking away. Instead of shame, we have become end time signs. When He thinks of blessing us, He thinks in superlatives. He chooses words that emphasize the enormity of what He desires to do. All we need to do is believe Him and receive it.
It would be foolish to think that God just brings abundance to our lives without preparing us to manage it. But we all need to come to terms with the idea that God wants to bless us abundantly. Once we do, the process begins. It is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. The more we align ourselves with Him, the faster the process. It is a faith building process that will get us to the place where we can receive what He has for us. He will build us to the point where abundance fits us like gloves fit our hands. We will not be a prosperity ‘misfits’. He is looking for people who will let Him put them through that process. Will you?
These verses of scripture in Joel also remind me of another song we used to sing as young believers.
It is raining, right upon me; I can feel it, the latter rain. Ride on Jesus, send down more rain, until we are soaked and we are swimming in the latter rain.
There is so much is store. Will you position yourself to receive it? I have been in process for a while now. I believe my time has come. What do you believe? CK