The other day, I sat down at my desk and began to read in the book of Acts in chapter 16 when the Phillipian jailer got saved. I began to ponder verse 26: “Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” Wow! Most theologians use these verses to emphasize that Paul and Silas continued to pray and sing even though they were still in prison. I have also heard sermons emphasizing the power of prayer. But, after I read this, the Holy Spirit quickened my heart to something more.
I began to think about the word shake. There are a few definitions for that word:
- to move irregularly to and fro
- to vibrate especially as the result of a blow or shock
- to tremble as a result of physical or emotional disturbance
- to experience a state of instability.
I began to think, “does God have to shake the foundations of our life to get us to do His perfect will, which is to share Christ with others? Would it actually take a great earthquake to get us to move?” Sometimes, we have to make the flesh do what is irregular for us, what is uncomfortable, to further the Gospel. What would God have to do to shock us into furthering the Gospel?
I once told my wife that if I ever got to preach out of the pulpit again, I would ask the congregation to get up and move to a different seat, just for shock value. Then, I would ask, “How does that feel?” Awkward would probably be the response. You know, sometimes we get comfortable in our walk with Christ. We have to get moved into an uncomfortable position before God gets our attention. That emotional disturbance in our life maybe just what we need.
Think about a paint shaker. You put the gallon of paint in the shaker and turn it on. It mixes the paint thoroughly and evens the consistency of the paint. As a result, the paint flows easier and the painter gets a better result. What would happen if the paint wasn’t shaken properly? The appearance would be imperfect. Pigments wouldn’t blend correctly and they have a tendency to settle at the bottom of the can. And when applied, the paint wouldn’t flow correctly. I think that we need to be shaken up to break loose the sediment of sin in our lives, as well.
So, I would like to challenge you to allow God to shake your foundation. Think about the analogy of the pews and try to get a new viewpoint. Seek something new in the Lord. Step out of the realm of the comfortable and see how God blesses you.
The Bible says that doors were opened and chains were loosed. Wouldn’t that be great to see? Oh yeah, back to the congregation and the pews… Just about the time that they got comfortable in their new seats, I would ask them to move again. Don’t get comfortable in where you are in the Lord. Keep seeking and striving for something new. The Lord will be faithful to bless!