““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. “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. “The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.” (Joel 2:28–31 NAS95)
In the days that God’s Spirit is poured out, the moon shall turn to blood and the latter rain shall fall. Signs in the heavens will accompany the stirrings of the Spirit in the hearts of God’s people. Red moons and renewed hearts. A seething earth and a people seeking the Spirit of God. These are the evidences that we are approaching the end. And when we see them, let us run to the Savior. Let us awake.
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:11–12 NKJV)
Like the scenes spoken of by the prophet Joel, we find ourselves in a battle. We are living in the time of the end, just before “the great and dreadful day of the Lord” as Malachi calls it. And the prophet Joel invites us to:
“Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up! Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, “I am a mighty man.” Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, And gather yourselves there. Bring down, O LORD, Your mighty ones. Let the nations be aroused And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, For there I will sit to judge All the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:9–14 NAS95)
Now is the time to choose. Now is the time to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Now is the time to come before the Lord for Judgment; to proclaim a fast, to seek His face, to cry out in repentance… Now is the time for red moons and renewed hearts.
Yesterday I experienced a red moon moment; a stirring of the Spirit. It was at my head elders house. Together with he and his wife, we met with another couple from Colorado Springs. This couple from the Springs has been going through a tough time in their marriage. They are doing everything they know to hold it together; including calling my family and my elders family to join them in prayer.
And in our time before prayer, as we shared what was going on in our lives… my friend from the Springs pulled out his cell phone to show us pictures of the fire that broke out this Sabbath in Manitou Springs the neighboring city of Colorado Springs. With his finger he swiped his way through images of billowing smoke and blazing mountainsides. And of all the pictures he showed me, one image stood out in my mind as I read from Joel this morning… A Red Cresent Moon… An eery reflection of a wildfire untamed. And I remembered my flippant remark from yesterday… “Look, a sign of the times.”
“Really?” my friend asked.
“I think. I’m pretty sure the Bible mentions the moon turning red. I’m not sure. I’ll have to look it up.”
Wouldn’t you know it, in this morning’s assigned reading for the Bible plan I follow, it would mention the moon becoming as blood. And my mind flashed back to that red crescent image on an iPhone.
Hmmm… What is God saying in all of this?
He is saying, “Seek the Spirit, cry out, repent!” This is the message of Joel, and I believe it is the message of yesterday’s experience.
As three couples gathered in prayer, we were reminded of our frailty. Reminded of our brokenness. Reminded that we all need Jesus. In these last days, our only hope is Jesus. When the moon is turning red, our only hope is the Son of Righteousness, and the infilling of His Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, send Your Spirit. Let the signs of the sky, invite us to lift up a cry. A cry of repentance, a cry for renewal, a cry for rain. When we see images of devastation and destruction, let us seek Your face. When we hear of wars and rumors of war, lead us to take up the sword of the Spirit and fortify our hearts with the promises which shall be our surety and strength through the time of the end. Let us give heed to these words of Spurgeon:
God is unchanging in his promises. Ah! we love to speak about the sweet promises of God; but if we could ever suppose that one of them could be changed, we would not talk anything more about them. If I thought that the notes of the bank of England could not be cashed next week, I should decline to take them; and if I thought that God’s promises would never be fulfilled—if I thought that God would see it right to alter some word in his promises—farewell Scriptures! I want immutable things: and I find that I have immutable promises when I turn to the Bible: for, “by two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,” he hath signed, confirmed, and sealed every promise of his. The gospel is not “yea and nay,” it is not promising today, and denying tomorrow; but the gospel is “yea, yea,” to the glory of God. Believer! there was a delightful promise which you had yesterday; and this morning when you turned to the Bible the promise was not sweet. Do you know why? Do you think the promise had changed? Ah, no! You changed; that is where the matter lies. You had been eating some of the grapes of Sodom, and your mouth was thereby put out of taste, and you could not detect the sweetness. But there was the same honey there, depend upon it, the same preciousness. “Oh!” says one child of God, “I had built my house firmly once upon some stable promises; there came a wind, and I said, O Lord, I am cast down and I shall be lost.” Oh! the promises were not cast down; the foundations were not removed; it was your little “wood, hay, stubble” hut, that you had been building. It was that which fell down. You have been shaken on the rock, not the rock under you. But let me tell you what is the best way of living in the world. I have heard that a gentleman said to a Negro, “I can’t think how it is you are always so happy in the Lord and I am often downcast.” “Why Massa,” said he, “I throw myself flat down on the promise—there I lie; you stand on the promise—you have a little to do with it, and down you go when the wind comes, and then you cry, ‘Oh! I am down;’ whereas I go flat on the promise at once, and that is why I fear no fall.” Then let us always say, “Lord there is the promise; it is thy business to fulfill it.” Down I go on the promise flat! no standing up for me. That is where you should go—prostrate on the promise; and remember, every promise is a rock, an unchanging thing. Therefore, at his feet cast yourself, and rest there forever.
Dear Lord, in these end days, let us know the sweet rest of lying prostrate on your promises. Shake us by Your Spirit so that we no longer stand, but rather rest upon your promises… lay us down upon the Love of Jesus… put us prostrate upon His promise dear Father… and we will give you all the praise and glory. Amen.