Joel Chapter 2 has answers for the church in this season. In these scriptures, Joel declares that the national adversity is God-ordained and can be impacted by how people respond. Joel states that God is raising up an adversarial army to execute His purposes. Verses 5-11 declare,
With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array. Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color. They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief. The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness. The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?
Once the church realizes this adversity has a solution, then they can galvanize opinion and move people toward a solution. God’s solution almost always deals with the heart response. Verses 12-14 declare, “’Now, therefore,’ says the LORD, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’ So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him – A grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God?” When the Lord sees the right heart response then causes and events are altered for the common good. God doesn’t require the whole nation change.
God is after believers in verses 15-17, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, ‘Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, – Where is their God?.’”
When the church responds with the right heart, God sees and hears. A change of heart always brings a blessing according to verses 18 and 19, “Then the LORD will be zealous for His land, And pity His people. The LORD will answer and say to His people, ‘Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.’” God even promises to mitigate adversity in verse 20 and 21, “But I will remove far from you the northern army, And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, With his face toward the eastern sea And his back toward the western sea; His stench will come up, And his foul odor will rise, Because he has done monstrous things. Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, For the LORD has done marvelous things!”
Verse 23 is a great promise because it offers a blank check for the anointing, “Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you – The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.” The Hebrew word for “faithfully” is tsaw-dak and it means to pour out based on what the ground needs. If 70 years ago, God gave a healing anointing to Kathryn Kuhlman and Oral Roberts to impart the culture, then today’s culture determines the magnitude of what gets poured out. Perhaps God promised a double anointing because He knew the hardness of heart would double and the cultural ground would require much more!
We can cry for an anointing to deal with and subjugate the magnitude of evil we face! If we face unprecedented manifestation of an antichrist spirit, then we should expect unprecedented manifestations of God’s governmental authority. Our ultimate purpose is to prove that principalities and powers don’t rule, but God does. The church must represent Jesus the Judge at the end of the age just as powerfully if not more so than they did at the beginning of the church age!