Joel 2 Rend your hearts and not your garments! When repentance is real.

Joel 2 is for me the most significant of all that which God has personally spoken to me about. It spells out for me a pattern which repentance, plays a central part. Repentance is very much misunderstood when we think about the old awakenings. Repentance is grief for our misdameanors and a turning. The turning is the key. Without turning, from our ways, there is no real repentance taking place. Many have spoken about 2 Chronicles 7:14, the word puts it plainly:

If my people ,who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray, turn from their wicked ways…” these are conditions. 4 of them in fact, precede the “I will” statements from God, the crucial point being the turning. There cannot be business as usual, first because God knows the quality of our “turning” and second He measures our sincerity. The repentance we need to get to, has nothing by the amount of tears or the renting of garments. In fact Joel speaks against the outward show without corresponding inward reality. The key in David’s sin, of adultery, of murder, of deceit, was not that he was found out, but that the quality of his turning matched the inner grief and inner sincerity. God forgave him and restored him.

In all my dialogue with God in this lockdown my first question was whether all this was for destruction, and I was reminded that what is mainly misunderstood in the constant theological debate concerning judgment is that there is always a redemptive purpose in it. God is stopping everything. In fact there are those think it is the devil. No, its not the devil, because the fruit of this quarantine is that the Church will pray, and the devil will lose many souls he has imprisoned. For the devil it would be an own goal to be able to stop the nations, and do what we are seeing.

Joel 2 says that God alerts them that the locusts are not a natural phenomenon, coming to the land by chance. God Himself says He is responsible for the plague of locusts. It was to get the attention of the people that they had strayed from God’s way. And so to those who say the devil made this lockdown, what was God speaking to, coming against in this context? He came against all activity in our self sufficient economy, to get our attention. What does all disasters, wars, plagues speak to in the Word? They spoke to the potential that we need to see if we have gone away from His Covenant. What centres of anti-God are affected today? Money, governments, leisure, addictions, freedoms to move, travel, work, fame, Church and ministry. All these are affected, suspended, and all are placed on a even playing field. We are all affected, believer and unbeliever alike. All has been brought to nought. So that we recognise the need to TURN.

The prayer that was prayed, after extraordinary gatherings, were to combat precisely the 4 locusts, which had ravaged the harvest. It is time for extraordinary prayer. Its time to examine and test the depth of our repentance.

The power of revival is determined by the depth of repentance afforded.

Frank Bartleman: 1904 Azusa Street Awakening

The result of the prayer prayed by the multitude brought a divine response. God reestablished the economy, and brought about a world wide awakening, the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

This is the vision I have been waiting on since I originally posted the original message about Joel 2. See:

The bottom line to this, is surely repentance is needed, but the question is, is God convinced by our prayer efforts and our fasting? Are we merely making an open show that has no effect on our situation?

And in the end what is the objective? Go back to business as it was? No, if our prayer is for God’s objective then we will see His response.


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