We sometimes will gently shake a child’s shoulder to awaken them. When the Lord needs to awaken His children, He will also shake us. At first it is gentle, but if we don’t heed? Hebrews 12:18-27 is in the context of Exodus 19. Verse 27 says, “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.” We don’t have to fear His shaking. What He allows to remain will be for His glory.
Ephesians 5:13-14 says, “But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says, “Awaken, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” In Revelation 3:2 God told the dead church in Sardis to strengthen the things that remain.
Let me pull this together. Physically dead things have no ability to respond. However, it is a different story for those who are spiritually dead. Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Take note, even a believer can slip back to walk in darkness. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” It is an activated truth which keeps our fellowship with the Lord and others open and thriving.
John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” When we hide God’s word in our heart, no matter how much we are shaken, that truth remains. When the Lord needs to ‘awaken’ us to something that He is fingering, He shakes us.
The only things that can be shaken are ensnarements. It could be worldly pursuits, ministries we started apart from Him, or hidden sins that are done in the dark. It could also be emotional fillers, which are heart-idols that usurp His place. They all block His purpose in our lives.
Everything that God does or allows is a prepared path. He has gone before and taken out the things that would shake our faith. Let’s go back to when Jesus told Peter that satan desired to sift him. Sifting would be another word for shaking. Luke 22:32 says, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
The things that have been shaken, give us a testimony of endurance that the Lord uses to strengthen others. Chris Wark was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. He said that the Lord used it to awaken him. He took stock of what he was doing that was causing such stress in his life. The Lord used it to bring radical course correction. That is what His shaking accomplishes in each of our lives. He will only shake what can’t remain, in order to strengthen what will remain, which is fruit for His glory.