From Discipline to Ministry
The LORD answered His people: Look, I am about to send you grain, new wine, and olive oil. You will be satiated with them, and I will no longer make you a disgrace among the nations.
In Joel 2, we find a series of events that indicate how God works among His people. In verses 1-11, we see God’s discipline being poured out upon His people because they had strayed far from Him in disobedience. Verses 12-17 are a call to repentance to return to God with great sorrow for sin. In response to repentance, verses 18-27 record the restoration promises for a repentant nation. Finally, verses 28-32 reveal God’s promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon a restored people to bring forth unprecedented ministry upon the earth.
This entire chapter is one of warning, hope, and promise. Regardless of how far we have strayed and how devastated our life may seem to be, we have hope and promise by returning to God. I personally believe the pattern depicted here is how He matures us as believers, too. Transformation requires continual obedience, and when we get off track by going our own way, God uses His “swarming locusts” to steer us back to Him. He lovingly convinces us that our own way doesn’t work and points us back to Jesus to restore us and use us in ministry.
Do you need to be restored in any area of your life? Do you long for God to use you in ministry? Submit the devastated areas to Him, and determine to be obedient to what you know is the right thing to do. Trust Him to restore you, and get ready for Him to use you. The Holy Spirit calls us, transforms us, and works through us to do God’s will and not our own. His plan is much better than our plan, and we find it through surrender.
Have a blessed day!