Preparing for revival
by Donna Ames, Major –
Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions…in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
Joel 2:28 – 29 NRSV
This prophecy of Joel has to be one of the most frequently quoted verses of the minor prophets today. Its great promises capture our imaginations and holy longings. It is even more familiar to Christians because Peter quotes it in his sermon recorded in Acts 2.
Peter uses this passage to explain and defend the incredible revival that broke out in Jerusalem at Pentecost. Many observers couldn’t understand what they saw happening and accused the believers of being drunk! Peter declared that they were not drunk but filled with the Holy Spirit. Revival doesn’t always look the way that we think it will look.
Peter was describing something that was happening at the moment, not prophesying something that would happen as Joel did and so he leaves out these two key words from Joel 2:28, “Then afterward.” What is Joel referring to? After what? The key is found earlier in the chapter in a call to repentance.
…return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in love…
Joel 2:12b-13a NRSV
Joel’s prophecy was a warning and a promise. God’s people must first genuinely repent and trust in God’s forgiveness and mercy. “Then afterward I will pour out my spirit…” Revival doesn’t always start the way we think it should start.
We, as Christians, can neither predict nor control revival but we can prepare for it and seek it. On May 13 – 16, Salvationists from all around the territory are going to gather at Crestmont, in a spirit of humility and faith, for a Prayer and Revival Summit. Led by gifted preachers and Bible teachers, we will join together in prayer, worship and Bible study to seek God’s wisdom and fresh anointing for revival across our territory.
To learn more about how to be a part of this event contact your corps officer or see the contact information in the Summit advertisement below.