and when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. [acts 4:31]
if God would shake the ground in our midst, i would have the boldness to _______.
how do you fill in the blank? so often in our lives we lack boldness to move because we are unsure of the Lord actually being with us. we lack trust that he will bless our move. we lack faith that he can use us to proclaim his glory and further his kingdom. we don’t believe he will be faithful to provide if we step out in faith. we don’t believe he will be satisfying to us if we give up the weights and sin that cling so closely. we struggle to trust that he will comfort us if we are crushed, abandoned, rejected, or mocked.
so where are you stuck in your tracks, waiting for God to shake the ground so you can move in boldness? because the truth is that God is shaking the ground! all around us God is showing us that he is moving in power, drawing people to himself, spreading his gospel, and sanctifying his church, purifying his bride.
he established a testimony in jacob and appointed a law in israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God. [psalm 78:5-8]
this psalm is a lamentation for the people of israel. for generations, God had been blessing them with his presence, showing signs and wonders of his power, providing miraculously for their needs, and cleansing evil from their midst. yet they turned away. time and time again, they forgot his mighty works, and they did not believe his promises, so they rejected him for their own ways.
o, that we might not be like this people. may we be a people who look back often and remember the mighty works of God! who teach them to our children, and bring them to mind, that we might trust him and obey! that we might open our eyes to the way he is moving in our midst and so take courage to act boldly in his name! look at the Lord shaking the ground around us!
he is saving! he is stirring the hearts of unbelievers to walk into our church and our lives, hungry for his hope, open to his truth! look at all of the souls coming to him, desiring to be baptized in the name of Jesus and follow him! across the globe, he is drawing hearts to cling to the truth in spite of great persecution and even to death. the Lord is shaking the ground!
he is healing in our midst! think of the prayers of healing that God has answered with healing. did you turn back to remember, and praise him? think of the relationships that have been reconciled! did you give him glory? the Lord is shaking the ground!
he is strengthening his children! think of all the people in our body who are suffering greatly, but are clinging to the goodness of Christ and proclaiming his goodness to others who are looking on. he is cultivating steadfastness, faithfully refining and nourishing through trial and tribulation. the Lord is shaking the ground!
he is revealing his glory! we are constantly in a new season of the Lord showing us more of his character, more of his goodness, experiencing more of his grace. look back ten years and see how he has grown your knowledge of him! your love for him! your obedience to him! the Lord is shaking the ground!
the apostles prayed for boldness, God shook the ground, and they moved in boldness. we often pray for boldness, and God shakes the ground, but we are stuck. don’t miss it. look around. pray for boldness, then act in boldness, for he has proved himself faithful and true.
the Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. [zeph 3:17]
~ arwen eastman