At the moment I find myself having daily conversations with others about the situations and difficulties they are facing, the things they cannot get their heads around, and the questions that all of that raises about life in general, and of course where is God in all of this?
I keep thinking of how many times the Bible talks about shaking and most times it is the forerunner to something really momentous and good happening. I think in our quake-prone nation we tend to look at shaking as possibly negative and destructive, whereas when God shakes it's a bit like harvesting wheat, shaking all the debris off and leaving what is good and useful.
In the Bible Gateway app on my phone the relevant parts of Hebrews 12 have amazing headings such as:
"Warning and Encouragement" and "The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy".
Hebrews 12:26-29 puts it pretty clearly:
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens". The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken - that is, created things - so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our" God is a consuming fire".
Acts 4 again gives us encouragement and wonderful instruction as Peter and John pray their great prayer and God responds....with shaking!
Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
If I am reading it right, the shaking just gets rid of what isn't any use anyway, and heralds the way to something powerful and productive as God moves in power.
Some of my recent conversations have been around the loss of understanding of what "the fear of the Lord" really means, and also that in some respects we have become overly familiar with a God who is Love, but also Infinite, All present, All powerful, Creator of all things, Lord of All, who rules and reigns on high. We are told that 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom', and in the face of shaking who doesn't need wisdom!
If you my dear friend are finding yourself in the midst of shaking, as many of us are, you have company. Also, you can be encouraged that God has turned His face towards you and is working in your life. Instead of giving great credit to the enemy of our souls who doesnt deserve it, let's stand up, look this right in the eye, and submit ourselves to His hand and His process, knowing that the outcome will be good, even great.
In this time let us look up and cry out that just as when that shaking took place in the Upper Room in Jerusalem (and life hadn't exactly been a breeze for those guys), God would stretch His hand out again, that He would heal, that He would perform signs and wonders because of Jesus Christ, and that we would again be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak the word of God boldly in this day.
Our God is "a consuming fire" who consumes all the dross of our lives, and turns the rest into pure gold.