Hebrews 12:26-29 (NLT)
When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.
I do believe that the most important appliances in our home are the washer and dryer. These vital necessities are second only to the refrigerator that desperately needs an automatic door as our two youngest daughters are moving through their adolescent years but less I digress. We do at least a load or two of laundry a day and sometimes more. Please reference back to the girls which there are actually three of at home. My teenage daughter can manage to wear no less than three outfits a day every day of the week and produce massive amounts of laundry. We long for the days of summer when she tends to favor a swimsuit and stay by the pool. When we purchased the set, I was particularly interested in a washer with high speed spin cycle. I wanted something that would force out as much moisture as possible to reduce the drying times. This allows us to wash more clothes and do fewer loads at least in theory. The washing cycle is quite violent. It seems innocent at first as small bursts of water coupled with a gentle turning proceed to soak the contents. But then the washing machine begins to work on cleaning. Soap is dispensed and the large drum begins to rotate back and force until the cycle is finished. Then the water rinses away the dirt and remaining soap. Now it begins to spin wildly and fast as it extracts all the water from the clothes until they are almost dry before tossing them back and forth to loosen them for drying. When the dryer has worked its magic, I am left with a pristine load of clean laundry. The heat forces the sweet aroma leftover from magical detergent to fill the air as the fabric softener makes it soft and pleasing to the touch. If that particular load is sheets, they are immediately transferred to the bed where they are shaken and stretched to cover it. As I take my hand and smooth out the wrinkles, many times it reminds me of God’s Work in my life. How he shakes me, stretches me and smoothing the wrinkles and blemishes that cause bumps along the way of life when pursuing His Presence and Plan. In fact, I am in such a season now.
My world has been violently shaken over the last month. Everything that I thought was part of God’s Plan has been blocked by many obstacles and long wait times. I have sought the Lord’s Presence, His Power and His Word concerning so many things thinking I could see the road ahead much farther than I actually could. But since the shaking has occurred, I can feel the Peace of God telling me that I am finally seeing our life from a greater perspective than before. Just because we are shaken does not mean that god is moving or that Jesus is not who He has promised to be, but rather God is positioning us to receive our inheritance as His Children to have all of His Blessings, to fulfill His Purpose and live according to His Plan. Although the washer violently shakes and spins the laundry, the end purpose is to clean it thoroughly to be used again. Otherwise, we would discard the items and find new ones that were satisfactory. My gym clothes for example are fit only for burning after an hour-long workout, but after an hour in the washing machine and dryer, they become fit for use. God is working on us to prepare us for His Next Promise and to fulfill His Purpose for our life. Everything is going according to His Plan, but sometimes it takes a whole of shaking to make us let go of our plan to have all that He has promised.
Genesis 27:37-40 (NLT)
Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?” Esau pleaded, “But do you have only one blessing? Oh my father, bless me, too!” Then Esau broke down and wept. Finally, his father, Isaac, said to him, “You will live away from the richness of the earth, and away from the dew of the heaven above. You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother. But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck.”
Esau gave up his father’s blessing for a bowl of soup basically. The vast inheritance that belonged to him as the firstborn son of Isaac taken from him by the trickery of his brother, Jacob. Esau begged his father for a blessing until Isaac finally relented with these words. “You will live away from the richness of the earth and away from the dew of the heaven above. You will live by your sword and you will serve your brother.” What kind of blessing is that? It’s not one but the revelation of his father who recognized the bitterness and unforgiveness of unresolved human expectation. This is usually our response to God when we decide to settle for something less than His Very Best, we become beggars of His Blessing rather than recipients of our inheritance which is in Christ alone. Esau settled for something less. “BUT” – oh how I love the “buts” of God! “But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck. God is calling us all to live in freedom from bondage to the things of this world. He wants us to leave the captivity of sin, guilt, shame and regret behind to claim His Goodness, Mercy and Grace that lead to our inheritance in Christ. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. (John 8:36) Even if we choose to remain subject to sin, it does not mean it must always be our master. Jesus has given us His Spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17) I have everything that I need to reclaim my birthright as a Child of God but am I willing to do what it takes even if it means being violently shaken to release lesser things to have so much more.
