I had an old Land Rover that was my pride and joy. It was a handsome little vehicle; 10 years older than me. And like all who own such specialist, niche interest vehicles, such a hobby came with its own owners’ club.

When I first got the little off-roader, a seasoned member told me that the best thing to do in the first week of taking ownership is to drive its heart out. Whatever’s good about the car will stay on, and whatever’s bad will fall off. It has been many moons since that car left me. But that piece of advice always stuck - give it a good shake down; whatever’s good will stay on, whatever’s bad will fall off.

Recently, that axiom came back to me again. This time, a colleague and I were talking about how our management team needed a shake up; change was overdue.

Have you ever been there before? The organization that you are in has been that way for eons and it doesn’t seem to be making any progress. Growth in all its key performance indicators has stagnated and staff are getting bored and restless.

Or perhaps it’s your own life that has become comfortable, predictable, stagnant and boring, and it needs a good shake up. Would you want to experience the change?

Change is difficult. Change can even be painful. But as the ancients say, ‘Change is the only constant’; and sometimes change, when it comes, can be extreme and overwhelming. Jobs can be lost, family fortunes can be wiped out, marriages can break down, even sanity can be a distant memory.

But beloved, if your world is getting a good shake up right now, be strong and keep the faith, because with our Father, this axiom is still very true, ‘Give it a good shake down; whatever’s good will stay on, then fix whatever falls off’. Let’s see why.

“See to it that you do not refuse [to listen to] Him who is speaking [to you now]. For if those [sons of Israel] did not escape when they refused [to listen to] him who warned them on earth [revealing God’s will], how much less will we escape if we turn our backs on Him who warns from heaven? His voice shook the earth [at Mount Sinai] then, but now He has given a promise, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the [starry] heaven.”” Hebrews 12:25-26 [AMP]

Our Father is in the habit of shaking things up every time His people stray. When He guided His people out of Egypt, they were happy for a time. But when things got tough, even though there was always daily provision of manna and meat, they started murmuring and complaining. This went on until they reached Mount Sinai where they, in their false sense of self belief, famously said,

“Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Exodus 19:8

“All the people spoke at the same time and said, “We will obey everything the Lord says.” Exodus 19:8[GW]

Now, this happened because they forgot that they had been led and provided for all this while, by our Father’s hand; and they started to get too grandiose an idea of their own abilities. When that happened, our Father let them have a taste of what it was like to deal with God based on their efforts, away from His grace and He gave them the ten commandments.

And we know what famously happened after the ten commandments were given, don’t we? Israel made for themselves a golden calf and started worshiping the golden calf, violating the very first two of God’s laws.

““You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:3-6

Consequently, 3000 of them were put to the sword. And for those who sinned but did not get killed, our Father hit them with a plague. Talk about a shake-up.

So does that mean that if our lives are undergoing a shake-up, we have sinned? Well, beloved, if you are equating yourself to Israel, then the simple answer is ‘no’, because unlike them, we who believe in Jesus and His saving grace are comprehensively saved and so for us,

“…He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

So “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

Then why do we get a shake-up in our lives? Well, beloved, for this, we need to look at what fell off and what remained.

“He said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Every man strap his sword on his thigh and go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and every man kill his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor [all who continue pagan worship].’”” Exodus 32:27 [AMP]

The massacre was a weeding exercise, wasn’t it? Our Father was removing the bad elements within the flock, so that the weeds do not get a chance to infect the others. And He was thorough too.

So when our Father shakes up our lives, He’s not weeding us out. Instead, He is wedding out the undesirable elements which He knows will harm us in the long run.

“For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)” Hebrews 12:18-21

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Hebrews 12:22-24

Our faith in Jesus has brought us to Zion and not Sinai, to Grace and not Law, to pardon and not condemnation. For wouldn’t it be conflicting for Jesus to say when

“…they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29

And then God the Father still punishes us when we sin? No beloved, we are a privileged bunch, because of Jesus; and so for us, when we get our world shaken up, it is God’s way of cleaning house.

“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe” Hebrews 12:28 [AMP]

Beloved, do you realized that you have been given a kingdom? Do you realize what that means? Jesus said,

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

When you seek first the kingdom of God, you stop needing to worry anything that the world seeks. Why? Because your heavenly Father knows that you need these things. And “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

And if you still think that you are on the quest for the kingdom of God, then you are sadly mistaken, for a little later on, Jesus tells us, that because of Him,

“Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!” Luke 12:32 [AMP]

We have already been given the kingdom, and it can be found in the person of Jesus.

So think about this, the kingdom is ours through Christ; that means that all provision and protection is ours, through Christ; that means that we never need to worry about anything of this world anymore, because Jesus will take care of all things. So then

“Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!” Hebrews 12:28-29 [MSG]

If your life is undergoing a shake up right now, be strong and have faith, because you are founded upon the unshakable foundation of Jesus’ love and redemption. All that you see burning and falling apart are things which our Father knows will harm you in the long run and He is removing them from your life.

So instead of fear and trembling, rejoice in the face of the shake-up, because when it is all over, your life will be so much better because of it.

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