“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams, Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:17,18, 21 NIV)
When Peter was preaching to the crowd–who heard those who were speaking and understanding their languages other than their own culture, he had to tell them the people were not drunk as with wine since it was only nine in the morning, but they were responding to the outpouring of God’s Spirit and functioning in His realm. As a reminder, Peter told them what the prophet Joel had already predicted–what would happen in the last days when God poured out His Spirit upon all–men and women–indiscriminately.
There is so much that can be said about this particular passage of scripture that it would take more than one posting, but I’ll try to stick with one primary theme–God is not biased and holds no one in greater esteem than another. In spite of continuing conflict within the Body of Christ as to the roles of men and women–particularly women–in ministry, we see a clear picture of God’s view of who can speak on His behalf and that would be-anyone upon whom God has poured His Spirit and they have received it.
Since Peter reiterated what Joel had said, we can infer that women were present at the time of the outpouring of God’s on the day of Pentecost and we know–there were women in the room from previous accounts as recorded in Acts. If the women were not functioning under the unction of the Holy Spirit--there would have been no need for Peter to remind those listening of what had been said by Joel. But he did and so we can accurately conclude that the women were speaking and ministering to the those in the crowd.
That was then and nothing has changed–in spite of male tendency to think that God will not use women in ministry, God knows who He will use and He doesn’t need permission or approval of any man. I cannot begin to recount the number of times I was told that, “God don’t call women to preach.” I remember clearly when God woke me to tell me that I was to teach His Word at three o’clock in the morning and I lay in bed, arguing with Him—because I did not see myself worthy or knowledgeable. Later than morning, while in church service, He poured out His Spirit and I received Him with the evidence of speaking in tongues, with discernment and interpretation. Imagine that! God pouring out His Spirit on me, who knew all the wrongs I had done, but He forgave me and moved me into position to accomplish His plans for my life.
Looking back on where I was and where I am today–I understand that God’s plans–those He purposed to accomplish great things to His glory–will come to pass; even if He has to wait on us to acknowledge Him. His plans never change, but He will not force us to do anything and will always honor our choices–to receive or reject, believe or not believe.“For I know the plans I have for You,” declares The Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29.11).
God’s plans for my life are continually unfolding and even though I don’t know what all of them entail, I am willing to trust Him and know that He only wants the best for me–as He does with all of His Children. For all who call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved and adopted into the family! Hallelujah!