Summary: The power of prophecy enables us to get through difficult times.
Sons & Daughters: Prophesy, Dreams, Visions, July 20, 2008
Illus: “Mendin Fences” Fixing the fence: I should have prayed before I started instead of cutting the wood wrong. We need to live prophetically!
We have questions – what is going to happen next? Are we going to make it? Will it get better?
The Power of Prophecy over Problems
The answer is in the power of the Holy Spirit - Living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit enables us to live beyond the questions and struggles of today. When we live prophetically, with vision from God, and dreams for the future, we can live with hope and expectation.
• The Holy Spirit gives us power to live and witness for Jesus
• The Holy Spirit brings glory to God
• But the glory of God does not always bring us up, it might take us down
• Worship means to get down.
“Worship is not just singing.” (OT study of scripture was the highest form of worship) Worship is not just what we do for 20 minutes in church – but how we live our lives in surrender to his lordship and His will. Worship does not end at noon.
How does Peter respond to questions and mocking? He explains…
Peter cared more about their souls than their opinion of him.
We need to care about people- even the ones who mock and disagree with us. This was a hard time for Peter and he could have given up, but the power of Joel’s prophecy got him through it.
All flesh: Everybody – every believer can be filled with the Holy Spirit - No restrictions
A radical concept for the Jews
God designed the church so that everyone participates – there are no spectators.
Never too young, too old, wrong gender…
What does prophecy mean?
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary “the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose.”
Tyndale Bible Dictionary: “speak forth,” “proclaim,” “announce,” … speaking, proclaiming, or announcing something under the influence of spiritual inspiration.
Going Pentecostal: Living in the Spirit is to live in the will of God.
Where are you going? What is God’s will? Where will you live? Where will you work? Who will you marry? What is your gift and ministry?
Being out of the will of God is frustrating. Have you ever heard someone preach who wasn’t called to preach? It is frustrating for everyone.
Be Careful! Every “word from the Lord isn’t!” All prophecy is subject to the prophets.
Illus: Dr. Phil – A man thinks God told him to quit his job to make spray to block traffic cameras and he can’t pay his bills.
You should not have to pay for a personal prophecy.
But we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater because some people are crazy!
Why did Peter emphasize the three: Prophecy, Visions, Dreams…
These three gifts provide a clear connection to the will and purpose of God for our future.
The Hope of our Children: Change is Not Always Bad
Peter emphasizes sons, daughters, and young men three different times. This is not an accident.
Times are changing: The old look at the young and wonder what happened. The young look at the future and worry. But there is a span over the generation gap that is prophetic.
There is hope for the future when young people begin to prophecy
When you are wondering, struggling, or discouraged, are you willing to have a son or daughter prophecy to you?
Sometimes we get discouraged when we see things change because want to hold on to what made us feel secure.
“There are things that need to change in our lives, even in the good times.” Pastor Alfred Wallis
As we age, our vision decreases…younger people sometimes see things that we do not.
Remember how good things used to be? Remember when…
• A gallon of gas was 55 cents?
• You only could get gas every other day?
• We got under our desks at school preparing for a nuclear attack?
• We sat on hard wood pews with a swamp cooler in the summer?
• We fought a war nobody wanted and 55,000 soldiers died?
It is easy to think that things were always better and wonder….
Did God take a vacation?
1 Sam 3:1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.
“Ichabod” – The Ark – God’ s glory - had been stolen.
Sin creates spiritual deafness and muteness, but God uses new ways of speaking…
But the young boy Samuel was hearing from God. The prophecy of a young prophet brought the glory of God back to Israel. Could young prophets bring God’s glory to us?