He (God) has promised, saying, “Yet once more, I shake not only the earth but also heaven.” Now, this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:26–29)
This passage sets off the fire alarms in me. As nations are destabilized, I realize its troubling fulfillment. In this prophesy, however, is the wisdom and direction we need for our day.
I remember a time when families could confidently plan their futures. Parents had stable jobs which would offer long term income in exchange for commitment and hard work. But in the last few decades, under the weight of falling markets and multiple levels of corruption, we are faced with a financial reality upon which we can no longer rely.
There was a time when medical professionals were not swayed by insurance incentives, pharmaceutical companies, and government mandates. Doctors and nurses could care for their patients without fear of government or media assault. This era of healthcare is no more.
There was a time when you could trust political and community leaders. But in the wake of mainstream propaganda intent on inciting hatred and controversy, lesser men and women have emerged. Political charlatans now are consumed with pandering to social media mobs while diminishing the honor that their offices should command.
It seems every system within our culture is being shaken. From political to medical to financial systems, each has been wrecked by the fault lines of corruption and greed.
Even in the church, the foundations have cracked. Generations who were once mesmerized by the pied pipers of Sunday morning theatrics are realizing they have neglected the essentials of faith. So many poured their finances into facilities and the commercialization of church life to attract crowds while failing to make disciples. Ironically, Jesus avoided the masses with an intent to draw men and women into the Divine nature. On the contrary, it seems churches today mark their success by the crowds as they overlook the significant work of cultivating authentic disciples. Churches labor to fill their seats while actual growth languishes.
When the shaking of the COVID crisis hit, the doors of God’s house slammed shut. Churches that placed a low priority on personal connection and discipleship found themselves desperately hoping to fast-track meaningful relationships. Many found themselves at a loss as their system of church life was rattled.
As our societal foundations are shaking, our way of life is narrowing down to the eternal life we were intended to live. The simple truth is this. Jesus didn’t offer us mere spiritual salvation as an accessory to our physical and emotional experience. He gave us a way to live. He said, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) This knowing or connectedness with the Father is the lifestyle that is unshakeable. The offer of eternal life, which Jesus defined, isn’t optional. If you can manage a few weeks or even days without an awareness of God’s voice, then you may find yourself retreating to a way of thinking which will be shaken. Patterns of behavior or thought are good and healthy, however when your patterns of trust become traditions that can function without God’s input, they can lead you astray. A misplaced trust in your government, finances, and medical systems will eventually be shaken. When this happens, the one thing that cannot be shaken will emerge. What is this one thing? God’s kingdom. What does living in His Kingdom look like? It looks like a full reliance on Him to take care of your day to day direction. How do we enter into this place of His unshakeable kingdom? The doorway is found by adopting two things into your daily schedule. You must cultivate an ability first to hear and then obeying the voice of your Father. As you hear and obey Him in our spiritual, financial, medical, and even political decision making, you are creating a way of life that will sustain the torrential winds of change. However, if you fail in these, your life rhythms will be shaken. Those financial, political, and even medical safety nets you constructed will fail.
Jesus pointed to this foundational truth when He said, “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Those who will endure this season of shaking will be the ones who faithfully gain their direction from the Father’s voice and obey Him.