"But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: ‘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 vapour 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 2.16-21, ESV)
How many times do we refer to the Holy Spirit in prayer and when we meet? Honestly? And how many times do we refer Him as "it"? And why do we still have a common tendency to really only expect signs and wonders in our meetings and not outside?
This past weekend, those of us who made it to "Church on the Farm" were blessed by God's presence in a big way. He touched hearts, changed lives, healed bodies. His Spirit was welcomed as a person - as He should be - and He came in power. He ministered to us through the preaching of the Word, through fellowship and private moments of sharing and counsel, and through signs and wonders. Yes, a lot of that was through the meetings, but admittedly there were 5 of those in 2-and-a-bit days, and that was kind of the intention of an otherwise unusual weekend compared to our usual. But you know what? God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are not constrained to our meetings or to our quiet times. The sun and moon "turning" that Peter and Joel spoke of may not be fulfilled yet, but everything else in that passage refers to the Christian life from that moment nearly 2000 years ago, via now and into the future.
Prophecy, healing, visions, words of knowledge, any demonstration of the supernatural breaking into the natural is meant to be everyday life for you and me.
We are not all called to be prophets, but we are all called to live and walk by the Spirit. The same Spirit that helped create the sun and the oceans, that worked in power through Christ's ministry on earth and raised His lifeless body from the dead, is the same Spirit alive in you and me. When Peter recited the above Scripture from the prophet Joel, he was demonstrating that what the people were witnessing at that moment - the supernatural breaking into the natural - was an expected result of Christ's work in and through His people.
With "Healing on the Streets" commencing in Whitstable this month, and our own opportunities through Re:Act in a few weeks, let us expect what has tended to be the unexpected. Don't despise or grieve the Holy Spirit; spend time with Him and in the Word. Signs and wonders will follow when we allow the Spirit to guide us in our daily doings. It's already expected!
(for a full review of the "Church on the Farm" weekend, including some testimony, check out http://every-days-an-adventure.blogspot.com/2009/06/carry-on-camping.html )