“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Haggai 2:6-7).
The Lord Jesus Christ constantly used practical things to teach spiritual principles. Addressing His crowd, He said: “…Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17).
In Bible days, animal skin was used for storing wine. Accordingly, Jesus was using the familiar process of storing wine to teach about spiritual truth. Back then, no one would think of pouring new wine into an old wine skin because an old wine skin would have already stretched to the maximum. As such, it cannot accommodate the fermentation associated with new wine. Since the old skin has become too rigid, it cannot expand itself anymore. If new wine is poured into an old wine skin, the fermentation process will tear the skin, wasting the wine and ruining the wine skin as well.
The practical application of the message of Jesus in this parable is repentance. The religious leaders persecuted Jesus because they could not receive His message. God was doing a new thing but their heart was “hard” their religious mindset was stopping them from receiving the kingdom of God. The appearance of Jesus brought a new era. It was no longer about animal sacrifices but living a surrendered and obedient life by having faith in Jesus Christ.
It was a time of change but because of pride the religious leaders could not humble themselves to God’s way. The Bible says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9). God’s ways are far higher than our ways, we need the humility of a child to receive from God. The truth is Jesus was challenging them to examine their hearts and change their ways. They must repent, and walk in obedience if they wanted to experience the kingdom of God.
THE SHAKEN OF THE NATIONS
The beginning of this decade brought on the world a turbulent season of change. The (COVID 19) pandemic. The deadly virus that swept across the nations of the world. Killing millions, halting the economy, affecting livelihoods and well-being around the globe. It brought the world to a standstill, it definitely got everyone’s attention! And the shock wave of the pandemic is still vibrating across the entire systems of our world. The world is at a turning point in history. We are in the midst of a storm it is a time of great change!
As Christians we are not ignorant of Bible prophecy. Shortly before Jesus was crucified, He told His disciples to watch for warning signs of His second coming. And one of them is pestilences (epidemic diseases). “…For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:7-8 nkjv).
The Bible is full of warnings about the last days, the period we are in now. One of the most prominent events of this period is the “shaking” of the nations. When society structures or systems are shaken. Our world is a broken world and any foundations built on this world broken system is unsustainable. God shakes earthly things to unveil eternal things. God shakes the temporary things of the world to bring to us His eternal and everlasting Kingdom.
The writer of Hebrew was referencing the prophecy of Haggai and he says it beautifully: “…The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:27). The only unshakable foundation is the Word of Jesus Christ. And the only way we are unshakable is to find our identity in Christ. Meaning, to trust and build our lives on the eternal promises of God. (Matthew 7:24).
Things are changing around us. And we must wake up and rise to the occasion. The shaking is getting more and more intense. We are witnessing a widening shake up of our society and the nations. Industries, relationships and all the things we have built our hopes on that are not founded on Christ are crumbling: economy, government, science, climate, technology, the traditional family value is under severe spiritual attack, and the Church as well is going through a big shake up. These are sobering developments like the days of Noah!
However, no matter how bad things may look, God is able to turn it for good. After all, it takes a lot of pressure to turn coal into diamond. That is why the Bible encourages us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4). That is Good News!
We are never defeated for we are not without defense if we put our hope in the Lord, Psalm 31:15 says, “My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.”
And if we will humble ourselves, Jesus wants to give us rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29).
The systems of this world are shaking around us but God’s system stands firm! The Kingdom of God stands firm because Jesus Christ is the Chief corner stone, He is the solid rock, the firm foundation of God’s System. Jesus is “unshakable and unsinkable”! In a mysterious way the Divine hand of God is on His flocks and the prophetic events unfolding in this period of time. Jesus Christ is the Lord of Host, the King over the nations. Still, His Word stands solid as the rock, offering hope in the midst of chaos and despair. The Lord is silently at work behind the scene. He is purging the nations. He is testing the motives of our hearts. He is purging, purifying and refining His Church in this season. And if we will hold fast to the Truth – God’s Word, standing firm in faith God will take us into an extraordinary dimension of power and victory!
IN TROUBLE TIMES STAY IN FAITH
When pressure comes God wants to help us to overcome if we will stay in faith trusting God for the answer. In Acts 16: 16-34, Paul and Silas were arrested for preaching the gospel. They ruined a fortune-teller business by casting out the devil from the girl that was used for rendering the service in the region. As a result, they were reported, arrested, brutally beating and thrown into prison. They were fastened with chains and their feet were bound in stock in the dungeon. But they did not allow their horrible experience to break their moral. They remained defiant in faith.
They kept praying and believing for a miraculous intervention from God. Both of them were so bold and uncompromising with their worship that all the other prisoners could hear them singing praises to God. And their expectation did not fail. Their perseverance in prayer brought God unto the scene. At midnight, in their darkest hour, God stepped in because of their persistence in faith! The Bible says, “suddenly there was an earthquake that shook the very foundation of the prison, the gates were flung opened and everyone’ s shackle were loosed!” And that one miraculous breakthrough captured the attention of the prisoners and guards, it brought them to salvation in Jesus Christ and it eventually resulted in the salvation of that region!
Similarly, we can learn something from these two Apostles of faith – how God can turn disappointment into appointment for opportunity. The Bible says, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 nkjv). When we look at the waves and winds blowing across the nations, we will start to believe we are sinking and are doomed. But not so! Right now, the gates of hell are terrified of what is about to be released on the earth! God is pouring out His revival fire! The Lord is purging the Church so that the lost souls can see a true reflection of Christ through the remnants and surrender their hearts in repentance. God will anoint and use the remnants to shake the gates of hell and set the captives free!
STAND ON THE WORD OF GOD
We are living in a different era in the history of the world. A season of change is breaking in upon us. God is shifting things and breaking new grounds. New ideas are springing up opening new frontiers and territories. A divine shift is taken place in people’s mindset. God is using the impart of (COVID 19) and what is evolving from it to awaken us to see the light. This is a wakeup call! We are at a cross road. It is critical that we are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and obedient to His guidance in directing our lives. We must not under estimate the new challenges confronting us.
And so, we need to pay careful attention to what is unfolding in the nations. We are not to compromise our faith. We are not to be shaken. We are not to be fearful but be trusting. No matter the battle before us we must always live in the reality of what Christ has done. The Good News is that, Jesus has already won the victory. His death and resurrection is the reason why we can have hope for the future. We can believe the Word of Christ and trust His promises.
In the Bible Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1). And in Matthew Jesus warned us about cares and anxieties of life. He puts it like this,
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).
He told us everything we need is in God’s kingdom. He taught us to trust and depend on God to provide for us. “…So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33).
God has given us everything we need to live a Godly life through His great and precious promises. And when we put God first in our lives all the other things, we need will be added to us because of His Fatherly love for us. God is able to keep and perfect all things consigning us.
And so, I pray you are encouraged with this message. No matter what is going on around you or in your life believe God and hold steadfastly to His promises by faith. Keep praying and trusting, expecting God to perform His Word in your life. Fix your eyes on Jesus the Author of and Finisher of our faith. Keep walking with the Lord Day by Day doing what He has called you to do because God is in control. God bless you!
When we have fellowship with the Lord daily, God fills us with joy and renews our strength. For this purpose you can Download the free PDF Scripture resource attached for daily prayer and confession to build your faith. Please click here to download PDF