“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter…” II Thessalonians 2:2
Be not quickly or easily shaken. It does mean to agitate, but with the idea of shaking because of stormy winds. Vine describes it as the “loosening of a ship from its moorings by a storm”. To be blown away…
It is interesting to look at what is being shaken: the mind. This refers not to our thoughts, but to our resolve. We are not to be easily blown off course. We are to be standing steadfast with determination and full faith amidst afflictions – not shaking, or overly troubled.
It reminds me of the verse in 1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” Life will happen. We should not let it blow is off course or trouble us. Being troubled leads to an outcry or wailing. We are not to be shaken into emotional outbursts. That British “stiff upper lip” has a place in our Christian life! Our spirit is to remain settled and moored to Christ who is both in us and always with us.
No word, meaning communication, or letter, meaning the written word, are to cause us to loose from our faith, purpose or hope in Christ. We are to be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding. Not shaking in our boots or blown away by the events of life.
How about you? Are you easily disturbed? Fearful? Or, are you settled, grounded and solidly moored in Christ?
“and for fear of him the keepers did shake.” Matthew 28:4
The prison guards were not prophets of old accustomed to God entering their lives in a vivid manner; they were just ordinary soldiers who were following instructions, setting the watch over the tomb of Christ.
The watch had been set from the moment Christ was placed there. The third day was just dawning and the women had arrived to prepare the body. As they approached, an earthquake shook the ground and an angel – shining like lightening and white a snow – rolled the stone away and sat upon it and spoke to the women.
Astonishment and great fear gripped the hearts of these soldiers. God had entered directly into their lives in a spectacular way. They were been shaken to their very core and completely mortified. But the women took the message of the angel back to the disciples with fear and great joy.
We see two totally different responses to the same event. What do you think made the difference? I look at it this way. One group, the soldiers, may have been afraid God would show up. No doubt they had heard the stories about Jesus promising to rise again. That was the whole reason for the soldiers and the sealed stone anyway! Have you ever wondered what happened to them? Did they pass out or did they run away in fear? Or, did they remain to hear the conversation between the women and the angel? Did they believe on Christ? Scripture does not record, but for sure, they came face to face with the reality of the resurrection and were no doubt affected.
The other group, the women, were seeking Jesus. Though they were still astonished at seeing and hearing an angel, they received the message with joy and took it back to the disciples.
When God interrupts our lives do we shake and halt with fear? Are we expecting God to show up in our lives? Or, do we, as the women did, listen and obey joyfully?
“…those things which are shaken…those thing which cannot be shaken…” Hebrews 12:27
What things can be shaken? The writer of Hebrews is referring to the changes in Judaism due to the entrance of Christianity: the old law and new grace. But I believe we can also look at things in our own lives that can be shaken.
We know the physical world can be shaken. Earthquakes and other natural disasters shake the world. Wars and human conflict shake the world. Financial dealings shake the world. Governments rise and fall and we know that all these things will be dissolved. They are not unshakeable.
Life can be shaken. Illness, divorce, death and all manner of things in the course of our lives shake our foundation and we know that life is fragile and only for a moment.
Even our faith can be shaken, but, praise God for those things which cannot be shaken.
The Word of God – Psalm 119:89
The Atonement – Hebrews 10:14
The Work of the Spirit – Philippians 1:6
The Promises of God – Isaiah 54:10
The Throne of God – Daniel 2:44
Our Saviour – Hebrews 13:8
To keep from being shaken we need to adopt the attitude of Paul in Acts 20:24 “none of these things move me…that I may finish my course with Joy!”
Has your life ever been shaken? Have you experienced the reality of these things that cannot be shaken? What is your attitude when life gives you a nudge?
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together…” Acts 4:31
What a prayer meeting! The building literally shook! Was it the prayers that shook the house? Was it the people’s faith that caused the building to quake? Another similar event is recorded when, in Acts 16:26, prayer and praises resulted in shaking. Paul and Silas were in the Philippian jail and the doors fell open.
I rather doubt that the words of the prayers were the source of the power. Otherwise, men’s words could shake building. And, I rather doubt that Paul and Silas could sing well enough to cause reverberation to that degree. I do believe that the power of the Holy Spirit set free in hearts of men wields great power: enough to shake a house and open prison doors.
Believing prayer is the key! Men ought always to pray – to unleash the power of the Spirit into the work of God and the lives of others. How mighty is God when men are on their knees! When God’s Spirit enters the room, things are shaken.
What is the measure of your prayer life? Do you see God answering your prayers? Are you open to the moving of the Spirit in your prayer life?
“…pressed down, and shaken together….” Luke 6:38
This verse begins with giving and ends with giving. However, in the middle there is a process described. It is the filling of a bag of meal, for example, as it is shaken and pressed so more can be put into the bag. This process removes the air and compacts the contents so the vessel can hold more, hence, it can give more.
It is not unlike the process of Christian growth. God gives us salvation and then begins the process of pruning and developing us by pressure and shaking in order to put more of himself into us. So making us fuller! More useful! More equipped to give because we have more abundance and more supply in Him.
We aren’t usually keen on the pressure and shaking, but maybe we ought to change our attitude here and recognize that God is removing “air”, rearranging and defragging our lives making us vessels better fit for the Master’s use.
Can you pray this prayer? “Lord, enter my life and shake me if it be for your glory. I will not fear, for the unshakeable things are my foundation and I am resolved to not loose from my moorings.”