Acts 2:17 “In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.”
Acts 2 is a very popular chapter in the Bible for a variety of reasons, the main one being the fulfillment of this prophesy from Joel being fulfilled in their day and age. Believers all over the world look back to Acts 2 for inspiration about what life could and should be like for us as believers today. Many have echoed the same thoughts on these verses, to the point that many see this verse and tune out, due to hearing it quoted so often, yet without any fresh revelation about. I know for I have done the same thing. But God…
One of my favorite things about God is that everything He speaks is fresh, He does not serve day old bread, rather He invites us in Matthew 6 to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread…” Bread in scripture has been referred to as the word of God, Jesus Himself even said, I am the bread of life in John 6. So, we can receive daily bread, a fresh word from the Lord, if we have ears to hear, a heart that wants to understand, and a willingness to learn something new. This morning as I was listening to Danny Silk preach about dreaming big dreams at Bethel Church in Redding, CA, the Lord served me some fresh bread through this verse.
The Bible says in Acts 2:17 that young men will see visions. Young can refer to immature, undeveloped, still learning, and unbridled. Young men see visions when the spirit is poured out, because “Where there is no revelation (vision), people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction” (Proverbs 29:18). When God pours out His spirit young or immature people see a vision that will restrain them or teach them to say no to ungodliness. One of the marks of immaturity is the inability to control oneself and the so when they get a vision or who they are called to be; who God is; what their destiny looks like, it bridles their passions. Vision is like the banks of a river that take all of the power of that river and directs it, so its power is a blessing to those that experience it.
As one that has a BA in Youth Ministry, I wish I had understood this revelation many years ago, for it would have given me a biblical precedence for why I did what I did in the way I trained the teenagers under my care. Vision keeps youth focused; vision gives them a reason to say no to pleasure, peer pressure and people who could be problematic. The Lord releases vision to the young or immature, for they need a reason to stay the course.
On the other side of the same coin, the Lord pours out His spirit so the old, the mature, the advanced in years can dream dreams. The older we get the less risks we take; the slower we are to change; the more comfortable we get and the less uncomfortable we want to be. The old need to dream dreams so they can stay alive, so they can stay active, so they can stay awake. Dreams propel you, dreams invite you into adventure, dreams call you out of complacency, dreams keep us connected to the vision God gave us when we were young.
This is one of the many reasons why we need an outpouring of the spirit, for we need the young to have visions and the old to dream dreams!