Spiritual or Physical?
“And children of Zion, exult and rejoice in the Lord your God, because He has given to you the early rain for vindication. He showers down rains for you, the early rain and the latter rain, as before.” Joel 2:23
Bible verses mean different things at different times to us. Well, that is if we are reading it on a regular basis and growing in the Lord. The bible doesn’t mean much if it isn’t ever picked up and read. We also run the risk of misunderstanding it if we aren’t currently joined together with other believers either through formal church or small group bible study.
I realize I upset some of you by insinuating that the bible means different things at different times. If you are upset it is either because you believe the bible is set in stone, literally, and never changes. Or you don’t understand that with a more open heart and spiritual maturity, we can read the same verses repeatedly and God offers new insight – new revelation.
I’m not saying God’s word changes. I am saying God’s message through His word evolves in us. If that offends anyone, I’m sorry. After 54 years of being a bible-believing, faith-upholding Christian, the bible says something new to me every time I open it and read it. I believe God meant it to be that way. That’s why it is referred to as “alive and active,” and also as a “double-edged sword.” (Hebrews 4:12)
The verse shared here for example. Living in Texas and having endured Tropical Storm Imelda doesn’t make me open to new excitement regarding physical rain, but the verse says a great deal about spiritual rain. However, I believe God is big enough to make the verse say both and mean both. He’s that big. He’s a big God.
God’s people are called to exalt Him and offer praise for all “rain.” Whether it is the beginning of the rain, we must realize that there is life in both the sprinkle and a hard rain shower. Yes, too much rain presents problems. But it also brings out the best in people. We can praise God for His sustaining rain and providing those with helpful hearts to assist others in flooded areas.
Spiritual rain serves two purposes. When an early shower of spiritual rain comes upon us, it brings both a sense of cleanness and refreshment. The bible uses the word, “vindication,” which means proof of God Himself. God created the rain. All things are washed by the rain. God brings us showers of blessings to wash away that which is old and bring us something new. He provides the latter rain – or allows the spiritual rain to continue – in order to saturate our lives with His goodness and His presence.
So, instead of singing, “Rain, rain, go away,” we might try praising God by declaring, “He is in the early rain, the sprinkle, and He is in the latter rain, the thunderstorms.”
Either way, spiritually or physically, He deserves our praise.
PS If we do not hear a new message from God each time we search His scripture, we might ask ourselves, “Why?” Something tells me the problem isn’t the newness of His Spirit or the condition of His word. Something tells me it has more to do with us and our attitudes. Let’s remain open and teachable, shall we?