Not exactly what you’d expect

It never ceases to amaze me how our God is counter-cultural.  I don’t know that a lot of people would put that phrase and Him in the same sentence but it’s true.  I think most would say God has to do with following the rules and doing what’s expected or demanded.  But then you have him making promises that literally say he’s going to come inside us and we’re going to do all these things that no one would expect.  Take this verse from Joel.

Joel 2:28 “Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.

I’m not sure about you but when I think of asking someone to give me a long-range prediction I’m not headed to the playground at the local elementary school.  I don’t expect that by hanging around the monkey bars a 9 year-old is going to foretell the future.  What he’s going to have for lunch, yes.  How he’s going to do in his football game this weekend, maybe.  But certainly not how things are going to go in the world.  I don’t expect him to look farther down the line than the next couple of hours.  Then there’s the part about the old guys.

I’m not terribly old (although 15 years ago I probably thought 53 was ancient) but I’ve seen a little about how the human body ages.  I’m in the phase of life where it seems like every once in a while they’re replacing or repairing or removing something.  But dreams?  Not really.  (Unless you’re talking about a quiet afternoon nap)  Dreaming is for young guys, guys that have energy, guys that bounce back from a hard day’s work.  I like dreams but I have to admit I’m more in the reality realm than I was even 15 years ago.  So that brings us to the young men and their vision.

I think young men have visions in a practical sense.  Listen to any story about someone who’s made it big and you’ll hear a fair amount of vision.  However, you’ll probably hear more about perseverance because young men, young people, have that going for them.  We tend to ascribe vision to someone a little more seasoned, someone with more experience or someone who possesses a broader base of knowledge, like an old guy (present company excluded).  So how is this, why is this and what is this Holy Spirit thing?

Quite plainly it’s the thing that puts all our assumptions on their heads.  Once we’re full of the Holy Spirit we can do the uncommon.  With it in us we defy the standard thinking, we do the unthinkable and we are the antithesis of the status quo.  We are the people who go against the grain to spread His love and His message to a world that’s all too mired in “the way things are done”.  We become the outliers.  Thank God for that.

Every week I examine life in all its quirks and odd turns.  I don’t think many would assign those to things religious but the status quo isn’t really what’s being called for, ya know?  

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