Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
Without question, the valley is the absolute hardest place to walk through. As an Apostolic Pentecostal, I live for the mountain top experiences; these monumental encounters with God that seem to shape our lives are really just emotional highs. No real substance. In fact, emotionalism is perhaps the greatest tragedy of our ranks. I’ve witnessed the carnage of precious people who have placed their trust, hope, and dreams in these emotional explosions. Maybe Jesus summed up the personality of man best when he told a nobleman in John 4:48...
Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe!
I believe there is a principle found within this statement that could redefine the faith of Christianity. For too long our faithfulness, our worship and our faith in general have been tied to what he does. We pray for things, then shout when it happens. That’s perfectly in order. However, what would you do if he didn’t respond when you thought he should? Or maybe he didn’t respond how you thought he should? Would your worship be altered?
You see our mentality tells us, I’ll believe it when I see it; God’s philosophy is you’ll see it, when you believe it!This is what Jesus was trying to get that man to understand; so he tested his faith and challenged him. He told him, “you go home and your son liveth”. Jesus wanted to know if the man would believe on his word alone. You see when our faith is built on the shifting sands of emotionalism, we won’t be able to endure the hardships that come. Because sooner or later you will find yourself in an isolated valley; and no matter how hard you search you can’t seem to find him, you can’t seem to hear His voice and you can’t find His will! You’ll be faced with more questions than you have answers, and if your faith isn’t grounded in the word, you will have nothing to hold on to in this valley.
In Mark 4:14-17 we find the parable of the sower and the seed. The bible gives us examples through this parable of instances where the word is ineffective in our lives. There is a particular element that stands out in my mind. The Bible says that some seed fell on stony ground, and that the ground received it with joy. That sounds a whole lot like an apostolic church. We receive a word from God, we’re shouting we’re worshiping in excitement about the word! But the scripture continued, and as soon as afflictions come, and as soon as persecutions arise, immediately they are offended because there is no root in them! This is the danger of emotionalism, the excitement always wears off in the heat of trials and tribulations, and those who are not grounded in the book will be easily offended in the valley.
This brings us back to our text. Joel is prophesying, and he is looking through prophetic lenses and seeing the last days church. After all it was Joel who prophesied that in the last days saith God, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. What Joel sees is a startling observation of a valley full of people. In fact there are so many people in this valley Joel emphasizes it twice…Multitudes, multitudes…When the Lord opened my eyes to this revelation, he began to show me that this valley is not the result of misfortune. It is not the result of some sin or storm of life, this valley was designed by God! And Joel makes a terrifying observation, the day of the Lord is near this valley. The day of the Lord means either the judgment of God, or the return of Christ, which tells me that the decisions made in this valley will change your destiny for better or for worse! Destiny hangs in the balance in the valley of decision!
The unfortunate reality about valleys is they are never easy to endure. And more often than not we spend our energy in search of an escape. King David found himself in a valley of decision, he had began to slack off in his Kingly duties, and in his idle time finds Bathsheba bathing on the housetop. I want you to understand, David was not supposed to be on the housetop at this time, he was supposed to be in the valley engaged in war, leading Israel to victory. I will warn you that not every housetop is of God! In our zeal to find an escape from the pressures of the valley we settle for the first housetop we can find. but if that housetop does not line up with the Word of God, then you would be wise to stay in the valley!
When David made that decision in the valley, it sent shock waves throughout the destiny of his children. His baby would die as the result of judgment, one son would rape his daughter, another son would murder him, and even on his death bed Adonijah is fighting Solomon for his throne! David, life may be easier on the housetop, but God has called you to the valley! David you were anointed in the valley! You found favor in the valley! You killed Goliath in the valley! Why are you avoiding the valley now?
The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?
Yes David the valley is a burden, but the valley is designed to give you a vision! The prophet is warning us, do not abandon the valley of vision for the comfort of the housetops! Until you’ve received the revelation of the valley you are not equipped for the housetop!
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light: and what you hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops!
Your effectiveness on the housetop will be predicated on the revelation from the valley! Everyone seeks the glorious position of the housetop. But if we really want to be effective in this generation, we desperately need to learn the revelation of the valley. Don’t look to escape your valley too soon, God is trying to equip you with a vision for your future! And the destiny of your family, and the destiny of your ministry are hanging in the balance! I encourage you in this valley of decision, allow God to transform you during this season, allow the burden to shape you, and allow the revelation to empower you! And when you reach your housetop you will be equipped with everything you need to be successful!