Whichever English version you might consult, the translation of Joel 2:28 is essentially the same. When God pours out his Spirit on his people, the gift is to everyone. Young and old, sons and daughters—there is no difference. All receive an empowering from the Lord as part of God’s great redemptive grace, and the purpose is for seeing the future God intends for his people. The empowering is so that absolutely everyone would share in the dreaming of how his people would be part of that glorious new creation. The gifting of the Spirit is so that all would not just have dreams of God’s kingdom fulfilled, but have visions of their part in it.
Has God given you a dream lately? I don’t mean a simple dream during your REM sleep pattern, one that you may or may not remember when you come fully awake. No, I mean the holy dreams by which the Lord wants to summon you and me and us together as the church, as surely as he called the saints before us, from Abraham to Mary to Paul to those great men and women of faith who have inspired and taught us to love and trust the Lord with all our heart. God still calls, and I believe, calls us, to embrace a great purpose, to step forward for holy daring and to believe with bold faith that He would use us for mighty blessing to someone in our world.
Has God given you a fresh vision of the majesty and beauty of his love for you and his love for this world? Again, I don’t mean just some nostalgic remembering of how things used to be or fanciful wish of what would life would look like if it revolved around our prejudices, fears or comfort zones. No, I mean a Spirit-breathed vision of living so extravagantly within God’s freedom and joy and living so passionately with his loving kindness and goodness towards this world that miracles could and would happen.
I long and pray for us that, by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in my life, and in yours, we would once again dream the dreams and see the visions of God’s grace exploding in our world as it did when the Spirit blew in upon those first apostles in their holy, frightened huddle in a barricaded upper room and blew them out into the world proclaiming the gospel with might and power and fervency. Thousands believed in Christ and were baptized. And the world would never be the same again.
Dreams and visions and prophetic words have not dried up nor has the Spirit of God ceased to haunt Christ’s church looking to propel us with gospel on our lips and grace in our hearts to a world longing for hope. What’s the holy dream God is laying on your heart? What is the vision of promise and purpose with which He would challenge you? Scripture promises that not one of us will be overlooked with the gifting. Who’s ready for a dream and ready to dare and pray and serve and celebrate it into reality?