Shaken & Uprooted
 "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...."If God shakes the heavens which are designed to manifest Him, and likewise shakes the earth, designed to show His workmanship, shouldn't we expect Him to shake the Church as well?  An awakened Church may be a shaken Church."  Jim Hylton....."If we're rooted in anything but Christ, what happens when we get uprooted?"  Beth Moore

50's rocker Jerry Lee Lewis scored a major hit with his song "Whole Lotta' Shakin' Goin' On."  I think that's a good description of what is taking place in not only the world today, but moreso, the Church.  Especially the Church as we know it, or more accurately, as we have designed it here in the west.  The Father is most definitely shaking His Church.  Shaking us not only as concerns our dependence on so much of the "created things" around us, but also of the many ideas we have manufactured as to just what the Church is, does, moves, and looks like. T. Austin-Sparks said that our human response to any move of God is to "bring it down" to a level we can understand, and more, control.  We seek to organize what He is doing and saying.  We end up with an organization and not a movement.  Yes, we need a certain amount of structure, but we can end up, we most often do end up,  "worshiping" the structure and not the Creator.  The Lord will not tolerate other gods, even when that god is His Church.  It is so easy to be seduced into "making" His Church into a well oiled "machine" where all runs smoothly and according to schedule.  In a recent article, Pastor and writer Jim Cymbala said that a church he recently spoke at had so planned out their service that each segment was given an exact number of minutes and seconds.  He asked if he might close his message with a time or prayer and invitation, but was told he couldn't because they had not allotted time for it.  Somehow I think God is very anxious to "shake up" that fellowship and so many others just like it.  Maybe yours and mine as well?

Yet the shaking and uprooting goes well beyond our worship services.  It will affect the very core of our being, of we who are the Church.  In Colossians 2, Paul exhorts his hearers to be "rooted and grounded" in Christ.  This brings even more clarity to Moore's statement.  Shakings and uprootings are always going to be a part of life.  As they intensify in these days, what happens to our spiritual lives when all that we have come to depend on, both within and without the Church, are shaken and uprooted?  Where do we stand then?  So much of our lives and that which we call "Church" have been built on sand, sinking sand.  Paul said in Colossians that when we are deeply rooted in Him, we draw up spiritual nourishment from Him.  What nourishment is to be found in those things we have built our lives, families, and fellowships upon?  When all that is not Him in our lives and fellowships is shaken and uprooted, what will be left?  What will we have?

Pastors and laypeople everywhere are crying out for an awakening.  Yet I think many of us want an awakening that shakes and changes everything but us.  Change the world, change the Church Lord, but don't change me.  He said He will "once more" shake the heavens and earth.His once more is upon us.  When His shaking and uprooting come to your life and mine, what will be left? On what will we be standing?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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