(March 10, 2021) Brian Bell shares a meditation…
Scripture often speaks of these three topics. It is not my intention to ‘major’ on them as individual topics but to share some thoughts from those well-known words of Joel 2:28 (NLT 1999) where the prophet says – ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophecy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions.’
It is generally accepted that prophecy falls into two general categories… ‘foretelling’ when God gives an insight to what is yet to take place. And ‘forth telling’ when God gives a word speaking into a specific situation very often to bring encouragement to his children. Prophecy is also a gift of the Spirit which several exercise today: God’s word, however he chooses to speak it, is foundational.
Take, for example, Joel 1:16(NLT) where the prophet declares, ‘No joyful celebrations are in the house of our God.’ I believe he was speaking of an experience prevailing at that time. The people’s spiritual experience of God had waned. Could it be that we see a parallel in our recent experiences?
For many months there hasn’t really been the same joyful celebrations in the house of God – wherever that may be for you – as in the best interests and well-being of our congregations we have resorted to live streamed services conducted by a small number of people in a controlled environment. Or to a computer application such as Skype or Zoom or similar tools which enable ‘virtual’ meetings.
I know that many faithful believers have struggled with this, saying we should never have given up our liberty to meet in fellowship. Whatever view we may take, the most important aspect is that our personal relationship with the Lord must be encouraged and enriched, as we continue to live for him without the support structure, we were used to in our church fellowships (which, God willing, we may soon resume, perhaps with renewed appreciation and enthusiasm). (more…)