Jerry Lee Lewis was a renegade rock and roller. In 1957, he released “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” It became a big hit. Lewis did not intend to be prophetic in a spiritual sense, but he was. There is a “whole lotta shakin’ going on” now. Sadly, the shaking has not only come to our culture but to the Church as well.
There are precedents throughout history of shaken cultures. Most of the Bible was written amid such times and the message was for God’s people to be unshaken, steadfast, and immovable (see I Corinthians 15:1-28). If we are shaken, then our confidence is misplaced. Concern for the culture is godly; shaken by it is not.
When Christians are shaken, it means that we are not established in our trust in the Lord. Psalm 125 is applicable here, “Thou that trust in the Lord are like Mt. Zion, which cannot be shaken.” Being shaken by the “winds that blow” is a sign of immaturity (see Ephesians 4:15). It means that we are not established in His kingdom which is unshakable (see Hebrews 12:27-28).
Among those that I greatly admire are those who are steadfast in faith when faced with serious persecution and martyrdom. They have a message for Christians in Western culture. Theirs is a message to us of courage, hope in eternal life, and faith in our faithful God.
How can we become more steadfast in our faith? I love the great hymn, “Solid Rock.” This hymn tells us to build our hope on Christ, not circumstance. “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.” Circumstantial “faith” is not faith at all, but we do not realize that until “secure circumstances” change. Instability around us will either move us to God or to fear and anxiety.
Pleasant circumstance and pleasure will not produce toughness of faith and character. I do not advocate that we seek trouble; it comes soon enough. I do advocate reinterpreting the purpose of difficulty in our lives. Too often it is viewed as less than God’s will. Sometimes it is, but often it is the means to seeking God, becoming strong in Him, and getting on the right foundation. We do not need faith for trouble but faith in the midst of trouble.
The apostles in their pre-Cross mindset were unprepared for the trouble that was coming. The Cross shattered their confidence in a false view of the Kingdom. Post-Cross and Pentecost, they were able to deal with the dramatic upheavals and persecution that came. They became unshakeable in faith. I don’t know which side of the Cross (His and ours) all of us are on, but I do believe that the Lord will do a work that will test where we really are (see I Peter 4:12; Jude 20-25). The means of testing may not seem good at the time but in God’s purpose it will be (see Hebrews 12:3-13).
There is still time to register for the 2016 CSM Leadership Conference, May 11-13, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Our theme is “Unshaken!” Please see the CSM home page or the “Events” tab for more information.
Charles Simpson is an internationally-known author, Bible teacher, and pastor, serving in ministry since 1955. He is also Editor-in-Chief of One-to-One Magazine and ministers extensively throughout the United States and the nations.