2013-06: Shaken & Stirred
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SHAKEN AND STIRRED

“See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 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.” Hebrews 12:25- 29

Recently I had opportunity to pray for a “stranger”. It was evident something was going on in her life - a turbulence, a storm. I love that as we begin to pray for someone about whom we know very little or nothing, the Holy Spirit prompts and choreographs our prayers. While sensing there was a storm in her life, the Lord led me to pray differently to the way we might normally pray about such a situation. Often our inclination is to pray, “Peace. Be still!” and most times that is appropriate. However as the Lord led me in praying, I felt that was the wrong tack to take this time. As I continued seeking God for this woman, He revealed His intention.

Thunder- and rain-storms are truly a wonderful, natural phenomenon. They display magnificent power and might. There is a sense of majesty that is evoked as thick, grey clouds gather and lightning slashes the sky.

Storms are not always necessarily all bad. Gazing outside on a morning after a storm can be so refreshing. Everything is clean, clear, fresh and the air smells good. The streets are clean, the smog has been driven away, the dust washed away. There’s a crispness in the air, greenness in the vegetation and the delightful sounds of birdsong.

There is no doubt that the storms in our lives can be caused by, or are a result of various factors. They can be the result of poor decisions we’ve made, the consequences of sin in our lives, the sinful actions of others, or the evidence of the workings of the kingdom of darkness. And sometimes God allows (or even brings) storms into our lives to achieve His purposes. Like a new day after a rainstorm, God desires to use the storm to do a cleansing and refining work in our life.

What if our current storm is a God-given opportunity to blow away the chaff in our thinking in order to reveal truth and expose the deep, underlying roots inherent in the issues being faced. Often these things, like pesky weeds, crop up time and again until they are effectively dealt with. 

What if it’s an opportunity to upend all the superfluities of life to remind us what is truly important in our relationships so we can reassign our priorities? 

What if it’s a test to see what we have really got buttoned down about God - which things we believe about Him that are not stable, secure, solid? 

What if it’s an opportunity to shake off the things that have attached themselves to us which hinder God’s outworking of our destiny?

Don’t be too quick to pray away a storm; seek God about the storm, through the storm. Allow Him opportunity to do a cleansing, refining work. Believe for God’s washing to come to clean away the dust of the world. Believe for it to shake up our understanding about those things we think are important in order to be happy, successful, significant, to exist, but which are really merely temporal, superficial fluff. Believe that it will strengthen the roots of what is firm in Him and reveal the things He wants to batten down stronger in you.

While God may allow our world to be shaken, may we take the opportunity to allow it to stir us to press in to Him, and to be more resolute in His purposes. 

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