Acts 2:17 NIV “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
This is a direct quote from Joel 2:28 NIV which reads “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.”
I don’t have much experience with regard to dreams and visions. If I have been dreaming while asleep I seldom remember them. Once in a while I will remember something and quite often while dreaming I actually remember thinking “this is just a dream”, which my wife finds difficult to believe when I tell her about it.
I did have an unusual dream the other night, I very seldom or hardly ever have negative dreams, dreams where the thoughts are dark or totally contrary to how I would normally act or behave. I don’t remember the particulars of the negative dream so much as compared to what happened in my dream when I called on the name of Jesus. The dream stopped immediately. I mean immediately and I woke up. The first thought that came to my mind was “Well, that took care of that didn’t it!”. I was amazed at how instantly it departed. What was going on there ….. I have no idea but I do know that Satan or his demons can try to attack us, it happens, but I also know that the name of Jesus stops these attacks in their tracks.
I usually try to avoid people who attribute all negative things that are happening to Satan but I also am aware and have experienced a small number of instances, over the years, where there was some pretty clear indications that demonic activity was involved. This obviously isn’t the platform to discuss this but it is noteworthy that Christians should be aware of the possibility of this type of thing happening and the defence we have against these activities.
“…..C. S. Lewis talked about how there were two extremes in our understanding of the devil. There is the extreme of seeing Satan behind everything. He brings every sickness; he is the cause behind every sin. Satan, often, gets way too much credit in the church.
However, the other extreme, which is far more common, is that most Christians don’t recognize Satan at all. They blame their roommates, they blame the government, they blame their wives, they blame themselves and sometimes blame God, but Satan gets none of the blame. Paul said this:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
How do healthy churches resist the devil?
It should be remembered that these congregations throughout the Roman Empire were being persecuted. There was probably division in the church, as the young men were not submitting to the elders (1 Peter 5:5). Peter in the last chapter of the letter essentially encourages them to be healthy. He speaks to the leadership and the congregations. He calls them to humble themselves under God’s mighty hand during their trials.
He ends the letter with a final warning. He calls them to be alert and to resist the devil. This was very important. It should be noted that it is often in the midst of a trial that Satan attacks the hardest. It was while Jesus was at his weakest physically that Satan attacked him in the wilderness. It was in the wilderness that Israel was tempted to complain and turn away from God. It was when there was famine in the land that Abraham left the promise land and went to Egypt.
These scattered churches needed to be very aware of Satan and his attacks in the midst of their trials and their persecutions. No doubt, the enemy would seek to bring discord amongst the believers: try to draw many away from the faith and make many give up. It has been said God uses trials to strengthen our faith and Satan uses trials to weaken our faith. We always must be aware of his attacks, but especially during trials.”
I agree with Gregory’s observations. There can be excesses in this line of thinking but there also can be valid occurrences when Christians can be attacked. I would reference a larger portion of Ephesians, namely Ephesians 6:11-18 KJV
“11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
Truth, God’s truth, righteousness, God’s righteousness – Jesus, the Gospel of Peace, faith, salvation – God’s salvation through His Son Jesus Christ and the Word of God are all powerful detergents to the fiery darts. And prayer, is similar to a blanket that encompasses it all. Something to be aware of.
Visions, I have only ever had one, when I was young in my early twenties, sitting on the side of my bed and I suddenly saw an aerial view of an orchard, trees planted in orderly rows, like I was flying over them in a low flying aircraft. The colours were like nothing I have ever seen before, exceptionally brilliant and exceptionally clear, and then the vision was gone. And no, just in case someone raises the possibility of drugs, I don’t use drugs.
I remember sitting there and thinking “Wow, what was that?” I also remember noting that I didn’t see any fruit on the trees and for some reason that bothered me. I’ve thought about this vision often over the years, trying to understand what it meant. It could be the trees represented people that God used me to touch over the years or it could be something in the future, I don’t really know. I have a gut feeling that it has to do with something yet to come, but I could be wrong.
I am also mindful of Paul’s admonition to test all things
So……, just something that I thought I would share with you today, things to be mindful of and open to.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!