The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 5/24

Posted on | May 24, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 5/24

Scripture reading: Genesis 32:22–32

The Mark of the Spirit

In the last days . . . I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your
sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall
see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came with the sound of a mighty rushing wind. Fire from heaven descended on each of the disciples, and they began to speak in other tongues (Acts 2:1–4). But when Peter stood up to explain to the watching crowd the significance of what had happened, he hardly mentioned signs and wonders. Neither did he talk about how the Spirit empowers believers or purifies the heart. Rather, quoting the prophet Joel, Peter explained that what had happened was the long-awaited gift of the Spirit, and the proof was the fact that men and women, young and old, were enabled to “see visions” and “dream dreams.”

The book of Acts describes how this Spirit-inspired ability to dream took a group of timid disciples hiding behind closed doors and thrust them out into the world. They were driven by a vision of a time when the kingdoms of this world would become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ where he will reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15). Reading Acts helps us to understand what Spirit-inspired dreaming looks like:

_ It will be big. Little gods inspire little visions. But a big God can only give birth to big dreams! The Gospel spread from Jerusalem in ever expanding circles: Judea, Samaria, the ends of the earth. God kept calling them to think bigger, bigger. William Carey launched the modern missionary movement in 1793 with the motto: “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”

_ It will be new. When the Holy Spirit inspires a dream it typically feels like the travelers felt on the Starship Enterprise: boldly going where no man has gone before! Acts tells how the early Christians began doing things they had never done: mass evangelism, healing ministries, food distribution to the poor, cross-cultural missions, etc.

_ It will be holy. A big dream in an unsanctified heart is a bad combination! The Holy Spirit can only give birth to holy visions and dreams. If a dream is ego-driven or characterized by selfish ambition, you can be sure that dream did not come from the Holy Spirit of God! God sent his Holy Spirit into the world not to take away our ambition but to sanctify it!

_ It will be costly. Though it is easy to talk about vision in terms that make it sound exciting and adventurous, don’t be fooled. To be faithful and true to the vision of God will cost you everything! If there is no cross in the vision, you can be sure it didn’t come from God.

_ It will be evangelistic. The vision that comes from God will always be rooted in the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. It is not about building your kingdom, but his! That is why three thousand people were converted on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached the first Gospel sermon. He was dreaming of the day when everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:21).

Tell me your dreams and I will show you your future! If you have no dreams or if your vision is selfish, you need a personal Pentecost.

God gives us the vision, then he takes us
down to the valley to batter us into the
shape of the vision . . . Every vision will be
made real if we will have patience.
—Oswald Chambers

point to ponder • Are your dreams and ambitions holy?

prayer focus • For someone who has no vision.

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