Thursday, May 27

Shaken, But Not Stirred . . . in Spirit

[26] But now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” . . . [28] Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, [29] for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:26, 28-29)
On vacation in the beautiful south (Kiawah Island, SC), Phyllis was just reflecting on the above, a favorite passage, both of her's and mine. My heart prompts me to "reflect" out loud, as it were, penning some thoughts. 

There's a shaking going on in our nation and world. Everything that used to be sacrosanct has succumbed to attack--personal freedoms, religious freedom, as well as the imposition upon us all of a "global" agenda. It's nauseating. And at times, it can be a bit nerve-wracking, disconcerting. As freedoms are systematically being stripped from the nation and our representatives seem either powerless, or complicit and unwilling to do anything about it, we wonder about the future of this country, and perhaps worry. 

But should we?

Our Responsibility
Do what you can. Vote right--yes. But is that our only recourse? Goodness! Is that even our best recourse? Absolutely not! If our God had not permitted such behavior, it simply could not have existed. But it does. And HE is! 
I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things. Isaiah 45:7
Given that every quarter of our culture boasts such a rank, cavalier attitude toward sin--abortion, living together, pornography at epidemic levels, as well as post-Katrina-in-your-face debauchery in New Orleans--we deserve judgment! Perhaps, we NEED it if for no reason than it will shake us to the core. Then truth will once again (perhaps) mean something. It should . . . especially to the Church, "the pillar and buttress of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).  

You Think It's Bad Now?!
One day God will "shake not only the earth, but also the heavens." Such will be cataclysmic beyond imagination! The "heavens" are outside the bounds of any human being or devil. That is the area of God's domain, and no man can tell him how to order it.
I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. (Isaiah 46:9–11)
The Very Good News! 
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. This is comforting to the lover of God! He has it all under control. We turn our eyes upward in thanksgiving--in the face of calamity--because the kingdom of God CANNOT BE SHAKEN! Nothing catches God by surprise. He never snaps his fingers saying, "Boy, I sure didn't see THAT coming!" Oh, no! All arranged, controlled. 

We are not urged to breath a sigh of relief, to sort of wipe our brow at this "good news." No, we ARE urged, yea, commanded to worship correctly. Offer God acceptable worship, which is done in reference and awe. Lacking this, the church and culture collapse all around her. Hear A. W. Tozer from "The Knowledge of the Holy":
Perverted notions about God soon rot the religion in which they appear. The long career of Israel demonstrates this clearly enough, and the history of the Church confirms it. So necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.
Varied descriptions of God abound, as people define Him according to their own pleasure. But God will not be so defined! He is, in fact, "a consuming fire!" Indeed, whatever else we may infer, know this . . . God is not to be trifled with! Too lightly do many people hold the weighty majesty of the God of all the earth, when they should humbly bow before Him.

These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. Psalm 50:21
The kingdom of God, though he allows it to suffer attacks today will not hold off his judgment forever. This knowledge (if understood) would afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted.

No comments: