When trouble comes, we need to know we stand on the unshakable foundation of our faith. Sadly, many Christians today falter in their faith because they lack biblical literacy and a love for truth. First John 4 tells us we must be instructed by the Word so we may discern between truth and error.
Since the late 1980s, God has been speaking to me about a shaking that is coming. My heart aches at all the callousness and brokenness we see today, in both our society and parts of the church. It reminds me of what Paul described in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11, that those who refuse to love the truth will be turned over to deception and strong delusion. May our hearts be awakened before we slide down a slippery slope.
Hebrews 12:6, 27-29 encourages us that the Lord disciplines those He loves, and that everything that can be shaken will be shaken so the unshakable kingdom remains. More than ever, I sense an urgency to dig deeper in consecration and higher in expectation in the Lord, clinging to the truth, as every institution we have placed our hopes upon, sacred and secular, is being shaken.
The Lord is searching throughout the church with lamps of His Holy Spirit and shaking up those who are settled in compromise and complacency (Zeph. 1:12). By the light of the Holy Spirit, God is searching out the dross and rubbish in our lives to purge and refine us in preparation for the days ahead.
If we take a look at the spiritual and political climate during the days of King Herod, the similarities are uncanny. When given a choice between Jesus and Barabbas, who was a robber and thief, the crowd was swayed to choose Barabbas. They rejected the truth standing right in front of them and cried, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" (John 19:6b).
It's easy to become skewed in our walk because we become skewed in our thinking, just like the crowd who chose Barabbas. The challenge for the church today is to identify what choices we are making that contradict truth, righteousness and justice. These decisions will end up clouding our discernment and judgment.
God has given us periods of peace and prosperity so we can be a blessing to the nations—but many have chosen not to rely on God or rightly steward the resources He has provided. Instead of choosing His way, they have followed the way of the world. But while men reach for thrones to build their own kingdoms, Jesus reached for a towel to wash men's feet.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul expresses deep concern that many who profess to know the truth will turn away from it to embrace myths. But 2 Timothy 4:5 encourages us to make sure we are not disheartened or discouraged by this and instead to keep our focus on the Lord and His work.
Jude provokes and challenges us to be spiritually fit to contend and do battle for the truth. Only those who are spiritually prepared, grounded and in shape can effectively respond to the spiritual and moral battles of the day.
There is a battle today for the heart of the church and the soul of a generation. We need individual heart awakenings that become a corporate church awakening if we are going to see any lasting healing in the soul of our nation. If our nation's broken foundations are to be fixed, then we, the church, must awaken our hearts and get back to our spiritual moorings and biblical principles. Psalm 11:3 says, "If the foundations are broken, what can the righteous do?"
The Lord's discipline always begins with His own and in the house of the Lord. When the shaking comes, only those things that are part of the unshakable kingdom can withstand and remain. Psalm 112:1-6 (NIV) promises that "those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands. ... Surely the righteous man will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever."
Acts 4 is also an encouragement to us; the early church was threatened against speaking the truth of the gospel. Instead of bowing to the threats, they asked God for strength and boldness to persevere in the truth. God sent them a shaking, but in this one, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness (see Acts 4:31).
Keep hold of the truth and keep focused on what God has called you to do to bring positive change. The shakings are coming! And revival will come too, whether by choice, circumstance or consequence. Throughout history, the church has always grown through times of challenge. May we keep our focus on the Lord as these shakings produce a great harvest.
Dr. Doug Stringer is the founder and president of Turning Point Ministries International and Somebody Cares America/International.
CHARISMA is the only magazine dedicated to reporting on what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of believers around the world. If you are thirsty for more of God's presence and His Holy Spirit, subscribe to CHARISMA and join a family of believers that choose to live life in the Spirit. CLICK HERE for a special offer.
Be sure to check out Doug Stringer's new podcast, "A Word in Season With Doug Stringer" on the Charisma Podcast Network. Click here or click the podcast below to listen to his episode, "Church-Quake," about the battle going on for the heart of the church in this hour.
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