Shaken Out and Emptied
Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise. ~Nehemiah 5:13
When I was a small kid, I remember times when my uncles and older cousins would take me, hold me by my ankles, turn me upside down, and give me a strong shaking as part of playing around. If I had anything in my pockets, it would fall out. Sometimes, things in our life need to be shaken up. In other words, we need to be in an upheaval that awakens us and stirs us up.
We see the shaking of the cave.
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it” (Matthew 28:2). Before Jesus rose from the dead, it was preceded that morning by a great earthquake that shook the ground. Symbolically, this shaking was an announcement that the power of death had been broken. Jesus conquered death with His resurrection. Death could not hold its prey. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Satan’s hold on death was shaken and emptied when Jesus walked out of the tomb.
We see the shaking from collapse.
“Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” We will experience failure, setback, and defeat in life. Things will not turn out the way we had hoped. Unexpected turns of events come our way and leave us “in the dust.” Paul exhorts that we might be cast down, but we are not destroyed. Failure does not have to be fatal or final. Shake thyself from the dust! You might be knocked down, but you are not knocked out. Get up and shake the dust off! Go right back to what you were doing. Keep going until you accomplish what you had set out to do. Do not be a quitter: shake thyself from the dust.
We see the shaking from cowardice.
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Peter and John had been censured for preaching the gospel. They went back to the church and held a church-wide prayer meeting. The church was apprehensive as to how they were going to advance the gospel after being censured. After they prayed, the place where they met was shaken. We must have a shaking of our conscience, convictions, and cowardice. We need the Lord to shake out the fear and apprehension that we have and endue us with holy boldness. Spend enough time in prayer so that all fear and apprehensions you have are displaced by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We see the shaking of conviction.
“And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.” Just like in Acts 4:31, a prayer meeting preceded the shaking. It is a given that concerted praying in the Holy Ghost shakes things up. Prayer shakes open doors that were once closed. Prayer shakes off the chains of sin, doubt, fear, and strongholds. Prayer shakes up the sinner and brings him to the realization of his need for salvation. If you give yourself to prayer, God will develop in you the conviction that prayer changes you and the things around you. Are you at a place of complacency in your life? It could be that you need to be shaken and emptied.
Have a shaken God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 17-20