If we’re honest with ourselves, we have to acknowledge that the Lord has been nudging us for the past several years that a shaking is coming [actually, it is already here]. In fact, I wrote an article in 1987 called, “The Lord’s Provision During the Shaking.” I believe the Holy Spirit has been speaking for the last two or three decades regarding the moments we’re living in now. Unfortunately, we often receive for the moment what the Spirit of the Lord is saying and it comes out as a great sermon, book or article, but have we really prepared ourselves to the point that God can use us as an ark of refuge in a time of need? Oftentimes in our human negligence we fail to prepare, even as in the days of Noah. Yet as the churches of Revelation were told throughout chapters 2 and 3: “Those who have an ear to hear, let them hear.”
The late Alan Redpath and the late Leonard Ravenhill used to say on the Chapel of the Air radio program that the church is about three miles wide and an inch deep. They also said that too many people come to the church to leave the world, only to find the world! Truly today we can see this being lived out to a large degree-not to say we haven’t made great advances in certain areas, and we do have some great ambassadors for Jesus. But in many ways we have taken care of the internal issues rather than being a blessing outside the four walls and advancing the Kingdom.
God will shake up His house in preparation for the house to be a blessing. He is purifying His people and exposing those things done behind closed doors. Like a refiner’s fire, He’s burning up the dross so that we can be precious gems of the Lord who shine brightly to the world.
Jesus said in the parable of the pruning of the fruit trees, “You must prune good for better” (John 15:2, paraphrase). God is pruning us for better so that we can be the blessing He intends us to be. Just as the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was a crisis from the humanly point of view, it was also the catalyst that sent the Gospel to the nations.
Church people are not perfect, but they serve a perfect God. As David Wilkerson said many years ago, God will not wink at sin; in fact, he said, your sin will find you out. The sin in the dark places and the hidden places is being exposed because He loves us. It’s not an issue of eternal judgment, it’s an issue of His loving correction to the church. His intention has always been-through His covenant with Abraham and Christ Jesus His son-that we, the church, should be a blessing to the nations. But how can we be a blessing if we have dirty laundry that needs to be cleaned?
God has a right to judge His house because judgment begins in the house of the Lord. But the world does not have a right to judge God’s house. In the 1980s the world began to blatantly attack the church and its human frailties, undermining our leaders and using their shortcomings as comic fodder. The failure of some brought discredit to the church as a whole. Even so, the world does not have a right to judge.
God is judging the world now, as He continues to do a cleaning in His own house. But he also loves the world, so He is breaking up every sphere of the culture, from the business world to politics and government, from economics and finances to natural disasters and the ecology. One of the of the last institutions God is going to be shaking is the entertainment industry and Hollywood because of the pervasive hypocritical self-righteousness that thinks it’s OK to criticize anything that is righteous in order justify their own actions. For the same reasons, He’ll be shaking the news media, as well.
Not to say there hasn’t been hypocrisy or sin in the church, but to totally disregard that which is righteous, holy, and just, and to blatantly come against it is just another form of wickedness and hypocrisy. Those who have acted this way will see a backlash from their attitudes, believing they know what is right because they happen to have an element of fame. They forget that it’s the “average joe” who made them famous by viewing their programs and their movies. They have made a living off the average man. It’s going to backfire just like it has with a lot of those in the athletic world who feel like they don’t have to be role models. When the economy is challenged, everything else is challenged, as well.
All arenas are being judged, exposing the wickedness. The very things that the world has been justifying are the very things they judged the church for doing.
The big thing in television over the past few years has been the evolution of “reality TV.” But the truth is, we should all live our lives like we are part of a reality television program! So many times we have heard of politicians and even pastors and religious leaders who spoke carelessly thinking no one was listening, only to find out later that what they said had been recorded and was later exposed. Our walk with God should be the same in private or behind closed doors as it is in public, when others are watching.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12:27 that all that can be shaken will be shaken, and only that which cannot be shaken will stand. And according to I Corinthians 3:14, we see that the only things that will stand are those which are built on the foundation of Christ. If we expect to walk in the fruitfulness of God’s blessings so that we can be a blessing, we have to have the proper foundations and get ourselves in proper alignment. We need to get back to the basics and restore our foundations. When we are in proper alignment, agreements, associations, and attitudes, we can also walk in true spiritual authority. Then God can use us as an ark of refuge to the world in a time of great need.
Doug Stringer will expound on this message in upcoming articles. Visit www.dougstringer.com to sign up for Doug’s blog updates and to check out other teachings and resources.