Very timely and relevant thought (though originally written three years ago), from Robert Wieland:
Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Devout Jews are monotheists; they believe in one true God, the Creator of heaven and earth. They believe their Bible, which is the Old Testament.
They still gather together at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and pray for the coming of their Messiah, believing that He is still due to come.
We would like to tap them on the shoulder and say to them, You are wasting your time praying for a Messiah yet to come; the true One has already come in Jesus of Nazareth, whom your ancestors crucified. Just as the Jews pray for a yet-to-come Messiah, so devout Christians pray for God to send “the latter rain” outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The “former rain” was the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost two millennia ago; now “the latter rain” must come as the ancient rains came when the barley harvest had sprouted under what they called “the former rain” and had grown to a certain level of maturity but needed another rainy spell in order to ripen for the farmer’s harvest.
So the Bible promises that in the last days the Father will open the windows of heaven and grant a final gift of the Holy Spirit to prepare all who choose to worship the one true God to be ready for the glorious second coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The biblical illustration is beautifully clear.
When you think of the Bible story, it’s obvious that there is irreverence implicit in praying for “the Messiah” to come when the truth is that He has already come! (It still implies a deep unbelief. Before the end, many devout Jews will recognize this overwhelming truth and experience a corporate repentance in behalf of their race. They will demonstrate it by reading and believing the New Testament and sharing the good news.)
Would there not be the same unbelief in the hearts of Christians begging the Father to send the latter rain of the Holy Spirit if He has already done so, but in blindness and pride they (via their ancestors) had rejected the gift? Prayer is serious business, and Heaven takes it seriously; we need to search and discover the truth how “the Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message” that proved to be “the beginning” of the Loud Cry and of its necessarily attendant latter rain.
All true-hearted believers in Jesus will respond heartily. And then recover and proclaim the message.
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