Have you ever noticed that during those times at which our nation has been shaken by some unexpected, tragic, fearful, or desperate event, the churches fill up? Ever notice how people are able to come together to help each other, petty differences or forgotten, God returns to people’s thoughts, and prayer to their lips? Nations follow a clear pattern. You can see this pattern laid out in scripture as we see the nation of Israel go through it over and over agin. They serve God and God blesses them, then in their blessings and peace they get comfortable, they stop seeking God, eventually they begin to compromise, inevitably they become all out openly sinful, then God shakes them. Like a father trying to shake some since into a rebellious teenager bent on self destruction, God shakes us trying to wake us from our spiritual slumber or stupor. With the nation of Israel this was often done by way of them loosing their blessings and being allowed to be attacked by, or fall to their enemies or some other desperate situation that would then shake the people causing them to wake up spiritually, and return in desperation to The Lord in humility and prayer. There are times in our lives when we go through similar shakings on a more personal level. Perhaps a death, loss of a job or relationship, or attacks from others, often by those closest to us. Just like Israel being attacked by those of it’s own boarders, attacks from those closest to us can be the most devastating but also the most effective at bringing us back to a place of prayer. As we begin to once again cry out to The Lord for deliverance, (not only on our own behalf but on theirs as well) we draw close to God which in-turn causes Him to draw close to us (James 4:8).
God does not wish to have to shake us, if we as individuals and as nations would do our part in the relationship that we claim to have with God, there would never be a need for the shaking, but alas, we never do. Even the best among us get comfortable where we are and need to be shaken a bit from time to time. These times are never comfortable or easy, yet they serve to stir up new gifts in us, because God knows that the desperation of the situation causes activation. Even we as humans, shake vessels or containers that seem to already be full in order to reveal more room to pour in new content, and what are we if not vessels for the Holy Spirit? So He shakes us, and once He shakes us to a point where we are paying attention, sifted, ready and desperate to receive, He fills us with glory and the latter end is better then the former.
“And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.” – Haggai 2:7
“And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” – Acts 4:29-31
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” – Philippians 2:12-15