Luke 6:37-38 (NLT)
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
As with Esau, forgiveness leads to freedom in Jesus Christ. We must accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord which requires accepting His Kindness that leads to repentance and truly being sorry for our sins so His Mercy and Grace meets us in that moment and we are forgiven putting us in right standing set to inherit the blessings and promises of God once again. But we must also forgive others which releases them from our expectation. When we no longer rely on other people for satisfaction, it allows us to receive more from the Lord by faith and confident hope in Him alone. No more counterfeits and substitutions only God’s Very Best. Finally, we must learn to forgive ourselves. There is no greater bondage than fear and regret. Fear that we are unforgivable that makes regret keep us locked up inside. How can God possibly still love me after all the bad choices that I have made? Well, He does. How can Jesus still work out the details of my life when I have chosen to give my life to lesser things? He died for you to live in His Kingdom forever and He will stop at nothing to fulfill this plan and purpose for our life. His Spirit is always pressing us and shaking us to make more room for His Blessings and Promises to fill us up and run over in our life. Yes, there is a whole lot of shaking going on but it is not because the Lord does not love you or that you have necessarily done anything wrong. He is working to remove every yoke of bondage that is keeping you from freedom and opening doors by faith that once kept you locked up.
Psalm 16:5-11 (NLT)
LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
To understand the violent shaking and various shifting going on in our life requires knowing the Word of God who is Jesus Christ. God sent His Word wrapped in flesh so we could see in living color what He was doing for and in us. To endure such molding and shaping, you have to know that He is good. You must believe that He is always working out the details of the believer’s life for good (Romans 8:28) so when things don’t work out the way we think it will we know that His Plan is firm and unshakeable. (Psalm 33:10-11) We know that His Plan is good containing a future and hope available to all who seek Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:11-13) We must believe that He guards such a life until we are ready to receive it which all comes down to positioning and placement in righteousness. We can do nothing outside of Jesus Christ to receive our inheritance in God. Jesus is the same always. (Hebrews 13:8) His Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11) so if we don’t have it – we either are not supposed to according to His Perfect Will or it is coming once He perfects all that concerns us! (Psalm 138:8) This must be the Truth that we base our life upon so we will stand firm on this foundation. (Isaiah 28:16-20) God sent His Son not to judge and condemn His People but to show His Great Love for us. Such love becomes the foundation of our life and the primary principle that God is always good and has great intentions for us. These were written and recorded before we were born and remain forever. Now God is working to remove every obstacle between us and His Inheritance that has been specifically provided for our life. No person stands between you and God’s Blessing or can take what is yours. God is guarding it until you are in position to receive. It is this new way of living and thinking that we are granted the joy of His Presence and His Pleasures forevermore – both now and throughout Eternity. “I wait quietly before God for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2)
Acts 16:25-37 (NLT)
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.” But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!”
Late in the midnight hour…you know what happened in jail beaten and abused Paul and Silas began to sing praises to God. Their bodies imprisoned but their spirits free to worship their God! Suddenly God shook things up and all the prison doors were opened. Did they run? No, they instead ministered to the jailer and his entire household who were all saved and baptized that very night. In the morning, the city officials came and wanted no part of it. They knew the earthquake was the result of God’s men they had imprisoned and now they wanted them to leave. Paul set them straight. He knew who he was on the earth and who he was in the supernatural. Neither would be moved by the report of the enemy or bow to its authority. Fear would have been long gone the moment the prison was opened, but Paul and Silas were already free. They came to minister to the city and did not leave until their mission accomplished. We are being shaken free from bondage to this world and given supernatural authority in every situation. Rather than running from circumstances and situations faith allows us to stand strong with confident hope that the Lord will do just what He promise when we pursue uncompromising righteousness through radical obedience that will not move until the Lord tells us to and we receive everything that He promised. Those who feel this way will have overwhelming peace and joy no matter where they or what they are going through because they know that God is always good and working every detail of their life out for good!
Haggai 2:3-8 (NLT)
“’Does anyone remember this house—this Temple—in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all! But now the LORD says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.’ “For this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”
Back in the laundry room, one of the dividends is cold, hard cash. Now the girls are a bit more miserly but when the boys were still at home – we would find money in the bottom of the washing machine. As the washer agitator wrenched the clothes back and forth any hidden treasure would work its way out and when the spin cycle quit would end up at the bottom where all one must do is scoop it up. I believe that as we pursue righteousness at all cost by putting all of our faith and trust in God that as His Temple prepared for His Glory everything we need is provided, every blessing possible comes our way and His Purpose and plan completely fulfilled for our life which each shaking, pressing, pushing, shaping and molding of His Might Hand. It is worth the effort. It is worth the pain. It is worth having patience. His Inheritance is worth having because it is forever. The Lord wants to do more than you could ever think of or ask for according to His Will. Why not let Him shake things up a bit so His Glory pours out in your life? Do not leave your post. Position yourself by planting your feet by faith and maintaining confident hope that God is good. He is able and He is always on time! Hang in there! Your life is about to run over. Everything is going according to plan so let His Prosperity work in you! Besides nothing feels better or smells better than clean sheets which are always well worth the process!
Ephesians 3:19-21 (NLT)
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.